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Comment: Re:People Are Such Babies (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by Stoutlimb (#48682629) Attached to: Facebook Apologizes For 'Year In Review' Photos

I lost my three year old daughter early this year, and I certainly understand how this person feels. I've been avoiding looking at my Facebook photo albums as well. I think it's a kind gesture from Facebook to acknowledge that their user base contains people in every situation imaginable, and for many, a photo retrospective is inappropriate. The only person who should be curating personal photos in Facebook is the profile owner.

Comment: Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (Score 1) 122

by Stoutlimb (#48591175) Attached to: Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

This category of foreign labour is subject to much worse working conditions and minimum pay. This is a new way for the 99% to abuse the public (of any country) through legal loopholes and government corruption. Microsoft just went through a firing spree in Canada as well... you connect the dots.

Comment: Re:So it is official. (Score 1, Interesting) 168

by Stoutlimb (#48591115) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

Bigger balls? No more like pathetic whiners when the shoe is on the other foot. Keep in mind, France is about to deliver 2 brand new aircraft carriers to Russia, while Russia is invading a NATO-friendly country and threatening to take back Alaska. Playing against the team indeed.

Comment: Re:This is rich! (Score 1) 264

by Stoutlimb (#48348573) Attached to: We Are Running Out of Sand

I've lived in the arctic. Everyone talks about fine, dry snow blowing in the wind, English speakers or otherwise. That stuff is nasty, it will blow into your house through the tiniest of cracks. I didn't even know the weather stripping on my door was slightly damaged, but on a snowy night I found a small snowdrift inside my house next to my front door. I've lived all over Canada before, and even to me this stuff was alien. Construction in the arctic is drastically different because of fine, dry snow blowing in the wind. Any crack at all in your house, no matter how small, will cause snow to accumulate inside, which can cause major damage if not discovered and repaired. Vented attics, common everywhere else in Canada, are impossible in the high arctic. Fine, dry snow blowing in the wind is the honey badger of snows.

Comment: Re:whatchadoin? (Score 1) 202

by Stoutlimb (#48296905) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

Since he didn't give us any use cases, I'm going to have to assume worst case scenario, which includes resistance to extreme pressure changes as well. What I recommend is immersing the system in an oil cooling tub, and sealing it multiple times, with a stainless steel final enclosure. Liquid filled to balance the pressure is the only way to go if you're dropping a computer down into the Mariana Trench and back and expect it to survive.

Comment: Re:I've got the problem solved. (Score 1) 352

Definitely it's a fun hobby for now. I discussed it with someone who has a PhD in robotics, and she suggested the best course of action is to submit a prototype to a robotics conference, so that is the direction I am working towards, along with acompanying documents on theory. I considered 3D services, and decided against them for convenience sake, and I've also always wanted a 3D printer of my own anyways. I'm dirt poor, so I'm working on writing and 3D modelling at the moment in lieu of working on the physical model. I'm not sure how many parts I'll need, but I expect a lot of design revisions.

As for the grey goo scenario, I'm not worried at all. I've divided self-replication into fine grained degrees, and the first prototype only has a few, but is designed for easy addition of degrees of autonomy, which is why the design is so exciting. While in theory the great grand-children of this technology would have the capability to pave over the earth, the intrinsic interface with human operators I think would preclude that. That being said, I could also forsee novel forms of abuse of that technology. Even still, this is a type of system that is susceptible to destruction by primates with hammers, so unless it learns to defend itself by dispensing banannas, I don't have much concern.

Comment: Re:I've got the problem solved. (Score 1) 352

by Stoutlimb (#48165943) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

I wish I could, but I've made the commitment not to share until my literature is done. I also don't have anything saleable, as my prototype, modest that it is, is not finished. The only thing that would help me speed up right now is an angel investor, as I'm totally cash strapped. My current stretch goal is to save up for a 3D printer, as I found that there are some features that macguyvering from my local hardware store just won't do. Yes I'm that poor! LOL (Disclaimer: While very useful, my work has very little to do with 3D printing. This is not yet another Reprap project, or even close.)

As for litereture, I can share some concepts. Economical and useful self replicating technology has been theoretically possible since at least the 1970's. There is no magic technology other than computers and mechanics that is needed. The problem isn't even much of a cash problem, as any decent R&D budget could probably achieve degrees of self-replication. The main problem is conceptual and architectural, nobody has a clue what the blueprints or paradigm should be. On this basis I totally understand your skepticism to my claims, as extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I assure you that my design and prototype is very humble. What isn't humble is that I've identified the design criteria and broken it up into a huge array of small, profitable steps. Since this is an excercise in designing a planned economy where every worker is a robot, the very basic fundamentals can be very small, much like the rules for cellular automata are exceedingly simple.

I'm really excited about this, and I could talk forever. I guess it won't hurt to share some general nuggets. I will share one theoretical fact I've identified so far, the Profitability Principle of Self Replicating Machines. It's the simple and obvious idea that any useful machine with self-replicating properties is going to be astronomically profitable. This is a principle with plenty of historical examples, and I believe it will predict future economic developments. Every degree of development towards self replicating machines sees a concurrent degree in usefulness, and therefore, profit. Such degrees of self-replication in the past have been things such as the invention of electric motors, electronics, and even most of the industrial and computer revolutions can be described in terms of individual properties of self-replicationg machines being developed. Today, almost every profitable development in terms of automation and computer control can be included in this, if such development is something a self-replicating machine would find useful.

Turning this principle on it's head gives an aware developer a useful objective metric in developing new technology. According to the Profitability Principle, the more Degrees of Self Replication (features that bring a machine or system closer to self-replication) that an invention has, the more profitable it will be. This principle has been blindly guiding a great deal of economic technical development since the steam age. For designers who explicitly and knowlegably apply the details and nuances of the Profitability Principle to their work, this feature growth can be vastly accelerated, along with the feed back loop of profit.

I'm not here to solve the world's problems with a wonder machine, that's nonsense. But I do belive I understand the theory, architecture and design philosopy that will bring an economy to that ultimate goal in small, profitable steps. Anyone who knows the way can save themselves a lot of headaches in failed developments. My book goes into the details of how the Profitability Principle works in development circles, plus my prototype is one of the first meager yet very useful steps with self-replication explicitly in mind.

So far I'm plodding away at my own speed and shoestring budget. I can't wait for the day I hit my milestones, then I'll share it with the world. It's very exciting and I want to talk about it more, but I promised myself I wouldn't. About the only thing that would help right now would be an angel investor, which is why I posted on Slashdot in the first place. It's that small hope this connects to someone with big resources and has the mindset to understand the economic and technical theory. Even a small actual seed budget would bring amazing things to the table.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972