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Comment: Re:Stucturing (Score 1) 390

by TapeCutter (#49835823) Attached to: Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny?
I assume the prosecutors need a complaint from the blackmailer before they could charge him with rape. It's certainly seems like the prosecutors are doing their very best to hang him on a technicality, twisting the crime to fit the law is nothing new, it's a very nasty habit that unfortunately appears to be common among US prosecutors. Sure the guy is a complete arsehole, but AFAIK being an arsehole is still legal.

Comment: Re:What about product placement ads? (Score 1) 298

by TapeCutter (#49819123) Attached to: Netflix Is Experimenting With Advertising
Yes product placement is unobtrusive but it's expensive and cannot replace normal advertising, if it could it would have done so back in the 1920's. The sponsor's wallet controls how the ad will be displayed, forcing people to sit thru ads to get to the meat is just fucking rude behaviour from penny pinching sponsors, I'm trying to train my own wallet to avoid doing business with them.

Comment: Re:I could live with a post-show teaser... (Score 3, Insightful) 298

by TapeCutter (#49818941) Attached to: Netflix Is Experimenting With Advertising
Yep, I grew up in a country town that is now an outer suburb of Melbourne. Saturday afternoons was the "$0.20 children's matinee" at the local theater, first we got a couple of cartoons, then everyone stood quietly to attention for "god save the queen", then John Wayne would come on and there was a roar of delight from the crowd, then we all start playing cowboys and indians in the theater. The adult staff did not try to control our behaviour, except to make sure we all stood quietly for the national anthem ( if you were silly enough to be sitting down an usher would come over and lift you to your feet by your ear), no child was ever thrown out, and we took full advantage of that policy. :).

Somewhat ironic that my first memory of "freedom".is being locked in a large padded room with 100 kids and John Wayne. Still, it worked out great from a social POV, everyone shopped on Saturday morning because the shops were closed Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday, so after "shopping with the kids", the kids got to burn off their energy and mum and dad got a quiet afternoon to restore theirs.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 1) 461

by TapeCutter (#49771811) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

It's not a crime to have your car parked somewhere if you have a suspended/revoked license

I don't see anyone claiming that it is a crime. What I do see is a lot of slashdotters ignoring the fact that the location of the parking spot aroused legitimate suspicion from police, likewise a pressure cooker in that location will legitimate raise their eyebrows even further.

This is how it operated in London and Paris when the IRA were being bastards. Sure, with 20/20 hindsight, an unlicensed dickhead with a dead car is not a perfect outcome, but it's a much better outcome than a false negative.

Comment: Karma is a bitch (Score 0) 461

by TapeCutter (#49771627) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker
Unattended, records show the (absent) owner has no license - could be stolen. Pressure cooker - improvised bombs and pressure cookers go together like ham and cheese, Boston Marathon was a recent example.

The cops did their job and rightly erred on the side of caution, the only "injustice" is the guy will not be compensated for the damage to his car, neither the cops or his insurance company are liable. OTOH, he had no license, his car should have been parked at his home where it would have aroused far less official suspicion.

Comment: Define "expert" (Score 1) 417

by TapeCutter (#49767339) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
Speculation yes, blind no. It's true that neither Musk nor Gates are AI academics/engineers, but they are both deeply involved in setting up and funding AI research, but the clincher is that they have huge wallets and have a long held personally interested in the subject. As such they almost certainly have a better grasp on AI and it's potential usest than the proverbial Joe Sixpack.

It follows that, with or without fame, they are both "experts" relative to the general population. As such their opinion ranks as an "educated guess" and is preferable to that of the majority of "Joe Sixpack's" who base their concerns on Terminator, Bender or an obscure passage from an ancient religious text. In other words, those with knowledge of what is possible today are more informed about what that may lead to tomorrow. In the same vein I have an (old fashioned 1990-ish) degree in computer science which included an AI component, I have written numerous AI toys over the last 30yrs, and recently sat through the 2010 online MIT course* for AI (just for fun). None of this means that Joe is a moron, Joe is quite likely to be an "expert" in other fields compared to you or I.

Here's the rub with "AI" (or any complex and controversial issue). Due to a messy divorce I hadn't really been paying attention to what had been going on in AI during the 2000's, it blew me away, I showed my 'wife' who happens to be a (sought after) business 'expert' who's lectures attract large audiences. She shrugged and said "The voice thing is neat, but what's the big deal, it's just looking up the answers on the internet, right?". To this day she simply does not have sufficient knowledge to recognize the problem. Just about everyone I have shown (other than fellow AI geeks) has a similar reaction. Not only don't they "get it", they don't even recognize "it" when "it" is talking to them. There's no offense intended when such an opinion is deemed "uninformed", it's actually a plea for Joe to familiarise himself with the problem before offering an opinion.

Personally, I'm not afraid of AI suddenly turning hostile, but "knowledge is power" so I am definitely concerned about what the "known behavior of the only high intelligence we've ever met" may do with such a tool/weapon. Given the track record of our species I don't think that is an unreasonable concern, in fact the last line of your post would seem to agree with it.

Now, if you actually take a few moments to (randomly) listen to what these people are saying about AI in their speeches and interviews, you may find that their concerns are not that different to yours and mine and that the "SkyNet" hype is just the MSM doing their thing to "sex up" conservative (and unoriginal) speculation about the human tendency to use tools in every endeavor, including our inhumane endeavours.

* For anyone wanting to sharpen their existing AI knowledge (and make smarter toys), I highly recommend MIT's online AI course. It took me about a month to watch and absorb all the lectures, I approached it as a "refresher" but also learnt some new tricks that were not available 25yrs ago. The guy running the show has trouble keeping his pants hitched up but he is simultaneously entertaining, intelligent, and down to earth, when I finished the series I wanted to sit down and talk "cabbages and kings" with him...

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp