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Comment: Re:Oh geez, is that all? (Score 1) 78

by TheLink (#47799341) Attached to: NASA's Competition For Dollars

Mars as the next step is a stupid idea. And that NASA also keeps suggest it as a next step proves to me how unworthy NASA is of funding. Same whenever they keep doing stupid studies on humans spending long periods in confined areas (they can always ask the nuclear submariners about it).

The true next step for anyone serious in making actual progress in space tech is to build a space station with artificial gravity (tethers+counterweights or other).

Once you have that you can test various animals (rats, food fish, humans) at Earth and Mars "g" concurrently to see how well they hold up for months in space.

And if you succeed in making that tech practical and cheaper it means you don't actually have to go to Mars - you can colonize the asteroids.

There's no actually much benefit going to Mars in the next few decades. The "g" is wrong, the pressure is wrong - you can't really use the tracts of land for farming without effectively building a "space station" on Mars (pressurization, shielding etc) - so there's little advantage over a space station with the disadvantage of not being able to pick your "g".

Comment: Re:In other words (Score 2) 101

by TheLink (#47693137) Attached to: ICANN Offers Fix For Domain Name Collisions

ICANN should just reserve a TLD or two for private networks similar to how some IP ranges were reserved in RFC1918. For example:
.private (broad scope - for internal/private use)
.here (narrower scope - limited to a particular location e.g. different starbucks outlets could be using whats.here and at each of those outlets it resolves to that specific outlet's stuff )
Feel free to think of other TLDs for private but different usage.

I actually proposed .here many years ago: http://tools.ietf.org/html/dra...

But seems they were too busy approving "Yet More Dot Coms" (e.g. .biz, .info etc).

That's one of the reasons I have a low opinion of ICANN. Anyone in the field could see this problem years ago, but they have done little to help and maybe even made things worse.

Comment: Re:The Discovery channel? (Score 2) 103

Look at the amount of ignorance and stupidity around? See the number of university graduates thinking hoax mails/posts are true and spreading them...

So what would any sociopathic channel boss prefer to run? Stuff that most people would watch and talk about, or stuff that only a minority would enjoy?

It's about making money not educating people. That's why actually "public TV" can be a good thing. It's not like the private sector would care or even if they did at first, the $$$ pressures would change them.

Compare National Geographic's narration for their octopus vs shark video-
2006: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
2007: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

I prefer the 2006 narration - less annoying. But I guess most viewers would prefer the 2007 version?

Comment: Re:Oh man (Score 1) 126

by TheLink (#47668377) Attached to: Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

I don't know about small windows- your car has to pass other safety laws and regulations.

As for HUDs I think you can have them if they can only show driver/rider related stuff while the vehicle is in operation, if the screen can be general purpose like Google Glass then it's illegal:
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vc...

27602. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driverâ(TM)s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to the following equipment when installed in a vehicle:

(1) A vehicle information display.

(2) A global positioning display.

(3) A mapping display.

[etc]

The law doesn't seem that crazy as laws go considering how crazy drivers can get ;).

Comment: Re:Where do you see A.I. in 5,10,20, and 30 years? (Score 1) 71

by TheLink (#47481425) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

Uh, but how do you tell when you succeed? Are we even close to discovering what consciousness is?

Isn't it possible to build a computer that behaves as if it is conscious but isn't? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

This is one of the big mysteries of the universe. There's no need for us to be conscious but we are. Or at least I am, I can't really be 100% sure about the rest of you... ;)

It's kind of funny that scientists have difficulty explaining one of the very first observations they make.

Comment: Re:The Internet Needs More Random Data (Score 1) 353

by TheLink (#47423071) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys
Or Ubuntu and other popular distro to do something like this:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/148440

Then it's normal for people to have encrypted stuff on their drives that they can't decrypt. And thus a "reasonable man" could not be expected to be able to decrypt such stuff even if he cooperated fully. They could be using full disk crypto with an encrypted container file that they can't decrypt. They can decrypt the first but not the second (or maybe they can - it becomes harder to tell :) ).

But once a popular OS has stuff like this by default, it's much easier for the defence to argue that you can't do it.

Of course in this case - the guy has been supplying wrong passwords, so unless you can show it was out of desperation and/or due to duress, he'd still be in trouble.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 87

by TheLink (#47422603) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
It's the wrong approach if you just want a prosthetic memory to help people remember stuff.

To have a prosthetic memory what you need is a computer that can remember stuff - video, audio, photos, text etc. Preferably wearable. Then what you need is to attach a device to appropriate parts of your brain that reads thought patterns that are distinctive depending on what you are thinking (elephants, purple etc). The device does NOT have to decipher or understand what you are thinking. All it needs to do is associate the stuff to be stored/recalled or even _commands_ with the thought pattern(s) you choose for it. I call these thought macros. See also: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3478821&cid=42956909

So you capture a video/audio/picture then you assign it a thought, or "current state" of mind. If you even have difficulty rethinking[1] a thought pattern, you could search by context and time (what I stored some time ago while at home).

There may need to be training phases like in speech recognition, and it's likely to work better with some people than others.

[1] The approach the military is taking would still have problems if people can't even remember that they are supposed to remember something- so whichever approach you'd need the ability to set up "prompts" based on time and context (and brain patterns).

I believe our technology is very very far from the state where you can drop in a memory device with memories already preloaded in, and which people can use to "remember that they are to remember something" (and even if we did, it would be scary and I won't want to have it).

Because there's evidence that memories are stored differently on different people's brains - some people have a halle berry neuron: http://www.caltech.edu/content/single-cell-recognition-halle-berry-brain-cell
http://phys.org/news4703.html
Seems to me to be a bit like a Bingo hall where a neuron yells bingo when it recognizes what the "announcer reads out". And the thing is those neurons aren't in the same place for everyone, they might not even be present for everyone, and one neuron might yell bingo for slightly different things (in one person they might have a neuron that goes bingo for Jennifer Aniston when it sees Jennifer Aniston + Brad Pitt, in another person it might not go bingo for the couple).

Which is also why I think that it's delusional for people to believe we'd soon be able to transfer our minds to other machines. You can transfer something, but it'll be far from everything.

Comment: Re:No they're not (Score 2) 64

by TheLink (#47394421) Attached to: Study: Whales Are Ecosystem "Engineers"

I don't see anything new or interesting in the articles to consider it a "discovery of a way" (e.g. http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Pag... )

In contrast this is a better article with more detail on how whales could _actually_ affect ecosystems significantly: http://www.newscientist.com/ar...
And that's a 4 year old article.

Comment: Plenty of flawed studies with flawed conclusions (Score 1) 333

This might be one of those many flawed studies.

How many times did they shock themselves? If it was just once and then they sat there without doing it again then perhaps it was more of curiosity than not being able to be alone and deprived of stimuli.

Many people are very curious about stuff.

And some are stupid or rebellious - if you tell them don't push a button many of them will push the button without trying to find out why not e.g. they might ask "You mean this button?" and then push it...

Comment: Re:I smell a rat. (Score 1) 115

by TheLink (#47381987) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

But that's why this "vulnerability" should be fixed:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubu...

Imagine if by default if you don't uncheck a checkbox a popular distro has full disk encryption enabled and/or creates an encrypted container.

Then they can't use the "wrench" on everyone that happens to have that distro, because it really is very plausible that the person doesn't have the keys to the container.

As for the arguments against it - if you're in a country where they are still willing to use the "wrench" on someone who is likely to not have the keys, you're screwed already. In such countries if they're not happy with you, you're in big trouble whether you use crypto or not.

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk

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