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Comment: Re:Ten years? (Score 1) 332

by TheLink (#48697289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

With Oculus Rift-like displays, you can have very very big 2D "screens", and very many 2D "screens", and also 3D Abax/"Sand Tables" and Environments.

And that's why I'm very disappointed with Microsoft, Microsoft Research etc, for crap like Windows 8.

High powered personal computers with such screens and a suitable UI could let you do a lot more, quicker than what's possible now (and also check facebook/slashdot in a fancier way ;) ). Add thought-macros and we might actually have what I'd call progress. If you head in this direction, the mobile devices won't be competing with your Desktop/Personal Computers, OS and UIs for quite a while yet. What is likely to happen is they become complementary or even synergistic. The mobile stuff will let you do your virtual telepathy, virtual telekinesis and virtual savant stuff (eidetic memory, fast counting/math, face/gun/etc recognition), while the desktop stuff will help you use up all the cores Intel/AMD can provide (see also: many people are capable of much more, a suitable UI might make it almost natural).

While it's true there isn't much of a market for such devices yet, but the OS and UI has to be in a position to support such devices first. You need the infra, APIs, frameworks so that developers ("Developers! Developers! Developers!") can start building stuff.

Even if it's merely an announcement of direction with no actual tangibles yet, it'll make me more hopeful and excited. The roadmap/direction they've been announcing has been disappointing for all the supposed creative geniuses they are supposedly paying. Who gets excited about Microsoft turning their desktop computer into a more powerful tablet?

Someone will eventually do it. I doubt the present Desktop Linux bunch will or can, nowadays it seems their idea of innovation is to make a UI that's worse than whatever Microsoft shits out. They're so bad that I sometimes wonder if they're being paid to sabotage Desktop Linux.

Maybe Apple might? If Google or Apple succeed in making a decent virtual savant/telepathy/telekinesis wearable device or make a better general purpose UI for Oculus Rift stuff I'd say it's genuinely "Insanely Great".

Comment: Re:Uber, uber, uber, uber (Score 5, Insightful) 257

by TheLink (#48491199) Attached to: The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis

If I had to bet, I'd bet on the trucking companies replacing their drivers with robots first before the bus or taxi companies do.

Buses are too messy - dealing with too many unpredictable people and vehicles in complex scenarios. Taxis would be even worse (buses have bus routes, taxis don't).

In contrast imagine being able to run trucks nonstop using robot drivers that don't need sleep, robot drivers that are safe and reliable enough to make the insurance companies to charge lower premiums. Maybe every Xth truck on the route has a human (who doesn't drive) just in case a truck encounters a problem that needs a human around. The trucking companies can pick routes that are more robot-truck friendly. Can't do that for taxis, and maybe hard for buses too.

When a robo-truck crushes a kid on a "no pedestrian" highway, that's a lot less bad PR than a robo-bus crushing a kid in a city or residential area.

Comment: Re: Regular expressions (Score 1) 41

by TheLink (#48439301) Attached to: Critical XSS Flaws Patched In WordPress and Popular Plug-In

Many of these exploits and xss-worms would not have been effective if people had implemented the suggestion I made more than a decade ago:

Plenty of people suggest libraries to sanitize stuff, but when people keep creating new "GO" buttons and never a single "STOP" button - how can you be sure you've disabled every possible "GO" button? With my proposal, a "STOP button" could even disable future yet to be invented "GO" buttons.

Anyway since the Mozilla bunch supposedly have a better idea, how about getting on with it:

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 1) 720

by TheLink (#48223669) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Automation increases jobs.

Automation does require the displaced employee to get another job. This may require retraining, returning to school to upgrade or acquire a skill set that is marketable. The may require a change of career. Most displaced employees will find other jobs.

Imagine the Chinese, Indian etc workers as robots[1]. Have all the US workers who've lost their jobs to these "robots" experienced the increased number of jobs you mention? Now imagine what happens when Foxconn et all replace those Chinese workers with real robots (as Foxconn is actually doing).

What will these Chinese workers do? Some of them will take your higher end jobs:
From the article:

And it turns out that the job done in China was above par â" the employee's "code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building,"

If the population growth remains at X% and the Earth resource/wealth extraction rate does not increase by much more than X% if robots and automation take some human jobs, there will NOT be replacement jobs that pay out the same amount of wealth. Because in most cases automation is about reducing costs and increasing profits. Furthermore the resource extraction rate cannot continue increasing as long as we are stuck on Earth[2].

See also:
tldr; the automobile destroyed the jobs of the horses, there was no increase in replacement jobs that the horses could do.

And that is what will happen to most humans once the robots get good enough.

[1] Many of these workers are actually doing jobs that are "robotic" and could be automated- it's just that they are cheaper and more flexible than current robots and someone else paid for much of the manufacturing).


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 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:

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-

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:

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.


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?

See also:

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.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.