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Comment: Re:Same as humans ... (Score 1) 134

by UnknownSoldier (#47921653) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

This is a classic example of "Paralysis by Analysis"

Also, the programmer was an idiot. Either use a priority queue or at the very least a timer to force a decision.

while( 1 ) {
    if( people_in_danger ) {
        queryWhoToSave( people_in_danger );
        if( time_to_make_choice++ > CANT_DECIDE_WHO_TO_SAVE )
            savePerson( rand() );
        people_in_danger = ScanEnvironment();

+ - What to Expect With Windows 9

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Two weeks before the its official unveiling, Woody Leonhard provides a roundup of what to expect and the open questions around Windows 9, given Build 9834 leaks and confirmations springing up all over the Web. The desktop's Start Menu, Metro apps running in resizable windows on the desktop, virtual desktops, Notification Center, and Storage Sense, are among the presumed features in store for Windows 9. Chief among the open questions are the fates of Internet Explorer, Cortana, and the Metro Start Screen. Changes to Windows 9 will provide an inkling of where Nadella will lead Microsoft in the years ahead. What's your litmus test on Windows 9?"

+ - Ask slashdot: Remote support for disconnected, computer-illiterate relatives.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I use email to communicate with my folks overseas. Their "ISP" only allows dial-up access to their email account (there is no option of chaning ISP), that can receive messages no larger than 1MB nor hold more than 15MB (no hope of changing that either). They are computer-illiterate, click on everything they receive, and take delight on sending their information to any nigerian prince that contacts them, "just in case this one is true". Needless to say, thir PC is always full of viruses and spyware. In my next yearly visit, instead of just cleaning it up, I'd like to gift them with some "hardened" PC to use for email only that would hopefully last the year before someone has to fix it. So far, these are the things I have in mind:
  • Some kind of linux distro, or maybe even mac. Most viruses over there are windows only and propagate via Autorun.inf or by email attachments, not having Windows could prevent both.
  • Some desktop environment that hides anything unrelated to connecting to the net and accessing their account (dial-up software, email client, web browser, exchanging files between their hard disk/email attachments and USB drives). By "hide", I just want the rest to be out of the way, but not entirely removed, so that if necessary, I can guide them over the phone. For this, Ubuntu's Unity seems like a particularily bad solution, but a Gnome desktop with non-removable desktop shortcuts (is this possible?) for the file manager, browser, email client and dial-up program could work. An android system is unlikely to work (they have no wifi, and they were utterly confused with Android's UI).
  • This could be a life saver: some kind of extension to the email client that executes commands on specially formated emails (e.g., signed with my private key), so that I can do some basic diagnostics or install extra software if I have to. This las point is important: they currently rely on aquaintances who may not be competent (they can't evaluate that) if something happens between my visits. They, most likely, wont know how to deal with anything non-windows, so all tech support would fall on me. (This is the reason I haven't moved them from windows yet.)
  • Another very useful extension would be something to automatically re-assemble attachments split into several emails, to overcome the 1MB message limit.

Does any of that exist? If I have to build that system myself (or parts of it), do you have other suggestions? For the inevitable and completely reasonable suggestion of getting someone competent for tech support: I've tried that too. The competent ones don't last beyond the third visit."

+ - The Growing Illusion of Single Player->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Multiplayer modes used to be an extra part of most games — an optional addition that the developers could build (or not) as they saw fit. These days, it's different: many games are marketed under the illusion of being single-player, when their focus has shifted to an almost mandatory multiplayer mode. (Think always-online DRM, and games as services.) It's not that this is necessarily bad for gameplay — it's that design patterns are shifting, and if you don't like multiplayer, you're going to have a harder time finding games you do like. The article's author uses a couple recent major titles as backdrop for the discussion: "With both Diablo III and Destiny, I'm not sure where and how to attribute my enjoyment. Yes, the mechanics of both are sound, but given the resounding emptiness felt when played solo, perhaps the co-op element is compensating. I'd go so far as to argue games can be less mechanically compelling, so long as the multiplayer element is engaging. The thrill of barking orders at friends can, in a way, cover design flaws. I hem and haw on the quality of each game's mechanics because the co-op aspect literally distracted me from engaging with them to some degree.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:illogical captain (Score 1) 866

by UnknownSoldier (#47914773) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

>> "As a mystic I have _knowledge_ by definition, aka experience."
> false. Completly(sic) and utterly false
Only an idiot attempts to tell another person what they have experienced. Quit being an idiot -- you are smarter then that.

> so now you are saying you have special vision no one else has? Hoe(sic) convenient.
1. Show me _where_ I made the claim that I was the _only_ one who could see??

2. Do you even understand the word: Analogy ??

> which is why we ask for proof.
Proof of what _exactly_? God? As I said before, There is NO proof except experience.

Did you completely fail to understand the analogy that _playing_ the drums IS proof that you _know_ how to play the drums ??

How exactly do you propose Atheists have an experience about something they have no belief in?? They dismiss _all_ actions_ that are needed such as prayer and meditation; their mind is closed. Not even an NDE would convince them that a higher reality exists -- only death, but by then it will be too late.

Nay, the only proof I will give is that "First" contact will happen by 2024.

+ - Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A few years ago, author Neal Stephenson argued that sci-fi had forgotten how to inspire people to do great things. Indeed, much of recent science fiction has been pessimistic and skeptical, focusing on all the ways our inventions could go wrong, and how hostile the universe is to humankind. Now, a group of scientists, engineers, and authors (including Stephenson himself) is trying to change that. Arizona State University recently launched Project Heiroglyph, a hub for ideas that will influence science fiction to be optimistic and accurate, and to focus on the great things humanity is capable of doing. For example, in the development of a short story, Stephenson wanted to know if it's possible to build a tower that's 20 kilometers tall. Keith Hjelmsad, an expert in structural stability and computational mechanics, wrote a detailed response about the challenge involved in building such a tower. Other authors are contributing questions as well, and researchers are chiming in with fascinating, science-based replies. Roboticist Srikanth Saripalli makes this interesting point: "If the government has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, they are going to get their ideas and decisions mostly from science fiction rather than what's being published in technical papers.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:hahaha (Score 5, Funny) 145

by UnknownSoldier (#47913507) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Agreed. Beautiful logic!

/oblg. car salesman jokes

Q. What are lawyers good for?
A. They make used car salesmen look good!

Q. What does molds, ooze, pond scum, lawyers, and used car salesman have in common?
A. They're all slime.

Q. What's the difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman?
A. The car salesman knows he's lying!

+ - NZ government denies 'mass domestic spying'->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC and several domestic NZ sources are covering the latest revelations raised by Kim Dotcom, who is funding a political party in NZ as it heads to a general election on the 20th. Dotcom flew in a US journalist, Glenn Greenwald, and arranged for satellite links to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, in their respective hideouts, at a 'disclosure' presentation in Auckland.

The NZ Prime Minister (John Key) has denied all claims. No-one making the claims can actually come up with a plausible reason why the NZ government would want to spy on its citizens."

Link to Original Source

+ - Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla from Selling in Mass. 1

Submitted by curtwoodward
curtwoodward (2147628) writes "Many states have laws that prevent car manufacturers from operating their own dealerships, a throwback to the days when Detroit tried to undercut its franchise dealers by opening company-owned shops. But dealers have taken those laws to the extreme as they battle new competition from Tesla, which is selling its cars direct to the public. In some states, dealers have succeeded in limiting Tesla's direct-sales model. But not in Massachusetts: the state's Supreme Court says the dealers don't have any right to sue Tesla for unfair competition, since they're not Tesla dealers. No harm, no foul."

Comment: Re:Surprising (Score 3, Informative) 85

by UnknownSoldier (#47912403) Attached to: Canon Printer Hacked To Run <em>Doom</em> Video Game

> 25MHz 486 and 640x480 VGA with no acceleration?

Before you get flamed ...

Dos Doom used @ 320x200 in ModeY, Quake supported Michael Abrash's ModeX @ 320x240.

Doom95 which ran on Windows 95 supported different resolutions.

I played it on my 386SX 16 MHz with the screen shrunk down a few levels. It was silky smooth on the Pentium 90 MHz, and the Pentium Pro 200 MHz (obviously) as was Quake.


"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)