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Comment AI robots ar not what you think (Score 1) 192 192

Ex-machina (so so movie) and all that are not what we have to worry about. Neither is the Terminator. What we have to worry about is crap like tiny drones made of synthetic biological parts which have been programmed to autonomously seek and destroy things based on their target's DNA.

Sure, its a robot but that's not a very rich description of the problem, is it? The level of AI portrayed in movies is a still a hundred years away or more. Long before we have Terminator or Matrix or ex-Machina type AI, we will have something like what I described.

The fact is non-human single purpose "intelligence" in an autonomous "creature" of some kind will happen first, and be more than deadly enough to destroy us. That's what we need to worry about that's what we need to start thinking about.

Comment Re: Encryption is not the big problem we face. (Score 1) 81 81

Yeah sure . Turing is famous for his Turing machine model of computing. He had a full and robust life outside of the ENIGMA part of his life. The idea he never existed is ludicrious.

You need to critically review your evidentiary threshold for believing unlikely things and you need to be more critical about sources.


Comment In a word: no, in the main. (Score 1) 357 357

If you read the TOS they explicitly say that *some parts* (undefined) of what you're calling "privacy invading" (and that's being nice) features cannot be turned off.

You can assume that MS will know and record more or less everything you do on your machine and on the internet.

My adivice: stock up on 7 before you can't get it anymore or see if Linux will serve your needs.

Submission + - Non-invasive spinal cord stimulation gets paralyzed legs moving again->

schwit1 writes: Five men with complete motor paralysis have regained the ability to move their legs voluntarily and produce step-like movements after being treated with a non-invasive form of spinal cord stimulation. The new treatment builds on prior work to generate voluntary movements in paralyzed people through electrical stimulation â" in particular, two studies (one completed in 2011, the other in 2014) that involved surgically implanting an electrode array on the spinal cord. This time, however, the researchers found success without performing any invasive surgery.

The new treatment uses a technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which involves strategically placing electrodes on the skin of the lower back. While receiving stimulation, the men's legs were supported by braces that hung from the ceiling. At first their legs only moved involuntarily, if at all. But they soon found they could voluntarily extend the distance their legs moved during stimulation. They doubled their range of voluntary motion after four treatment sessions.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Encryption is not the big problem we face. (Score 1) 81 81

The point is, codes need to be cracked or otherwise secret communication compromised and we can now, unlike during WWII, create encryption which can't be cracked. That was the onluy point I was making. I am not supporting, as I said, backdooring encryption. So I am not sure what your point is.

Also Turing didn't crack enigma Poland did. That's potentially interesting. References please.

Comment Encryption is not the big problem we face. (Score 1) 81 81

Is it, among other things, a public relations gambit, in the wake of the PRISM scandal, intended to cast Silicon Valley companies as defenders of privacy?

this. Yes absolutely. Googe knew everything about PRISM except possibly it's classified name, thus their straightfaced "we had not heard nor did you know about PRISM". Ditto every other Silicon Valley company. Do you thik Intel got to where it is while defying the US Government's request for backdoors into their products? Or do you think the government did not request a backdoor?

There are legitimate threats out there people. Unreadable communications can be a real threat to national security- think ENIGMA and Turing. It's just a fact. But bad people has 1000 other ways to disguise their communications including all the variations on one time pads. At least with crypto you have a chance of getting the key or finding a flaw in the crypto or getting access to the pre-encrypted message creating event or the post encryption message reading event.

With other secret sharing schemes what is information is buried in the open in a way known only to the sharers. Is that really a more tractable problem to solve? I can think of a lot of ways to nominate portions of infomation junk as being significant. Woodward communicated with Deep Throat by putting a flowerpot with a red flag onto his balcony. Think of all the bits of information flying around,both public (Twitter) and private. Think of how the problem compounds when IoT comes online. There are enough ip6 addresses to give every grain of sand on earth 1000 unique IP addresses. Do the math. Each of these communicating to any other at will sending messages. Yeah.

Want to know where the real threat is coming from? It's coming from Silicon Valley VCs and companies they are funding. Just as none of these types, from the engineers to the investors ever really thought through what would happen if they made protocols and machines which were inherently (unfixably) insecure and then continued to not think about it, even as it became clear society was going to be critically depending on these protocols and machines, so 100,000 fold with IoT.

It's a headlng rush into chaos and oblivion driven by the most greedy, shortsighted and willfully ignorant members of our community. If you say "hey, maybe we shouldn't "democratizing" synthetic biology without thinking through the implications and how it could be used to deconstruct society and civilization, then you're a Big Government commie. Under the cover of spittingly stupid quips like of "well, any technology can be used for good or evil, I can kill you with a hatpin!" we are creating technology that will give one person th e power to take down whole cities, whole geographically or genetically defined populations, civilization itself.

And if you think no one would do that because of some variant of nuclear MAD then you really are a fucking idiot with no knowledge of history, people or the real world.

Comment It's shocking- read it (Score 5, Informative) 483 483

I RTFA and read the links. They're shocking and I don't use that word casually. I am posting the direct links here with the excerpts from the license agreement.

No human being who had these explained to them in an ordinary setting by someone they knew and trusted would knowingly agree to them.

Here goes:

Sign into Windows with your Microsoft account and the operating system immediately syncs settings and data to the companyâ(TM)s servers. That includes your browser history, favorites and the websites you currently have open as well as saved app, website and mobile hotspot passwords and Wi-Fi network names and passwords.

        To enable Cortana to provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions, Microsoft collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device. ...

Microsoft can disclose your data when it feels like it

This is the part you should be most concerned about: Microsoftâ(TM)s new privacy policy assigns is very loose when it comes to when it will or wonâ(TM)t access and disclose your personal data:

        We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services. ....

        Cortana also learns about you by collecting data about how you use your device and other Microsoft services, such as your music, alarm settings, whether the lock screen is on, what you view and purchase, your browse and Bing search history, and more.â

The author goes on to note:

Lots of things can live in those two words âoeand more.â Also note that because Cortana analyzes speech data, Microsoft collects âoeyour voice input, as well as your name and nickname, your recent calendar events and the names of people in your appointments, and information about your contacts including names and nicknames.â ....

The updated terms also state that Microsoft will collect information âoefrom you and your devices, including for example âapp use data for apps that run on Windowsâ(TM) and âdata about the networks you connect to.'â ...

Windows 10 generates a unique advertising ID for each user on each device. That can be used by developers and ad networks to profile you. ...

They intend to completely remove the notion of privacy from the tools we use to create share and store the most private thoughts we have.

This is Linux's Big Chance. People will reject this massive barefisted amoral invasion of privacy and flee- if they can get a decent computing experience out of some UNIX clone.

Not to turon this into a "What['s wrong with Linux" discussion but I have sincerely tried to move to Linux repeatedly and just found the experience awful. I am nto interested in learning a CLI to get normal stuff done-at all. The performance compared to Windows has always been terrible, my software is slow, the drivers are missing etc etc.

Perosnally I feel like Ubuntu is somehow in the thrall of a culutre of devs who are not interested in accomodating the masses and take it as a point of pride that finding getting installing and using applications still requires exiting to a CLI, which knowledge they love. Yes, many of them do want to share the love with you, but many people wanted me to share their love the Grateful Dead's music with me too and the thing is, I just don't like it.

Comment Re:Here's a thought... (Score 1) 316 316

If you have javascript enabled, they know who you are and track you all over the web. Javascript is used to uniquely identify your browser from allothers. Look up EFF's panopticon to see what I'm talking about. You're not even slightly anonymous except to other posters. Probably the same thing is true of Tor by the way since buying and hosting enugh servers to unmask Tor traffic - which is something Tor has no solution for- is like a rounding error in the NSA yearly budget, so assume it's a done deal.


Regarding suing your employer, the fact is HR departments keep lists of do not hire people who either threatened to or did sue their employers. If you look at what Google and Apple and Adobe were doing with their blacklist of employees who tried to switch companies for a better position , then you can get a flavor for what really goes on in the market. It's far from free or fair.

And BTW if you dig deep enough (start at Gawker's coverage) you'll see this do ot hire list for techs extended far far beyond Silicon valley and included companies like H&M and companies like Target and others whose names I forget.. literlaly, there were dozens adn dozens all sharing the same do not hire list.

Why, yes, it is all illegal. And. And so what? What happened to the individuals who knowingly and flagrantly broke these laws? Ab-so-lute-ly nothing. Their careers were not impeded ithe least. The specific HR rep who was nakedly implementing this, the henchman, is now happily employed by the internet's hero Elon Musk at Tesla as.. wait for it, head of HR.

So no, you have no friends or constituency or representationin government . The law breakers break the law with personal immunity from the rule of law. At worst their corporations have to pay some in -the-larger-scheme-of-thing piddling fine.

Yeah go ahead sue your employer. And hope you win enough money so yu never have to work again because, buddy, you're not going to be working again.

It's just another aspect of the plutocracy that America is.

Comment Consequences of his actions (Score 3, Insightful) 592 592

Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions."

Unlike James Clapper who enjoys no consequences for his actions- lying under oath to Congress.

Two legs good, four legs bad.

Obama's administration is going to go down in history as the one that best highlights how politically well connected players are "too big to jail" even as law enforcement became more ferocious towards the common and petty criminals.

The entire NSA engaged in unconstitutional spying on Americans on a scale that made the event which inspired the Church Commission look pale in comparison. That is not my opinion, that is a fact established by the courts. They knowingly and deliberately destroyed evidence of torture in order to evade criminal prosecution. No banking executives were prosecuted for a criminal scam which literally brought the economy down. No banking executives were prosecuted for the near daily now criminal operations from Sinaola Mexico cartel (the video-beheading gang) drug money launderig to LIBOR rating rigging to the criminal MITM attack on the stockmarket which was the subject of the book Flashboys.

Yeah I have mixed emotions about Snowden. But I dont' have mixed emotions about any of the trillion dollar criminals who destroyed millions and millioins of people's life savings and millions and millions of people's lives.

So your snarky shit about facingthe consequences of your actions rigs hollow to these ears. How's Eric Holder doing these days working for the entities he declained to prosecute? You nkow, the same ones he worked for before he was AG?

Oh, we paid all that money back, they say. Yeah? Did you go back and retoractively undestroy all the lives which were destroyed because of your actions also? Did you reset the course of all those personal histories back to what they were before they lost their jobs their homes their savings their time ?

How is THAT REAL cost not calculated in what you did. You paid the government back the bailout money. Fuck you and the horse named the Obama Administration you rode in on.

This from someone who cried tears of joy when this President did his inaugural walk.

Comment million flights a day would be troubling (Score 1) 142 142

There are abuot 87k flights both commercial and private over us skies every day. Since Amazon wouldn't the only drone using company (fed ex , UPS and all other companies) that number could easily go to a million or even ten million. Even if you get five 9s in terms of no-accidents (likely not possible ) that's still 10-100 drones going down a day or 3650-36,500 down a year. All those drones trajectories once they're out of control operate under Newtons Laws . Even if they automatically deploy parachutes (and those work), they're still 40 -100 lbs of "stuff" falling out of the sky onto something somewhere, directed only by wind currents and luck. And that's a best case scenario.

This is what my crude back of the napkin yet fact-based maths tell me. I would love to hear well reasoned, fact- based counter arguments

Comment The three 5-star posts so far are sad (Score 1) 316 316

I find the three 5 star posts in this thread (so far) sad.

The points come across as sanctimonious and the tone is scolding. Scolding to the kids for doing something the authors deem stupid; sanctimonious towards parents who apparently don't care about these stupid kids, or they would have raised them differently and therefore produced different outcomes.

I know the tech sections of the internet skew heavily towards very young, white males, and this may account for the high rating of these posts, but they all show a lack of insight into how humans life is actually lived and what the source of human development actually entails.

The implied requirement of these posts only has to be articulated to be dismissed- that you never do anything stupid, impulsive or otherwise compromising over the entire course of your life in the presence of other human beings (who we can now assume have cameras on thier phones and phones on their person). If you did, tough luck, you were probably old enough to know to not have done that (based on some nebulous theory harbored by the authors), yet you did it anyways.

It would be hard to formulate a more stifling atmosphere than the "wrong once, wrong forever" ethos which permeates these posts. Learning happens through exploring and testing limits imposed by society which come into conflict with the personal perceptions of the individual. That also happens to be how society progresses and the same kind of people who do one are likely later in their lives to be leading the other.

We need the trangressors, the limit testers, the irrational impulse followers, the people who value and trust their own (often mistaken) perceptions above the externally imposed voice of their parents and society because that is just the population which later invents, leads society forward, *thinks different*.

The punishment which society now can and according to these post's authors, should, impose for what were previously private acts of boundary testing by society's youngest members is insane. We're talking about people whose brains can be shown to be anatomically uniquely susceptible to impulsive decisions, which cannot work out the real consequences of their actions, cannot yet accurately model the minds of others or consider long term implications of their decisions.

Not coincidentally I see all of these limitations in these posts themselves .

The fantastical implied requirement embedded in these posts is that people stop going through a developmental stage of life and just get on to adulthood. This is actually how the world thought of children prior to the late 19th and 20th centuries; children were adults in miniature. I would refer you to the history of the 19th and 20th centuries to see the resultant handiwork of people who were actually raised under the influence of that factually incorrect theory.

They say we're are ony one generation away from barbarism, from regressing to previous states of societal ignorance and barbarity, one generation away from the triumph of folk theries of the world and human behavior over science. People aren't mentally ill, they're willfully cretinous. People lives aren't ruined and they aren't driven into destitution through labor-law-free working environments, they simply lack industry. Young people aren't qualitatively different in their reasoning and cognition from adults, they just know fewer facts.

If it were up to me, every high schooler would have to have three semesters of developmental psychology in order to graduate. The first concern society has with education has to be to ensure the non-regression of its members.

To address just one poster's point directly, yes, people know not to drop their pants at high school graduation ceremony. But you can't use your intuition and "common sense" to then relatively score any potential human behaviour in any potential social situation as either more or less developmentally advanced than that pants dropping one. You can't blithely assign a developmental score and a concomitant culpability score.

It's scary to read the pitiless posts on this thread. I hope that the authors themselves later develop the knowledge of not just their own strong opinions and intution but the outside world and the facts that govern that world and the people in it to reflect on their posts as a kind of youthful foolishness, preserved forever on the internet.

Comment Re:Here's a thought... (Score 1) 316 316

Only 15 year olds who live at home think that people can "sue their employer" and continue to get jobs going into the future.

Even more so for something like "someone at work saw a picture of me, and they therefore took negative action, but the picture wasn't what it looked like, your Honor! ".

Your stupid post against permitting 15 year olds protection against their embarrassing youthful mistakes
  might expose you as a person with poor judgement for the rest of your lifem, except I see you're using a pseuonym in this thread and for this particular post you went AC.

So you DO see the social utiility in not being exposed to enduring critical evaluation because of something stupid you said once somewhere at soem point during your life.

So you're a hypocrit as well as.

Nicely played, Sir!

Comment It's why they don't want salary sharing also (Score 1) 634 634

Heer's a newsflash- Google is just anothedr Big Company Doing Evil.

From the forced serfdom which resulted when they knowingly, illegally and maliciously conspired to refuse to hire other SV companies programmers (so those programmers , if they quit, couldn't get another job OR couldnt' look for another job while working at any of those companies ! ) to the driveby stealing of WIFI passwords via StreetView to the CLEAR cooperation of Google with the NSA Prism program.. on and on and on and on... here's a newflash for anyone whose been under a rock these past years- Google Is Evil.

Of course they're sexist as hell in their hiring practices. That's just a small part of being evil. Of course they pay men and women doing exactly the same job different salaries, that's just another small part of being evil. Read their horrified reaction to the fact of employees sharing salary data- why do you think they're horrified? Because those salaries don't revweal a distinct sex bias?

Google is a dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty company. It just is. It does whatever it needs to to make money, lies about anything it needs to, have zero respect for anything which might interfere in it's making money (but goes the extra yardage and when caught frames their actions as a natural expression of their philosophical view of the owrld (Eric Schmidt- Anyone doing something online that they don't want others to know about maybe ought not to be doing that in the first place...".)

I mean is there anyone out there who is surprised at this?

Comment I Wonder (Score 4, Insightful) 49 49

I wonder if they'll be able to sense the level of contempt I have for them.

Remember, these aren't "apps" as in applications you use to achieve some life goal. Like the click through TOSes that you agree to, these will be one-sided, spying malware which you can't say "no" to because on the other side will be resources society now expects you to know about or use, FB being the classic example of such malware.

What tech companies have discovered is that the 20% of thoughtful, skeptical people in the population can be forced into submission by creating a world whose parameters and nature is defined by whatever the oblivious 80% will swallow, which is pretty much anything.


FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.