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Comment: Re:Terrible. (Score 1) 177 177

"A terrible social crime". Sounds like he's mad because his wife couldn't read Facebook.

I experienced the outage all the way in the placer county area. My internet, phone and cable were affected since they all are run through wave broadband. Yes, having no internet for a day sucked, but it got me thinking. Those vandals cut a single line, and I effectively lost 3/4 of my modes of communication.

I had my cell phone, so I was able to call and text. If a coordinated group of terrorists or a nation wanted to attack US soil, it wouldn't be that hard to cut out the people's communication. Our communication infrastructure might be more vulnerable than you think.

Comment: ISP quasi-monopolies (Score 0) 181 181

In time, there might be viable alternatives to the big ISPs, but for now, there's a huge disparity between the price/speed of the US vs other modern countries. Things only need to get bad enough for people to notice, then we'll either regulate it or somebody will find a more competitive option.

Comment: We're in it together (Score 3, Interesting) 367 367

Keep in mind that we're in this together. A large economic collapse due to robotics and AI advances will compel the american populace to find ways of supporting itself, be it through complete economic regulation (ie communism) or through philanthropic capitalism. After all, what's the point of building robots for profit if that profit can't be realized?

One thing is for certain though: things will get worse before they get better. Our hands need to be forced.

Comment: Picking a major is easy... (Score 3, Insightful) 306 306

Most of the STEM students that I've met chose their major based on their interests and/or already possessed skills. It seems to me that there are viable career opportunities in all STEM fields. Why worry about your choice of education when you'll develop skills regardless?

Finding any job is a full time job regardless of your major. And you neither entitled nor guaranteed to get a job you'll like.

Comment: This is the modern reality. (Score 4, Informative) 189 189

The reality of today is that, if you communicate any secrets, you must consider the possibility of your communications being tapped/intercepted. It is even possible that hardware is compromised before you even buy it.

With backdoors, BIOS hacking and packet sniffing being part of the daily talk on slashdot, you have to be prepared to communicate end-to-end with multiple levels of pre-planned encryption. That said, I don't think I've ever said anything that needs that much security, but a nation-state might have.

Comment: Re:Investing in a good PC pays off (Score 1) 558 558

I built my current rig in 2009, investing heavily in forward-compatibility for upgrades. The investment payed out more than I could ever have imagined.

Forward compatibility is very important to me too.

Can you or somebody else recommend me a motherboard that fits the bill?

I'm putting together specs for a budget gaming rig that I can upgrade when I get more money. The only piece that I have set in stone is an nvidia GTX 960 graphics card, but I'm planning on getting either an i3 or pentium G series processor, then upgrading later on. I've been looking at Z97s that are LGA1150, but I know so little about motherboards that I can only base my criteria off of what other people have recommended. I guess I'd want it to be SLI ready so I can double up on the graphics card eventually w/ a dual monitor setup. Extra ram slots would be nice so I can just keep adding cheap ram.

Also, how important is it to get a good power supply? I guess efficiency might add up on the electricity bill. Can you recommend one of those?

Comment: So answer me this... (Score 1) 126 126

Will i5 prices go down this month?

I'm building a gaming/mini-simulation computer, and I have a mix of poor student syndrome along with excessive computer drooling disease (much more debilitating). Basically all I want is a fast GPU (nvid gtx 960), but I can't help but want a fast processor too, so I've been comparing the i5's, i3's and pentium G3450's.

Should I wait to buy an i5? or should I stick with the cheap processor? or maybe you know of a motherboard/cpu combo deal that will cut the cost of an i5 just enough?

*napkins mouth*

Comment: Re:AIs have no inherent motivation (Score 1) 197 197

Agreed.

In that same vein, people fear nuclear weapons for the same reason. They're hard to build, but once you've got all the components working together, you've got a weapon that could destroy an entire city in a matter of seconds. We better figure out a way to protect ourselves from ourselves. Because somebody will build a weapon eventually--AI or otherwise--no matter how hard we try to prevent it.

Comment: Re:You have to be careful (Score 1) 173 173

I wonder if it could be because of all the radioactive waste that we dropped? Just a shot in the dark, but this map lines up very nicely with the blob: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O...

It apparently lies between 120W and 150W, and 40N and 55N. That's almost exactly where we've dropped all our radioactive waste. The wikipedia article says that we haven't seen much environmental impact, but it's hard to say, considering how heavy radioactive nuclei are. Why would we see it on the surface?

Comment: Re:Uh, thanks for the useless Voyager comparison (Score 1) 117 117

Right. Would it? Okay. How is that supposed to help me imagine 5000 light years? I already know it's a bloody long way. You might as well have told me it was the length of x football pitches or y times the length of the Amazon river.

A comparison with the diameter of the galaxy in question would have been more useful.

Our galaxy is on the order of 100,000 lightyears in diameter. So 5,000 lightyears is about 1/20 the distance of our galaxy. That's a pretty large distance to lag behind our matter, considering that it also interacts with itself.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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