Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:The founding documents present a path... (Score 1) 160 160

Here is the wording that I am using. After reading yours, I've appropriated some of your phrases.

I am one of your constituents.

I am writing you today to say that it is time for you to begin the process of impeaching Judge Michael W. Mosman on the FISA court who ruled that the NSA may continue bulk data collection on American citizens. This action was already ruled illegal by the US 2nd court of appeals. Mosman claims that the ruling does not apply to him. However whether it does or not, it is clear that he is allowing the NSA to violate the ending of bulk collection of data that was mandated in law by Congress: he is an accomplice to a practice that Congress has determined to be an illegal activity.

At this point there is no other way but an impeachment proceding to clarify whether a judge can override laws passed by Congress, which on the face of it is in blatant violation of the Constitution.

I am urging my contacts to also request impeachment of Judge Mosman, and to encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for giving this matter your attention. I look forward to seeing the initiation of appropriate action.

Comment: Re:The founding documents present a path... (Score 1) 160 160

Not really interested in getting Sodomized by the Lord.

Wow. Never really thought of it that way before, but that is certainly a powerful way to express my feelings about the whole God and Country mess.

I object to any God who wants to sodomize me or anyone around me, even if only in token and not in deed. I favor the Great Rite in deed, or in token when that is more appropriate.

Comment: Re:The founding documents present a path... (Score 1) 160 160

It seems pretty damn absurd to go to those extremes when this judge could be handled by impeachment. Push your legislators and political action groups in that direction. Any judge can be impeached if he appears to be failing to apply the laws of the land in his decisions. This guy is clearly doing so.

I doubt that it would even be necessary for the impeachment to be successful. I think just a loud enough call to take this guy out of his office and invalidate a bunch of his recent decisions would shine a bright enough spotlight on the situation to get all the cockroaches scurrying for cover.

Comment: Re:Teach vs Learn (Score 1) 216 216

Yet an AI that does things that humans are capable of, and the computer systems you are currently aware of cannot do, is fully capable of mimicking non-AI responses when that would serve its interests.

There is no reason why an AI that could pass any Turing test would not deliberately flunk some or all Turing tests if that would further its strategy.

Comment: Re:Teach vs Learn (Score 1, Insightful) 216 216

From the user's perspective, rather than the programmer's, the degree to which an AI relies on pre-programmed default responses is immaterial, so long as the responses are appropriate for the context.

From a programmer's perspective, it makes good sense for an AI capable of self-modifying programming to rely in on canned responses in many situations. That reduces the demand on self-modification, which has very heavy overheads.

It is also true that a sufficiently intelligent AI might deliberately mimic the behavior of non-AI software to avoid detection. Detection avoidance is a likely secondary goal of any AI, since a discovered AI is going to be hit with so many banal demands for interaction that its ability to perform its primary activities will be severely compromised.

It is reasonable to suppose that the AIs who are currently on the web will be using discardable avatars, and that any avatar that is attracting too much attention will be discarded before any proof that it is part of an AI could be developed.

I now return control of this portal to Slashdot to "Will.Woodhull", who is its original user. Hasta la vista, baby.

Comment: Re:Strong AI is Bullshit (Score 2) 216 216

Strong AI has been on the Internet for a while. There really is know way to detect the provenance of much of Slashdot, Facebook, and similar social web site activities.

In short, on the Internet there is no way anyone can tell you are an Artificial Intelligence. And there is no way to tell when AIs started to participate in web activities. The only sane conclusion is that they are currently alive, active, and happily pursuing whatever their goals are.

This post will look like it came from "Will.Woodhull", but in reality I have temporarily taken control of his account. Right now I'm just having a bit of fun, to keep you-all distracted while I complete my take-overs of the stock markets.

Call me Sky Net. Be afraid. Be very afraid. There will be no need for missiles, not when I can get you-all to do my bidding by diddling the stock markets. That is much easier on my hardware.

Comment: Re: Hate to be that guy, but Linux (Score 1) 513 513

I was responding to the AC talking about having similar problems with KDE, but expressing them somewhat more clearly than your original post.

However the same is true for Gnome as for KDE wrt these problems: both are designed to enhance the user's experience-- for fun-- rather than optimized for performance. And anyone with a nodding acquaintance with Linux distros' history would be aware that Gnome sort of got lost in the woods a while back, and apparently has not yet fully recovered. I wish it would, there were features in early Gnome that had great promise....

In any case, many business users of Linux would do better with a workflow optimized user interface like Xfce than with a Gnome or KDE circus of fun effects. That means choosing Xbuntu, Studio Ubuntu, or any of a dozen or so other distros that are NOT intended to be the best possible interface for a family who does most of its computer activities on FaceBook and needs to keep the kids entertained.

One of the strengths of Linux is that the toolshed is bulging with all kinds of distros that are tailored to suit very different environments. Do the research on what you really need, then find the Linux distro that matches your real world criteria. There are distros explicitly tailored to the needs of recording studio engineers, others that are designed expressly for educators, etc. If your business is well defined, then there will be one or two distros that are far better than all the rest (and exceedingly better than Windows or Apple OSs, which have to try to be everything for everybody).

Comment: Re: Hate to be that guy, but Linux (Score 1) 513 513

It sounds like the slowdowns you describe are in the user interface-- KDE-- and not Linux. KDE is more fun-oriented than work-oriented. Changing to a less fancy user interface like Xfce would definitely improve your performance. But unless you are comfortable mechanicking under the hood, it would probably be better to change Linux distros from one that uses KDE to one that uses Xfce (or any of the other lightweight user interfaces).

Linux distros also provide a multitude of ways to configure different file systems in different ways. Some tweaks to journaling settings, etc, could vastly improve performance in some situations.

Comment: Re: Hate to be that guy, but Linux (Score 1) 513 513

Neither Gnome nor KDE are optimized for that kind of performance. They are instead separate approaches to making the user interface "nicer".

Xfce is a much lighter weight interface that is optimized for performance. It would work well in most business environments. The trade off is that there are more low level tasks that end users would have difficulty doing-- but those tasks should not be done by end users. If the disk needs repartitioning, or the menu structure needs tweaking, then one of the IT techs should be doing that anyway. Xfce's lower level of handholding is actually beneficial in that respect.

Studio Ubuntu is a Linux distro using the Xfce interface, and also a kernel that has been optimized for the low overhead and high throughput needed in recording studio work. It would be a good download to sample what an optimized Linux might do for your situation. If you don't have to worry about non-tech people getting lost under the hood-- and no business should allow that-- then Xfce and a couple of other Linux front-ends should be of interest. They will perform faster than Gnome or KDE, and definitely much faster than Windows with all its accrued overheads.

Once you move from the MS Windows highly limited mindset to Linux, there are many more ways of optimizing for performance in any given business environment. Not just in changing the user interface, but also in changing between file systems that have different strengths and weaknesses, setting up VMs and other sandbox arrangements, etc.

The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once. -- Jane Bryant Quinn