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Comment: Re:Teach vs Learn (Score 1) 200 200

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) 200 200

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 1) 200 200

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) 512 512

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) 512 512

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) 512 512

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.

Comment: Re:Wow, the netherlands is TINY. (Score 1) 54 54

The nurse said she could not think of any good reason why the new patient had "tiny" tattooed on his penis, and she could not think of any appropriate way to ask the footballer with the sprained ankle about it. The nurse's aide said she would find out, and sauntered down the hallway.

After a time, she came back with a dreamy look and a bit of a smile on her face. "It doesn't say 'tiny'," she said. "It says Ticonderoga New York."


Comment: Re:Ancillary titles to TFA (Score 2) 327 327

What we really need is to demand improvements to the teachers, instructors, and course developers whose reliance on PowerPoint is an abuse of the classroom. FTFY.

Competent educators know damn well that PowerPoint presentations are inadequate in any setting more advanced than teaching college students how to tie their shoelaces. An obvious reliance on PowerPoint for "educational experiences" is an obvious sign of an incompetent educator. Take away that PowerPoint and you still have an incompetent educator. But someone who knows what he is doing in the classroom might use PowerPoint along with a battery of other tools, from rote memory exercises (On old Olympus' towering top a Finn and German view a hop) to advanced computer simulations that demonstrate esoteric features of organic chemistry. The competent educator will choose the most suitable tool from the ones available. Most of the time, that will not be PowerPoint: it is never the sharpest tool in the shed, but sometimes it is the most suitable for the task at hand.

Comment: Re: *shrug* (Score 1) 387 387

As to Vista, I last set up a machine under XP half a year before 7 came out.

That would be roughly the time I settled on Ubuntu as the best-for-me Linux distro and made the final migration from WinXP to Linux. Since then I've gravitated to the Ubuntu Studio version since its bundle contains several apps that I use. I have VM capability but have as yet not needed it. I have WINE installed, but rarely use it. Life is good.

Comment: Re: *shrug* (Score 1) 387 387

The hype for Win30 was huge, I'll give you that.

Win30, and Win31 in its early days, were competing with several good task-switching programs that enabled the user to switch rapidly between a spreadsheet and a word processor (the typical business setup) or some boring business app and a cool game (when the boss wasn't looking). The one that the computer dealer I worked for used most of the time was DESQview. Win30 offered no particular advantages over the task switchers on the hardware of those times, and it crashed more often. And while Win30 did run WordPerfect and Lotus 1.2.3, there was no cooperative multitasking with these: it was simply task switching. MS Word was in many ways a better word processor than WordPerfect, but all the professional offices and many of the retail and manufacturing businesses we sold to were too heavily invested in WordPerfect templates to change. IIRC, there was no alternative to Lotus 1.2.3: Excel did not arrive until later.

But Gates was positioning Win30 as a stepping stone to IBM's true preemptive multitasking OS: OS/2. OS/2 development was bogged down with internal politics, and a failure to listen to its own engineers about the limitations of the 80286 CPU. It was not until IBM gave up on trying to use the 80286 and built its OS strictly for the 80386 that OS/2 was made marketable. Gates was right about calling 80286 "brain dead", but he did not say that until after Windows had gained a big lead in the hype wars. At the time of Win30 and early Win31, what Microsoft emphasized was that Windows would be the front end of OS/2, which was going to hit the market "real soon now".

Microsoft made it very easy for computer shops like the one where I worked to sell its products. Their cute little buxom girls in the tight fitting tee shirts and shorts would bounce in and flirt with the boss while helping him decide where to set up the freebie displays. Also, if you could convince a customer that Windows was the future (and a couple of minutes of showing him how to play Solitaire with the mouse was often enough), then you could sell him a more expensive machine with an 80386SX processor, extended memory, and a larger hard drive, and maybe even a tape backup. Much more profitable than selling him an 8088 machine with less memory and DESQview, which would also have worked for him.

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.