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Comment Re:Only Thing needed (Score 1) 345

It's like any other sector of the bullshit business: some are scammers and some are just delusional. Physics, mediums, reiki 'therapists', exorcists, etc - the interesting question to me is the ratio; I'm inclined to suspect that the majority are fraudulent but no doubt there are some who generally believe that they possess mystical talents.

It effectively comes down to a judgement call on whether someone is an unpleasant charlatan or just mentally ill.

Comment Re:This is gonna be very rant like (Score 5, Insightful) 622

Wasn't a shorter working week the promised outcome of technology? "If machines can do 40% of the work, we can all do a three-day week for the same money!"

Which, with hindsight, was naïve to say the least; the actual outcome is "If machines can do 40% of the work, I can lay off 40% of my work force. And then I can pay less to the remaining 60% because there's more competition for jobs!"

I don't know what the solution is, but I assume it involves either a sudden collective burst of altruism in employers (ho ho) or some truly massive government intervention (hee hee). Presumably most /. readers are in jobs which won't be machine-replaceable any time soon, but I do feel sympathy towards those who would have been productively employed on an assembly line had they been born fifty years earlier.

On an entirely different note, why does previewing a comment take the best part of a minute?

Comment Backronym abuse (Score 2) 389

How about a bit of legislation prohibiting the titling of bills in a manner that constitutes blatant propaganda? It's perhaps not as bad as the PATRIOT act, which is the most crotch-punchingly offensive example I've come across, but it's the same fucking ballpark. I'm not sure who should be most insulted: people who don't back the legislation, or the general public whose intelligence is held in such dim regard (and all snark aside, I don't think that most people are really all that stupid).

If simply using sequential numbers is too boring, I propose that the opposing team be allowed free rein to add words to the title of the bill, with no right of appeal or amendment granted to the originator. In this case, for instance, the 'no' camp could insist that the title be amended to Another Nugget of Awful Legislation Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination.

Comment Re:Oh... (Score 1) 640

Yeah, I'd give 4 a shot.

The reason that the original was great, for me, is that the special effects were an awful lot better than anything I'd seen previously (pre-emptive clarification: I'm sure someone will come up with a list of prior films using the same ideas, but I hadn't seen them). The plot was fine but nothing remarkable. The reasons I enjoyed 2 and 3 less were that, yes, the plot was all over the place; but mostly that the visuals were nothing particularly arresting.

It's now been eight or nine years since 3 was made, so perhaps in that time technology and production techniques have moved on to the point that Matrix 4 can blow my socks off anew, hopefully with a vaguely coherent plot to hang it off. Or maybe it will be a lazy cash-in. I'll at least take five minutes to read some reviews.

Comment Re:Who cheats who (Score 5, Interesting) 684

Years ago I worked as a developer for a subsidiary of Fujitsu. One day a colleague asked for my help.

The crux of the problem was that he was unfamiliar with the concept of a 'while' loop. Not the specific implementation in the language he was using, but the actual concept itself. He had some kind of computer science degree and he'd been working in the same team as me, as a developer, for at least two years.

It took me a while to realise what the problem was, as it never occurred to me that he might be unfamiliar with basic control flow. He sheepishly explained that the bulk of his degree was coursework (presumably he got some 'help') and that he'd been hammering square blocks into round holes for the last couple of years. From what I recall, whenever a while loop was appropriate he'd instead use a for loop with an extremely high upper limit and a break condition.

Comment Re:No way. (Score 1) 979

Neural nets! I know nothing about them, or indeed about anything much of practical value, but my understanding is that you take a neural net, place it in a tupperware container filled with sugared water, leave it near the radiator for six months and you have an artificial intelligence!

Granted, that's a bit vague, but so is most of the stuff I've read written by optimistic types who think that poking a neural net with a pointy stick will accomplish something useful.

Comment Where's the money? (Score 2, Insightful) 211

People have been donating money to, presumably wishing to further the goals of the project. Is this money (plus the advertising revenue) still available for its intended purpose?

Not accusing anyone of anything, but this question is quite important and doesn't seem to be addressed in the update.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"