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Comment: Others on here have already covered the science (Score 1) 80

by Xaedalus (#49271481) Attached to: SXSW: Do Androids Dream of Being You?
Mindclones? Others here have already covered/linked to the science behind why Ms. Rothblatt (with a juris doctorate) is wrong. I am going to add from the metaphysical standpoint. The only way this could ever work was if we were indeed just biological computers running on DNA and extremely complex social interactions that create the illusion of sentience. Even then, the mindclone would be a separate and distinct organism. It would be a clone and its subsequent experiences from inception would shape it in ways that would not be the same if the original subject was still around. I happen to believe in the existence of souls, and therefore my personal, completely-anecdotal, unscientific opinion is that a mindclone would be like an extensively-complex interactive voice message. Without the inner divine spark, it would grow to a point, and it would only offer up iterations of the same knowledge that it always had--just like Eliza does if you yack at her long enough. As for why I believe in the existence of souls instead of accepting materialism: I had a near-death experience over ten years ago. Trying to make sense of what happened, I read up on other NDEs that shared similar features. I find it conceivable that there is indeed a universe-spanning deity/source of being beyond the scope and power of human understanding, and that we are all part of that. IF that is true, and the continuing doubt I struggle with forces me to acknowledge that this could very well be a product of delusion--that's the bummer about real faith, it's an evolving relational struggle with doubt--then nothing we develop in terms of AI will ever truly be "alive". It'll be a synthetic intelligence, not an artificial one.

Comment: As someone who has both a DSLR and an iPhone 6 (Score 4, Informative) 422

by Xaedalus (#48994203) Attached to: What Happened To the Photography Industry In 2014?
The DSLR taught me the technical side of photography and how to appreciate it. I'm a fair-to-middling amateur, who bought a Nikon D40 and loved it so much that I taught myself the basics of photography. My D40 allowed me to take some beautifully-staged photos that have won small-time photo contests and generated enough demand that I sold some prints. All the manual controls at my fingertips taught me how to stage a photo. That, IMHO, is the power of DSLRs and why they should never go away. There is a great deal of art and beauty in taking the time and effort to put knowledge of photography into effect to capture the beating of a hummingbird's wings, or the exact refraction of light through the dew on a flower. But the work I love the most are my "catch the moment" photos, where the power and beauty come from all the independent factors like outside lighting, people, animals--all the stuff that cannot be controlled for. My iPhone is more than good enough to catch those moments. I have taken photos with my iPhone that, while technically inferior, manage to catch the moment of light and tone and mood and people that I perceived. It is my generation's polaroid, and I enjoy trying to compensate for the technical inferiority by taking compelling photos. It's fun, I fail A LOT which is to be expected, but my few successes are pretty amazing. The market adjustment isn't a bad thing, it is just once again separating those who value technical prowness in staging a good photo, versus those who just want to take a photo.

Comment: Re: Wait.. (Score 1) 716

by Xaedalus (#48331793) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment
Here's the deal: not everyone is good. The people you are referencing, are truly evil. Doing what you described above is what they love to do--spread chaos, horror, and then gloat in the fact that they have once again broken a rule of socialization, and have remained true to their own selves in a safe and anonymous fashion. But then, they go to bed, and then they get up, get dressed, put on the facade of a caring, normal human being. They make breakfast (sometimes for their family, who may or may not have an inkling of who their loved one really is), they go to work, and they participate in civilization. These folks do feel, they have emotions, but what motivates them is far, far different than most everyone around them. They watch Hellraiser and think "Clive had it right--that is heaven for me", but they never say it aloud. They live every day hiding their true selves because if we had any idea of who these people are in reality, we would hunt them down and kill them, laws or not. 4Chan, and /b/ are their havens, where they can slip away from the world, take off their very heavy mask, and liberate themselves from the cloying, saccharine-sweet goodie-ness they've been wallowing in all day long, every day, their entire lives. In their metaphorical caves, they can unleash and revel in horrors that would get them isolated and possibly attacked within seconds, because that is who they truly are, and what they truly enjoy. They love being trolls, they love anonymity... and they preserve it because its necessary. They would lose everything they have otherwise. The guys who make threats against Brianna Wu will never follow through, because it would be incredibly stupid of them to do so. Civilization and laws benefit them as much, if not more, than the rest of us, because that is all they have to hide behind. Brianna is in more danger from any vindictive ex-boyfriends or obsessive family members than she is from these guys. And, as much as I hate to say it, we need to let them be. The internet is their ideal home, its where we can let them vent and voice all their inner ugly. We take that away and identify these guys, and we are asking for a world of hurt, because then they'll go deep underground and fester, until really bad stuff erupts. I'm anti-GG, but I will defend the trolls' rights to anonymity and say that the women need to learn that anonymous death threats are not comparable to the death threats made by deranged men they already know, though there certainly is similarity. One is intended to scare, the other is a statement of fact. And the law, and society, need to recognize that.

Comment: Re:Standards Standards Standards (Score 1) 75

by Xaedalus (#47855699) Attached to: Book Review: Architecting the Cloud
Mod this up please--this statement right here: "The problem is that there are no incentives to standardize because service companies don't want the market to become a commodity because commoditization usually eats their profits (at least in the industrialized world) just like it did with PC's. They want you to be locked in to Their Way so that you can't leave for competitors." is responsible for most of the competing standards and general "upgrade or die/walled garden" clusterfucks in Tech.

Comment: Re:"Death to Gamers and Long Live Videogames" (Score 1, Redundant) 1134

by Xaedalus (#47825651) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture
Bullshit. If you're man enough to post accusations, you're man enough to post links referencing actual facts to back yourself up. Posting accusations without evidence is just a smear job, and indicates the lack of character of the poster rather than the accused.

Comment: All of what you said is true (Score 1) 312

by Xaedalus (#47810095) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany
But we're the only First World nation with European roots in centuries to elect a minority as a president--twice. Tell me, when do you think Britain will elect it's first Prime Minister of Pakistani or Indian descent? Or when Australia will elect an Aboriginal Prime Minister? Or Germany electing someone of Turkish origin? Or France with someone of Algerian ancestry?

Comment: Re:Where are these photos? (Score 1) 336

by Xaedalus (#47808185) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

Here's the problem: there is nothing immoral about taking nude selfies and sharing them with selected individuals. The statement, "If you don't want pictures of your tits online, don't let anyone take pictures of your tits", implies that these actions are both immoral and stupid. Not just that, adhering to that philosophy will set sexual culture and identity straight back to the good ol' moral 1950's. This statement also relegating porn stars to being second-class humans by implicating that only "dirty" or "immoral" or "low/no-class" people agree to be recorded nude.

Now, the statement that privacy is an illusion is correct. And, there is something to be said for being cautious about what platform said data resides on. But let me ask you this: do you really want a society where everyone has to conform to one narrow "safe" standard in order to be respected and safe? And where anyone who doesn't confirm is automatically labeled as being "stupid" or "bad"? Because that is the philosophical implication of the statement and attitude you're proposing. Or, do you want a society where people are free to do what they want, and where consequences are expected and delivered--not just for the person who takes a nude selfie, but for the hacker who decides to take that data and do illegal things with it?

Yeah, maybe putting nude selfies on a cloud platform as a hot young starlet wasn't a technologically savvy thing to do--but those women don't deserve blame or condemnation. Rather, we should be hunting those revenge porn bastards down and subjecting them to the full force of the law, because now those of us with girlfriends (or boyfriends) who like to send us sexy pictures will have to do without because said significant other is now worried about those photos getting hacked. And I can easily do without seeing Jennifer Lawrence naked if that's the price I have to pay for ensuring sexting continues.

Comment: Who will come to the defense of 4Chan? (Score 4, Insightful) 220

by Xaedalus (#47807995) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media
Even though 4Chan can rightly be considered the black hole of the internet, it can also be argued that 4Chan is one of the greatest bastions of free speech we have. If enough oppositional clout arises to seriously threaten a shutdown of 4Chan, is there a defense plan? Or a back-up plan? I would hate to see it go away without some sort of fight, or a way to resurrect it somewhere else.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?