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Comment: Re:Haleluja ... (Score 1) 650

by Zalbik (#48265279) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

That's all well and good, but if something can't exist that's unobservable; then the assumption must be made that our ability to observe the universe is absolute.

No, the assumption must be made that the universe only consists of observable things.

i.e. that unobservable things do not exist (note: unobservable, not unobserved)

Comment: Re:I'm a big Elon Fan but... (Score 1) 582

by Zalbik (#48246011) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Should we wait to have these discussions until then, or should we be having these discussions now so that we can provide a good framework, some good philosophy, and some well thought out answers to the next generation?

Yes, damn those ancient greeks for not considering the plight of anthropomorphized global warming, or the tragedy of the commons!

If only they had been having these discussions, we would have some well thought out answers!

That's an exaggeration, but not much of one. We know so little about how intelligence works that answers we came up with would likely be laughably wrong.

We are a long way from creating an AI.

Comment: Re:Active imagination (Score 1) 582

by Zalbik (#48245623) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

1) Computers don't have anywhere near the same processing power as the brain. They are many orders of magnitude better than us at one very specific task (moving numbers around). We have no idea to what degree "really fast number shuffling" factors into intelligence.

2) Why would we hook it up to the internet? We could easily provide access to whatever knowledge we felt it needed, but still leave it air gapped.

3) Why would it have an motivations whatsoever regarding humans unless these were programmed in? Our motivations are the result of billions of years of natural selection (things that want to survive are more successful than things that don't). A "created" AI would be motivated by whatever we had built into it.

4) Why would it necessarily be able to replicate? There is no reason to think it would understand any more about it's own intelligence than we understand about ours?

5) Why would be give it the access required to replicate? Unless we gave it permission and access to a text editor / compiler and execute permissions on the code it generated, and access to hardware to run it on, replication would be a problem.

Hollywood stories are all good fun, but stories about AI typically don't stand up to any sort of reasonable analysis. IMO, our first AI's will be like very intelligent friendly dogs, willing obey master in order to get the reward that satisfies whatever "need" we have built into them.

Treating it "poorly" is an interesting question. Is it unethical to "enslave" an AI if it has been designed to get the most satisfaction out of "enslavement"?

Comment: Re:Mind Numbing Stupidity (Score 1) 372

by Zalbik (#48221723) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Possibly...but just out of curiosity, how often are you directly exposed to the bodily secretions of other people, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not?

Do people sneeze directly in your face that often?

It's not a matter of "how much of the virus" the person is a matter of exposure to bodily fluids. Symptomatic people are a higher risk for spreading the disease as the symptoms involve the nasty discharge of numerous fluids.

Comment: Re:Mind Numbing Stupidity (Score 1) 372

by Zalbik (#48221631) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

No: Mandatory quarantine of every healthcare worker who helped with Ebola patients. How many people would that really be? It would cover 100% of the cases brought into the US thus far.

If by 100% you mean 0%. The first case was brought in by Thomas Eric Duncan...he was not a healthcare worker, but had been visiting family.

Two nurses contracted the disease after direct exposure to Thomas Eric Duncan. Quarantine would have done nothing for them; better protocols for handling ebola patients should have been followed.

The doctor in new york contracted the disease while in Africa after direct exposure.

Quarantine would not have prevented ANY of these infections.

Comment: Re:Mind Numbing Stupidity (Score 1) 372

by Zalbik (#48221529) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

as multiple experts have said, if you have too much inconvenience on people (eg mandatory 3 week quarantine - the average person does not want to be without an income for 3 weeks) then people will start lying during questionning.

Also, medical personnel will be much less likely to want to travel to Africa to help out with the disease if the know they face a 3 week quarantine on return. As well, this limits the number of personnel available to help out.

Our best chance at fighting this disease is fighting it in Africa before it spreads. As such travel bans / quarantines on those heading to Africa to help out are very counter-productive.

Comment: Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (Score 1) 571

by Zalbik (#48221211) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Right or wrong they felt they had to go to these lengths to protect their business,

There is no right here. FTDI had no business trying to modify any data on these devices.

This story would have been very different had FTDI just disabled the DRIVER software if a counterfeit device been detected. FTDI is under no obligation to provide drivers or driver updates that are guaranteed to work with counterfeit devices.

Yes, people could have easily gotten around this by rolling back the update, but at least it would have brought attention to the fact that the device was counterfeit.

A much more effective (and justifiable IMHO) solution would have been to write the driver so that it:
1) Put up a warning that the device was counterfeit.
2) Worked fine with the counterfeit...for a while
3) Started producing intermittent failures with counterfeit devices after a few weeks
4) Randomly stopped working entirely with counterfeit devices after 3-6 months

FTDI is under no obligation to provide drivers that function properly with counterfeit (or even a clone).

Comment: Re:Counterfeiters not competitors (Score 1) 571

by Zalbik (#48220993) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Also, FTDI destroyed *everything* that was fake, not just the winding gear. So for the analogy to be accurate, they'd have to destroy the entire watch (which is actually what they do today).

Although I disagree with what FTDI did, this is a terrible analogy.

FTDI did not "break" anything. They modified counterfeit products so that they would no longer function with FTDI's drivers. The device itself was still fully functional, and could even (fairly easily) be modified back into a non-counterfeit state.

The "watch" equivalent would be as if a Rolex service person was invited into your house (you initiate driver updates) to service your Rolex watch and your Rolex clock. You watch and clock are the latest "smart" devices and time-sync with each other via Wi-Fi.

The service guy notices that your Rolex clock is actually a "Rollexx" knock-off, so he wraps the antenna in tin-foil so the two can no longer communicate.

You are free to take the tinfoil off after the service guy leaves. (ok, it's a little bit harder to reprogram a PID, but given there were "fixes" up yesterday within hours of the story breaking, it's a reasonable analogy).

Comment: Re:Read the interview (Score 3, Interesting) 145

by Zalbik (#48213753) Attached to: Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Here's the catch: all of these quotes are from the interviewer. Jordan has a lot of really nuanced claims here, but it's clear that the interviewer has an agenda of his own.

Yes, this is one of the more shameful examples of the reporter attempting to shove words down the interviewee's mouth, and completely misrepresenting the results.

Take a look at the first sentence:
"The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges"

Then read the interview. At no point does Jordan indicate that the misanalysis of big data will cause a catastrophe comparable to the epidemic of collapsing bridges. Never. What he does (and apparently the reporter is either too stupid or too dishonest to represent), is provide an analogy between building a bridge without scientific principles and not performing proper statistical analysis on big data.

He never makes a comparison between the outcomes of these two events. He basically says: if you build a bridge without scientific principles, it will fall down. If you are not careful in your analysis of big data, your results will be wrong.

The whole article goes on in a very similar manner. Science reporters used to have something called "journalistic integrity". Here we get a click-bait article where a "reporter" has predetermined a topic that will gain lots of hits and is desperately trying to fit the interviewees words into his agenda.


Comment: Re:Definitely Users (Score 4, Funny) 114

by Zalbik (#48204293) Attached to: Windows 0-Day Exploited In Ongoing Attacks

It's a problem of false negatives. I've never been confronted with a UAC warning for which it was appropriate to say no. Never.

Well, then you should take a look at the attached powerpoint presentation! It gives an in-depth analysis of exactly why you should be careful when answering "Yes" to UAC prompts.

Never make anything simple and efficient when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.