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Comment: Re:file transfer (Score 1) 260

by jamstar7 (#49144955) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

anonymous reader says the floppies are dodgy. If she/he could load new software on it, he/she could copy the files off of the disk, too. The problem is to do it with the software and hardware as-is.

Backing up a 160 meg drive to 1.44 meg floppies is gonna be time consuming. Best get a USB disk box that will fit a 2.5 form factor IDE hard drive and plug it into the USB port of a modern computer. The filesystem would be easily readable on just about anything, it'd be FAT16 for Win 3.x.

Now, if the hard drive is damaged, you're screwed...

Comment: Re:More of this (Score 5, Informative) 91

by HiThere (#49142217) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

To be fair, at the time MS adopted the CRLF line ending style there were *four* standards, none of them dominant:
CR, LF, CRLF, and LFCR (called NLCR..new line carriage return). They picked one existing standard, and Unix was already using another. The supporters of the other standards have died off, so there are only two standards left.

So don't blame MS for all the bad decisions. Only some of them. I still wouldn't want to use their software, though. Perhaps if they live up to their current "We love FOSS" line for a decade or so I'll change my mind, but currently it just feels like their latest lie.

Comment: Re:Kinda stupid since (Score 1) 420

by HiThere (#49141997) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Well....... if you'd said the point of human group organiztions is power, I'd agree with you, and as religions are human group organizations, that applies to them, but not any more to them than to the girl scouts or "Citizen's committee to suppor the libraries". The big ones are a bit more successful, of course...

The real questions are "How much effort do they put into accomplishing their ostensible purpose relative to the amount of power they have?" and "Are they a net benefit to humanity?" I wouldn't trust any member of an organization to honestly answer that about the organization he was a member of. Or even to realize that they were being dishonest.

Comment: Re:As a Developer of Heuristic AI ... (Score 1) 420

by HiThere (#49141863) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Any self-aware AI will be dependent on a large number of heuristic modules. I'm not sure what you mean by "the classic self-aware AI", but if it's a well specified concept then it didn't work out.

OTOH, you should be aware that *YOU* are dependent on a large number of heuristic modules. You use them to talk, to listen, to walk across the room, etc.

Comment: Re: One thing for sure (Score 1) 420

by HiThere (#49141707) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

I think it's that the religious rites involved things a lot more powerful than wine. (Mushrooms are frequently mentioned.) So I expect there may well have been a lot more direct religious experience. After all, if it weren't something the brain was capable of, nobody would experince it, so the potential is there. Also many "ecstatic saints" appear to have had some form of epilepsy (it comes in lots of forms).

Comment: System Development Foundation (Score 1) 41

by Baldrson (#49141679) Attached to: The Believers: Behind the Rise of Neural Nets

Its "System Development Foundation" not "System Development Corporation" and Charlie's full name is Charles Sinclair Smith. He's semi-retired now and living the next county over from me in southeast Iowa where we've been collaborating on a couple of projects -- one of which is to photosynthesize all of the CO2 effluent from US fossil fuel power plants (as Charlie got his start co-founding the Energy Information Administration of the DoE under Carter).

Its ironic that in the 80s I was living in La Jolla, which was an epicenter of the neural net revival at UCSD, had taken neural net courses from Robert Hecht-Nielsen and by 1990 had prototyped the highest performance neural network image processing system (as Neural Engines Corporation) -- but I then later worked with Charlie for almost 15 years before discovering he had had played such a key role in the revival of neural nets. Even more ironic is that, circa 2005, I came up with the idea for the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge -- based on Hutter's entirely different, top down mathematics approach to AI -- and Shane Legg, founder of Deep Mind, which is largely identified with deep learning neural nets, actuality studied under Hutter and achieved Deep Mind's famous ability to learn to play video games using Hutter's approach but everyone thinks that capability is uniquely attributable to deep neural net learning alone.

Comment: Re:One thing for sure (Score 1) 420

by HiThere (#49141649) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

FWIW, that (and also Galileo) were more about politics than about religion. And I've got suspicions that the Inquisition was more about economics than about religion. But, and this is central, religion ENDORSED those abuses.

(That said, Galileo, at least, was quite abusive towards the pope, and there was no first amendment protection.)

Comment: Re:Inquisition (Score 1) 364

by HiThere (#49141485) Attached to: Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics

Well, clearly *SOME* hidden funding has been revealed, as mentioned even in the summary. Possibly not by that enquiry, but perhaps they just didn't look very closely.

OTOH, I *do* think that the sources for funding for *all* those who testify before congress should be revealed. And for any other favors or promissed favors also. There's nothing wrong with taking money from somebody who agrees with your findings, but there is wrong in hiding that you did so if they are used as a guide for public policy (or even the policy of some private group that isn't the one paying you).

Comment: Re:Oh? (Score 1) 126

by HiThere (#49141389) Attached to: 12-Billion-Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

Well, one guess is that it could have formed *during* the big bang, and been force-fed at high pressure for a bit. (I'm no cosmologist, in case you couldn't tell, but I *did* warn you it was a guess.) External pressure could do wonders at increasing the rate of feed, and since it would thus grow more rapidly than expected, it would then feed more rapidly than expected when the external pressure was relieved.

Or possibly there was a universe here *before* the big bang, and the nucleus of that black hole predated the big bang.

Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 239

by HiThere (#49141179) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

Everything you said is correct, and *today* very few white collar jobs have gone to robots and AIs. But the number of categories has been increasing incrementally over the years (well, decades). To deny the problem is to be as foolish as to panic over it. And it *does* seem to me that the rate has been increasing.

Comment: Re: This is hilarious... (Score 2) 256

by HiThere (#49133561) Attached to: It's Official: NSA Spying Is Hurting the US Tech Economy

My guess is that local (Chinese) companies have gotten good enough that China feels that with a bit of a boost they can do all that is needed, so they don't need the US companies anymore.

I don't have any evidence, so I could well be wrong, but nobody else has been presenting much in the way of evidence either. And this lets them cut off imports from the US in a way palatable to the world community. (Even if they aren't believed, it's a damn good excuse.)

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.