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Comment: Ugh... (Score 1) 21

by K. S. Kyosuke (#48911093) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

To achieve this, it seems like all we need is to show people how to give the computer instructions, but that's teaching people how to put words on the page. We need the equivalent of composition, the skill that allows us to think about how things are computed.

Ugh...if only we had something like this...we could call it "computer science" or something like that. We could even write textbooks about it! But that's just a pipe dream, right?

+ - Young Cubans Set Up Mini-Internet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Internet connections remain illegal for Cuban households, but many of the country's citizens still want to tap into the power of networked information exchange. A group of tech-savvy young Cubans has set up a network comprising thousands of computers to serve as their own miniature version of the internet. They use chat rooms, play games, and connect to organize real-life activities. Cuban law enforcement seems willing to tolerate it, so far, though the network polices itself so as not to draw undue attention. One of the engineers who helped build the network said, "We aren't anonymous because the country has to know that this type of network exists. They have to protect the country and they know that 9,000 users can be put to any purpose. We don't mess with anybody. All we want to do is play games, share healthy ideas. We don't try to influence the government or what's happening in Cuba ... We do the right thing and they let us keep at it.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 463

by Chas (#48911067) Attached to: Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

Because if you read the initial post. The guy is going "BLAME YOUR DEVICE MAKER!"

And I pointed out "Hey. The stopping points aren't necessarily JUST your device maker. Like in my case, it's my service provider."

To be followed up with "HEY! BLAME YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER (or your device maker, just in case...)"

Now that I've hung a lampshade on the moved goalposts of the original argument, we NOW have, from you "Hey! Blame whoever's stopping you!"

Which was the original gist of my argument in the first place.

Comment: Maybe the "weak" are those who can't cooperate? (Score 1) 221

From: http://www.shareintl.org/archi...
===
  "We need competition in order to survive."
  "Life is boring without competition."
  "It is competition that gives us meaning in life."
These words written by American college students capture a sentiment that runs through the heart of the USA and appears to be spreading throughout the world. To these students, competition is not simply something one does, it is the very essence of existence. When asked to imagine a world without competition, they can foresee only rising prices, declining productivity and a general collapse of the moral order. Some truly believe we would cease to exist were it not for competition.
    Alfie Kohn, author of No contest: the case against competition, disagrees completely. He argues that competition is essentially detrimental to every important aspect of human experience; our relationships, self-esteem, enjoyment of leisure, and even productivity would all be improved if we were to break out of the pattern of relentless competition. Far from being idealistic speculation, his position is anchored in hundreds of research studies and careful analysis of the primary domains of competitive interaction. For those who see themselves assisting in a transition to a less competitive world, Kohn's book will be an invaluable resource.
===

BTW, I'm quoting Morton Deutsch there (as indicated). Here is the source link (also on the previously linked page):
http://www.beyondintractabilit...
" Q: You're starting to see the analogy to international conflict, or intractable conflict on a larger scale?
A: Yes. Well, I wrote a paper about preventing World War III. That was during the height of the cold war, I think I wrote it in 1982, it was called "The Presidential Address to the International Society to Political Psychology." And there I took the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union and characterized it as a malignant relationship, which had some of the characteristics that I was talking about with the couple. It was right for both the United States and the Soviet Union to think that the other was hostile, would undo it, would damage it, you know, all of these things. The relationship was a malignant one. They had to become aware of the malignancy, and the only way out really was recognizing that it's hurting, recognizing that there is a potential better way of relating. And that better way of relating involves having a sense that one can only have security if there's mutual security. And that's true in most relationships. That's particularly true to recognize groups that have had bitter strife where they've hurt each other. They have to deal with the problem of how to get to where they can live together. It may be ethnic groups within a given nation or community. They can only live together if they recognize that their own security is going to be dependent on the other person's security. So each person, each side, each group has to be interested in the welfare of the other.
    On a national level it has to deal with military and other economic security. At the group level and personal level, it often has to do with psychological security. It has to do with someone recognizing, I shouldn't be treating the other in an undignified, disrespectful way. So in an interpersonal relationship, that kind of security, recognizing that not only are you entitled to it, so is the other person entitled to it. And if you don't give that other person that entitlement the relationship is going to move in the other direction, back to bitter conflict."

That said, sure, if you look at evolution, there is a sense that every generation is filtered somehow. Only one sperm of millions gets to the egg... But, what really matters to survival of humans once they are conceived? Cooperation seems very important among humans. Individual excellence is important too though, and is also involved with impressing members of the opposite sex (as is displaying cooperating, depending on who you are trying to impress). So, it is a complex topic.

James P Hogan has some interesting ideas about that in "Voyage From Yesteryear", where people essentially "competed" to gain status by demonstrating excellence in being helpful in a gift economy. :-)
http://www.jamesphogan.com/boo...

In any case, mutual security is all around us at all sorts of levels. What is a marriage about for many people? What is a neighborhood watch organization? What is a professional association? What are US states about?

What is NATO about (in theory)?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...
"The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party."

Although, based on what happened with WWI, I've suggested an alternative approach of a "mutual attack pact" against countries in the pact who violate agreed-on borders instead of a NATO-like alliance to attack those outside the pact: :-)
http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/...
http://p2pfoundation.net/backu...
"> Paul, I think your idea is absolutely brilliant, and the way to go. I have
> not seen it anywhere else, and I hope you are able to make the idea more
> widely known, especially to upper echelons. ..."

Comment: On sparks and credit and muses etc. (Score 1) 70

by Paul Fernhout (#48910921) Attached to: Modular Smartphones Could Be Reused As Computer Clusters

Thanks for the pointer! I doubt I'll find my name there. Also, I said the 3X3 display wall panel may have sparked an interest in combining speech research and Jeopardy (perhaps, in an unconscious way?) -- but Watson itself is a much broader system. I wanted to work on such systems then, and talked a bit about "wouldn't it be nice if..." like with a display wall connected to a supercomputer for solving tough problems, but I said nothing detailed as to how it would really work, beyond creating a simple system with a Linux server where you could say things like, "put stocks on panel 3" or something like that. I don't even remember in detail what pattern of utterances I set it up to respond to (it was not very complex). So, my contribution to Watson itself technically -- probably near zilch. It's just the display wall Jeopardy connection I wonder about. But now that you raise the issue, aspects of using an AI to help solve problems was part of that idea. But, sci-fi writers like Isaac Asimov with Multivac or his robot stories have been taking about that for decades...

As for credit for being a spark, do people, say, always even remember some book they read years ago where an idea began to seep into their mind? How do you even quantify a degree of contribution? When I asked Ted Nelson (when he visited IBM once) about whether "The Skills of Xandu" short story by Theodore Sturgeon inspired his work, he thanked me said he had been looking for the story and he claimed to not even be able to remember the story's name! :-) Here is an audio version of that story, which is about a wearable nanotech computers supporting humans wirelessly sharing their knowledge and skills -- hot prescient stuff for the early 1950s:
https://archive.org/details/pr...

BTW, I gave a copy of that story to my supervisor at IBM Research, a master inventor with 50 patents to his name. He finally looked at it a while after I left, and thanked me, and said it was the story that got him interested in materials research based on its nanotech angle! But he had long forgotten it. I can wonder how many other inventors that story has inspired? I don't know what inspired it though. Maybe Memex? :-)
http://www.theatlantic.com/mag...

I've been tangentially around several development like WordNet (George Miller), "Mind Children" (Hans Moravec, who read my senior thesis written under Geoge about self-replicating robots as he was working on the book), Marshall Brain's early career (where he probably saw a simulation I made of self-replicating robots, and I wonder if that contributed to his later concern with "Manna"), and at IBM Research as mentioned with Jeopardy and Watson. Possibly some others (like my possibly talking with David Gelernter about triples I was enamored of, and him saying tuples were more general, at SUNY Stony Brook), my talking at Princeton about robotics and stores (Jeff Bezos was the year after me), my senior thesis which presaged "Evolutionary psychology" but I doubt that sparked much as not many people read it and that field was already developing in parallel. as I can see now. In no case would I claim to be clearly the driving force behind any of these accomplishments which are full of a lot of hard and inventive work. As with Watson, it's possible I was just a tangential spark to some of these projects to some degree -- or not! It is also quite possible that I ended up hanging around people like Hans Moravec because we already were thinking along similar lines. Also, sometime ideas seem just "in the air" for whatever reason. Or ideas come to people by other paths, often multiple times before we even notice them. (It's said in direct mail as a rule of thumb you need to send the same advertising letter three times before people pay attention to it.) And certainly, in all cases, a lot of sparks went the other way, to me. :-) For example, I worked on this essay in part because Marshall Brain in one of is essays talks about how a "jobless recovery" could be a sign of impending wide-spread automation.
http://www.pdfernhout.net/beyo...

As another case of parallel creation, I won "highest honors" in a regional science fair for a robot that looked like R2D2 *before* Star Wars came out. R2D2 though must have been made around the same time as I made my robot. Likely the relationship is that somehow we both had seen the same vacuum cleaner (which I used as the body) and also both had seen "Silent Running". Or it was just coincidence. Although it bugged me a bit that people thought I was copying R2D2 in later years and versions. :-) I actually did add a light-controlled sound system that sounded like him in a later version though (the one pictured on my site). So, certainly sparks went to me from that film -- as, even greater, from Silent Running.

And really, it is only sometime decades later when one thinks about some connections or sparks or their possible results.

I've always liked connecting up ideas and even connecting up people to each other over some common interest. It is not without its downside. I remember being around CMU and having a grad student come to me after I had said Matthew Mason's brilliant "Uncertainty Reducing Operations" idea (brilliant) about robotic grasping (move the hand in a swipe so the part is likely at the edge of a box) could be applied to better understanding biological processes like protein synthesis. The grad student told me essentially I should not be saying interdisciplinary or speculative stuff like that if I wanted to be in the graduate program there. That was a huge shock to me, to hear someone say something like that around a research labs. That was long before someone else (James P. Hogan) suggested I read "Disciplined Minds" to better understand academia and grad school.

More on me and WordNet for example, where George had also told me he was making WordNet in part to show that having a network of concepts was not enough by itself for AI which many researchers seemed to believe then and was something I implicitly believed then):
https://groups.google.com/foru...
"My 1985 UG senior thesis work ("Why Intelligence: Object, Evolution, Stability and Model") with him may have very slightly help inspired Wordnet and so even more indirectly Simpli and Google AdSense: in the sense of my enthusiastically talking to him a lot about networks of concepts for AI I wanted to put on a hard disk for a Commodore PET using Pointrel triads. That hard disk had eaten a document George was writing in his office on a deadline so he let me have it in the lab to play with (rather than throw it out) -- that file incident was the probably the only time I heard him swear. :-) Of course, the actual idea and all the hard work and the psycholinguistic design behind WordNet is all his. ... Being around young people can be inspiring in many ways that are not "plagiarism". Young people bring a hopefulness which can be infectious -- even if in retrospect my plan to build a human level AI using a Commodore PET and an unreliable 10MB harddisk was absurd. George's brilliance lay in maybe later thinking, "What AI-ish thing can I build with all I know and the tools at hand?" He may well have done WordNet whether he had met me in my enthusiastic unreasonableness or not. Still, it is often the annoying seemingly ignorant questions of youth that make us old geezers think. :-)"

But, you're probably not going to find my name on any WordNet stuff. In our society, credit can link to income though, so there is always reason to seek it (at least, until we get a basic income). Sometimes I get a mention (even if hyphenated :-) when I'm more obviously involved in something:
http://www.research.ibm.com/pe...

Yeah, and I got on a software patent. :-( Frowny face as I don't like software patents.
http://www.google.com/patents/...

Such is life. I'm glad I got (potentially) a chance to contribute, no matter how tangential. Anyway, I hope maybe I've helped the Slashdot community more than hurt it (too many links and long posts), in terms of helping connect up some ideas about technology and society,

And then of course, there are the software programs and essays, and whatever tangential impacts they may have or not have...

Anyway, by now you probably think I'm a loony. :-) Might be right. :-)

Or maybe some muse works sometimes works through me? :-) As no doubt through us all at times...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
"The following morning, though, two visitors come to Steven's home, revealing that they are doctors from a mental clinic. They tell Steven that Sarah is an escaped psychiatric patient from their asylum who has multiple personality disorder. They find the whole "muse" idea hilarious. When they try to find Sarah to take her back, they discover that she has escaped."

But whatever our society can say about prizing creativity, for the most part, it doesn't (or at least, it generally rewards others):
https://johntaylorgatto.wordpr...
"Try to see that an intricately subordinated industrial/commercial system has only limited use for hundreds of millions of self-reliant, resourceful readers and critical thinkers. ... Unless you do "creative" work the company way, you run afoul of a host of laws and regulations put on the books to control the dangerous products of imagination which can never be safely tolerated by a centralized command system."

For example, notice the "hard" part of getting that prototype built at IBM research was things like getting laptop locks for laptops about to be destroyed anyway. :-) Another "hard" thing I did at IBM Research was go through the "proper" process to get Python approved for use in the lab. I was a bit embarrassed when one of the lawyers wrote Guido to ask if he had actually written it .:-) But it got approved eventually.

Although "success" is more than creativity. It's hard work, connections, resources, luck, and so on. And that also shows in big companies like Microsoft or Google buying whatever successful companies they see, and letting all the other experiments just fade away as someone else's cost...

Related, by Calvin Coolidge:
http://www.goodreads.com/quote...
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press On!" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

Well, that may be a bit optimistic in some ways. :-) I now understand why the big names we know in technology, the ones in the news often like Gates or Zuckerberg or Ballmer or Scully and so on, were for the most part good, but not great technologists if they were technologists at all, but were excellent at starting or running tech companies, which is pretty much unrelated to actually doing invention or design of any technical sort. Jobs vs. Wozniak is another example, although at least Jobs has a sense of style. Most of them also started with a leg up in various ways (some combination of good health, fancy education up to undergrad, family money, etc.).

And they don't have to actually invent anything as long as they can buy it or just take the idea somehow if not patented (or even if it is) and use it. Around where I live now, a guy invented the railroad airbrake, but the story goes he showed it to a railroad magnate who just took the idea and ran with it (it was not patented). While one might see that as an argument for patents, alternatively, if we had a "basic income", credit in that sense might not be such a big deal... Just think of all the lives that brake concept saved by preventing so many train wrecks...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...
"Douglas disagreed with classical economists who recognised only three factors of production: land, labour and capital. While Douglas did not deny the role of these factors in production, he saw the "cultural inheritance of society" as the primary factor. He defined cultural inheritance as the knowledge, techniques and processes that have been handed down to us incrementally from the origins of civilization (i.e. progress). Consequently, mankind does not have to keep "reinventing the wheel". "

And often the problem is they don;t get the whole really big idea! See Alan Kay's talk about the Xerox ARC research for example/ He's not lamenting not getting more recognition. He's lamenting that not enough was taken! :-)
"Founder School Session: The Future Doesn't Have to Be Incremental"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Or by my wife on an open source project I've helped her with
"Steal These Ideas"
http://www.storycoloredglasses...

Also, the older I get, and the more I know, and the more I reflect on the sci-fi and various technical books I was swimming in in my teen years, the more I realize that the building blocks for so many "ideas" I've "had" were supplied by past generations... Even if I may put some of them together in new ways. Or spent my life trying to implement some of them, like Huey, Dewey, and Louie from Silent Running, or the software implied by the crystal belts in the Skills of Xanadu, or the self-replicating space habitat from "The Two Faces of Tomorrow" and so on.... When I was a kid, I rarely paid attention to the author's name on a story, and often times did not even pay attention to the title...

Anyway, now that I'm getting older, it seems like those years may be mostly behind me... Like George in his last decades, he just took that one idea, WordNet, and put years and years of hard work into it, to make it succeed. And a big part of that was convincing Princeton University to let him set it free legally. Wherever you are now, thanks for setting a good example about that, George! :-)

Of course, my obsession with triples for storing information is probably is not as good a choice as WordNet was. :-) Older stuff (pre RDF, going back to the 1980s):
http://pointrel.sourceforge.ne...

But even that triple store idea may have come (not sure in the mists of time) by maybe thumbing through William Kent's "Data and Reality" for a bit while visiting an library at IBM San Jose when I was a teenager? So, William Kent would deserve some WordNet credit too, assuming I did?

Victor Serebriakoff's book "Brain" was influential, "Steps to an Ecology of Mind" by Gregory Bateson. "The Human Use of Human Beings" by Norbert Weiner. All these and many more were influential on me. Hard to say where I got one mental building block or another. How much do you pay attention to "sources" when you are a teen soaking up everything form everywhere?

A funny/ironic thing is, I remember once telling George about how I wanted to work on a problem before reading what others had to say about it so my "creativity" was not "contaminated" by their approach or solutions. I still think that is a good idea, for a time. But what I failed to realize, is how much my own creativity or problem solving strategies were based on learning so many strategies from reading about or seeing others wrestle with various problems. And I was also selling my own creativity short, by assuming that if I tried some approach and it did not work, or even if it did, that I might not think of another approach anyway. "Standing on the shoulders of giants" is so often true. As is never really noticing or quite recalling where some spark years ago came from...

My wife likes to say that big idea are like whales. If you are lucky, you get to swim with them for a time. But eventually they swim off on their own, leaving you behind. Sigh.

And of course, there have no doubt been many, many sparks in my own life, most of which I did not notice at the time. I remember, in the 1980s the (Indian) girlfriend of my roommate saying I needed to get more color in my diet. And wow, she was right :-) But I only started paying attention to that idea a years ago for other reasons, and then remembered and better understood her words....
"What Color Is Your Diet?"
http://www.amazon.com/What-Col...

That's just one example form my own life. No doubt there are many, many more. Most of which I might not even be able to remember, including as I was not paying attention to sources at the time, just "ideas". :-)

Anyway, I hope I did not overstated the case too much for my involvement in some things I was tangentially around.

Education

Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy 21

Posted by Soulskill
from the pants-are-the-new-shirts dept.
An anonymous reader writes: There has been a furious effort over the past few years to bring the teaching of programming into the core academic curricula. Enthusiasts have been quick to take up the motto: "Coding is the new literacy!" But long-time developer Chris Granger argues that this is not the case: "When we say that coding is the new literacy, we're arguing that wielding a pencil and paper is the old one. Coding, like writing, is a mechanical act. All we've done is upgrade the storage medium. ... Reading and writing gave us external and distributable storage. Coding gives us external and distributable computation. It allows us to offload the thinking we have to do in order to execute some process. To achieve this, it seems like all we need is to show people how to give the computer instructions, but that's teaching people how to put words on the page. We need the equivalent of composition, the skill that allows us to think about how things are computed."

He further suggests that if anything, the "new" literacy should be modeling — the ability to create a representation of a system that can be explored or used. "Defining a system or process requires breaking it down into pieces and defining those, which can then be broken down further. It is a process that helps acknowledge and remove ambiguity and it is the most important aspect of teaching people to model. In breaking parts down we can take something overwhelmingly complex and frame it in terms that we understand and actions we know how to do."

+ - EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a detailed, global strategy for ridding ourselves of mass surveillance. They stress that this must be an international effort — while citizens of many countries can vote against politicians who support surveillance, there are also many countries where the citizens have to resort to other methods. The central part of the EFF's plan is: encryption, encryption, encryption. They say we need to build new secure communications tools, pressure existing tech companies to make their products secure against everyone, and get ordinary internet-goers to recognize that encryption is a fundamental part of communication in the surveillance age. They also advocate fighting for transparency and against overreach on a national level. "[T]he more people worldwide understand the threat and the more they understand how to protect themselves—and just as importantly, what they should expect in the way of support from companies and governments—the more we can agitate for the changes we need online to fend off the dragnet collection of data." The EFF references a document created to apply the principles of human rights to communications surveillance, which they say are "our way of making sure that the global norm for human rights in the context of communication surveillance isn't the warped viewpoint of NSA and its four closest allies, but that of 50 years of human rights standards showing mass surveillance to be unnecessary and disproportionate.""
Link to Original Source

+ - DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program set up in 2008 to keep tabs on cars close to the U.S.-Mexican border has been gradually expanded nationwide and is regularly used by other law enforcement agencies in their hunt for suspects. The extent of the system, which is said to contain hundreds of millions of records on motorists and their journeys, was disclosed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information Act request."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Community working together to adddress threats (Score 1) 221

"(AC:) There's always someone who wants more than safety."

And how in practice are you going to deter someone or defend yourself from someone "who want's more safety" (or even know such a person exists and is out to make trouble for you) unless you are part of a community who are all looking out for each other?

Of course, you also have to be willing to listen and pay attention in that case. Example:
"Hoekstra on Underwear Bomber: "We Missed Him at Every Step""
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po...
"In November the suspect's father went to the US Embassy in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to warn that his son was being radicalized in Yemen."

Still, I have to agree that the challenge of what to do about mentally ill people or politically ill countries, when they become violent, is a challenging one for any community.

Related movie:
"The Day the Earth Stood Still"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
"Klaatu warns the professor that the people of the other planets have become concerned for their safety after humans developed atomic power."

Or, as Einstein said: "The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking ... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. (1945)"

Although, in an age where even watches have enough CPU power to do the calculations that produced the original atomic bombs, retreating from the problem gets a little more complicated...

Comment: Re:The early 70's are calling. (Score 1) 221

As said by someone who studied primitive technology, when asked why he did not just go off to live by himself in the woods, "It takes a village of skilled people to live well int the wilderness" (or something to that effect).

Yeah, so most hippies were naive and also lacking technical skills and resources.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

"Free love" is another "Hippy" ideal which did not work out too well either in most cases for various all-too-human reasons. Even when one rejects marriage, rejecting "relationships" is a completely different issue.

But, that the mistakes of many hippies do not prove anything about the general issue of decentralization for resiliency.

I agree with you that "equity" though is a big issue in any emerging social system. That is something that gave me pause long ago, as I write about here:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/sunr...
"Basically, this all made me realized there is a difference between being an "employee" (even an employee-owner) with revokable rights or loseable equity, and being a "citizen" with irrevokable rights."

Still, the "Co-housing" movement has been addressing some of these concerns as far as US cultural expectations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

A successful US co-housing example:
http://ecovillageithaca.org/
"EcoVillage at Ithaca is part of a global movement of people seeking to create positive solutions to the social, environmental and economic crises our planet faces. Since 1991 we have developed an award-winning ecovillage that invites you to live, learn and grow. Our mission is to promote experiential learning about ways of meeting human needs for shelter, food, energy, livelihood and social connectedness that are aligned with the long-term health and viability of Earth and all its inhabitants."

Healthy communities have rules and norms and stories that help manage them. Humans have been living in mostly independent tribal situations for hundreds of thousands of years. It is not like it can't be done, if you are willing to make certain sacrifices. The question is, how could we or should we do it now, with more technical and social knowledge?

Also, some random collection of strangers in the modern day does not have the social cohesion of an extended family or tribe from centuries ago who have known each other from birth. A random collection of strangers, sharing little more initially than some ideal, is probably going to need more formal structure and more formal processes. Also, millennia ago, there was not such a possibility of a huge rich/poor divide in such communities as regards outside work, where one person makes minimum wage at a job cooking or doing child care while another member of the community makes 100X that as a lawyer or a doctor -- or maybe a plumber in some areas these days. :-)

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O...
"Sahlins gathered the data from these studies and used it to support a comprehensive argument that states that hunter-gatherers did not suffer from deprivation, but instead lived in a society in which "all the peopleâ(TM)s wants are easily satisfied.""

However, much of my own thinking about this came from an interest in space settlements... This is an issue anybody creating space habitats, moon bases, Mars bases, or whatever needs to think about.

Another aspect of that was figuring out how to create communities that could survive nuclear war and economic collapse. My concern about surviving war might be a bit easier to understand when you consider that this is what my Mother's home town looked like after WWII:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

For her, as a young teen at the time, such destruction came apparently out of the blue, losing her home to fire during the initial invasion (actually, accidentally from Dutch defenders she said, but I wonder about that).

Businesses

Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-is-no-entertainment-except-through-us dept.
RogueyWon writes: For the last several days, some users of Ubisoft's uPlay system have been complaining that copies of games they purchased have been removed from their libraries. According to a statement issued to a number of gaming websites, Ubisoft believes that the digital keys revoked have been "fraudulently obtained." What this means in practice is unclear; while some of the keys may have been obtained using stolen credit card details, others appear to have been purchased from unofficial third-party resellers, who often undercut official stores by purchasing cheaper boxed retail copies of games and selling their key-codes online, or by exploiting regional price differences, buying codes in regions where games are cheaper to sell them elsewhere in the world. The latest round of revocations appears to have triggered an overdue debate into the fragility of customer rights in respect of digital games stores.

Comment: One other thing -- C# is Delphi in drag :-) (Score 1) 455

by Paul Fernhout (#48909755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...
"Anders Hejlsberg (born December 1960)[2] is a prominent Danish software engineer who co-designed several popular and commercially successful programming languages and development tools. He was the original author of Turbo Pascal and the chief architect of Delphi. He currently works for Microsoft as the lead architect of C#[1] and core developer on TypeScript."

I would have used dot net and C# alone for that reason based on liking Delphi -- except that the main line of those has long been proprietary and single platform compared to other language options which are free and/or multi-platform.

I'd be curious if you have by any chance tried C# and what you thought of it in comparison to Delphi?

+ - Davos 2015: Less innovation, more regulation, more unrest. Run away!

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Growing income inequality was one of the top four issues at the 2015 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ranking alongside European adoption of quantitative easing and geopolitical concerns. Felix Salmon, senior editor at Fusion, said there was a consensus that global inequality is getting worse, fueling overriding pessimism at the gathering. The result, he said, could be that the next big revolution will be in regulation rather than innovation. With growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people’s mind, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said. Looking at studies like NASA's HANDY and by KPMG, the UK Government Office of Science, and others, Dr Nafeez Ahmed, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, warns that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years."

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.

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