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Comment Neither - for what *I* need (Score 1) 114

I've just been investigating this very question. I'm develop a tertiary course in "software engineering process". Small teams will need to work together to build *something*. For a variety of reasons, we think that building an embedded system would be a good thing for them to have exposure to, so I'm trying to find a suitable platform to develop on. The current Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black both have their strengths and weaknesses, but both would do for the job. But they both cost at least 50 AUD, which is affordable but not equivalent to zero for planning purposes. By contrast, both the C.H.I.P. and the Pi zero are so cheap that the cost can be ignored. However, both platforms require you to break out the soldering iron if you want to attach things to the GPIO ports. By the time you have something you can hook things up to without soldering, you're back up to the cost of a standard Pi anyway.

Comment The True Problem With Commercial Space (Score 1) 346

As the person credited for the first law commercializing space launch services (credited by the law's sponsor, Ron Packard during his introduction of my Congressional testimony on space commercialization) there truly _is_ a problem with privatized space and it is a capital market failure.

This capital market failure systemically suppresses technology investment and it derives from something that should be obvious to anyone in venture finance:

Economic activity is taxed rather than liquidation value of net assets.

A venture financier, or angle, or anyone else who takes dollars out of a bank account and puts it into a high risk venture, is rendering their capital illiquid. If you cease taxing economic activity (income, capital gains, sales, value added, inheritance, gifts, etc.) and instead tax only the liquidation value of net assets, for all practical purposes high risk investments cease being taxed.

This is why, the year after I testified before Congress on the initial legislative direction for companies like SpaceX, I wrote a white paper titled "A Net Asset Tax Based On The Net Present Value Calculation and Market Democracy" wherein I proposed a shift away from centralized government provision of technology development and, at the same time, a shift away from politically biased government delivery of social goods (ie: the welfare state), by taxing net assets at the rate of interest on the national debt and distributing tax revenues as an unconditional citizen's dividend. Later I clarified the assessment mechanism to be liquidation value as well as some of the further aspects of government to be privatized.

Its obvious why so-called "liberals" don't want this since by-passing the welfare state without regard to any politically defined criteria other than citizenship, it would gut their political base.

Conservatives, in particular neo-libertarians of the Austrian School, on the other hand, have much to answer for here. A net asset tax, so assessed, is a big step toward the anarchocapitalism of the American school of libertarian thought exemplified by Lysander Spooner in his definition of "legitimate government" as "a mutual insurance company". Protecting property rights is according to the American school of libertarian philosophy (as contrasted with the Austrian school), the primary role of government and it is entirely legitimate to charge for that service just as it is legitimate for a property insurance company to charge a premium that is approximately proportional to the value of the property being underwritten. Moreover, it is entirely legitimate for any company to pay dividends and a mutual company would pay dividends to its members -- members who, quite reasonably, could be called on for service in times of emergency such as war and could, therefore, quite reasonably be assigned one share and exactly one share each.

Indeed, I view it as a moral responsibility for men like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg -- particularly as beneficiaries of network externalities aka network effects that could not exist in the absence of government protection of those monopolistic property rights -- to at the very least lend their vocal, if not material, support to such a capital reform.

It would be smart for risk investors like Elon Musk to do so.

Comment Electing a New People is Treason (Score 1) 486

In the US We the People are sovereign. Dissolving The People and electing a new one is treason. It doesn't matter if that is accomplished by throwing the "old" people into gas ovens or simply rendering the conscientious portion of the middle class effectively incapable of responsible replacement reproduction -- if you do either by commission or omission from a position of public trust and authority, it is an act of treason.

To go from there to saying "Oh, gee, we're suffering a demographic collapse so let's import lots of immigrants to replace The People." you are making those immigrants accomplices to genocide.

Either treason or genocide are hanging offences and the vast majority of the US Federal Government officials are guilty.

Comment NYT Owner Married Into Lebanese Warlord Mafia (Score 0) 259

"Carlos Slim’s Late Wife Was a Member of the Most Bloodthirsty Lebanese Warlord Clan"

Mrs. Slim was a Gemayel on her mother’s side. The name “Gemayel” brings back memories...
After visiting the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Pierre Gemayel founded Lebanon’s fascist-oriented, pro-Western Phalange Party...
Sheik Pierre’s son Bashir Gemayel was the most ferocious Christian warlord of Lebanon’s civil war that began in 1975. (Above is Geraldo Rivera’s 1982 interview with Bashir.) It should be kept in mind that much of Bashir’s violence was devoted less to fighting Muslims than to making the Gemayels supreme over the other Christian warlord clans, such as the Chamouns.

Carlos Slim bought the New York Times on the strength of his corrupt relations with the Mexican government that gave him monopoly on cell phone communications in that country.

Comment Re:Not all H1B positions are equal (Score 1) 331

It never ceases to amaze me how guys like you refuse to go back where you came from to set up shop in an environment where not only will you have all of the amazing talent you need, but you will be getting it at cut rate prices and benefitting your people where they live rather than sending them abroad to create hatred of your country of origin.

PLEASE, do everyone a favor:


Submission + - Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Health Care (

J05H writes: from the I'll-read-it-when-it's-in-the-university-library dept:

This is an update for anyone interested in the use of artificial intelligence, Bayesian search and text mining for suicide prevention and other mental-health purposes. A chapter of this book covers the Durkheim Project's efforts in monitoring and interventions for at-risk veterans. Slashdot previously covered this topic here:

Elsevier’s Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Health Care (D. D. Luxton, Editor — October, 2015) is an eye-opening window on state-of-the-art medical AI. This recently released text is both a primer (providing a context on modern AI in medicine) and a description of advanced applications of artificial intelligence technology. The book examines exemplary AI solutions that span a variety of specific technical areas, including: Expert Systems, Machine Learning, Virtual Humans, Mobile Devices, Behavior Models, Public Health Surveillance/Predictive Analytics, and Robotics.

Comment Re:Whats this guys definiton of real world? (Score 1) 258

A university study was just published last week that self-driving cars crash about 4-8 times more often than humans, and the crashes cause more serious injuries.
The publishers were at pains to point out that only a few million miles were on record, so they hedged the obvious conclusion that humans drive better. Utter nonsense. People REALLY want to believe that robots drive better. A million miles or hundred million, the numbers are in. Self-driving cars aren't working. A million miles are more than enough data.

The real thrust of getting this onto the road is to fire truck drivers. End of story - they want to keep all da money. Uber outright admits it wants to fire the Uber "contractors" and replace them with robots. This is about money, bub. Hundreds of billions of fat, juicy dollars for businesses, and armies of newly unemployed. They hate paying people money to do jobs when they can keep it all.

Comment Re: That's nothing (Score 1) 258

That happens because we drive cars. Cars are very stupid, expensive and dangerous solutions to the simple problem of moving people around. They've killed and crippled more people than wars. That's because moving tanks at high speeds on flat open strips results in accidents. That will not change. Want safety? Build trains. Get rid of the cars.

Comment Re:Are you trolling or just boring? (Score 1) 258

Planes have slammed people into the ceilings. Planes have crashed themselves. Self-driving cars, v .1, crash more often and cause more injuries per crash. Computers are toasters. They are not intelligent. Computers can't deal with chaotic situations. "Life finds a way" is another way of stating it; it is impossible to build an AI that does what humans can do. Driving isn't a video game. You can't program for chaotic systems. If you can, go get your Nobel.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie