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Comment: Re:Get a grip. (Score 2, Insightful) 188

by brasselv (#33336710) Attached to: Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested In India

"Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants."
— Thomas Jefferson

It's a popular sport to pull the Founding Fathers out of context, to prove a point.

King George could not be voted out of his seat. I dare say that Thomas Jefferson, if he were to live today, would advocate peaceful means to oust anyone from power in the US.

To be sure: I am not saying that Parent is saying otherwise, I know he is just offering a quote.

However, the general mood of this thread is something like "tyranny demands exceptional means to be used". Which is fine, but if you live anywhere in the Western world today, you have no moral justification for violence against the system.

Because the system is far from perfect, but is far better than a tyranny.

Comment: Re:Disgusting Moderation (Score 1) 188

by brasselv (#33336308) Attached to: Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested In India

You're living in the waning times of the US government, it has been going down hill ever since it was founded.

Wait a second. Maybe there were some good moments and some bad ones, in the last two centuries.

But in many key dimensions it has indeed become a more perfect Union over time.

(Unless of course you consider a "white males club" to be your ideal government, I believe you don't.)

Comment: Re:A company with plenty of truly innovative ideas (Score 1) 275

by brasselv (#33311998) Attached to: Microsoft Reboots Two Classic PC Games

The innocence of youth :-)
The post above was wrongly moderated as troll, I suspect because someone thought it was meant to be serious (it's not)
I guess not everybody was around when MS came out with the lovely crap called Bob 1.0

Bob received the 7th place in PC World Magazine's list of the 25 worst products of all time, a spot in Time Magazine's list of the 50 Worst Inventions and number ten worst product of the decade by

(After that, not even Steve Ballmer at the top of desperation would think of resurrecting any "Bob 2.0")

Comment: Re:They should ban the production of low-end phone (Score 1) 307

by brasselv (#33284632) Attached to: Old (unused) mobile phones I've got hanging around ...

Godwin's law at its best...
But seriously, do you really hear anyone "defending Stalin"? In which country?

I may be wrong, but I hear in your tone some rather shallow anti-intellectual rhetoric that has more to do with "the world as some FOX-news audience thinks it is", rather than with the real world itself...

I seriously doubt that any sane person, effete or not, would question the evilness of both Hitler and Stalin.

Now I turn the evil-o-meter off.

Comment: Re:So let's talk abou it. (Score 1) 233

by brasselv (#33284114) Attached to: From Slaying Dragons To Dictators

My point was that if talking about the system makes it less useful, then it is not very secure to begin with.

You are thinking in terms of computer security, and there 100% correct.

The larger point, however, is that there may be other 'security' reasons not to talk about it.
For example, more people involved in the project may find themselves in the spotlight. People have a physical life, and their actions can be spied - or worse.

Unfortunately, there is no 'by design' security protection against a bullet. Overall, as long as the thing does not make too many headlines, it seems we are better off - no matter how much the system is inherently secure from a strictly IT point of view.

Comment: The "Pizza-baking truck" phenomenon? (Score 2, Informative) 172

by brasselv (#33283158) Attached to: Scottish Scientists Develop Whisky Biofuel

Am I the only one noticing a pattern here.

        1. Reputable scientists publish research "X".
                --> e.g.: "On some possible applications of AI-blabla to improve car safety"
        2. Same scientists explain X to mainstream journalists, and in the process they simplify the message (sometimes in good faith, sometimes to get PRs).
                --> e.g: "Cars will become more intelligent in the next 5 years"
        3. Mainstream journalists write articles where X is further stretched.
                --> e.g: "May be cars will drive themselves in the next 5 years"
        4. Headline of such articles go a further mile in stretching X.
                --> e.g.: "Are drivers obsolete?"
        5. by the time X morphs on /. it has totally become Y.
                --> e.g. "Scientists claim that uber-intelligent robotic cars have made drivers redundant. And my home-assembled truck overlord is also baking pizzas. It runs Linux."

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 2, Interesting) 830

by brasselv (#33277700) Attached to: Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand the Brain

From the number on neurons in the human brain, considering how many interconnections there are and how fast the neurons can fire, I think a machine with one million processing cores at 1 GHz would have approximately the same data handling capacity as a human brain.

We are not sure yet whether the equation :

  "human brain" = "some current technology" * "some large number"
has merit or not.

I wish we were there, but the vast majority of neuroscientists currently think this NOT to be the case. There is likely some qualitative difference that we still fail to understand. Assuming the equation above to be true, is largely responsible for the clear failure of AI of the last few dozens of years.

PS: to avoid misunderstandings - this does NOT mean that there is something mystique about our brain. We have simply not fully understood how it works, yet - but we are making very fast progress in this area, especially in the last 15 years or so. It's still a long road ahead, though.

Comment: Re:Infinite complexity? (Score 3, Insightful) 830

by brasselv (#33277520) Attached to: Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand the Brain

You are assuming 1 neuron = 1 "byte" of data.
It's much more complex than that. We are barely starting to understanding it now.

I agree with you, though, if you are implying that the brain is a physical entity with a physical size and physical limits. We just don't quite know yet what those limits are.

Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 911

by brasselv (#33274216) Attached to: Convicted NY Drunk Drivers Need Ignition Interlocks

MADD won years ago. They should change their name to Mothers Against Drinking to more accurately reflect their policy recommendations.

This is actually more or less the opinion of the MADD founder

Lightner stated that MADD "has become far moreneo-prohibitionistthan I had ever wanted or envisioned I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving"

Comment: Re:Get ready to Bend over America (Score 3, Interesting) 410

by brasselv (#33148338) Attached to: Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated)

Google has enough market power to effectively set the rules.

Despite its market power, Google does NOT control the food chain.
If 10 major ISPs decide tomorrow to do a "little favor" to Bing (God forbid), this would immediately and effectively hurt Google - massively.

It is certainly unlikely, but not impossible.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?