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Comment Re:And the scientific evidence for this conclusion (Score 1) 391 391

> First, there is no reason to believe that we can built robots that can reproduce themselves.

What? This is exactly the technology humans are trying to reach! We're already a significant way down this path!!

> Second, there is no evidence that we or anyone else can build intelligent machines, as the original story seems to presuppose.

Nature did it. We can do it.

> Third, biological organisms are so many orders of magnitude more efficient and flexible than machines that it barely makes sense to put them into the same qualitative category "form of life".

This whole conversation is about extrapolating on the cosmic scale. If you look at the path robotics has taken in the last century it does, as pointed out, actually support the premise of this article.

> Hint: A human consumes only about 2.9 kilowatt hours per day, the equivalent of 1-2 light bulbs ...

Not relevant. Once machines are replicating and repairing themselves they'll do exactly what we do and find other sources of energy.

Frankly I agree with you that it's hard to picture Transformers inhabiting the universe, but OP did make a really good point that extrapolation isn't even in the ballpark of refuting this clown. Honestly I'm shocked he didn't come back with that XKCD cartoon.

Comment Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 2) 197 197

Thank you! You've given me reason to sit up and pay attention when 3 rolls around, I appreciate that.

I would recommend against showing the more diehard Photoshop fans that link, though. It won't get you anywhere because what it really needs to be is a list like this:

- GIMP has a plugin/feature for automatically generating normal maps from elevation data.

- GIMP has a perspective correction feature that is superior to Photoshops in that it...

- GIMP's 'save all layers' button saves all of the layers in your file into seperate files.

.. or something like that. In the list you gave me, points 1 through 4, and 7, are irrelevant if somebody already has Photoshop. Given its de-facto marketshare, that is likely.

5 is horribly overrated. Lots of artists can script, but few (if any) can make actual plugins or modify the source code. (Even if they do dig in to the code how do they maintain those features when a new version of GIMP comes along?) I do want to mention, though, that there's another reply to my original post that seems to have covered the scripting point. I haven't checked it out yet but given that scripting is something I do, I'm certainly interested in trying that out.

6 needs an extra line, something like: "its better than Photoshop's Batch feature because...."

10... actually this is a really good one. In fact, just before this thread started, I went and found the portable version and downloaded in. Why? Welp, if the scripting that Culture20 posted a link to turns out to be worthwhile for me, coupling that with a portable version of GIMP is *awesome*. What that means is I will be able to automate certain tasks AND keep a fresh install on my DropBox account so I can even use it off-site. This is 1 out of 9.5 (I gave partial credit to the source-code bit) and, as you can already see from other replies you've gotten, most are refutable.

I'm a little worried you might read my post and think that I'm trying to perpetuate the GIMP vs. Photoshop debate. I'm not, instead I'm trying to explain what needs to happen explanation-wise to get more Photoshop people to try GIMP out. I think there's this mentality that people should switch to GIMP and that's simply not true. If you got the professional Photoshop users to start using GIMP for certain tasks, you may find that some studios may find it worth their time to invest some development time into improving it. Given how Adobe has been dicking around with the licensing, this would be a good time to get that ball rolling. Start touting the unique features it has that shave man-hours off a project. If those features don't exist, then the team needs to start talking to people like me and finding out what else they need.

Comment Re:How important is that at this point? (Score 4, Interesting) 197 197

Care to run off a list of ways that "GIMP doesn't come close"? If it's really so bad, it shouldn't be that difficult to name at least a dozen or so... In actuality, I expect that enumerating the shortcomings of GIMP will not be in quantity, but in terms of a relatively small number of particularly desirable features that many may perceive as critically important in such software.

Hi, professional artist here. Your latter point, at least from my perspective, is correct. I know Photoshop really well, but since I make my living doing this work I am not biased in a way that'd prevent me from using a free tool. Let me be extra clear: It would hurt me to be fanboyishly loyal to be any particular app. I do pick up and mess with GIMP from time to time, but it has two critical omissions from Photoshop that make it unusable in my field. First, it lacks adjustment layers. Second, it lacks Smart Objects.

These are both features intended to do non-destructive editing of imagery. Let's say you have a tree with green leaves. You can create a Hue/Saturation 'adjustment layer' that will turn all the green pixels beneath it blue. If you put a picture of a different tree below that layer, its leaves would turn blue, too. If you took that tree and made it a 'smart object', you'd effectively be snapshotting that image and every operation you do causes it to regenerate itself. In other words, if you shrank a Smart Object down, then scaled it back up again, you'd get all its original detail back.

If you're creating imagery it doesn't take long for these two features to change your workflow in such a way that you gain a HUGE time savings. In fact I have created several templates to speed up the generation of images I do that I just plain cannot do in GIMP. Realistically speaking that is enough man-hours lost that I'd actually make a greater profit paying for Photoshop than I would saving the cost of the license in favor of GIMP.

With that said, I'd be *very* happy if you told me that version 3 would add these features. I'd also be very happy if somebody could tell me what GIMP does that Photoshop doesn't. It's free. if it shaves man-hours off my work, then load me up with the tips. I ain't gonna switch, but I ain't above using both.

Comment A loooong time ago (Score 1) 391 391

The last computer I homebuilt ran Windows 3.1

It had an Intel 80486 DX-2 processor and, for that time, lots of RAM and a pretty good graphics co-processor. It couldn't hold a candle to what I have now. But Apple makes good computers and my current one is the fastest Cheese Grater Apple made.

Comment Re:Simple, block all ads (Score 1) 97 97

well I got skooled here. I did not know that AdBlock did block Google Text ads. The versions I have pass them by default.

But they are not fraudulent. The ones that are listed at the top of search, Google places on a yellow background, so you know that they are not natural search. The rest are to the right of natural search and are clearly labeled. Furthermore, Google examines all landing pages from these ads and makes certain that the stuff in the ads relates to the stuff on those pages. If it doesn't, Google quits showing the ads.

I do know this because I do work with clients and try to get the most out of their non-display advertisements. I do not think what my clients are doing is fraudulent. Additionally, I work with them to try to increase the amount of information on their websites so that natural search works, as well.

Comment Graph is search results, not speed measurements. (Score 4, Interesting) 281 281

Exactly! The methodology is incorrect. And, after having spoken with the good people at AT&T (that's right, buy at the sign of the Death Star) it is the Telcos that are responsible for slow-downs, not the telephone makers.

Why? The Telcos want you using the latest tech so that you will have a two-year contract with them that you cannot easily get out of without paying them lots of money. This keeps you "loyal." And it gets you on the treadmill of upgrades that ensures your loyalty. So what the telcos do is that they "sunset" technology that supports the older phones. And all of their upgrades on their cell towers (which usually aren't really towers that much any more) support new radios and signaling, not the old stuff.

So blame Apple and Samsung all you want, but it's the Telcos that are responsible for slowing down the older tech, not the manufacturers.

Comment Simple, block all ads (Score 4, Informative) 97 97

You (and Greyfox) do not seem to understand what Google Ads are. They are, for the most part, not the display advertisements one tends to see on websites. Instead, they are textual only and associated with search or with websites that open up space on their site for text ads.

Ad Blocking software allows them to show and always has. And that is because they are unobtrusive and not annoying.

All of my browsers have some kind of ad-block technology in them. And the Google text ads show just fine, thank you.

Comment How Time Warner Cable and Comcast work (Score 1) 80 80

I have dealt with Time Warner Cable, specifically in New York City. I have also dealt with Comcast. I think this merger is a natural for them because of several factors:

  • These companies are just like one another. They victimize the consumer.
    • If they say they will come between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM, they will tend to come past 3:30 PM.
    • they will not be able to schedule you in again for another week, because you were not there when their technician called.
    • If you call them for technical support for any problem, you are the problem and they treat you like you are.
    • They both claim that degrading their signal actually helps you.
    • Time Warner Cable and Comcast earned bottom-of-the-barrel scores in a consumer satisfaction survey published on May 20th, 2014.
    • Both companies have blocked broadcasters on their networks because they have walked out on talks for fees for "retransmission consent."
    • Neither company has actually tried to speed up Internet service in any significant way in over five years.
    • The production company (NBC) owned by Comcast gets an unfair advantage over other broadcastersÃ"then uses that advantage to transmit nothing special or unique

I think they should rename the combined company "Crappy Cable Internet and Phone" which will appropriately re-define what the consumer is about to experience. Renaming themselves CCIP would be a positive step.

Comment Re:Simple economics. (Score 2) 80 80

it has been a regulated industry

Industry regulation does not constitute a non-free market, just as industry deregulation does not constitute a free market. I think you did not mean to suggest that regulation un-frees markets.

While the telecommunications industry has always been regulated, there are many very competitive industries that face regulation. The regulation, in effect, creates a more level playing field for all competitors within a market. For example, the contractor I know faces regulation. He has to register as a contractor and keep his registration current for each state in which he works. The money he pays into the state for that registration goes into a fund that will pay homeowners for botched jobs where the contracting firm goes bankrupt. Contractors are regulated by local laws to require a permit for the work that they do (these regulations also cross-regulate homeowners as well). Work must be subjected to inspection so that the work performed meets building codes. But nobody is saying that contractors have a monopoly, that there is no free market for contractors. Indeed, it's a pretty free market.

To suggest that any regulation makes a market "un-free" is to not understand regulation. Or free markets.

Comment Re:Jurisdiction (Score 1) 210 210

And, certainly such a treaty does exist, else no court in the USA would have had jurisdiction to demand the payments. And, from the standpoint of operating websites, it is pretty easy to block whole countries from seeing your website. All it takes is editing a .htaccess file.

As to the banking issue, France is a signatory of a treaty within the European Community of Nations as well as the United States to sanction Iran regarding their development of atomic weapons. This is an agreement between the United States government, France and all like-minded governments that have decided that the sanctions are appropriate in view of the non-proliferation agreement signed by Iran (that's right, Iran under the Shah, but Iran, nonetheless).

Now, I am not an attorney and I do not play one on television, but my work takes me, quite frequently, into this area of international law, usually set up by treaties. In the United States, treaties are negotiated and signed by the Administration (the Executive) and ratified by the United States Senate. Many other countries also have a separate ratification process that follows a negotiation and signature. These treaties give the various courts in the various countries jurisdictionÃ"even though the violation did not occur within the borders of that court's country.

That is how international law works.

Comment Re:Simple (Score 0) 445 445

It's not so simple. I approached the FBI with a proposal to use the military's already proven laser guidance and tracking systems to detect and rapidly respond to these threats. They apparently filed it under "kook" and never responded. The FBI is not interested in actually solving these cases. They're interested in finding someone to make an example out of and hopes that'll provide enough deterrence.

It won't.

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