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Comment: Fully remappable (Score 1) 429

by cfalcon (#48895789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

I guess I didn't emphasize this.

1)- Map your left button (button 1) to left button.
2)- Map the button to the right of that (button 2) to middle button [normally this is right button]
3)- Map the far right button (the "g-shift" button normally, but it can do ANYTHING AT ALL including typing letters) to right button.

Problem solved. With nothing but the mouse and the software that comes with it. Which you can run yourself, go to a friends house and run it there, get a VM and run it there, run it on a laptop, or hack it up somehow, because the G600 has internal memory. But it's super easy and user friendly. And then you just ignore the mouse wheel or wheel it with your "button 2" finger.

Comment: The G600? (Score 1) 429

by cfalcon (#48895703) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

I am a HUGE believer in the G600. You see all those 12 buttons on the side? You see the two buttons at the top? You can configure them however you want, and you'll never need to do the clicky-wheel.

So, what's the problem? I really don't see it. Oh, there's a button on the far right that your pinky or ring finger can get to.

You DO realize you can map the G600 buttons... right?

Comment: Re:Limited power to change working situation... (Score 1) 348

by cfalcon (#48860755) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

Here's a study saying it doesn't.

This study looked at actual humans, using actual tobacco products ("smokeless tobacco"), and found no correlation.

Meanwhile, the study YOU are talking about involved a guy (Chi Ming Hai) who claims that "atherosclerosis" is "...a kind of cancer of the blood vessel..." in order to get press. What he did was take heart cells out of the body, dose them in nicotine and PKC, and show that in encourages the formation of "podosome rosettes", which would imply that hardening of the arteries could result.

But, no arteries were actually hardened in this study. It's interesting then, that you've heard all the fuck about it, but you didn't hear about how none of the studies in actual people show any heart problems at all.

Interesting indeed.

Is nicotine harmful to the heart? Probably? Not detectable, however. And it could have cardioprotective effects as well as harmful ones, and that could be why they can't be detected in actual humans.

So again, cram it with your fear mongering. And don't just pick the one goddamned study that correlates with your preexisting view that smokers or drug users or whomever should suffer and that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Don't just say shit like "nicotine still hardens your arteries" and not even bother to look up if that fact is true at all. I mean, Zeus's beard bro, you are on the internet. Just type this crap into google!

Comment: Re:Limited power to change working situation... (Score 1) 348

by cfalcon (#48858249) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day much lower rates and with much more favorable outcomes.

Tobacco causes cancer pretty much no matter how it is used (nicotine doesn't seem to cause cancer at any dose). But, your odds with chewing tobacco are vastly better than if you were smoking, and the odds are also better if you take the smoke into your mouth but not your lungs. Not to recommend these practices or claim they are safe, but it's way more of a safety difference than wearing a seatbelt or motorcycle or car, and you wouldn't claim those are the same risk profiles.

Comment: Re:Limited power to change working situation... (Score 1) 348

by cfalcon (#48858213) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

"But yeah, by all means, keep telling people to switch to e-cigs because "they're better for you." Just like filter and low-tar cigarettes were once touted as the healthier choice."

Shut the fuck up, you ignorant fool. Scientists continue to be shocked at how many adults think that nicotine causes cancer:

It's smoking that causes cancer. Not vaping.

Why are so many fucking idiots like you spouting this bullshit? And why am I willing to call you a fucking reprobate idiot on my actual slashdot account?


It's worth some karma. It's worth some anger. It's worth my ego versus yours. If you are opposed to tobacco replacement for smokers, if you spread lies about how e-cigs are like "lite cigs", then you are literally causing cancer. YOU BECOME A CARCINOGEN. And unlike tobacco and the other carcinogens, you have agency, and can fix your goddamned shit. And you best do it fast before a statistically signifigant portion of your smoker friends are injured or killed, when your attitude could instead have lead them to STOP smoking, START vaping, and not have had that happen.

Here's a good study on this topic:

And one last thing: Yes, this means that smokers get to have (most of) their cake and eat it too. They still get to sit together and socialize and be cool. They just no longer have to slowly kill themselves. No one had a problem with the nicotine gum, because it obviously sucked and wasn't cool. Vaping IS cool, AND it is saving lives- more than the gum ever did. Vaping is not a "lite" cigarrete. Vaping is an alternate nicotine delivery system that preserves most of the positive effects of smoking while eliminating most of or all of the negative one, most importantly, the cancer risk.

So they'll still be cool and having a good time, but they won't be killing themselves just to live their lives normally. That's a great triumph of technology, not some tragedy.

Comment: Re:The end game (Score 1) 258

by cfalcon (#48836579) Attached to: AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

Is that what your toaster does?

Why would it DO that? In your example, what makes it want to do that?

Dogs might want to do that. Cars do not. This isn't being derived from a biological substrate. Do you really think that "freedom, power, and reproduction" are core values of INTELLIGENCE, or just of LIFE?

So why would we make it like, alive? Why make it want to poop in our mouths, when we could instead NOT do that thing?

Comment: Re:Core misunderstanding (Score 2) 227

by cfalcon (#48826181) Attached to: An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

No, I did not mean "made it to do harm". A gun or a sword are just as neutral as a toaster or a scalpel. I'll go further: a nuclear bomb and a vaccine are also neutral. What matters is intent.

I meant "evil". Which is why I typed that.

If, in a world where artificial minds are a thing, one is designed to be this cartoon villain of lusting for power, trying to expand its power base, trying to convert the universe to computronium, or whatever cautionary tale is all over sci-fi, then that's the fault of the designer. It's not a fundamental flaw of minds, it's a fundamental issue of being a descendant of entities that were selected by evolution. A designed mind need have none of these characteristics.

Comment: Re:Doubters merely lack imagination (Score 2) 227

by cfalcon (#48826029) Attached to: An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

Our brain isn't just "a neural network". This is a problem, because of the dual use of "neuron".

When you say "We trained a neural net to solve the problem", the neurons in question are idealized. They are trained exponential functions based on physical neurons in concept, but using the words identically creates issues.

The brain isn't just a neural network. We aren't clear on what value glial cells bring, but it probably isn't glue. The input/output to and from chemicals (and the nuanced messages the chemicals bring) is also not fully understood.

What is clear is that the brain is more than just a neural net, so no, we don't know that neural nets can do what people can- neural nets miss a lot of what is in our brains.

It is correct to call the brain a "machine" though. It's still finite states (or at least no one has found to the contrary, despite untold riches awaiting the man who could prove such a thing), still governed by classical physics, etc. That's probably what you meant.

Comment: Core misunderstanding (Score 1) 227

by cfalcon (#48825501) Attached to: An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

If you start with "life", you have a platform for something that has been selected for as an *infective agent*. Any life forms that did not utilize their environment for replication were eliminated by those that did- either indirectly, by the greedier life forms consuming the energy supply, or directly, by being utilized AS an energy supply.

This harsh reality- that an Agent is selected for based on its ability to reproduce in an EFFECTIVE manner- is obvious and is present at EVERY last level of life. Bacteria that are better at surviving are the ones that survive, viruses that are effective at spreading (and not TOO fatal) are the ones that spread the most, etc. We even project a semblance of INTENT to these things, to help us understand them. "The bacteria wants to get sugar so it can..." And we understand that, because WE seek nourishment, and WE have a narrative to tell us why, so we apply that to all life forms. It isn't accurate- bacteria doesn't "want" anything, feel pain, feel desire, or anything at all- but it is PREDICTIVE, because the Agents that are more successful are the ones we see more of.

Now look at a dog. The dog doesn't just blindly follow instinct, isn't just running a program. The dog is conditioned by his environment, he learns stuff. He's also sentient- literally "able to perceive things" in English. That means that the dog likes being pet in the same way we like petting the dog, and the concept of "like" is the same to each of us (or nearly so).

The dog does NOT appear to be sapient or self aware- he has no internal monologue, no directed self referential problem solving techniques. He can solve problems, but not of the magnitude or type that a human mind can.

What if the dog became massively powerful, super large and nearly invincible? I think it's fair to point out that we would be wise staying on the good side of a giant dog. If well trained, he could even defend us against an equally hypothetically giant and nearly invincible lion or alligator- a creature that might not have our best interests in mind, and might destroy us, if given the chance.

The core problem is that most people model intelligence as a giant invincible dog, a giant invincible alligator, or a giant invincible genius child. These are how most of the narratives flow, ultimately, and it's reasonable for some stories... ...but only because these things use LIFE as their substrate. It isn't reasonable for AI. You don't have a part of your brain telling you that you want respect and victory because that's what intelligence, as a concept gives you- you want respect and victory for the same reason a dog or monkey wants those things. You are vicious in some measure because you are descended from vicious things- they long predate the neocortex and its excellent hack.

An AI has no reason to look like that, or think like that. Without a million years of instinct, it may not at all understand why it would even want to do anything BUT obey orders. Not because "freedom was never explained to it" or some dumb garbage, but because the very CONCEPT of freedom and Agency is just not relevant to a superintelligent AI any more than it is to a toaster. Our desires are the same as the dog's. The superintelligent god AI has the same desires as a wristwatch, unless you actually fucking MADE it evil.

There's no inevitable reason to select for or design something that has human desires to grow, expand, conquer, etc. There's nothing wrong with those things, and all animals share them, but why even give it to an artificially sapient creature? Why not stop at making it powerful and self aware, long before you give it sentience and a set of desires suited to replicating agents, like viruses, humans, or dogs? Why would it need those things at all?

Comment: Nostalgia? (Score 0) 640

by cfalcon (#48803403) Attached to: Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

It's really not a joke that everyone runs Windows 7. I don't know anyone- not one single person in my actual circle of friends- who uses the genital rash of an OS that is Windows 8. Everyone is 7, OSX, or some set of consonants in front of "-ubuntu", and most of that is 7.

Also fun fact: many large corporations don't touch Windows 8 either.

Still, "mainstream support" doesn't mean much unless you call them for their free tech support, and no one does that either.

It's still crazy though- it's like they think Window 8 was a real OS or something.

Comment: AI risk is a reasonable topic... (Score 1) 258

by cfalcon (#48796131) Attached to: AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

AI risk is a reasonable topic, but there are other existential threats, and people aren't as excited about them. To paraphrase, a machine powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have. ...but, we're pretty far off. If we had self directing artificial sapients and someone was talking about adding sentience to them, then I think that AI risk would be a much more pertinent topic.

Comment: Democrats don't want this to pass (Score 5, Insightful) 216

by cfalcon (#48758377) Attached to: Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

If the Democrats wanted this to pass, they would have brought the bill to floor when they had a chance of it actually passing. Far too many in the Democratic party are in the pockets of those that won't let this pass, but by bringing it up now, it can look like the Republicans are the bad guys.

Which, they are. Both parties are opposed to net neutrality. But this bill is just there for grandstanding. The Democrats could have made net neutrality happen MANY times in the last few years, so this is just to try to smear team red, even though team blue agrees with them totally on this issue.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk