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Comment Mod up: parent's article is critical (Score 1) 392

John Walker called such a device a vacuum propeller. He didn't have any particular ideas about how the device would work, but he does have a nice analogy involving propellers.

The article Red Jesus linked is critical. It helped me understand the whole point of this Story. I know I shouldn't RTFA, but I couldn't help it this time.

Comment Failure my ass, it worked as intended (Score 1) 236

Given how it blanketed the sky, I'd expect it is some sort of anti-missile/anti-aircraft defense component. Possibly related to stealth technology detection. Keep in mind the Russians have been making a nice chunk of change from helping Iran build nuclear plants and defend them. This would be the ideal time for the Russians to point out to the West, through a highly visible demonstration like this, that there may be some surprises in store for an attack on Iran.

My 2 cents.

Comment Re:I'm writing this comment from 2017 (Score 1) 338

Actually, since it was a DJ Shadow sample, it would be the RIAA that would block it.

Actually, as a few others have pointed out, it was originally from the classic sci/horror movie, John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness." Good stuff.

DJ Shadow must have got his hands on the vinyl of that movie's soundtrack. ("Endtroducing" was a great album.)

Comment If an Israeli company is offering this tech ... (Score 1) 256

... shouldn't we assume the CIA and Mossad already know how to evade this detection?

Folks, the real news here isn't that DNA evidence could be forged. That was sort of a no-brainer to anyone who understands the parallels with digital evidence.

The real news is that the ability to DETECT the forgery is now being sold by a company in a nation with arguably the best intelligence service in the world.

This isn't "space alien with mind control ray" tinfoil hat stuff. It's basic extrapolation and logic.

Comment Re:And I'll be the first to say: (Score 1) 256

cases should be built on a preponderance of the evidence

Actually, and I'm sure you meant to say it, that's "Beyond a reasonable doubt" ... a much higher standard than the preponderance of evidence standard. (Criminal vs. civil.)

The main problem here is that juries are being asked to make findings of fact for which they arguably have no qualifications to make. Questions of science belong with scientists, not laypeople, and so juries are forced to rely on a battle of expert witnesses. As you point out, the 3 piece suit, authority, and style of an expert can be decisive, even when the evidence itself is hardly "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Comment Re:Undue Credit to Kurzweil (Score 3, Insightful) 598

I feel he has done a great disservice to the field of artificial intelligence by promising unrealistic things in interviews to the lay person. Disappointment is a sure fire way to get yourself branded as a snake oil salesman religious nut.

A disappointed public threatens research funding, but an unprepared public threatens chaos.

I'm more concerned with making sure we're thinking ahead to the radical change that is likely to come, be it in 10 years or 40, than to be concerned that lay people will distrust AI researchers.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen