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Comment: Some data is streamed (Score 1) 461

by cyberfringe (#46461031) Attached to: The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery
I have a friend at Pratt Whitney who consults for Korea Air. Quite a bit of engine-related maintenance data is already streamed from the plane to the arrival airport, but I'm not sure at what point this starts. Sometime during descent I think. The idea is to give ground maintenance people a heads up on any issues needing attention before the next take-off.
Hardware Hacking

How To Take Control of a Car's Electronics, Cheap 109

Posted by timothy
from the at-that-point-you've-already-controlled-the-door dept.
mspohr writes with this excerpt from The Register: "Spanish hackers have been showing off their latest car-hacking creation; a circuit board using untraceable, off-the-shelf parts worth $20 that can give wireless access to the car's controls while it's on the road. The device, which will be shown off at next month's Black Hat Asia hacking conference, uses the Controller Area Network (CAN) ports car manufacturers build into their engines for computer-system checks. Once assembled, the smartphone-sized device can be plugged in under some vehicles, or inside the bonnet of other models, and give the hackers remote access to control systems. 'A car is a mini network,' security researcher Alberto Garcia Illera told Forbes. 'And right now there's no security implemented.'"

Comment: Is it misdirection? (Score 1) 504

by cyberfringe (#45706113) Attached to: CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying
One possibility I have not seen discussed is whether the Intelligence Community is actually directing this whole Snowden-NSA revelation thing. Spying has much in common with effective magic: the art of directing attention elsewhere is crucial. What are we NOT paying attention to because of these revelations? Why do we believe the content of any particular Snowden release? As many have pointed out, why should believe anything the NSA says publicly? Easy answer, you shouldn't.

Comment: Personal promotion on Wikipedia (Score 1) 166

by cyberfringe (#45211773) Attached to: Wikipedia Actively Battling PR Sockpuppets
A not-unrelated problem is the creation of individual entries for living "non-famous" people. Every time I turn around I find another puff bio on someone that looks like a rip-mix-burn from their LinkedIn page. Some of these are for people I know personally, and it leaves me shaking my head. I suppose I could edit the prose to bring supposed accomplishments down to size, etc., and that might be the right thing to do, but who wants to start a war?

Comment: Re:NSF not writing checks (Score 3, Informative) 1144

by cyberfringe (#45054877) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?
The are many government agencies that fund basic and applied research. NSF is the flagship, but the others are no small potatoes either. I am precisely in the situation you describe, along with many colleagues. Even if they resolve everything tomorrow and play nicely together from now on, the impact on on-going research is huge. People don't realize the importance of federal support for scientific research.

Comment: Re:Random homicidal moments (Score 3, Interesting) 1144

by cyberfringe (#45054767) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?
I feel the same way and I'm perilously close to a furlough situation myself. We are rapidly getting to a point where the actions of the RWNJ's and their oligarch sponsors will be tantamount to sedition. Some argue we've already passed that threshold. Many GOP members of Congress have vowed to "dismantle" the Federal government. They are the new Confederacy, and the actions they are taking with this GOP shutdown are entirely consistent with their words and previous deeds — in fact, they have no incentive to stop because it is what they have promised to do. They are gleeful to see the government fail, and don't care if that means our Democracy fails too. They certainly don't believe in majority rule, and that is a bedrock principle of democracy. I don't know how to stop them, or what legal methods are available to the President or other elected officials. I fear the worst. Good luck to you. I'll see you at the barricades.

Comment: Federally Sponsored Research clobbered (Score 4, Informative) 1144

by cyberfringe (#45054669) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?
My colleagues and I work at a non-profit research institute affiliated with the State of Florida university system. We just do research. No students, no classes. It's all soft money and the vast majority of our funding, maybe 90%, comes as contracts and grants from Federal agencies. There are two huge problems that are hurting us right now. First, if the government cannot make the incremental payments to us on existing grants or contracts, then we don't get paid. That is happening right now. Not only are we not hiring, people are taking salary cuts or going to half time or worse. The payments from the government come at different times throughout the year and are different depending on the grant and the agency, so it is not a issue of the lights suddenly getting turned off. But the impact, however incremental, is very real and it is NOW. I have enough cash on hand from my largest existing grant to keep myself and my group going through December maybe. That brings up the second problem, which is the whole proposal process. Continuity in our research projects requires that we are always in "proposal mode." Grants and contracts are for limited amounts for limited duration. It can take a long time and a lot of effort to get funded since the level of competition is very high. (Competition is ok - I welcome being pushed to do my best.) Right now I have proposals and white papers and discussions with program managers that are all in limbo - and the clock is ticking. Even if they are approved, it will take many months, maybe half a year, to receive the first increment of funding. What's more, the tendency of program managers when they are uncertain about the funds available to their program is to be VERY conservative about making new commitments, regardless of proposal quality. They are also really p.o. 'ed about being furloughed and this makes them surly. In such circumstances, it is difficult to talk about research continuity.

Comment: Re:*cough*Asimov*cough* (Score 1) 277

by cyberfringe (#44614829) Attached to: Why Computers Still Don't Understand People
Constructing a deontological ethical model that works in all situations has proved extraordinarily difficult. Indeed, if Asimov's rules had worked very well then the stories would have been incredibly boring! You are probably right about AI in the near term, but that is uninteresting to me. I'd rather work on the problems coming down the road in 10 or 20 years and have some some answers when the question really comes up about how to assure ethical behavior in robots. That's not as far uptime as you may think.

Comment: Re:AI has a high burden of proof (Score 2) 277

by cyberfringe (#44600755) Attached to: Why Computers Still Don't Understand People

A true artificial intelligence will show evidence of maintaining a mental model of reality, and of testing that model against incoming data, and adjusting the model when necessary. This strongly implies that the AI models itself in some manner, such that it can "imagine" a different way of "looking" at the world, and then judge whether the new model is a better way of thinking about things than the old model. The process is clearly fractal, since at the next level the software would be "imagining" a different way of judging which of two models was better, and eventually reaching the point where it makes decisions about whether in the current context it should act pragmatically or ethically.

Indeed. "Mental" modeling — maintaining and manipulating an abstract computational representation of beliefs — is at the heart of strong AI. Such models include, for example, beliefs about the world, beliefs about other agents (including what they believe about you), and beliefs about self. This is where computer scientists, linguists, cognitive psychologists and others all have some common ground and interdisciplinary research can be very productive. Learning is the ability to make systematic normative changes to mental models as a consequence of reasoning about experience; normative in the sense that such changes improve the ability to reason with and about the model in ways that maximize some value (e.g., ability to make accurate predictions). Experience involves reasoning about both the outside "real" world and the internal reasoning process itself. This is where your comment about "the next level" is germane. Those of us working on this topic call reasoning at multiple levels "meta-cognition", that is, thinking about thinking. There is no theoretical reason to limit meta-cognition to any specific number of levels. Current research on meta-cognition typically considers the level (or two) "above" (abstracted from) experiential belief modeling and action planning. This is also about the right level of abstraction for ethical reasoning ("would", "could", "should", "may" and their opposites). I've observed that most researchers assume a utilitarian ethics, which makes some sense if maximizing performance is the overall imperative. However, I count myself among those who believe that future AIs must be able to reason about moral imperatives if we expect them to behave themselves appropriately as we live and work alongside each other. Ronald Arkin at Ga.Tech is a leader in this area and he is a pioneer on the topic of computational methods to help ensure ethical behavior by potentially lethal robots.

Comment: Re:wtf (Score 2) 662

by cyberfringe (#44040695) Attached to: Supreme Court Decides Your Silence May Be Used Against You
This is correct. They can detain you during the conduct of an investigation. It is also useless to ask, if you are arrested, what the charge is. The copy has no obligation to tell you and may not know. All the police need is a reasonably suspicion that a crime has occurred/is occurring. The Prosecutor is the one that charges you.

Comment: re: cop tricks Re:wtf (Score 1) 662

by cyberfringe (#44040583) Attached to: Supreme Court Decides Your Silence May Be Used Against You
Truth. I know this first hand and also from lawyer friends. First thing to remember is that the police are not obligated to tell the truth. In fact, they are trained in various methods of deception and manipulation to get you to talk. [p] Second thing to remember is this: cops are going to do what they're going to do. You can object to a search (and you should, always), and not say anything (never talk unless your attorney says it is ok), and the police will still search, they will still arrest you. That's their job, and the prosecutor and judge sort things out, if you are lucky. Asserting your rights won't intimidate the police, or probably stop them, but it may help you later. Oh, you can also sue them afterwards, but do you really have the $$, Time, and do you really want to become a "person of interest"? Good luck!

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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