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Comment: Re: Why wouldn't it be? (Score 1) 96

by mark-t (#48648519) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Legally speaking, identity theft is the assumption of another person's identity for the purposes of defrauding either that individual or some agency.

It's my understanding that purpose, when used in legalese and referring to criminal activity, simply refers to any intent on the part of the perpetrator, or any intent that can reasonably be assumed, barring extenuating circumstances, and additionally may even include even entirely unintentional consequences that happen to arise or else are very likely to arise as a result of the activity.

Comment: Re:interesting idea. Legally, cops can't generally (Score 1) 96

by whoever57 (#48648115) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Having a habit of asking all of your criminal buddies to sign such a statement, and signing it yourself claiming that you are a cop, would tend to show that you know it's a sham.

But it's not a sham for the hypothetical real cop. The fact that all the documents signed by non-cops were sham documents isn't important.

Note: don't get your legal advice from /. -- it's likely to be wrong.

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 536

by mark-t (#48647405) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

It doesn't matter if you "blame automation" or not... as smarter and smarter robots get made, we'd be talking about a future where as much as 80% of today's even very high skilled jobs, and essentially 100% of the low-skill ones, will be taken over by machines, leaving an unsustainable number of people unemployed, and with no ability to sustain themselves without resorting to crime, because the economy is not just going to magically disappear simply because it might seem that an advanced enough technology might make such a thing possible. This is a pretty damn large problem, and it's not going to go away just because automation has always ultimately resulted in more jobs in the past because we are talking about a completely different order of magnitude of scale here, and while we may be on the technological cusp of something like that happening within the next couple of decades, we are not anywhere *close* to being socially ready to accommodate that kind of change.

That's what I think people are really afraid of when it comes to very large scale automation of traditionally very high skill jobs, and not just the notion of losing their "precious capitalism", as was suggested above. And unfortunately, the people who have the greatest incentive to want to avoid it also have virtually no ability to influence such an outcome.

Comment: Re:What took them so long? (Score -1) 166

by noshellswill (#48646691) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'
Godel sez you're all fyucked-up. A computer sissyboi. A nerdling.  Compren'de ? Maths creating humans cannot be algorithmic devices. Period.  In any process, at each step of human intervention a novel motif may be introduced  of character utterly unpredictable by any machine or algorithm; or a machine defined motif may be **scotched**  even if (especially if!) never before seen by the human; call this error.making if you wish ."sticks & stones may break ..."  Anyrate it's fool-proof security provided by any human fool. That's why humans make more secure machine operators than any computer system. 

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 536

by mark-t (#48645195) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?
You accuse me of failing to see why an economy could become obsolete, but you appear to fail to see the all-too-probable scenario that it will not. In your hypothetical future, there may certainly not be any kind of real need for any kind of economy if everyone were willing to play by such rules, but you fail to illustrate exactly what would motivate the people with the most money and power to want to give that economy up in the first place.

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 536

by mark-t (#48642991) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Even with today's technology all 7.5 billion of us could live like kings and queens. It is pure pure greed and arrogance that prevents it.

Quite possibly... but why do you think better technology will change that situation? If anything, wouldn't it only make matters worse?

With machines doing the work, the free abundance is even more obvious.

With machines doing the work, there will be fewer jobs available for human beings, which in and of itself is not a problem except for this annoying fact that people need money to live.

"Oh, but we can replace our capitalistic system with a socialized one", you might say... except the reality of a socialized system that can take care of people who are not able to work requires a majority of the population to be paying taxes, which requires that they are earning an income. in a situation where most people cannot find work at all because all of their jobs have been replaced by increasingly intelligent machines, any attempt at a social welfare system to support them would collapse almost immediately.

Comment: I'll never forget the summer of '87 in Edmonton (Score 1) 93

by mark-t (#48642869) Attached to: Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared

I was out mowing the lawn at my parents' place one day on a Wednesday afternoon in late July of that year, and the strangest thing happened to me that I had absolutely no explanation for at the time. I cannot describe the sensation any other way than to say that I was suddenly afraid of the sky. The weather seemed entirely fine by all appearances, with only a smattering of clouds in the sky, but all I wanted to do was just abandon the lawn mower right where it was and get inside. Of course, intellectually I knew it was absurd to be afraid of the sky, and I pushed aside the feelings and finished my task, but it was still the strangest sensation I think I had ever felt, and if mowing the lawn had required more concentration, I probably would not have been able to finish it on account of being so distracted

Some 48 hours later or so, the largest tornado that had ever been seen in that area until that time ripped through the city, killing more than 2 dozen people, destroying several hundred homes, and doing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. I remember when I was taking the bus the next day to where I worked at the time, I went by one of the areas where the tornado had touched down and the devastation was unlike anything I had ever seen in my life prior to that point.

I often wondered since that event, however, if what I was interpreting as being "afraid of the sky" only a couple of days before was some sort of survival instinct that was trying to kick in... to get me out of harms way, even though I did not know exactly what that harm was. Certainly it would be no surprise to me at all if many animals might happen to possess something similar, and lacking the intellectual reasoning of a human who could discard such a sensation on a rational basis, as I did at the time, would instead surrender their actions to doing whatever those feelings are telling them to do, and get the bloody hell out of the area.

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 536

by mark-t (#48642771) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

I think what people are scared of is the their precious capitalism will become obsolete

I believe it's a little more fundamental than that.... I suspect that people fear not being able to afford to live in society at all, because as more jobs that were previously not automatable get replaced by increasingly sophisticated machines that can do everything that the human who did that job did at a lower overall cost, the jobless situation will rapidly become too large for even any form of socialization infrastructure to support. The relatively few rich people will survive relatively unscathed, but the vastly larger number of poorer people will have no choice but to resort to stealing, or simply starve to death.

That's what bothers people about the age of intelligent robots replacing workers, not their "precious capitalism".

Comment: Re:Sounds like Iraq being accused of having WMDs (Score 1) 222

by mark-t (#48642691) Attached to: North Korea Denies Responsibility for Sony Attack, Warns Against Retaliation
Most security violations don't result in personal threats being made on the safety of employees that work for the company. Unless you are suggesting that was just something Sony made up to generate sympathy, this attack on Sony was not just an illustration of poor Sony security practice.

Comment: Re:Sony security: strong or weak? (Score 2) 325

Apparently this critter is so new that by the time we checked, only a few AV companies had caught on to it.

What this shows yet again is that anti-virus scanners are a flawed methodology. There will always be a delay between a virus being released and the signature updates getting to the clients. It's inherent in the concept.

Unfortunately, some early technology journalists were partially responsible for this because, in reviews, they ranked anti-virus products that identified threats by signature higher than ones that identified threats through behaviour -- and this was because signature analysis also provided a name to the threat. In other words, the flawed idea that if you tell the user a name for the threat, you provide better protection than if you just block it. This reinforced the concept of signature analysis and slowed down research of identification of threats based on generic behavioural patterns.

Comment: Re:Who wants a watch that you have to recharge dai (Score 1) 228

by mark-t (#48638859) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

I honestly can't understand why it's so much harder to charge a phone and a watch every night than it is to charge a phone alone.

Would it be any easier to understand if I said that I don't generally ever take my watch off? Plus, half of the time, I will forget to charge my phone at night anyways... Although the battery will usually last long enough that I can recharge it when I get to work in the morning. Since I do not really need my cell phone to be portable while I am working at my desk, this is not an issue. It would be a royal pain in the ass to have to plug in my watch too, however.... because then I can't wear my watch during the day, when I actually *USE* it.... either that, or I have to spend the day being tethered by the wrist to a cable that is charging my phone.

1 Sagan = Billions & Billions