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Comment: Re:I am reminded of pigs and engineers here (Score 1) 593

by disambiguated (#46157043) Attached to: Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live
If you assume that the fossils we find are equally likely to have come from any time in the past, you would expect a continuum of fossils. The tiny percentage of fossils that have survived are not equally distributed though. So you get little slices of times/places where fossils survived, and the rest are gone forever.

Poke all the holes you want/can in evolutionary theory -- it won't improve the alternative theories at all.

Comment: Re:Java, is that still around? (Score 1) 233

by disambiguated (#43297355) Attached to: Everything About Java 8
I don't (and wouldn't) have a JVM installed so that probably explains why I don't notice it on my desktop. It used to be useful on the server side, but every month that goes by it falls further behind. Java 8 is not going to be significant enough to change that. At this point, the only reason to use Java is because that's what you've always used.

Comment: Re:Biometric system is insecure by design (Score 1) 139

by disambiguated (#43185653) Attached to: Doctors Bypass Biometric Scanners With Fake Fingers
You're doing it wrong. The biometric data is not like a password -- it's like a username. Do you change your username whenever you change your password? Of course not. You don't want it to be changeable or revocable. The password is separate from the biometric id. That's what you change. And obviously permissions associated with the id are modifyable/revocable. If the biometric id is compromised, you change the password, and perhaps flag the account to notify security if it is used (and the swat team if it's used with the old "revoked" password.)

Comment: Re:Ah! (Score 1) 354

by disambiguated (#42672837) Attached to: Why Ray Kurzweil's Google Project May Be Doomed To Fail
I've heard that kind of argument before, and I don't find it convincing. First of all, We don't really know all that much about embryonic development, compared to what we know we don't know about it yet. We know even less about consciousness. We certainly do know something, and we're learning more about it all the time. I just think we have a long way to go before we can do anything like emulating consciousness in a computer. And I think there are good reasons to be skeptical that it can be done in a digital computer at all. But assuming that it is possible, we will have much more than enough computing power laying around long before we know enough to use it effectively to that end. Creating something that can create something to do it for us is not going to make it that much easier, in my opinion. If we knew how to do that, we'd be most of the way toward just finishing it ourselves.

I agree that it is strangely likely that we will "invent" AI without really understanding how it works. There are a few ways that that could happen. But if it happens that way we can't really claim to have "figured it out." Maybe we could ask it how it works :)

By the way, I didn't mean to sound so critical of Dennett's book -- I loved it. Anyone interested in the subject should read it. Come to think of it, I'd recommend just about anything he's written.

Comment: Re:It may be flawed, but that doesn't sound like i (Score 4, Informative) 354

by disambiguated (#42652319) Attached to: Why Ray Kurzweil's Google Project May Be Doomed To Fail
Learning without forgetting is possible if, for example, you reconstruct the network, preserving the old one (and this can be optimized so the entire network doesn't have to be duplicated.)

But I'm curious why you think a mind is necessarily a neural network. Are you saying there is no other possible way to construct a mind? As far as I can tell, there are lots of other designs, many of them far superior to neural networks, especially for such basic things as representing knowledge.

Comment: Re:Wrong approach (Score 1) 244

by disambiguated (#42570515) Attached to: Should Microsoft Switch To WebKit?
They look on the surface like .Net based solutions, but the .net components are thin wrappers around COM. If anything, Microsoft is moving back toward native and away from .net (although they seem admittedly schizophrenic about it.) But that doesn't matter, because one thing we can be sure of is that backward compatibility with COM is not going away. Actually .NET is just the new COM anyway (In fact it started out being called COM 3.0... then they dropped the name).

As for adding ActiveX support to Webkit, well, your idea of trivial is different from mine. But lets say they did it. As someone pointed out elsewhere in this thread, there are hundreds of interfaces involved. Implementing them in a way that was backward compatible with existing COM would just tie their fork of Webkit to Windows, for what exactly?

panic: kernel trap (ignored)