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Comment: Because they don't understand purpose or intention (Score 2) 277

by divisionbyzero (#44597423) Attached to: Why Computers Still Don't Understand People

That's why. They don't have desires, fears, or joys. Without those it's impossible to understand, in any meaningful sense, human beings. That's not to say that they can't have them but it's likely to come with trade-offs that are unappealing. And for good measure, they also don't understand novelty and cannot for the most part improvise. All of which are considered hallmarks of human intelligence.

Comment: Re:Or we could just... (Score 1) 171

by divisionbyzero (#44239189) Attached to: Fighting Street Gangs With Military Counter-Insurgency Software

How about legalizing or decriminalizing those things sold on a black market removing the financial incentives?

Stuff like meth, heroin, difficult-to-trace guns, stolen property, murder-for-hire services? The average street level thugs works longer hours for effectively less than minimum wage anyway, so it's not as if they are going to become perfectly rational citizens when the easy money is cut off.

How about early intervention through more funding for pre-schools in urban areas to provide the structure the kids' parents cannot?

No matter how much you `early-intervention' a student, seeing their neighbors killed in a drive-by or stabbed by a junkie over a pair of shoes is going to fuck them up and cause them to despair and lead them to seek revenge (usually by joining a gang).

Yes, those might be good ideas, but the gangsters have got to fucking go before anything like that can even begin to work. A police force not consisting of bullies, morons, or cowards too scared to get out of their fucking car would go a long way too. How to attack this problem? I do not know. But it doesn't appear that softer methods are working very much. How many more generations can we afford to let be eaten alive before we can bring out the big guns?

And you would know this from first hand experience? Or, are you relying on "common sense"? Human beings are more resilient than you might expect and many kids that grow up in these environments don't turn into gangsters.

Comment: Re:Or we could just... (Score 4, Insightful) 171

give them jobs

Give them???? How many trillions of dollars have been transfered from the workers to the non-workers, and how effective has it actually been?

Besides, why work mowing grass and digging ditches (what else are they qualified for, given their piss poor grades in their piss poor schools) when (a) that's "Mexican work", and (b) you can make more by selling drugs and living off the dole?

Well, I'm glad we got the two most worn-out stereotypes out of the way so quickly. Now maybe we can have a useful conversation. How about legalizing or decriminalizing those things sold on a black market removing the financial incentives? How about early intervention through more funding for pre-schools in urban areas to provide the structure the kids' parents cannot? Or about a million other things that would be more effective than "hand-outs" or "policing the lazy".

Comment: Decentralization and diversification (Score 1) 395

by divisionbyzero (#44143561) Attached to: How Silicon Valley's Tech Reign Will End

The tension created by "City vs. Suburbs" is strictly for the benefit of the story. Existing companies are opening new offices in urban areas but for the most part they aren't closing offices in the suburbs. Sure, new companies are often starting in cities but they will likely open suburban offices if they survive long enough. It's a healthy kind of diversification that will likely reach some sort of equilibrium over the next decade or two. Does that mean the stature of suburbs will decrease a bit while that of cities increases? Sure, but talk of "winners" and "losers" in some binary or zero-sum sense is overblown.

Comment: Re:Missing the point... (Score 1) 259

by divisionbyzero (#44098211) Attached to: Introducing the NSA-Proof Crypto-Font

I think most commenters here will end up completely missing the point, just as I initially did. Of course it will be trivial to bypass any possible protection the font might briefly provide, but that isn't the point. The making of the font is a political statement against government machinery and software spying on us and taking our humanity away. As such, I'd say it's quite clever and attention-getting.

Now I'll sit back and watch 50 different people get up-modded for pedantically explaining how it will be trivial to train an OCR to recognize the font and how software reads the bytecodes and doesn't care about the font and blah blah blah...

Is that a giant whooshing sound I hear?

Either way, it's still lame. I mean the pedants are obnoxious but so are pointless political gestures.

Oh gosh, my sincerest apologies. I'll be sure to let everyone know that all political gestures need to be cleared by you first. You know, to make sure they're not "lame".

Yeah, please do. It'd save everyone a lot of wasted time and effort. Thanks.

Comment: Re:Missing the point... (Score 1) 259

by divisionbyzero (#44081453) Attached to: Introducing the NSA-Proof Crypto-Font

I think most commenters here will end up completely missing the point, just as I initially did. Of course it will be trivial to bypass any possible protection the font might briefly provide, but that isn't the point. The making of the font is a political statement against government machinery and software spying on us and taking our humanity away. As such, I'd say it's quite clever and attention-getting.

Now I'll sit back and watch 50 different people get up-modded for pedantically explaining how it will be trivial to train an OCR to recognize the font and how software reads the bytecodes and doesn't care about the font and blah blah blah...

Is that a giant whooshing sound I hear?

Either way, it's still lame. I mean the pedants are obnoxious but so are pointless political gestures.

Comment: Re:MIT Hacks (Score 3, Insightful) 86

by divisionbyzero (#43949557) Attached to: MIT President Tells Grads To 'Hack the World'

At MIT, the word "hack" means something very specific, and not criminal or unethical. It is a impressive, creative, and clever achievement.

From http://hacks.mit.edu/

The word hack at MIT usually refers to a clever, benign, and "ethical" prank or practical joke, which is both challenging for the perpetrators and amusing to the MIT community (and sometimes even the rest of the world!). Note that this has nothing to do with computer (or phone) hacking (which we call "cracking").

So, the president of MIT was urging MIT students to pull clever practical jokes? That's stupid or he meant something different. Presumably he meant "hack" in the same way that people who have been actually involved with computers understand it: exploring the possibilities of a system (often including some that the inventor never intended) for the sake of discovery and in some cases using those discoveries to create unique and innovative outcomes. I get that you are trying to make a distinction between "hacking" and "cracking" but "hacking" has a meaning that transcends the special case of practical jokes that are a part of MIT folklore and if the president of MIT did not have the broader meaning in mind, then his comments are almost comical.

Comment: Re:What groundswell? (Score 2) 246

by divisionbyzero (#43934961) Attached to: One Year After World IPv6 Launch — Are We There Yet?

Not a single business partner, client, or home user that I've dealt with for the last 3 year has an active IPv6 DNS registration. _None_.

The critical factor for IPv4 exhaustion was the lack of "/24" addres spaces for businesses and buildings. This has been impressively ameliorated by the use of NAT, which shares numerous intenral and protected IP addresses behind a single or pair of public addresses and should be the _default_ configuraiton in most businesses and organizaitons, simply to reduce the constant external vulnerability scanning of any host directly connected to the Internet.

The growth of high capacity load balancers for web servers and other network services has also helped tremendously, allowing a wide set of behind the scenes hosts to be serviced by a single exposed device and reducing the IPv4 footprint of these services. Also, people have learned how to economize in the ir IPv4 use: They _do no tneed_ a different IP address for their email server, their FTP server, their web server, their phone server, their chat server, and their IRC server. The services are being easily funneled through a single exposed router or firewall, far more efficiently than before.

The result has been that the great need for IPv6 simply has not yet occurred, and is unlikely to occur for another 10 years. The foundation of the need for IPv6 is basically that of ubiquitous comuputing: the idea that every single device scattered around the home or around the workplace will have its own IP address for remote communications, and they _should not have_ public IP addresses. Providing public, routable IP addresses puts them at risk of attack at all times: putting them in the unroutable, easily tracked and maintained IPv4 address space handles almost all internal network needs quie effectively and is a signigicant security advantage and eases scanning and tracking of local resources.

Um, yeah, creating a single bottleneck and point of attack to the internet seems like a great idea... It's not that your ideas don't have merit (although you do over state and misstate some of them) but that they only address the needs of a certain set of users. NAT is not an unmitigated good. NAT has significant shortcomings.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!

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