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Comment Re:Erm (Score 4, Informative) 37

We've had this shit in the UK for over a decade or is this some other kind of battery operated carnage?

The show in the UK (RobotWars) was based off the original US BattleBots.

What I find interesting is that since RobotWars ran for longer and had several of the same teams competing every year you got to see them basically find some of the best ways to win (HypnoDisc, Chaos II and Razor), interestingly enough looking at the new BattleBots it seems that almost all of the bots there either try to reinvent the wheel and come up with some stupid new gimmick like minibots, flamethrowers or other useless, stupid things; or try to mimic the big three from Robot Wars.

Still weirds me out how many people want to make a flipper bot and go the electric route, when clearly a pneumatic flipper is far superior - admittedly far less controllable, but it will actually flip or throw robots. Like, look at this season of BattleBots, there are several flipper bots - but most are electrical flippers, so those bots tend to get into wrestling matches where they sort of lift another robot and push them around, then you have something like Bronco that basically just drives at the other robots, tackles them to the wall and fires the pneumatic flipper, sending the other bots out over the edge - I know which one I prefer.
Kinetic spinners are as effective and fun to watch as ever, even though the BattleBots guys kinda sucked at designing them, the disc design pioneered by HypnoDisc is obviously superior to the "two hammers" design showed in this season on BattleBots, as it is less likely to get slammed to a halt, burning out the engine or basically break itself at the joints.

Comment Re:Isn't that how Skynet was started? (Score 1) 74

How would we ever know for sure when it happens. Every time we make a definition for AI, and then reach that milestone, we end up moving the goalposts because "that's not really AI." Just shows that we can't even define it properly, same as we can't define self-aware with a set of rules that we can use to test if something is truly self aware or not.

Just because you say you're self-aware is not sufficient. I have to trust you, because I have no test that can definitively prove you are one way or another.

I doubt we could ever really know, chances are that if we ever create an AI it wont be anything remotely similar to human, mentally speaking at least.

I mean, first of all the hardware and the limitations imposed by that hardware is COMPLETELY different, that said the "senses" an AI would have would be completely different as well, like, why would we ever give an AI eyes or ears if it does not need to ever process visual or audio data? Its senses would be "data", "different data" and "more different data", its whole concept of reality would be different and wholly alien to us humans.

It's really no different from us ever being able to really understand an alien civilization.

Comment Re:Pretty Amazing Really (Score 2) 32

I've never been hit by one of these, but I realize it can cost people a lot of money due to some shitheads. I'm really glad a lot of these keys have been found and made public. I'm sure this won't be the end of ransomware...people will just use new keys, but hopefully this will help some of those who have clicked on a not-a-flash upgrade or bad e-mail attachment.

The droppers for these things are usually based in websites, no clicking on sketchy attachments required. Simply a plausible(ish) looking e-mail from a plausible(ish) sounding organization with a link to a site that will use a browser exploit of some kind and drop the thing onto the computer.

Comment Re:This isn't news (Score 1) 310

it will go a long way to reducing the amount of organized crime in this and other countries that make their profits off the back of illegal drug sales

These crime gangs will just look for some other large profit activity. If drugs were legalised, do you think they'd all re-train as accountants?

No, but a significant amount of them would.
It's easy to paint all drug dealers as these evil super criminals who do nothing but profit on the misery of others. And yes, there are some who are like that, but honestly, a significant amount of drug dealers simply like making money and would go legit if they could do so safely.

Comment Re:I hope this is a april fools. (Score 1) 187

No, but I remember the Cue Cat. No less than $185 million was invested in this ridiculous venture. I could never figure out how anyone ever thought this was a good idea, even before the benefit of hindsight. Not only ridiculously impractical, but privacy-invading and prone to security issues? Woot!

Isn't the concept behind that CueCat thing basically the same as what is behind QR codes these days?

Comment Re: This is great news (Score 1) 124

Your doctor doesn't want you to know aboyt this 500-year-old remedy for venereal disease.

Hint: it's mercury.

Not every old remedy is good for you. If you get into the history of medicine, you'll find lots of old remedies that are harmful.

I don't know man, I haven't had any disease trepanning or a good blood letting couldn't deal with, well there was this one time where I had to drink a gallon or mercury to get over a...ahem..personal disease.

Comment Re:So, should I just read reddit? (Score 1) 124

Then there's marinol. They extracted the THC from pot in some mis-guided effort to get the medicinal effects without admitting they screwed up with the war on drugs. And of course, it was to be far more expensive than even the black market herb it replaced. It failed since they lost at least half of the beneficial effects and potentiated the tendency to cause psychosis. Turns out the CBD is as important as the THC.

Not completely true, yes Marinol was developed because growing weed was illegal, but it was not just pure extracted THC, it was "synthetic THC". As I understood it, the Marinol drug was developed because a lot of people did not want to smoke weed, they wanted a simple and easy to swallow pill.

Comment Re:It works at least as well... (Score 1) 124

Killing MRSA is easy. Trivial, even. You can do it with steam, alcohol, or dozens of other disinfecting agents.

Any info about the prophylactic dosage there?

Three or four liters of rubbing alcohol delivered through epidural injection should do the trick, although you might want to hook up a continuous drip through a central line to make absolutely sure.

Comment Re:Boo hoo (Score 2) 247

Many, many words

Yes, and the Apollo program was just fireworks with an unlimited budget.

I realize you, and many others, have a lot of axes to grind with the NSA, but they are an organization of skilled people who actually know what they are doing.
If it is so easy to do this, why haven't the Russian internet criminals rolled anything out on this scale? It seems to me that a platform like this would be all kinds of ideal for criminal purposes.

And saying that you cannot put any of your work on a resume is just a boldfaced lie, yes it is true you cannot write on your resume: "I developed the HDD firmware hack that EQUATIONDRUG used" or "I was heavily involved in wiretapping of Burmese embassies in the period from (x) to (y)", but there is nothing stopping you from putting in "I worked extensively with hardware programming and device security" or "I worked extensively with telecommunications infrastructure and security in the South East Asia area".
You cannot say that they don't do product development, yes it is true they probably wont ever make any software you can find on the Android or Apple App stores, but that is not the same as saying that they don't do development, it is just that a lot of the software that the NSA (or more likely, NSA subcontractors) develop are developed for a very limited and specialized audience, anything that does come out of NSA development projects is likely to be quite specialized and obscure.

That said - there is a not insignificant chance that a lot of the advancement in speech-to-text and other speech-recognition projects we have seen over the last years, has code in it that was developed by people who started out doing work on those subjects for the NSA (ECHELON supposed relied heavily on the ability to recognize keywords in recordings), likewise it is also quite likely that a lot of people who worked with and for the NSA are now out in the civilian sector designing datacenters and supercomputers.
It is easy to see the NSA as this big, evil organization that does only one thing: spy on people. And while that is certainly one of their main objectives, you have to remember they are also a large IT business and as such have a large IT infrastructure, and because of the work they do and the requirements that work puts on their infrastructure they were probably into the whole "big data" mindset several years before mainstream commercial, civilian IT companies got there.
Add to this that there is a large section of the NSA that isn't really an intelligence agency at all, they're a Security and Compliance agency that makes sure that DoD, Military and Diplomatic networks meet whatever security standards the NSA specify.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 114

Refusing/saying "I don't talk to police" pisses them off, as well - causing them to get their dogs/such. But still....

Unless you are giving testimony in connection to a crime unrelated to you (ie. you witnessed something and are specifically not charged with anything) you should NEVER talk to a cop. The whole "Everything you say, can and WILL"-thing isn't said just to scare you.

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