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Comment: It's good if they don't code like 90s C++ devs (Score 4, Interesting) 280

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49356715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Their whole mindset still makes me want to puke.

Obfuscated crap. Techno-machismo teens playing games trying to get their code into the least number of characters and the least amount of memory. I've had to fix or test so much of this junk and it's still just plain stupid.

The *human* part of the system is what *matters* and that includes the code interface. First, I want comments not about *what* is happening. I can read that. I need to know *why* it was done, so I don't undo it, or I can do something different safely. Comments should be one liners, limited to "why" and sometimes "how".

If adding a variable aids readability, add the fucking variable! Shove all the results into a meaningful, readable variable name and then shove *that* into your function argument, not some long series of nested function. It's not the 90s. You don't have to save memory! Memory is there to make your code readable. Use it!

Ok, rant over. I'm going back to work now.

Comment: Ohhh, what a mystery.... (Score 2) 396

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49354505) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

Somehow, the actual answer, commonly referred to as, "money" never seems to come up.

If STEM salaries are low COMPARED TO THE LOCAL COST OF LIVING, then there will be few interested in STEM careers. A smart person can become an engineer (relatively low pay) or a doctor (relatively high pay) or a Wall Street trader (relatively high pay). Hell, even Dentists and Optometrists can sometimes beat a starting engineer's salary.

Maybe, just maybe, capitalism is working and people are choosing to put their efforts where the money is. Maybe, just maybe, people are choosing NOT to compete with workers in India making $10 an hour when they could be choosing a career that generates $100 an hour.

Maybe, just maybe, the fucking morons who keep writing these hand-wringing articles should learn to see the the obvious thing in front of their noses.

Comment: Security apparatus is now the de facto government (Score 3, Insightful) 184

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49336279) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act

The DHS has quietly become the KGB, with all that this implies.

There's a reason that the current Russian dictator comes directly from the old KGB. There's a reason that one of our recent former presidents came directly from the CIA.

For this reason, I'll make a big bet, that no matter what kind of election carnival is held, Jeb Bush gets elected as the next president. As the former CIA director's son, he's on their team. He's already vetted. No candidate, at this point, has a chance of winning unless they're security service friendly.

Comment: Re:And so it goes. (Score 1) 291

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49330219) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk

It's evolution that will fundamentally change the way our economy has to work, and we're not even close to having a model in place for dealing with it.

Quite so. The nice thing is that *we* won't have to figure it out. That's what AIs are for. Figuring things like that out.

Humans may indeed become useless for problem solving tasks in comparison. So what? I don't see how that prevents anyone from living a long fulfilling life. Moreover, AIs will be able to afford to be generous to us. We won't be competing for resources in any significant way. I don't see why we wouldn't co-exist happily. For that matter, AIs won't have the motivations of organically evolved beings that create competition. Neither self replication nor persistent existence will be *inherently* important to them.

Comment: We *will* create a species greater than ourselves (Score 5, Interesting) 291

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49328011) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk

It's only a matter of when. Even if all strictly computational AI research stops tomorrow, we'll be able to genetically enhance human intelligence by and by, even if it takes several thousand genetic manipulations to do it.

When direct neural I/O becomes a thing, millions (or billions) of people will be directly, electronically linked via the internet. Tell me that's not a new form of intelligence.

For that matter, we'll almost certainly develop at least one form of AI the way nature did. We'll cobble up some genetic algorithms primed to develop the silicon equivalent of neurons, give them some problems to solve, and perhaps a robot or two to control, and we eventually "grow" an AI that way.

But look, it's not the end of us, or anything else. We merge with the things. Our thoughts become linked with theirs. If we can transfer all memory, then eventually we *become* the AI, perhaps with a few spare physical copies of ourselves kept for amusement purposes.

Will AIs fight? There will be conflicts, of course. There always are. Resource conflicts, however, will be minimal. An AI doesn't need much, and can figure out how to get enough more efficiently than we can. Conflicts will be over other matters and are unlikely to be fatal.

Wozniak, et. al. need to chill. It's just evolution.

Comment: There is no debate. (Score 5, Insightful) 299

This technology will be developed to the point where traits like intelligence, disease resistance, emotional stability, beauty, et. al. will be almost guaranteed. If it's outlawed in one nation state, wealthy people will just have it done in another. Their children will benefit. The poor will be at a financial AND genetic disadvantage.

The hand wringing ethical concerns of "scientists" will have no effect on this whatsoever.

+ - How to Execute People in the 21st Century 2

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Matt Ford writes in The Atlantic that thanks to a European Union embargo on the export of key drugs, and the refusal of major pharmaceutical companies to sell them the nation’s predominant method of execution is increasingly hard to perform. With lethal injection’s future uncertain, some states are turning to previously discarded methods. The Utah legislature just approved a bill to reintroduce firing squads for executions, Alabama’s House of Representatives voted to authorize the electric chair if new drugs couldn’t be found, and after last years botched injection, Oklahoma legislators are mulling the gas chamber.

The driving force behind the creation and abandonment of execution methods is the constant search for a humane means of taking a human life. Arizona, for example, abandoned hangings after a noose accidentally decapitated a condemned woman in 1930. Execution is also prone to problems as witnesses routinely report that, when the switch is thrown, the condemned prisoner "cringes," "leaps," and "fights the straps with amazing strength." The hands turn red, then white, and the cords of the neck stand out like steel bands. The prisoner's limbs, fingers, toes, and face are severely contorted. The force of the electrical current is so powerful that the prisoner's eyeballs sometimes pop out and "rest on [his] cheeks." The physical effects of the deadly hydrogen cyanide in the gas chamber are coma, seizures and cardiac arrest but the time lag has previously proved a problem. According to Ford one reason lethal injection enjoyed such tremendous popularity was that it strongly resembled a medical procedure, thereby projecting our preconceived notions about modern medicine—its competence, its efficacy, and its reliability—onto the capital-punishment system. "As states revert to earlier methods of execution—techniques once abandoned as backward and flawed—they run the risk that the death penalty itself will be seen in the same terms.""

Comment: Re:Yeah, really? (Score 0) 228

He's right. The rest of you who, like me, grew up reading science fiction, are wrong.

We run out of hydrocarbons of all types before this century is out. They become too expensive to be useful long before then. We use up the popular fissionables too. We have some hope of maintaining industrial scale electricity if we start developing thorium generators - like, yesterday. If we don't, you can pretty much kiss industrial civilization at the current scale goodbye before the century is out.

All of this information is available to anyone with google and a calculator. For the unusually lazy, start here: (and buy the book.).

Billions will starve by 2100. Ecological overshoot happens to all species eventually. It's happened to local populations countless times before. It just happens to be occurring on a global scale for the first time. After it's all sorted out, the remaining 250 million (or less depending on the number of nukes involved), will be unusually sensible.

It's not the end of the world, per se, but it's the end of the world we grew up in. The one we dream of, with FTL, space colonies and the like will be stillborn. We blew our resources on ipads, pet food and television, instead of large scale nuclear power, sustainable agriculture and social, political and economic systems that don't involve large numbers of nuclear weapons in the hands of testosterone soaked sociopaths.


Comment: When these get more advanced.... (Score 1) 132

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49252303) Attached to: New Molecular 3D Printer Can Create Billions of Compounds

1) Buy raw materials.
2) Download molecular template for popular entertainment drugs.
3) Profit!

Seriously, when complex chemical printing becomes cheap and ubiquitous (and it will), the war on drugs will get even *more* ridiculous than it is now.

On the hilariously amusing side, pharmaceutical company profits go into the toilet.

Comment: So, Sweden disccovers Skype, phones and air travel (Score 3, Insightful) 169

by gestalt_n_pepper (#49250831) Attached to: Swedish Authorities Offer To Question Assange In London

Since clearly, they knew of none of these things years ago when Snowden was first sequestered.

As Snowden has correctly stated, it's a ruse to allow the USA to take him into custody. Apparently Sweden will do its questioning, probably drop the case for lack of evidence and the USA can go twist in the wind.

What this really says is just how the USA's power position in the world has changed. Sweden has read the writing on the wall. They'll respond to pressure from the US state department just as much as they need to, which is now apparently, not much.

The universe is an island, surrounded by whatever it is that surrounds universes.