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Comment: Re:Two things (Score 1) 244

by gman003 (#49189285) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail

Well, there's one simple brute-force solution: create a world government. If one government runs everything, they get automatic jurisdiction over everything, and have one universal set of laws to apply everywhere.

Which, when you think about it, kinda makes sense. It's weird that laws change based on which arbitrary piece of dirt you happen to be standing on.

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 1) 533

The measures of how well an economy is working is not "how much money is in the system", but "how much money is moving", and "how much of the economic system does that money reach?". Money that does not move does not do work, and people that do not give and receive money are not part of the economic system.

Consider two hydraulic systems. One has a massive 200L of hydraulic fluid since it leaks so much, but most of it is in a reservoir, and it only produces 10N of work on a small 10cm^2 area. The other has only 1L of hydraulic fluid, but it reaches pressures of 10Pa, doing several kilonewtons of work.

Which one is working better? Obviously the second one.

Oil-based Middle-Eastern economies are like the first one. They may make a lot of money, but only a few people get that money or its benefits, and the money leaks out of the country almost immediately.

A good economy is like America's, or Germany's (and yes, these economies are relatively good - could be better, but good). The money does pool around the rich, but not nearly as much (most of the "wealth" of the ultra-rich is in assets, not cash), and the trade with foreign countries is mostly balanced. Mostly. And there are very few people who do not participate in the economy - even people on welfare get money, then spend it. They're idle parts in the machine, but still part of the machine.

ISIS thrives because they're getting money in from elsewhere (coughsaudiarabiacough), and getting the cheapest possible people you can.

Comment: Re:Jerri (Score 3, Insightful) 533

The problem is that ones of those rules we follow is "go in guns blazing".

You want to stop ISIS? Fix the Middle-East's economy. Give people stable, productive jobs. That alone will slash recruitment simply by giving most of their local recruits a better option, one they currently *do* *not* *have*. Most of the local ISIS recruits are in ISIS simply because it pays. Not well, but better than nothing. Same goes for al-Shabaab and al-Quaeda and Boko Haram and pretty much every terrorist group operating from a third-world country.

You want to make sure ISIS doesn't come back the next time a depression hits? Build schools, staff them - an educated populace won't fall for the simple rhetoric of the mob-leader. Build mosques, staff them with liberal imams, to dilute the message of the bad ones. Build infrastructure so they can actually communicate with the rest of the world. Bring them up to a modern level, just to give them something to lose, if they fall again - most of them see ISIS as a viable cause because they don't really have anything to lose.

A military solution - ANY military solution, up to and including "nuke the entire subcontinent into glass" - is at best temporary. In a good solution, the military will only be used as a stopgap to make it safe enough to implement the real solution.

Comment: Re:Offtopic but...wth happened to /. layout? (Score 2) 102

by gman003 (#49151927) Attached to: Google Reverses Stance, Allows Porn On Blogger After Backlash

It's not Beta. It still works, more-or-less. Beta had a comment section that was completely impossible to browse or work with - considering the comments are the only real draw, it's no surprise it was dead on arrival.

This looks like just some styling to make Slashdot look less 2002. Still odd that they don't talk about it, but that's Dice for you. We're no longer the "community", we're the "audience"; we're supposed to just sit there and take it.

Comment: Is the decision-maker sapient? (Score 2) 162

by gman003 (#49127907) Attached to: Should a Service Robot Bring an Alcoholic a Drink?

Making decisions like this requires consideration of the consequences, which is the very definition of sapience.

If the robot is non-sapient, but simply has a configured list of users who it may or may not serve alcohol, the decision was made by the person who configured it. This would be an acceptable solution, although cumbersome and inflexible. Probably wouldn't work well enough for public bartending, but a robo-butler could work this way.

If the robot is sapient, it would be capable of making such decisions on its own. In fact, you might see robots refuse to serve alcohol at all, claiming moral reasons. On the other hand, you might see libertarian robots refuse to *not* serve someone alcohol, if they value people's right to self-determination. This would also be acceptable, but we are nowhere near this level of AI.

If the robot is non-sapient, but still expected to identify children and alcoholics on its own, problems will result. Detecting children is possible, with some false-positives (it's hard to tell a 20-year-old from a 21-year-old by appearance) and false-negatives (dwarfs/midgets/little people/hobbits/whatever the current PC term is), but how do you detect an alcoholic by their appearance?

The obvious solution for non-sapient robots requiring more flexibility than simple whitelists/blacklists, since alcohol is already a controlled substance, is to have robots require you to present ID for alcohol, and perhaps add a feature to IDs to show "recovering alcoholic, do not give alcohol" if we decide that's something that's important. Then again, we've not felt the need for that yet, with human bartenders, so maybe this whole debate is over something we've already as a society decided isn't an issue.

Comment: Re:Submarines are the undisputed... (Score 4, Insightful) 439

by gman003 (#49058575) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

I'm not going to argue your main points, but as a less partial party I need to raise some points of my own. This is less aimed at you (I'm sure you know everything I'm about to say), and more aimed at the other readers, to give them a more objective viewpoint.

1. The natural counter to a submarine is another submarine. Russia and China may not be able to match us fleet-for-fleet, but assuming they're the aggressors, they'll be able to bring all their force to bear at one point, outnumbering us in the battle but not the war. Do we have half our submarine fleet or more near Taiwan at all times? If not, they can make a reasonable attempt at crossing.

2. Submarines and aircraft basically can't touch each other (specialized ASW aircraft notwithstanding). If the entire Russian Tu-95 fleet flies over the entire US submarine fleet, neither one will do anything to the other. They might not even notice each other. Fleets and aircraft carriers are declining in primacy as aircraft ranges increase. We flew a B-52 combat mission from America to Iraq and back without landing - aircraft carriers, and thus navies in general, are no longer the sole way to project power. If America and Russia finally go to war, the winner will probably be the one who wins the air war, not the one who wins the sea war or land war. (Of course, with nuclear missiles in play in a US-Ru war, the real winner would be China, unless one of us decides to nuke them anyways while we're at it).

3. Consider the effect of naval drones. How many small boats is an aircraft carrier able to fight off? Imagine a USS Cole scenario, except instead of just one suicide boat masquerading as a civilian, it's dozens or even hundreds of suicide drones. You don't need to take my word for how effective these would be, there were Navy wargames for asymmetric warfare that had a "fleet" much like I proposed take out the entire Blue-team fleet, which was basically a full carrier group (the brassholes decided this was "cheating" and ordered the wargames to continue according to a script guaranteeing Blue-team victory) [citation: look up "Millennium Challenge 2002"]. Surface drones may be no threat to our subs, but our subs are similarly no threat to them, and eventually someone will get submarine drones usable. At that point, they're basically just really smart torpedoes with trans-Atlantic range. I'm not sure what the counter for *that* is, except for "not being in the water" (see point 2).

Comment: Re:MH370 (Score 1) 439

by gman003 (#49058461) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

When your main means of detection is listening, yes, it is.

Submarines, when they really don't want to be found, shut down. If diesel-powered, they shut the engine down and run off battery. If nuclear, they run the reactor at as low a power as possible. They turn off as much machinery as possible. They stop the screw and stay still - resting on the surface, or just floating in the middle of the ocean.

Comment: Re:Speaking of display issues (OFFTOPIC) (Score 1) 51

by gman003 (#48972865) Attached to: Graphene Based Display Paves Way For Semi-Transparent Electronic Devices

Addendum: this is no longer the case on the front page, but page 2 is now broken in the same way. It seems to be caused by the image on "Listnr Wants to be 'Your Listening Assistant' (Video)".

I do not recall having problems with video posts before, so I still suspect some recent CSS changes are breaking things that were once working. Was the lesson not learned after Beta? Don't break things that currently work.

Comment: Speaking of display issues (OFFTOPIC) (Score 2) 51

by gman003 (#48968509) Attached to: Graphene Based Display Paves Way For Semi-Transparent Electronic Devices

Did nobody at DICE test the CSS changes? Because the front page is broken on a 960px-wide window now, and it wasn't yesterday. Since that's a window pinned to half of a 1080p screen, and /. doesn't come close to actually needing a full 1920px, I'm sure there's a lot of people browsing the same way, and I'm sure a lot of them won't be browsing back if you keep fucking basic shit up like this.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington

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