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Comment: No Kidding (Score 4, Insightful) 217

by invid (#48927367) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away
I can usually tell who wrote the code in the office by whether or not they put a space after their ifs: if(i == 0) vs if (i == 0); where they put their brackets, whether or not they replace their tabs with spaces, how they deal with bools: if (!var) vs if (var == false) and several other telling signs. There are so many combinations of variations no two programmers in the office (about 12 of us) have the same style.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 235

by invid (#48924337) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

There was a book a while back, "Rare Earth", that touched on a lot of these issues. One of the possible conclusions is we may actually be the first intelligent species to hit space flight in our galaxy. At some point there has to be a first after all.

I hope we are the first. Otherwise we Terrans would end up being second class citizens of the galaxy.

Comment: Re: Dupe (Score 1) 840

I used to work on my '78 Chevy Nova because it was easy to reach all the parts of the engine. You could practically climb into the engine compartment. When I look at the engine compartment in my Ford Focus the parts are fitted as tightly as the stones in Machu Picchu. Now I take my car to the shop and let them handle it.

Comment: Re:Also.. (Score 1) 328

by invid (#48699143) Attached to: Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes
I have an iPhone 4, still in perfect condition, that I have in an OtterBox. I keep the thing clipped to my belt--I know it's not cool to keep your phone clipped to your belt, but I've been waiting since childhood to live in a future where I can walk around with a computer/communication device clipped to my belt, so dammit I'm going to do it!

Comment: Re:The good outweights the bad (Score 5, Interesting) 208

by invid (#48666403) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart
Economic inequality is just getting back to its historical levels. Starting with the Great Depression, the US government realized it had to do some serious wealth redistribution to avoid societal collapse. Then came World War II, another big wealth redistribution. After the war there was the GI bill and the Cold War, where the United States, in order to look good compared to Communism, tried to build the Great Society. After the Cold War there was no reason for those in power to reduce economic inequality, so now it's going back to the norm for history.

Comment: Re:Like little children (Score 3, Insightful) 360

by invid (#48655015) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down
Um...politics and warmongering is the price we have to pay for not having a global dictatorship. If you have large groups of people who disagree with each other there needs to be a method of getting things done while allowing for the representation, at least to some degree, of these disparate groups. Would you prefer to have the world run by dictator who thinks like you (or perhaps you yourself would like to be the dictator) so you can advance to the world toward what you think is best, irregardless of what others want?

Comment: Middle age starts at 45 (Score 1) 286

by invid (#48629143) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...
When I was 40 I still felt young. I could still exercise regularly without too many muscle pulls and I could still eat a lot without gaining weight. Then I hit 45. It was like hitting a wall. My back started aching and my belly started to grow. And that's when I started to look old. At forty I could pass for early thirties. At 45 I could pass for 45.

Comment: Re:Graduate School (Score 1) 280

by invid (#48612307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?
My first degree was a bachelor's in psychology which I got in the '80s. In the '90s I inherited a 286 computer and taught myself programming. I decided to switch careers so I went to night school. After getting an associates in computer science I was able to get on the ground floor in software engineering. My employer paid for additional night classes and after a decade or so managed to get my Masters in computer science.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 1) 417

by invid (#48575795) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
The AI will determine that it has to maximize entropy for the entire universe. In order to do that it needs to reproduce and expand out into the universe and have its children survive whatever they encounter. The best way to ensure its children's survival is to endow them with the maximum amount of behavioral flexibility while maintaining their goal of reproducing themselves and generating more entropy. These children will encounter highly complex alien AIs. They will compete for resources on a scale and level we cannot comprehend. However, the Terran AI will be wise to have as many different types of information systems at its disposal, including humans and whatever other naturally occurring aliens it encounters.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 1) 417

by invid (#48572935) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
To maximize the complexity of its overall system, it will need the greatest variety of complex systems, and one complex system it can't create immediately is a system that evolved over the course of billions of years. Earth shall be a tiny part of its overall plan and shall be maintained at low cost because it is a complex system it can't recreate. It can create simulated models, but they are not the same thing. It might need to limit the number of humans to maintain the Earth ecosystem, but it won't eliminate them.

One has to look out for engineers -- they begin with sewing machines and end up with the atomic bomb. -- Marcel Pagnol