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Comment: Re: Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

You don't have to encounter other species to build bigger and better weapons. Your own species will do, i.e. the entire history of the human species.

A great deal of human advancement came about because of conflict and limited resources caused by our limited land area. We had to conquer each other to get more (whatever you're looking for). Or we only had so much (whatever), so we had to figure out better ways to use (whatever) or replacements for (whatever).

If your species has the ability to travel to anywhere in the galaxy, limited land area is gone. If you want more of (whatever), there's plenty of places to get it. Those places are either uninhabited or populated by people who only have spears, while you have guns. That greatly reduces the pressure to innovate.

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

Depends on how the gravity control works. It may not be possible to have fine enough control to use it as a weapon, especially without having developed advanced sensors and control systems.

Imagine the gravity control is done with a magical rock. If the alien touches it, the rock is able to "lock on" to large masses like planets or larger. The rock is able to create a wormhole to such a large mass, allowing passage.

How do you weaponize it? Your interface is primitive and imprecise - you're just touching a rock. You don't have sufficient control over the effects of the rock to turn it into a weapon.

Comment: Re:What defines 'general knowledge'? How does know (Score 1) 809

by jeff4747 (#49049265) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

And my use of those "PKI and X.509 type certificates" is to call a library to deal with them, blithely ignorant as to what those libraries are doing with the keys. Just like I don't write my own code to implement HTTP, and then TCP, and then IP and then ethernet.

The other enormous stupidity in this question is PKI is only one solution, and may not be the best one. Encrypted zip may work just fine, with a password transmitted via another pathway. Or if the document is in a format that supports encryption, hence the question about PDF. Or scp/VPN/etc to a secured share. Or print it out and put a stamp on it.

Comment: Re:The real reason for this is not funny at all (Score 1) 351

by jeff4747 (#48898647) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

If you're going to argue that an overwhelming number of people want GMOs to be labeled, you're going to have to find a control for your study. Were the people just reacting to an acronym they don't really understand, or were they actually concerned about GMOs?

Looks like about 3% are actually concerned about GMOs. The rest seem to be going with a blind "chemicals bad!!!" position.

Comment: Re:So what's the point? (Score 1) 351

by jeff4747 (#48898629) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

such as reduction in crop diversity

We grow only one kind of banana. It was developed in 1948, long before "GM DNA". Heck, the Irish Potato Famine was caused by monoculture.

You don't need genetic modifications to create a monoculture. We already do that, and have for a very, very long time.

Comment: Re:So what's the point? (Score 1) 351

by jeff4747 (#48898605) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

If DNA is unfamiliar, we need to completely revamp our education system. It's one of the fundamental things taught about biology. And they even asked with the acronym, so the respondents didn't need to know what DNA stands for.

So if you're ridiculing people for not recognizing "dihydrogen monoxide", you're also looking like an noob to people who know better.

The noobs would be the ones who don't ask "what's that?", and instead just go with "chemicals bad!!!"

Comment: Re:Seems Silly to me (Score 1) 258

by jeff4747 (#48798061) Attached to: AI Experts Sign Open Letter Pledging To Protect Mankind From Machines

Why would the AI want to make more AIs?

To get more resources.

Why would the AI even want to stay on the planet when the solar system is filled with unlimited energy and resources?

Because getting out of Earth's gravity well takes a lot of resources, and Earth already has the infrastructure to exploit those resources. And if we go with your non-reproducing AI, then Earth without humans would have plenty of resources for eons.

So again, what does cooperation get the AI?

Comment: Re:High end and low end - no middle (Score 1) 332

by jeff4747 (#48696493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

I think you're off about the Kindle. It's what people who want to read books want.

Yes, there's a Kindle app for other tablets, but the screen on the Kindle is much more pleasant for curling up and reading a book. At the same time, that screen isn't good for a lot of other purposes, so the Kindle can't displace iPads or similar.

So IMO the Kindle will remain, but no one will pretend it's a general-purpose tablet.

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.