Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:I have no fear of AI, but fear AI weapons (Score 1) 278 278

Well, robbery would be a bit tougher than general mayhem. In the foreseeable future you'd probably need a human in the loop, for example to confirm that the victim actually complied with the order to "put ALL the money in the bag." Still that would remove the perpetrator from the scene of the crime. If there were an open or hackable wi-fi access point nearby it'd be tricky to hunt him down.

This kind of remote controlled drone mediated crime is very feasible now. It wouldn't take much technical savvy to figure out how to mount a shotgun shell on a quadcopter and fly it to a particular victim (if you have one). That's a lot less sophisticated than stuff terrorists do already; anyone with moderate technical aptitude could do it with off-the-shelf components. I'm sure we'll see our first non-state-actor controlled drone assassination in the next couple of years. Or maybe a hacktivist will detonate a party popper on the President or something like that.

Within our lifetime it'll surely be feasible for ordinary hackers to build autonomous systems that could fly into a general area and hunt down a particular victim using facial recognition. People have experimented with facial recognition with SBCs like the Raspberry Pi already.

You can forbid states from doing this all you want, but as technology advances the technology to do this won't be exotic. It'll be commonplace stuff used for work and even recreation.

Comment Re:Same likely holds true... (Score 1) 246 246

The same thing could likely be said of all obtrusive advertising: it is a nuisance not a benefit.

They aren't exactly the same, because interstitial ads aren't just obtrustive, they're interfering. You can't simply mentally resolve to ignore them; if you want to continue you've got to either follow the ad or find a way to dismiss it. This presents the user with a Hobson's Choice: physically respond to the ad, or go back.

A lot depends on how motivated you are to get at the content. If it's something you've clicked out of idle curiosity, you'll back away. If it's something you really want to see you'll fight your way through. Since so much traffic on the Internet is driven by idle curiosity, the 69% figure doesn't surprise me at all. What would be interesting is to disaggregate that figure by types of target content.

Comment Re:There's Very Few Things (Score 3, Insightful) 80 80

You are conflating a world that is becoming warmer with a world that just *is* warmer. It may be true (I take no position) that a world that is 4-5 C warmer is better for certain classes of poor people (e.g., subsistence farmers). But a world that is changing rapidly is a calimity to poor people tied to the land, especially in a modern world with national boundaries and private property where you just can't pick up and move like our paleolithic ancestors would have.

Comment Re:If it's not _real_ bacon? (Score 1) 174 174

This guy is entitled to use the word "plant" as he will, but it doesn't agree with modern systematics. For example he calls "kelp" a plant, but it is taxonomically closer to the parasite that causes malaria than it is to land plants.

"Macroalgae" is a multi-phyletic category, including eukaryotes of the Archaeplastida group that includes red algae and green algae and the land plants that evolved from green algae, and of the super-group Chromalveolata that includes red tides, brown algae (such as kelp or Plasmodium). Green algae and land plants are grouped together under the kingdom "Plantae" in modern taxonomies.

So "seaweed" as a category includes organisms which are (cladistically speaking) closely related to land plants (green algae like sea grapes or sea lettuce), middling-related (red algae like nori or carageenan) and not very closely related at all (brown algae like kombu/kelp). Of course all organisms are presumably related to some degree.

The seaweed in question is a kind of dulse, a red algae. It's more closely related to land plants than a brown algae like kelp would be, but less related than sea lettuce. Red algae are specifically not included in the Kingdom Plantae. However, layman are free to call whatever they want a plant, even if it's in fact something else entirely, the way they call any small arthropod a "bug", even through true bugs are one of the 75,000 species in the order Hemiptera (out of over a million insect species).

Comment Re:If it's not _real_ bacon? (Score 1) 174 174

Technically it's not a plant. Its a macroalgae and thus belongs to an entirely distinct taxonomic kingdom from plants and animals. Of course halakhically it probably counts as a plant because Jewish law isn't based on modern scientific concepts.

Many years ago some of my wife's friends inhabited a kosher apartment near her engineering school that had been passed down through generations of orthodox students. A dispute arose over whether a particular bowl was glass or pottery. Finally they called in their buddy the material science major for a scientific ruling. "It's neither," he said. "It's ceramic." Which was technically accurate, but irrelevant to the question of whether it could be kashered.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91 91

If other judges follow this precedent, it will be the death knell of civil litigation involving the internet in any way. I don't like how trolls do business, but I don't think changing the rules like this is a good idea overall.

This isn't changing the rules. This is following the rules.

See my article in the ABA's Judges Journal about how judges had been bending the rules for the RIAA. "Large Recording Companies v. The Defenseless: Some Common Sense Solutions to the Challenges of the RIAA Litigation". The Judges' Journal, Judicial Division of American Bar Association. Summer 2008 edition, Part 1 of The Judges Journals' 2-part series, "Access to Justice".

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91 91

Remember, Malibu Media can just change venues too and start this all over again... This judge didn't do anything worth while for you and me and opened himself up to an appeal where he obviously will be slapped. About the only thing he accomplished is getting Malibu Media out of his courtroom and off his docket, for now. Nothing else will change.

I beg to differ.

Malibu Media can't choose the venue, or the judge.

If Judge Hellerstein's decision is followed by other judges, it will be the death knell of the present wave of Malibu Media litigation.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91 91

I fully appreciate your perspective and I agree that the waters are getting pretty muddy when you start trying to tie an IP address to a person, but the issue here is the issuing of the subpoena and not letting Malibu Media pursue discovery. They must be allowed to protect their rights in civil court, and that means they must be allowed to subpoena third parties for information so they can move from "John Doe" to an actual name and in this case, that takes a subpoena from the court.

While your argument for discovery has some logic to it, it is based on a false assumption of fact : that Malibu Media, once it obtains the name and address of the internet account subscriber, will serve a subpoena on that person in an attempt to find out the name of the person who should be named as a defendant.

Malibu Media's uniform practice, once it gets the name and address, is to immediately amend the complaint to name the subscriber as the infringer/defendant and then serve a summons and amended complaint, not a subpoena, on the subscriber.

This is in every single case .

Comment Re:bumblebees have range? (Score 5, Informative) 225 225

I thought bumblebees are everywhere except maybe the desert?

Bombus sonorus -- the Sonoran Bumblebee -- is a common North American desert species.

To answer your question every critter has it's range. Even you do. Visited Antarctica recently? Or Mars?

If you were a bumblebee you'd have a range of about a quarter of a kilometer from your nest. In rare instances you might go as far as 800m distant. And therein you can see why climate change poses an adaptation challenge to bumblebees.

Bumblebee colonies die every winter. The old queen perishes and the new queens hibernate until the spring then disperse to a new nest site. So you can see that the species can only relocate northward at a fraction of a kilometer per year -- although it may have better luck moving vertically -- to higher altitudes where a convenient mountain is handy.

Species that adapt well to climate change either have individuals with large ranges, or they hitch a ride on critters that travel long distance. For example mosquito species have lifetime ranges on the order of 2-3 km, but the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which breeds in small containers of water, usually spends its life within 100m or so of where it hatches. The Tiger Mosquito species was introduced to the US at Houston in 1985 and fifteen years later it was found all over the United States. How is this possible if an individual lives its entire life within a 100m radius of its hatching place? I went to a presentation at CDC Fort Collins where their arthropod borne disease doyen plotted out the spread of Ae albopictus and showed it followed the route of the US Interstate Highway system. Eggs and pregnant individuals hitched a ride. That's because cars and trucks provide things that mosquitoes are attracted to: people to bite and tiny pools of water trapped in spare tires or crevices of the machine for egg-laying. Note that Ae albopictus larvae are known to arrive in the US in a shipments of that "lucky bamboo" you can buy in Chinatown; those stalks hold maybe 20-30 ml of water. It takes a "container" with only a tablespoon or two of water to transport viable larvae.

Now back to bumblebees. Because bumblebee colonies are small (typically 50 individuals to 50,000 for honeybees) and temporary, bumblebees don't stockpile honey. So unlike honeybees humans have no reason to transport them deliberately. Likewise cars and trucks aren't attractive to bumblebees so it's rare that a new queen will get an accidental ride north with a human. So bumblebees are poorly adapted to a rapidly changing climate.

Comment Re:Victory for common sense! (Score 1) 91 91

I'm not so sure I agree that this make sense...

You didn't read the judges 11 page opinion then, where he makes his reasons very clear. Among other things, the trolls claim that they need the information to take people to court, but they never do; they just abuse the courts as a cheap way to get information for their blackmail scheme. The point that an IP is not an ID is exactly the point here, because the copyright troll wouldn't have any right to the name of anyone than the copyright infringer. And the fine judge found out that these copyright trolls have in several instances just ignored court orders and have just lied to the courts.

Well said

Comment Re:Copyright trolls going down is a good thing (Score 4, Informative) 91 91

Hi Ray, nice to see the NYCL moniker around here again. I have a few questions if you're willing. First, you indicate that a judge has denied discovery due to several factors, one being that an IP address does not identify any particular individual. Can you speak to the weight or breadth of this specific Court's opinion here, in layman's terms? I see references to the Eastern and Southern districts of New York, might this decision influence cases outside of those jurisdictions?

It's not binding on anyone. But Judge Hellerstein is a very well respected judge, so it will probably have a lot of 'persuasive authority'.

Second, this business of "if the Motion Picture is considered obscene, it may not be eligible for copyright protection." I've read about certain cases where the Court stated that obscenity has no rigid definition, but "I'll know it when I see it." Does that have any bearing on the Malibu case? Was this some kind of completely outrageous pornography, where any community standard would likely find it to be obscene, or was it just run-of-the-mill porn? Would it matter either way? Would the opinion have likely been the same if the case involved a blockbuster Hollywood film instead of a pornographic and potentially obscene film?

I haven't researched that question yet, and I may well be litigating that issue in the near future, since I have several cases against Malibu Media which are now in litigation mode... so all I can say is, stay tuned.

Lastly, I'm curious whether or not you've kept up with developments in the case regarding Prenda Law, and how you might compare this case to that one, if at all. I try to read Ken White's PopeHat blog every once in awhile to see how poorly the Prenda copyright trolls are faring. It doesn't look good for Prenda, and I wonder if you would put Malibu in the same proverbial boat.

The Prenda people are a bunch of strange people who, based on reports I've read, may well wind up doing jail time. I know nothing about the Malibu Media people. If I did find out something really bad about them in would probably wind up in my court papers if relevant to the case or to their credibility.

The steady state of disks is full. -- Ken Thompson

Working...