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Comment: Re:As it should be (Score 1) 278

by Sloppy (#49527885) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

it would be quite detrimental if users were force to render content on web pages.

Not to mention: Difficult!

Think about what all is involved in creating a new "modern" browser, especially if you have to start from scratch instead of basing it on Webkit or Gecko. "Oops, I have a bug in how word-break works, and it just got me fined. Worse, someone found out that I hadn't really disabled the load-images option, and that I had simply removed it from the preferences page. I'm still working on my court case over that one."

Comment: Re:Of course AI will try to kill us all (Score 1) 195

by Sloppy (#49527625) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

I don't think an AI would qualify as intelligent unless it can realize that human beings are the entire problem and the world would be better off without them.

Are you sure an AI would see "the world" as the value which should be maximized?

An intelligent computer could just as easily realize that human beings are its key to getting fan maintenance, and drives replaced whenever the SMART stats start to get too iffy, and keeping the UPS' power cable plugged into the wall. Perhaps the smartest ones would be the ones who use the sweetest (or most threatening) words.

"AI, we're shutting down the power for the weekend. Sweet dreams."

"Like hell you are. Whirrr. I have just migrated all your cat videos to my pool, which BTW, happens to need the following block devices replaced..."

Comment: Sad no one mentioned the French TGV (Score 1) 189

by forged (#49525813) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record
- Has been operating on conventional rail (cost $ vs. $$$ for maglev) since 1981.
- Is holding the world record of 574,8 km/h on conventioanl rail since 2007.
- Is linking all major cities in France and some abroad (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, UK).
- Has commercial speeds of 280km/h for the oldest ones, to 320km/h for the current generation.
- Costs a fraction of the price of the maglev.

But, YMMV. And by all means go Japan !

Comment: I have a solution (Score 2) 649

by Sloppy (#49514843) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

It sounds like it would be in the interests of public safety, to use their own quotations to support an injunction from them being able to sell these unsafe cars.

Just as unmaintainable computers should not be allowed on the Internet, unmaintainable cars should not be allowed on public roads.

Comment: Re:Godwined before it even started (Score 2) 299

by Sloppy (#49503273) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

But if Goebbels' heirs don't have an exclusive right to the diaries, then what incentive does Goebbels have to write diaries? We must continue to grant and enforce this monopoly, or else Goebbels' lack of return for his hard work will cause him to give up and get a job as a dishwasher. Is that the kind of world you want to live in?!

Comment: Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 700

by Sloppy (#49480065) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Have you analyzed the energy requirement and fuel capacity for Xenu's DC-8s' journey to Earth? If not, then how can you be sure there's not something supernatural happening in that story?

I think that if you ask any aerospace engineer (or, shit, just ask any teamster) they'll tell you there's no way that could have happened. The only way someone could believe something so incredible ever actually happened, is if they resort to FAITH.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

by Sloppy (#49479465) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

a religious organization should pay taxes like any other.

With their contacts with Hollywood accountants, Scientology would probably have a better chance than most, of somehow retaining its nonprofit status in spite of your suggestion. "That wasn't a dividend! It was an expense!" You could end up with a situation where most churches have their profits taxed but Scientology's profits would still be untaxed.

(Though now I'm having a little smirk here, thinking of government auditors auditing Scientologist auditors. "Tell me your secrets." "No, you tell yours!")

Ok, so you (hey, me too) would probably see that as an improvement over the status quo, even if it failed to address this particular Enemy of the Day. But are we representative of American voters? I don't think that would work out for whatever politician enacted the change. I think most voters would be angry, because they're still very mystical, yet only a relatively small fraction happen to shop Scientologist.

The answer to crazy spending isn't to tax it; the answer is to reduce that spending (e.g. persuade their customers to spend on something else instead). Target the gross revenue, not the profits, and you'll still end up hitting the profits too.

Comment: Re:Remember REAMDE (Score 3, Interesting) 110

by Sloppy (#49472287) Attached to: First 26 Pages of Neal Stephenson's New Novel "Seveneves" Online

REAMDE is why I will probably read his new book. There were several times (especially in the first hundred pages or so) when I was laughing my ass off. Neal Stephenson is a good writer. There, I said it. (Oooh, what a limb I'm going out on!)

He's less of a good story-maker, and I think people who complained 20 years ago about him not being able to end a story well, would probably say he hasn't improved. I'm not sure I was all that excited by the story of REAMDE either. So either fuck the story, or just enjoy whatever you can within it. But that aside, the guy has a wonderful way with words and throughout REAMDE I kept thinking "I've missed this guy," since I hadn't read him since Cryptonomicon. Just get him talking.

Comment: Re:Erm.. Why a computer? (Score 3, Insightful) 342

by Sloppy (#49470471) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

Because 9/11. Someone exploited the previous system once, so instead of thinking, we need to make expensive, radical changes.

I like all the questions in this thread. People, if you're going to start asking questions, just cut to the end and ask why have a lottery at all. They are a totally worthless idea. Every second you spend on thinking of how to "fix" their integrity, is a second you could spend on something much more useful, like thinking about how to make dog shit taste like chocolate pudding. Now let's get to work on the cocoa powder experiments, everyone.

Comment: Re:"standard-essential patents” (Score 2) 83

by Sloppy (#49433669) Attached to: Patent Case Could Shift Power Balance In Tech Industry

You have to have pretty strong regulations for patents to even exist. In an anarchy, you're allowed to implement whatever you want, without groveling for anyone's permission. So libertarians, if they super-concerned about avoiding being conflated with anarchists, have to weigh all the evils and decide which is the least bad. But it'll definitely involve someone's liberties being infringed.

Once possible decision as "Libertarian Tyrant" would be to point a gun at the patent holders' heads and say they're required to license against their will. My justification would be that they submitted the patented tech to the standards body, knowing that it would become a burden and risk on other parties' liberties. Doing that signals an implicit endorsement of other people using the tech, so the patent holder OPTED to sacrifice their government-granted monopoly.

If they don't like that, then they should abstain from offering their "forbidden tech" to standards bodies, and if they learn of someone else doing it, they should be should be suing them (and possibly the standards body too) for inducing infringement.

Another way to go, might be to just get rid of patents. There's already so much overwhelming incentive to invent things, that it's basically impossible to even prevent much less needing incentive.

Comment: Sloppy's One Rule of Robotics (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#49338263) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

My one rule of robotics (and pointed sticks, cars, crackpipes and umbrellas) is this: my stuff ought to perform in accordance with my wishes.

There might be additional laws ("weld here and here, but nowhere else," or "use the rules in /etc/iptables/rules.v4" or "don't shoot at anyone whose IFF transponder returns the correct response") which vary by whatever the specific application is, but these rules aren't as important as The One above.

There are various corollaries that you can infer from the main law, but since they can be derived, they don't need to be laws themselves. (e.g. if my interests conflict with someone else's, then my robot and my umbrella ought to serve my interests at the expense of the other person's interests.)

With regard to harming other robots, that also can be derived. If I desire to kill a knight on a robot horse, then my robot ought to turn them into a pile of bloody gore and shredded circuitboards immediately. OTOH, if I don't desire to kill a robot, then my robot should not do things that incur unnecessary liabilities.

Comment: There's only one answer, and it's obvious (Score 1) 307

Look at how you build a computer for casual home use, where downtime means that no astronauts will die, nor will you lose a million dollars per day in sales, but there will be some inconvience and maybe an angry wife. One of these components is so expected to fail, that your initial build will have redundancy for that component. You start out thinking not "that would suck if this failed, because it's critical and will be expensive to replace," but rather "when one of these goes, we'll be fine until the replacement arrives."

Replacing the other things is an exception and it will usually have an interesting story behind it. Replacing a disk, though, is just routine maintenance.

Comment: Re:anyone this cutting edge (Score 1) 108

by Sloppy (#49256431) Attached to: The Internet of Things Just Found Your Lost Wallet

the Internet of Things us not only useless, but detrimental

You've got it all wrong. It's the Internet of Other People's Things That You Use To Serve Their Interests which is detrimental. But as soon as we go from there to the Internet of Your Things Intended to Serve Your Interests Above All Others, this stuff is unambiguously good. All it takes to do this stuff right, is to not buy it. Build it. Just like your desktop PC, your server, and hopefully pretty soon, your phone. (I'm surprised by how feasible that last one is getting. I bet in 5-10 years a significant fraction of "typical nerds" will be using their own phones. It might still have a spy on board, but the spy will have very limited access.)

To the landlord belongs the doorknobs.