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Comment: Re:Both the submitter and WSJ got it wrong (Score 3, Funny) 227 227

I would argue that the process we have gone through here is a demonstration true intelligence at work.

The original reporter looked at the article, didn't understand a piece of it and asked an intern specializing in technology what this was about.

The intern couldn't be bothered, saw that it was a computer responding to human input and said it was "Artificial Intelligence".

The submitter read the article and keyed on the comment about this being a machine learning, which they feel is impossible.

Most /.ers (me included) responded to the submision and railed on about the ignorance of the media and the great unwashed.

One poster actually read TFA and pointed out that it has nothing to do with the article, submission and most comments.

I don't know how the hell we expect to create software that follows a process like this.

Comment: Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 1) 227 227


I was under the impression that visual operations in the brain were not understood at all. While we have a fairly good mapping of the visual areas of the brain and where things happen, we do not understand how images are stored or how we recognize (compare) images.

Could you educate us (assuming bachelors degree level education)? I'm very curious how this works and how we would implement it in a computer system.

Comment: Ironically, it's the media's fault (Score 1) 227 227

If the media can't accurately explain to people and have them accept where AI really is, they only have themselves to blame.

People have watched, kind, funny, evil, enigmatic machines interact with their favourite characters for years and have been told that true AI is just five years away for 30 years now.

They've read about things like putting a worm's brain in a Lego Mindstorms: http://www.sciencealert.com/wa...

So, why wouldn't lay people believe ridiculous statements like "teaching computers to mimic some of the ways a human brain works"?

Yes we need some well recognized, respected computer scientist to stand up and say, "People, not only do we not know how brains work and we don't even know how the *fuck* to go about figuring out how brains work. Computers like HAL, WOPR, M-5, Ziggy, etc. simply are works of fiction".

Unfortunately, I can't think of anybody with the stature to make such a statement.

Comment: Re:WindowsME 2.0 (Score 4, Informative) 277 277


Aren't your comments the same sage advice that should be used with each new version of Windows?

I am doing 95% of my development work on Win7 simply because, like you, I believe it's the best version of Windows available for use right now (I always liked the stability of Win2k), but I just did a Google search on "Initial Windows 7 bugs" and there are numerous problems (including incomplete installations, unable to access optical media, theme change problems, etc.) all with the recommendation to wait a year+ until it gets stable.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has the mindset to get it out and then fix the problems (with some bean-counter probably saying that they should only spend money/resources on the problems that users actually care about) instead of doing it right before shipping.

Comment: I don't think it means what you think it means (Score 4, Interesting) 277 277

When I read through TFA, it sounds like the offer is being revised and updated every time somebody points out a loophole or potential gotcha to the lawyers.

Reading this, it seems to make more sense to me to:
1. Make Windows 10 Open Source and available to everybody
2. Charge for patch notification/installation. "For $10/year, we'll keep your copy of Windows current and in tip-top shape." For your average user, this would probably be a deal, and, I believe, is equivalent to the license fee Microsoft gets when the PC is first sold. For corporate users, this means they are outsourcing some IT responsibilities. For the technical user, they can maintain their workstations themselves and contribute fixes to the things that are important to them.

Sounds like utopia.

+ - Jade Robot: Hands on STEM for kids and classrooms->

Hallie Siegel writes: There are a ton of educational robots out there that aim to teach STEM. Not all of them have been user-tested as extensively as this one. This is a nice design for kids 10+ ... the fact that there is no exterior plastic case means that kids can see and engage with the sensors and board directly, rather than everything being inside a plastic box. The spectrometer is another nice feature you don't find on most educational bots, and is a great way to connect kids to real world robotics, like the Mars Rover. Great classroom material as well — a nice full package.
Link to Original Source

Comment: This should be a major embarrassment (Score 0) 72 72

Bill Nye is great at making science understandable to kids but clearly he doesn't know what it takes to put together a team that knows how to design a satellite.

The issues (by my count):
1. The .csv file error where no limit checking was put in place.
2. Relying on a cosmic ray/energetic particle to reset the system.
3. Not designing a power supply to keep the batteries charged from the solar cells.
4. Not placing the satellite high enough where they can measure an unbalanced force on the sails from the sun. It sounds like as soon as the sails unfurl, the satellite will re-enter Earth's atmosphere because of high altitude drag.

It seems like there was a lot of hubris that went into this project and not a lot of good old fashioned engineering that relied upon working with and listening to people who have successfully orbited satellites in the past.

I can't imagine that there weren't more than a few experts that would have been happy to critique the designs for free - simply because they believed in the project and wanted to see it succeed (how many engineers out there haven't read Clarke's "The Wind from the Sun" and been inspired by it?).

Comment: Understand and accept your son's abilities (Score 1) 315 315


Personally, I would say seven is a bit young to start introducing him to programming. I don't know what your background is and what you expect from him but my biggest piece of advice is tread carefully. He has quite a few years to become interested/fascinated in programming as well as mature the thinking and analytic skills needed to be a successful programmer. Pushing too hard or introducing it before he's ready could result in him getting a negative attitude about programming. My recommendation would be to hold off and wait until he's around 12 to actively introduce him to programming as a career/interest option if he isn't doing it already.

For full disclosure and as a point of reference; this is my business right now. I cofounded Mimetics Inc. (https://mimetics.ca/) to introduce and engage children in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). We've done over 16,000 students, from ages 6 and up with quite a bit of success in introducing kids to technology and getting them excited about it as a career.

I find that the best approach for introducing young children to program is having something concrete that they can program on with statements directly causing physical actions. This does not mean an Arduino or Raspberry Pi; I know there will be disagreements to this statement, but younger children do not have the manually dexterity to handle wiring or work with complex mechanical structures.

For a parent of a child younger than eight, I would recommend the Wonder Workshop Dot and Dash: https://www.makewonder.com/ The robots are quite a lot of fun for children and are provided with an iPad app that allows control and introductory (Scratch) programming.

As a father myself, I didn't actively introduce programming to my kids at all; they could see me do it and I was available for explanations of what I was doing and demonstrations as how things were done. Maybe a bit incongruous considering my current career arc, but the result has been my older daughter who's now taking Game Programming at college and a 12-year old that is having programming parties at our house with her friends.

Good luck,


Comment: As somebody who saw her in action (Score 4, Insightful) 353 353

during her tree felling heydays at HP, I'm not surprised at the chutzpah that would be required for her to think that she could be president.

And her total lack of self-awareness to understand that she doesn't have a snow-ball's chance in hell.

I don't see her being anything approaching a serious candidate.


Comment: The value of technology investment (Score 4, Interesting) 132 132

This is the first article I've seen that explains well how GPUs can/are being used for practical applications along with what can be achieved and some of the issues. Well worth the read even if you're not into this stuff.

I'm sure that there is a significant cost in developing this new approach to CFD (as well as pushing the envelope on GPU operation) but the result is going to be usable for different applications. TFA says there's irony in what SpaceX is doing here as it has applications with automotive Internal combustion engines but I see that as SpaceX/Musk having a secondary revenue stream for this work that doesn't mean he's helping out his direct competitors.

Along with that, they are driving the development of high speed inter GPU communications which I'm sure has value as well.

All this means is that Musk returns to his home planet, not only is the trip going to be fully funded, but he's going to have some money to throw around when he gets there.


After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.