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Comment: Re:Money how? (Score 2) 118

by narcc (#48472717) Attached to: BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

Their product was only "better" because their competitors at the time only had crap products.

That's kind of how it works in general. Some products are superior to other, inferior, products.

Why not just say "they wouldn't have had a product that was 'better' than the competition if the competition had a superior product". So silly...

The global sales of smartphones during that time was about 1/20th of what they are now. It's easy to be the biggest fish when the pond is small.

Good effort. Now, ask yourself: 'why did the market grow?' Because the smartphone market expanded in to the consumer space. Companies started to offer their inferior products (read: ill-suited to the enterprise) with features attractive to consumers. BlackBerry faltered in the consumer market because consumers aren't interested in the features that enterprise users demanded. As the market grew, it was no surprise to see their market-share fall -- they weren't competing in the same space. (Ignoring their less-than-successful entries in to the consumer market, that is.)

Anyhow, now that the smartphone hype as all died down, I don't see any reason that BlackBerry couldn't make a strong come-back, at least in the enterprise. Someone else linked to this review which indicates that BB can still build a workhorse for the serious business user. (I'll even offer the same quote: " It was unexpectedly the best smartphone we've ever used from the perspective of taking care of business.")

Time will tell, but they've clearly started to play to their strengths. The new BlackBerry Classic has caught my eye. My battered old 8820 never let me down. A 2014 version of that just might cure my mobile woes. I doubt that I'm the only one who feels that way.

Comment: Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (Score 1) 446

by narcc (#48449647) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

you think Javascript and PHP are good well designed languages with no flaws.

No where will you find a post where I make that claim. Quite the opposite, in fact, as you'll find many of my posts where I criticize various aspects of JS as well as acknowledge specific issues with PHP. I've spoken in defense of both, sure, but only when the criticisms being offered were objectively incorrect. See, your problem is that you mistake your uninformed and subjective opinions for objective fact.

This isn't a my first website discussion, there's no room for your pre-Comp. Sci. 101 understanding of computing here

You'll note that this is NOT a discussion about computing, but about philosophy. You'll also note that bsdasym's comment is painfully incompetent. There is nothing even remotely defensible in, at least, the portion of his comment I quoted.

If you have something to ACTUALLY contribute, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Go ahead, defend bsdasym's comment. It will be interesting to watch you, with no background in philosophy, make a fool of yourself.

Comment: Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (Score 0) 446

by narcc (#48447489) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

The whole argument in the link reduces to the so called "Chinese Room" [wikipedia.org], which itself is just a version of Solipsism that draws the boundary between biology and technology

Ouch, that was painful. I'm actually dumber, now, having read that. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, stop discussing this topic.

Comment: Re:moving target (Score 1) 68

by narcc (#48442005) Attached to: Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

By your reasoning, it's been a "moving target" since 1950 as Turing himself offered variations on his test in the original paper!

See, there isn't a single monolithic thing call "The Turing Test". There isn't even widespread agreement on the nature of the tests Turing proposed. When you say "The Turing test makes sense" you're saying that you have some exclusive insight in to Turing that no one else has, and that you think that that variation "makes sense". So, please, share your divinely revealed interpretation and how it overcomes the objects raised to Turing tests over the last 64 years.

With that out of the way, consider that this new variation ALSO suffers from the same problems as all other Turing test variations: They attempt to objectively infer intelligence from a subjectively interpreted, and groundless, proxy.

It makes just as little sense as all the others.

Comment: Re:Turing test is fine (Score 1) 68

by narcc (#48441533) Attached to: Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

Maybe you should inform yourself what a Turing test actually is?

Please, enlighten me. There's at least two variations in Turing's 1950 paper, and countless others have appeared since then. (You'll also find tons of research showing that these variations are not equivalent to one another.) Which is the "real" Turing test?

Eliza didn't pass it

Weisenbaum, and countless others, would strongly disagree with you.

Turing's first failure was assuming that the questions "can machines think" and "Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?" are equivalent. His second was assuming that the results of such a game are something that can be measured objectively. The first is obviously wrong, the second was very clearly demonstrated to be wrong by Weisenbaum's Eliza via the differences between the reactions of technical and non-technical staff to the program.

Comment: Re:Turing test is fine (Score 3, Insightful) 68

by narcc (#48441463) Attached to: Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

Did you miss the last 64 years of research and philosophy? The last hold-outs, save the most delusional, we're knocked out by Searle in 1980.

It's only controversial for those who haven't read Turing's paper, or have completely failed to understand it.

Eliza, for example, highlights the massive failure in Turing's reasoning -- The question "can machines think" is not equivalent to the question "Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?"

Weisenbaum found the response to his program from non-technical staff disturbing.

Secretaries and nontechnical administrative staff thought the machine was a "real" therapist, and spent hours revealing their personal problems to the program. When Weizenbaum informed his secretary that he, of course, had access to the logs of all the conversations, she reacted with outrage at this invasion of her privacy. Weizenbaum was shocked by this and similar incidents to find that such a simple program could so easily deceive a naive user into revealing personal information.

( From Eliza to A.L.I.C.E. )

Further, the so-called "Turing test" hasn't held still. Not even in his 1950 paper! (Turing proposed multiple variations on the test, if you'll recall.) Since then, a number of different versions of the "Turing test" have appeared, none of which are (like Turing's variations) are equivalent to one another!

If you need a *really* simple argument: The results of any variation of the "Turing test" are completely subjective. Consider a program that fools 100% of one set of interrogators may completely fail to fool even 10% of another set.

Comment: Re:10x Productivity (Score 1) 215

by narcc (#48410721) Attached to: Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

We're talking about "Rock Stars" not "Great software engineers".

There's not much, if any, overlap there.

I want to work with and employ people that are constantly asking and answering, "Is there a better way of doing this?"

Those guys work in architecture, not the development trenches.

it leads you to automated solutions where the brainpower of your above average developers is used to solve the difficult problems, not the mundane ones.

How long have you been at this? >99% of development doesn't involve solving difficult problems. (For LOB apps, you'd be hard-pressed to find a difficult problem!) As I said before, programming is easy and, as a consequence, it's often very boring. The last thing you want is a bored prima donna introducing unnecessary complexity (usually in the guise of half-baked 'solutions' or 'frameworks' to 'automate' or 'simplify' the boring slog that is the bulk of development) to keep themselves entertained.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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