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Comment: Re:Turing test is fine (Score 2) 49

by ultranova (#48441209) Attached to: Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

Why should an AI have to think about all the things us meatbags have to think about that aren't relevant to it?

Because if it can't model a meatbag, why would it be able to model an electron (so can't do physics), an industrial robot (so can't program them), a car (can't control vehicles), abstract entities (can't do logic or math) or anything else for that matter?

Imagination is not optional for intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to build mental models and manipulate them.

AIs don't have parents (well, not in the traditional sense anyway) and so won't have a human-like childhood experience to reflect upon,

Any entity that comes to a new setting will require a period of acclimatization. Whether you call this "childhood" or not is irrelevant.

nor should they have to worry about whether that lump is cancerous, or whether they have to go into work tomorrow, or if that dish had too much salt in it.

Computers break down and require resources - more than human bodies, in fact - thus work enters the picture.

Comment: Re:In Reverse (Score 1) 60

by ultranova (#48441073) Attached to: Extreme Shrimp May Hold Clues To Alien Life On Europa

The book also presents a very interesting hypothesis that resolves the Fermi Paradox.

A hypothesis that falls apart when you start wondering how beings who embrace such logic ever built a society to begin with, and then avoided wiping each other out with nuclear weapons. Also, I can't help but think what happens if any set of species forms an alliance or even casual contact - attacking any warns all the others. So while we can't rule out a psychotic species causing havoc, it would be a weird aberration at worst.

Frankly, I find it much more likely that we simply happen to be amongst the first civilizations to develop. Universe is not that old, elements took time to manufacture, life took time to get from first whatever-they-were to us, and Earth has a lot of things going for it specifically.

Comment: Re:neat tricks (Score 1) 61

by ultranova (#48440615) Attached to: People Trained To Experience an Overlap In Senses Also Receive IQ Boost

In truth, the retarded are just punted back a few dozen meters. Provided they're educable in the most basic sense, they can be trained to be normal; and, once normal, they can use the training to become hyper-intelligent.

This seems highly unlikely. You are in essence claiming physical deficiencies in brain structure will simply disappear with enough training. This in turn implies that anyone who has such a handicap is merely too lazy to overcome it. Do you have any evidence?

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 1) 234

by Znork (#48439733) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Coercion would of course obviate the need for explicit objections. There was no coercion here.

There are of course grey scales of coercion as well. Physical threats would definitely get ruled as rape, but there have been cases where the woman didn't object because she felt like she'd be considered a spoilsport or not cool enough. Those cases have generally not been considered rape by Swedish courts. Unless the law gets changed to include a consent requirement, the courts are quite straight forward on that point; if you feel you are getting raped, you have to tell the person you think is raping you in such a clear way that there is no possibility of misunderstanding.

Sleep is incapacitated and if she had objected upon waking, or failed to wake up (oddly deep sleeper, or more commonly, due to drugs or alcohol), there would have been no question that she had been raped. She did wake up, and by not objecting even when it was clear he wasn't wearing protection, moved that sex into the standard wake-up-sex category which is not generally considered rape under current laws.

And no, they're not my standards, they're Swedish law. Personally I'd prefer a mandatory contract and video taping, just to get everyone to shut the fuck up about the whole debate. It wouldn't cost me anything as I consider thorough negotiation part of any sex I'm willing to engage in, and if someone can't even talk freely and explicitly in detail about exactly what they do and don't want, I sure as fuck am not going to take them to bed.

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 1) 234

by Znork (#48439677) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Again, Sweden does not _have_ a consent requirement. There have been discussions about changing the law to include that, but that is not the law today.

As he did not lie when asked about protection and she did not object it was not rape as Swedish law would currently classify rape.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 2) 48

by jd (#48439075) Attached to: Another Hint For Kryptos

There are lots of pressing problems.

Cyphers, as opposed to codes, have well-defined functions (be it an algorithm or a lookup table) which map the input to the output. The same functions are applied in the same way across the entire input. Unless the functions are such that the output is truly indistinguishable from a random oracle (or, indeed, any other Oracle product), information is exposed, both information about the message and information about the method for producing the cyphertext. Since randomness can tell you nothing, by definition, the amount of information exposed cannot exceed the the information limit proposed by Shannon for a channel whose bandwidth is equal to the non-randomness of the output.

(A channel is a channel is a channel. The rules don't care.)

So, obviously you want to know how to get at the greatest amount of the unencrypted data that's encoded in the non-randomness, and how do you actually then extract the contents?

In other words, is there a general purpose function that can do basic, naive cryptanalysis? And what, exactly, can such a function achieve given a channel of N bits and a message of M bits?

In other words, how much non-randomness can a cypher have before you definitely know there's enough information leakage in some arbitrary cypher for the most naive cryptanalysis possible (excluding brute-force, since that's not analytical and isn't naive since you have to know the cypher) to be able to break the cypher in finite time? (Even if that's longer than the universe is expected to last.)

Is there some function which can take the information leakage rate and the type and complexity of the cypher to produce a half-life of that class of cyphers, where you can expect half of a random selection of cyphers (out of all cyphers with the same characteristics) to be broken at around that estimated half-life point?

If you can do that, then you know how complex you can make your cypher for a competition page, and how simple you can afford it when building a TrueCrypt replacement.

Comment: Neowin is an idiot (Score 1) 164

by nitehawk214 (#48439043) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

"Neowin speculates that this large jump in version number is likely related to the massive overhaul of the underlying components..."

The version number and the amount of work on a project have nothing to do with one another. Does he (or they, whatever the hell a neowin is) really think that 40% of all the work that has ever gone into windows happened in this iteration? Version numbers are assigned by marketing and management. You have to name your product something, but what it is named has nothing to do with the engineers working on it.

And yes, I know that the actual name (windows 7, XP, Vista) is also assigned by marketing. But since people know the top name means nothing and look at the internal version number, marketing gets a hold of that and tries to manipulate it as well.

As Londo said... "It does not mean a thing!"

Comment: Re:Clock -- Time is running out! (Score 1) 48

by jd (#48439023) Attached to: Another Hint For Kryptos

Damn. I was hoping he was going to say that the solution was written down but the piece of acid-free archival paper had been cut into segments, placed in acid-free envelopes, in turn placed in argon-filled boxes, which in turn were buried at secret locations, with the GPS coordinates for each segment written in encrypted format in the will.

Comment: Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (Score 1) 282

by ultranova (#48438809) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

What is happening here is that a bunch of politicians are interfering in the legitimate business of a private enterprise.

Yes. And it's nice to know they have the balls to. This motion may or may not be a good idea, but simply bringing it up serves to remind everyone who is in charge here: voters rather than shareholders.

Comment: OneCore? (Score 2) 164

by jd (#48437889) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

*Freddy Mercury impression*

One Core, One System!
The bright neon looks oh-so tacky.
They've screwed it up, it's now worse than wacky!
Oh oh oh, give them some vision!

No true, no false, the GUI will only do a slow waltz
No blood, no vein, MS zombies wanna much on your brain
No specs, no mission, the code's just some fried chicken!

*Switches to Gandal*

Nine cores for mortal tasks, doomed to die()
Seven for the Intel lords, in their halls of silicon
Three for the MIPS under the NSA
One for the Dark Hoarde on their Dark Campus.
One Core to rule them all, One Core to crash them,
One Core to freeze them all and in the darkness mash them!
In the land of Redmond, where the dotnet lies!

Comment: Re:"very telling" indeed (Score 1) 143

by ultranova (#48435969) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

Why would anyone think that People answering to Corporations answering to the Government would work?

Didn't Japan do something like that after WWII with the zaibatsu system? Seemed to work quite well for them...

Government answers to the people.

It does. It's giving people exactly what they demand, whether that's getting tough on crime (and ignoring "technicalities" like actual evidence), tryijng to stamp out drugs with maximum prejudice, ensuring no one gets anything they haven't earned, etc. Every single policy pushed by either Democrats or Republicans is trying to pander to some block of voters. The problem is, those voters haven't quite internalized the idea that a nuclear-armed de facto demigod is treating every single one of their angry online rants and under-the-breath mutters as a heartfelt prayer, and doing its best to please.

The government answers to the people, just like genies responded to whoever held their lamp in old tales. But that also means that a master who won't think through the consequences of their wishes has only themselves to blame.

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 3, Insightful) 234

by Znork (#48435563) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

And they weren't surrendered to the US, they were surrendered to Egypt via the US.

They were surrendered to CIA agents at the request of the CIA. The CIA prefers to torture their victims outside the US.

It turned into one of the biggest judicial scandals in Swedish history, receiving widespread protest and condemnation.

And yet, despite being widely regarded as violating multiple laws, somehow nobody was actually convicted of anything. No functionaries, no officials, no politicians. So, yeah, violate the law and send people to get tortured and the newspapers will write a few articles about how bad you are and some will walk past you with a clenched fist in their pocket. Scary. That really wont happen again.

2) It led to a reform of not just Swedish but EU-wide extradition law, making it so that a mere promise of not torturing isn't enough, the country has to have a track record of not torturing.

And violating that will get you... a mean article in a newspaper and some angry glares?

3) The victims were offered by Sweden a large financial compensation package and Swedish residence.

Yeah, paid for by the tax payers. Oh, no, we'll have to give tax payer money to someone for violating their rights. We'll get cushy speaking appointments and nice educations for our kids in the US. But oh, no, tax payer money...

4) Swedish attitudes against the US rendition program

Most likely the Swedish security agencies got fed up with getting snickered at and played for total fools. I doubt it had much to do with ethics.

No country has a spotless record, but Sweden has among the highest ranked judicial systems on Earth.

... based on reported public perception. Swedes like to have a very high opinion of their country and government. They get very surprised when confronted with objective measures of education and discover how far they've fallen or discovering they get much better healthcare when on vacation out of the country. Filtering out self-satisfaction bias would be an interesting exercise.

Sweden has the world's best whistleblower protections and one of the most restrictive extradition treaties in Europe

Which means... what? If nobody is even prosecuted when torture protections are violated the law isn't worth the paper it's written on. Unless Thomas Bodström, Göran Persson and the responsible people in the security agencies are actually prosecuted and thrown in jail for what they did to the Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery it doesn't matter what the law says, because they are above the law. With politicians and security agencies above the law, Sweden cannot be trusted to enforce the laws they claim to have.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau