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Comment: Re:An Odd Bird (Score 1) 110

by outlander (#49473201) Attached to: First 26 Pages of Neal Stephenson's New Novel "Seveneves" Online

I've read Anathem several times and have enjoyed it a lot, the internal contradictions notwithstanding. The lack of explanation of the interaction between the cloistered and common worlds rang a bit false - I'd like to have seen some more concrete stuff - but it's a great space opera. And the last hundred and fifty pages are just plain fun.....

Comment: Novel dealing with AIs and religion (Score 1) 531

by outlander (#49141495) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Ken Macleod's The Night Sessions deals with AIs and religion, and it's a bit unnerving, because the AIs in the book interpret scripture in ways that are clearly at variance with what was expected by those proselytizing to those AIs. It tacitly makes the point that no one can really identify an AI's motivations, as they're inherently different from human minds and consequently have drives of which we're not necessarily aware.

(plus it's a rollicking good read - all of Macleod's SF work is)

Comment: Re: nice, now for the real fight (Score 4, Interesting) 631

by outlander (#49140185) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Yep. I have had to fight with them on so many levels, in both personal and professional settings; they were bad actors. They've brought regulation on themslelves because they've done bad things and then they've tried to shut down discussion of the issue while stonewalling any form of redress. I can't wait for them to become a utility, as in France, where the speeds to the curb are a damn sight faster than here in the Valley....

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

...and painters and interior decorators often need to be represented by a licensed contractor.

LIcensing is a relatively low-impact way of vetting businesses - a business that lacks certification often will cut corners elsewhere as well.

Typical libertarian 'the market will decide' twaddle. What they miss is that by the time the market decides - if it does, which is somewhat of a gamble - real harms will already have been done, and redress may not be possible.

Comment: Not going to disappear quickly.... (Score 5, Interesting) 293

by outlander (#48934441) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Even if Boeing stopped building 747 variants tomorrow, they'd be around for ages. They're the mainstay for long-haul travel, and dwindling sales probably are more related to market saturation - as in, there are enough in the air now to meet current demand - than any inherent shortcoming in the design.

I suspect that there are more refinements to come - it's just too useful an airframe to discard. It may take Boeing a bit to roll in some of the working dreamliner tech but it seems reasonable that they'd try to do that when time and demand permit.

Comment: Re: 10 Years Can Be A Long Time (Score 1) 332

by outlander (#48701583) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

I'd like to see it happen - it really would make a difference in the world bc it changes cost structures and allows more people to get in the game, esp in poor countries.

I've been running Linux on portable systems since it was released, and it's good. Unfortunately, it doesn't do the same sort of vertical hardware integration as, for example, Apple, so people don't see immediate refresh from hibernation right out of the box, and so think it is deficient or not as advanced. That's unfortunate, and a lot of it is the result of people building optional functionality but a lack of consensus regarding which packages and functionality should be included right out of the gate for a consumer system. With a variety of packages for what users now expect enabled on a commodity PC, it'll do just fine...... .....I hope.

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.