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Comment: News At 11 (Score 5, Funny) 214

by fyngyrz (#49358717) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

Dateline: Millions of light years (even faster parsecs than the Kessel run)

Lede: Scientists in the Dark; Does it Matter?

Today scientists announced that they can't see anything happening with stuff they can't see, but think is there, because otherwise the math is no good. After receiving directions to his laboratory on the phone, I went to see an authority on dark matter. During the interview, Dr. Seemore Lichspittle told this Any Paper, Any Time reporter that the thing about dark matter that one has to understand is that "it goes to eleven." When confronted with the observation that the sensing instruments only had scales from 0-10, he responded "Yes, yes, that's exactly it. The numbers... the numbers only work out in the dark. When the instruments are off. Matter of fact, it's all dark, really." At that point the interview was cut short as two lab assistants in white coats hustled Dr. Lichspittle into his own custom white lab jacket. Late for an important meeting, no doubt. As he left, nodding, he called back "it's really quite dark." Food for thought! Leaving Arkham, I was struck by the picturesque beauty of the stonework, and very appreciative of the tight security. We can rest easy, knowing that national treasures like Dr. Lichspittle work in such a safe enviroment.

Comment: Cumbered (Score 1) 286

by fyngyrz (#49356529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

And this is why closed source combined with black-box development is so much safer than open source. Sigh.

I really don't mind -- actually, I think I'd be kind of of flattered -- if people were able to look at my code, go "hey, I can use that" and then proceed to use it. And in fact, I've written a fair bit of code I think would fall into that vein. I think I could write something book-length in the line of "cool coding stuff" and quite a few programmers would find it quite useful. I've been doing this since the early 70's. I write signal processing, and image processing (but I repeat myself, sorta) and AI code, with a strong background in embedded and special-purpose systems, a bunch more.

But because a lawyer might look at my code, and use it to screw me, and through me, my family and employees quite harshly?

Bang. Closed source. The opposite of furthering progress by virtue of passing along what I've learned. I give away some of my work product such as this, but you will never see my source code because of the legal environment.

As far as I'm concerned, if I wrote it without referring to "other" source code, then no one else has any claim on my work. I don't have any idea how to fix copyright and patent and still retain the supposed commercial motivation to create, but fact is, as it stands, it's completely fucktarded.

Pisses me off, it does. :/

Comment: Not being a metric ton of bit rot (Score 1) 286

by fyngyrz (#49356339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Fast; efficient; not bloated; not buggy; respectful of the user's privacy; hardened with regard to hacking if that's relevant; not encumbered by dependencies; adequately featured; well supported; well documented for the end user.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't hit those 00001000 or 00001001 targets, you should be looking for different line of work.

Of course it is lovely if it's easily read code, well commented, well structured -- but if the former list is covered, I'll give the 00000011 latter a pass.

Comment: Au contraire (Score 1) 727

by fyngyrz (#49355543) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Adding weight to the airplane reduces its range and/or capacity for carrying paying passengers so it would be an ongoing cost.

Who says it has to add weight? Use modern materials for the partition; carbon fiber structures can be ultra tough and very light weight, for example. And probably not used in any near-current design as aircraft take a very long time from paperwork to production. A door in the fuselage weighs about the same as the fuselage; thicker in the middle, thinner at the edges. It might even reduce weight by creating more open space in the cockpit. You can argue that it would reduce passenger capacity, but inasmuch as US passenger aircraft are typically not fully loaded, it doesn't add cost in most cases either. No matter what, it wouldn't cost as much as the TSA does, between the actual money spent and the huge amount of people's time they subtract from pursuits that would actually benefit the economy. Not to mention the level of irritation and the follow-on effects on productivity and civility...

Always wondered why they didn't design the passenger seating to be removable and collapsible and just pull all the empty seats out as a pre-takeoff action after the aircraft is fully loaded. Be a heck of a weight savings. Plus they could probably leverage it to reduce the anti-passenger effect of the seat designs created by the one-armed, one-legged engineer that all the airlines seem to hire.

+ - Underhanded government practices get a skewering->

Submitted by fyngyrz
fyngyrz (762201) writes "Blogger and activist Maggie McNeil puts fingers to keyboard in an amazingly concise, robust and well-cited takedown of quite a few police and government practices slashdotters condemn on a regular basis. Well worth a read, and it is also worth following the various links in the post; they range from eye-opening to absolutely horrifying."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Quantum Computing Required? (Score 1) 291

by ceoyoyo (#49351983) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk

My point is that there's not much differentiating us from primates besides scale, remember. I mentioned the cortex particularly in relationship to neurogenesis, not in relationship to primates. It is the most striking difference between primate brains and those of other animals. I also didn't say there wasn't any neurogenesis in the cortex. There might be, but it's proving pretty hard to find. If you read your reference 3, you'll see this:

The number of migrating cells in the
Gould et al. study5, calculated from case numbers
8 and 9, and after a single BrdU injection,
is more than 10,000 per day33. Even if only
25% of BrdU-labelled cells were neurons, as
has been estimated more recently34, the resulting
migratory stream would still be large
enough to be readily detected in the frontal
lobeswith any light microscopic method, but
it has never been observed.Moreover, if most
new cells degenerate between 2 and 9 weeks
after their birth34, then many pyknotic neurons
commensurate with the massive cell
death would be expected.This prediction has
never been confirmed.

That's the very paper I was referring to when I said "Indirect hints of neurogenesis in the cortex have been reported, but other methods that should turn them up haven't, so the evidence is contradictory." It might be there, and it might not. If it is, it's difficult to detect, much more so than the known neurogensis in older parts of the brain that is known to exist in a wide variety of species. It's also difficult to understand what role ongoing neurogenesis would have in providing some kind of "spark" for intelligence.

I doubt very much there's a magic bullet for intelligence hiding in the human brain. Your friend said it herself: "there is strong evidence that the human brain is a scaled up primate brain." The principles are the same, but there's more of everything.

Comment: Re:Ukraine? (Score 1) 228

by fyngyrz (#49350021) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

None of those even comes close to two heads of state declaring that sovereign Ukrainian land belongs to Russia.

No one needs to. They've already taken what they wanted. Fait accompli.

You're really letting this stuff fly right over your head. Odd. Russia -- and the US -- are the 800 lb (~363 kg for you victims of the metric system) gorilla of international "we did it, you can suck it" politics. Approval from others is not something that changes the course of much in particular, although it's typical when some kind of externally facing benefit is desired from them.

Germany, on the other hand, was a small, massively industrial country between the size of the 4th and 5th largest US states (Montana and New Mexico) and smaller than Severo-Kavkazsky federalny okrug, the second smallest of the nine federal districts of Russia. Germany was very busy trying to consolidate a starting foothold for a major, vicious, multi-country land grab. The remainder of Europe as a whole was terrified. Initially, they did what they thought they had to do, true enough, but in the end it was nothing but deterrent-free conciliation, just as many actions aimed at Russia today are. The specifics of the act mean very little; it's the nature of it that guides future action.

Comment: Re:Hold up (Score 1) 264

by fyngyrz (#49349871) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

"$7,000" ... "The assumption it takes a year"

The point I was making rather explicitly, which went right over your head, is that 7k is a good return for a short bit of work. 47k is excellent. The complaint about 7k of income as made in the GP is only valid if the development takes a long time. If it takes a week to put together an app, a not unreasonable amount of time for something of moderate complexity (assuming, again, that one is competent, and continuing not being the least bit concerned about those who are not), 7k is a thousand bucks a day, assuming you work all seven days.

Another thing is that if a dev spends a whole lot of time on a poor idea, then perhaps the message isn't so much that "this work produces a poor return" as it is "you suck at this work and/or you suck at figuring out what people will buy", and in either (or both) cases, this is simply the market's way of telling you to consider a more remunerative line of effort.

I highly recommend that you talk to HR about your compensation.

Retired, my home is what amounts to a small castle (ex-church), multiple vehicles, 200" home theater, no mortgage, no loans, investments a-plenty, two wholly owned, profitable businesses that run themselves, and the software that put me here now available for free to anyone...

Yeah, sorry, no time for your HR person. What was it they wanted from you? Ten years experience in rehabilitating sentient AI bartenders, a no-compete / no-disclosure / no harassment / must-wear-panties contract, daily drug tests and cavity searches, you provide your own insurance, move to India and obtain Indian citizenship, be paid in rupees+curry, and no pets in the office?

I'm sorry, I'm just a bit cranky today. Was thinking one lousy assumption deserved another, albeit with a little humor thrown in. :)

Comment: 9/11 stupidity (Score 1) 727

by fyngyrz (#49349571) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Yeah, actually it is 9/11 stupidity.

Solution would have been armored cockpits rejiggered to include food service, bunks and restroom sufficient for cockpit crew, separate, external door (doesn't open to the passenger section) into the aircraft for the pilots. An expensive 1-time cost. Instead of half-assed conversions and the open-ended expense, inconvenience, and dignity trampling of the TSA and associated rules and strangulations.

The current situation is a band-aid, and a pretty poor one at that. It does no good; it offers great potential for harm. As we have seen here.

And inasmuch as it is extremely unlikely that any load of passengers will ever again let a terrorist take control of an aircraft, knowing that doing so could lead straight to their death without passing go, so action is now always the better choice -- and terrorists know it -- the whole thing is basically wrongheaded from start to finish.

The most serious problem was commercial aircraft being used as guided kinetic weapons. That will likely never happen again unless the aircraft is transporting several terrorists and no one else but a load of first-year brownies. Perhaps not even then.

Comment: Russian driving, meh (Score 1) 226

by fyngyrz (#49349223) Attached to: Russian Official Proposes Road That Could Connect London To NYC

You should keep this in mind -- Russians embraced dash cams well before the US did, and in considerably greater numbers (mine is still the only one I've seen in my smallish town of 3000 people to this very day.) There were motivating insurance / liability / responsibility issues -- even some fairly widespread scamming. This inevitably means that more accidents have been and are being recorded, and of course, to make the video, the most sensationally fucktarded ones are chosen. Don't you believe for a moment that US drivers don't do similarly crazy things. On a drive back from Billings, Montana to my home, about 300 miles, on a snowy, icy day, we counted over fifty cars in the median, one- and two-car accidents, plus one really serious multiple-vehicle one involving a semi. There were actually more people in the median, having slid there, than there were on the road with us (I drive a 3/4 ton 4WD drive pickup, and you'd better believe I was in 4WD and going s...l...o...w... Horrific accidents make the news fairly often too, here and elsewhere -- but no dash cams. I have yet to "run into" dash cam footage for a US accident on the news though there must be some out there somewhere.

Face it. If Russians were as crazy as that video makes them seem, there wouldn't be very many Russians left.

Comment: Re:Ukraine? (Score 1) 228

by fyngyrz (#49349075) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

the situations are very different.

You think so? consider this, for instance. And this too. And this. No appeasement? Hardly. You just don't see it in the news. You'll read more about it in the histories when this behavior is revealed as part of the present diplomatic pattern, and what it led to is in the rear view mirror. Just as we did with Nazi Germany.

It's a shell game. Nothing is quite what it seems, and sure as little green apple seeds make little green apples, no one is eager to tell the public what is actually going on.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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