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Comment: Just a bad news article. (Score 1) 914

Dr. Roache is a philosopher, not a scientist or medical doctor. As far as I can tell, the story came from this blog post she made, which is a short, speculative piece.

The article makes it sound like she's the head of some team of scientists actually working on how to make this happen. Maybe philosophy journalism is actually worse than science journalism.

If you look at her other posts she doesn't seem to be a complete nutter.

+ - Best Idea for a Universal Translator (FreeSpeech tm)->

Submitted by gurps_npc
gurps_npc (621217) writes "An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)

In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator. Their web site includes a link to his TED talk."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: fake premise (Score 1) 742

by porksauce (#46323631) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"
This. A terrible product, and a business model geared around eliminating my choices, rather than making a better product to improve my experience. Now I should like MS because Auschwitz or Chewbacca or something?

Okay, they did spend a little effort to try to improve my experience, but unfortunately they spent it on Clippy, The Ribbon, and Metro.

Comment: Re: The UK border staff are wildly incompetent. (Score 1) 261

by porksauce (#46296767) Attached to: Edward Snowden's Lawyer Claims Harassment From Heathrow Border Agent
I'm American and I lived in London for 2 years on a work visa, and travelled quite a bit. Never had any issues whatsoever at Heathrow or Gatwick. I found the border guard polite and professional. And going through security leaving from Heathrow was also much better than in the US, the main difference being the attitude and professionalism of the staff rather than policy differences (though it's nice not to have to take off your shoes). Maybe I've been lucky in the UK and unlucky in the US.

Comment: Re:Hey, Fuck you Slashdotters (Score 1) 509

by porksauce (#45685047) Attached to: NSA Head Asks How To Spy Without Collecting Metadata
I think his argument is that it will be possible in the future for a few people to cause a lot more damage than they can today, therefore we must gradually transform ourselves into a police state so that we will be able protect ourselves, because we won't be able to turn on a dime from a free society to a totalitarian one once those threats become real. This is perhaps the most reasonable argument that can be made in favor of gathering this sort of data because, as others have pointed out, the current danger of terrorism is very slight relative to taking a shower or driving a car. I'm in favor of taking our chances and resuming the experiment of a free society.

Comment: Re:They didn't think this through (Score 1) 444

by porksauce (#45188927) Attached to: Scientists Say Climate Change Is Damaging Iowa Agriculture
Gore was never any kind of scientist:

"Although he was an avid reader who fell in love with scientific and mathematical theories,[22] he did not do well in science classes in college, and avoided taking math.[21] His grades during his first two years put him in the lower one-fifth of the class." --Wikipedia

He actually studied government.

Comment: Re:Can we believe them? (Score 1) 70

by porksauce (#45024567) Attached to: NSA Abandoned Project To Track Cell Phone Locations
I think the tone of his statements is basically, "Sure we dabbled in that, and we might again at some point." Not reassuring at all, and not meant to be. And the only issue was "operational value", no moral or legal impediments. I can't imagine anyone reading that article would feel relieved.

Comment: Re:many engineers are religious (Score 1) 1258

by porksauce (#39820741) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief
Is there actually anything in the Bible about God being omnipotent? From reading the Old Testament I remember a sense of his power being limited, particularly from a conversation where Moses is trying to convince him not to wipe out the Jews and start over, because the Egyptians would think Yahweh was weak for not successfully leading them to the promised land, and the argument seemed to work. You're not totally omnipotent if a mortal guy helps you out with your marketing strategy.

I'm guessing the concept of omnipotence emerged later?

And the Old Testament is not really monotheistic as we think about that today. It seems to say Yahweh is the most powerful of gods, but not the only. Some language like "above all others" implies to me that the *author* is saying "mine's better" instead of "yours don't actually exist".

Comment: Duration of Effect? (Score 1) 1258

by porksauce (#39820263) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief
I wonder about the duration of the effect. Is it just immediately following analytical thinking you're less inclined to report belief, but if you wait a week the level pops back up to normal? If it's just a temporary effect then that's more obvious and not as interesting. The full paper is paywalled so I can't tell.

Comment: Re:Not just analytic... (Score 5, Informative) 1258

by porksauce (#39820085) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief
Einstein's beliefs deinfitely don't fit that binary yes/no, but if you had to pick one it's closer to no. Here's a quote:

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

And here's more commentary.

Newton, on the other hand, yeah.

People are always available for work in the past tense.