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Comment: Parent Post Semantic Content: Null (Score 5, Insightful) 177

by FreeUser (#49354007) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

It's only those damn Russians are doing this, all other countries are saint.

Yeah, because that makes it all OK then.

Your comment is designed to distract from the issue at hand, shut down intelligent conversation on the topic, and imply the wrongdoer is just fine because, by implication, "everybody else does it, too" (no evidence to said implication provided, certainly not proven, and probably not true), all without contributing a single creative or new thought to the discussion at all.

Nice job, (Russian?) troll.

Comment: Re: Linux? OS X? Chrome OS? Nope. OpenBSD! (Score 1) 166

by FreeUser (#49349361) Attached to: NJ School District Hit With Ransomware-For-Bitcoins Scheme

Until systemd is removed from a major Linux distro, I would consider that distro to be less secure than even a Windows system.

Some Poettering apologist will probably mark you as a troll, but for completeness there are a number of distros that default to non-systemd init architectures, including but not limited to

Calculate, Gentoo, Funtoo, Source Mage, Dyson, indeed all kinds of distros either default or support running a systemd-free system.

Comment: Sloppy's One Rule of Robotics (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#49338263) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

My one rule of robotics (and pointed sticks, cars, crackpipes and umbrellas) is this: my stuff ought to perform in accordance with my wishes.

There might be additional laws ("weld here and here, but nowhere else," or "use the rules in /etc/iptables/rules.v4" or "don't shoot at anyone whose IFF transponder returns the correct response") which vary by whatever the specific application is, but these rules aren't as important as The One above.

There are various corollaries that you can infer from the main law, but since they can be derived, they don't need to be laws themselves. (e.g. if my interests conflict with someone else's, then my robot and my umbrella ought to serve my interests at the expense of the other person's interests.)

With regard to harming other robots, that also can be derived. If I desire to kill a knight on a robot horse, then my robot ought to turn them into a pile of bloody gore and shredded circuitboards immediately. OTOH, if I don't desire to kill a robot, then my robot should not do things that incur unnecessary liabilities.

Comment: Speak for yourself; most of us DO have ethics (Score 2) 90

by FreeUser (#49294921) Attached to: Google: Our New System For Recognizing Faces Is the Best

Scientists and engineers are by definition not supposed to be ethical.

"I just invented the bomb. I didn't drop it."
        --Brice, Max Headroom Episode 1 "Blipverts", 1987

Reference (in particular, the third video clip): http://www.avclub.com/article/...

Back then that line was meant as tongue-in-cheek humor, funny because of its ridiculousness Depressing that we've degenerated so far that you've actually said the equivalent with all seriousness. (The same could be said for many things in that once funny, now prophetic series.)

As engineers and scientists we do NOT check our humanity at the door, or our ethics. At least, good engineers and scientists do not.

Comment: Re:Death traps. (Score 1) 451

by Alioth (#49291863) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

You are somewhat the rarity with your vintage car. For most people, drive by wire is already a thing. The throttle has been drive by wire for years on most cars, and some of today's cars are steer by wire. (Yes, there is manual reversion if it fails, but in normal driving you have no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels of the car). Many cars can brake independently of the driver. Even my 2007 Civic has traction control and ABS fitted as standard.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by Alioth (#49291749) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Traffic would probably flow considerably better in a city full of self driving cars. A lot of the chaos of city driving is because of human error and human reaction delays.

You only have to fly over a traffic jam on a major highway to see problems that could be significantly alleviated by self driving cars that communicate with each other. Quite often you see traffic jams with no explanation - a mile of stationary traffic, but there's no obstacle in front and none behind. What happened is two hours earlier someone slammed on their brakes, someone following too close had to brake harder, and eventually the whole highway stops. As long as traffic is not leaving the stopped area faster than it is arriving, you get a self-sustaining traffic jam long after the original cause has gone away. The self driving car will reduce the instances in the first place of the cause, and if it does happen will be able to as a group moderate their speed in such a way that you don't end up with a mile of stopped cars. Instead of the next car only starting after it has seen the previous one begin to move + reaction delay, all cars will be able to start moving at once or nearly so.

Comment: There's only one answer, and it's obvious (Score 1) 307

Look at how you build a computer for casual home use, where downtime means that no astronauts will die, nor will you lose a million dollars per day in sales, but there will be some inconvience and maybe an angry wife. One of these components is so expected to fail, that your initial build will have redundancy for that component. You start out thinking not "that would suck if this failed, because it's critical and will be expensive to replace," but rather "when one of these goes, we'll be fine until the replacement arrives."

Replacing the other things is an exception and it will usually have an interesting story behind it. Replacing a disk, though, is just routine maintenance.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin