Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:AI + organisations will be the real problem (Score 1) 678

by rasmusbr (#48615753) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

If you're worried about what'll happen to driving, look at what happened to horseback riding and sailing.

If self-driving cars become a reality, car driving enthusiasts will probably settle down in an area where there is at least one good racetrack that they can frequent and racetracks will probably have garage spaces for rent, much like marinas have dock spaces for rent. So you won't have to drive your race car to your regular race track.

Many towns will have a historic car day, say on a Saturday, when certain streets will be open to traffic with manually driven cars, with curious onlookers lining the streets to get a glimpse of the old machines.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 2) 678

by rasmusbr (#48615613) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

But humans have a long history of having to work in order to get food, clothes, shelter and other essentials. We have at least a cultural instinct, possibly a genetic instinct, to think that people who work a lot deserve to have a lot of possessions and status, while people who work a little or don't work at all deserve nothing. It's not going to be easy to relearn that instinct.

Of course, there are already large swaths of people who do little to no useful work and have high social status...

Maybe the short-term solution to the problem is for more people to become politicians and lawyers, the former creating jobs for the latter by imposing more and more laws.

Comment: Yeah, let's lower the standards (Score 1) 307

I had some programming background when I took CS101. I found that being good at writing spaghetti code (or even simple OO code) that works is not something that puts you ahead of other students in a computer science course, and that you actually have to learn the course material in order to pass. Who would have guessed!

If people like me don't have to take CS101 then we're slowly but surely going to end up with a community of programmers/engineers who don't have a firm enough grasp of basic concepts in computer science, and they'll be worse at their jobs for it.

A better solution is to have after-school workshops for high school kids where they can prepare for a degree in CS. They way it ought to work is that math teachers in poor neighborhoods should keep and eye out for kids who are talented at math and recommend them for the CS workshops.

Now, I imagine this sort of discrete sorting of students will probably get you sued in the US, but it would work in most other countries.

Comment: Re:This is not news (Score 1) 168

by rasmusbr (#48591113) Attached to: Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

The Ariane 6 sounds like it would entail a lot of pointless duplication of work that SpaceX has already done. Skylon should be funded, but there is no guarantee that it'll work.

I think the best way to get the European space launch industry back on track might be to take a hint from how the Chinese go about things and buy something like 100 Falcon 9 launches at above the normal going rate, with a special requirement that the rockets must be built in Europe.

Then SpaceX could either turn down this giant deal that would give them financial security for years, or they could accept it and build a factory somewhere in Europe, which would then cause knowledge and technology to seep out into the European space industry.

Comment: Re:What the hell is wrong with Millennials?! (Score 5, Insightful) 465

by rasmusbr (#48588995) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

What the hell is wrong with Millennials?!

Same goddamned thing that's "wrong" with every other generation ever. Greed, selfishness, etc. The difference in outcomes stems from things like cheap air travel, which makes it possible for local idiots to literally go global. I bet these Greenpeace activist could have never afforded to fly to Peru in say 1964.

Of course, the boomers and their Soviet counterparts came pretty close to inadvertently wiping out civilization during Able Archer, which no other generation has managed to repeat since then.

Comment: Re:Mostly done. Mostly. (Score 1) 102

by rasmusbr (#48534383) Attached to: In North Korea, Hackers Are a Handpicked, Pampered Elite

Nah. It's in your interest to stay as much off the radar of the Dear Leader and his buddies radar as possible. The second one of them perceives you as a threat you and your family is up for disappearance.

They will go to great lengths to treat famous people well, because you can't disappear those discretely. Random nerds, not so much. One of these elite hackers will be killed the second the leaders perceive that person as a threat.

Comment: Re:Should I learn Imperial or Metric for max $$$? (Score 1) 277

by rasmusbr (#48518437) Attached to: Which Programming Language Pays the Best? Probably Python

I hear that most fields use metric, but some really high-paying ones like petroleum engineering use imperial units. Should I focus my studies on imperial units if I want to make more money?

Whether you use metric or Imperial measurements is really a minor side issue.

The important thing is that you use a good steel ruler and compasses. None of that plastic crap.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 196

by rasmusbr (#48516263) Attached to: IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

Actually, what I think have the "suits" excited is the ability to things like identify what's in your refrigerator at any given time so they can send targeted ads to your (tracked) mobile device to buy crap you don't want while you're buying stuff you need. And to monitor your video/audio consumption habits for similar reasons (seamless ad insertion, product placements, etc., etc.).

When anything and everything can send data to the Internet, who do you think will be receiving such data?

That is mainly a problem if you sign up to get something for free. I don't expect that a company that makes 50 bucks net profit off of a fridge is going to risk their reputation in order to make a tiny bit more money by selling my data.

I'm more worried that the NSA would hack into an accelerometer intended to detect vibrations of the compressor and use it as a microphone to spy on my kitchen.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 196

by rasmusbr (#48515815) Attached to: IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

When I hear "Internet of Things", I think, "Twitter Enabled Refrigerator"

It's that too, but that's not what the (more serious) suits are excited about. The suits are typically excited about increasing profits for stuff that already exists, or about new business to business inventions.

Imagine for instance connecting everything in a factory in such a way that you can sit at a screen in a control room and detect or predict problems ahead of time. You could also have a risk function that quantifies risk. Sensors might for instance detect weak but unusual vibrations in a machine. Other sensors might detect that you only have spares in stock for one repair of that machine. The risk function has a model of how the factory works and the model shows that the machine is vital and that production will be significantly reduced if it breaks down, which means that you're looking at a fairly high economic risk. The system could then suggest potential fixes, like stocking up on more spares, or running the machine more slowly until the next scheduled maintenance.

I think this sort of setup is already in place in many factories, but it will get more common and more advanced in the future.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.