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AI

AI System Invents New Card Games (For Humans) 112

Posted by timothy
from the they're-just-toying-with-us dept.
jtogel writes "This New Scientist article describes our AI system that automatically generates card games. The article contains a description of a playable card game generated by our system. But card games are just the beginning... The card game generator is a part of a larger project to automatise all of game development using artificial intelligence methods — we're also working on level generation for a variety of different games, and on rule generation for simple arcade-like games."

Comment: Re:Factory (Score 1) 257

by sbates (#42559551) Attached to: What Did Google Earth Spot In the Chinese Desert?

Parent isn't interesting, it's a string of invalid arguments.

1. "Single payer health care is cheaper and better than what the US has now." Anybody from Canada (and I am) can attest that this is not an absolute truth by any means. Cheaper access to specialists results in sitting on waiting lists for months before essential treatment, because (a) the doctors have moved to more profitable countries; and (b) the state sets limits on the number and qualifications of doctors.

2. "And so many programs like Head Start saves more money...results in a smaller government." This likely refers to the oversight of a product or service, but Obama already addressed this: he could cut the cost of meat by half, if only he fired all the meat inspectors. That any program would be cheaper is debatable, as history has repeatedly seen presidents and leaders of countries around the world promising something would be cheaper, more successful, and result in smaller government. Yet the ideals of one man/woman cannot force all to agree, nor would agreement across all civil servants even result in common principles. Smaller government is unattainable simply by the imposition of different services.

3. "There is apparently no such thing as a libertarian that believes in responsibility" is simply a strawman, and a bad one. Calling yourself a lower-case L libertarian and making such a statement is awkward at best, but generalizations like this are no more effective than those of the rest of the political world.

Comment: Re:That's the police for you (Score 1) 277

by sbates (#40099525) Attached to: Ten Cops Can't Recover Police Chief's Son's iPhone

Imagine the law enforcement resources that would be freed up and made available for real crimes (i.e. those with a victim) if we never prosecuted anything that happens among consenting adults. I bet a lot more thieves, rapists, and murderers would be behind bars.

I can't honestly believe this was considered insightful. Holy unsubstantiated argument, batman. You remind me of the Republicans when they argued government inflated the cost of healthcare. Obama's reply was that "we could reduce the price of meat substantially tomorrow. All we have to do is get rid of the food inspectors." I can only imagine all the ways in which your logical fallacy can be dissected.

Comment: Re:Model fits the data [Re:Vindication] (Score 1) 744

by sbates (#39795057) Attached to: 'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

Unfortunately there's no such thing as a "climate scientist" within whose mind the vast set of data is held and considered. Climate science is a consortium of many different disciplines, including biologists, to arrive at the word you used above: consensus. No one discipline dominates the field, it's a cooperative effort to arrive at something everyone can agree on (based on the available evidence of course).

So while Lovelock may be a loud voice in a sea of loud voices, his biology background is--popularizing aside--a perfectly valid field in which to contribute to climate science.

Comment: Surprising? (Score 3, Insightful) 268

by sbates (#39203437) Attached to: Wikileaks and Anonymous Join Forces Against US Intelligence Community

It's only surprising if you believe Hollywood hype. The halls of the White House are not bristling with people hell-bent on preventing the next disaster. Life is extraordinarily mundane. The majority of the people in government are moving pages and pages of some of the most sleep-inducing content available. I'm far more apt to believe Tom Clancy's novels depicting CIA, FBI etc getting their intelligence from CNN.

The Courts

Righthaven's Lawyers Target of State Bar Investigation 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-ye-sow dept.
New submitter nwf writes "Ars Technica reports that three of copyright troll Righthaven's company lawyers, including CEO Steve Gibson, are the subject of a Nevada State Bar investigation. Details of the inquiry aren't public, but judges have been blasting Righthaven's legal team so strongly in court that the move is hardly a surprise."

Comment: Re:Google admitting problem and trying to fix it (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by sbates (#38680924) Attached to: Google Launches Style Guide For Android Developers

Fragmentation refers to modifications of product lines such that they are no longer compatible, interoperable, or familiar. You are merely referring to thematic differentiation across the product line. Android remains compatible from a developer standpoint, interoperable as they all run the same fundamental OS, and as such they are also familiar to most users of an Android product.

People often use words that cross gray areas to draw emphasis to their point but in this case they are wrong. Android lacks complete UI consistency across all of its products, but that's called differentiation. All of the fundamental elements of the Android experience are still consistent.

Transportation

Solo Explorer Begins Bicycle Journey To South Pole 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the things-i-really-don't-want-to-ever-do dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Helen Skelton, the first person to solo kayak the length of the Amazon, has set for herself another difficult task — to travel up to 14 hours a day battling 80mph winds and -50C temperatures 800km across Antarctica in an attempt to reach the South Pole by bicycle. It's no average ride, and Skelton, 28, is not using your average bike. Her specially-built Hanebrink 'ice bike' took designers in Los Angeles three months to finish. It features a seamless frame made of aluminium aircraft tubing, heat-treated to withstand harsh environments, and fat, tubeless, rubber tires designed to bulge over the rim to provide maximum stability and traction. The bike is designed to be as minimalist as possible, to make it aerodynamic and very low maintenance. 'The bike is designed specifically to cycle in soft snow or sand,' says polar guide Doug Stoup. 'We trained together in the desert this past summer. It helps because the temperatures are so cold the snow has little moisture and has a sand-like consistency.' Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes commends Skelton for taking on 'incredibly tough and grueling challenge.' 'Like Captain Scott, Helen is attempting something that has never been tried before and I applaud her pioneering efforts.'"

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 411

by sbates (#37994458) Attached to: Technical Glitch Lets Reporters Eavesdrop On Obama, Sarkozy

Not exactly made up. From whitehouse.gov: "The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate." No other official is the primary diplomat, though Clinton may right now appear so she is merely a proxy for the president.

Comment: This guy slaughtered almost 100 people... (Score 1) 343

by sbates (#36878460) Attached to: The Oslo Massacre and Violent Video Games: the Facts

...and you are going to take his word that he's not addicted to video games? Should we trust anything else in the manifesto? You think he's a pretty insightful guy? Has he somehow demonstrated a level of intelligence to which we should all pay attention? Would I be somehow enlightened by reading it?

Seriously, people. So many of you talk about sheeple, then you turn around and grasp at _anything_.

Programming

'The Code Has Already Been Written' 253

Posted by timothy
from the is-that-how-you-see-things dept.
theodp writes "John D. Cook points out there's a major divide between the way scientists and programmers view the software they write. Scientists see their software as a kind of exoskeleton, an extension of themselves. Programmers, on the other hand, see their software as something they will hand over to someone else, more like building a robot. To a scientist, the software soup's done when they get what they want out of it, while professional programmers give more thought to reproducibility, maintainability, and correctness. So what happens when the twain meet? 'The real tension,' says Cook, 'comes when a piece of research software is suddenly expected to be ready for production. The scientist will say 'the code has already been written' and can't imagine it would take much work, if any, to prepare the software for its new responsibilities. They don't understand how hard it is for an engineer to turn an exoskeleton into a self-sufficient robot.'"

Comment: Re:Is it really that hard? (Score 1) 60

by sbates (#36713168) Attached to: In Robot Soccer, US Team RoMeLa Dominates Robocup 2011

You have to think about what you do when you walk. It's very rare that any two of your steps are precisely the same. You are constantly adjusting the length of the stride, the roll of the foot, the vertical position of your toes, the angle at which your knees bend, etc. You don't think about it consciously, but if you tried you might find you have a hard time walking smoothly :)

Like Smauler says, we have not only awareness of these parts independently but also in relation to each other and to the ground. It's very difficult to make those kinds of connections in software. If you disagree you are always welcome to challenge the robotics experts at, for example, MIT.

Comment: Runs only on big hardware (Score 2, Informative) 104

by sbates (#34350132) Attached to: CA Sues Over DB2 Migration Tool

From the ca site (http://www.ca.com/us/products/overview.aspx?id={40FB2A1D-9B09-429E-9D52-123477B87E97}):

It is a high-performance, multi-user relational database management system based on z/OS and VSE host platforms.

Unfortunately, although clients can access it from any platform, it's not available for anything else.

IBM

Coder Accuses IBM of Patenting His Work 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-your-own-work dept.
ttsiod writes "Back in 2001, I coded HeapCheck, a GPL library for Windows (inspired by ElectricFence) that detected invalid read/write accesses on any heap allocations at runtime — thus greatly helping my debugging sessions. I published it on my site, and got a few users who were kind enough to thank me — a Serbian programmer even sent me $250 as a thank you (I still have his mails). After a few years, Microsoft included very similar technology in the operating system itself, calling it PageHeap. I had more or less forgotten this stuff, since for the last 7 years I've been coding for UNIX/Linux, where valgrind superseded Efence/dmalloc/etc. Imagine my surprise when yesterday, Googling for references to my site, I found out that the technology I implemented, of runtime detection of invalid heap accesses, has been patented in the States, and to add insult to injury, even mentions my site (via a non-working link to an old version of my page) in the patent references! After the necessary 'WTFs' and 'bloody hells' I thought this merits (a) a Slashdotting, and (b) a set of honest questions: what should I do about this? I am not an American citizen, but the 'inventors' of this technology (see their names in the top of the patent) have apparently succeeded in passing this ludicrous patent in the States. If my code doesn't count as prior art, Bruce Perens's Efence (which I clearly state my code was inspired from) is at least 12 years prior! Suggestions/cursing patent trolls most welcome."

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