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Comment Re:And it's a stupid statement (Score 1) 60 60

"Diminishing returns", anyone? I thought that was the point. These days, you probably need more performance rather for such things as aerodynamics. Certainly supercomputer-designed airplanes have made more real world kills until today than supercomputer-designed nuclear weapons.

Comment Re:VistA is a nightmare (Score 1) 157 157

The one interesting thing here is that if you rewrite the execution environment, without creating a new language, you should be able to use the old code as tests for the functionality of your new code. You need some way to set up and tear down state for the snippets you're going to be executing, so the old execution environment that ran the system in production probably won't be suitable. Your best hope would probably be starting with a new "implementation" that can parse the code and either interpret it, or compile it, while recording the things that may be of interest to you (for example, if the old language was dynamic, and you need type information either for the purpose of documentation, or to generate static types for the new implementation, you can recover it by tracing).

You can't really use old code as a spec if you lack the necessary tools. Or, perhaps you could, but you'd be doing in your head what a computer should be able to do for you automatically. Expect working very long hours if you're so intent on doing a compiler's and code analyzer's work yourself. ;-)

Comment Re:VistA is a nightmare (Score 1) 157 157

He essentially suggested the use of automated techniques. From what I can tell, such automated techniques are being applied in practice. I recall a project that used a Smalltalk-based code analysis platform to refactor COBOL code. Are you saying that this approach doesn't save time and man-hours?

Comment Re:Trading one for the other (Score 1) 157 157

It's utterly useless for data integrity -- imagine a database where every field is a string. There are no numeric fields...and what happens? Oh.

Somehow I don't think a computer system should have a problem with this. Ultimately, in every computer system, every field in a database is an 8-bit string. On some kind of disk. ;) Actual lack of checks is what would give you problems.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 220 220

It's not the weapons that are the problem, it is the people who abuse them.

There is no basis to presume that artificial intelligence is likely to pose a greater threat to mankind than natural intelligence already is without either subscribing to the notion that some mystical force or agency that is allegedly the product of millions of years of natural evolution being the only thing that prevents human beings from acting unethically when we there isn't an iota of evidence to suggest that such a thing even has any kind of objective existence in the first place, or else simply allowing one's imagination to overrule their common sense.

Comment Re:Nice. (Score 2) 168 168

Considering that ISIS was trying to scam them, it seems more like a situation where they managed to take the bait without springing the trap. It's just like the pool hustler. He lets you win one for chump change to get you hooked. If you see it coming and say that's enough for you, he's out the money fair and square.

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce