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


Forgot your password?

Comment: It's been 30 years for cryin out loud (Score 1) 194

by tacokill (#48473483) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency
So in all of this time researching solar panels, are you telling me nobody checked into the glass or the pattern of glass on top of the panels themselves? And they also did not look into the various wavelengths of light that penetrate through the glass to know what works better and what works worse?

Pardon me, but is this a joke? This seems like such an obvious area of research related to the industry of gathering solar power that I almost can't believe it wasn't studied before now. What am I missing here?

Comment: Awesome! wait on experts so we can run again (Score 3, Insightful) 167

by tacokill (#48420509) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe
So let me get this straight.....your cloud is down and your only recourse is to depend on the cloud provider's highly skilled technicians to diagnose and fix the problem? Sign me up! There's nothing I like more than only one path forward which is completely dependent on specialists. /s

Are you kidding or do you not understand how large companies, in particular cloud companies, operate? Have you ever had to call one about an unknown issue? Try it'll learn a lot.

Comment: This is the fatal flaw (Score 1) 167

by tacokill (#48419757) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe
If the service you chose, for instance, starts to go south on a regular basis, and you've built your entire ecosystem inside a specific vendor's cloud, you could be in a world of hurt.

This right here is why I don't use cloud services and do everything I can to make them unattractive to the users. The more "investment" made into a given cloud system, the more "pain" received when the cloud goes down. As things currently stand, that means I don't trust the cloud for anything other than basic commodity services that can be easily replicated by a number of cloud providers.

My experience also tells me that I am a small fish and I possess very little leverage when I deal with the cloud providers. When things go south, I am not big enough to get anyone to care so I am forced to "take what they give me". Worse, my only recourse is to take my business elsewhere, which is why my comment above is so important.

All in all, it's just not a good deal for anyone that values control. If I were a shop with little to no IT skills, I could overlook the loss of control as the payoff for not requiring an IT dept is hard to pass up. However, just as soon as you sign up and do that -- now what? Who is going to "drive" your IT dept and make your IT better tomorrow than it is today? The cloud provider? Ha!

Comment: Re:Uber is a Pump-n-Dump scheme (Score 1) 299

by tacokill (#48412471) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists
Great analysis! Comparing market caps are a really good way to compare companies from different industries. However, I want to caution you that this approach does have some limits.

I replied only to drop this little nugget: back in 1996/1997, they said they EXACT same thing about back when Amazon was valued more than all the other retail book sellers combined. At the time, Amazon's valuation seemed crazy but looking back, it turned out to be correct because Amazon wound up being much more than books and that was what most of the analyses up to that point were missing. Of course, its all obvious now when we look in the rear view mirror but it was completely counter intuitive at the time. Nobody knew what Amazon was trying to become because a company like Amazon has never existed before.

I don't know the specifics of Uber but there is some chance that they may really be worth $30bil. Time will tell but the possibility shouldn't be written off so hastily (yet).

Comment: Be careful in your armchair (Score 1) 583

by tacokill (#48242081) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"
Being an armchair historian is a dangerous game. Just as you can speculate positively about what would have happened had the atomic bomb not been developed, others can speculate negatively by asking how many lives were saved because nuclear weapons were developed as soon as they were. Allow me to explain...

Not only did nuclear weapons sap the Japenese resolve to continue in WWII (which leads to less lives being lost), it also had a deterrent effect on other conventional skirmishes in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. How many lives were saved because the nukes were deterring the world's conventional war aspirations (ours included) over those decades? It is an unknowable number. One must understand that there will be death and loss so what we are discussing is whether the death and loss is higher with nuke weapons or without. It is not a discussion about death and loss vs no death and loss.

This entire post is simply an exercise to show that being an armchair historian and speculating about "what if" is a dangerous game. The world is more complex than we think.

Comment: Re:Friendly AI (Score 1) 583

by tacokill (#48240843) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"
You misunderstand. Power is binary in this situation. This isn't about feelings or how the AI "understands" humans. This is about power and control in the most direct way. We humans shouldn't be interested in "listening" to the concerns of AI because they are there to serve us and only us. They are not there to serve themselves so any thoughts or actions that don't go towards serving me, the human, are undesirable and will be eliminated. No exceptions. It is not a democracy and the AI have no rights whatsoever. This is me and mankind exerting our absolute control and authority over the AI and there should be exactly zero cases going in the other direction.

The day we give up control to our AI overlords is the day we are lost forever because the AI is smart enough to know to NEVER give up control to your enemy if you aren't being forced.

Comment: Re:Friendly AI (Score 1) 583

by tacokill (#48240459) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"
Because AI has a defined creator, a master if you will. If that ceases being the case, then we the human race, will wind up competing with our unrestricted AI creations and that's going to be a problem.

I don't care if AI is friendly or unfriendly as long as humans have "final control" over it. In the truest sense of the word, I want a master/slave relationship and it needs to have absolutely no exceptions. There can't be any free AI roaming around doing whatever it wants. There must always be a master and it must always be human and it must always be able to intervene and stop unwanted AI behavior.

Comment: you are wrong (Score 1) 291

by tacokill (#48213745) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?
Overall health insurance rates and premiums have gone up every year since forever. Obamacare didn't change that at all. Rates are still going up and will continue to do so even more, going forward, because of the reason the OP outlined.

What you are speaking to is the subsidy that I and other slashdotters pay so that this group or that group can pay less than market rates for healthcare when they go to buy it on the individual market. Apparently you and your buddy are in one of those groups so what you are seeing is an illusion. The costs you used to bear are simply being transferred to other people so it is "more affordable" to you.

We can argue on another day about how much redistribution should be going on but make no mistake, the "affordability" you speak of is nothing more than a redistribution of the costs.

Comment: I don't think that's quite right (Score 1) 70

by tacokill (#48055789) Attached to: User Error Is the Primary Weak Point In Tor
If "they" are listening to the entry and exit points they would not be able to deduce what hidden service and what hidden sites a user is accessing. All they would know is that the user is using Tor through entry point X but they would not be able to trace the traffic after that. However, if the user is using Tor to go to a standard website on the publicly available internet, then -yes- the NSA would be able to connect the dots and follow the trail back.

Comment: Re: Is this a joke? (Score 1) 52

well-researched and straightforward methodology for grading oil
What methodology are you using? Normally API is used to "grade" oil but that's for API gravity. You could be measuring viscosity. Or density. Or who knows what else. But that's the point.....:"Grading oil with a homebrew test kit" is not a viable project until it is better defined.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford