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Comment: Re:Anthropomorphizing (Score 1) 421 421

That's a very short term view. One day, without a doubt, intelligence will emerge from something we create. It's only a matter of time. In the first few instances it may only be lower level intelligence, but when we create something at least as clever as us, that may very well be the end of our era.

Comment: Re:Note that this is a little different from softw (Score 2) 207 207

Or course. I've got a 3D printer and the kids love it. You don't have to look far to find models of popular toys, and they can be envy of the other kids at school if they're the only ones with glow-in-the-dark Minecraft Creepers (glow in the dark filament is pretty cool!)

Just another case of technology running ahead of the existing rules.

Comment: Re:Wirth's law protects us from singularity (Score 1) 181 181

While this is arguably true for software that directly faces a human being, embedded/specialist applications are getting faster and more powerful. I work on a massively parallel ASIC and it benefits from every iteration of die shrink with clock speed.

If there is a machine intelligence it won't be written in Mono or Python on a standard PC - it will be a specially crafted piece of silicon with very well optimised process code.

I do believe we will reach a singularity where us squishy meatbags make ourselves redundant, but I don't fear it. If the culmination of mankind produces an intelligence that surpasses our own, that's a great end-goal. It/they will certainly be better physically equipped to explore the stars, perhaps carrying a memory of the seeds of their creation with them.

What is curious is why we haven't yet encountered such machines. I guess as a planet we've not been pumping out giveaway radio waves for long enough?

Comment: Re:What's there to compare? (Score 0) 402 402

none of which are named Emacs or Vim

What's there to compare? Everything else is just Notepad.

It's a bit like comparing comments between people that have and haven't RTFA. In that respect, you're Notepad. Lacking in substance. Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner, whose passing shall not be mourned.

Comment: Re:Walk before you can run code (Score 1) 627 627

No, no, no! This is Slashdot, we need a car analogy:

Does relying on pre-made rubber tires make you a bad driver?

That's a terrible analogy.

A better one would be saying something like "Don't use ECU diagnostic interfaces to find out what's wrong with your engine - that's cheating - a real mechanic would just take it apart to see what's wrong!"

In a similar way to the ECU telling you what is up, you still need an underlying knowledge of engine mechanics in order to use the information it provides effectively. Sometimes it will be misleading. The same goes with IDEs and coding. Sure you can write everything in vi/emacs if that takes your fancy, but you won't be as efficient as if you use a decent IDE, but that's not to say you should trust the IDE entirely.

Comment: Re:IDEs are good. UI builders are bad. (Score 2) 627 627

IDEs with any form of wizard for "creating stuff" potentially take away the underlying understanding that a programmer might use to come up with something better.

But, for code navigation, a good IDE is totally indispensable, particularly with large codebases of someone else's code. What could be more useful than hovering your mouse pointer over a structure variable and having a little window show you how it was declared and what members it has? Or telling you all the places the current function is called from?

A good IDE shouldn't get in the way of coding, but nor should it take over the coding for you.

Comment: Re:Kicking up the lundar dust (Score 2) 250 250

Not even the Chinese can claim a planet.

It's a moon, not a planet, but since we're talking on your level... if you look on the other side there is a huge "MADE IN CHINA" sign and a big array of bitcoin ASICs that they used for their 51% attack. More hashing power than Uruguay. That's how they bought the fake landing sets off NASA!

Comment: Re:Tesla (Score 1) 327 327

I drive oil, but it's catalytically cracked veg oil.

The heating process for dewatering and then distilling excess Methanol off afterwards takes a fair bit of energy (16kWh) but over the course of a year and making 2500 litres it adds up to less in electricity costs than running a home server 24/7 (50W).

So I'm firmly in the 500-999kWh range.

Comment: Retina burn (Score 1) 93 93

Less deeply cool if the mirror control software locks up and you burn a line/spot into your retina.

Trying, plasma TV style, to run noise/wipes material through it to reduce retina burn-in would not be fun.

On the other hand, nice to see another step towards the Snow Crash universe. Just need a depleted uranium hypervelocity railgun and people will finally start listening to Reason.

Comment: A little thin on tech detail (Score 3, Interesting) 43 43

A quick google fails to reveal any detail about how it works, and TFA's explanatory diagram says very little (a drawing of a brain and some boxes - oh so that's how it works?)

We can only assume this stems from Qualcomm's partnership with Brain Corp http://www.braincorporation.com/

In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia, happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary. -- Paul Licker

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