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Comment hawking is probably right (Score 1) 574

I find myself yet again in agreement with hawking. Of course predicting the future is a great way to find yourself wrong... but we wouldnt be human if we didnt try.

Bottomline is that AI has a couple very serious threats to humans, the first being its use by humans as a weapon against others humans for power and control. In the not very distant future it really wouldnt be hard for a small group of people to use AI (and non AI) to essentially control most of the worlds industry, production and so forth... and its not a real big leap to posit the possibility of a hitler style "solution" being run by some cult or political group.

The second is alittle more long term but the competition for resources would be a real tangible reason for AI to either directly or indirectly compete us out of existence. If AI ever reaches a stage where it cannot be assailed or "beaten" through warfare it may very well find itself "forced" to gradually curtail or even eliminate the human population as being inefficient... or as a threat. Technially speaking it may not need to do so in a violent direct manner, it could just ensure we dont have children... or that we have drastically fewer of them each generation (allowing us to live out mostly happy lives).

I personally hold out a belief that humans will intergrate well before fully capable digital only AI comes to fruition. I dont think it will be long before we start getting implants and other "aids" connected to our brains... small and discrete at first - but over time becomming more and more intergrated to a point where whats biological or not may not even be distinguishable. while im a fan of purely biological humans i think this would actually be the best outcome - and the most likely.

My greatest fear is that AI does get rid of us.... and then does nothing of worth, i think the human capacity to easily and readily imagine things WAAAAYYYYYYYYY outside of reality may never be achievable in AI. And i question if AI can ever generate a sense of purpose, desire and direction which has allowed humanity to advance in extraordinary spurts since we created our first structured civilisations. when you think about the fact that gentically speaking we are basically the same as our wild lawless animal ancestors you can imagine just how spectacular our brains/behaviors really are. the "emergent behavior" of the human species as a group may not be reproducable by an AI.... and that could be a truely sad loss for the galaxy.

indeed, perhaps it isnt nukes, environmental suicide or war... maybe AI is the answer to the Fermi Paradox.

Comment Re:Nothing I'd like better... (Score 1) 106

Im no braver than you, and will not get anywhere near this for the same reasons.

But that is the actual point of "when good men do nothing"... its when people WITH families and other considerations (something to lose) are NOT brave enough to act on what may very well be dangerous, its when they dont act evil is allowed to thrive.

What rational white person from the 50's in the dixey south with a family and kids, a small business and the protection of the community would brave the wrath of their neighbors and the KKK to protect some relatively unknown (to them) and anonymous black people?

As i said before, im no braver - and the point of that statement was to ellucidate that sometimes horrible things thrive because "good men" like you and i have good reasons not to shed our cowardice.

Comment SORBS is evil (Score 1) 405

Your kinda screwed. A lot of the big providers (and small) use blocklists garnered from a bunch of companies who may or may not be responsive - and more often than not simply dont care about the small guy... amongst those companies ive had the most grief with SORBS for my various clients. Some lists you can get off of, others are essentially impossible... amongst which are the "Dynamic IP" and "home user" lists.

When people set up which block lists to use, there are a couple that are not for specific offenders, but are instead simply full lists of all the known IPs in an ISP's block - such as all DSL / cable modem users. the thought being that you can block all email originating from peoples home connections, etc... which is under the presumption that legitimate emails will never come from cheap consumer grade connections which to be fair are largely spam. Problem is there are tons of small businesses with essentially "home" connections... even under business accounts they get lumped into the same IP ranges.

The real issue is that in the last few years - particularly since gmail came about... email itself has begun to concentrate in only a few major providers hands... namely intermedia, office365 and gmail. As less and less small/medium sized businesses have their own mail servers the big boys have less concern for keeping things more flexibly acceptable - very few outfits have their own exchange servers anymore, i dropped my last internally maintained client mail server a few years ago, even bigger companies dont want to run exchange in house anymore - its just not worth it in most situations that dont have regulatory or legal requirements. The less companies that run their own mail servers the greater the liklihood that legitimate mail will only come from the major providers (and the less likely wholesale blocking of IP's is going to cause the sales team to freak out when their clients arent getting emails - which is honestly the only way ive ever seen IT departments actually lower their filter strength - usually after being yelled at by the sales execs).

In order to deal with this problem we have found the best lasting solution is to use a store and forward relay service such as spamstopshere or setup your own via a micro instance in amazon. Postifx and Mailenable (windows) are two great programs that do the trick quite well. By setting up your own instance with a public IP which is more "trsuted" (comming from a major source of servers which have other large mail hosts running in the same IP block) you avoid all sorts of problems... you will have to do the normal MX, SPF and rDNS things as well for full compliance.

In general this is better anyways, as you probably also want an inbound store and forward for those outages you memntioned (no lost emails!), and youll get the probably unneeded benefit of masking your real world address (one of my clients got a detailed direct bomb threat from a guy who found their address using an IP lookup - their address was otherwise unlisted).

a micro instance on amazon is VERY cheap, and can be used for other things - like a simple website, a connection monitor etc..

good luck

Comment 50/50 (Score 3, Interesting) 165

why would it waste any time fretting? i presume its decision is by the very nature of computing and evaluation a function of math... therefor the only decision to cause delay would be the one wherein the odds of success are 50/50... but it needs not be delayed there either... just roll a random and pick one to save first.

Sounds like a case of a unnecessary recursive loop to me (where the even odds of save/fail cause the robotic savior to keep reevaluating the same inevitable math in hopes of some sort of change). Maybe the halfway solution is the first tiome you hit a 50/50 you flip a coin and start acting on saving one party while continuing to re-evaluate the odds as you are in motion... this could cause a similar loop - but is more likely to have the odds begin to cascade further in the direction of your intended action.

Seems silly to me.

Comment Cisco Rv042 (Score 1) 238

Hands down the most reliable and easy to use dual wan, VPN enabled Router for quick deployments, silent, low power consumption, handles PPTP, ipsec, etc...

I am no fan of their quickVPN software (a third VPN option included with this router), but it works as well if you dont like pptp or if you find IPSEC too much of a pain to setup.

Plus it has DUAL WAN connections, so you can use a hotspot or DSL, or the neighbors connection as a failover (or you can load balence them, or bind stuff, etc...).

Im blown away noone has mentioned this router as i see it everywhere.

Pfsense is a huge winner as well, though youll need to buy silent low cost hardware to run it (and its a good deal more involved - though considerably more powerful).

We use these two for all of our client locations with offices of up to 100 or so people, for at least 7-8 years or more.

Comment Re:back in my day (Score 1) 785

Sorry man, your mostly wrong. I commend you and your accomplishments, and my own background reinforces that FORMAL eduction (getting a piece of ink on a piece of paper) is inherently meaningless.

HOWEVER, you and me do NOT a trend make. Just because X amount of people like us can kick massive booty in the real world without the benefit of a highscool diploma or a college one doesnt degrade the value thereof.

Statistically speaking, a high school diploma is a SIGNIFICANT variable on life expectancy, incarceration rates, income potential and every other metric you want to throw at it, even despite (some degree) of relative IQ. Your employment opportunities are severely limited for each level of academic accomplishment you cant proove, particularity in technical fields and more explicitly for the high school level. Indeed you become almost unemployable.

So while you can say graduating doesn't GARUNTEE success, youo cannot compare that with the likelihood of failure if you dont graduate. in the simplest form its simply a matter of risk management on the employers (and/or clients) side.

Not trying to rain on your parade, but i don't think anyone should be a cheerleader for NON-COMPLETION of scholastic advancement in our society no matter how successful they've managed to be. Should our society change so significantly as to measure a persons worth through other means... then fine. But in todays world it is an UNDENIABLE fact that your level of educational attainment has a very DIRECT cor-relation towards your quality of life and earnings potential.

see below for starters.

average income of HS grad : 36k
average income of masters : 78k
average income MD / ESQ : 100k
average income doctorate : 96k

Average income NO high school degree : 22k

HUGE discrepancy.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."