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Comment: Re: Here's the solution (Score 1) 349

by freeze128 (#48044527) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?
Apple is a major offender of installing stuff that automatically runs on startup... On Windows machines. They were also one of the first companies to do this circa 1995. When you installed Quicktime, it would automatically run a stub in the system tray in case you wanted to launch quicktime. Now, every damn application does that.

Also, just look at any Windows machine that has iTunes installed on it and you will undoubtedly see a bunch of other stuff like:

iPod service

Apple makes great software.... For apple computers, but they really know how to screw up Windows.

Comment: Re:Ok, several aspects to this. (Score 1) 483

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48044453) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

First, guns don't protect, never have, never will.

The first eight of your 457 word wall of text shows you're so out of touch with reality that there's no point in reading the rest.

The primary function of guns in private hands is to protect those who carry them. They do that exceptionally well. In criminal attacks, resistance with gun is the most effective way to avoid injury or death. It's substantially more effective than the second best - knuckling under completely - and beats the pants off everything else, from running away, to trying to talk your way out, to resisting with bare hands or other tools. (Resisting with knife is about the worst.)

Research on self-defense is hard, because faiures leave tracks in crime stats while successes usually don't (and often leave the self-defended victim with an incentive to keep quiet about it). Nevertheless, even the first well-run projects were able to put a lower bound of guns preventing or aborting more than six times as many crimes as they aid in committing.

In private hands they're safer than police, too. A defense-with-gun is usually effected by no more than brandishing or occasionally getting off a round in the general direction of the perp. But of those instances where a victim or a policeman shoots someone believed to be a perpetrator, the cop is over 5 1/2 times as likely to erroneously shoot an innocent than an armed private citizen.

My family has substantial personal experience with armed self defense. For just a few examples on my wife's side: In college she was accosted by the rapist in the window, who was dressed in just running shoes and a dirty knife. Fortunately there was a hunting rifle behind the bed: She actually had to go as far as cocking it before he stopped trying to get her to drop it and jumped back out the window - apparently to take it out on another girl a few blocks away, with over 130 cuts while raping her. Her mother defended self and family against a Klan attack with a pistol. (Her granddad was caught away from his gun, though, and had to do his anti-Klan defense with a hammer.) Then there was the aunt, the uncle, ...

At the larger scale it's hard to argue with the fact that the US, founded in a revolution (by religious nut with guns) against their self-admitted "legitimate government" and with over half the adult civilian population armed, has now gone over two centuries without a substantial attack from abroad and only one major internal war, while Europe continues to suffer from genocidal wars, often with multi-million body counts. (With the exception of Switzerland, of course: Every adult citizen there is armed and has had military training. Even World Wars go around them.)

It's also hard to argue with the fact that the US is multi-ethnic, and the common denominator of each of its ethnic groups is that their members' murder victimization rate is substantially less than that of contemporary members of the same ethnic group still residing in their land of origin.

As for resisting an oppressive regime if push comes to shove: We have experiences like "The Battle of Athens" just after WWII, and the documented question from Nixon to a thnk-tank about what would happen if he suspended the presidential election. (Answer: That would precipitate an armed rebellion, and the population was well enough armed that it would succeed.) Uprisings aren't always successful and small or UNarmed uprisings are often put down, sometimes with lots of deaths. (Witness the Bonus Marchers' Massacre.) But recent decades of world politics have shown how effective a popular uprising can be, against even a coalition of world powers and superpowers.

If it came to that in the US, you can expect a substantial amount of the military (especially retirees) to be on the side of the people, along with lots of military equipment raided from armories. (You can see that now in the Middle East. The big difference between Al Queda and ISIS/ISIL is that the latter has bunch of colonels and other line officers, force-retired and blocked from normal politics in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and overthrow of the Ba'athists - along with a lot of seized military arms. The former is a bunch of terrorists, the latter has a substantial army.

Comment: Sad... this was largely addressed in Windows 8 (Score 1) 349

by Aryeh Goretsky (#48044177) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

What NetworkWorld freelancer Andy Patrizio complains about, cruft or OS decay, in the RTFA was largely addressed by Microsoft in Windows 8.

Microsoft worked in depth with silicon developers (i.e., the folks who make chips/chipsets for various things that require drivers like motherboards, videocards, network adapters and so forth) as well as software developers that used drivers (anti-malware, encryption, backup and so forth) to ensure not just that installation and removal went smoothly, but that performance was within acceptable levels, which in particular had been a problem for some of the bloatier anti-malware programs often seen pre-loaded onto consumer-targeted PCs, not just during startup and shutdown, but also during common day-to-day activities.

Since Mr. Patrizio didn't bother to use Windows 8 for any length of time, though, he didn't find out about the performance improvements, which, I suppose, is why we are commenting on his rather sad polemic.


Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (Score 1) 496

by Empiric (#48043969) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

I'm not denying it's possible for humans to eventually do this, but we have no evidence it is. We don't even have a hypothetical means to doing so. That isn't prophecy, that's evidence.

That said, I quite believe it is possible by an entity which does have such a hypothetical means to do so, by virtue of having all the necessary "data", the necessary "engineering" knowledge, and the ability to construct a suitable alternate substrate (or "body", if you prefer). The class of humanity has a much harder constraint here--they with certainty don't have all the necessary "data" regarding an individual's pre-existing consciousness in order to "reconstruct" it. That in itself, and there is no apparent plausible means by which human technology could regarding people who have already died, is a primary distinction here.

Comment: Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (Score 1) 496

by Empiric (#48043917) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

If it clarifies, you can take my position as considering the soul as an entity within the category of information.

I'm using "information" broadly and particularly to distinguish personal identity from the substrate on which it resides, that is, the physical body.

It is not sensible to speak of "humanity" continuing to exist in a context where one believes the extent of personhood to be constrained to their body, and none of the referenced bodies will, with certainty, functionally exist. As of now, zero bodies representing that notion of "humanity" will exist for long. As of the hypothetical future, zero of those bodies will exist for long, either. The only thing that persists is the information on how bodies are constructed, from a Naturalist, that is to say, "scientific materialist" perspective. And such people tend not to like to talk about things where there is no particular necessary material implementation, and no material implementation that persists. That there is much -more- to a human being is not something I'm denying, rather I'm noting that this isn't something proponents of Naturalism really get to claim or talk about.

As for AI, yes, I agree that we don't have a clue how to implement actual intelligence. That doesn't mean there is no entity that does, however.

Comment: Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (Score 1) 496

by Empiric (#48043629) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity
It is very easy for a collection to have properties that its individual elements do not.

Which of the theses are you objecting to here? Your statement here is "trivially true" in that individual parts of, say, an automobile do not have the same properties as the whole, in that you can't drive the engine, but that is definitely not what 1) asserts. It asserts that the properties of the totality of the parts is equivalent to the properties of the whole. 5) asserts that a mental predicate cannot be derived from purely physical descriptions, while simple math is certainly your best shot at this, describing five objects physically does not get you to the particular inference of "five"--there are many other abstractions derivable, regardless of what the objects are--"red" in the case of five apples, for instance. There still remains no direct inference from the physical description to a corresponding abstraction.

So a particular mental state can be assigned to a particular set of neurons firing

Okay, do so. Say, "freedom". The particular set of neurons firing, applicable to all cases, that is, all brains. Say, an EEG where we can know that's the correct corresponding state, and -only- that particular state or abstraction. As the writeup notes, "caused by" is not relevant to the question, -correspondence- is.

As for the question of attempting to save "humanity" being meaningful, I never suggested otherwise. It is methodology and priority that is at hand.

Comment: Re: Antecdotes != Evidence (Score 1) 349

by jd (#48043385) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

Agreed about anecdotes. However, I can say that I have to reboot my Windows 7 PC weekly because of serious degradation in performance. I have installed a fair bit of software (the PATH can no longer be extended) but there's only about three games (Freeciv, Kerbal Space Program, Elite: Dangerous) and no apps, toolbars or junk. The rest of the software on there? MariaDB, Ingres, GRASS, QGIS (OSGEO is basically Cygwin, so I've now three incompatible Cygwin distros on Windows), HOL 4, Active Python, Active Perl, Erlang, Rust, Blender, PoVRay, BMRT - the sort of stuff you'd expect to find on any PC, nothing fancy.

And Netscape. Which is a horrible resource hog and is honestly not usable in its current form. I have abandoned all efforts to get Chrome usable. I'll probably deinstall both and switch to Amaya. Which barely does anything, but it does it tolerably.

Comment: Re:Antecdotes != Evidence (Score 1) 349

by TapeCutter (#48043367) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?
I had a win98 install that lasted almost a decade but it took a fair bit of effort to hold back the entropy (I resisted upgrading because of one win98 game...). NT was definitely a landmark in stability as was XP. I've been on Win7 at home and work for a couple of years now. I've been doing C/C++ development regularly for the last 25ys as a job, a bad pointer would often bring Win98 to it's knees, not so much with NT/XP and I've never managed to crash Win7 with bad code. In fact Win7 has crashed on me exactly twice, once when the SSD died, and another time when the video card started smoking.

From the POV of system stability you could line up today's popular O/S's, throw a dart blindfolded, and be still be sure to hit a decent general purpose O/S. This doesn't mean they are flawlessly designed, however most of the bitching I see from geeks is just the geek not understanding how things work before attempting to "fix" the "problem", and most of the bitching I hear from non-geeks is about the non-geek's ignorance of how malware got onto their machine. .

Comment: What, wait?! (Score 2) 48

by jd (#48043267) Attached to: Leaked Docs Reveal List of 30 Countries Hacked On Orders of FBI Informant Sabu

You mean to tell me that the US doesn't even trust the other Five Eyes nations' spy agencies to be able to do this?*

*Yes, I know, to get round legal restrictions, it was very normal for the US to spy on the citizens of the other four and to exchange that data for information collected on US citizens by other members of Five Eyes. However, we now know all the agencies DO spy on their own citizens, routinely. So the US can ask GCHQ to wiretap British citizens in Britain, it doesn't need to spy on Britain itself. This behaviour suggests wheels within wheels.

You mean to tell me that the US isn't all caught up in the US-UK "Special Relationship" stuff?**

**Most Americans were unaware there even was one and get horribly confused when the British talk about it.

Comment: Re: Who cares? (Score 2) 204

by jd (#48043165) Attached to: Why did Microsoft skip Windows 9?

Linux is indeed better. Not because of Open Source (the code doesn't care) but because it has fewer bugs (about 0.1% of the bugs per kloc), non-intrusive strong security (rated EAL 5+ on conformant hardware, conforms to B2 Orange Book standards), superior multi-processor support, superior memory management and superior networking.

Graphics? Not an OS issue. That's a GUI issue. Never confuse how something gets data with what it then does with it. The GUI is not central to Windows (as demonstrated by console mode startup, but should be obvious to anyone running it as a headless server). The core OS functions are, and always have been, resource management, virtualization, security and stability. (Filesystems are virtual layers on top of physical disks, so are resource management and virtualization.)

Linux is better at the things an OS is meant to do. Windows has an adequate GUI, but the OS is abysmal. Besides sales, the only reason the game industry likes Windows is that it has useful libraries - DirectX (an alternative to the functions the GUI itself provides) and easy access to GPU functions (bypassing the OS altogether, running on bare metal).

The reason Linux doesn't have these? Look in the mirror. The face you see was quite capable of working on GGI, KGI or Linux Framebuffers, of helping in the Berlin project, of submitting patches for SDL or Avagadro, or even hacking Wine to improve support for DirectX, CUDA or other graphical features.

I'm no innocent myself, but I own up to my guilt, I don't blame the OS (which IS innocent).

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison