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Comment Re:Doug Lenat's Test (Score 1) 169

This is not an edge case. The rules of English, if properly followed by both writer and reader, render the object of Mary's desire unambiguous, and if this is the sort of thing Doug Lenat is focused on, it's no wonder he's falling behind.

That sentence is fairly unambiguous but the construct is not. "Mary remembered all the long trips in the back seat of daddy's car, she and her brother playing games and singing along to Elvis on the radio. She missed it." What did she miss, the long trips? The back seat? Daddy's car? Playing games? Singing along to the radio? Listening to Elvis? Childhood? Family? All of the above, individually? All of the above, simultaneously? The use of "in" doesn't even mean it's the object of desire, like "Mary caught sight of a mannequin dressed in the most beautiful wedding gown, full of lace and fine detail. She wanted it." and I think 99.9% would assume it meant the gown, not the mannequin.

Comment Yes and no (Score 4, Informative) 217

Before quick, always-on Internet connections were available most software had to live locally, so even though it was closed source you had the entire blob. Today, more and more of the client functionality is going open source - but the essential bits have all gone online as web applications, SaaS, multiplayer/matchmaking services and so on. Google is giving away Android and Chromium (with proprietary codecs = Chrome) so you'll use Google's services. Microsoft is open sourcing things so you'll use Azure. Amazon is open sourcing things so you'll use AWS and so on. Companies that were just giving it away without some sort of plan to monetize it like Sun went under.

And in this competition with "free" services, open source is struggling in many areas. Like for example LibreOffice vs Google Docs, Google got like 3 million paying G Suite businesses, 70 million educational users and lord knows how many others, I couldn't find a statistic. They're taking on the battle of Office/Exchange open source has worked on for decades and not really gotten anywhere. Services like Alexa and Siri you couldn't really do as a local application anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if the Microsoft market falls and the desktop goes "open source" like Android. But it's not really like how RMS envisioned it...

Comment Re:Too harsh IMHO. (Score 1) 419

Say I was legally carrying a gun at that 7-11, and the clerk said "help this robber is going to shoot me!". If he was actually holding a gun on the clerk at that point and I shot him, I wouldn't get charged. If I summarily executed him without bothering to even look and it turned out he was not in fact holding a gun on anyone, I'd be locked up for decades. That's more along the lines of what happened here.

What if it was a replica gun that couldn't actually shoot anyone? What if he was wearing a ski mask and pointing something at the clerk but your view was obstructed? What if you by some strange mistake you had wandered into a film recording or training exercise? The threat doesn't have to be real, if:

1. It would seem real to a reasonable person
2. You acted in good faith to save the clerk's life
3. The response appeared necessary both in terms of force and urgency

then I'd acquit you no matter what the real truth was. It's that last part that is most in question here, even if the cop that shot thought that he was hiding something that might have been a gun, was that a necessary response? If it had been a dark back alley one-on-one probably. A guy in the open on his front porch, spotlight in face, facing a small army in full battle gear? It's excessive.

We had a court case here in Norway not that long ago, brief summary is guy catches prep raping his drunk girlfriend, beats him up, drags him out onto the street and continues to beat the shit out of him. The court held that the first part was valid self defense, but after the assailant was outside and incapacitated the remaining beating he took was vigilante justice not self defense.

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 2) 534

We don't have UBI here in Norway, but we do have a welfare program which is like a "last resort" where the only qualifications is that you're a legal resident, you don't have any other income or savings and you don't qualify for any of the more specific benefits like disability, unemployment and so on. It's not grand but you don't go homeless and you don't need to beg in the streets, I don't think we're the only social democracy in Europe with a program like that. I just checked the statistics and a little under 1% of the population live primarily on those funds, about 0.25% stay on the program for >12 months, it costs 0.5% of the national budget and about 0.2% of the GDP. Many of these are basically unemployable anyway, they just don't qualify for disability. So the theory at everyone would just quit their job if they got a tiny bit of money for doing nothing is provably false.

For everyone else with income it'd basically just be a formality, pay extra tax for UBI, get UBI for roughly zero net difference. The one big difference would be that people with savings could take a break and live on UBI + their own money. But to have the savings to do that you need a well paying job meaning you need an education and a career and a few sabbaticals and early retirements more wouldn't shake the system at its foundations. I think a realistic UBI would be around 1/3rd my current income, say I think 5/6ths of my current income would be an okay standard of living. Today I could work five months putting aside 1/6th and taking a month unpaid leave spending those 5/6ths. With UBI I could work three months putting aside 1/6th and take a month off with 2/6th UBI, 3/6th savings. Still working and paying taxes 75% of the time instead of 83% of the time though. The numbers only go nuts if you assume people want to live on a UBI standard.

Comment Re: I was there... (Score 1) 226

North Korea's arsenal is not large enough yet to cause the collapse of American society, or even to kill the majority of people in a city like Honolulu. So maybe we should be dusting off those old civil defense films.

Hiroshima was ~350k people and 90-146k people were killed by a 16kt nuke. Wikipedia says Honolulu itself has 377k inhabitants and North Korea's latest test was probably around 250kt, so unless Honolulu is vastly more spread out I'd say it only takes one. Maybe it wouldn't take out the majority of the million or so living in the metro area but you'd probably be more than halfway to the total WW2 losses. And the greatest loss of civilians since the Civil War.

That said, Honolulu is probably mostly a psychological threat and money sink for the US to create an anti-missile system that'll never be used and create opposition to a war with North Korea. Their biggest hostage is Seoul which is a dense city with 10-25 million people (city/metro) right across the border. They can throw a barrage of artillery and small short range missiles at it, if one has a nuke and that gets through millions will die. And if that happens the war will never be a success, even if it's a military victory.

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 1) 534

not artificial if you get money for it, with which to buy things. doesn't matter how pointless you might think a job is, only how much the person paying your believes it is.

Well there's a fundamental difference to a private company hiring you because they think you're doing a useful job and a public company hiring you to do busywork to pretend like you're not unemployed.

Comment Re: AI? Really? (Score 1) 51

There's no reason a computer couldn't be trained on the many scores that Goldsmith wrote before he passed away, and then use AI to produce something that has unique elements but uses the same style as he did.

Unfortunately no, the computer doesn't understand what does and doesn't work together. Some people like salty popcorn and some sweet, but very few like half-salty, half-sweet popcorn or pepper popcorn. At best you'd get some kind of clustering where you get classic, middle-of-the-road recipes like lamb with rosemary and thyme. At the core of most the recent advances is self-learning, but it depends on some kind of evaluation of the final result. Like are you winning at Go, beating people at poker, reaching a higher score, completing a lap faster... if the computer can't tell if the music it produced is good or not it's just dumb processing. Unless it's got some amazing model to say what "sounds good" to a human, which would be a bigger thing than the algorithm.

Comment Re:Polish... (Score 2) 227

According to the article, there are 37 exceptions out of 230 languages. Tea, with its two principal words, is actually above the average compared to a typical word for something that was unknown to the world at large until early modern times.

Well, tea was considerably earlier. Quoting a few Wiki snippets: "As prices continued to drop, tea became increasingly popular, and by 1750 had become the British national drink." vs "Prices of aluminium dropped, and aluminium had become widely used in jewelry, many everyday items, eyeglass frames, and optical instruments by the early 1890s." so it's early 18th century vs late 19th century. Late 19th century would be around the time you started having rapid long-distance communication via telegraph and telephone. Literacy, letters and newspapers were far more widespread so it'd be much more useful to have a common, global term than in centuries past. Post-radio and post-Internet even more so, unless you absolutely want your own word for cultural identity or language purity.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 45

Chinese government only has access to those servers now, and you can opt-out like you always could of iCloud services - the iPhone is not tied to it in any way other than user convenience.

For now..... until the Chinese government starts looking into the people who have an iPhone and don't use iCloud and tie that or active use into the loyalty score somehow. As far as I know you can only turn it off, you can't fake using it. That's really the end game here, make most people give up their privacy without anything seemingly bad happening so the remainder stand out in a crowd. I mean 99% of what goes on at Facebook is meaningless drivel, the question is who's not on Facebook and what's not being posted to Facebook.

Comment Re:Take the average of the desires of the voters (Score 2) 498

Down side is that for those who already feel like voting is like busy homework, this will add to the load.

If they think picking red or blue every few years is too much effort, maybe they're better off staying home. And honestly that could actually bring people out to vote primarily on a particular issue they care about rather than vote for Hillary vs Trump. Because I can see how neither would be particularly appealing....

Comment Re:Of course not (Score 1) 275

What if a gorilla walks across the road in front of you?

You know, I've never been in that situation. Probably never will, unless I go driving in Africa or one escapes from a zoo somewhere. I kinda assume that I'd hit the brakes like if it was a elk or bear or bison or elephant or giraffe or gazelle or any other large animal on the road ahead of me, more on instinct than anything else. That's roughly what I do with cattle and sheep, anyway. Which is why I'm not really all that concerned, because the situation and response is so generic and pretty much universal.

If there is a concern it's when the car should do some kind of action that's against the norm, but contextually right. Like say there's a steep hill ahead of me, down the hill comes a big truck at high speed blinking the lights and sounding the horn. If you stand still you get flattened by 50 tons of truck ramming/crushing you. I'd violate pretty much any traffic law, go off-road or even cause a minor accident to dodge a fatal one. I don't see a computer going to those extremes, even if it'll prevent most "mundane" accidents.

Comment Re:Easiest Solution: Kids Do Not Need Smart Phones (Score 2) 49

Wow! It's like somehow I was in the immediate vicinity of a responsible adult at all times and my parents knew my safety was ok. Mind-blowing isn't it?

You must have been a dull kid. Me and my buddies, we were on our own a lot. Not neglect-like a lot, but shooting hoops at the local basketball court. Or going up to the nearby lake. Or collecting list golf balls at the local golf court and selling them back to golfers. Or walking my buddy's dogs. Or playing in the woods. We had a wrist watch and a time to be back. And we were back on time, because otherwise they'd really worry. And that was probably more control than my grandparents had over their kids. If your metric is safety and control, there's no doubt my parents had less. If there was a genuine emergency we didn't have a cell phone, not to call mum and dad, not to call 911, nothing. You could of course imagine all sorts of terrible things happening to us, but none of them did.

What it did learn us was independence and responsibility. Of course the governing theory today is that you should fake it and secretly know where they are and what they're doing anyway while pretending not to. To me it seems like a scary proposition, because once you're caught doing it you've violated the trust you pretended to give and said I don't really trust you anyway. I know this happened with my mom and some money that disappeared from my wallet, I knew where it went because I repaid a friend for something, candy or whatever but clearly she didn't know that. She clearly knew I had less money today than yesterday though. And I was like WTF mom you're rifling through my pockets now? Maybe with age I can see that as an attempt at parenting but back then I didn't see it as anything but betrayal.

Comment Re:Talk about a captive audience (Score 2) 232

... Sit in big city rush hour traffic for hours?

So what do you do today if your car has some sort of mechanical failure? Sensors and processing is for the most part passive units, they'll probably have quite high durability and uptime. With some redundancy and error correction they'll probably not be significantly worse off than human-driven cars. A bigger concern is that the sensors are fine, but the AI doesn't understand where to go. But I imagine there'll be some form of remote driving capability built in to resolve that, assuming you're in good range of a cell network.

Comment Re:GPU shortage (Score 1) 217

Not just the GPU.... SSD prices have been flat for like ~2 years. RAM prices are actually way up. I think for the first time in history you don't get a significantly better PC by waiting. It's not like last year's Ferrari is this year's BMW and next year's Kia anymore. I have a GTX 1080 TI, bought at roughly MSRP at launch because apparently it wasn't a very good mining card and for some reason the most expensive card I've ever bought is the one to stay the best in value. I'm just really sad that I didn't take the opportunity a while ago and bought 4x16GB RAM. Right now I see some of the value RAM has literally tripled in price. The CPU market is a little better but only because Ryzen has been pretty disruptive. But even there the poewr/watt, power/$ don't change as much as they used to. Basically it's becoming a normal market where the car from 10 years ago is roughly as fast in practice as the one you buy today.

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