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Comment Re:Great! (Score 2) 166

They're not even right. The most likely reason someone hovers over a tab is because they're waiting for the yellow pop-up to show the full title of the tab so we know whether this is the right one or not. What's the odds that it'll now take even longer to see the full title of the tab.

Comment Re:Absention gets the seat (Score 1) 498

Again, you're picking at a nit in a suspicious way. My larger context made it quite clear that the bit you choose to quote is NOT broadly representative of my views, though you could (and did) complain that my summary of your viewpoint was unduly narrow. I see a couple of one-word fixes, but that does not seem to be what you're asking for. Nor are you actually offering clarification of your own viewpoint with your (again suspicious) multiple appeals to external authority.

The substantive parts of my prior comment were obviously ignored, so I'm just going to conclude that this discussion has pretty much run to its conclusion.

Comment And now back to the article... (Score 1) 166

Remember? The one where computers performed at par with humans on a very closely related task to this?

Like, I understand why you're aroused by this impossible-to-overcome flaw you're imagining, where computers could never guess what the "it" is referring to - but it turns out they don't work like the text parsers in 80s chat-bots, and are capable of correctly interpreting these references. They continue to improve at exactly this kind of work.

And hey, do you know what the "deep" in "deep neural net" means? It means there's more layers of nodes between input and output. It's not something metaphysical or subjective - if you look at the diagram of how nodes are connected you can describe how deep it is. Do you object when someone calls a swimming pool "deep"? That's pretty much the same mistake you're making.

And is this thing like a brain? Well, it can do some of the same tasks, and some of them better. Does it use the same mechanisms to do that work? The answer is somewhere between "obviously not" and "who cares?". Planes don't fly the same way birds do - but they were inspired by birds and we call the jutty-out parts "wings". Neural nets were inspired by our (limited) understanding of neurons - and it turns out that (just like wings) they don't have to work just the same way in order to create useful results. How would you respond to someone on an aviation board saying "Those things don't work anything like real wings, they're nothing like birds"? Do you see how, while true, that's kind of not an interesting point to make on every article?

In the end, the key question about a plane is whether it flies - whether it does the thing it was made to do. And neural nets are getting better at flying all the time.

Comment Re:But they all force Javascript on users (Score 1) 155

Part of this is simply efficiency. With an SPA loaded, clicking on each link to a static article simply sends the relevant data rather than rebuilding the entire page server-side. That's a whole lot faster and cheaper to do.

As for JavaScript being a powerful malware vector, is that really a thing these days?

Comment Re:honest answer: (Score 1) 198

Targeted money doesn't work either. For example, in states where all lottery profits go to education (or whatever), they typically just reduce the funding from the general fund by the same amount. Technically everything is "correct", but the end-result is exactly the same as it would be if the earmarked money went into the general fund anyway.

Comment Re: 4 meter wing spans? (Score 2) 183

Mortar attack on December 31 - oh really?

Russian officials have suggested the U.S. or its allies may have had a role in the drone attacks on the bases. Mr. Putin said drones captured in the course of the attacks revealed highly sophisticated technological elements that were acquired and passed to the rebels from abroad.

The Pentagon has said it played no role in the drone attacks.

A person close to Russia’s Defense Ministry said the accusations have largely served to deflect attention away from Russia’s own failure to protect its main Syrian base at Hmeimim.

The base was hit by a number of drones on New Year’s Eve, killing two service people, injuring 10 and damaging at least six planes, the person said. The attack was allegedly the first to penetrate the base’s formidable defenses including Pantsir and S-400 surface-to-air missiles.

Comment Re:Absention gets the seat (Score 1) 498

Pretty sure that this discussion has been helpful to my thinking anyway. For example...

I've thought of a really powerful feature of the negative voting in the case we've been discussing, where one candidate has a net positive total while the other wound up in the red. The very fact that so many voters wanted to make the extra effort to vote AGAINST the other candidate tells us that they did NOT want to vote in favor of the winner. In a sense, that means their negative votes expresses their lack of a positive option, and that in itself is good reason to penalize the winner with a shortened term of office.

I think you're looking at it incorrectly to see negative campaigning as a free speech issue. There's a whole lot of confusion around that notion. People should not be censored, but not all speech is equally valuable. In the case of elections, negative campaigning is psychologically advantageous because it's relatively easy to increase fear and hate and then to get people to vote because of those strong emotions. The big money bastards who are buying the elections evaluate their political advertising in terms of bang for the buck. For example, they actually see it as a kind of sound investment to have spent all that money for decades to demonize Hillary Clinton. That's how they got their YUGE tax cut.

Comment Only a little because of bad economic models (Score 1) 212

Has open source changed the world?

Only a little, and it's because OSS has weak economic models.

Idealism is good, but it needs support, including financial support. I basically feel like defying you to name any OSS economic model that has successfully competed against the greedy bastards. I don't have time now, or I'd start listing the failures.

What I do have time to say is that I think OSS programmers should be paid fairly, and the money should be there BEFORE they start working on the project. I also think the projects should be linked to users who are willing to PAY for the work, even if each potential user is only chipping in ten bucks or so. A software service driven by OSS that incurs ongoing costs should be funded on a similar basis, with the beneficiaries of the software helping to cover those ongoing costs. None of this needs to be driven by massive greed for YUGE profits, but just by the goal of recovering the costs and paying people fairly for their time and work.

I already noted that my time is intruding, so I can't repeat the whole description of how this could be done. Or maybe you have a better idea of how to achieve these goals? You can find LOTS of details in my old comments on Slashdot, or ask nicely and I might have time to rehash it before the story dies and falls off the front page.

Gotta bike. Bye for now.

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