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Comment Re:human brain (Score 1) 286

Not sure about the number of cores, a number of experts say that around 20 petaflop should do it. We should see computers capable of doing this by the end of the decade. Of course creating the AI or brain scans necessary to accomplish this is going to be the more challenging problem. What will be fantastic about simulated brains is that their neurons will be significantly faster than standard human neurons. This means that your simulated brain can produce orders of magnitude more work despite being no smarter.

Comment Re:Germans and Wolfenstein .... (Score 0, Troll) 548

While only antidotal evidence, my experience with native Germans was quite similar. Attempts to speak of the Nazi era were generally dismissed with the tone that an American northerner would dismiss slavery. Pressing the issue yielded more awkward results. Only the Jewish population had any interest in anything beyond tacit acknowledgement of the Nazi regime. Given the culture of quite denial, it’s not shocking that many German laws focus on keeping this portion of German history out of the spotlight.

Comment Kurzweil would disagree... (Score 1) 712

What utter nonsense. While the singularity folks don't have me running off to turn myself into a robotic nano-swarm just yet, the proof of continued growth is more than just speculation. The author is setting a false measure of the expansion of knowledge and then concluding that growth has slowed when society falls do measure up. A flying car argument by any other means is still a flying car argument. He admits as much by citing Moore's but quickly shifts gears to focus on going to the moon and curing cancer. Amusingly, we've made vast headway in the last 50 years in the later topic. Cancer death rates have been declining decade over decade since the 60. Cancer death amongst the young has shown huge declines during this time, a statistic that often flies off the radar due to how cancer mortality rates are reported. While there isn't a cure yet, the incremental gains we've made over the past century have turned a cancer diagnosis from a sure death sentence to a survivable disease. Just because knowledge growth has come in the form of digital growth doesn't mean that it has failed to grow or accelerate. It just means that you won't get getting your flying car (or in this case super Apollo++ rocket) anytime soon. The law of accelerating returns isn't about the market accelerating in the direction you want, it's about accelerating in the direction the market wants.

Comment Re:CD-RW is a good middle ground for archives (Score 1) 633

CD-RW can last 30 years, assuming pretty ideal conditions (and even up to 100 if you believe some of the ratings). Cool dark place is pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered. Pressed CDs can last quite a bit longer. 50+ years should be no problem. Likewise, I think that it's pretty likely there will still be disk players that are backward compatible with CD/DVD. Either way, an external drive that should be backwards compatible with USB descendants should at least let you hedge your bets. That way you're using two very main stream technology staples of the moment and not just one.

Comment Re:Strongly typed language? (Score 2, Informative) 299

Assuming you're not being merely rhetorical (because the definition is kind of loose), strongly typed just means that the language makes some restrictions on how operations operating on different value types can be intermixed. Assuming that you're not a programmer, I'll give an example. Letâ(TM)s say you have a BMW Z4 roadster. It's a car. Understanding the nature of cars, you know that it can be classified as a vehicle, a sports car, a BMW sports car, and a BMW Z4 roadster. Strongly type languages make restrictions like you can't just say: roadsterCar car = myCar. This is implicitly is saying my car is roadster. Rather you have to explicitly say that the car is a roadster (called a cast) like this: roadsterCar car = (roadsterCar) myCar This concept has a number of benefits, most of which are related to catching programming mistakes before they become bugs or immediately at runtime. Without strongly typed languages, you won't notice that you tried to call a bike a BMW Z4 roadster until you try to get it up to 140 miles an hour. And by then you might have tried to do valid but nonsensical things that might have really broken something.

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