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Comment Re:Language does not exist in a vaccuum (Score 1) 143

Do you actually need general stimulus input? I don't think so. I think what you describe can also be achieved by providing the system with a general knowledge map so that it understands all of those things and the relationships between them. Even better if you can then personalize the knowledge map, strengthening and weakening nodes and vertices based on what the human knows and doesn't know.

Comment Re:Voice is a crappy input mechanism (Score 5, Insightful) 143

But in reality voice limits input

Only if you have to talk to it like you're giving input to a computer.

Imagine instead that you're talking to a person, and not just any person, but a person who has the world's knowledge at his fingertips and knows you as well as a highly competent personal assistant. Rather than asking for your team scores, you'd say "Giants?" and you'd get back the most interesting points (to you) about the game. Follow that with "anything else?" and you'd get a rundown on the rest of the sports, focusing on the parts that most interest you.

Voice input with contextual awareness, understanding of the world, and personalization will blow away anything else in terms of input speed, accuracy and effectiveness.

Modern GUI's can present a lot more data faster than using voice to ask for the data

You're conflating two issues here. One is input, the other is output. Nothing is likely to ever be as efficient as voice for input. I'm a pretty fast typist and not a particularly fast speaker, but I talk a lot faster than I type, even on a nice full-sized keyboard. Output is a different issue. Text and imagery has much higher information bandwidth than voice. However, you can't always look at a screen, so being able to use voice output at those times is still very valuable.

Even now, I find my phone's voice input features to be extremely useful. Earlier today I was a little late picking up my son from karate. While driving, I told my phone "call origin martial arts". Now, I don't have an address book entry for Origin, in fact I've never called them before. But my phone googled it, determining that the intended "Origin Martial Arts" is the one near my home, and dialed the phone number for me. That's just the most recent example, but I use voice queries with my phone a half-dozen times per day because it's faster and easier than typing or because I'm doing something that doesn't permit me to manipulate the phone a lot.

Voice is the ultimate input mechanism for most humans. Right now it's pretty good (especially if you use Google's version of it; Siri is kind of lame), and it's going to get much, much better.

Comment Re:I work at Google... (Score 1, Funny) 103

They actually say something? I thought they are just prying their palms from their foreheads after seeing the movie.

Nah... we're mining it for ideas.

My team has some interns showing up in the next couple of weeks and we're already thinking about putting them in teams and giving them ridiculous challenges to compete, then having them do a stack ranking of each other and whoever comes out on the bottom will get sent home.

Well, either that or we'll give them some code to write. Probably that.

Comment Re:Solution is smaller government / reduced spendi (Score 1) 609

"Any government powerful enough to give the people all that they want is also powerful enough to take from the people all that they have."

(Note: not a quote from Thomas Jefferson, as often incorrectly claimed, but it hits the mark nonetheless.)

The common statist theory is that because the government represents the people and is voted in or out by the people, that the people can trust the government to serve the people, with perhaps some exceptions and abuses which will need to be curtailed. But what percentage of "the government" is elected? The federal government has on the order of 550 directly-elected officials and millions of employees. The elected officials are notionally in charge, of course, but the bureaucracy is huge and does not turn on a dime. Further, that bureaucracy is the source of most of the information provided to the elected officials.

Even worse, most of those elected officials are lawmakers, not empowered to directly give orders to the bureaucracies, most of which are part of the executive branch. The president is empowered to give orders to the executive agencies, of course, but every president has a strong incentive to increase the power of his office, so he can accomplish more of his goals. The only way to change that is to elect a few presidents whose primary goal is to reduce federal power.

Comment Re:Vendor's processes not relevant (Score 1) 73

When vendors say they need more time, they're asking me to leave my systems vulnerable without telling me they're vulnerable. Sorry, but no. Not, that is, unless they're willing to shoulder 100% of all the costs resulting from that vulnerability being exploited.

The bit that you're ignoring is that by telling you about the vulnerability they're also telling all the black hats about it. So while your systems are vulnerable either way, the choice is between you and all the hackers knowing or you and most of the hackers not knowing. Whether this increases or decreases your actual exposure depends on who is interested in attacking you and whether or not they already have this exploit.

While you may be capable of implementing countermeasures to limit your vulnerability until a patch is published, that doesn't mean everyone is. On balance, is it better to hold exploits close until fixes are available? There are valid arguments on both sides, but on balance I tend to side with keeping things quiet for a bit while the vendors get a fix out.

Comment Bah (Score 1) 376

I have no patience with people who take it upon themselves to tell other people what they should be choosing to do with their lives and their businesses. If someone wants to write silly phone apps and there are enough people willing to shell out their own hard-earned money to buy them, then the existence of the customer base is enough justification for the existence of the apps. Apparently enough people find enough value in them to make them profitable. If not, well, then the "best and brightest" will go find something that more people do find valuable.

This argument about the "underclass" is particularly silly, because a large percentage of the American "underclass" has smartphones and buys the apps! Essentially, this guy isn't just telling the "best and brightest" what they should be doing with their time, he's also telling the "underclass" what they shouldn't be doing with their money. That sort of condescension is elitism of the worst order, because it allows elitists to feel they aren't being elitist, but rather "serving" the underprivileged -- who are clearly too stupid to make their own decisions.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 167


There are examples of unconstitutional behavior by the executive prior to FDR, certainly, but the pattern of consistent behavior started with him, and the two cases you cite are not such examples. The Federal Reserve may or may not be a good idea, but there's nothing in the constitution prohibiting it, and the Supreme Court decided (unanimously and properly) in 1819 that the federal government has the constitutional authority to establish a banking system. And there was nothing unconstitutional about either the excise taxes that prompted the Whiskey Rebellion or the manner in which Washington put it down.

Comment Re:Disbar, impeach, and imprison that shyster. (Score 1) 167

It's particularly interesting to look at this when the 4th amendment is understood in its proper historical context.

The fourth amendment doesn't say that warrants are required for searches, it says that (a) citizens should not be subject to unreasonable searches and (b) warrants may not be issued except on probable cause, issued by a judge, etc.

When James Madison wrote that he and those around him didn't view warrants as a good thing, they viewed them with suspicion, as a way that people could legally but abusively bypass the restriction on unreasonable searches, so Madison put requirements on warrants to discourage their use. The expectation of the day was that most searches would be done without warrants, and that it would be up to the jury to decide if they were unreasonable -- and that the jury would take a very skeptical view.

The thing about these letters, as well as FISA warrants, warrantless wiretaps, and all of the other abuses of recent years, is that they're sidestepping both protections against unreasonable search. They're not obeying the requirements of warrants, but they're also not allowed to be questioned by juries. Assuming, of course, that the government chooses to even bother with juries, rather than just declaring the targets enemy combatants and shipping them off to Gitmo without a trial. Or just executing them.

This stuff really is terrifying. We need to get our government under control.

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