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Comment Re:im confused here (Score 2) 171

So nothing is stopping you, except billions of dollars of capital you don't have.

And this is where the idea of intellectual property makes sense. If someone invested billions in creating something, he's entitled to profit from that.

It's not like those billions were lying around. People worked to save money and invested it in shares of those companies, that's where the billions came from.

Comment Re:Pay for the tests (Score 1) 524

For (a trivial) example, suppose I specify that I want a program which takes two numbers, adds them and outputs the result.

If you think that example is trivial, it's obvious you've never heard of Giuseppe Peano.

For acceptance, that program should be tested to see if it implements a correct mathematical induction algorithm for addition.

Comment Pay for the tests (Score 4, Informative) 524

with the specifications I write there is no excuse for not testing their code.

In every engineering project I've ever worked on, the specifications included acceptance tests. Obviously, his specifications aren't good enough.

He should detail with his customers the functional specifications of the product and generate a set of acceptance tests. The end product of this would be a test procedure, which both the customer and the contractors have previously agreed upon.

There is no excuse for a contractor to blame the programmers who did not conduct testing, if the way the testing should be done has not been previously detailed. The formal test procedure is what separated bugs from features.

Comment Fake statistics (Score 4, Insightful) 996

The reason why they recommend lower and lower alcohol contents has more to do with the way they collect statistics than with any real effect.

If any of the drivers involved in an accident has any alcohol blood content at all, it is recorded as an "alcohol related accident", NO MATTER WHO CAUSED THE ACCIDENT.

This is bias in the worst sense of the word, it's political propaganda at its worst.

Suppose you drank one beer and is stopped at a red light. Then a madd bitch rear ends you. It will be an "alcohol related" accident, pointing to the "need for stricter drunken driving laws", even though the madd bitch caused it.

Comment Re:Brain (Score 1) 38

The top systems today are approximately at the same capacity as a human brain.

Brain neurons perform an operation that's similar to a dot product. Their operation can be simulated by a weight for each dendrite that's multiplied by that dendrite's input.

In rough order of magnitude, a human brain has a hundred billion neurons, or 1e11 in standard computer language notation. Each neuron has an average of one thousand inputs, 1e3, and performs a hundred operations per second. That is 1e11 * 1e3 * 1e2 = 1e16 flops, or 10,000 teraflops.

According to Top500, the highest powered computer system in November 2012 had a capacity of 17,590 teraflops.

This doesn't mean it has the same ability as a human brain, because there's also the software involved. There is a project, sponsored by Google, that tries to implement a computer system operating close to what the human brain does.

When they tested that system presenting to it one million random screenshots from Youtube videos, the system learned all by itself to recognize objects that appeared on those videos, like human faces and cats.

There's a good technical tutorial on this system at the Stanford university site, and a more basic explanation can be found in several popular articles if you google for "deep learning".

Comment There is no bright side of North Korea (Score 2) 322

Actually his dead grandfather is the eternal president still, they keep the country together by cult worship of him, "cleanest race" and blood purity propaganda, and the worst death camps on earth for the last 50 years such as Camp 14, where children are born as slaves for life under "three generations of punishment" .

Its unfortunate that these Nuclear and Chemical weapons headlines obscure the human rights violations. Currently there is a UN commission investigating NK for crimes against humanity. After reading "Escape from Camp 14" I was completely appalled that these death camps exist even today, and according to satellite images are expanding.

Comment Winter of Discontent (Score 4, Insightful) 539

She was a terrible Prime Minister and caused untold suffering and misery.

The British people who elected her obviously disagree with you.

She was elected after the policies of the Labour party dumped the country in the worst economic crisis in UK history

Labour had policies based upon raising the income tax without any regard for cutting government expenses. They claimed government spending and inflation are good for the economy. Sound familiar?

Comment IP legislation is a monster (Score 4, Interesting) 203

It seems that these days IP legislation tries to swallow everything. Nothing is safe from IP laws.

It's time to reverse that trend, most of the DMCA should be considered unconstitutional anyhow. If someone sold me a device, why can't I tear it apart to see how it was built?

Patents and copyrights exist for making sure no one needs to keep trade secrets. The intent of those laws is to let people learn about the technical details behind the technology.

Having laws that restricts the liberty of learning goes against every principle of a civilized society.

Government

Obama Administration Supports Journalist Arrested For Recording Cops 238

New submitter SplatMan_DK writes "Ars Technica reports that the Obama Administration has filed a brief in support of a Maryland photojournalist who says he was arrested and beaten after he took photographs of the police arresting two other men. The brief by the Justice Department argues that the U.S. Constitution protects the right to photograph the actions of police officers in public places and prohibits police officers from arresting journalists for exercising those rights. Context: 'Garcia says that when Officer Christopher Malouf approached him, Garcia identified himself as a member of the press and held up his hands to show he was only holding a camera. But Malouf "placed Mr. Garcia in a choke hold and dragged him across the street to his police cruiser," where he "subjected him to verbal and physical abuse." According to Garcia's complaint, Malouf "forcibly dragged Mr. Garcia across the street, throwing him to the ground along the way, inflicting significant injuries." Garcia says Malouf "kicked his right foot out from under him, causing Mr. Garcia to hit his head on the police cruiser while falling to the ground." Garcia claims that Malouf took the video card from Garcia's camera and put it in his pocket. The card was never returned. Garcia was charged with disorderly conduct. In December 2011, a judge found Garcia not guilty.'"

Comment Re:I doubt it (Score 5, Insightful) 393

consoles are NOT a good buy

Consoles are anachronistic by now. They are remnants of an age when there was a TV set in the living room and the family gathered there to watch. Back in those old days, a color monitor was an expensive item, so much that it made sense to use the family TV as a monitor.

Today, when people carry in their pockets a device with a screen that offers much better resolution than the TV screen did, consoles make no sense at all, at least not for the consumer.

There is only one group that benefits from the console system today, the game publishers. Consoles are what enables them to save money in development, because the range of hardware that they must support is limited, while at the same time allowing them to pump the prices up, by using DRM.

Comment Proportional voting == bad idea (Score 1) 642

Let me godwin that for you: Hitler was elected by proportional voting. Nazis rose to power in Germany in one of those convoluted negotiations that countries with proportional voting do all the time.

An extremist has little chance of being elected when candidates are chosen to represent a district. In any given geographical area, there are different sorts of people, therefore moderates are much more likely to get elected.

Under a proportional system, things are different. It's easy to find enough supporters for any extremist view, if you count votes all over the country. And when you try to make a coalition with extremists, who do you think will end with all the power?

A coalition government often has 45% of moderate politicians for one side, 45% of moderates for the other side, and the power ends in the hand of the 10% of extremists who can choose to support one or the other side.

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