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Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 1) 233

Many cognitive models might approach this by assuming the crow has a big table of "knowledge" that it can logically manipulate to deduce an answer: "stick can reach food from entrance to log," "I can get stick if I go over there," "I can move stick to entrance of log," => "I can reach food." This paper, however, proposes a much more general and simple model: the crow lives by the rule "I'll do whatever will maximize the number of different world states my world can be in 5 seconds from now." By this principle, the crow can reach a lot more states if it can move the stick (instead of the fewer states where the stick just sits in the same place on the ground), so it heads over towards the stick. Now it can reach a lot more states if it pokes the food out of the hole with the stick, so it does. And now, it can eat the tasty food.

But the cow could reach even more states if it broke the stick into thousand little pieces and scattered them all over the place. No tasty food here.

Comment Re:But We Are Open - We are Google - We are Good (Score 1) 318

Google has published the patches but the carriers have not distributed them.

URL or it didn't happen. Google does not announce Android security updates on their official mailing list nor anywhere else. They don't publicly document the vulnerabilities they fixed with a new point release nor do they reserve CVE numbers for these. Not even speaking of publishing patches for individual vulnerabilities.

Comment Re:Why are journals *so* important? (Score 1) 128

I think for low-profile journals which are edited by active scientists, it shouldn't be a problem to move to something like arXiv overlay journals, which comes as close to free as you can get. High-profile journals like Nature and Science, however, are a completely different story. Here, you have full-time editors paid by the journals who actually have to do tricky tasks such as finding good referees who will not reject a paper on political grounds or promote a paper because it was written by one of their pals. Therefore, it is not too bad if you have editors whose careers do not hinge on whether a topic becomes hot or not. If you remove this part of external quality control to save costs, chances are that scientific publishing will become even more politicized than it already is.

Comment Re:Except the Answer is unfortunately Yes (Score 1) 92

Its not just a yes, but something we should all be aware of, its also seems fairly trivial to do. Worryingly for those with a lot of cash, an ideal way to search a related technology, and *patent* technology that is otherwise obvious, or relevant as the field has matured, or identity gaps in things not patented.

Actually, I'm inclined to believe that algorithmic patent generation might actually make it much harder to claim non-obviousness. If your patent claims can be generated by a person having ordinary skill in the art just by running a computer program, what is the actual contribution by the inventor?

Submission + - Supreme Court strengthens First Sale Doctrine ( 1

Tom writes: "The Supreme Court has sided with Supap Kirtsaeng regarding the resale of textbooks. Publisher Wiley had tried to keep a $600,000 judgement from the lower courts because the student had sold textbooks in the US that he had imported from his home country Thailand, where they are sold much cheaper. The Supreme Court ruled that while it realizes that US companies often try to get different prices in different markets, the copyright law does not provide a right to such business models."

Comment Re:Chronos, and Apache License thoughts (Score 2) 72

And until *GPL is contested in court we won't know for sure.

Come on, this is ridiculous. The GPL has been found perfectly enforcable in many cases in many jurisdictions, with some eventually going to courts. The reason that most cases are settled out of court comes from the fact that defending a GPL violation is such a hopeless endeavor in most situations.

Comment Re:Chronos, and Apache License thoughts (Score 1) 72

I'm not arguing for or against the *GPL licenses myself. All I'm saying is that I've experienced enough funding or acquisition due diligence processes to have heard from the acquiring/funding party's counsel that *GPL code must either be replaced with a viable alternative, or that the deal might be called off.

While I understand that this can happen, it effectively means you are advocating against using the GPL not based on the actual content of the license, but because of the (quite likely irrational) behavior of a third party.


Submission + - Distributed File System for Debian-based Road Warriors?

hweimer writes: I manage a small network which includes some clients that are regularly deployed in locations where there is no or only poor internet access. Currently, local copies of data for these clients are created and merged back more or less manually, which naturally creates all sorts of problems. So I'm looking now for a distributed file system so that each client has always access to a local copy, which is automatically re-synced once it comes back online. Storage space is not critical, nor is obscene read/write performance. An additional requirement is that it has to be included in Debian, at least in the upcoming "wheezy" release. Any recommendations?

Comment Re:Hurry up and die please (Score 1) 339

Until recently, I was regularly shuffling money back and forth between the US and Europe. No matter whether I did an international wire transfer or wrote a check, there were always quite substantial fees associated, although they were considerably lower than with "specialized" sevices like Paypal or XE. I haven't done the full math, but looking at the fee structure of various Bitcoin exchanges, it seems you could end paying much less.

Comment Re:Funny that this questions comes up now (Score 1) 470

Your two points are correct, but the work of this Australian guy has been largely overlooked for good reason because:
a) It relies on an extension to QM not backed by any experimental observation.
b) It does not solve an outstanding problem.
I'm not saying that this work is bad or anything. It's good solid work relevant for people working in a specific sub-field, but not of such broad relevance that we have to rewrite our textbooks and give this guy a Nobel prize.

Comment Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (Score 1) 172

So of the choices given, CC-BY-NC-ND is the only one that should be in that list.

I strongly disagree. CC-BY and CC-BY-SA are extremely useful if someone wants to cover your work (e.g., figures) in a textbook or review article and needs to make some editorial changes. Extremely annoying for everyone if non-free licenses are being used and a lot of paperwork has to be done. Same goes for the case when people deem your work so important or interesting that they want to put it into Wikipedia. Great for the scientists, but a real PITA if the license of the paper is incompatible with the one used by Wikipedia.

Comment Re:Funny that this questions comes up now (Score 1) 470

Contrary to your claims, the seminal paper on decoherence by Joos and Zeh is from 1985, so this even predates Weinberg's nonlinear QM paper by several years. I'm not claiming that we understand everything about decoherence and the quantum-to-classical transition, but it is extremely unlikely that the gaps in our knowledge can be filled by looking at exotic extensions to QM not backed by any experimental findings, no matter how mathematically appealing they might look in the first place.

Comment Here's what really happened (Score 5, Informative) 99

1. Last May, this guy announced he would GPL his stuff once he gets $4,000 in monthly donations.
2. Eight days later, he received a total of $4,000 in one-time donations and released his code under the GPL.
3. About a month later, he discovered that one-time donations and recurring donations are not the same thing.
4. Apparently until today, he is whining around how bad this all is and that open source is evil.

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