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Comment Re:"intelligent and autonomous": yeah, right. (Score 1) 152

I am obviously not willing to rule out the possibility that an AI could emerge from genetically programmed botnets.

All I'm saying is that by comparing the closest analogue that I'm familiar with - biological systems - things look strongly against anything sentient. Look how many species there are. How many do we consider sapient? 5? 6? All closely related. Combine this with much stricter short-term selection pressures (shorter generation time) on at botnet than exist in the biological world (where the timescale is much, much longer, allowing things like culture, mating rituals, and sexual selection (you know, the thing that selects for smarter people; there's no discernible biological advantage to being smart) to develop), and I'm looking at a picture that screams "no AI".

The direct analogues we use are very likely not too limiting - there's no reason to believe that Spiking NNs in particular aren't good enough to serve as AIs - we just have no idea of what how to put them together. To put it another way, we don't know the evolutionary selection pressure for intelligence.

Comment Re:"intelligent and autonomous": yeah, right. (Score 1) 152

Two points: First, the biomass of ants (limited intelligence) is much, much greater than that of humans, monkeys, or pretty much anything else. No virus has ever become self aware. Or even gotten up to the point of having neurons. There's just no need for it. Sure, I could be wrong, but even if I was, an AI is still not going to be smart enough to do anything besides crack vulnerabilities (if it wastes the resources trying, it will be out-competed by other AIs that don't contemplate the meaning of their existence, but rather crack for cracking's sake).

Second, an AI that is any less intelligent than a monkey isn't going to be much of a strong AI. Even a monkey-level intelligence requires more computing power than we have available today. Therefore, no botnet in the next few years will become a strong AI. QED.

Comment Re:Ads? What ads? (Score 3, Interesting) 419

OK, ABP has 11 million users. That's great. Can we compare to another open source project? VLC has a few more downloads than that. (I know I can't compare downloads to users, so I won't).

Let's try this instead: 1.7 billion people running web browsers, 47% running Firefox (815 million FF users), and only 11 million people choose to install ABP? That's 1.35%. Most of those are tech savvy people who are harder to brainwash with ads anyway. It's noise.

Comment Re:"intelligent and autonomous": yeah, right. (Score 2, Interesting) 152

Not intelligent, jut autonomous.

It's simple, really. Wikipedia is a little lacking on this subject, but the basic idea is that you have botnets trying bruteforce attacks to find every possible vulnerability. Those that are good at cracking into systems will propagate, those that fail will not. It'll be sort-of the system that biological viruses use. Actually, exactly the same, except digital instead of physical. I predict that, similar to real viruses, malware that doesn't slow down the PC will have the highest "fitness" and propagate more widely, just like viruses today that kill the victim are not as common as, say, the common cold.

To the wiseass who will respond with a Skynet joke: No, there is no danger of that at all. These bots are looking for security loopholes, not the meaning of life, and are running on computers that are nowhere near powerful enough to emulate a human-like mind (I suspect that this isn't the issue at any rate, but we'll know in 10 years when the hardware is better).

Comment Re:In my own apartment! (Score 2, Interesting) 920

you can pre-make the crusts and freeze them, making them very quick once you've done that.

Sure, you can pre-freeze the crust, but you can also make the whole thing up, drop it on the pan and freeze that (sans cheese, of course). This means that you can simply put the pizza, still frozen, in the oven, bake for 15 minutes or so at 400, add cheese, bake an additional 5 minutes and enjoy. Much easier than freezing just the crust.

Using 1 cup of whole wheat flour per 2 cups white flour makes the crust a lot better IMHO. I put a small amount of parmesan cheese in most of my crusts, but not too much or it will catch down on the pan. I use a simple baking sheet, not a pizza stone, and I grease it with a teaspoon of olive oil, and coat it with flour before I put the crust on it. One more tip on the crust: let it rise twice - once in the bowl before shaping it, and once on the pan before baking it. This makes for a much lighter crust.

Now, the sauce: WHERE IS THE RED WINE? Just add a dash or so of any red wine (I use some cheap Pinet Noir, but anything will do) and it adds an amazing amount of flavor to the sauce. Seriously, try it.*

Also, I approve of your selection of spices, but I should add that I've found that fresh basil makes a huge difference if you can get it (it can be easily grown in a plant pot on the kitchen windowsill).

Pre-cook the crust a few minutes (until it bubbles and the edges brown a little), add sauce to taste, add your cheese and toppings, then cook until the cheese (or edges of the crust if no cheese) is browned like you like.

There is no reason to precook your crust. It will cook fine even under the sauce, you're making more work for yourself. If you cook the sauce and toppings along with the crust, it will save you the work of cooking the onions, peppers and other vegetables separately.

Recipe: For a red sauce, most anything will do. But if you're looking for the best pizza ever, forget the red sauce, forget the wine (good though it is): Cover the crust with a thin layer of pesto, top with onions, roasted red peppers, black and green olives, broccoli florets, and sliced fresh tomatoes. Add (some) feta and parmesan to the mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle the top with diced fresh basil. Damned good, and only takes half an hour to make.

*My working theory for how the wine enhances flavor is that the alcohol in the wine functions as a solute for the aromatic compounds in the spices, causing (or helping) them to evaporate off when your heat the pizza in the oven - thus allowing the more olfactory system higher concentrations to detect. (Taste is limited to the five basic tastes, none of which is specifically aromatic, thus much of flavor is actually smell.) fMRI studies of orbitofrontal cortex activation would help support this, but there's not a whole lot of research going on about pizza flavor, for some reason (I suspect a conspiracy on the part of the anti-flavor consortium).

Comment Re:Math is now a science? (Score 1) 1747

You will have to give me a reference for Science or Nature where they said the debate was over. I can't seem to find it. However, some researchers publishing a paper calling for political action to prevent a problem doesn't "sound like the scientific method" because its not strictly science. They reviewed a bunch of other people's work and said "Things are happening, we should do something". That's not proposing a hypothesis, it's looking at many, many supported hypotheses and saying that they probably have real-world implications. (Without seeing the original paper, I'm guessing as to what they said.)

Now, if you read the Nature piece, which has been linked to several times on Slashdot before, you'd see that there is no violation in the scientific method there. They said, simply, "there does not appear to be any falsified data in these leaked emails." If you'd like to publish a paper to the contrary, you're more than welcome to replicate their methods (read the emails), draw your own conclusions, and submit it to Nature. Of course, you'll have to cite the actual emails where the researchers talked about falsifying data.

If they said, "the ends justify the means", even between the lines, I can't find it. In fact, they criticized the scientists for not releasing data in the last paragraph.

I agree with your last point 100%.

Comment Re:Fraud (Score 1) 874

It would be nice if it was just a repository. But, it's supported by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think-tank organization. Libertarianism is fine, however, getting large chunks of cash from Exxon et al. leads me to be just a little skeptical when I read that stuff (citation).

Comment Re:Fraud (Score 2, Interesting) 874

And what, precisely, was wrong with the Nature editorial linked to above?

Someone's pushing an agenda here, and it's not chillax137.

Sure, maybe realclimate.org is "not to be trusted", but when Nature (investigates separately and) agrees with their conclusions, I'm inclined to agree with them even if climate-gate.org does not. Moreover, is it possible that (even if only going by the name and ignoring the type of content that they post) climate-gate.org might just have an agenda of their own to push?

Comment Re:Fraud (Score 1) 874

Nature is one of the top scientific journals (maybe the top journal), the only bias I notice when reading it is a pretty consistent pro-science one.

What would you prefer to call denialists? The majority have no credibility to speak on anything remotely related to science, as such calling them "skeptical scientists" or some politically correct BS just won't cut it. They're just parroting stuff they've heard from others, and only a (very) small step above the evolution denialists.

However, you'll notice that when the article was talking about someone with a papers published in the field (Stephen McIntyre), they said that his paper

question[ed] the uniqueness of recent global warming

Sorry if that is "bias" in your book.

Also, remember that this was an editorial piece. Wanna see what real bias looks like in an editorial piece? Go ahead, click here.That's from the supposedly reputable WSJ.

Besides, I have no desire to get into a flame war (oops, too late) with someone who has already made up his mind about this issue (judging by your comment history), so if you respond, please give me some good, solid [peer-reviewed is best] evidence to back up your claims.

Comment Re:Fraud (Score 4, Informative) 874

Thank you for the links, best article I've read all day.

A couple of quotes from the Nature editorial for the TL;DR crowd:

A fair reading of the e-mails reveals nothing to support the denialists' conspiracy theories. In one of the more controversial exchanges, UEA scientists sharply criticized the quality of two papers that question the uniqueness of recent global warming (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick Energy Environ. 14, 751–771; 2003 and W. Soon and S. Baliunas Clim. Res. 23, 89–110; 2003) and vowed to keep at least the first paper out of the upcoming Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Whatever the e-mail authors may have said to one another in (supposed) privacy, however, what matters is how they acted. And the fact is that, in the end, neither they nor the IPCC suppressed anything: when the assessment report was published in 2007 it referenced and discussed both papers.

(Emphasis mine).

The stolen e-mails have prompted queries about whether Nature will investigate some of the researchers' own papers. One e-mail talked of displaying the data using a 'trick' — slang for a clever (and legitimate) technique, but a word that denialists have used to accuse the researchers of fabricating their results. It is Nature's policy to investigate such matters if there are substantive reasons for concern, but nothing we have seen so far in the e-mails qualifies.

There is far, far too much politics in science. I don't know why Dr. Jones decided to step down, but I'm inclined to believe (after reading the Nature editorial) that the reasons were almost entirely political.

Comment Re:System Activity feedback (Score 1) 423

OK, that full app is perfect. How can I make it so that when I hit Ctrl+Esc it brings up ksysguard instead of the lite app? (It almost seems like that should be the default anyway.)

I don't see I/O in my distro (Kubuntu latest), so I'll wait for the next update.

Comment Re:System Activity feedback (Score 1) 423

+1 for displaying megabyte/gigabyte.

Also, if it would be possible to display total memory usage, and CPU usage on each core that would be cool. Graphs for CPU and memory usage over time (total) would also be nifty (I know there's a plasma applet for that, but I'd prefer to see it integrated with system activity).

Is there any way to show network and disk usage (read/writes)? IANA programmer, but if that would be possible it would be awesome. I suspect that a lot of the slowdown I'm seeing comes from the hard drive or network, not CPU/RAM.

Although, really, its quite a fine little tool. I use it on occasion, but since KDE has been pretty stable recently, I find myself using it less and less.

Seriously, 10/10 good job.

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