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Comment Re:Solving one problem and creating 3 more. (Score 1) 79

Heck they just may no longer be in business anymore, and doesn't want people to think they are.

Have you never used the wayback machine? They leave no doubt where you are.

But we also have cases where we have a deliberate take down of information, due to legal, or personal reasons.

They won't archive anything you don't want archived.

Also the Last Page, may not be a good page to point to, as it may have been a victim of an attack and have harmful information on it. doesn't host malware.

Comment Re:Please no? (Score 2) 79

Methinks a moderator needs more coffee, that wasn't offtopic. Let me explain the parent's point, since at least one person was too dense to understand.

The GP said "when a page is gone it should be gone", WHY? That's insane. Say you want to get out that old Quake game and want to look up console commands. You're not going to find that great site because it lapsed a decade ago (the parent used beermaking as his example). to the rescue.

The suggestion is that when you click that bookmark you saved a decade ago, rather than a 404 you get's copy. However, this might not work in some situations, like when a site is abandoned and someone else registers the name.

If you don't want your site archived, they'll take their copy down.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Nobots Chapter Twenty Four

Online now.

Two weeks later as the Venusian battleship thundered silently through the vacuum of space towards the Earth, ten automated rockets streaked towards it from Earth's L2 Lagrange point, also thundering silently because in space, no one can hear you thunder.

Comment Re:Linux updates need a restart too (Score 1) 417

Windows has to be rebooted every single time any patch at all is applied to any part of Windows and every single time a program is installed or uninstalled. Linux only has to be rebooted when the kernel is replaced, and it's been a while since I've seen that. Almost all Linux patches require a single click, no reboots, no nagging.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 417

I don't know, Pepsi and Coke are almost the same, especially from a fountain. I'd say it's the difference between a Pinto and a... excuse me, this win7 notebook wants me to restart it to apply patches... a Pinto and a Lincoln Continental.

Windows is the Pinto. I haven't tried Xubuntu, but Mandriva and kubuntu both have all the features of Windows while Windows lacks features, but Windows does have annoying traits (like having to reboot to apply patches) that Linux doesn't.

Comment Re:Music... (Score 1) 240

You seem to be arguing in favor of the Chinese room.

You can open the door to the Chinese Room and discover the guy who can't speak Chinese; you can never truly "open" a computational oracle, or a mind. If something quacks like an intelligence it is, insofar as we don't know how it works -- the only useful definition of "intelligence: is "that which behaves rationally but we don't know how."

But I do know how a computer works. I wrote a fake AI program in 1982 in a 1 mHz Z-80 16K RAM computer that did fool people who didn't know how computers work into thinking it was sentient.

There is no such thing as a "computational oracle". You cannot build a thing that nobody understands. Without knowledge of how a radio works you can't build a radio without detailed instructions from someone who does know.

The moment we discover how something works, it ceases to be conscious.

I don't buy that. When we discover all the brain's secrets we stop being conscious? It makes no sense to me.

clearly the intelligence is in the guy who wrote him the rules.

Bingo. The machine possesses no intelligence, the illusion of intelligence is simply the programmer's cleverness.

Comment Re:Music... (Score 1) 240

A person isn't a neuron and a billion people are not a billion neurons any more than a billion mechanical calculators are neurons. Two or a billion, if they don't know Chinese the symbols are manipulated mechanically; there is no thought.

Comment Re:Blue screen of death (Score 0) 87

Cars? Depending on the resolution (and they are using nanoparticles, while film used grains of silver) we're looking towards having holographic computer displays in the near (?) future.

The way a hologram (that uses film) works is, you take a laser and a dark room and unexposed film. IIRC (and it's been almost four decades since I took that class) you split the beam, and illuminate the film with one half of the beam (focused IIRC) and the subject with the other.

When you develop the film there's nothing recognizable on it at all, just refraction patterns. Shine a laser at it and it changes to a grainy 3D, but a true 3d. Focus your eye at the foreground and the background gets fuzzy, move from side to side and see different views.

A holographic computer display would need a freakishly high resolution LCD panel backlit by three lasers, each tuned to a primary color. Maybe these silver nanoparticles are the ticket?

Crap, I could have saved a lot of writing with a link to wikipedia, which is most likely more accurate and surely more detailed. Hell, google if you're interested.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 417

Yes, I agree that every distro of Linux I've tried was incredibly easy to install (and every version of Windows a PITA), but my point is that Joe is ignorant. You can't install something you've never heard of, and Joe's never heard of Linux or has a clue what an "operating system" or a "botnet" is. If he's heard of Linux he probably sees it as "some kind of hacker thing, my buddy reset my XP admin password for me with it."

Submission + - Water Plume 'Unequivocally' Detected at Dwarf Planet Ceres (

astroengine writes: Astronomers analyzing data from the now defunct Herschel infrared space observatory have made a huge discovery deep inside the asteroid belt. Dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body in the region, is generating plumes of water vapor. “This is the first time water vapor has been unequivocally detected on Ceres or any other object in the asteroid belt and provides proof that Ceres has an icy surface and an atmosphere,” said Michael Küppers of the European Space Agency in Spain and lead author of a paper published today (Jan. 22) in the journal Nature.

Comment Re:Music... (Score 1) 240

Right, but decoding is just the translation from one symbology into another, it doesn't create a semantic relationship

When I read a novel I don't hear the words in my head or even notice them on the paper. I see, hear, and feel the characters and what they do and say. The abstract symbols on the paper are decoded to concrete events and ideas.

only humans will be able to give the effect of the loop final meaning. All the program can do is keep juggling symbols back and forth according to what can be reduced to automatic production rules.

That's because humans can read and computers can't. Even a text to speech program can't read, it can only juggle the written symbols and the auditory symbols. A human can not only read the code, a human can understand out what that code does when it runs. A computer can't.

Kurzweil is a damned fine engineer, but he doesn't have a clue about the brain. He's obviously never heard of the Chinese Room (it appears you in fact have).

People like him who think computers will be sentient are dangerous.

It was a movie, written by two guys who learned everything they know about computers from AKIRA and 2001 A Space Odyssey

True, it was only an illustration. But think of an incredibly simple program, like an analog clock on your computer screen. Depending on the language and your expertise you could little more than glance at it and imagine the clock it would draw. When you write a program you certainly have to envision what the output will be.

And HAL is bothersome because HAL isn't, in fact, any more sentient than Watson. It's just a Chinese room that does a good job of fooling a sentient being that it is, when it isn't. People are going to push for equal rights for computers... Frank Herbert touched on this in Dune, when "intelligent machines" were used by unscrupulous men to enslave others (leading to the jihad and outlawing of intelligent machines).

They were calling computers "electronic brains" when a building-sized machine was less powerful than a musical Hallmark card. It worries me, because they're not brains. They're tools and toys.

Submission + - CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup (

jigamo writes: The Verge reports:

A long list of startups have put forth a Herculean effort to find the best way to suggest new things for people to read, and former Slashdot editor-in-chief Rob Malda, also known as CmdrTaco, just unveiled his: Trove, a people-powered app initially available on the web and for iPhone and iPad.

Trove basically lets users opt in to feeds of stories that align with their interests. Users are encouraged to curate "troves," collections of stories that relate to a particular theme. You could create a trove for "Ukrainian Politics," "Dog Heroes," or "Best of The Verge," for example, to which other Trove users can subscribe.

"The core of the product is that people have many interests and rather than just giving them information through pure algorithms and picking particular publications, we want to connect them with people who share those interests, who can pick the best content in those topical areas," says Vijay Ravindran, CEO of Trove.

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.