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Comment Re:AI is Magic! (Score 1) 102

Heuristics are what deep learning is really good at

That's kind of my point -- the more human-like we make our AIs, the more human-like the code they generate is likely to be. Heuristics are, by definition, not correct solutions -- they're "probably close to correct" solutions which is notably what a lot of human-made software tends to be.

constant switching back and forth between the two

That's an interesting thought, though it doesn't specifically go against my argument.

Comment AI is Magic! (Score 2) 102

Is about all this article says. They claim it will change the way we program, but gives exactly zero examples of how the author expects it to do so. The only example it gives is Intellisense, which we've all been using for half a decade now or longer and isn't even AI-based. Its certainly made us more productive, but it doesn't lend much credence to the point of TFA.

There's definitely plenty of room to make programming easier.. for example, graphical languages would be a great leap forward if someone could ever figure out a way to allow them to do more than the simplest/most useless tasks while still keeping them easy to use.

I have my doubts as to whether that's even possible but there's plenty of people smarter than me out there and perhaps one of them will show me up, and maybe some form of AI will be part of that solution.

That aside, I find it funny that people assume AI will solve all our woes (and or take over the world, either way.) Trouble is Alan Turing. He's explicitly told us that some problems flat out aren't computable. Which means heuristics have to be involved. And as soon as heuristics get involved, we'll discover buggy software. I mean the AI may well still produce it much faster and less buggy than a human, but its not a silver bullet either.

Comment At that price? (Score 1) 337

Lets go with no. I'm not paying 1.5-3x the price of a theater ticket in order to watch a movie on my tiny TV with my improperly-aligned sound system.

I'm sure people who have better setups than mine, and would be wanting to screen movies for friends and family (which I'm sure would be against the ToS, not that that would stop them) but for your average moviegoer with a standard TV, that's a hell of a price to impose to save 20-30min on the road.

I mean that's the price of buying the movie on Blu-ray.. maybe even more at the high end.. and you only get to watch it once (or well maybe you'd get a short period of time to watch it or something but regardless.. its not permanent is the point.)

Oh and 2 weeks after release no less. If you're going to wait that long you may as well just wait another couple months until it comes out on a more reasonably priced service. Or download it for free a few hours after release if you're not super worried about copyright law or image quality. (Or a few days/weeks before release if you can find a screener version.)

Of course, its not like offering this service takes away from anything else really so I guess the people who want to watch things this way and are willing to pay such an insane premium are getting the benefit of a new service, but I have some strong doubts as to whether it will pay for itself..

Most likely this is another "lets make an intentionally unprofitable service and then bitch about piracy being the cause of all our woes" scheme.

Comment Re:Win10 is good OS that has bolted-on malware (Score 1) 171

That's mostly irrelevant, or at least far far down the relevance scale.

The biggest problem is compatibility issues. MS can promise backward compatibility all they want and for the most part they do pretty good, but it only takes one quirky device or shitty old piece of Win3.1-era software to prevent an entire organization from upgrading immediately.

My own company uses one such piece of software. In fact I actually think it would work with Win10 with a little beating, but I've never put the time into fighting with it and as long as Win7 is still available to us, there's not much incentive to bother upgrading, even though I and almost all of our other employees use Win10 on our own systems.

Then there's things like the forced updates which are well.. mostly just more annoying than truly problematic.. but it does mean going back to the old days of having to remember to hit save at least once a day because you can never be sure if Windows "helpfully" decided to reboot and destroy all of your unsaved work that night.

Of course the telemetry and forced updates and stuff can be controlled in the more advanced versions of Windows. Enterprise users likely have full centralized control over both. For them in particular, the compatibility issue is generally the biggest one. Or just general fear of "something" going wrong unpredictably.

Comment Re:Lots of companies want Win10 (Score 1) 171

Its funny you think you can tell any open source OS is secure either. It may be, in principle, possible to fully audit open source software in a way that closed source can't be but that doesn't mean anyone actually does it.

Not to mention Windows source is available to anyone who meets certain criteria. Its definitely not as free (speech) as downloading the Linux source and I'm not sure its free (beer) either, but enough people have access to it that scrutiny is likely at least comparable to true open source OS' by this point.

And of course, the bigger problem is that the OS is one of the least targeted pieces of software these days. Most attacks focus on a specific browser (including MS' own of course,) Flash bugs or other specific, commonly installed programs that exist above the OS layer.

I dislike MS' practices for a lot of reasons, but security really isn't their biggest issue anymore. We're long past the Windows 98 days.

Oh and as for Linux security.. remember that Android is based on Linux. So take that for what its worth. Again, most security flaws aren't in the core OS itself.. but with Android its sometimes hard to tell where "core" stops and "extra" software starts given that much of the "extra" software is required to run the various components of the device and are pretty core to usage even if they're not strictly kernel.

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 2) 218

Ehhh there might be. The current environment certainly isn't favorable to groups like that but who knows what things will be like in a generation or two.

Also don't forget selection bias. Standing along side Zeppelin and the Stones was 100,000 bands you've never heard of because their music wasn't good enough to last beyond the initial pop burst.

Its entirely possible that the next Stones is currently playing in some dive bar in Texas at this very moment and you won't even realize that they exist for another 10 or 15 or 20 years while they struggle to make a name for themselves among the bright lights of our modern one- or two- album contract pop singers that the RIAA dumps the second their sales drop even slightly.

Comment Re:What is pushed aside? (Score 1) 75

"Critical" in manager speak, from my experience, means "I've got a bugbear today and I sign your paychecks so fix it now." Actual relevance to anything useful seems to be a far less important concept.

A corollary to that is that most times, if you haven't completed the task by end of day, you may as well not bother since they'll have picked up a new bugbear tomorrow and completely forgotten about today's request.

Comment Re:Cruising the information superhighway through a (Score 1) 204

Virtual PC gave us "B"

I don't recall that being significantly easier to setup than say VMWare Player. Perhaps a bit better but you still had to do things like install your guest OS, configure hardware devices and so on. Definitely not simple enough to be considered invisible to the user.

XP Mode was getting closer from that aspect.. if running Word or IE just magically loaded into a sandbox then we'd be getting closer to what I'm referring to, though that's got all of its own challenges as noted.

people already intentionally lose date through things like FF's "incognito" mode

Some people do. For some specific tasks that they want to hide from their families/coworkers/etc. A quick search suggests that its perhaps more people than I would have thought, though the stats I found didn't break down how much normal browsing the incognito users also did.

That said, browsing cookies and cache and history is a far cry different from say, Word documents. Sure cloud storage is a thing now and that's great (well.. as long as you don't care about MS or Google or whoever having access to your documents.) But it doesn't cover everything, introduces a bandwidth cost and generally tends to be less convenient in its own right with the exception of a few specifically designed cloud-based apps like Google Docs.

I'm not saying it can't be done or shouldn't be attempted.. just that its not really anywhere close at the moment. People value convenience over the chance of getting hacked (which is still relatively low for any specific individual -- a huge botnet with 10 million nodes is still a fraction of all the billions of computers on the planet.) Its high enough that we'll probably all know someone who loses a bunch of shit to a virus or whatever at some point, but not really so high that its worth spending huge amounts of additional time and energy doing computer gymnastics -- especially for those who aren't so good with computers and technology at the best of times.

Comment Re:Cruising the information superhighway through a (Score 1) 204

Not likely:
a) At best, you've just moved the problem to securing the host system. Which if you're running a bare metal VM like ESXi or Hyper-V is certainly easier than securing an entire OS that needs to explicitly allow userland programs to do arbitrary things. But its not a null issue.

b) VMs would need to become far, far less annoying to use. Basically until such time that OS's do something like load every single app into its own sandbox, invisible to the user, this won't happen on any sort of large scale. Including somehow securely sharing data between sandboxes (so for example your video player could play the movie you downloaded from your browser) and again with little to no user hassle.

c) Even given all of that, it still has the issue of persistent data. If the VM's data persists inside the VM, then its got the potential to be compromised at least within the sandbox and since most people only use a small number of apps, having one of them lose all data is still a serious issue. And if its persisted outside the sandbox (as in the shared data issue above) then its potentially compromising the entire system and we're back to square one.

Modern browsers and Flash Player and Java and whatnot all do their best to sandbox anything coming from the web already. I don't really see how moving up one step to a virtual machine will really do a whole lot better -- at least not without simultaneously introducing user experience issues that would make the setup untenable for average non-techie users.

Comment Re:Am I the only one that sees the root cause? (Score 1) 204

maybe the world is better off without your doohickey

That's kind of the point. If the world actually needed a zebra scented butt razor, they wouldn't have to resort to shitty ads in the first place, and when you've got no real selling features your best option is to just shove your shit in everyone's face. They all want to make a buck, whether they deserve to or not.

And they should be free to try to make a buck. But we should also be free to tell them to piss off. Unfortunately the world these days seems to value corporate freedom far more than individual freedom, so we're always in an uphill battle with the butt razor peddlers.

Comment Re:I hate to say it (Score 2) 158

A lot of those folks went to the poll for Trump

The working class has lost solidarity

Not sure those two add up.

a lot who didn't stayed home instead of throwing in for Hilary

Unless there's some evidence that only Hilary supporters were too lazy to go out and vote, this doesn't really modify your initial statement to any interesting degree.

And without that we're getting picked apart

In what way? Trump was talking up bringing jobs back to America and killing NAFTA and raising import tariffs and yadayadayada. I mean there's little chance he'll manage most of that but if you're living in a factory town that no longer has a factory, the rhetoric sounds a lot better than Clinton's promising to raise minimum wage. Minimum wage is a pretty meaningless concept when you don't have a job.

Honestly I'm not surprised Trump won. I pretty much expected it when I first heard that he'd gone for the RNC nomination. He says what you want to hear and he says it loudly, no matter how impractical or politically incorrect it is. That's a strong draw after decades of presidents who seem to ignore public opinion.

Of course whether or not Trump can actually accomplish anything remains to be seen. Obama sounded good in 2008 and spent his first few months trying his damnedest to implement some of the promises he made.. but after being continually blocked and denied his legacy is a healthcare act that got so compromised by private interests that its entire purpose is constantly questioned, even by people who believe in socialized health care as a concept.

Will Trump repeat Obama's failure? Or will he actually succeed in fulfilling some of his campaign promises? Only time will tell. Some things are almost certainly out -- he can't easily build a wall (never mind making Mexico pay for it.) That's the kind of project that might get started just for the sake of saving face, go 20 miles and then get dropped because its incredibly expensive and relatively pointless.

Killing NAFTA is perhaps a bit more likely, but it still would require an enormous amount of support in both government and private business. Sure, lots of factory jobs got moved to Mexico after NAFTA but the economy as a whole benefits in other ways (like being able to buy cheaper goods because the companies only have to pay Mexican's 1/2 of what they were previously paying their American workers.) So yeah Flint might get its car factory back, but everyone in the country now has to pay an extra $5000 for a new car. That's an easy sell to the residents of Flint but a lot harder to sell to the rest of the country.

Raising import tariffs? What, are you going to prevent Walmart from importing 99% of their products from China? How do you propose that all of those low- and even middle-income families that currently rely on cheap goods be able to make ends meet when everything is two or three times the current price? Even if you kill NAFTA, wages won't go up significantly, especially not in the short term.

Reducing environmental restrictions because he "doesn't believe" in climate change? Obama already ratified the Paris Agreement so unless Trump's willing to break UN protocol, you're stuck with a minimal level of environmental protections. Even the US would have trouble saving face after that kind of turnabout.

And so on and so on. Turns out that even when you're president, you can't just say something and have it be made so.

Wow I really ranted well off topic there didn't I? Oh well I'll make up for it by failing to use the Preview button!

Comment Re:Would it be positive for your customers? (Score 2) 158

Not true. Think of how creative the tobacco industry was with their products and advertisements before they were regulated!

I'm sure AT&T and Comcast will come up with all sorts of creative ways to keep customers paying ever more to receive less and less service!

Innovation y'all!

I remember a few years ago up here in Canada when Bell & friends were pushing for data usage caps and they were quick to point out how it cause Netflix to "innovate" the great idea of degrading video quality to near-unwatchable levels (like 360p or even 240p) in order to stay within your cap at a time when we were used to 1080p.

I mean sure it worked, but that's not really the kind of innovation that moves society forward. Its the kind of "innovation" that we produce as a last resort when we have no other options.

Comment Re:Glitchless streaming. (Score 1) 158

While not "true" net neutrality, most people, even proponents, don't argue against prioritization of specific, well known protocols. Nobody in the world believes that their neighbor's download of Dog the Bounty hunter should be more important than their work call.

The trouble comes in when they don't prioritize by protocol, but rather by origin. So Comcast prioritizes Comcast' own VOIP offering but they ignore Skype's VOIP offering unless Microsoft pays them $bignum for prioritization on top of the user and transit fees they're already collecting from both ends of the connection.

This whole "zero rating" scam is an end-around net neutrality. The transport remains neutral in order to comply with regulations, but their billing system preferentially skips incrementing the usage meter for certain packets.

Someone like the FTC would probably have to step in for the zero rating BS because its fundamentally an issue at the business level rather than the transport level, but the FCC should still be maintaining net neutrality rules as well, as they address a wider range of problems than just "bad for consumers."

Comment Re:Get this (Score 1) 208

Infrastructure buildout is certainly a problem as well, but its not the one I'm referring to.

If Trump's acceptance speech is anything to go by (and given his propensity for blathering on about whatever crosses his mind that day, it may well not be,) he might actually do some good in the realm of infrastructure.. though I imagine he was probably thinking more of highways and bridges than fiber optics. We'll see though.

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