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Comment Re:Burn it up??? WTF?? (Score 1) 184

I do also like one of the previous ideas about shuttling it over to the moon. I just question how much energy it would need to overcome earths gravity and break free from it's orbit. It is a bit massive.

Well, it's already moving at about 70% of escape velocity. With something like an ion engine and plenty of time, I don't see any reason the remaining delta-vee couldn't be added.

Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 99

Ok, so neither of those links were included in the summary when this was posted, but here is the full article:

Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains With Computers
Startup from CEO of Tesla and SpaceX aims to implant tiny electrodes in human brains
Neuralink is pursuing what Elon Musk calls 'neural lace' technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
by ROLFE WINKLER
March 27, 2017 3:24 p.m. ET

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren't ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.

The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched another company called Neuralink Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Neuralink is pursuing what Mr. Musk calls "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.

Mr. Musk has taken an active role setting up the California-based company and may play a significant leadership role, according to people briefed on Neuralink's plans, a bold step for a father of five who already runs two technologically complex businesses.

Mr. Musk didn't respond to a request for comment. Max Hodak, who said he is a "member of the founding team," confirmed the company's existence and Mr. Musk's involvement. He described the company as "embryonic" and said plans are still in flux but declined to provide additional details. Mr. Hodak previously founded Transcriptic, a startup that provides robotic lab services accessible over the internet.

Mr. Musk, 45 years old, is part businessman, part futurist. He splits his time between Tesla, which is under pressure to deliver its $35,000 sedan on time, and SpaceX, which aims to launch a satellite-internet business and a rocket that can bring humans to Mars. He is also pushing development of a super high-speed train called Hyperloop.

Somewhere in his packed schedule, he has found time to start a neuroscience company that plans to develop cranial computers, most likely to treat intractable brain diseases first, but later to help humanity avoid subjugation at the hands of intelligent machines.

"If you assume any rate of advancement in [artificial intelligence], we will be left behind by a lot," he said at a conference last June.

The solution he proposed was a "direct cortical interface"--essentially a layer of artificial intelligence inside the brain--that could enable humans to reach higher levels of function.

Mr. Musk has teased that he is developing the technology himself. "Making progress [on neural lace]," he tweeted last August, "maybe something to announce in a few months." In January he tweeted that an announcement might be coming shortly.

He hasn't made an official announcement, but Neuralink registered in California as a "medical research" company last July.

Mr. Musk has discussed financing Neuralink primarily himself, including with capital borrowed against equity in his other companies, according to a person briefed on the plans.

Neuralink has also discussed a possible investment from Founders Fund, the venture firm started by Peter Thiel, with whom Mr. Musk co-founded payments company PayPal, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, Neuralink hired leading academics in the field, according to another person familiar with the matter. They include Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an expert in flexible electrodes; Philip Sabes, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who studies how the brain controls movement; and Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how the birds sing.

Reached by phone, Dr. Gardner confirmed he is working for Neuralink, but declined to elaborate on its plans. Dr. Sabes declined to comment. Dr. Tolosa didn't respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to SpaceX and Tesla, where Mr. Musk developed new rocket and electric-car technologies, proved they work, and is now using them to pursue more ambitious projects.

These people say the first products could be advanced implants to treat intractable brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression, a market worth billions of dollars. Such implants would build on simpler electrodes already used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease.

If Neuralink can prove the safety and efficacy of its technology and receive government approval, perhaps it then could move on to cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, these people say. Mr. Musk alluded to this possibility in his comments last June, describing how humans struggle to process and generate information as quickly as they absorb it.

"Your output level is so low, particularly on a phone, your two thumbs just tapping away," he said. "This is ridiculously slow. Our input is much better because we have a high bandwidth visual interface into the brain. Our eyes take in a lot of data."

Others pursuing the idea include Bryan Johnson, the founder of online payments company Braintree, who plans to pump $100 million into a startup called Kernel, which has 20 people and is pursuing a similar mission.

Mr. Johnson said he has spoken to Mr. Musk and that both companies want to build better neural interfaces, first to attack big diseases, and then to expand human potential.

Facebook Inc. has posted job ads for "brain-computer interface engineers" and other neuroscientists at its new secret projects division. And the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $60 million over four years to develop implantable neural interface technology.

The technology faces several barriers. Scientists must find a safe, minimally invasive way to implant the electrodes, and a way to keep them stable in the brain. It also isn't yet possible to record the activity of millions of the brain's neurons to decode complex decisions, or distinguish when someone wants to eat a bowl of spaghetti or go to the bathroom.

Then there is persuading people to get elective brain surgery.

In comments published by Vanity Fair on Sunday, Mr. Musk said "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away."

If Mr. Musk indeed takes an active leadership role at Neuralink, that would raise more questions about his own personal bandwidth.

Tesla is building the largest battery factory on the planet to supply its forthcoming Model 3 electric vehicle, and it will need to produce hundreds of thousands of cars to meet its goal and justify its lofty market capitalization, which is approaching that of Ford Motor Co.
SpaceX has struggled to launch rockets fast enough to send satellites into orbit for its customers. Ultimately it wants to launch an internet-access business powered by more than 4,000 low-earth orbiting satellites, ferry space tourists to the moon and then bring astronauts to Mars.

Even so, Mr. Musk has proved many naysayers wrong. Traditional auto makers said he could never sell a popular electric car. Military-industrial graybeards scoffed at the idea he could even launch a rocket.

Write to Rolfe Winkler at rolfe.winkler@wsj.com

Comment Re: The first to quit are the good ones (Score 1) 303

Without that, how can you charge back your time to the customers, versus your employer? How much is coming out of the internal training budget? Pull numbers out randomly, how does your company function?

As I said; measurable deliverables. And those would be deliverables that are averaged over a reasonable period of time. Completion of project milestones or at least good write-ups and reasons as to why those milestones and deadlines are missed. That's less draconian than what you're proposing and works great in companies I've worked at.

If it's any consolation, some of my peers subscribe to the model you proposed... some of their people have ended up on my team and I get consistently good reviews from my people about my management style.

I tend to subscribe to the idea that I should trust my people to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, and to assist them if it's beyond their capabilities or they have good reasons not to perform. I do have the luxury of working for a large enough company with deep enough coffers that we can usually carry some dead wood in a team for quite a while with minimal hit to the bottom line... and that gives me the latitude to average their performance over a 6 month or even a 1 year period. But privately I know pretty quickly who the dead wood is and I will usually find ways to move them off to someone else's team or get them out before they affect the rest of the team.

Being a manager is hard work. What you proposed is management by Excel sheet which is unfortunately rife in Corporate America thanks to MBA's who think they know what'll make a business better but actually only have an academic understanding of what works, not real-world experience.

And I'll admit; when I was a new and freshly minted manager I did do that because that's what my manager taught me. I learned pretty quickly how badly that works from experience and tried a different tack. Yes, my management often asks me for details like you're asking for... but by knowing my team, my deliverables and my targets allows me to speak intelligently to what my team is doing and justify the salaries of everyone on that team consistently year over year. I also have the highest average tenure of a team member of any of my peers.

Comment Re: Not everyone is happy... (Score 1) 105

Copyright licensing is ONLY assignable in writing.

Copyright is only assignable in writing. The law doesn't require that copyright licenses be formal, written documents. Courts have upheld verbal and even implied licenses. This is a very good thing for open source, actually, since hardly any projects get written licenses from contributors. The mere act of sending a pull request (or sending a patch to a mailing list, or...) is taken as an implied license of the author's contribution, under the license or licenses that the project is using.

Also, good luck getting approval from all 400 - after 20 years some are going to be dead.

That only matters if the heirs object. In this case it's hard to see why they would. The only rational (and I use the word loosely) motivation I can see is a deep-seated dislike of the GPL, since the only real effect of this license change will be to make it completely clear that GPL programs can link OpenSSL.

Comment Re: Will increase risks of cargo hold fires (Score 1) 266

"There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know." - Donald Rumsfeld

But are there unknown knowns? Are there things we know but don't know that we know?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Comment Re:Lock her up already (Score 1) 85

Tax write-off. He knows the shares are worthless, so might as well realize the loss and use it to offset gains elsewhere.

That makes no sense. Effective tax management means finding ways to report every possible loss, not creating actual losses just so you can report them. Creating $100 in actual losses to offset $100 in gains elsewhere lowers your tax liability by somewhere between $15 and $40, depending, which means you're actually throwing away $60-$85 in the process. Better to keep the gain and pay the tax.

There may be reasons to want to realize the loss *now*, rather than in the future, but that could have been done by selling the shares for more money -- assuming buyers could be found. Perhaps Murdoch believes that no one would be willing to buy his shares for more money? That seems unlikely. Hell, I'll give him $2. I have no reason to believe that the shares are worth that much, but the odds that they are are probably higher than the odds that I'm going to win the lottery and I have bought a lottery ticket a time or two.

Something else is going on here. Perhaps Murdoch has a personal friendship with Holmes, or some other non-financial motivation. But it makes no sense to artificially inflate your real losses in order reduce your tax liability, because the reduction in tax liability will always be less than the losses.

Comment Re:Then why just 8 countries? (Score 3, Interesting) 266

Let's assume this is a real threat And obviously it is doable, you could open up an ipod, rip out the guts, and put other stuff in its place. Why just 8 countries then? If its a real threat, its a global threat. Its not all that hard for someone to fly to another country first and then travel from an allowed airport. If this is a real threat, it should be from all airports. Otherwise its just games.

I flew from San Jose, CA to Salt Lake City, UT on Friday last week. I was "randomly" selected for slightly-enhanced screening, even though I was going through the TSA Pre-checked line -- and so were the two people before and after me. In this case the screening enhancement was to apply a bomb sniffer to all of my electronic devices, after they'd been xrayed. So, based on what I saw, at that airport on that day, the TSA had turned the random selection probability way up (perhaps 100% -- all five of the people I saw go through were "selected") and implemented a specific check for bombs in electronic devices.

So it appears to me that the TSA may actually have responded across all US airports, though not with more screening, not a device ban.

Comment Re: Uhm... (Score 1) 526

Do you believe that H1-B workers are the best talent?

I don't believe that the United States has a monopoly on talent. There are talented people all over the world, indeed the vast majority of highly-talented people are born outside of the US, because the vast majority of people are born outside the US. Whatever the immigration mechanism, it's in the United States' best interest to draw the most talented people from the whole world to work and live here.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 395

The problem is that any given reviewer wont "mesh" with what *YOU* like. Or what *I* like.

True.

OTOH, I find that the aggregate consensus of several hundred reviewers actually gives me a really good idea of how good a movie is. That's not the same as saying it's a good indicator of what I'll like; there are some crappy movies that I like quite a lot. But if a film gets an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has a significant number of reviews (obscure films sometimes don't), I can be pretty much guaranteed that it will not be a waste of my time. Perhaps it won't become a favorite, but it will be reasonably well-written, well-acted, etc. In other words, it won't suck.

I do occasionally see movies with low ratings, but only when there's some other factor motivating me -- and I often walk out disappointed. I also occasionally see movies that I have no real interest in, but have high ratings (and which my wife wants to see) -- and I nearly always enjoy them anyway. There are exceptions both ways, but the RT rating is generally an excellent guide.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 207

I actually believe if self-driving cars take off, drive times will go down. The programmers of the cars can do a lot to alleviate the bad behaviors people have gotten in to that just makes heavy traffic worse.

If you then ban human-operated vehicles from (some) roads, or maybe just some lanes (which should be separated from lanes usable by human-operated vehicles), it can get even better. Vehicles in constant radio communication with each other and with sub-millisecond reaction times should be able to significantly increase highway speeds and reduce inter-vehicle distance to inches, while simultaneously increasing safety.

If you can remove human-operated vehicles from all roads, you can also get rid of stop lights and stop signs. Vehicles can negotiate appropriate gaps as they approach an intersection.

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