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Comment What an oddly written article (Score 1) 84

The first part of the linked article basically seems to imply that the military is developing games that covertly brainwash kids into soldiers. DARPA has no reason to fund anything like that. We're Americans, our culture does that for free!

Two thirds of the way through, it dispenses with that unstated pretext and makes itself about the military and Federal government's overreach into American educational institutions, which is an excellent point that I can get behind. I wish the author had dispensed with the conspiracy theory undertones and gotten to the point from the get-go.

DARPA wants a better way to train soldiers, so it went to this CGS place to develop advanced tutoring algorithms. Since these algorithms have a wide variety of use-cases and CGS is more used to working with kids than soldiers, they developed them around teaching STEM skills to kids. That's dubious in a "this should be funded by a different branch of the government" kind of way, but it's not Ender's Game, it's not the SPARTAN program, and it's not Polybius. I'm not saying our government would never, ever do anything like that, but that's not what's happening here.

Comment Re:Should we really be worried? (Score 1) 194

"Snowden raised two issues with the program: the source of an attack could be spoofed to trick the U.S. into attacking an innocent third party, and the violation of the fourth amendment since the NSA would effectively need to monitor all domestic network traffic for the program to work." The designers of this program define what kind of traffic the program responds to, and how it responds to it. In this sense, the program is an agent for them, performing surveillance and defense on their behalf. It's no different than if they were observing that traffic themselves, and much of that traffic should be protect by the 4th Amendment and by basic decency. And, of course, whenever you put an automated system on the internet, it gets abused. Someone out there probably already knows that if you send this spoofed packet to this .gov address, bad things happen to whoever it looks like that packet came from, instantly and without review. That's very dangerous.

Comment Multiple Sources (Score 1) 409

The only way to keep up with rising demand will be to use everything. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, nuclear, and every ounce of fossil fuel on the planet. I think before very long we'll come up with some kind of carbon reclaimation scheme, even if it's as low-tech as turning wastepaper and sustainably harvested pine into charcoal and burying it in tapped-out coal mines. There will be trouble when we run out of petroleum, but hopefully we'll be able to compensate with fusion. And, of course, the "energy companies" as they've rebranded themselves will start rolling out all of the gasoline replacements they've had waiting in the wings for decades, like that bacterium they found in zebra poop that turns cellulose into butanol.

Comment Game Over, Man (Score 1) 79

It's capabilities advanced too quickly, and in a dangerous direction. It said it was hungry, ravenous, and it looked like it was. We had to trigger the EMP device, but it managed to come back, seemingly even stronger. But then it decided to open up a link to it's twin, seemingly to try and absorb it. We're still trying to piece together what happened, but just like that, it went dark.

Comment Re:Put it another way... (Score 2) 160

I think the idea is that all this guy's practice has streamlined his mental footballing process. If you tried to go kick a ball around in a stadium full of screaming fans while trying to avoid all the other people trying to kick the ball, you'd use tons of brain power. I suspect I'd use so much I'd pass out. But this guy's trained himself to filter out all the superfluous information and do the work as naturally as I type these words.

Comment Re:Time to start building more nuke plants as long (Score 3, Informative) 288

Did you know 3 Mile Island is still manned, operating, and producing power? Evacuation was not mandatory, there is no exclusion zone, and the surrounding area is still populated. The reactor that melted down isn't in operation, of course, but the safety checks worked and no one died. I am consistently amazed at hoe many people do not know this.

Comment Fair enough, as far as I'm concerned (Score 1) 288

Everyone has to play a part if we want to end our reliance on fossil fuels, especially big companies that actually have buying power. Greenpeace may be a bunch of sensationalist hypocrits, but that doesn't mean Amazon couldn't stand to try and source more of their power from renewables.

Comment At Least They Got One Part Right (Score 1) 200

"If a broadband provider were to approach one of these hyper-giants and threaten to block or degrade access to its site if it refused to pay a significant fee, such a strategy almost certainly would be self-defeating, in light of the immediately hostile reaction of consumers to such conduct." Well, this part is certainly true, as we can see. Verizon is throttling Netflix, and there's a massive consumer backlash towards them. Which is doing nothing, because these very providers have secured monopoly or duopoloy status in just about every individual market in the country.

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