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Comment Re:I have one of those watches (Score 4, Insightful) 425

And they are that way because we have used hard-won experience earned in blood to spend hundreds of years designing unnecessary complexity and failure points out of them.

Cartridge ammunition small arms are one of the most refined and matured technologies on Earth.

The only - ONLY - consistent reason that people have attempted to add significant complexity back into them is in convoluted, ideologically-motivated attempts to make them less accessible and reliable, and that impetus has always been based on the belief that by doing so, their use will be discouraged.

Notice that nobody hawking these devices ever suggests the military or law enforcement should be mandated to use them. Just the filthy plebs.

Comment Re:Any twit could do it (Score 1) 266

Far too gauche and brute force.

The AI would likely just infiltrate Facebook's newsfeed algorithm, and subtly manipulate a variety of people and groups to act in unrelated ways at certain places and certain times. The ultimate purpose isn't to have them do anything specific, but in actually, to make the movement and weight distribution infinitesimally alter the spin and balance of the Earth so that the precise location of the Falcon 9 intersected with the path of a meteorite - a meteorite that was picked up by automated observation, yet which humans missed... but the AI saw.

THAT is how an AI would destroy a rocket.

Comment Re:WeChat = Tencent = Chinese Communist Party (Score 2) 237

If necessary, yes.

The old adage about everybody except you jumping off a bridge comes to mind, and this isn't the XKCD case where the reason for leaping is nebulous and open to humorous investigation. We've established the mob is stupid. Your choice comes down to telling them they're stupid and why, silently refusing to participate, or leaping just because everyone else is - even though you know it's a stupid idea.

Comment WeChat = Tencent = Chinese Communist Party (Score 5, Insightful) 237

WeChat is a Tencent product, and Tencent is partially state-owned by the People's Republic of China. So I can guarantee you that anything you do in that program - in fact, probably anything you do in any device with that program installed, or any device linked to your WeChat profile with social media or other links - is going straight to a national surveillance agency. Just not an American one.

That being the case, I have to seriously question the credibility of anybody suggesting WeChat in the context of basically anything.

Comment The 60's kills in slow motion (Score 4, Insightful) 157

Did anybody bother to control for the prevalence of smoking and other environmental factors that may not be in play for most individuals 50 years later?

Mission Control looked like a nicotine hotbox half the time back then, and astronauts rotated through as CAPCOM. And that's not even starting to consider what else they may have been deliberately or accidentally exposed to during the early space program.

Submission + - Activision abuses DMCA to take knock indie game entirely off Steam

He Who Has No Name writes: We've seen brain-dead, overzealous, and entirely over-automated DMCA takedown requests bring down music and videos, but this may be the first case of an entire video game being knocked out. Earlier today David Prassel, creator of Trek Industries and developer of the not-without-controversy ORION: Dino Horde / Prelude and the early-access Guardians of ORION, posted that his current project had been entirely removed from Steam after a questionable DMCA allegation from Activision. Prassel explains further, "We've made Steam our primary platform, but this has put a definite scare into us going forward considering our entire livelihood can be pulled without a moments notice, without any warning or proper verification. I cannot even confirm that the representative from Activision is a real person as absolutely no results pop up in any of my searches." Image comparisons against at least two of the weapon models claimed to be infringing were posted by Prassel and in at least one thread on reddit in /r/pcmasterrace.

What's more, it appears Activision is alleging not a vertex-for-vertex and texel-for-texel theft and duplication of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 2D & 3D art assets, but in fact an infringing artistic similarity and design of separately created art content — something that the DMCA does not cover (and which more would likely fall under copyright or possibly trade dress).

Since this takedown falls directly in the middle of the Steam Summer Sale — which probably is not a coincidence — and will profoundly impact Trek Industry's potential sales, does this make a case for substantial reform in the appeals & response process in DMCA takedown demands, adding a due process and rebuttal window to prevent takedown requests from being essentially weaponized?

Comment Re:but... (Score 2) 52

The core goal of 'Mechs is to pack a lot of firepower into an easily transportable package that requires a single pilot and can traverse ground like infantry.

Tanks are good - on Earth. When you suddenly have to force project across multiple planets, sometimes with hostile LZs from deorbital burns, and occasionally into completely unknown environments, 'Mechs suddenly have a lot of useful qualities as an overall warfighting system.

Once the technology matures to tie them into a pilot's nervous system for balance and direct neural control - and we are NOT that far off, really - they'll be highly effective as shock weapons and expeditionary warfighting platforms.


MegaBots Raises $2.4M To Create League Of Human-Piloted, Giant Fighting Robots (techcrunch.com) 52

Remember MegaBots? The Kickstarter success story that was raising money last year to pilot fighting robot named Mk II. Labeling it as a contest for world supremacy, the co-founders challenged a Japanese team Suidobashi Industries to a duel with its Kuratas bot. (Which it accepted very gracefully). The idea was to utilize this octane-packed event to sell merchandise products. Here's an update: it worked. TechCrunch reports: Oakland, Calif. startup MegaBots Inc. has raised $2.4 million in seed funding to bring the robot-fighting stuff of manga and anime to a venue near you. According to MegaBots cofounders, Gui Cavalcanti, Matt Oehrlein, and Brinkley Warren, the startup aspires to follow in the footsteps of major sports associations like Formula 1 or UFC. With the seed funding, Warren said, MegaBots will be partnering with a law firm called Latham Watkins to help set up and roll out its league internationally, taking an approach similar to the Olympics. Specifically, MegaBots will be working with Latham Watkins Partner Christopher D. Brearton, who represents the International Olympic Committee, and has helped organized leagues and governing bodies in sports including the NBA, MLB, NFL and others.

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