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Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 0) 34

Well, just wait for it to get worse. As the Republicans shambolically move towards repeal of Obamacare, it already looks like the replacement will likely be worse than what came before Obamacare. How a first world nation can have some of the worst health care outcomes in the industrialized world baffles me.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 107

The progress on AI in the last 10 years was more than the 290 years before that.

I don't think that's true. The algorithms we are using were mostly invented before 2007. Deep learning merely means taking those algorithms and applying incredible computing power to them.

And Moore's law is far from dead.

That seems to be true. Although CPUs have been largely stagnant, GPUs have been jumping dramatically in performance still. And that's where the processing power comes from.

Comment Re:Isn't all of this just BS? (Score 1) 107

but as far as I understand AI, it's basically plugging the program to a (insanely huge) database about the subject and help him interpolate the input and it's own data

Alphago is also a huge tree-searching algorithm, with tremendous processing power. The real question is, how do you know your brain does something more advanced than that?

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 3, Interesting) 34

Having witnessed the creation of a centralized IT system close up, I have seen just how disastrous, and ultimately how expensive the results can be. I think the logic behind unifying infrastructure is seductive, but rarely does anyone honestly assess the massive costs, because if they did, no government would ever pay for it. So you put together an upgrade plan that has an absurdly low pricetag, knowing full well that by the time the job is actually done (if it is ever completed), the costs will be orders of a magnitude greater. The critical step to this "unlimited budget via the back door" is to bring the new system up, regardless of how far away from actual completion and stability it is, then immediately shut down the old systems, shred the hard drives and dispose of the hardware, so that no one can ever contemplate returning to the old system as a standby. This is critical. You have to make the cost of retreating back over the proverbial Rubicon so great that you end up being stuck with the new system, and thus with the costs of making it work.

To my mind, the more logical way to approach this is to create a centralized RDBMS, make sure that all the disparate systems at least can regularly vomit out a batch job in one common format, and dump it to the RDBMS. Over time you could conceivably use this new database as a the core of replacement systems, or not , as you choose. I've worked on this kind of system before, puking out batch exports from one system, throwing it into another database and then processing, reporting or whatever it is you want to do, and then pushing changes back up to the systems. It was all done with common shared import/export formats. Now admittedly this does mean having to write code for each system, but that is almost invariably a fraction of the workload of building an entire replacement system and then spending years of ever-inflating budgets, downtime, and in the case of a police force, possibly even risking lives.

But companies like Deloitte, IBM and HP have basically made selling "unified solutions" that inevitably turn into IT catastrophes a vast cash cow, and so long as they can con bureaucrats and politicians into buying into their bullshit, they'll keep making money hand over fist even as the products they roll out remain utter shit.

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 1) 34

Single payer health care does. This has nothing to do with single payer anything. I don't know how anybody could believe that it does. This was a catastrophe visited upon Canada's civil service by the Conservatives under Stephen Harper. It has been a ridiculous screw-up since day one, and will not get any better under the Liberals. There are too many different ministries, agencies and departments with too many different data requirements and laws governing who can be provided with certain information.

Comment Re:Apple (Score 2) 164

Allow me to demonstrate under the latest macOS (10.12 / Sierra):

1) Go get the screensaver bundle.
2) Open the .dmg
3) Now, from the drawer with all the screen savers, drag out Pipes.saver to your desktop. It's perfectly safe. Double-click it to install it.

Here's what happens:

First, you get a dialog that says "can't install pipes screensaver" from preferences (preferences is what is normally started when you go to install a screen saver.)

Then, from the Apple menu or the prefs icon, you go to preferences / security, and there is no button. Just as I described. Pipes.saver is not installed. And prefs will not install it no matter how many times you try this. You can verify this is the case by going to Preferences, and then Desktop & Screen Saver, and looking at the list of available savers. Pipes.saver is not there.

Okay, so that's the OS install behavior as it stands today.

Now, take the Pipes.saver file, and drag it using Finder into ~/Library/Screen Savers

Now again, open preferences / Desktop & Screen Saver, and look at the list. There it is. If you choose it, it runs just fine.

This concludes our demo of macOS Sierra refusing to install working software from non-appstore vendors.

Comment Re:Moon- not perfect, but has possibilities (Score 1) 277

I mentioned that. The discoveries on lunar water are in consistent (for example, non-detection by Kaguya, disputed detection by Deep impact, criticism of Chandrayaan's detection as not being consistent with solid ice (at best small ice particles), etc. But I do agree that on the balance the evidence is pretty compelling that there are places where ice could be recovered/produced. Even if you take the optimistic view on volatiles (not just water), they're clearly not evenly spread, and generally seem to be (as expected) at significant driving distances from lit regions. Workable? Probably. Ideal? Not really. But hey, it's certainly a better outlook than it was a couple decades ago :) I'll be a lot happier though when we have some ground truth on the subject showing CHONPS all in the same general area ;)

Hey, we're thinking along parallel lines!!

I'm part of a group called Venus Labs that's actually developing the concept further, doing more detailed studies on each component of the concept that Landis presented. :)

Comment Re: No surprise... (Score 0) 167

every one else has to sell themselves into permanent lifetime servitude just to temporarily use their product

- if you feel that an Intel processor is worth selling yourself into slavery then you really must need that processor, don't you? Even then you are getting something out of the transaction that is beneficial for you, otherwise why would you sell yourself????????????

Comment Re: Rockets are too expensive (Score 1) 277

Note your launch cost analysis is not useful: the entire ribbon doesn't need to be put into space. The best and cheapest way to build the elevator is with a seed string.

My launch cost numbers were to LEO - GEO is a lot more expensive - and so was only ever intended as a ballpark figure. The seed string itself needs to be lifted and I'd be very surprised if you could do that for under a billion. Sufficient strength of carbon nanotubes to be self supporting (based on theoretical models - we still can't actually build them) would come in above that for launch costs.

Comment Apple (Score 3, Insightful) 164

Apple's been boiling its frogs (sorry, I mean, customers) longer, and has moved from the ability to install any app you want, to the ability to install any app you want IF you set up preferences to allow it, to an inability to set up preferences to allow it, but if you try, a button appears (which you have to go into preferences to find) that may allow it (doesn't alway appear)...

They're one or two steps away from "app store only."

The frogs.... sorry, the customers... just one step from boiling now.

Interesting to see Microsoft begin to turn up the heat.

I guess pretty much everyone's a frog now.

Customer. I meant customer.

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