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Comment Re:They are concerned about lost tax revenue? (Score 1) 336

And yet these socialist societies were much more successful than many Christian nations. Matter of fact, Soviet Russia was far more prosperous than the Tsarist Russia, proving you wrong. in 1917 Russia was a century behind the most developed countries of the world and the majority of its population was illiterate - just like the Orthodox Christian patriarchs liked it. The godless communists went through that missing century in 30 years and the literacy climbed to over 99%. Nowadays Russia becomes more and more Christian again and fails more and more economically. Cuba is in every way better than Haiti. Here is more food for thoughts: the poorest country in the world is Christian. Out of 10 poorest countries in the world, 6 are predominantly Christian and two more are 50% Christian. A lot of that poverty is directly caused by religion, because, like I already mentioned, illiterate population makes devout Christians - they listen to everything the church says, no matter how much the church distorts the reality. Seriously, disavowing the church was one of the few things communists did right. Religion is a serious hindrance for progress.

Comment Re: suure (Score 1) 335

I'm over 40 too. I don't know anyone who plays computer games period, though I suspect some of the young single guys at work might. I never asked them. The only time I play any games at all is if I (rarely) get the urge to play a NES or DOS game from when I was a teenager, and those work great in emulators under Linux. All the other 30+ adults I know, and know well enough to know about what they do on their PCs, don't play games, and aren't in tech either. The only things they do with their PCs are web surfing, playing DVDs, light document editing, that's about it.

Comment So fucking what? (Literally). (Score 5, Insightful) 394

So the guy's a pervert: does that mean his code quit working? Is he trying to fuck other contributors? Has he done anything to anyone without their consent?

I've worked with plenty of people in my time who are into things that I don't approve of, from voting for socialists to trying to be Heinlein characters, but if they don't bring it to the office, it's none of my business. That goes double for an open-source project where they're donating their work.

Enough with the goddamned neo-puritans. There's work to be done, for fuck's sake.

-jcr

Comment Re:Just needs a little nudge. (Score 1) 191

The lumpy gravity field shouldn't be *that* big a problem. The ISS is designed to orbit Earth, which has an atmosphere (which gives a little drag on the ISS at that altitude), and 6 times the gravity of the Moon. So even if the Moon's gravity is uneven compared to Earth's, it should be possible to compensate for that pretty easily. The ISS can also be placed in a higher orbit where presumably the lumpy gravity will be less of a factor. On Earth, the LEO orbit is probably chosen because of radiation protection and ease of resupply. On the Moon, there's no radiation protection anywhere (no atmosphere, no Van Allen belts) so it's somewhat irrelevant, plus resupply missions from Earth will probably have an easier time reaching a higher Lunar orbit.

The main problem is radiation protection, and for that it seems like they just need a new space station, though perhaps they could get away with a new, highly shielded crew module or two, where the crew is supposed to sleep and spend most of their time, out of the older sections.

Of course, I'd much rather see them dump it and just build a gigantic rotating space station, like the one in 2001, in a Lagrangian spot. Instead of spending tons more money on a military build-up, we should just partner with Japan and Germany on this.

Comment 13 times less? (Score 1) 154

What are we supposed to infer from this?

engineers in India's tech hub cost 13 times less than their Silicon Valley counterparts

So, the engineers in Silicon Valley cost less than somewhere else, but the ones in India are thirteen times MORE less expensive than the ones in SV? Or are we supposed to gather that the SV engineers cost something that we should all consider a good baseline, but that the Indian engineers cost roughly 8% of that amount?

Lazy writers, being lazy.

Comment Re:Thanks, but no thanks. (Score 4, Insightful) 101

You wouldn't get your brain hacked, that's silly. It would just be a better version of the currently existing human interface (keyboard input, VGA output).

If your desktop gets hacked, you don't worry about someone hacking your fingers or eyeballs, do you? Well with this brain interface if your computer gets hacked, the worst thing would happen is that the hacker would beam annoying images directly to your brain (instead of displaying it on your VGA monitor) and maybe fuck around with your keyboard mappings so your brainwave commands to the computer don't work properly.

Solution to a hacked PC would be to disconnect it from your brain electrode and de-hack your PC manually, or get another PC.

Hopefully the connection from PC to your brain would be wireless, so a hacker can't actually zap your brain with electrical voltage. But even if it's wired, you could put a good mechanical fuse or circuit breaker in between the PC and your brain so only tolerable voltages are ever transmitted.

Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 101

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

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