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Comment Re:Revolution (Score 1) 127

eventually they're just going to say "fuck it, I have to survive somehow" ....and start just taking all those pretty coins that robotics have allowed you to save... This is just a basic fact of life, you can't make people poor and expect them to just sit there and take it.

There's nothing about increasing efficiency and cutting humans out as factors of påroduction that inherently means people will be plunged into poverty. Businesses need customers to operate. Imagine the day in not too distant future where close to 100 % of all menial jobs such as warehousing are automated. This will bring immense savings and increased efficiency for large companies like Amazon, but if all the millions of people made unemployed by these innovations have no source of income allowing them to buy items from Amazon, then they may very well end up losing money.

The structure of the consumer economy is such that companies compete for the money that consumers have. They really don't care where that money originates from: salary, dividends, social security, doesn't matter. If you have disposable income companies are going to try to get you to give some of it to them. Currently the majority of people gain their money as income from a job, so work is the mechanism by which money is moved from the top (=the wealthiest) to the bottom, so these people can then move it back into the top by buying goods and services. What's going to happen as automation takes more and more jobs away from people if the ownership class doesn't want consumer demand to come crashing down and start hurting their bottom lines is that as the labor costs will come down, tax-costs will increase as systems like basic income are developed and implemented. Right now many see this as an impossible because it seems like this would require hardcore capitalists embracing some socialist principles. But what people fail to see is that these income redistribution principles can (and will) be embraced for entirely selfish, profit-motivated reasons. Unless the loss of income caused by automation is offset with new sources of income the consumer economy will collapse, which in turn will drag the whole economy down.

That is, the wealthy class will eventually have to look at the situation and think which is easier: letting the masses dwell in poverty and watch their profits go down as people resort to crime for their survival as you put it, or start giving them income that will not only help them survive but keep competition and demand alive.

There's a lot more profit to be made in the latter scenario.

Comment Re:Root cause; Social media narcissism. (Score 1) 152

The true addiction to cure for many, is an addiction to narcissism. The kind that social media has created. Perhaps it's time to re-think the religion of social media, and realize just how damaging it can be.

Social media has not created it. Hollywood created it long time ago by starting celebrity-worship and reality formats long before social media. Social media is responding to this by saying "you're all performers now, you can all become as popular as the celebrity you like if you just post enough".

It should not be a surprise to anyone that when an industry with billions to spend on marketing and focus-group testing has been intentionally creating fandom cults for decades that the natural evolution of this behavior is kids wanting to mimic the success of these cults by leading one themselves. They're not narcissists, they're mimicking behavior that the entire media is telling them is desirable, because with fame comes adoration and money and happiness.

You can't treat this by treating the symptom (social media), you need to treat the root cause, but that's easier said than done because the entire culture of entertainment needs to be changed to something less worshiping of popularity based on mainly external traits instead of intellect or ideas.

Comment Re:Cereberal Network Variability (Score 4, Informative) 103

Easier to tap nerve bundles than the actual brain

You're right, but there are many conditions for which the brain is the problem. I've have cerebral palsy (more specifically spastic diplegia) as a result of a brain injury caused by oxygen loss during a premature birth. Through various surgeries addressing orthopedic and muscular issues I've reached a point wherein I can now even stand still without any external support. Walking is possible with canes or as little support as one finger to hold onto with both of my hands. The core of the issue is that the part of the motor cortex that processes incoming information from the balance organs and muscles about the posture of the body is partially dead, so the brain is unable to regulate balance accordingly. Outside stem cells or other such theoretical ways of regenerating nerve tissue, implants are the only thing that may one day solve this.

The biggest problems are; Would the government hack it if they could, yes. Would Corporation hack it if they could, yes.

A hypothetical implant for something like my case of CP would be just a chip that sits on top of the brain and does the calculations that the dead part of the cortex would normally do. It doesn't have to be connected to the external world, and should I ever get to see a day where such an implant is a reality, I certainly would not accept one that was. I'm 26 now and realistically speaking I don't expect to see this tech becoming widespread during my lifetime, nor will I volunteer as a test subject because I've reached a point wherein I can live by myself, work and drive a vehicle, so my quality of life is pretty much as close to normal as is currently feasible for people with CP, thanks in large part to the medical expertise of the university of Helsinki hospital, so my disability does not bother me nearly enough for me to desire to try experimental high risk treatments. But having seen the already very promising results that for example deep brain stimulation has had for people with Parkinson's etc I do think this kind of solution is far more feasible after some more decades of advances than most people currently think.

Comment Re:Not going to happen. (Score 1) 168

Skepticism is not such a bad thing to have when faced with neither research nor journalism with an objective, critical eye.

You're entirely correct. However, in general the reasons for the cars being safer (reaction times, better situational awareness) are such that they can - and must - be objectively demonstrated before mass market release. That is, we're not going to take the companies' word for it, obviously the cars need to be tested by outside/3rd parties before being put on sale.

My general point is that there's a whole host of reasons why computerized monitoring of traffic is safer than relying on a single human. I don't really see a logical reason for why a self-driving vehicles wouldn't be less-error prone simply due to the fact that human drivers make a lot of errors as is. That is, the bar for being a better driver than even an above-average driver is not nearly as high as people think.

Comment Re:Not going to happen. (Score 1) 168

This is a pipe dream shared by the techno dreamer amonsgst us, much like air cars or robot servants.

No, no it isn't. The sensory tech to make cars self-driving is already there. Google has millions of miles of successful testing under their belt. I myself have been riding in a Tesla going 120 km/h while the driver was doing nothing. Now Tesla's solution is not fully automatic and requires you to still pay attention to the road, but this if anything should point out to you that we're much, much closer to self-driving cars than most people think. There are issues to solve still before the tech is ready to hit the market widely, but these obstacles (handing of weather conditions etc) are things which can be solved with existing technology and innovations.

I don't know anyone who has a self driving car or who has any intention of getting a self driving car.

I will get one as soon as the price is right. I'd much rather climb onto the car, tell it to get me to wherever, and sleep/eat/do work/whatever else with my time rather than drive,

Most people would never trust their lives to this kind of technology.

All existing data from ongoing self-driving car pilots, including Google's, point to self-driving cars being vastly safer than human piloted vehicles. The cars have technology allowing them to have a far superior understanding of their surroundings than any driver ever can. Google is using radar. The car can see and know the location of vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles far outside the reach of a humans vision. The car is able to do real-time physics calculation and actually figure out the smartest way to for example evade stuff. Humans take about a second to a second and a half to even react to a sudden emergency. In that second the computer has not only detected the obstacle/danger but processed through the different alternatives it has (ie. it has figured out whether or not to do perform an emergency braking maneuver or whether it's better to evade, and in which direction) to respond to that and has started to take action far before human reaction times even kick in. Literally in the time it takes for the human brain to go "OH FUCK A MOOSE!", the self-driving car has already mapped a solution and began implementation taking into factor numerous things (brake-force per tire, road surface conditions, etc) that the human never could. And if a crash is unavoidable, the car can calculate a way/place to crash the in a way that does minimal damage to the passengers and start dialing emergency services immediately, even rely to them crash data so that the dispatched emergency staff will know what kind of injuries to prepare to treat.

Computers are simply better suited to handle the chaotic nature of traffic. It can track and predict the movement of all of those vehicles and pedestrians simultaneously. This video showcases that well at around the 12 minute mark: the cars are all stopped at a crossing, and there's a cyclist that's about to blow through a red-light. The human-operated vehicles all miss this and start to move forwards on a green light as the cyclist hits the crosswalk, nearly hitting him. The self-driving car has known (based on speed and trajectory of the cyclist from LADAR) that the cyclist is going to blow through the red light before he even does so and doesn't start to move until the cyclist has crossed the road safely.

Couple that with the fact that the cars can communicate with each other. A car that spots something like a tree or an accident on road can relay this info to other vehicles which can take this into consideration immediately and re-route far ahead of time.

People need to get their heads out of their sci-fi asses and understand that there are enormous legal and regulatory hurdles here.

Yes, but those can (and will) be sorted.

The first multi car, multi fatality crash is going to have lawsuits flying thicker than mosquitoes in an Alaska summer.

Once self-driving cars hit the consumer market (and a low enough price point), we're going to start getting undeniable data on their safety. Crashes and fatalities will occur (just like there have been bugs in airplane autopilots that have lead to actual deaths, those bugs have then been fixed and they will not repeat, meaning the safety only improves over time with more data) but for reasons listed above it's pretty much unavoidable that self-driving cars will prove to be safer/less accident prone than human-operated vehicles .which is going to turn the tables around: pretty soon after widespread adoption there's going to start to be talk about banning manually operated vehicles as a safety hazard

You seem like someone who just wants to oppose the technology because you do not understand how far we are in its development, or the safety benefits that not having heavy metal objects moving at high speed manipulated by people who are easily distracted and slow to react (even after training/experience) compared to computers.

Comment Re: Are you even Swedish? (Score 1, Funny) 366

It is an invasion. They will never go. It is an invasion. They will never go. Why the hell would they give up welfare, free phones, free homes, and immunity from prosecution for sex crimes?

Stop drinking the kool-aid. First of all it's not up to their choice. What OP was saying is that the way asylums work is that they're not eternal. People fleeing a war are given asylum until the war ends, after which it's revoked and they're returned to their country of origin. They're not given a choice in the matter. Secondly, immigrants do not have immunity from prosecution, and if you think so you haven't been looking at actual convictions.

There will be another genocide in Europe, and it will be conducted under the banner of diversity, and sanctioned through the implementation of political Islam.

C'mon. The amount of muslims in all european countries is so small they have next to no actual political influence to begin with, and the one's that have gone through to politics for example here in Finland have done so under mainstream parties like the Green party which obviously is not supporting political islam or sharia.

It's one thing to point out that there are legitimate issues with the handling of refugees and the asylum-process in general (the thing that incidents like this one highlight is that it may be necessary to detain the refugees whose asylum is rejected until they can be deported) but the claim that Europe faces some threat of becoming a caliphate is simply unfounded in reality and mindless fear-mongering, which the right keeps pumping out (with hefty help from Russian 'alternative facts' sources).

European political history is no stranger to fears of muslim invasion, which has been one of the long time boogiemen since the middle-ages, altering in the role of the 'imminent menace about to destroy the whole of europe' together with communism and occasionally the jews. It didn't happen back when the caliphate actually had vast standing armies, it's certainly not going to happen now.

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 1) 755

Numerous, totally credible reports at Russia Today

Totally credible and Russia Today are not words that can really be fit into the same sentence.

this gas event was an unfortunate consequence of Assad using conventional weapons against an arms depot where the rebels had stockpiled significant quantities of the compound. These reports are definitely not propaganda.

Except that claim in itself is complete bullshit because Sarin/other chemical agents are not generaly speaking stored so that firing on them would release the chemical:

However, Jerry Smith, the operations chief of the UN team that supervised the surrender of Syria’s sarin stockpiles after more than 1,000 people were killed by the nerve agent in August 2013, said the components of the gas were almost always stored separately until they were about to be used.

“The Assad regime had two final precursors that would only be mixed just before use,” he said. “This scenario is that it was premade sarin in a store and, as a result of being hit, it has dispersed. This is plausible, but it requires a lot of things to align.”


What's mean by 'a lot of things lining up' is that not only would you you have to be hitting a premixed storage of Sarin which is not typically how it's stored, you'd also have to hit in in a very spesific way to disperse the gas. A direct hit will burn the gas, destroying the toxin.

So let's recap: one one side you have 'totally credible' reports from Russian and Syrian source which have a vested interest in not telling the truth if Assad is behind this saying that this happened by accident, and on the other hand you have chemical weapons experts that actually have knowledge of the Syrian chemicals weapons arsenal telling you that it's very unlikely based on their knowledge that Assad's explanation is plausible, And for some inexplicable reason you choose to trust Russians on this.

Your standards of evidence are truly low if all it takes is for RT to run a report saying 'nope, totally an accident assad would never lie to us ;)' and go "yeah, seems legit."

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 5, Insightful) 755

Your claim that Saddam was the guy that held the entire middle east together is a fucking joke, right?

Saddam held iraq together. With despotism and an iron fist for sure, but he did keep it together. The removal of him and failure to provide Iraq with a functional government lead to the formation if Isis, which together, combined with factors you listed has made the current geopolitical situation as complicated and as bloody as it is.

No-one is saying that without Saddam's removal there'd be total peace in Syria/middle-east, but it should be pretty obvious that the way Iraq was handled has contributed to the situation in a major, major way.

the Arab spring, is a result of something older than any significant American interference in the region. The spring provides the manpower that enables our interference.

The US did not singlehandedly cause Arab spring obviously, but their geopolitics and interference in the region amplified the effects and not for the better.

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 5, Interesting) 755

When I heard this story on the radio this morning, the most surprising bit was that Syria is responsible for the rise of ISIS.

This is not what I said or meant and I'm pretty sure you know that.

I'm sure last week it was the destabilization of Iraq that was the cause of ISIS.

Yes, this is what happened but the thing is once a state the size of Iraq collapses into quasi-anarchy the conflict does not stay confined to the borders of said ex-state. Without the collapse of Iraq there'd be no isis, and without isis the situation in Syria wouldn't be as messy as it is now. There might and probably still would be a civil war in Syria, but right now that war is made a lot more complicated and bloody by isis, which is opposed by both Assad, Russia and the US but the defeat of which is made more complicated because said 3 factions are also opposed to each other. The US is trying to get rid of isis and Assad, Assad/Russia is trying to get rid of Isis and the rebels, and the rebels are trying to get rid of Assad and isis. There is no easy solution to this mess, because if the US removes Assad from power it's likely that Syria will be in even worse shape than it is now, as it is unclear which faction outside Assad's regime has the skills and the resources to maintain control of Syria.

Backing Assad means backing the sole Russian ally in the region which the US cannot do, but this also means that realistically speaking getting the conflict in Syria contained is extremely difficult, much more so than it would be if this was a war with only 2 sides.

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 4, Informative) 755

Yes. when the US does it in its own interests, it's 'warmongering.' When the US does it at the behest of a NATO ally, it's still 'warmongering.' When anyone else does it, it's because of US 'warmongering.'

Well, if the US had not destabilized the entire region by failing at nation-building it's unlikely that any of the current events in Syria/Iraq would have occurred.

This doesn't mean the US bears responsibility for actions that other countries perform, but it's just a matter of fact that US warmongering has created a massive power-vacuum in the middle-east which has lead to the rise of the current clusterfuck of issues.

Using overseas wars as a distraction from domestic politics comes with a price.

Comment Weird strategic decisions at Youtube (Score 2) 62

I'm an active follower of youtube and watch a lot of Vlogs and podcasts and the likes. Rcenetly in the wake of the so called "PewPewdie scandal" youtube has apparently shifted to be more and more restricve about what kind of content they allow to be monetized. Certain tags and words appear to be banned from getting ad-revenue, (recently it came to light their new policy prohibits including 'atheist' in one's channel name, and in general old channels with atheism in their tittle have seen a huge drop in revenue. Have a look at their 'advertiser friendly content guidelines':

Content that is considered "not advertiser-friendly" includes, but is not limited to:

Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language
Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items
Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown
If any of the above describes any portion of your video, then the video may not be approved for monetization. If monetization is approved, your video may not be eligible for all available ad formats. YouTube reserves the right to not monetize a video, as well as suspend monetization features on channels that repeatedly submit videos violating our policies.

This is all very very strange from a business perspective. I understand that youtube/Google wants to give their paying customers - advertisers - more control over the kind of content their ads are displayed on. I understand that they want to compete more directly with services such as Netflix. However, I do not understand their decision to do this in this way. independent content has been the core of YT for a decade now. it's what lifted them to their current position. And now they want to actively reduce their range of content because a single streamer made some jokes some people/companies didn't like? Like, to me it just seems like they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Besides, none of this applies to their corporate users, CNN and other news channels can still run content about terrorism and politics and keep getting ad-money, but if a private individual creates content on the same topic they don't get revenue? This is completely nonsensical. the correct move would be to allow advertisers determine whether or not they want their ads to be run just on 'approved' channels or on all kinds of videos. Hell, I can bet you that there are advertisers that would like to specifically target for example political videos or videos with black/vulgar humor or swears. The people who watch this type of content (myself included) are still consumers that buy items and services and they are a separate segment than those who prefer 'family friendly' content, so preventing advertising for this segment to me makes no sense whatsoever.

Instead of offering a more 'netflix-like' curated experience for those that want it and keeping the 'old youtube' as it is, they've now put in place guidelines which can be used to essentially destroy the majority of independent political vloggers for example. Sure, some of them can manage to keep going via services like Patreon allowing them to accept donationsfunding directly from the audience but that option is really only available to channels with a rather large following.

To me the great thing about YT has been the possibility it offers: if you create content that's appealing to people - whether it's in-depth political analysis, debates, silly animations or just guys smoking weed and fucking around in online games - you can turn it to profession and start doing it full-time. By going the direction these new guidelines imply, they're taking away this possibility altogether and making the service in general far less dynamic and user-driven.

It makes zero sense for the creators and for Google itself, because they're essentially saying: "you know the one thing that's set us apart from other streaming sites and platforms, yeah we're going to ditch that and become more boring because that will certainly attract more views". They're exposing their neck to any and all potential competitors and saying 'please, rip us apart we no longer care about being the market leader'.

It seems to me based on both this as well as the flaming trainwreck that's Google+ that Google is really lacking any long term vision or plan for their social platforms management, or alternatively that they want to get rid of these altogether and are now 'trimming' YT for sale to some old media giant that'd be too scared to handle a platform in which people are free to say 'fuck' (gasp) or talk about something other than brainless entertainment.

Comment Re:Not surprised (Score 4, Insightful) 505

Feel free to start a trade war, the US is only 4% of the worlds population and 20% of the worlds GDP.
Asia is where all the real growth is, China is the biggest economy and growing, US firms could see themselves locked out of the Asian market. "Friends" of the USA have seen how Trump treats them, countries if they have any sense will be planning on what to do if the US is no longer there as a trading partner. Sure its going to hurt for a wee while, but everyone will recover. It will open opportunities for the likes of Airbus and Boeing gets sidelined, it will open up opportunities for EU companies to replace Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, HP, etc etc etc etc etc.

As a European I agree with this with one exception: it doesn't necessarily mean said companies will be 'replaced' by others. Multinational companies can re-locate themselves just as people can. If a trade war is started and Google & Co do the math and figure staying in the US will hurt their bottom line too much they'll move out and become European for example.

This is one of the main reasons why trade wars are stupid and counter--productive in this day and age. Capital and corporations can move across borders rapidly, and they will do so the moment said trade war will start hurting them too much. Trumpsters seem to be under the illusion there's some magical property making american companies forever american. Right now they are because currently the american stock market and environment is still the best place to do business from but if that changes these guys are not going to stay because they're patriots or some such nonsense. They care about money and making it, not the color of the flag waving atop their headquarter.

Comment Re:Oh great! (Score 1) 42

Often the most important factor in avoiding an accident is reaction time. For a human, the time between an event occurring, and the brake being depressed is 1500 ms or more. At 70mph, that is 150ft, before the reaction even starts. For a computer, the reaction time is about 1ms, which at 70mph is a few inches.

This, so much this. Most accidents occur because people either fail to observe their surroundings or they react to observations too late.

Modern cars already have numerous systems that do very similar thing: electronic breakforce distribution, emergency brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control system just to name a few. All of these are pretty standard features of modern vehicles and all of them are designed to let the computer counter the driver's lack of reaction speed and situational awareness. And they work; when I got my license here in Finland the first few winters were snow-heavy (by Finnish standards, which means tens of centimeters of snow) and I'm certain that on several occasions the ESC system kept me on the road/on the lane, because even though we're obviously trained to drive in winter conditions, it's a whole different deal to control the vehicle on an slippery test track or under the supervision of the trainer than it is to try and do so amidst traffic and poor weather/visibility. Reducing speed helps a lot obviously, but black ice and other factors come into play so it's possible to be driving just fine and hit a patch of black ice hidden under a layer of snow for example. Under such circumstances, these kinds of systems actually do their job and they end up saving lives.

When we're dealing with situations such as: "unless the trajectory of the vehicle is changed or breaks are applied within 0,5 seconds a crash is unavoidable" I want the vehicle to react and not wait for my slow-ass reflexes to kick in and slam me to a wall.

Comment Re:Translation (Score 1) 231

They also promote the image the company wants to project publicly in many cases.

Fun anecdote about this that happened to a friend who's a linux sysadmin at a midsize software house here in Finland. Much like me (and most people I know that don't have to be in regular customer contact). He usually wears hoodies, t-shirts, cargopants. You know, the typical 'casual and comfortable nerdy look" but for said meeting with a larger customer he was prepared to suit up, when his boss actually interrupted him and told him not to do that but wear his regular clothes.

The reason for this is that having your linux guy look slightly nerdish (while still being clean and professional) is something they wanted to do for image reasons.

I've never much like suits partially because being in a wheelchair getting into one takes a fuckton of time and I rather dress comfortably, so unless I'm outright ordered to do so by my superiors I'll wear what I always wear. And just recently I was in a joint meeting with several people, some guys from the army were along. Some people were wearing suits, one was wearing a woolen shirt, the officers were all in uniforms and I was in the corner wearing a Metallica-hoodie. If they did judge me for that they were very good at hiding it, because I sensed no disrespect from anyone, and never have, but I'd like to think that's because I know what I'm talking about and the respect is earned through actions and not based on appearance.

Comment Re:Our Future. (Score 1) 285

You point out corporations are already paying armies of lobbyists to avoid taxes. You really think a group of top tier capital owner class types wont employ an army or robots that looks much more like the armies of the past and simply refuse to pay the taxes? What does for example Amazon need the government for once they can hire/build their own fully automated asset protection?

The government is needed to afford the masses some means of income so that the businesses can keep their consumer base and keep operating.

Most consumer businesses will collapse under a system where the majority of individuals have no jobs and no alternative source of income. You may not like UBI but something like it is going to be a necessity if/when automation reaches a high enough point, because the economies cannot function without consumer demand, which in turn cannot exist without people having a source of income.

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