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Comment Re:Still a meaningless stunt (Score 3, Informative) 111

You have no idea what this machine has just done. It's leapt forward some 10-20 years in terms of computer Go-playing capability in one fell swoop. The numbers involved in Go are so huge that brute-force search, even for a limited number of moves, is absolutely impossible in the times given.

And it isn't being given programmed hints, because Go is just too complex a game for that beyond amateur play. There's a handful of hard-and-fast rules of what's a stupid move and what's not and everything else interacts SO MUCH with the rest of the board and future plays that it's almost impossible to even tell who's winning most of the time!

As such, this system, no matter the power behind it, is doing something that dumb, brute-force, play-the-game AI written by world-experts in Go, AI, and game theory wasn't expected to be able to achieve within the next decade. And it primarily gets there because it learns from information fed to it.

For those who are more involved in AI research it is not so surprising. Similar general approaches to learning have been used in the "cognitive" branch of AI research for the last 15 years or so. The buzzword changed from "cognitive" to "deep learning" recently.

The key to success of AlphaGO is the position evaluation function that is learn from data. The surprise here is that learning from the game endings of internet GO players and somewhat informed computer vs computer games is enough to train an evaluation function with the predictive power to beat the world champion. In the old days of AI an expert-designed heuristic function would be used instead and a kind of smart position tree search would do the heavy lifting. But obviously this didn't work with GO due to combinatorial explosion and very difficult evaluation in the beginning and middle stages of the game.

Comment Re:Related? (Score 0, Flamebait) 138

According to established radiation science and statistics, it is highly unlikely that this cancer is from exposure at Fukushima. He might be lucky that he and his family will receive significant compensation, unlike the many Leukemia sufferers who never worked at Fukushima.

Is this the same established science that claimed the reactors were in cold shutdown while in reality there were at least 3 meltdowns, meltouts and one nuclear fizzle including plutonium-enriched MOX fuel?

I hear the fish in northern Pacific don't agree with your trust in established science and statistics.

I can smell the fear of nuclear establishment trembling for their positions. If humanity had any sense of reality of the situation then the current "stone-age" reactors would all be shut down and the nuclear scientists put back to research mode.

Comment Re:Why Skype? (Score 2) 225

I don't understand how Skype grew to such dominance in the ip communication field while being such a bad piece of software. I've been helping users improve their computer's abysmal performance by uninstalling Skype for years.

What does Skype do better than everyone else? Why is it so popular? Is it just the network effect, or does it have actual good points to offset the bad?

Skype grew to dominance because it was really good at getting around all kinds of firewalls.

Comment Re:I thought that was Nintendo's failure... (Score 1) 153

GD-ROM instead of DVD was not really the key problem, Dreamcast was buried by the developers before PS2 even launched!

The key problem was trivial piracy and the stupid feature that rebooted the machine when swapping disks (who wants to play a 1GB CG intensive game).

Also, many developers were porting to WinCE for Dreamcast, but that thing was buggy, like really buggy, like showstopping buggy. And then Microsoft withdrew support (or if they didn't officially in practice support was inadequate).

When it was obvious PS2 has got it Dreamcast was toast as far as developer/publisher support goes and that was about half a year before PS2 launch. Sega's financial problems due also to collapse of arcades market prevented another attempt at consoles.

Comment Re:How can a civilization perish without AGW? (Score 1) 55

The Sahara as we know it now exists mainly because during 'roman times' (+/-500 years) the woods there got lumbered down.
So yes, it is mainly man made.

That's not quite true. Lumbering only affected the progress of northern border of Sahara.

The weather patterns were also changing during Roman times. There was more rain in some places and some places were even warmer than today.

Comment 3D imaging + 3D printing = missing bone parts (Score 2) 164

About two years ago I was at a presentation by a surgeon who used 3d imaging to produce a 3d model of a partially missing bone and a complete symmetric bone. He mirrored the model of the symmetric bone to approximate the part of the missing bone. The part was printed on 3d printer and used to prepare a mold for the appropriate alloy for the implant.

Comment A comedy? (Score 1) 166

"The accident was a horrific comedy of errors," says James Conca, a scientific advisor and expert on the WIPP. "

What comedy, there's nothing funny about plutonium leaking. Once it got into the ventilation shafts it got into the air for us to breathe and improve our chances of getting cancer. So the whole so called isolation project was compromised.

Comment Basic firefigting (Score 1) 80

Any basic firefighting course will teach you there are two components to fire: oxygen and heat. If you remove either you will put out the fire. However, if there's enough heat left fire will reignite. That's why firefighters keep pouring water long after flames have been extinguished.

So an explosion will not stop the fire unless it also creates enough airflow to cool down whatever was burning. That will work for some materials but not for everything. Just remember how easily blowing at the barbecue charcoal brings back the flames.

Comment Re:Relevant paragraph (Score 1) 610

The far more likely explanation is that these people thought they were stomping on the brake, when they were in fact stomping on the accelerator. I've actually done that when the passenger kicked over a folding sun shade and it (unknown to me) wedged so that every time I pressed the brake, it also pressed the accelerator. The car would lurch forward whenever I started braking. Nothing happened because when I jammed down the brake pedal, the brake overpowered the engine and the car came to a stop. The engine was revving at an uncomfortably high RPM, but the car was stopped.

The Toyota Avensis I used to drive had some protection against this. When I pressed the accelerator pedal all the way quickly the electronic injection control would refuse to accelerate quickly instead performing a gradual acceleration. This was very annoying when I actually wanted to accelerate quickly. I had to learn to press the pedal gradually with just the right speed.

Comment Installing for free is possible anyways (Score 1) 314

According to our experience every installer version since Leopard upgraded the previous version without checking anything except for Apple hardware. iTunes doesn't care. Our institution eventually paid for OS upgrade licenses once a year, but by that time we already had the latest version installed. It seems to be Apple policy to move users to the latest OS version whether you pay for it or not. Now they are just making it official for the latest upgrade.

Comment Re:So Just So I'm Seeing This Clearly (Score 0) 225

Nuclear accidents have not been proven to have killed a single person.

That's not true. There have been many documented deaths.

There are reasonable estimates that as many as a couple of hundred people have died from radiation derived from power plants, total.

So what, you are telling us only 200 people suffered after Chernobil? Have you counted the early liquidators? What about hundreds of kids from that region being treated for cancer that come to the local clinic each year, is that just some unlucky coincidence?
There have been many studies that correlate radiation to cancer, you just need to multiply the numbers by the number of people and you get some nasty numbers. Like some experts have calculated 1M-4M extra cancers from Fukushima. If the #3 explosion was significantly laced with plutonium that number could even be much higher.

A hundred THOUSAND people are known to die from immediate causes of fossil fuel use every single year. Most of that is coal - which only a total idiot would use to power their home. It even releases more irradiation into the environment than nuclear power does. Coal has tiny bits of radioactive particles in it. When you burn it, you release those particles into the air. They usually settle around the coal plant, only affecting the poor shmucks stuck working or living near the coal burning power plant.

Apart from blowing reactor buildings sky high the Japanese have also been incinerating radioactive debris. The radioactive particles are being taken over by jet stream. So just inhale deeply if it's so much cleaner than coal smoke. Also you might want to store the spent fuel somewhere close to you, it will warm you up and surely there won't ever be any accident with that in the next few thousand years while it cools down and decays.

Learn math. It is your friend. It will keep you from doing stupid things like objecting to a safe, clean power source because it involves complex physics that you don't understand.

Learn nuclear physics. Learn chemistry. Learn bio-chemistry. Then redo your math. If more people understood it there would be violent demonstrations at every nuclear installation already. People like you should be conscripted to clean up after the accidents.

Comment Re:Depends.. (Score 1) 197

Voice data is analyzed for key words using automation. (Think about when you call your credit card company, and can input your CC number by voice)
If no keyword flags are raised, delete the conversation after X time (or immediately, who knows?)

You forgot one important step: voice data is converted to a very low bitrate phoneme-like representation that is good enough for subsequent approximate searches and voice based analytics (speaker recognition...).

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