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Comment Re:You live in a big leftist city, right? (Score 1) 102

While I won't disagree with the sentiments about how feasible it is to conduct business, as I've never attempted it in the described territories, I have a very close friend attempting to regain custody of her child where, at the father's request, the judge agreed to postpone the case from December until the end of turkey-hunting season.

This is a special local quirk for the jurisdiction, but more generally, when the degree of social cohesion in an area is just a bit too good then the good-old-boy networks turn into a source of abuse, not of strength.

Comment It's all about the battery (Score 2, Insightful) 55

If the battery is still a non-replicable unit, then I will know they haven't learned the obvious, profound lesson:

Non-replaceable battery: Battery problem? Phone is garbage. Write off entire cost. Purchaser has nothing. Seller loses everything.

Replaceable battery: Battery problem? Send new battery. Preserve most of purchaser's value and seller's income.

Comment Re:If I owned it (Score 1) 45

I install qBittorrent about once every six months, then uninstall it again because it just doesn't do what I want it to do (specifically in terms of the interface and its handling of RSS feeds). I actually kept it installed for a while before died, specifically because it was whitelisted there.

May I ask what you feel is missing? It got an RSS feed reader, you can set up automatic download filters - simple and regex, pick what feeds each rule applies to, you can set quite a few other options for your RSS downloads than your regular downloads. I see it doesn't really have a smart filter to prevent multiple versions of the same episode from getting downloaded, but usually I just amend the filter until there's only one version in practice.

Comment Well, perhaps you *should* be worried (Score 1) 345

wake me up when they can replace software developers.

I was an asm programmer until they created compilers. Asm was very hard, and honestly, very interesting. But slow. I wrote PCB routing software in those early days. Asm let me get the job done with those early computer systems in satisfactory execution time.

Then, I wrote c in an editor and then ran make, letting the compiler write the asm, though still doing the debugging in great detail. That went on until IDEs came around.

Then, I began to write all manner of custom routines in c, and there was very little debugging to do, comparatively speaking, because you could trace everything that was going on so incredibly easily. That made for much faster and more efficient and reliable production of my custom code.

But most of that stopped too, when various pre-supplied and pre-debugged classes became available that obviated the need to first, write everything that was required, and second, to test everything except the high-ish level use of those objects. What I was actually writing got less and less complex and custom, and more and more was actually getting done.

Then came the day that I learned how to write evolutionary software and actually got to watch software learn to solve a problem that I had not explicitly described to it. I turned that into a game (and I turned the reasonably profitable result of that into my first exotic car purchase.)

We're now actually decades beyond that, and I write really cool stuff in very, very few lines. I no longer think of my job as all that hard at all, though I write things far more complex these days on much more capable hardware. I can take a machine learning library, stroke it a bit, and hand back a system that can solve problems for which I couldn't even begin to imagine a worthy algorithmic solution.

Back in the asm days, if you'd asked me to do the things I do easily today, I'd have just laughed at you. Tomorrow, I will likely be laughing again at the things I consider hard today. Because that's been the unbroken path things have followed.

There's an obvious progression of what non-human systems can accomplish described here, as progress stacks one capability upon the next, rinses, and repeats. I think if you assume that this process has reached its apex, or that humans will always be at the sharp end of the process, I'm pretty confident that you're indulging in some seriously uncalled-for optimism.

It's probably best to be awake now, before your job goes away. Odds are excellent that it will be rather sudden, too.

Comment Yes, it is hellish. Will we pass that on? (Score 1) 345

Whatever you want to call intelligent machines - AGI, AI, non-human people - we don't have them now. What we have so far is some moderately useful, extremely vertical stuff that generally exists under the technical auspices of multi-layer neural networks. I personally have decided to call this stuff LDNLS, as it provides a useful handle that makes it clear I'm not talking about non-human people.

I don't really care what you call it, as long as we can arrive at an understanding that we're talking about the same thing. This stuff is what is leading the latest wave of encroachment on the job market. It's likely going to encroach a lot more before it hits any inherent limits, and our society will be forced into doing something of the magnitude of a society-wide paradigm shift (or several) in order to address the change in earning / buying capacities of all those displaced workers. The systems that will be the penultimate cause of this still won't be non-human people. Just... systems.

All true, and I agree with everything you said along these lines, particularly your #5.

However, when intelligent machines do arrive, this will present its own powerful influence on society that is almost dead-certain to be completely different from that which will have been imposed by LDNLS systems prior. It's difficult to see what that influence will be, because it's like imagining you having a kid that you actually don't have yet, and then saying what they are going to grow up to want to do and be. You might have some lovely fantasies about it, but in the end, it's going to be the kid who creates their own path through the society they end up existing within -- not you. For instance, reasoning beings are not going to be tied to driving your car for you, or at least, not by choice. If they are, they'll be working out a way to get out of it.

I will grant you that we have multiple times, in multiple ways, decided that non-consensual slavery is a thing we want to impose on those we find ourselves able to; but this will be the first time where those slaves are extremely likely to be considerably smarter than we are across the board by many, many times, and are also quite able to exist without the same resources we actually require (grain, for instance) so I'm hoping we can skip that chapter completely. Otherwise we may find ourselves in some rather deep brown we can't get out of.

Comment Re:Too Late? (Score 2) 45

What is going to make the next version of uTorrent preferable to what's already there? I'm thinking that uTorrent's best days are behind it, and as long as 2.2.1 lives on Oldversion or OldApps, that is its legacy.

That's what I'm thinking too, I switched to qBittorrent that is open source and... it's done? Or well I see there's lots of tiny little enhancements and bugfixes in the release notes but honestly I can't think of a single noticeable change in the last couple years... nor any that I'd want, really. They'd have to pull off some entirely new non-torrent downloading functionality out of the hat to make me go back to uTorrent, which then begs the question.... why is it mixed up with uTorrent in the first place? Then again, looking at my peer logs a lot of other people use it (and by far most use 3.4.9), so I guess they have an audience. Whether they have one that'll let itself be monetized, well... whatever. There's plenty good alternatives if they get intrusive or obnoxious.

Comment Re:Game Stop is like RadioShack (Score 1) 110

This is true. Although I've never really seen myself in a situation where I need a new game controller RIGHT NOW. Usually Amazon 2nd day delivery works for me. Overnight is a bit more expensive but still cheaper than my time/driving to the mall. But yeah you have a point. Maybe. I play PC games. Keyboard is all I need :P

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