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Submission + - Ray Kurzweil predicts computers will be as smart as humans in 12 years (foxnews.com)

Mr.Intel writes: “By 2029, computers will have human-level intelligence,” Kurzweil said in an interview at the SXSW Conference with Shira Lazar and Amy Kurzweil Comix.

Known as the Singularity, the event is oft discussed by scientists, futurists, technology stalwarts and others as a time when artificial intelligence will cause machines to become smarter than human beings. The time frame is much sooner than what other stalwarts have said, including British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, as well as previous predictions from Kurzweil, who said it may occur as soon as 2045. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who recently acquired ARM Holdings with the intent on being one of the driving forces in the Singularity, has previously said it could happen in the next 30 years.

Comment Re:How are light gun games developed now? (Score 3, Informative) 184

They just use some other means of referencing position such as IR LEDs + camera (like a wiimote or in reverse), image capture/analysis, gun position sensing, or some combination of these things. Most use IR LEDs. Some older technologies such as the NES Power Glove used ultrasonic positioning.

A lot of the 2000's era arcade gun games such as Time Crisis 4 used DLP projectors from the get-go and were using these types of gun controllers from the start; so they are relatively easy to convert to LCD.

Classic CRT based light gun games -- while I'm sure it's possible to build some sort of device that emulates the original gun in hardware, it is probably a much easier job to simply run them in an emulator.

One saving grace to this article is that while it's true that the CRT business might be winding down, the tubes themselves do usually last far longer than the electronics and will be around for a very long time still. I have had to replace some components on my Wells Gardner CRT that I used in my scratch-built cabinet because it had gotten very dim, but after a new neck board and some new capacitors it's back to looking like new.

Comment Why would it bother them? (Score 1) 206

What safeguards are in place to ensure that people aren't falsely accused?

Why would the film industry or the government be interested in having such safeguards? Are false accusation inconveniencing them in some way?

Why has the government allowed this scheme to operate without the accused having some right to defend themselves?

Well, firstly, there is no evidence that you aren't able to defend yourself. If they actually make an accusation which has some weight (i.e. might actually result in a penalty) then you could probably get the case to a court where you could in principle (and probably at great expense) defend yourself. But otherwise my response is much as before. Haven't you noticed a general trend in the law in the UK of making it harder and harder for people to defend themselves (e.g. reduced access to legal aid and the use of civil action to cover criminal activity so that guilt only needs the balance of probability).
Nintendo

Strange New Social Media Trend: Licking Nintendo Switch Cartridges (macon.com) 117

Now that the Nintendo Switch has launched, "lots of people are just licking their video games," reports McClatchy. According to IGN, the tech company coated the cartridges, which are roughly the size of a SIM card, in a bittering agent called denatonium benzoate, which is also used in rat poison and antifreeze to deter human consumption. The chemical is also used to deter nail-biting, per the Telegraph. Nintendo used the chemical as a safety measure to stop small children and pets from eating the cartridges. While there is no adverse health effects from consuming denatonium benzoate, it does leave a sour, bitter taste that lasts for hours, according to taste testers from BBC News, Quartz and IGN. But even as more and more people take to social media to let others know how bad the cartridges taste, more and more people seem determined to try it in what some are calling the Nintendo cartridge challenge...
"Humanity deserves no faith," opines Slashdot reader RavenLrD20k. But meanwhile on Twitter, one gamer was already complaining that their morning coffee tasted like a Nintendo Switch cartridge.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Are Many Products Deliberately Aimed At Younger Consumers? 4

dryriver writes: Everyone who is currently over 35 or so is familiar with a certain phenomenon: You've spent your childhood, teens and twenties buying everything "cool" — music, films, books, toys, clothing, computer games, comic books, PC hardware, game consoles, software, all sorts of consumer electronics. During this time, you and the rest of your generation kept the companies that produce this stuff flush with cash — it was your steady buying and consuming that allowed these companies to grow really big and thrive in financial terms. Now, suddenly, you are outside the target demographic for these same companies — they are still producing "stuff", but it is now aimed at new children, teens and tweens. When you look around for products made for a 35+ year old person, you find that almost everybody producing stuff is obsessed with serving a younger, less discerning demographic that is spending its parents' cash, just as you once spent your parents' cash. Why is this? Shouldn't products you "grew up with" also "grow with you as you grow" — accompany you into older age in a more mature, developed and sophisticated form in other words? Or is commerce all about get-their-money-while-they-are-young-and-impressionable?

Comment Re:Good policy, if you can live with it .... (Score 1) 238

Well, we certainly can live with it just fine and have done so since the days of Win2000. At the end of the day, security is a trade-off and we have accepted that the relatively minor inconvenience of "standard users" (and for our case it is indeed minor) is less than the inconvenience of a malware attack. It is a balance which everyone has to make.

The same is true for work environments. Where I work security is a very high priority (for reasons you are free to speculate about) and therefore a very restrictive regime operates. There is an approved list of applications (about 200 I think) almost all of which are distributed via App-V. Some can be installed by anyone, whilst for more restricted ones you have to apply and get added to the necessary AD group. In all cases, no admin access by users is required. There is no possibility of adding your own applications as all areas writeable by users have the Windows equivalent of "noexec". If you try to install and run an executable then it simply won't start and logging software will register the attempt and dispatch a warning to your manager.

I have to say however that for most people this regime is not a serious hindrance. The common applications, Office, Chrome, Acrobat Reader etc are all installed by default and update automatically in the background so most users never have a problem. Power users who need admin access for specialist none-approved applications can use their browser to access a VMWare cloud environment and spin up VMs (Windows and Linux) where they can do whatever they want (albeit behind a very restrictive firewall). It all basically works fine and no-one ever experiences a problem with their clock not being set correctly! Mind you, I suspect that our IT budget is significantly higher per seat than yours. Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice!

Comment Re:Also in the news (Score 2) 238

My wife's PC and my daughter's Mac both operate on the principle that they only have user accounts and I have access to a separate Admin account for doing things like adding software. Neither of them has ever experienced a problem which could be solved by giving their accounts higher privileges. Perhaps we have been lucky, or perhaps their requirements are modest.

Comment I've often wondered about this. (Score 1) 238

I have always managed my wife's PC (Win 2000, then XP, then 7 and now 10) by having non-admin accounts for each family member and a separate Admin account which I use only for installing applications (having where possible downloaded them using my personal account). I did this because it seemed sensible and is the way Linux works but was always rather mystified that it was never mentioned in any of the "How to make your PC more secure" articles which appear in the popular media.

I wondered if for some reason it wasn't as much of a protection as it appeared, but it now seems that I have been doing the right thing all along (phew) and that it is indeed a mystery why it isn't mentioned more often.

I should add that so far as I am aware my wife has never experienced any problems as a result of this policy (which I also apply BTW to my daughter's Mac).

This arrangement is also how the PCs at work are controlled with the added restriction that none-approved executables will not run at all. If I want to programme or have admin rights then I need to use a VM behind a substantial firewall.

Comment Completely false assumption (Score 1) 153

This article and summary are coming to conclusions that are completely false. This stupid little port is just a USB variant, and the only reason Apple has even acknowledged it is that only certain connectors can be used on the ends of "MFI" certified products such as cables and accessories. They in no way intend to put this connector on the iphone, but it is in wide enough use that they dont want to exclude someone already making a product that uses one from paying them that sweet MFI license fee.

The MFI program itself is and has always been the reason to hold back from a USB-C phone; it makes huge revenue for them. With lightning they have leverage to force the MFI licensing. If it becomes valuable as a brand/mark on its own and consumers look for it when choosing accessories then maybe they can safely switch to USB-C.

The problem is that the grey market is so accessible that genuine licensed products have trouble competing even if they make a superior product and follow all the rules. The whole thing is locked into a catch-22 where consumers appear to want the change but are also the obstruction to making it, at least from a business perspective.

I can tell you though that based on the quality spread I've seen with USB3, HDMI, DisplayPort junk that's out there now I would be very delighted to see some kind of consumer-oriented quality standards program emerge. I won't buy 10GbE cables that arent properly tested and certified and these new consumer standards are all equally demanding.

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