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Comment Re: It's irrelevant, really. (Score 1) 186

The problem he and many others are skipping is that they go from machine to full fledged human intelligence. Let's scale it back a bit:

If this guy had created a new breed of bee that was deadly to humans, is the bee responsible for killing people? What if it was a mammal, a mouse that he had bred and trained to bite people, are the mice responsible? We're not even at that level of cognisance with this robot.

Comment Re:Is he responsible for the pain? (Score 2) 186

I think that's the point that ruins his thought experiment. For a robot to be able to accept responsibility, it has to be able to decide. All this device does is inflict pin pricks at random intervals. It has no real choice in the matter.

Take this further, into the realm of biology. If a dog owner trains his dog to attack people of a certain appearance, then the owner is responsible. If a biologist breeds a certain type of shark that prefers human flash, then that biologist is responsible.

So yeah, as a thought experiment it's rather shallow.

Comment Re:FFS (Score 1) 830

I would put it a different way: the argument makes the philosophical statement that all simulations are, in one way or another, universes. Simpler, more limited universes. If you assume that all simulations are universes, then it is a small jump to declare that a good way to describe the observable universe is as the ultimate simulation. It is less about stating the Truth as defining a model to approach the real universe as seeing it as a simulation to emulate, to understand the underlying code base and algorithms of. Like trying to simulate Minecraft using only the tools available within Minecraft, I guess you could say.

Comment Re:Apple is in trouble. Big trouble. (Score 1) 359

There are a few holes that could be poked in your perception, especially since you seem more enamoured of bullet points and appearances. Take for example the Mac/iMac line: Apple's update schedule for the Mac has been coupled to the Intel generation lineup ever since the switch away from PowerPC, and there Apple tends to skip a generation. As Intel has slipped on their schedule and the sales of the Mac are still strong, Apple has decided to wait a little longer. As for the iPhone SE, it may look like a 5S on the outside, but it has the same CPU and camera as the 6S, so you get dinged there as well. And to be honest, I am seeing more iWatches out there than I originally expected, as it does not work properly without an iPhone. It is more or less a fashion accessory that Tim Cook wanted for himself, and so it's made according to his needs. I also think the thing about repairability must be your personal opinion, as the Power Mac lineup used to be the easiest to open and modify, but customers prefer the all in one design of the iMac. Granted, with only the Mac Mini and the Power Mac as standalones to compare, it's not really a fair comparison, but Apple has long since figured out that those who mod or repair their own Macs are a vanishingly small number, they are not even considered any more.

I see Apple today in more or less the same position among computer makers as Daimler is among automobile manufacturers: a premium maker with a good chunk of the middle-high end market.

Comment Re:I read the spec. USB device controls (cookies) (Score 1) 131

It does seem as if the intended usage of this protocol is to bring back dongles: want to use the website? You need a "key" to plug in to your USB port. Hooking up a dongled speaker will grant you access to exclusive content, and so on. It seems the proposed protocol intends to make this easier than it now is, getting rid of the workarounds you mentioned.

In a way, it is a return to physical security, locking the key into hardware. But it also runs counter to what Apple and Google are also pushing for, namely that their mobile devices replace all physical cards, fobs and so on. I think the intended use of this is less for banking and more for granting USB devices like speakers and collectibles a simple way to transmit access keys.

Comment Re:Might? (Score 4, Insightful) 207

It became inconvenient when services offered more comfort and better quality. The payment was offset by the convenience and the trust that you were getting the real deal, not some crappy rip. Yes, the biggest reason people pirated was because the music was unavailable.

If the nominal fee does not bring the wanted convenience, then I can see why people will start looking to BitTorrent, and it really is a case of the artists leaving money on the table that their fans would be more than happy to give them.

Comment Re:assistied living (Score 1) 412

It resembles more the shared flat system that Germans call Wohngemeinschaft or WG. The main difference here is that the building and the apartments are actually set up for this sort of arrangement, and that the rules of the WG are set by the landlord instead of by consensus of those in the WG. I actually think it could work, as each has their own private bedroom, and sharing a kitchen and other common areas means more pressure to hold up your side of the deal and keep it clean. The hardest part, really, is landing a spot in an existing WG as the current members hold a sort of casting.

I'm curious, as it has potential. As with everything, it comes down to the execution.

Comment Re:Just to note... (Score 1) 163

Agreed. It would be worse if it was able to circumvent some of the sudo protections, or if it was able to also lock Time Machine backups, or exposed some social engineering flaw in the install procedure that lulls users into a false sense of security, and so on. It just reinforces the principle of never installing software from dodgy sources, and even trusted sources require a bit of wariness.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 563

I think part of the problem here is that Star Trek is not a truly post scarcity society, but the Federation is a post monetary society. Things are kept purposefully murky, such as how the miners are rewarded for the work they are doing, but it seems that they join mining colonies and do things like that for adventure, not because they would starve otherwise or because prospects at home were so bad that they had to emigrate. Merchant ships also exist, even in the classic era, but even here it could be argued that Mudd and Cyrano Jones were in it for the thrill, not for the riches.

What I think Star Trek provides us with is a future where amassing material wealth is seen as slightly immature, as it no longer provides people with the one thing they want to buy most: influence and respect. Those are reserved for those seeking knowledge and adventure.

Comment Re:No (Score 3, Informative) 563

Even that is touched upon, especially in the novel Look To Windward. There, the situation was live viewing for a concert, so that they Mind in charge of the orbital mentioned that people were talking about it being good enough to reinvent money.

I do quibble a little with the opinion that the humans were pets, though some of the ship Minds may have felt that way when talking amongst themselves. Though some of the machines could be downright devious in manipulating the organic citizens, they were just as manipulative to each other. The core belief that individuals have a right to self determination was never questioned, but the Minds entrusted with running things did their job so well that there was no need for any other form of resource management (which is all money is).

Comment Re: Far too late in the game...pun intended (Score 1) 174

Calling something number one implies that there must be at least a number two. Though I do not agree with the grandparent post's usage of "fool", it does seem to be the case that the Apple iPhone does outsell the most popular dedicated handheld game console, the Nintendo 3DS. However, since the iPhone is not a dedicated system, it's harder to compare. He did not claim that they were the only ones in town. If Apple can convince enough developers that tvOS is close enough to MacOSX/iOS to make develop for it, well, the reasons to develop for elsewhere do dwinde

As for why the 3DS and the PSVita are still around in an age where most people simply use their iOS or Android device for mobile gaming, well, the answer seems to be a combination of exclusive titles like Pokemon and the fact that a dedicated gaming thingy is still cheaper than, say, an iPod Touch. Oh, and the accent on offline play.

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