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Comment Re:Language (Score 0) 34

For a long while now it's been Slashdot: News from India, stuff the Americans.

The purpose of a summary is to communicate information. The article summary failed at its primary (and only) mission by including, without explanation, non-English words in an English language summary.

Sorry, Indians. Article summary is a FAIL. Maybe "do the needful" and learn that there's a difference between knowing a language and mimicking a language.

Comment Re:Smart Phones (Score 1) 58

Yes, there is a certain large segment of Chinese men who will carry pink phones. Anything that makes them seem more "western" than their perceived domestic competition.

What I'd like to know is if there's a way for Slashdot's submitters and editors to bring us stories like this one with out the condescending anti-US attitude. I've read that /. is outsourcing a lot of its editorial duties, but that shouldn't lead to alienating the site's majority audience.

Comment Re:Is This a Joke? (Score 4, Insightful) 270

Taxes can be one way to moderate that excess, especially when more direct methods are out of fashion, as they are in the US thanks to 50+ years of extensive PR efforts.

To be clear, the US also used heavy taxation at the top end (90% in the top bracket!) in the past. From the Reagan era onward, we have continually decreased the top rates until you get what we have now - a very slightly progressive income tax scheme alongside a capital gains tax rate that ensures the top of the top wealthiest individuals pay less as a percentage of income than the average person does.

Comment Re: Good (Score -1, Troll) 183

It's typical Silicon Valley misogyny that makes it acceptable to call the pointing device a "clit" or a "nipple."

Turnabout is fair play, so that means it's a penis. A tiny tiny penis. Like the ones sported by those who like to relate it to a portion of the female anatomy.

Not so funny now, is it?

Comment What's the reason for reason? (Score 2) 76

Since when has reason had anything to do with navigating the London tube system?

And why do so many cities use nautical themes for their stored payment cards?
London: Oyster
Hong Kong: Octopus
Seattle: Orca
Montreal: Opus
San Francisco: Clipper
Bolton: Squid
Merseyside: Walrus
Wellington: Snapper

Comment Re:Yeah... (Score 1) 326

Hard work has almost no correlation to success, I've found. The ability to convince people you work hard is more important than actually working hard.

As witnessed by everyone who has to apply for grants -- composing a decent application is work in itself. Which is silly, because that energy and time could have been used for the actual work. OTOH, it's also a good way to convince yourself of your choices, and help organize your work.

The idea of a "work ethic" is nothing more than left-over propaganda from the Protestant assholes that first settled this country. We're supposed to see "hard work" as somehow morally superior to idleness. It's just a way that the people in the very top economic strata convince the rest of us to kill ourselves for their benefit. I'm glad I was able to see through that bullshit early on. My life was much nicer due to that revelation, and I was still able to accomplish a full and happy existence and even be able to leave something to my kid without really breaking a sweat. Luck, and the ability to know which corners to cut.

Besides hard work per se, having a huge salary or a high position in whatever hierarchy is no guarantee of personal happiness. I'd say the idea of working hard (more like perseverence, which may or may not be developed through so-called hard work) is still useful, as long as you work hard for yourself, not for others.

Comment Re:Android? Meh... (Score 1) 73

The sad part is that those Nokia devices may well be the origin for what is plaguing the Linux world these days.

Because various DE and "middleware" devs worked on them, and drew the wrong conclusions about what was wrong about Linux...

I doubt that they were ever popular enough for such a wide impact. Nokia bet its manufacturing and marketing on Symbian, and the GNU/Linux line was basically a skunk works project. They didn't even get to add phone capabilities to the Linux tablets until a few years after start.

OTOH, the GNokia/Linux line showed all the classic symptoms of what's still wrong with the ARM ecosystem. Things like bootloaders and device discovery are standardized across x86 (IBM PC) but it's a mess with all the different ARM boards out there.

Comment Re:Stupid (Score 2) 1042

I agree that it's silly to spend a *lot* of time thinking about this topic. However, I think most of the discussion here is missing some obvious scenarios:

1 - We exist entirely within the simulation (the 'Holodeck Moriarty' scenario)

a - It may still be possible to escape. If I have code running in RAM on my PC, and I turn off my PC, yes, that code stops running. But if instead I migrate it to a mobile device, it can continue to run even if the PC is turned off. IIRC, Virtualization software can do this sort of thing literally with an actively running system, and the OS running in that system will not "notice" that it has been migrated.

a1 - There may be some sort of VMWare Tools-/Holodeck Arch-esque interface within the simulation which provides access to the simulator or the world in which it exists.

a2 - There may be flaws in the simulator which allow the equivalent of a stack buffer overflow exploit.

b - The entire goal of the simulation could be to use evolutionary algorithm-style processes to create entities with the capability and desire to escape the simulation.

b1 - Our reality could be a simulation created by entities who believe *they* are living in a simulation, and want to develop the capability to escape from it but don't know how (the 'Meta-Musk' scenario).

b2 - Our reality could be a mostly-benign test environment intended to determine if there are flaws in the security controls of a complex simulation system which will eventually be used as a sort of sandbox for something potentially really dangerous.

2 - We have physical form of some sort outside the simulation, and are simply wired into the simulator.

a - If those physical forms are fully-functioning bodies, then escaping is potentially just a matter of disconnecting (the 'Matrix' scenario).

b - If those physical forms are the equivalent of a brain in a jar, then escaping would also require transferring that into fully-functioning bodies, which would require some sort of ability to interact with devices in the "real world", or cooperation from someone in that world, but it would still be theoretically possible.

3 - Regardless of the type of simulation, it may not be actively monitored. It seems *unlikely* that entities advanced enough to simulate our reality would leave out automated protective measures, but I don't think it's *impossible*.

a - Maybe our universe is running on the equivalent of an old Pentium Pro rack server that someone forgot about in a corner of the datacenter.

b - Maybe after setting the simulation in motion, a catastrophe wiped out the entities which created it, but not their machines.

4 - To go in a completely different direction, we (the human race) still don't have a full understanding of what consciousness is. If we did, then logically we could build something with artificial consciousness from scratch, or understand with certainty why doing so was not possible. Until we do have that level of understanding, then it remains possible (however remote) that there is something metaphysical about consciousness*.

a - If there is, and it is not actually possible to create artificial consciousness, then a lot of the "reality as simulation" scenarios are pruned away, because all of the remaining scenarios require at least one "brain in a jar"/Keanu Reeves in a Giger pod (if not billions/trillions). It may even fundamentally change the probability of whether or not we're living in a simulation.

* I am not overly-fond of most variations on that scenario, because I prefer to believe that there are no barriers other than time and effort to developing a complete understanding of our universe, but I don't think it makes sense to discount it as a possibility until we actually understand how to make an artificial self-aware entity.

I'm sure there are many others that I'm not considering. It's an interesting philosophical exercise, if nothing else. I personally don't think it's worth expending actual research time on unless some compelling evidence is discovered to support it first.

Comment Re:What would you do if malware tried to break out (Score 1) 1042

If you look at the behind-the-scenes production design material for _Tron Legacy_, the "direct digitization of matter into information" laser from the first film was retconned into a system where basically the positions of each molecule were mapped, magic happens resulting in the conscious personality being transported into the computer world, and the raw matter that makes up their body is disassembled and stored in tanks attached to the device so that their body can be recreated in the physical world when they want to leave.

It doesn't explain everything, but the production crew did think about the problem you mention. Quora (sp?) is given a physical body using matter that was in those tanks.

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