Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Chinese Wall (Score 1) 131

They will be auditable as far as from where they are getting data. Neuron networks might be bit magic, but if you put firewall between them and database which holds customer information, it won't base its decisions on unavailable data. On the other hand, it is hard to audit one guy talking about few upcoming transactions with other guy over a lunch.

Having 100% audit over inputs is a lot more than we have currently with traders. With traders, you probably control only 80-90% of inputs they are getting, 0% of what is going on in their heads and 100% of their output. With AI, you can get to audit 100% of input, >0% of what is going inside (not every part of AI will be black-box) and 100% of outputs.

Comment Scaremongering (Score 3, Insightful) 158

From the title, it sounds like part of your brain is lost forever.

Question is not really if you are using same part of brain while navigating with or without GPS (it seems obvious there will be different parts activated). Interesting questions are:
- if after navigating with GPS for long enough, your ability to navigate without it in new terrain is hindered considerably, assuming you have grown up without reliance on GPS?
- is new generation which relied on GPS from very young age measurably worse at non-aided navigaton that other people?

Comment Re:A vast black hole? (Score 2) 124

"Note that a black hole is a spherical region in space that surrounds the singularity at its center; it is not the singularity itself"

So 'black hole' has the size, which is directly related to its mass. You can compute it here

Comment Re:There is no going back now. (Score 3, Interesting) 457

I'm not from Germany, so I don't know all that first hand, but was really STASI control a major factor in uprisings? I was under impression it was mostly about ruling party, possibility of rigged elections, economic reasons, split of Germany and following a chance given by USSR turmoil/opening at the time. I have no doubts that hate of STASI was some factor in why people hated the system/government, but you have phrased your story so it looks like people of East Germany made a revolution again STASI itself rather than against communist state.
Coming back to case of USA and CIA - I can see some kind of revolution happening there because people getting angry about corporation lobbying/control, taxes, elections, some unneeded war etc. Do you really think that people would go out to the streets and try to topple the government because CIA would get too powerful? Wasn't CIA quite powerful in 50ties and nobody really complained?

Comment Re:Editors, you stripped the original title (Score 1) 642

5 ton projectile at 10km/s (which is probably a lot more than you can expect from civilian mass driver on Moon) is around 50-60tons of TNT equivalent. A lot compared to normal bomb (few MOAB worths), not much compared even to weakest atomic bombs. I'm not trying to say that having multiton rocks dropped from the sky is not dangerous. I just think that there is a lot more interesting damage you can achieve in interplanetary war with technology 100 years in future, given cost of having to liberate from Moon's gravity well first.

It is quite different if you can get a lot of garbage in Earth orbit cheaply and start dropping it from there or start slinging million-ton asteroids from the asteroid belt - you don't have to waste energy for getting things up. Plus, you don't need hundreds km long, sitting duck, delicate mass driver waiting for retaliatory strike which you cannot dodge.

Comment Re:Editors, you stripped the original title (Score 0) 642

They can also drop engineered viruses, deadly chemicals or fusion bombs, each of them considerably more deadly ton-for-ton than a rock. Bombarding from orbit with rocks makes sense if you are don't have to pay considerably energy to escape gravity well, so you want to save cost on payload as well. If you need to spend a lot for launch, you can as well add some extra effort into what you are delivering.

Wu has just no clue what (s)he is talking about, no point in defending.

Comment Re:wikipedia = pov of entrenched editors (Score 1) 65

a regime that engaged in all types of atrocities (to greater degree than any other regime in history) to exploit resources of others

Is your point that British Empire was committing atrocities to gain some tangible benefits, while many other regimes, committed a lot of worse things, but just for sake of politics/religion/fun, not to 'exploit resources of others', so they don't count?

You can just directly say that 'British Empire was engaged in more atrocities than any other British Empire in history' and it will be also true, even more provably.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 101

Radical Islam have been around for so long that the pattern is very clear. They grow and implode on themselves, over and over again.

Well. Last time it took 1200 years, with good part of Europe ending up in quite bad shape.

Take a look here (ignore what guy is saying, he might be biased, focus on the map, which is based on facts)

I think that better statement is that Islam was continously expanding in aggresive manner since its founding, but got a hicckup in last 200 years, where it has stopped, lost most of its power and had to regrow. I'm not really looking forward for another 1200 years of fighting...

Comment It is useful heuristic (Score 5, Informative) 302

I have seen it few times in big corporations I worked in. Somebody sends email to wrong group by accident and then we have 3 waves of attack:

1) Clueless people hitting 'reply all' asking for removal from mailing group
2) Even more clueless people hitting 'reply all' asking people to not 'reply all'
3) "Champions" trying to save a day by putting all in BCC and telling people to not reply all, unless you put it in BCC [1]

And then, few hours later, next timezone wakes up and things start again.

Why is it useful? After it is obvious what is happening, you create folder called 'idiots' and redirect all these emails into that group by outlook/whatever rule. After that, if you need to deal with somebody in your organization, first check if he/she is in idiots folder and approach accordingly.

BTW, 120 replies seems very low. I have seen mailstorms with group of 10k recipients (it was not 'all' group, just some subset of company) generate over 600 replies total in these 3 waves. 120 replies from 1.2 million looks to be technical limitation (or, maybe, there was some hero in IT department who pulled the plug fast enough...)

[1] - My favorite is self correcting champion, which first sends 'reply all' and then does reply to that with everybody in BCC saying he should have put everybody in BCC in first place...

Comment Re:Lack of Jupiters considered harmful (Score 1) 69

Thank you for insighful answer.
I tried to look for some 'reputable' sources talking about importance of gas giants, but best thing I was able to find so far is something like, with "Two NASA astronomers recently suggested[...]" "life-bearing planets may be rare" and other quite vague statements.

Slashdot Top Deals

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.