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Comment !000 years? Shouldn't it be 997 by now...? (Score 1) 522

The cited article, 2016/11/17, gives no further references. The Daily Express citation doesn't even contain the word "1000". The Independent, Tuesday 15 November 2016, cites USA Today as a source....

Google finds a VOA News of April 11, 2013 2:07 PM, mentioning the same 1000 years theory three years ago. The phrase is ascribed to a 2008 ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the NASA. So perhaps it should be 992.

Hawking's original reckoning is missing.

Comment Re:Idiocracy has no solution... (Score 1) 351

Please mod parent up, if you have points. It is fully agreeable.

Let me add that by setting up tests a society implicitly invites courses. What courses on computing security are available today?

People are going to lose parental authority, driving licenses, and --except US-- firearm licenses, unless they don't prove to be able to manage suitably, or at least acceptably. Tests don't have to be hard, just put people on the right track. Otherwise, they play idiot because that's just what they're left with.

Comment Re:Use tip jars (Score 1) 160

The parenthesized statement doesn't explain why Paypal doesn't allow anonymous payments. By contrast, identifications based on money accounts are among the most reliable, and payment is almost universally accepted as a means of identification. That concept is rooted into assumptions at the very base of human society, along with death and taxes.

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 519

Incentivize and reward is the key. Some people can self-motivate themselves, while others need a stronger input. Capitalism (liberism) can even be coercive. Modern communism (China) concedes noticeable leeway to individual initiative. On the other hand, capitalistic countries often embark on long term plans. Capitalism and communism became quite similar to each other.

Both capitalism and communism lean on a monetary system which has proved to be faulty. Consider corruption, unfitness to cooperation of the so-called intellectual property, crowd funding and donation-supported activities even for necessary pursuits. They are all symptoms that the current economic establishment —banks and stock market— is on the ropes. Perhaps technology can bring us better means for incentivizing and rewarding people. That's all we need.

Comment Re:Only useful if real-world bugs are included (Score 1) 73

You announce that there will be monetary compensation for the authors of the 10 bugs in each category that survive the largest number of code reviews.

So you have categorized bugs already, well done! That way you can prevent claims based on submissions that you don't consider bugs.

Of course it's a bug, otherwise it would have been documented!

Comment Re:For comparison (Score 0) 55

Zero is the only number which equals its double. Your math must be wrong, because I earned a little bit more than zero since the 1970s. Actually, I only started professional programming in the late 1980s. I'm lucky my dad earned much more by selling fresh food, otherwise I wouldn't have a household right now, let alone an income.

I managed to write some good software, though. I have the feeling that adding up all the software written since the 1970s, it is a heck of a grand job we did. We may still work the same hours and drive the same cars, but computers aren't quite the same.

Possibly, money isn't just the right unit of measurement, especially since it doesn't take free software into account. Alas, we have nothing better for comparing sundry stuff. For comparing software with itself, such as 1990s operating systems vs today's ones, we ought to use evolutionary concepts. Number of individuals, total energy, entropy, anything.

Comment "Belief" in Evolution required for Religion (Score 0) 385

Just cold hard science.

I'm not so sure we could have science without politics. For sure, we cannot have science without religion.

Religion does not inhibit logical or deductive thinking. Rather, one inspires another. They band together, unless one falls prey of self-injury. For example, Darwin was renown for his theological merits before becoming famous for reinterpreting the design of Nature.

On the other hand, if we committed scientific research to a team of robots whose minds are so weak that they cannot conceive any moral or religious thought, most probably their outcome would be of no relevance whatsoever. They'd come out with a bunch of meaningless "laws" that nobody could believe or use.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 1) 298

Note that kWh per year is a pretty stupid unit, too...

Yes indeed. For example, we're troubling with watt-equivalent measures while phasing out incandescent bulbs. Would it be better had we always used lumen?

Ref [1] has a nice map too, but they don't tell what are those kWh being used for. Since establishing who supplies energy to whom is a political question, (mega)people still has some merits as a unit of measurement.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 1) 298

"Enough for 1.1M people" is a practical unit of measurement. They used to mention joules, but that unit is difficult for readers, especially Americans, who are better used to yards and pounds than meters and kilograms.

Furthermore, "enough for 1.1M people" suggests but does not hold that there are so many customers. One may wonder why Moroccan customers would buy energy from that plant, which implies paying not only production, but also payoff of initial outlay, plus transportation, plus the company profits rather than just build their own (see "Spain" below). That really doesn't matter, Sun is open source, and whenever solar energy replaces fossil, bad emissions are reduced —fossil energy entails contempt of dead body.

Comment Re:To do (Score 1) 231

Where I break ranks is the requirement that a software author has to allow REDISTRIBUTION of his software. THAT is the killer here.

I see your point. However, constraining redistribution of software may become impractical. Let me explain myself by example. I recall a study on Literary machines before the advent of WWW. It was hypertext, with provisions for per-access micropayment. HTML was much simpler and straightforward, so it won.

What about redistribution of profits? I'm not advocating communism, it has already been tried and failed. I don't have a solution at hand. Yet, it seems to me that software is more important to mankind than the current establishment. Aristocracy passed and nobody regrets. Now we have a different ruling class, based on earning money by selling goods and services. It will pass too. Software won't. How about helping such transition?

Comment Re:UX to increase user base, in turn for HW compat (Score 1) 231

As someone who tried to learn gimp, then bought PS, PS is far, far easier to learn than GIMP.

I guess I didn't want to risk buying, if I wasn't able to learn how to use it during its free 30-day trial.

I had bought the whole suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and LiveMotion. Hard to learn, hard to upgrade, overly slow because of ubiquitous scripts. Switching to Gimp, Inkscape, Gedit, Tex, and other compatible stuff was such a relief!

Yes, one has to be a bit cuter. That's not the kind of software to spoon feed its users. In return, learning yields the ability to choose one's own food.

Comment Re:To do (Score 1) 231

It's not easy to do software for a career. In most cases, it's not the programmer who earns the big bucks. Programmers are deprived of their inventions by assuming they are writing at their employer's dictation. OTOH, users are forced to run obsolete software because upgrades require paying anew. Software producers who adopt the free software model help both ways.

I'm not saying the free software model is easy, but we already tried proprietary software. Perhaps, software is just too complex to fit a simple law of supply and demand. So, what stops us from trying alternatives? It looks as if it is the fear of not earning as much money as possible otherwise. Greed. Not programmers' or users', but money makers' greed, as with any other business. Please consider the environment before using proprietary software...

Comment Re:Consider the progression (Score 1) 735

I think you guys got it wrong. Trump didn't talk about black-listing APNIC or cutting off the US... He proposed closing that Internet up in some ways. I'm not saying he is going to actually do anything of what he trumpets, even if he gets elected. But, just so as to get his proposal straight, consider:

  • It addresses traditional one-way communication; the press has to be responsible,
  • mentions kids that are watching the Internet, and
  • is worried about inside recruiters, we have a lot of foolish people.

The proposal consists of shutting the Internet down completely. In fact, when we had old, dial-up MSN, and the Internet was almost unused, there were no terrorists popping up out of nowhere, at least not Muslims. That makes sense, let's see Bill Gates. It doesn't matter if we have invested so much in maintaining that global communication infrastructure, security is vital, business is optional. Don't you think so? See this.

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