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Comment extrapolating (Score 1) 189

Humans seem to have a machine cycle of about 1/10 a second. I personally seem to walk a sequence of memories, where each is chosen based on the previous, no faster than two a second and usually more like once every 5 seconds. And I usually respond to questions about 5 to 30 seconds after I'm asked, depending on how hard I search for a reasonable response. Most people respond faster than me ... don't know if that's less screening of responses or inherently faster thinking. But going by me, 1/10 a second processing, 1/2 a second to fetch memory, 5 seconds to mull over a particular memory and relate it to the current conversation, 30 seconds to respond.

Computers can do random fetches of 4kb contiguous off disk about 200 per second, or 4KB off SSD at about 20000 per second. Based on fetch speed alone on today's hardware, an AI would think sequential thoughts 10x to 1000x faster than me, so they'd be ready to respond in .3 seconds (disk) or .003 seconds (SSD). If you require thousands of storage units (too much to fit in a single one), lightspeed can slow that down. Witness search engines. I think they're currently slower than me (on a single core) at figuring out if a given memory is relevant to a conversation, but parallel processing can help with that.

Comment Re:and the TSA exists because... (Score 1) 393

Here's a table of how much people in the US actually have flown, by year:

The upshot is there was a slight dip in 2001-2002, but then it kept climbing. Until 2008, when it dropped slightly again and stayed dropped. This is easier to explain by price than by TSA.

Comment Re:faint praise (Score 2) 944

Most of my house lamps take 3 bulbs. Some of them I have an LED, a CFL, and an incandescent, on the theory that together they'll produce a broader spectrum than any of them alone. Also, some of the dimmers had problems with buzzing with multiple LEDs, but didn't buzz with one LED and two CFLs. I like diversity.

Comment Re:Get rid of those things (Score 1) 944

I haven't replaced all my incandescents with LEDs yet. I've got some, but mostly ones that are on sale and just enough to replace incandescents that have burnt out. The price and quality of LEDs is changing rapidly, so I'm holding out in hopes that the near future is even brighter than the present. I don't like CFLs, having mercury around is yucky, though I am happier with them now that I've noticed Home Depot makes it easy for me to recycle them.

Comment forever (Score 1) 126

The internet (in particular will remember you forever, whether you want to be remembered or not. In particular it will remember your name, the day and location you were born, the day and location of your marriage (and the person you married), what children you had (when, where), and the day you died. It'll also remember how you responded to censuses. It'll probably remember one portrait of you, or a group shot. If you have an obituary it might remember that too. I expect soon it will remember your full genome as well, stored extremely compactly a diff of your parent's genomes.

What is the ultimate question to life, the universe, and everything? You already know it: "What is your name?"

Comment 0 out of 25,000? (Score 1) 308

I'm guessing the official answer sheet was fed to the automated multiple-choice grader upside down. Or, less likely, someone with control over the test decided their pockets would be lined well if nobody could pass the test. They're going to check the test and how students scored; that should identify those sorts of issues.

Comment previous data (Score 1) 508

Indian: Boy, that was awful, Snowden releasing all that data.
Chief: Good thing he didn't release x,y,z as well
Indian: Hum ... wait a second ... let me check what was on Snowden's drive BEFORE he copied that data onto it
Chief: OMG
Indian: Y'know, with the proper tools, anyone with that actual drive could get at that ...
Chief: OMG! OMG!
Indian: I'm on it, boss

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