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Comment Re: No. (Score 1) 449

My only fear: letting people get controlled by the advertisers and the government, each of whom are power hungry and relentless.

That's the real problem. Today, a computer user with any sophistication spends a great deal of time fighting their device and operating system to make it be the owner's servant rather than a spy and advertising delivery device. Rather than coding apps for my phone, I spent a lot of time this week finding hacks to fake location services for an intrusive app I wanted to use. (Just fake GPS doesn't do it anymore when apps use Google Play services and check your location via networks. The answer, BTW, turned out to be an Xposed module.)


US Congressional Committee Concludes Encryption Backdoors Won't Work (betanews.com) 98

"Any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest," reports a bipartisan committee in the U.S. Congress. Mark Wilson quotes Beta News: The Congressional Encryption Working Group (EWG) was set up in the wake of the Apple vs FBI case in which the FBI wanted to gain access to the encrypted contents of a shooter's iPhone. The group has just published its end-of-year report summarizing months of meetings, analysis and debate. The report makes four key observations, starting off with: "Any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest".

This is certainly not a new argument against encryption backdoors for the likes of the FBI, but it is an important one... The group says: "Congress should not weaken this vital technology... Cryptography experts and information security professionals believe that it is exceedingly difficult and impractical, if not impossible, to devise and implement a system that gives law enforcement exceptional access to encrypted data without also compromising security against hackers, industrial spies, and other malicious actors...

The report recommends that instead, Congress "should foster cooperation between the law enforcement community and technology companies," adding "there is already substantial cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement." [PDF] It also suggests that analyzing the metadata from "our digital 'footprints'...could play a role in filling in the gap. The technology community leverages this information every day to improve services and target advertisements. There appears to be an opportunity for law enforcement to better leverage this information in criminal investigations."

Comment Re:Almost seems destiny (Score 1) 406

It has the largest population...

As AI and automation improve, a large population is going to be a burden, not an asset. China is largely rich because they have become the world's manufacturing hub and this is largely because of low labour costs. Increasing automation will negate that advantage and manufacturing will start moving closer to the market. Their never-ending rise may come to an abrupt halt and even start reversing.

Comment Hololens also uses fake demos (Score 1) 114

Magic Leap's mixed reality technology has long since been overtaken by other products already on the market such as Microsoft's HoloLens

HoloLens has almost exclusively used fake demos from the very beginning. People who have actually used HoloLens report poor field of view and semi-transparent graphics, yet the demos all show perfect wide-angle non-transparent graphics that have clearly just been composited over the video signal. Magic leap tried a similar trick for their first demo (with the steam punk ray guns) but all the subsequent videos did appear to be shot directly through their device. Of course, we never actually saw the device, so it could have just been their unwieldy and unwearable prototype. The only new information here seems to be that Magic Leap are struggling with miniaturising their scanned fibre display, but that is quite a serious issue.

Comment selection bias and general quackery (Score 5, Informative) 560

The usual Reefer Madness bad science of prohibitionists:

All data were obtained for analysis from a large multisite database, involving 26,268 patients who came for evaluation of complex, treatment resistant issues to one of nine outpatient neuropsychiatric clinics across the United States

But "people with serious neuropsychiatric people who used cannabis have low blood flow to the brain" is both less clickworthy and less politically useful than "OMG pot rots yr brain!"

And I love this: "As a physician who routinely sees marijuana users..." Yeah, that's called "a physician". Cannabis use is common, every physician has seen patients who has used it.

Both Amen and this methodology are poorly regarded. He's in the addiction treatment industry -- look at this is an old marketing pitch of his quoted in a Quackwatch article:

How your brain and soul work together determines how happy you feel, how successful you become, and how well you connect with others. The brain-soul connection is vastly more powerful than your conscious will. Will power falters when the physical functioning of the brain and the health of your soul fail to support your desires, as seen by illogical behaviors like overeating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and compulsive spending.

OHOH, Officials at major psychiatric and neuroscience associations and research centers say his SPECT claims are no more than myth and poppycock, buffaloing an unsuspecting public.

Comment Re:Time to create a distinction? (Score 1) 80

There are already AI programs that can create using Deep Learning Though. For example, they are some that can create paintings in the style of famous artists. It's true that there are more pattern recognition programs than creation programs, but they are there.

Comment Re:Perhaps (Score 1) 2837

They also need to understand that people were crying out for something different, but instead they stubbornly served up Hilary. I just hope the US doesn't go the way of the UK with half the population foaming at the mouth, stamping their feet and accusing the other half of being racist morons.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 2837

Leaving an economic union that we were always highly sceptical of was inevitably going to be on the cards at some point. The idea that leaving the EU is a far right and therefore dumb decision is very reductive and ignores history. People seem to forget that Labour was opposed to the EU (then the EEC) in the early 80s and left-wingers like Tony Benn never gave up their opposition. There is a whole left-wing argument against the EU that was never really heard during the Brexit debates, but nonetheless, many socialists did vote out. That the left would support the EU seems almost perverse given the EU's neo-liberalism, austerity-pushing and anti-democratic practices.

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