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Comment Re:Must be nice .. (Score 2) 1042

The wealthy always indulge themselves in expensive crackpotism, be it mediums, shamans, monkey glands, witchcraft, Tulip bulbs, south sea bubbles, crime etc. Basically they are both bored and suffering from a surfeit of self importance that enables them to search for bollocks and to declare it to be the "answer". This sort of nonsense used to be the hobby of royalty so it is at least encouraging that there is enough wealth around for business people to be exhibiting the same fashionable behavior. It is also possible for any technically educated person to follow the latest research into the resolution of the disconnect between quantum mechanics and gravity, the issue of whether time is a dimension and the mechanics of reality. So we are potentially a step beyond our ancestors even if the wealthy are still obsessed with tittle-tattle.

On the quiet it is not unlikely that the wealthy are also investing in genetic research, head transplants and other medical life extension investigations that are not at all crackpot, just mainly unsavory. But we will not be told about them of course.

Submission + - Microsoft Patents AI To Monitor All Actions In Windows And Feed It To Bing ( 1

MojoKid writes: Microsoft has angered users over the past year for its willingness to push the boundaries of acceptable practice for promoting adoption of its operating system. Also, some feel it crossed that line with respect to user data collection and privacy concerns. However, Microsoft stands to garner a lot more criticism if its recent patent filing comes to life in a production software product. The title of the filing is "Query Formulation Via Task Continuum" and it aims to make it easier for apps to share data in real-time so that the user can perform better searches. Microsoft feels that the current software model in which applications are self-contained within their own silos potentially slows the user down. To combat this disconnect, Microsoft has devised a way to facilitate better communications between apps through the use of what it calls a "mediation component." This is Microsoft's all-seeing-eye that monitors all input within apps to decipher what the user is trying to accomplish. All of this information could be gathered from apps like Word, Skype, or even Notepad by the mediator and processed. So when the user goes to the Edge web browser to further research a topic, those contextual concepts are automatically fed into a search query. Microsoft says that this will provide faster, more relevant searchers to users. The company says the mediator can be introduced as an optional module that can be installed in an operating system or directly built in. If it's the latter, plenty of people will likely be looking for a kill switch.

Submission + - Bill Gates: Voter Opposition to Globalization is 'A Huge Concern' 1

theodp writes: GeekWire reports that the groundswell of populist opposition to open markets and collaboration among countries is "a huge concern" to Bill Gates. "Globalization has had these huge benefits of speeding up innovation and causing product prices to be far lower than they would be otherwise," argued Gates. "But the fact that people, net, see it as a bad thing — and that a vote like the Brexit vote or some other votes are a move to 'Hey, we don’t like change, we want to set back the clock, we want to be more local in our thinking' — that’s a huge concern." Commenters didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the world's richest man.

Comment Re:Vanity Fair (Score 4, Interesting) 128

Talking of Vanity Fair am I alone in finding it significant that it is a publication that largely concentrates on entertaining copy on celebrities and lifestyle issues which has recently repeatedly published fairly hard core investigative journalism. How come the so called heavyweight "broadsheet" publications sound like echo chambers for various vested business interests these days and could not publish a challenging piece of investigative journalism to save their lives?

Great job Vanity Fair! you are now on my must read list.

Comment Re:Feels a bit ... too much (Score 1, Troll) 145

Actually I think it is a sign of the times. Nothing new has been done since the 60's generation wrote the aspirational playbook. So why shouldn't they become immortal? They grew up in a world made grey by a world war and they wanted something better. Sadly the following generations mostly just want to breed and watch action adventure movies made by the man. The occasional spark of inspiration like Firefly is soon replaced by tedious soaps with soft porn and violence like Game of Thrones.

Comment Genetics is the future (Score 2) 42

We are close to peak compute as Moores law will be finished in a couple more shrinks. The next step will be in the software and the architecture and improvements will likely be linear not geometric as they have been since the invention of the integrated circuit. Fortunately it seems that the complexity of current computing systems is close to the number in biological brains so it may be enough. Carbon nanotubes may give one more generation of geometric shrink after the last silicon one but quantum physics - particularly the Heisenberg uncertainty principle mean that the route ends there. No doubt this will be taken advantage of over time but electronics will be largely done and dusted in about ten years. If I was a teenager looking for the most exciting career these days I would choose Genetics and not Electronics as the next bright future. I cannot wait for genetically modified humans to start winning the Olympics!

Comment Re:Or... (Score 1) 151

I am glad that you think experts have nothing to say on the subject of the impossibility of travel between stars. Because I am not an expert and I am utterly convinced by the physics and the psychology of humanity that we will never travel between stars. You are about to elect a president who is so stupid he wants to build a wall against the Mexicans and make them pay for it. What makes you think that any civilization that ugly and stupid is going to avoid war and sinking back into the stone age after the first nuclear strike? Interstellar travel my arse, we will be lucky if we get back to using metal tools after the crash we are currently heading for. There won't be any coal to get industrialization going next time, good luck with steam engines powered by wood.

Comment Re: All according to plan (Score 1) 256

This growing economy is presumably why the middle class and working population of America have seen no benefit from improvements in productivity since the early 1970s. What you are missing about the 1% is that their wealth will logically move where the growth is - and that is not the USA, it is the Far East, Africa, China and other recently third world countries. You are very silly if you think the 1% are interested in investing in the American workforce whilst better returns are available elsewhere. Try looking at what has actually happened rather than some pie in the sky theory.

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