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Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 136

Right now the police have incredible power. They can get a huge amount of data and your online habits, and if they get hold of your computer it's a boner-inducing goldmine for them.

If kids learn how to use VPNs and Tor, their pillaging will be curtailed. They might be able to make such things somewhat illegal, but that won't stop people.

Their best option is to keep people dumb or brainwashed into trusting them.

Comment Re:Might not be doable open source (Score 1) 183

I imagine Stallman would point out that you could in fact pay engineers to work on it, but still release it under the GPL. Like Google does with a lot of its software, for example. Such specialist software is likely to have significant support requirements, which can be charged for, or users of the software could simply pay people to add the new features they want.

Comment Re:The size of the farm shouldn't matter.... (Score 4, Interesting) 183

It's harder than you think. Those older systems sucked, and couldn't handle natural language queries. The issue is not processing power, it's having a large enough volume of training material and mimicking how the brain fills in gaps.

Training material isn't just a case of gathering samples. When the machine makes a mistake, it needs to understand why. The collection needs careful curation and sorting to be useful. Such databases are extremely valuable, and historically with OS projects they often started with a donation from a commercial body rather than from scratch.

Mimicking the brain is also extremely hard. Often people don't hear things very clearly or in full, due to environmental noise, poor pronunciation and the like. To compensate the brain fills in the gaps or makes assumptions. People have been trying to program those assumptions into computers since the 1980s. Again, a database of that knowledge will be vast and valuable. Either you throw massive human resources at building it, or you crawl the web and look at trillions of search queries like Google does.

That's also why they need a cloud service to do this. The database is vast and proprietary, and querying it far from a trivial SQL command.

It's not just a programming or AI training problem, which is why no-one is doing it. The closest thing the OS world has is probably Open Street Map, but creating that data set was far less laborious and uninteresting than training a computer to have some common sense will be.

Comment Re:Y'know... Actually... (Score 1) 617

Thanks, that's a great example of how deniers promote post-factual politics. The scientists are all corrupt and taking money to say that climate change is real, despite the fact that they could make far more money shilling for oil companies. And of course, anyone who tries to do anything about it is after your money, I mean they are politicians so of course they are corrupt liars.

Have faith in your gut instinct that buying an SUV will all work out somehow, nature with fix it. As you say, plants love CO2, I mean okay maybe cutting vast numbers of trees down and replacing them with cattle doesn't help, but how can such a delicious steak, nature's bounty, be bad? And even if it is, you paying a bit more for it isn't going to fix the world, when China is even worse. Because everyone knows that they love steak in China. Why shouldn't you have it if they do?!

Comment Re: No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 617

You are getting at the post-factual politics we have now. Everything is a lie, everyone has a hidden agenda or bias that makes them unreliable. All statistics are cherry-picked or somehow faked, and a counter-statistic can always be found.

There is no truth any more. Expert advice is worthless. All that matters is how you feel, what you observe around you.

This summer was kinda cool? Global warming is fake, you have seen it with your own eyes, and anyway the fix is going to cost you money so it must just be Big Greens wanting their cut. You aren't some kind of idiot, you know when you are being duped, and okay you don't actually understand climate science but you don't understand astrology either and you know that's bunk.

Comment Re:Finally a counter example (Score 2) 267

Probably not... When you consider that, for example, pretty much every TV sold now has smart features and yet the vast majority of TVs are not part of a botnet as far as we know. Ditto cars, many have some kind of connectivity now but are not infected.

The main reason for this is that it just doesn't make economic sense to target IoT devices. With Windows you have hundreds of millions of targets and easy access via malvertising and trojans. With an IoT device it's probably behind a firewall and only connects to a small number of hosts, so you would have to MITM it or hack the manufacturer's servers. And all it gets you is a low end device that might only to turned on for a few hours or minutes a day.

Sure, it's really funny when people hack vehicles remotely or make someone's smart bulb strobe, but it's not very profitable.

Comment Re:Blacklisting again (Score 1) 633

Your question is unclear, but I can at least make a clear statement of my position.

I don't think anyone should be banned from working entirely for their political beliefs, through some legal means. That would be interference with freedom of speech. On the other hand, if individuals or companies don't want to employ them because of their political views, that's fine.

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Mathematics deals exclusively with the relations of concepts to each other without consideration of their relation to experience. -- Albert Einstein