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Comment Re:If I owned it (Score 1) 50

I install qBittorrent about once every six months, then uninstall it again because it just doesn't do what I want it to do (specifically in terms of the interface and its handling of RSS feeds). I actually kept it installed for a while before what.cd died, specifically because it was whitelisted there.

May I ask what you feel is missing? It got an RSS feed reader, you can set up automatic download filters - simple and regex, pick what feeds each rule applies to, you can set quite a few other options for your RSS downloads than your regular downloads. I see it doesn't really have a smart filter to prevent multiple versions of the same episode from getting downloaded, but usually I just amend the filter until there's only one version in practice.

Comment Re:Too Late? (Score 2) 50

What is going to make the next version of uTorrent preferable to what's already there? I'm thinking that uTorrent's best days are behind it, and as long as 2.2.1 lives on Oldversion or OldApps, that is its legacy.

That's what I'm thinking too, I switched to qBittorrent that is open source and... it's done? Or well I see there's lots of tiny little enhancements and bugfixes in the release notes but honestly I can't think of a single noticeable change in the last couple years... nor any that I'd want, really. They'd have to pull off some entirely new non-torrent downloading functionality out of the hat to make me go back to uTorrent, which then begs the question.... why is it mixed up with uTorrent in the first place? Then again, looking at my peer logs a lot of other people use it (and by far most use 3.4.9), so I guess they have an audience. Whether they have one that'll let itself be monetized, well... whatever. There's plenty good alternatives if they get intrusive or obnoxious.

Comment Re:What will happen to humans? (Score 1) 349

What will happen to humans displaced by these robots? We live in a society that expects everyone to work, but what will happen when there are no jobs? Crime? Extreme poverty? Mass protests? Political or religious extremism?

Probably all of the above, to some degree... but there's still huge differences between Russia 1917 and Greece 2017. Maybe Venezuela is getting close to the "fuck it, I got nothing to lose" level but as long as society is keeping people from really hitting rock bottom I think most poor people will simply be poor. Absolute poverty is in strong decline, the "third world" isn't nearly as primitive as it once was, even if the US middle class has been stagnant since the 70s the world hasn't moved backwards. Just like if global warming kills the Gulf Stream some places can get colder, not warmer - it's the big picture that counts.

Consider it this way, even if you're really poor the OSHA won't let companies kill you at work. The FDA won't accept dangerous food, you probably have clean hot and cold water, decent sanitation and so on. Medical science moves forward, people live longer and longer. Building codes keep getting stricter, cars safer and my impression is that people throw more and more away because they don't like it anymore or it looks a bit shabby, not because it's broken or useless. If you just accept being a bum and collect cheap or free second hand stuff from thrift stores and flea markets and eat Ramen noodles you might not be living it up by today's standards, but it's nothing like being genuinely poor 100 or 200 years ago. Or the worst hellholes today.

So 43 million Americans are on food stamps today, if we get (more) robotic tractors, robotic delivery vans, robotic shelf stockers, robotic checkout counters, robotic this, that... people go out of a job, some get new work others go on welfare. And if you think that's a problem, you can always replace one bulldozer with 1000 people with a spoon... it's not worth creating jobs just to have jobs. Expect it to be just barely enough to calm the masses though, it won't be given freely or easily. But I doubt they'll let it slide so far that people take to the streets with "give me UBI or give me death" slogans, there's always the "viva la revolution" or "Soylent Green" endings. But I think "bread and circus" is more likely.

Comment So fucking what? (Literally). (Score 5, Insightful) 611

So the guy's a pervert: does that mean his code quit working? Is he trying to fuck other contributors? Has he done anything to anyone without their consent?

I've worked with plenty of people in my time who are into things that I don't approve of, from voting for socialists to trying to be Heinlein characters, but if they don't bring it to the office, it's none of my business. That goes double for an open-source project where they're donating their work.

Enough with the goddamned neo-puritans. There's work to be done, for fuck's sake.

-jcr

Comment Re:The are cashes FOR hard drives (Score 1) 109

Intel dabbled in this (as did others) years ago when SSDs were too small for most people. As far as I know, it was kinda shitty and only kinda worked and everyone abandoned it because hybrid drives were simpler (even though they too sucked) and SSDs kept getting bigger, faster, and cheaper. They called it "Smart Response Technology" when it launched. Maybe it's back? Maybe it never went away? Maybe Windows ReadyBoost has risen from the grave? (I've NEVER seen ReadyBoost in actual use.)

It's the same as far as I understand, just optimized for a lower latency high performance SSD. But to be honest, except for gamers I think almost everyone has space enough on the SSD these days. And even most gamers could if Steam only offered them two storage areas so they could put 1GB on the SSD and the other 29GB with all the media files on a HDD. I've gone all SSD anyway even though it's a waste.

Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 116

Ok, so neither of those links were included in the summary when this was posted, but here is the full article:

Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains With Computers
Startup from CEO of Tesla and SpaceX aims to implant tiny electrodes in human brains
Neuralink is pursuing what Elon Musk calls 'neural lace' technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
by ROLFE WINKLER
March 27, 2017 3:24 p.m. ET

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren't ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.

The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched another company called Neuralink Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Neuralink is pursuing what Mr. Musk calls "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.

Mr. Musk has taken an active role setting up the California-based company and may play a significant leadership role, according to people briefed on Neuralink's plans, a bold step for a father of five who already runs two technologically complex businesses.

Mr. Musk didn't respond to a request for comment. Max Hodak, who said he is a "member of the founding team," confirmed the company's existence and Mr. Musk's involvement. He described the company as "embryonic" and said plans are still in flux but declined to provide additional details. Mr. Hodak previously founded Transcriptic, a startup that provides robotic lab services accessible over the internet.

Mr. Musk, 45 years old, is part businessman, part futurist. He splits his time between Tesla, which is under pressure to deliver its $35,000 sedan on time, and SpaceX, which aims to launch a satellite-internet business and a rocket that can bring humans to Mars. He is also pushing development of a super high-speed train called Hyperloop.

Somewhere in his packed schedule, he has found time to start a neuroscience company that plans to develop cranial computers, most likely to treat intractable brain diseases first, but later to help humanity avoid subjugation at the hands of intelligent machines.

"If you assume any rate of advancement in [artificial intelligence], we will be left behind by a lot," he said at a conference last June.

The solution he proposed was a "direct cortical interface"--essentially a layer of artificial intelligence inside the brain--that could enable humans to reach higher levels of function.

Mr. Musk has teased that he is developing the technology himself. "Making progress [on neural lace]," he tweeted last August, "maybe something to announce in a few months." In January he tweeted that an announcement might be coming shortly.

He hasn't made an official announcement, but Neuralink registered in California as a "medical research" company last July.

Mr. Musk has discussed financing Neuralink primarily himself, including with capital borrowed against equity in his other companies, according to a person briefed on the plans.

Neuralink has also discussed a possible investment from Founders Fund, the venture firm started by Peter Thiel, with whom Mr. Musk co-founded payments company PayPal, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, Neuralink hired leading academics in the field, according to another person familiar with the matter. They include Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an expert in flexible electrodes; Philip Sabes, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who studies how the brain controls movement; and Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how the birds sing.

Reached by phone, Dr. Gardner confirmed he is working for Neuralink, but declined to elaborate on its plans. Dr. Sabes declined to comment. Dr. Tolosa didn't respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to SpaceX and Tesla, where Mr. Musk developed new rocket and electric-car technologies, proved they work, and is now using them to pursue more ambitious projects.

These people say the first products could be advanced implants to treat intractable brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression, a market worth billions of dollars. Such implants would build on simpler electrodes already used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease.

If Neuralink can prove the safety and efficacy of its technology and receive government approval, perhaps it then could move on to cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, these people say. Mr. Musk alluded to this possibility in his comments last June, describing how humans struggle to process and generate information as quickly as they absorb it.

"Your output level is so low, particularly on a phone, your two thumbs just tapping away," he said. "This is ridiculously slow. Our input is much better because we have a high bandwidth visual interface into the brain. Our eyes take in a lot of data."

Others pursuing the idea include Bryan Johnson, the founder of online payments company Braintree, who plans to pump $100 million into a startup called Kernel, which has 20 people and is pursuing a similar mission.

Mr. Johnson said he has spoken to Mr. Musk and that both companies want to build better neural interfaces, first to attack big diseases, and then to expand human potential.

Facebook Inc. has posted job ads for "brain-computer interface engineers" and other neuroscientists at its new secret projects division. And the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $60 million over four years to develop implantable neural interface technology.

The technology faces several barriers. Scientists must find a safe, minimally invasive way to implant the electrodes, and a way to keep them stable in the brain. It also isn't yet possible to record the activity of millions of the brain's neurons to decode complex decisions, or distinguish when someone wants to eat a bowl of spaghetti or go to the bathroom.

Then there is persuading people to get elective brain surgery.

In comments published by Vanity Fair on Sunday, Mr. Musk said "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away."

If Mr. Musk indeed takes an active leadership role at Neuralink, that would raise more questions about his own personal bandwidth.

Tesla is building the largest battery factory on the planet to supply its forthcoming Model 3 electric vehicle, and it will need to produce hundreds of thousands of cars to meet its goal and justify its lofty market capitalization, which is approaching that of Ford Motor Co.
SpaceX has struggled to launch rockets fast enough to send satellites into orbit for its customers. Ultimately it wants to launch an internet-access business powered by more than 4,000 low-earth orbiting satellites, ferry space tourists to the moon and then bring astronauts to Mars.

Even so, Mr. Musk has proved many naysayers wrong. Traditional auto makers said he could never sell a popular electric car. Military-industrial graybeards scoffed at the idea he could even launch a rocket.

Write to Rolfe Winkler at rolfe.winkler@wsj.com

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