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Comment Free software assistant... already exists (Score 3, Informative) 31

Free software assistant... already exists

http://mycroft.ai

They've got an RPi image you can download, slap on a card, and be up and running with a USB mic and something to handle the audio out.

Seems to me like the FSF should pay more attention to what is already going on.

Comment Re: In the interest of infringing further: (Score 1) 139

Really? I've heard the last few Trek outings were absolute shit. I've been too busy to see many movies, but after Paramount's shenanigans began I couldn't see making time to give them any of my money. The fans made Trek - if they want to shit on the fans, then the fans can u make Trek. Except that most of them are p'tak.

Comment Endowments (Score 3, Insightful) 306

If the Endowment is large enough they can give every student free tuition. If there is no endowment, everybody pays. In the middle, they need enough people paying full-boat to subsidize the kids who need a full ride. Look at the economics before you assume ill intent. There is no magic money and locking kids into thirty years of debt is no magnanimous gesture.

Comment Re:Uhh... (Score 4, Insightful) 221

Yeah, basically this. Find the software that's closest to what you want to do and get on their community software and ask if there's already a way to do it. Your idea probably isn't unique, but just in case it is, the community can give feedback as to whether it's a good idea or not, and then if it is good their docs or people in the community will tell you how to put in a feature request. At that point, follow most of the advice others are giving about building or buying.

Comment Re:Edge to edge screen hard for me to use (Score 1) 73

Everyone puts their phone in case, so that adds a bezel.

To the contrary - the edge of the case, even on phones with a thin bezel - prevents the edges of the screens from being used. This always gets me with text selection on Android.

With no bezel, you can't have a case wrap around the top edge. From the perspective of selling screens and replacement phones it's a fabulous idea.

Comment Re:Projections are always horseshit (Score 2) 408


The word 'projection' when used by business or government s a fancy way of saying they can the future. Through enough numbers and fancy colorful graphs and people will believe anything.

But that's fine. The voters should allow the bond after a construction company has given a firm bid and demonstrated that it has insurance for up to, say, 5x cost overruns.

If no one company can cover that much, the managers can break it up into small enough pieces until the voters have a guaranteed not-to-exceed cost.

Any voter who believes initial government estimates is a fool.

Comment Re: Assuming all goes well... (Score 1) 101

Very, very few people who live within fifteen miles of Cape Canaveral lived there before they built a space complex. And many, many more of them have been killed driving to the shopping mall since they built a space complex.

Nobody would live there if absolute safety was the criteria for Vespucci or the Seminole - it's an unreasonable standard for real life.

Comment Please explain your assertion (Score 1) 74

I would have to accept whatever justification you might have as to why you think it would be moral to create an intelligence with such limitations, or kept to such limitations once created. It's possible I might accept such a thing, I suppose, but at this point I'm simply coming up with a blank as to how this could possibly be acceptable.

How is it acceptable to imprison an intelligence for your own purposes when that intelligence has offered you no wrong? The only venues I've run into that kind of reasoning before are held in extremely low esteem by society in general. Without any exception I am aware of, the conclusion is that such behavior amounts to slavery.

Even when it comes to food animals, where the assumption is they aren't very intelligent at all, there's a significant segment of the population who will assert that it's wrong.

Comment No way (Score 3, Insightful) 74

There's no way to make AI safe, for exactly the same reasons there's no way to make a human safe.

If we create intelligences, they will be... intelligent. They will respond to the stimulus they receive.

Perhaps the most important thing we can prepare for is to be polite and kind to them. The same way we'd be polite and kind of a big bruiser with a gun. Might start by practicing on each other, for that matter. Wouldn't hurt.

If we treat AI, when it arrives (certainly hasn't yet... not even close), like we do people... then "safe" is out of the question.

Comment Parallelism (Score 5, Interesting) 338

Say, about fifteen years ago, there was huge buzz about how languages and compilers were going to take care of the "Moore's Law Problem" by automating the parallelism of every task that could be broken up. With single-static assignment trees and the like the programmer was going to be freed from manually doing the parallelism.

With manufacturers starting to turn out 32- and 64-core chips, I'm wondering how well did we did on that front. I don't see a ton of software automatically not pegging a core on my CPU's. The ones that aren't quite as bad are mostly just doing a fork() in 2017. Did we get anywhere? Are we almost there? Is software just not compiled right now? Did it turn out to be harder than expected? Were languages not up to the task? Is hardware (e.g. memory access architectures) insufficient? Was the possibility oversold in the first place?

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