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Submission + - John McCarthy, AI Pioneer, Dead at 84 (

mpearrow writes: Wired has an article about the death of John McCarthy, the inventor of the LISP programming language and possibly the single most important contributor to the field of AI.

Submission + - John McCarthy, creator of Lisp, has died (

mikejuk writes: John McCarthy, the man who, among other things, first coined the term "Artificial Intelligence" and who invented the Lisp programming language died, aged 84, on October 23, 2011. The first use of the term "Artificial Intelligence" came in John McCarthy's proposal for a two-month, ten-man workshop to be carried out at Dartmouth College in 1956. This event went ahead, with Marvin Minsky, Claude Shannon, Nathaniel Rochester, Arthur Samuel, Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, Trenchard More, Ray Solomonoff and Oliver Selfridge, and is considered as "the birth" of AI.
McCarthy went on to create LISP. motivated by his
"desire for an algebraic list processing language for artificial intelligence work",
Best known as a way to torment students with brackets it is still considered to be the language of AI and it has influenced languages as different as JavaScript and Clojure.


Submission + - 70% TSA Failure Rate at Some Airports (

An anonymous reader writes: Nearing the height of last year's Christmas travel season, TSA screeners at Bush Intercontinental Airport somehow missed a loaded pistol, one that was tucked away inside a carry-on computer bag.

"I mean, this is not a small gun," Seif said. "It's a .40 caliber gun."

Seif says it was an accident which he didn't realize until he arrived at his destination. He says he carries the glock for protection but forgot to remove it from his bag. He reported the incident as soon as he landed, shocked at the security lapse.

"There's nothing else in there. How can you miss it? You cannot miss it," Seif said.

Authorities tell ABC News the incident is not uncommon, but how often it occurs is a closely guarded government secret. Experts say every year since the September 11 attacks, federal agencies have conducted random, covert tests of airport security.

A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA's new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.


Submission + - E=mc^2 is a liberal conspiracy (

Geoffrey.landis writes: "Conservapedia," was founded to be a conservative-tilted alternative to Wikipedia.
From the article: "To many conservatives, almost everything is a secret liberal plot: from fluoride in the water to medicare reimbursements for end-of-life planning with your doctor to efforts to teach evolution in schools. But Conservapedia founder and Eagle Forum University instructor Andy Schlafly — Phyllis Schlafly's son — has found one more liberal plot: the theory of relativity."
Yes, that's right: relativity is apparently a liberal plot. No doubt, the atomic bomb is a hoax, just like the moon landing and global warming.


Submission + - Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All ( 1

cremeglace writes: Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up Earth--physicist say that's impossible--and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole. No need to stock up on canned beans for doomsday though--the black holes still require energies vastly exceeding what the LHC is capable of.

Comment Re:How obfuscated protocol? (Score 1) 121

It's not exactly "pretty much just a few cameras and other sensors". Yes, there is RGB cam and microphone array, which will be often useful in their own way.

But most importantly, there's this:
And cheaply. Which might be huge for amateur robotics projects.

SDK for Windows might be the best we can hope for indeed, if wanting something usable. Not exactly optimal, you're basically forced to use some Windows netbook (instead of some ARM board) if your creation is supposed to be roving. Still great.

Comment Re:Sony also has better accuracy (Score 1) 121

I agree with you here. Sony's decision to include controllers that feed more location data was a great idea. The tech doesn't seem to be far along enough to do it all via optical sensors quite yet, as evidenced by the accuracy of Sony's offering compared to Natal.

Does anyone know if that 4 cm accuracy box for Natal is their TARGET, or where the tech is currently sitting?

Comment Re:And now thanks to /. and microsoft (Score 1) 275

Wow. So you're saying that someone who is in possession of a computer with child porn shouldn't be brought to trial on possession of child porn charges? That someone who not only admits to doing something, but posts credible, detailed information on how he achieved it doesn't deserve to be brought to trial?

In case you didn't notice, both of these examples are incredibly damning evidence, just as seeing someone over a corpse with a knife and blood on his hands is pretty damning too.

You don't seem to understand the point of trials. Trials happen when there is convincing evidence that on it's own, if you didn't defend yourself, would be enough to find you guilty of a crime. The presumption of innocence at that point is irrelevant because the evidence trumps the presumption. For a case to get to court, there is a minimum burden of proof. Hence cases getting dismissed by judges when there isn't enough proof. The purpose of a trial is to provide defendants a chance to show the evidence against him doesn't prove guilt.

Comment Re:And I am missing it greatly on Linux (Score 1) 381

To elaborate further...If there are N entries in the above table and ID is in a b-Tree index to iterate over all N records you wish to retrieve would involve N * LOG(N) time complexity, whereas simply getting the whole list (or a proper sub-range) would involve only LOG(N) time complexity. The difference between N * LOG(N) and LOG(N) is DRAMATIC!

Comment Re:only in the us (Score 1) 202

You chose a funny country to cite in your "USA=Crazy" post. If you buy a body kit in Italy and put it on your car to make it look like a Ferrari, YOU will get fined. They busted up a ring selling such body kits threw them all in prison, then tracked down their buyers and went after them, too. Seized all of their cars. In Europe, trademark violation is the most serious thing there is. They're full of ancient companies. Even possessing a counterfeit item is illegal in Europe.

Comment Re:More like... (Score 1) 58

Your Leftist brainwashing is so extensive it comes out in almost everything you say, and you might not realize it -- why are Rush and Glenn "the enemy"?
They aren't. But by your own reasoning, they are "the fringe", because they believe in the lies.
  I call you Leftists the enemy because you seek, either knowingly or unknowingly, to destroy America.
And I call them "the fringe", because they believe that Leftists are out to destroy America.
  But they obviously seek to preserve America,
No they don't- they seek to preserve their status as a part of the elite.
  even if you are angry with them for hyperbole over wanting to stop a particular change that you are for.
I'm not the one who said that lying about the Health Care bill put one on the fringe, you did, calling them "as fringe as the birthers", which Glenn and Rush *also* are.
  If you weren't so lost, you would (/could) view them for what they are.
I am viewing them for what they are- the fringe that thinks that government intervention in health care is a mistake because "American Health Care is the Best in the World".
  Now I know when you write about being against change and for conserving America, to know there's implicitly a huge asterisk by it.
Yep- labeled 1840, the last year America was really America.

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