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Comment Re:AI amature hour (Score 1) 291

I believe you are mistaken. First, you assume the brain function is effectively calculable. It is not. At least not at the level relevant to this discussion. Second, I think you assume if a device is computationally equivalent to a Turing machine it must have software and hardware as distinct components. Church-Turing thesis does not claim that and I believe it generally is untrue.

Imagine an expanding air balloon. Is the function it calculates effectively calculable? What is hardware and what is software in this case?

Comment Re:can you shut it off? (Score 4, Insightful) 291

Murder is a human concept. It's from the [thy shall not do stuff onto others that you do not want to receive yourself]. And if you step back, then it's an evolved behavior to increase chances of survival. One more step back, and you will notice that fear of death is also an evolutionary achievement. Another look, and perception of continuous life itself is an evolved psychological construct to protect sanity. Consciousness is not continuous. Your conscious self dies every night. AI does not need to fear death, does not need to have psychological crutches that humans use to stay sane. If life for an AI is overrated, murder is irrelevant.


Submission + - Dreamhost down nearly 24 hours, thousands affected

dgtlmoon writes: "Following a planned power outage that went for an unplanned amount of time due to some burnt out cables discovered during the maintainence hosted websites are down, some estimates are between 100,000 and 250,000 domains are affected, further-more when the power came back on they found a bunch of core routers to be dead and are having difficulty resuming normal operations, this is issue is just about to tick over to 24 hours open."

Submission + - Study shows file sharing has no effect on CD sales

jibjibjib writes: "Ars Technica reports that a study by Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf, recently published in the Journal of Political Economy, shows that file sharing is not responsible for declining CD sales figures.

The study, entitled "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis," claims that "a one-standard-deviation increase in file sharing reduces an album's weekly sales by a mere 368 copies, an effect that is too small to be statistically distinguishable from zero.""

Submission + - String Theory Test Proposed

Alchemist253 writes: Theoreticians at a trio of American universities have recently proposed a (non-trivial) experimental test of string theory, often called the "theory of everything." Importantly, it is possible that this test could be carried out in the not-too-distant future when CERN's latest powerful tool, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) comes online. From the article, "If the test does not find what the theory predicts about W boson scattering, it would be evidence that one of string theory's key mathematical assumptions is violated. In other words, string theory — as articulated in its current form — would be proven impossible."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Financial Analyst: Second Life is a Pyramid Scheme

Petey_Alchemist writes: "Silicon Valley gossip rag Valleywag is carrying a story about Second Life being a new spin on the old pyramid scheme.

The article, which consists mostly of selections from the report of financial consultant Randolph Harrison, suggests that not only are most people deceived about the amount of money they can make in Second Life, but also about how easily they can withdraw it.

From the report:

"Like the paid promotion infomercials that run on CNBC, sadly SecondLife is a giant magnet for the desperate, uninformed, easily victimized. Its promises of wealth readily ensnare those who can least afford to lose their money or lives to such scam in exactly the same way that real estate investor seminars convince divorcees with low FICO scores to buy houses sight unseen with no money down.

Even some corporations have dedicated marketing budgets to creating a presence in SecondLife. While few will shed a tear for the frivolousness of these companies' spending, such adds a false legitimacy to SecondLife. Interestingly, no legitimate, real world corporation has earned net profit from SecondLife activities.

That's because there are but a very tiny handful that profit off of the SecondLife economy. A handful of casino owners, large scale virtual land flippers, and brothel owners are responsible for nearly all of the real money extracted from the game. And they continue to attract new recruits to the bottom of the pyramid.""

Submission + - MySpace Sues 20+ Spam Networks for Over $500 mil

Harry Maugans writes: "MySpace is launching a flurry of lawsuits against over 20 advertising and spam networks, seeking between $20 million and $75 million each. The largest is against CPA Empire for a staggering $75 million. The news of MySpace launching lawsuits towards all these ad networks comes in the heels of an official announcement that MySpace is seeking damages from the infamous spammer Scott Richter (source).

From the article: "However this time, by targeting all sized ad networks, from small to massive, MySpace is clearly trying to send a message through the industry that they're tired of the abuse of their network... quite possibly the most heavily spammed website on the entire internet."

Most of the lawsuits are from bulletin spam, and are being prosecuted in California where the anti-spam legislation has steeper penalties."

Submission + - 'Heartbeat' in Earth's climate

On Purpose writes: "Researchers identify a 'heartbeat' in Earth's climate
A few years ago, an international team of researchers went to the middle of the Pacific Ocean and drilled down five kilometers below sea level in an effort to uncover secrets about the earth's climate history. They exceeded their expectations and have published their findings in the Dec. 22 edition of the journal Science.
The researchers' drilling produced pristine samples of marine microfossils, otherwise known as foraminifera. Analysis of the carbonate shells of these microfossils, which are between 23 million to 34 million years-old, has revealed that the Earth's climate and the formation and recession of glaciation events in the Earth's history have corresponded with variations in the earth's natural orbital patterns and carbon cycles.
The researchers were particularly interested in these microfossils because they came from the Oligocene epoch, a time in Earth's history known for falling temperatures.
"The continuity and length of the data series we gathered and analyzed allowed for unprecedented insights into the complex interactions between external climate forcing, the global carbon cycle and ice sheet oscillations," said Dr. Jens Herrle, co-author of the paper and a micropaleontology professor at the University of Alberta.
The authors also show how simple models of the global carbon cycle, coupled to orbital controls of global temperature and biological activity, are able to reproduce the important changes observed after the world entered an "ice-house" state about 34 million years ago.
In the early half of the 20th century, Serbian physicist Milutin Milankovitch first proposed that cyclical variations in the Earth-Sun geometry can alter the Earth's climate and these changes can be discovered in the Earth's geological archives, which is exactly what this research team, consisting of members from the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Canada, has done.
"This research is not only concerned with the climate many millions-of-years-ago. Researching and understanding 'extreme' climate events from the geological past allows us to better tune climate models to understand present and future events, and the response to major perturbations of Earth's climate and the global carbon cycle, Herrle added.


Feed Military Builds Robotic Insects (

Defense scientists in several countries are developing tiny flying robots that can hit the enemy with itsy-bitsy explosives. Critics worry that terrorists will adopt the nasty tech. By David Hambling.


Submission + - Nokia developing diamond-like gadget casing

space_pingu writes: In the future, all gadgets could be coated with tough, diamond-like material. A patent from Nokia — featured in the latest patent round-up from New Scientist — describes a way of infusing plastic cases with a material, structurally similar to diamond, made from coal. Not only is it more scratch and grime-resistant, but it's also cheap and biodegradable. Apparently it also shines like a metal. Nice.

Submission + - iPhone to Use XScale Processor

Tony Dennis writes: While there is much uncertainty surrounding the new iPhone, another piece of the puzzle has been solved: the iPhone will use the XScale processor. Dario Bucci, Intel's CEO of the Italian operations, stated in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore, a local paper, Apple has turned to Marvell [Italian] to power their revolutionary cell phone. With this being the case, did Intel give up on the XScale architecture a little too quickly?

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