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User Journal

Journal Journal: Are you using the tool, or is the tool using YOU?

Humans are tool-makers and tool-users. Nobody can dispute that fact. But here's why so-called 'autonomous' cars, with no ability for the human occupant to drive it manually are a bad idea: Any vehicle is a tool. If you can't control the vehicle, and it goes where it decides it wants to go, then YOU are no longer using a tool, the tool is using you! Vehicles are also viewed as tools to enable personal freedom -- except, apparently, for Millennials, who somehow think that their smartphones and the Internet are 'freedom'; which, of course, is nonsense that's been drilled into them since birth.

They're going to keep pushing the whole 'autonomous car' thing. Whatever. But in order to keep the tool from using US instead of US using the tool, they MUST maintain a full set of manual controls, and we MUST still educate and train drivers, and you MUST be able to shut off the self-driving of any vehicle at the push of a button -- and it CANNOT override YOU when you do so. Period. Otherwise 'robotic overlords' isn't just a joke anymore; then we become the slave of the machines, instead of the machines we build serving US. That's the bottom line of that.
Furthermore, do any of you really want to live in a world where the following can (and WILL) happen:
o Governments deciding where you can and cannot go
o Hackers and criminals remotely hijacking your vehicle
o Hackers and criminals remotely sabotaging your vehicle
In a world where all there is inside a car is a seat and no controls (not even an 'emergency stop' button that is anything other than an input line to a computer, that can be ignored by software), these things WILL happen, guaranteed. Ask yourself: Is that the world you want to live in? I'd rather have traffic fatalities annually than live in a world where I'm so tightly controlled, that I may as well be a convict in a prison, or an animal in a zoo. We're already surveilled and data-collected within an inch of our lives, should we also be allowed to have our very movements restricted? I say no. So-called 'autonomous cars' won't make us more free, they'll make us LESS free, especially if we have no ability to manually drive them the way we have for a hundred years. All vehicles should always be built with a full set of unimpeachable manual controls for a human operator, and all human drivers should continue to be educated, trained, tested, licensed, and insured, just like always. It would be utter madness to do otherwise, and anyone who believes it should not be so is a fool.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot: Is it even possible to secure a smartphone? 8

AT&T has forced my hand: They're decomissioning 2G towers, so my otherwise perfectly working phone doesn't always connect to their network. For the time being they gave me a cheap LG phone for free, but it's annoying to use because it's so limited even compared to the Razr2 v9 I was using. Every non-smartphone I've seen seems to be too limited and too annoying to use; I may have no choice but to get a smartphone. The question is: Is there a way to properly secure a smartphone against outside attacks? I have no plans to have a dataplan with AT&T because I think it's a ripoff, so that'll be disabled and I'll use wifi (if I use it that way at all). I won't be downloading and installing any apps. All I really expect from a phone is that it's good at being a phone, accept a microSDHC card (or have enough internal memory that I don't need one), support stereo bluetooth, and have a decent music player built into it -- and, of course, it needs to not be like a swisscheese, security-wise. What do you say, Slashdot? Is there firewall and/or antivirus/antimalware for smartphones? What's your plan for securing a smartphone?

User Journal

Journal SPAM: Everyone seems to think we are ONLY a two-party political system 7

The vast majority of people in the United States seem to think we have only two political parties in this country, and that you have three choices:

1) Vote Republican
2) Vote Democrat
3) Don't vote

I am here to remind you that there are MORE THAN TWO POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE U.S. and that you are free to belong to or vote for candidates from ANY of them at ANY time there is an election -- and that furthermore, you do not have to be affiliated with ANY political party, either as a voter OR as a candidate.

You don't like Trump? You don't like Clinton? You can vote for SOMEONE ELSE, and in November 2016 I highly recommend to EVERYONE that they do precisely that. Trump is unqualified and quite frankly, as of today, TRAITOROUS. Clinton is not trustworthy. That makes neither one of them appropriate or desirable. Vote for someone else 2016! Hell, vote for ANYONE ELSE 2016!
User Journal

Journal SPAM: I'm tired of playing nice.

You know what? The Internet is not at all a Nice Place and has not been for years and years now. If I want 'nice' I'll go talk to people in person. Hell, I could have a relatively 'nice' conversation on a public bus in the bad part of town, compared to the Internet. Know how everyone says '4chan is the cancer of the Internet'? Most of the Internet is malignant, metastasized cancer anymore. I'm tired of pulling my punches. Oh and if you don't agree with me? Tough shit, comments disabled. :p

User Journal

Journal Journal: Humans are not 'civilized'

How can the Human race call itself civilized when we can't even get over things like the color of someones' skin? Too many people treat too many other people like absolute crap, and yet we're allowed to call ourselves 'civilized'. Not funny, Humans.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How is this a 'free and open internet'?

How is this a 'free and open internet' when you get called a 'troll' just because you have an opinion that isn't the mainstream, or that someone else just plain doesn't like? Sounds to me like YOU people who do this to me and others like me are the trolls! Regardless, I'll keep being who I am, thinking what I think about things, and letting others know it. Your oppressive bullying isn't going to prevent me from doing that.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Correct Role of 'Automation', 'AI', 'Robots', Etc, In Human Society

All the above, are tools. Their proper role in human society is to help humans do their work and live their lives, not replace them . If you're a business owner and you're firing your workers to replace them with a machine, you are doing it wrong and are as anti-life as the machines of the Terminator movies. We already live in a world where humans treat other humans like so much garbage every single day; it needs to stop. Don't treat human beings like so much trash to be tossed in the recycle bin!

User Journal

Journal Journal: We need better driver education, training, and testing, not 'self-driving cars' 8

Operating a motor vehicle is one of the most complex tasks human beings ever perform. That being said, we do an excellent job of it -- so long as we're educated and trained to do it properly. What I'm seeing is that people are not being educated and trained properly, and not adequately tested, therefore we end up with sub-par drivers on the roads, and myopic types that think that since some drivers are bad, all drivers are bad. This is simply not the case, and so-called 'self-driving cars' are not going to save us from ourselves, they're only going to create an entire generation of people who don't have the knowledge, skill or experience to operate a motor vehicle safely. Meanwhile it'll be decades, if not many decades, before there is a so-called 'self-driving car' that is truly conscious, self-aware, and at least as competent as a properly educated and trained human driver. The result will be more accidents, traffic jams, and stupid traffic-related problems, as so-called 'self-driving cars' show all their weaknesses in stressful situations. I don't want to live in that world. What I propose instead is better driver education and training, and more stringent and frequent testing by the State, to both create a better class of driver, and to exclude people from operating motor vehicles if they cannot master the skillset required to do so. Taking the position of "It's too hard, so we shouldn't do it at all" with regards to driving is, to put it bluntly, flat-out stupid. For at least the nest 20 years, a human driver will be required to supervise any sophisticated autopiloting feature in ground vehicles, and to do so they will need to be, as always, properly educated, trained, tested, and insured to do so, even more so if auto manufacturers are going to start providing a 'crutch' for otherwise poorly-skilled drivers to lean on.

User Journal

Journal Journal: 'Robots' and so-called 'AI' aren't going to take our jobs 1

Every generation seems to go through this phase: "{insert new technology here} is going to ruin our lives/destroy the world! EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!1!"

It's no more true now than it's ever been.

First of all: So-called 'AI': No such thing -- yet, and probably not for some time to come (Read that as: decades. Perhaps as much as ten decades). We don't even have a clue yet as to how the human brain manages self-awareness, consciousness, or sentience, and without that knowledge, all we're creating in silicon and software is just clever algorithms that at best mimick some limited human behaviors, or are 'expert systems', or even so far as 'learning systems' -- but they're not anywhere near self-aware, they don't really 'think', not in the human sense, and you can't sit down with one and have a random conversation with it and be fooled for very long that it's not a machine, which by the way is my standard for true AI: You have to be able to sit down with it and have long conversations with it and feel like you're talking to a human being. Nothing like that exists yet, nor will it until we understand how we innately do that.

Now, then: So-called 'self-driving cars': Simply put, they won't be -- not any more or any soone than real AI will exist. There will always have to be a human being at the wheel to prevent it from doing something unexpected or unsafe, and don't believe any of the fanboys who will tell you otherwise.

Next: Even really good expert systems or automation will still need human oversight, for safety reasons and for quality reasons. Furthermore, there are many jobs that need a human touch to really get it right. Example: I once worked for a company that build ultrasound machines. You needed experience assembling the probes, if you wanted one that wasn't total junk for accuracy and image quality. Written instructions alone weren't enough to do that, you needed an experienced person doing it, and training another person to do it. No way you could build a machine to assemble them and get anything other than a piece of junk.

Finally: There are too many instances where people only want to interact with other people, not some machine. Doesn't have to be simple tasks either. Maybe many many years from now, assuming there is real AI and realistic androids, but not anytime soon.

In the meantime: I recommend everyone relax -- The human race isn't going to get fired from all it's jobs an 'replaced by robots'. It's just Chicken Little running around telling us the sky is falling, or alarmists and trolls trying to get attention. Technology is created to help people, not destroy people. Remember that, in the face of alarmist 'news' stories to the contrary.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Moderation FAIL 2

Apparently some asshole on /. thinks it's his mission in life to moderate every single post I make down by one; I see what you're doing, knock it the hell off, jerk.

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