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Comment Re:AI powered is overhyped... (Score 1) 39

subject says it all... stop using AI to describe everything...

While this may or may not qualify as artificial "intelligence," it almost has to perform better than the TSA does now whenever they run a benchmark test (and generally find something like 90% of bad stuff gets through). You could probably hook up a metal detector to a Commodore 64 powered by a BASIC program created by a 4th grader and get better results than the current TSA.

Comment Re:Open Office Failure (Score 1) 173

The popularity of these among upper management is typically because of cost or control reasons. They're much cheaper than closed offices, and management can walk by to see exactly what you're doing.

It's not only that. There is this myth floating around for the past couple decades that "collaboration" is the cool new workplace thing. People read stories about Google or Apple and tales of workers just randomly meeting in some common room and brainstorming the next new cool thing, and managers start drooling and saying, "Yeah -- let's get rid of the office walls. Get rid of the cubes! Break down the barriers, and we'll get better collaboration, which means more creative and efficient work!"

Yeah, except that doesn't actually work. It's true that chance encounters with coworkers can be beneficial for brainstorming or bouncing ideas or whatever, but that happens best when you're OPEN TO THAT, which means you're not deeply focused on some specific task at your desk or whatever. More recent studies are showing (surprise!) that workers actually need lack of distractions, and a more isolated environment is often easier for that. The best office approach would be to offer both options -- closed offices for when you're focused on a task... and then open spaces, or tables, or common areas, or whatever when you're less focused and are open for random contact and collaboration.

Actually, those people who have real, actual offices already have those options -- because they have a door. If you are working intently, you shut your door. If you want to be open for other random communication, you keep your door open.

Typical penny wise & pound foolish mentality. The constant interruptions that occur end up costing them much more in the long run.

True. Studies show that workers in "open plan" offices are less productive, tend to be more distracted, have more health issues and stress, take more sick days, etc., etc. It was a terrible idea, and probably never saved money in the long run.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 2) 79

Is the recipient of a mix CD a copyright infringer? If not, it doesn't make any sense that a downloader would be either.

Your argument relies on some sort of distinction between "who makes the copy." In the mix CD case, where it's given to you, yes, you obviously didn't make a copy.

However, if you load up your torrent manager and say "download please!" you are making your own copy, which is then stored locally, just like pushing the button on a copy machine.

The one who started out in possession of the media, made and distributed a copy of it, is violating the right to control copying and distribution, i.e. copyright.

To continue the analogy, it's like a library places a book on a public shelf. You are the one choosing to take it off that shelf, walk over to the copy machine, push the button, and then take the photocopy home with you.

It seems you may also be trying to make the argument that the person who originally ripped the copy or whatever was infringing, but you're not by making a copy of that copy. Except that doesn't work in the analogy either. If you go to an office where somebody has made an illegal photocopy of a book, and you take that photocopy and make your own photocopy, you're still violating copyright.

If that's weren't true, I could just download a (legal) PDF that was made from a print journal from a library, and then place that PDF on my own public website for anyone else to download, and I wouldn't be guilty of infringement. After all, I didn't make the PDF myself -- I didn't "rip" the media, so why should I be guilty of anything?

Someone who started out with nothing, copied nothing, distributed nothing, but ends up in possession of something that someone else illegally copied and distributed, has done what exactly that violates what law?

You are correct that you "distributed nothing," which is why GP argues that the case is harder to make, and excessive damages are harder to justify. But you're wrong about the fact that you "copied nothing," since you ordered your computer to do precisely that, just as if you'd press the "copy" button on a copy machine.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 853

Should have been "alumium". Next best is "aluminum" (like platinum, molybdenum, most all of the classic elements like plumbum, argentum, etc). "Aluminium" is right out. It was derived from from alumina, not "aluminia"; the i is supposed to be the joining stem (lithia/lithium, magnesia/magnesium, titania/titanium, etc). There are a couple element names that are as poorly formed as "aluminium", but not many.

Not to mention that Davy was the one who named it, and he named it "aluminum", but suggested "alumium" as an alternative.

Comment Re:data analysis or "AI"? (Score 1) 80

"Mere" data analysis is when a human looks at the data and tries to find patterns. But it is "AI" when the algorithm is open ended, and finds it's own patterns and correlations.

I certainly agree that this falls under the classification of "AI" as a field. I'm guessing that part of the concern is also whether what was done here qualifies as "intelligence" rather than just a slightly more advanced algorithm for processing data.

Most research studies these days use fairly complex statistical computations -- often, lamentably, that the researchers themselves don't fully understand (or at least don't fully understand the limitations of). So, basically by the time many researchers are looking at the "data" to search for correlations, the raw data has already been processed in rather non-transparent ways. Relatively few people are staring at the raw data and saying, "Hmm... there's a lot of high X values here -- let's run a test to see whether X correlates with Y." Instead, they either decided they were already going to run that correlation before the test already began, or they do the p-hacking thing where they just run dozens of different statistical tests and see whether anything "shakes out."

Either way, humans are rarely DIRECTLY finding their own "patterns and correlations" anymore. They throw a bunch of stuff into a statistical package and see what pops out. The "AI" algorithms used in the present paper are certainly putting an extra layer of processing on top of that, but ultimately they're just doing a few more steps of statistical analysis and spitting out the patterns that emerge. The algorithms just tend to emphasize and weight certain things in the dataset a little more to make patterns pop out more easily.

So, yeah, it's automating pattern-finding a bit more. But I can also see the point that it's really an extension of data analysis... ultimately the patterns that come out of this system aren't really meaningful. For example, according to the top-rated clusters of topics, judgments for one of the rights are highly likely to depend on whether the word "July" is found -- good for your chances! -- vs. whether "June" or "June applicant" or "dated June" is found -- which apparently causes you to be more likely to lose the case!

Obviously that's ridiculous, but it shows the similarity in this sort of analysis to what you might get with a simpler statistical package that just tries out dozens of correlations. In both cases, the computer is just weighting the patterns it finds -- using algorithms dictated by humans -- and then spitting out a lot of nonsense and some things that look more interesting. It's then up to the humans to determine which are the interesting bits.

While I know the term AI is used for this stuff, personally I'll reserve the term "artificial intelligence" for a system that actually has some fairly sophisticated threshold for realizing when the output is nonsense vs. when it's likely to be more interesting, and that determination isn't just a hard-coded aspect of the algorithm in question. Then the system would actually be doing something akin to "judgment," which implies "intelligence," rather than just being a more sophisticated pattern-finding stats package.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 853

1) US troops were in neither Iraq nor Libya during their last elections.

2) Afghanistan's elections are supervised by international monitors, recognized by the international community, and not widely boycotted by entire segments of the population who don't consider the new "government" - imposed by a foreign military just weeks earlier and headed by a local mobster - legitimate or having the right to hold elections.

Even when the US was in Iraq (before they got kicked out, before they were subsequently begged to come back when Iraq was being overrun by Daesh...), Iraqis elected a government that was pro-Iran and hostile to the US. The largest party in the 2005 elections, with double the votes of the next closest contender, was the National Iraqi Alliance - a pro-Iranian islamist shia coalition. Maliki was chosen as prime minister. Do you think the US rigged the election to choose pro-Iranian anti-US government? What about in 2010 when pro-Iranian islamist nationalist power was consolidated, leading to the 2011 sinking of the SOFA? Think that was the result the US wanted? If the US was rigging Iraqi elections, they're pretty bloody terrible at it.

Comment Re:No, they didn't. (Score 1) 853

The Russians have always been good at lower performance, low cost rockets. Higher performance, they've always struggled with (particularly upper stages), which hindered their ability to launch probes (they only ever launched to the moon, Venus, and Mars, and with a rather disappointing track record). But they've built quite a few reliable, cheap lower stages and full low-performance orbital stacks. Mind you, a few of their lower-stage engines have turned out to be lemons (most notably the NK-15/33/43), but most have been real workhorses.

As for advanced tech in general, Russia has always been great at conceiving of and doing small scale implementations of very advanced concepts, but they've struggled to bring it into mass produced products. In that regard, I think the US has more to worry about concerning China; while they've long been known for mass production of lower-tech goods, they're getting increasingly good at mass production of high tech goods. The key to the US's success has been the combination of both high tech and skill in bulk production (albeit disadvantaged in that by labour costs)

US vs. Russia, I think the AK-47 vs. M-16 is a great analogy. The M-16 is by most objective standards a much better weapon - lighter, significantly lighter magazines per bullet (yet with nearly the same impact energy due to much faster velocity), significantly greater range in most regards, greater accuracy, faster to load and change magazines, easier to work the safety, predictable trigger behavior, all sorts of other ergonomic features, less recoil, better sights, and on and on down the line. Yet the AK-47 is the one that ended up ubiquitous around the world. It was simple, easy to make, had loose-fitting parts that weren't sensitive to manufacturing defects, was tough to break or jam with dirt and grime, etc. Very much reflective of the philosophy difference in general.

Russia seems to be trying to change today, trying to move more toward the American philosophy of production, in particular with respect to arms. For example they're trying to make their jets less "disposable", designed for lower downtimes and more flight hours like the US and Europe do, in order to be able to give their pilots more flight-time training (among other things), like the west does. But the changes have been incremental, not by leaps and bounds.

Comment Re: Notice the timing on the propaganda piece (Score 1) 853

Not according to every single UN report on the subject, up to and including just days ago, but by all means, keep being a dictator's internet propagandist.

FYI, since you're late to the party, there no longer is anything called "Al-Nusra". The name changed to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham when they broke from al-Qaeda.

Comment Re:No, they didn't. (Score 1) 853

Thank you, I read this headline and immediately sighed at the stupidity of it as well.

Russia likes doing these sort of braggadocious product unveilings; they're often rather disconnected from the reality of how their development goes. That's not to say that Russia can't develop good products - they can. But every time they make these product announcements it's like "The world will imminently fall at our feet due to the obvious revolutionary technological superiority of our latest offering!", when it's most often anything but.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2) 853

Aluminum was largely the key to the "missile gap" that developed between the US and USSR in ICBMs in the 1960s. Before that, ICBMs had been liquid-fueled, which presented storage, complexity and bulk problems (also prevented underwater launch on submarines). The US discovered that the addition of aluminum powder to solid rocket propellant mixes would simultaneously increase ISP, thrust, density, and burn stability, and moved immediately toward the development of a series of solid ICBMs; the Soviets were late to catch onto the significance of aluminum in propellant mixes, and fell over half a decade behind as a consequence.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 5, Insightful) 853

Quotation needed. And no, Ukraine does not count. They had a vote and voted to be part of Russia; that's a far cry from rolling in the tanks and taking it by force.

They did send in their military, that's who the "Little Green Men" were. Even Putin has publicly admitted this. The "vote" was held under occupation, not internationally recognized, boycotted by significant segments of the population, and even Russia at one point accidentally released the "real" numbers from the vote which didn't match the official ones.

Do recall that Russia is a country where Chechnya "voted for" United Russia (Putin's Party) 99% in 2001. Some parts of Grozny voted for "The Butcher of Grozny" by well over 100%. You seriously think that's legit?

Amazing how many apologists for Russia there are here. False equivalencies are clearly alive and well.

Comment Solution is very simple: key mapper (Score 1) 493

The solution is very simple: use a keymapper. I map my Caps Lock to Escape. I use Karabiner for macOS. And better yet, recently the Japanese developer Takayama Fumihiko open sourced it: https://github.com/tekezo/Kara...

For many years, he has been maintaining Karabiner, and with every update to OS X/macOS, he was ready with a new version to support the new OS. It's astounding, really. Every year, I donate because it's worth it to me: https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner...

Comment Re: How is everyone supposed to use Emacs? (Score 5, Funny) 493

Which is why it's called an "Escape" key. You use it under exceptional conditions. You don't want it underfoot, but when you need it, it needs to be there.

First they came for my floppy drive, and I did not speak out, because floppies were slow and I was glad to be rid of them anyway.

Then they came for my CD-ROM drive, and I did not speak out, because I appreciated a lighter, more compact laptop.

Then they came for my headphone jack, and I did not speak out, because I use my damn phone as a phone, not a stereo.

Then they came for my escape key, and I knew there was no way out.

They they came for my power button, and there was no one left to hear the perpetual screams.

And my MacBook, never flickering, still is sitting, still is sitting
By the pallid bust of Steve Jobs just above my basement door;
And its screen has all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the process o'er it streaming throws exceptions galore;
And my soul from out that process started back in days of yore
Shall be turned off -- nevermore!

Comment Re:did it drive like most truckers? (Score 1) 241

Honestly if you are not passing by at least 4mph dont pass. they should let cops ticket truckers for passing without using their gas pedal.

Uh, have you ever been behind a truck going up a long hill? You know how they slow down? That's because they have the "pedal to the floor" and yet the engine pulling that much weight can only manage so much going up a long incline.

Now, put that same truck on a straightaway where they're stuck behind some idiot or they're forced to get out of the right lane to avoid some idiot who doesn't know how to merge on an on-ramp or whatever. But then the road suddenly starts to slope up A BIT. Doesn't have to be a lot to make acceleration on a truck that size quite slow if not non-existent.

Couple that with a guy in a car in the right lane who starts going up the incline and starts pressing down the accelerator a bit more, and suddenly the truck can't even keep up, let alone pass.

I've never driven a semi. But I've driven large trucks a couple times. It's a MUCH different experience than driving a car. Heck, it's even a different experience than driving a mid-size moving truck, which might still be able to accelerate up a hill.

Obviously some truckers do stupid or annoying things sometimes. But having been in a situation myself on the highway when I thought I was going to be able to pass, but then the truck just couldn't accelerate because of a mild change in slope... I have an appreciation for the problems truckers have to deal with. It's easy in most cars to accelerate another 10-15 mph to pass reasonably fast; in trucks this may only be possible to do quickly going downhill.

A final note is that when driving a vehicle that large, quick changes in general are harder and potentially dangerous. Thus, truckers often don't like to change lanes as much and they tend to go at constant speeds when possible. So, depending on the exact situations you're talking about, in some cases it may not have been that the trucker was even trying to "pass" but was simply trying to drive in a reasonable consistent fashion (rather than a lot of car drivers who tend to be a lot more aggressive and needlessly maneuver around a lot).

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