Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Download Your Profile (Score 1) 368

And you've explained exactly how it's at least a better analogue, if not a good one. Facebook isn't likely to disappear any time soon, so backing up my pictures likely won't even matter, but if it does, I'll be glad I did back up my pictures. (Though, actually, I couldn't care less about mine, so I don't back mine up, but that's not the point.)

Comment Re:Imagine the worst person you know with a PC... (Score 1) 304

Their terminology is obviously off, but their intention is clear. During the election the private key is split into chunks that are distributed among different people and they delete (securely, I hope) the pieced together version. Thus, in order to use said private key you (theoretically) either need to make a mathematical breakthrough or get all of those guys to give up their piece. After the election, these guys get together and put the private key back together. Assuming they don't screw up the implementation or leave other glaring holes elsewhere, this is an entirely reasonable scheme.

Comment Re:Hmm... WA politics... (Score 1) 304

Your naïveté is cute if you actually think your average voter has done legitimate research. I will grant you that low turnout means only people who care (either about a position or about voting in general will show up, and most of them will have a strong opinion one way or another, but the level of research doesn't tend to be beyond party lines or media favourites.

Comment Re:Watson did really well, but... (Score 1) 674

Did I ever say that Watson was going to be a doctor? So much of modern diagnosis beyond the really common diagnoses is basically doing what Watson does that a doctor armed with a Watson derivative will be far stronger than either a human doctor or Watson alone. He doesn't need to deduce, infer, learn, plan, or resolve; the doctor can do that using the information that Watson can provide, and Watson can provide that information much faster than a human trying to do a lookup, and, since he doesn't need to stop looking as soon as he finds something that kinda fits. We're still many years off from replacing doctors, but Watson will make for an /impressive/ supplement.

Comment Re:just how many ways DOES he spell his name? (Score 1) 146

You and the anonymous coward are both worng. Considering there is so many version of "japanese", there is a direct way to converting "some" Japanese to roman letter.

Okay, perhaps we are lacking some mutual clarity in what we consider a direct romanisation. If you simply want a mapping from Japanese onto roman characters, then Nippon-shiki will grant that. However, I consider this lacking because, if you follow its pronunciation you will be mispronouncing a lot of things in any dialect I've heard. This is how we run into the Nippon->Japan problem. Hepburn, which would probably be my romaji of choice if I wanted to present to an primarily-English-speaking audience, is actually a pretty good transliteration of pronunciation, but otherwise it's pretty much impossible, and it doesn't really do much of a mapping. This is the dichotomy that I call problematic to declaring a "direct translation": you can have good mapping or good transliteration, but not both. In this manner, there is no direct mapping, but we have agreed on a handful of romaji, chiefly Nippon-shiki and Hepburn, and called them "good enough". But even note here we come up with multiple ways to write the same thing. Now, Arabic script has its romanisations, too, each with their own issues. We've agreed on more than a handful of these, however, and everybody seems to have chosen different ones, hence all of the different ways listed above of writing just one name.

Comment Re:Watson did really well, but... (Score 1) 674

You clearly don't understand what Watson's achieved. Clearly, we don't have much use for a Jeopardy-playing computer, but that was never the real point. The point is we have a system with reasonable natural language processing skills combined with it's lookup/association capabilities and its learning system. this can be repurposed in a number of actually useful applications, and they're starting with the medical field. Something like this could potentially revolutionise medical diagnosis, and that's just the _start_.

Comment Re:Color me unimpressed (Score 1) 674

The most difficult part, something touched on by the concurrent RPI lectures / commentary, was sorting out the right word from the resulting search context.

Going backwards in time is really easy. The most difficult part, something touched on by science fiction novels, was exceeding the speed of light.

Seriously, that problem is much more difficult than you are making it out to be. Also, the fill-in-the-blank style questions actually used to be a weak point of Watson's that has obviously now become a strong point. I don't remember where I read it, but apparently they chose the questions in the same manner they normally do, less the audio/video questions, so I wouldn't say they are geared toward Watson at all. In fact, I remember at least two categories where Watson didn't provide a single answer!

Comment Re:Underwhelming achievement (Score 1) 674

What controversy? The only person bitching about this "controversy" is you. Originally Watson didn't even have a trigger finger until the Jeopardy guys bitched and insisted it needed one. If they thought that OCR was necessary, they would have bitched about that, too. Otherwise, it's an entirely unnecessary expense in terms of hardware, software, and testing for a problem they're not even trying to solve and all it really does is open up an irrelevant point of failure. Consider this in more scientific terms: they're isolating variables.

Comment Re:Underwhelming achievement (Score 1) 674

Uh, what are you going on about? Watson could only buzz in after he decided on an answer, and it is impossible to buzz in before Alex finishes reading the question (indeed, attempting to do so locks the buzzer out). The humans were basically playing a different game, where they were racing to buzz in first, then figure out the answer, since they were screwed if they gave Watson a chance.

Comment Re:Underwhelming achievement (Score 1) 674

No, we merely needed to see if Watson could answer questions *as well as a human*. The other two players are assumed to know the answer to anything Watson buzzed into first and, for the most part, that's a correct assumption. The competition format was simply publicity for the main challenge of showing that Watson can interpret Jeopardy answers and provide the correct questions, which it did _beautifully_. This was never about fairness, this was about innovation and achievement. Now that it's been proven, this tech is going to be used for actually _useful_ applications.

Comment Re:Waton's Wagering and HAL 9000 (Score 1) 674

Actually, Watson got totally owned on "ALSO ON YOUR COMPUTER KEYS". Somebody, please inform me if there's actual information about this (as if I have to say that on /.), but this further cements my belief that Watson doesn't take the category much into consideration. This makes some good sense since misparsing a category that was used as a strong filter could be disastrous, but it did result in some silliness (2003 being a decade, IIRC, Toronto being a U.S. City, chemise being a key, etc). Intuitively, this seemed to be an obvious area for improvement, but I can imagine that the people on the Watson project can spot the obvious at least well as I can given what they've accomplished.

Slashdot Top Deals

The wages of sin are unreported.