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Comment Nothing new here. Canada has done this for decades (Score 1) 553

This is nothing new. On a trip to Montreal to speak at a conference a few years ago, I was detained by Canadian customs and quizzed about the conference -- from my own copy of the conference brochure that I had brought with me. They got the brochure because I thought it would be helpful to show the brochure with my name listed as a speaker, but that apparently opened a can of worms. (I know better now).

For all I know they called the conference organizers to verify my story. The questions to me ranged from what would be my topic (IPv6) and whether I would be paid (I wouldn't; it was an academic conference at a local university), to was I marketing my services to Canadian businesses (no). And many other questions in between that today I would have had the presence of mind to record, but not then. This was five or six years ago, long before the current immigration security flush.

Comment In other news... Integers: Why so many? (Score 3, Informative) 85

Is this what passes for intelligent discourse at So many errors, so little time. First, an algorithm is NOT involved when I pick a movie to stream on Netflix. I pick the movie, Netflix streams it. Unless you want to count the code necessary to display a web page and process a click. Second, algorithms are NOT "complex mathematical formulas." A formula is a specification for a single computational step (or a series of similar steps, in the case of calculus). An algorithm is a non-mathematical procedure, with memory, decision making, input and output from and to various sources and sinks, and, well, formulas. Algorithms contain formulas, but formulas don't contain algorithms. And does not contain the sense God gave raisins.

Comment Solar jobs deliver just .6% of American energy (Score 1, Offtopic) 415

These employment numbers are an anomaly. If they were actual sustainable job, they would be the most inefficient energy jobs on earth. Coal and natural gas account for most of US electricity, with nuclear and hydro falling in 3rd and 4th respectively. Renewables (not including hydro) account for 7% of total generation, with solar at just 0.6%. So more solar workers than coal workers sweat away open a boondoggle: producing just .6% of the power America consumes.

Comment Drones Are Not AI (Score 1) 169

They just aren't. They are not conscious, and have no ability to think. They are simply engineered automation using the same information processing strategies -- pattern recognition and data repositories -- computer science has always used. But the hyperbolic "AI community' has so over-promised and under-delivered that they had to dumb-down the term, into "strong" (real) and "weak" (fake) AAI. So now when they call drones "AI" (meaning weak AI), we are deceived into ascribing have the dangers of autonomous drones with weapons, which are very real, to AI as a category, which is science fiction.

So let's just leave AI out of it. Any weapon that can fly around, select human targets, and destroy them, autonomously is hugely dangerous. So dangerous as to be a war crime. For the very reason that strong AI is a complete fantasy: these machines do not think, cannot make anything like rational judgements, or weigh the consequences of their actions. Nothing but a human can do that. All autonomous drones have at their disposal is pattern matching and information repositories, programmed by humans who have never once written a bug-free non-trivial program.

Comment CR should release its test procedures (Score 2) 268

Then anyone can run the tests CR refuses to re-run. If they're that confidently of their results, they should be happy to provide the detailed equipment and steps, along with corresponding results, to the public. This is the way science is done: if you make an assertion, then you have to provide the raw data to let someone else try to reproduce your results.

Anything less is unscientific anecdotal evidence.

Comment Jailed for security research! (Score 1) 55

This message was relayed to be by an inmate at a Texas jail facility: "I'm writing this from the Dallas PD lockup. I was out in the Ft. Worth area doing security research of residential door knobs, testing which doors might be open and thus exposing housing to breaches. Some guy named Justin Shafer confronted me when I apparently accessed the knobs on his house. He called the cops and now I'm charged with attempted burglary! I explained that my intentions were purely honorable; after all, I'm not a thief! Yes, it's true, I copied some of his mail off the desk in the den, but that was just so I could prove the vulnerability to the gan... er, security community. Anyway, the arraignment didn't go so well, even after I explained that the judge should be thanking me. So I've got a contempt citation too. All I can say is, thank goodness for identity theft!

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