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Submission + - Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use ( 1

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.

Comment Abandoning Time-Worn Processes Leads to Atrophy (Score 5, Insightful) 155

Scientists determined that those people who made use of machine washing rather than hand washing had diminished hand strength and neurological motor communication necessary for fine motor control. Seamstresses who bought thread rather than using the spinning jenny were similarly impaired. But worst off were teamsters who used the internal combustion trucks rather than teams of horses and used forklifts and other mechanical devices rather than loading their vehicles by hand. Their overall body strength was much reduced.

Comment Neat idea with one problem... (Score 5, Insightful) 151

This might be somewhat helpful, but there is one problem. Most budget chain hotels are remodeling in the following manner:

Every Motel 6 is going to look *exactly* the same. A few years ago my friend was traveling extensively for work. After a few weeks on the road, staying exclusively at Staybridge by Mariott, he would forget what town he was in, as every room was exactly the same, down to the artwork on the wall. He'd have to check the weather on his phone to get an idea of how long it would take to get to the work site from his hotel.

For the smaller, really cheap independent hotels this might be helpful, but most people going on vacation are staying at chains.

Comment E-Magine (Score 1) 211

In Michigan we have theaters called E-Magine. Awful name, outstanding theaters. All of the theaters themselves are fairly small, which means you aren't sitting too far away from the screen. The screen stretches from wall to wall, and they are all dimensioned properly. All of the seats are motorized extra-wide recliners. For a couple of extra dollars you can sit in a row with more leg room than you could possibly need. All the screens, projectors and speakers are properly maintained. They also have reserved seating so you can pick your seats hours before you show up to the theater. Most theaters also have waiter service, so you can just sit down and they'll bring you a drink and popcorn, including liquor, before the movie starts.

They also have special matinee showings for kids with sensory issues, so no trailers, they keep the lights on dimly, and turn the sound down, which is fantastic.

Ticket prices are, of course, a bit more than regular, but we don't see many movies so it doesn't matter that much to us.

Comment Lawyers (Score 1) 108

Every night on TV I see ads for lawyers offering to sue pharmaceutical companies for making products that do exactly what they are supposed to do. The worst is a lawsuit against a company that makes blood thinners because they potentially cause internal bleeding. Well, yeah, they thin your blood so your heart doesn't stop, internal bleeding is more manageable side effect than your heart stopping. One law firm is starting a class action against a company that makes chemotherapy drugs because they make your hair fall out.

Where are the lawyers suing these scam clinics? Aren't these lawyers ostensibly suing companies for the good of the public? Or do these clinics not make enough money to be worth suing?

Comment Re:Bad assumption (Score 1) 297

Economists, and the like, keep using 20th century (some even 19th century) models. Intellectuals cling to the past as badly as others.

That's like saying physicists cling to outdated 19th century ideals of Newtonian physics. The field of economics has changed massively since the 1800's, with the introduction of game theory, econometrics, etc... The reason you start with Smith, Malthus and Hume is they laid the foundations of modern economic theory, the same way Newton laid out the foundations of modern physics.

Comment Re:"Human Colleague"... Nope, You Just Don't Get I (Score 1) 407

Clarke did very little writing on robot brains.

Um, I'll have to assume that you weren't around for April, 1968, when the leading AI in popular culture for a long, long, time was introduced in a Kubrick and Clarke screenplay and what probably should have been attributed as a Clarke and Kubrick novel. And a key element of that screenplay was a priority conflict in the AI.

Comment Re:"Human Colleague"... Nope, You Just Don't Get I (Score 1) 407

Well, you've just given up the argument, and have basically agreed that strong AI is impossible

Not at all. Strong AI is not necessary to the argument. It is perfectly possible for an unconscious machine not considered "strong AI" to act upon Asimov's Laws. They're just rules for a program to act upon.

In addition, it is not necessary for Artificial General Intelligence to be conscious.

Mind is a phenomenon of healthy living brain and is seen no where else.

We have a lot to learn of consciousness yet. But what we have learned so far seems to indicate that consciousness is a story that the brain tells itself, and is not particularly related to how the brain actually works. Descartes self-referential attempt aside, it would be difficult for any of us to actually prove that we are conscious.

Comment Re:"Human Colleague"... Nope, You Just Don't Get I (Score 1) 407

You're approaching it from an anthropomorphic perspective. It's not necessary for a robot to "understand" abstractions any more than they are required to understand mathematics in order to add two numbers. They just apply rules as programmed.

Today, computers can classify people in moving video and apply rules to their actions such as not to approach them. Tomorrow, those rules will be more complex. That is all.

Comment Re:"Human Colleague"... Nope, You Just Don't Get I (Score 4, Insightful) 407

Agreed that a Robot is no more a colleague than a screwdriver.

I think you're wrong about Asimov, though. It's obvious that to write about theoretical concerns of future technology, the author must proceed without knowing how to actually implement the technology, but may be able to say that it's theoretically possible. There is no shortage of good, predictive science fiction written when we had no idea how to achieve the technology portrayed. For example, Clarke's orbital satellites were steam-powered. Steam is indeed an efficient way to harness solar power if you have a good way to radiate the waste heat, but we ended up using photovoltaic. But Clarke was on solid ground regarding the theoretical possibility of such things.

Comment VMWare is a GPL Violator (Score 2) 32

VMWare is a GPL violator and got off of its most recent case on a technicality. Any Linux developer can restart the case.

The Linux foundation is sort of like loggers who claim to speak for the trees. Their main task is to facilitate the exploitation of Open Source rather than contribution to it.

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