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Comment Re:DRM is necessary to stop piracy (Score 2) 218

Quite true; Digital Restrictions Management (contrary to what another poster said, smart people do realize and don't allow the reframing of the language away from how most people experience DRM) doesn't affect those who get their copies stripped of the restrictions as is commonplace amongst those who share. DRM chiefly adversely affects those who participate in the process (whether they spend their own money to do it or are given it gratis).

DRM is the excuse publishers use to justify the ongoing control over one's computer, spying regime modern-day DRM schemes make possible and use, and thus pose genuine risks to everyday computer users. This is not about "balancing" rights as another poster said, this is about copyright holders and their business partners using a mechanism to get more control over your devices, your privacy, and your life than they ought to have. To publishers who claim they wouldn't engage in the process without DRM, I say that's fine but I want to see proof and lots of it; please don't publish without DRM controls you couldn't have a few short years ago (remember that DRM schemes always become more onerous over time and publishers always try to convince the public they can't get by without the higher degree of control). Let your competition distribute their work at whatever price they think they can get DRM-free and do with the reduced competition. The publisher's threat is (taken on the whole) an empty threat and everyone knows it.

Submission + - SPAM: 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.
Link to Original Source

Comment Abandoning Time-Worn Processes Leads to Atrophy (Score 5, Insightful) 156

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 Re:Post them on the Internet Archive (Score 2) 553

I concur; the Internet Archive is easily reachable by everyone using time-honored and well-understood protocols that ordinary computer users and highly-skilled computer users all can use (videos delivered over HTTPS). This will also seed BitTorrents (since has been doing that too).

I look forward to someone sharing the download URL from where we can get the lectures we're all free to share.

Comment Needless JS, WAPO partnership unimpressive (Score 1) 66

Meanwhile Wikipedia (and related services including Wiktionary) get a lot more views, doesn't require JS to use, and works with a lot more browsers (including textual browsers). I'm also not impressed by the Washington Post "partnership". WAPO has been a source of "fake news" Russophobic hysteria lately: the Russians reportedly attacking the US electrical grid via a Vermont electrical facility (a story they still haven't retracted), and using the PropOrNot website as a viable source when we don't know who is behind what that site claims is propaganda and the terms of being considered propaganda there are so broad many more sources could have been included.

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 Re:Yes, it works fine. (Score 1) 91

Yes it does.

Well, yeah, without sound and with one 1fps or less. Meanwhile Steam can pump a game at 1080p@60 over the network without much problem, sound included.

Even ignoring the slowness when it comes to fast moving content. It's missing a lot of fundamental features, such as the ability to move apps between devices or screen sharing. You have to stop an app and restart it to move to another device. That you have to pipe the protocol through SSH if you want a bit of security also makes it more complicated to use than it's needs to be.

Comment Declaring "victory" early is a tactic, not reality (Score 1) 308

Similar things were said about Snowden's revelations which continue to bear fruit for the world. Don't be fooled into believing the unexamined belief the /. headline wants you to believe—that "most people" don't care. The Democrats are sore that they lost the US presidential election, a majority of state governerships, and control over Congress. They're still pushing this undefended Russophobic idea that the Russians somehow "hacked" (to use their language) the US election. They even chummed up with the CIA to help curry favor for this notion. They're hardly interested in learning that, for instance, the CIA's "UMBRAGE" effort works to plant false evidence making it look like another party did something they actually did (one of the many interesting newsworthy items found in the WikiLeaks initial "Vault 7" leak) carries a vastly different story which challenges the Democrats' as-yet-unproven tale. Neoliberals really want to get their war with Russia on and anyone who doesn't join in that effort will find a chilly reception among the neoliberal elite right now.

Also, there's been considerable coverage of this from around the world, but if you're only paying attention to American corporate mainstream media you will not find dissenting views that challenge a corporate narrative which stood fully behind Mrs. Clinton's 2nd failed attempt at becoming US President. Americans don't make up most of the people in the world and American mainstream media is taken less seriously these days (for good reason).

Comment Champion HR676 to your Congresspeople. Now. (Score 1) 283

The first question is great, a right and proper way to respond to any entitlement program aimed at improving the healthcare outcomes of a subset of Americans. The second question gives up on the promise of the first and is all too typical of the weak US Left.

Right now those who were really unhappy that Donald Trump became US President are letting Pres. Trump set the agenda for how US healthcare ought to work while pointlessly going on about preserving ObamaCare. ObamaCare (nee RomneyCare) was a gift to the HMOs which kept the HMOs in charge. It's time for universalizing Medicare for all Americans, and HR676 is the practical means to do this.

Physicians for a National Health Program have been championing HR676 for a while and for good reason. It's well time to tell the US government how to handle this, not let them come up with another complex means of preserving HMO power (which invariably means needlessly expensive healthcare that doesn't cover everyone, preserves the idea that healthcare is not a human right, and doesn't deliver outcomes which compare well with countries that do universalize their medical care delivery).

I recommend learning more about universalizing Medicare: an interview with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, more on HR676, and Dr. Woolhandler on the inadequacies of ObamaCare on KPFA radio starting at 20m27s.

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When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren