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Comment Re:Fingers crossed (Score 1) 93

I seem to find that there is a remarkable coincidence between these scumbags calling and someone at the front door. I see no need to waste *my* time talking to the scumbag, so I ask them to wait while I answer the door and then see how long it takes for them to wise up and hang up.

What really amazed me was one of these idiots actually called back when I did this to them.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 1) 122

Working in C years back I had to fix some code from a guy who pasted 1500 lines from a different application into the middle of an if statement block. He didn't even have the decency to wrap a function definition around it. It was just splurged into the code. It seemed to work fine but even with the parenthesis matching function in nedit it was hard to work out what block I was in.

In that case python would break, because the compiler reads the nesting level the way humans read it.

Comment Re:Strong typing - again (Score 1) 122

The chief counterexample to the statement "Python is strongly typed" is that almost anything can be used in a boolean context.

Is it? I guess that's just a matter of interpretation, but to me, all it means is that Python has its own specific definition of truth and falsity. Many languages seem to have that.

Comment Re:Whitespace takes the most space (Score 1) 122

And yet, there's Turing's proof. Why the discrepancy? Well, simple: a Turing machine has an infinite tape, and can therefore produce not a finite, but an infinite number of states. Any computer we have in the real world does not have infinite memory, and is therefore not a Turing machine.

A slight correction, perhaps: for practical purposes, and for algorithms that use memory bounded linearly in time, it's effectively infinite because we can just keep manufacturing it.

Comment Re:They are right by the current definition of AI (Score 1) 140

Today too many dumb people consider a well written computer program to be AI, like Alexa. Alexa will not threaten humanity because it's really not 'artificial intelligence' to start with, it's just a clever piece of software.


We are nowhere near having real 'AI' yet and won't be for decades.

Only if you're thinking about AI in terms of strong AI.

Alexa and many other equivalents are examples of weak AI. They operate within limited perimeters, generally aren't capable of determining actions by themselves or determine outcomes/actions based on a large set of historical data, generally using formulas to determine next steps. More or less they're still dependent on humans giving them directions or at the least, a dataset.

You're right that we are decades, if not centuries away from strong AI or Artificial General Intelligence that is truly capable of self determination or put simply, an AI that can think in the way a human can. However weak AI is something we've had for a while now. It takes at least 25 years for an invention to go from development to everyday life and it's fair to say that weak AI has pretty much reached that point.

Comment Re:Does this help? (Score 1) 206

The H-!B program prohibited the replacement of American workers before, but ways were found to get around it. This bill is really saying the same thing with the addition of foreign students getting preference for them? Maybe I'm being a negative nellie here but it seems that this bill doesn't do anything extra than the original bill did except give domestic STEM workers more competition to get into good schools due to an influx of students looking for the H-1B ride.

You're not being a Negative Nellie. You're being a Realistic Ryan.

Only a fool thinks Trump is magically fixing the H1B problem. Like the Parent said, there were always provisions to prevent H-1B's from taking jobs from Americans, but there were loopholes that were easy to exploit so expect a status quo ante trump. You've got to be naive in the extreme not to know that big business butters Trump's bread, he's not going to do anything to jepordise that, in the mean time if a bit of hand waving can appease the bleating masses, then it's a win-win.

Nothing is going to change.

Comment Re:Thank you, Pres. Trump, for putting America fir (Score 1) 206

Patriotism has never been a dirty word. Misuse of the words "patriot" and "patriotism", though, has stained the words to the point where they're immediately associated with something being covered up (see: USA PATRIOT Act).

Nationalism, though, has been a dirty word since the '40s when nationalism's big brother "Fascism" became a bit of an issue for people living in the countries immediately adjacent.

This. Having pride in your country because its something to be proud of is patriotism, a patriot strives to improve his country.

Demanding your country is recognised as superior without merit is nationalism. A nationalist seeks to belittle other countries to make his own look better.

A patriot does not mind people criticising their country, a Nationalist or Jingoist does not permit any questions about his beliefs.

I just got back from Holland. contrary to popular American views is actually a nation of people who are very proud to be Dutch, I think the confusion comes in the way the Dutch express their patriotism. Everywhere I went I was asked "You are from England, how are you enjoying Holland". Hell, even the Dutch customs officer asked me how my trip was on the way out of Schipol. The Dutch take great pride in their hospitality and friendliness. Because of this, they are actually quite open to criticism, seeing it as a means of improvement (or at the worst, know when a critisim is not valid and should be ignored).

Even though I'm technically an Australian, I really dont mind being called English (I live there now). It happens all the time in the US, I consistently am asked "What part of England are you from" (which should be "which" part) and respond with "I'm from this small island a bit south of England called Australia". Well I guess I cant use that one any more. Sorry for the Grandpa Simpson story, and yes I did have an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time.

So it's a shame that I have to use my own country as an example of nationalism, particularly as nationalism pretending to be patriotism. Traditionally, for an Australian to be proud of Australia, we were proud of its accomplishments, accomplishments that often outshone larger nations. It was always an easy going pride, the idea was that you didn't have to wave a flag or recite a poem to be a proud Australian. The Australian way used to be giving people a fair go, being kind and generous to your friends. Sure it was always cliquey but nowhere near the level of outright xenophobia you see today. The people in Australia who label themselves "patriots" are nothing but xenophobic ultra-nationalists who have adopted ironically un-Australian sayings like "Fuck off, we're full", make barely coherent arguments about "boat people" who are allegedly "destroying the Australian way of life" and "taking jobs from Hard working Australians" (lets ignore that the speaker has probably been on the dole for the last 4 years).

Sure I know plenty of people who like Australia, who would like to express their pride, but are too scared of being associated with the likes of Reclaim Australia because... because to be frankly Australian about it, they aren't racists fuckwits like One Nation and Reclaim Australia.

I see the same thing here now I've lived in England for a while. There's lots to celebrate about English culture (not the food, but I digress) however nationalists like the EDL (English Defence Leauge) make it hard for ordinary English to do this because they deliberately try to weld being a proud Englishmen to a xenophobic ideology... And I think that's a bloody shame.

Comment Re:Commander's Diary, Startime 4637A.Q (Score 1) 125

My Valcun first officer tells me we're running the risk of Klangon attack, but I never listen to that pointy-nosed pink-blooded twerp.

Ironically you should mention this.

The series Andromeda was based on unused material from Gene Roddenberry, much of which was from Star Trek so its no surprise that a lot of it was very similar (I.E. Commonwealth == Federation and Nietzschiens == Klingons). However it was picked up by another production company so someone ran a find/replace through it just enough to avoid Paramount's lawyers.

Comment Re:already exceeding expectations (Score 1) 1402

The few Finns I've talked to seem rattled by Russia's annexation of Ukraine. Like Crimea, Finland was once a territory of Russia. So I expected that Finns would not be happy about having a US president that doesn't support NATO and has almost forgiven Russia for their acts in the Ukraine. Finland has been moving to join NATO for over 10 years.


And one of the things he said in his inauguration speech was that he wanted to reduce the trade restrictions with Russia. Putin has got his two favourite things, a destabilised Europe and a Ruski friendly US president... Basically no-one to oppose him. I hope the GGP speaks Russian.

Now a few things I noticed were absent from his speech.

1. Lock HER up. That was never going to happen. The whole email thing was deliberately overblown to create a media shitstorm to detract from how bad Trump was. It worked because he bullied the US population into believing a lie. Now that the election is over the Clinton email scandal is being pushed quietly aside. The main reason for this is to protect Trumps own ample orange arse. Whatever he does to Clinton is tacit permission for the same thing to happen to him. So now she'll be treated with a modicum of respect.

2. Mexicans go-home. Another thing that was never going to happen because it meant that he'd have to pay American wages for Americans to clean his properties. That means he'll need to charge Americans prices they cant afford. Trump needs cheap labour.

So two of the key points were clearly and obviously utter bullshit. I bet the people who swallowed this bollocks whole will regret it very shortly.

What was also absent was a plan to reduce the deficit. Sure he had a lot of spending that wont come to fruition because the US Govt is broke and there is only so much debt that they can continue to accumulate.

His attacks on are also very short sighted as they own a significant amount of US debt. They dont need a war to cripple Trump, they just need to ask for what is owed.

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...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"