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Comment Bing is good for videos (Score 3, Informative) 109

I was surprised recently, needed to get some videos of hard to find stuff, and Bing's interface for the videos was far better than Google's equivalent search results. So normally I'd never use Bing, but they are definitely adding a few game-changing features here and there that you don't get on Google at all.

Comment Re:6-12 months of life for iProducts (Score 1) 176

Really? iPhone 5E came out in march of this year, so clearly you're saying the average 5S lasted 2 years. the iPhone 5S came out on September 20, 2013. replaced 25% of the 5S a month after they came out, then you'd literally have to have a 0% failure rate for the rest of the time for them to be hitting a 2 year average lifespan.

Comment Re:This will never happen (Score 1) 114

I'm not too sure. My inkling is that consciousness is a necessary part of the feedback loop that makes the higher order decision-making system of our brain work. If all human-level decision-making would work fine even if we weren't conscious, then why would consciousness appear in the first place? It would be unnecessary, and we could envision humans who are identical to us, act just like us, yet have the "consciousness circuit" turned off even though the will insist they are conscious, write poetry and books, muse about the meaning of existence etc. Additionally, if consciousness just appeared as a random happenstance, how do we know that a "meat computer" (a brain) would develop that phenomena "just because", while an identically functioning chip-based computer would not develop that capacity? We bring out own pro-meat bias to that assumption, because there sure as hell isn't any proof of that.

Comment Re:As An AI Researcher (Score 1) 173

With hidden movement, say that both sides could do an average of 50 choices per "unit time". The computer would need to evaluate it's 50 choices on Turn 1, and evaluate 50 enemy moves as well. That's 2500 combos to process in the opening turn. But because there's hidden movement, on turn 2, the player only know which of 50 moves it took, but doesn't know which of the 50 the enemy took. Hence, on turn 2, the computer must process 50 different "possible" current board positions, multiplied by the further 50x50 choices each player could make on that move. Hence, not only is there a vastly number of branches to evaluate, each "unit time" adds 50x to the number of potential current boards you have to evaluate. This *might* be feasible to tackle with a large enough memory. The computer could store all evaluated branches and only delete them when some new information pruned the possible states. But that would only work well for boards with discrete locations. With per-pixel unit placement, direction facing etc, trying to exhaustively evaluate not only the current actual board, but all possible board positions in the hidden space would be in the realm of uncomputable information (e.g. longer than the age of the universe stuff).

Comment Re:As An AI Researcher (Score 1) 173

Hidden movement massively increases the search space however - because there is not definitive "current state" that the computer can bank on to make future predictions - it must assume a Quantum-mechanics style cloud of "possible states" the board could be in, not just in the future, but right now. Also, doubling the number of possible moves doesn't mean double the computing needs, it means 2^N computing needs to looks N moves ahead. If you want to always look 10 moves ahead, doubling the number of valid moves would increase the search space by a factor of 1024. Exhaustive search just isn't going to work for realtime games with hidden movement, and where the number of pieces can change on the fly, and in response to what the AI does.

Comment Re:AI could with by cheating with insane micro (Score 1) 173

But the goal isn't to "make intelligence", it's the same as chess and go - to win the game. Chess computers use a stack of pre-computed chess-specific tweaks. Winning at Starcraft is the goal. If bots end up doing that through insane micro, it might lead to the development of more balanced strategy games that don't reward the twitch/micro skills of bots. Plus, the main problem here isn't the number of states. Complex states can be broken down hierarchically and heuristically pretty easily. It can actually make modelling simpler (statistical techniques, law of averages,etc kicks in). But that's only with perfect knowledge. The hidden states are the big problem. We need to build machines that can assess what they do and don't know, make guesses as to not only what the enemy might be doing, but what the enemy knows about themselves.

Comment People will still work if basic income is a thing. (Score 1) 866

Welfare is a thing in most countries. Almost everyone still prefers to have a job, even if the level of welfare is about the same as a the US minimum wage for 40 hours / week. "Basic Income" merely extends welfare to working people, but it could replace such things as progressive taxation with flat taxation for all but very high income earners, reduce the need for "tax returns" (you're getting the check no matter what), and eliminate many existing welfare programs, and overheads, eligibility rules etc. The savings would be massive in paperwork. Current welfare recipients would still get "welfare" and current workers would have the check replacing progressive taxation and tax refunds. So, there would be no extra overheads, as a wide range of existing government programs/agencies would be replaced by the single payment to all citizens. People would still work, because having more money is better than having the welfare amount of money. Having $200 a week to fall back on isn't going to magically make people lazy any more than the current welfare arrangements are.

Comment Re:No evidence for censorship (Score 1) 152

Venezuela is just about the safest place for dissidents in Latin America, not the worst. For a start, consider "reporters without borders", they're a US-funded "freedom" lobby group. Very anti-communist. Read their headlines about Colombia: Now read their headlines for Venezuela: The Colombian journalists problems are all murder, threats, intimidation by pro-government fascist death-squads. The Venezuelan journalists problems are more along the lines of politics and bureaucratic red tape. And those are the WORST abuses that Reporters without Borders can highlight about Venezuela. Now, ask yourself since Colombia is so much WORSE than Venezuela in protecting journalists, why do you never hear a peep in the media about how bad it is? Perhaps because there is no oil there?

Comment No evidence for censorship (Score 1) 152

OpenNet tested a large number of country's internet set-ups back in 2006 and couldn't find any filtered IPs in venezuela at all: "The OpenNet Initiative conducted tests of Internet censorship in late 2006 on the two major ISPs in Venezuela. The testing covered a wide range of potentially sensitive content, including sites dedicated to political opposition, freedom of expression, and general anti-Chávez media, as well as sites centered on controversial social issues such as minority religions, indigenous peoples, gambling, and pornography. This assessment turned up no evidence of filtering." This was back when claims were rife that Venezuela was censored to hell and back. Then, and now, there is no evidence. Or you would hear more than a temporary glitch in Twitter as hard evidence. What sort of censorship stops only twitter images loading on some machines and completely locks other users out of the page? In more recent reports, this has already been fixed apparently just a few hours after it started and was reported as a technical problem. I see no reason to assume such a random set of technical symptoms is due to some as yet unknown censorship system.

Comment Re:En Venezuela hay mucho PETROLEO... (Score 1) 152

How did they rack up 72% GDP debt back in 1994 in the Pre-socialist days? they were 72% GDP in debt in 1994, well before they became socialist. then they got that down to 25% by 2008 (under, you know, socialism), then the GFC hit and oil prices tumbled and they had to borrow money again. But this doesn't change the fact that THEY WERE HIGHER IN DEBT BEFORE SOCIALISM. Before socialism = MORE DEBT. it's something called context.

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