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Comment Open source version of siri / echo (Score 1) 109

The answer is MyCroft

I plan on buying one of these the very soonest I can once they are actually shipping the hardware. Echo is crippled by the many limitations Amazon coded in on purpose -- it's basically something that looks up text matches and does something if it finds one. No language parsing worth a damn. Even so, it's very useful, and within those limits, you can make stuff for it, Amazon's pretty open about it as long as you can set up a secure server (ugh) or use their cloud (double-ugh.) Siri, as per usual for Apple, is a much more closed system, and frankly, it's of no interest at all to me because of that.

Mycroft is completely open source. I have very high hopes for it because of that. I have reams of my own natural language processing code I should be able to plug right in the moment there is a speech-to-text engine I can use directly. Others do as well. Custom apps in the home space, that are actually somewhat smarter than...

[if string == "turn on light" then TurnOnLight]

I suggest everyone check MyCroft out. Perhaps you'll be as enthused as I. I can hope. ;)

Comment Re:Why do people care... (Score 1) 88

I'd think it's better to not be resorting to violence to resolve a violation of social protocol.

You seem to be missing the entire point here. It's not about what you think. It's about what the guys at that bar you walk into wearing a camera think. And they're not reading Slashdot.

But they do act predictably. If you go out in a storm with no rain gear, you're going to get soaked. Don't do that. If you insist on bringing a camera around people who don't think that's reasonable, it's not going to end well. Don't do that.

How you feel about that is about as important as how you feel about the weather.

Comment Re:It's Politics, Not Conspiracy (Score 1) 133

Which is why science has built-in processes to deal with bias. It isn't perfect, and it can take time, but eventually fraud or bad science is caught.

And really, at this point, with so many streams of evidence for AGW, to deny that human-caused CO2 emissions are having a significant impact on global climate really is no different than denying that all life evolved from some common ancestor, or that eating high amounts of refined sugar is hazardous to your health, or that smoking cigarettes leads to cancer and lung disorders.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 2) 133

Also see Big Tobacco's decades-long war on research into the dangers of tobacco smoke and nicotine, or the more recently revealed sugar industry's war on research showing the dangers of refined sugars to human health.

Creationism was probably the first really sophisticated propaganda war on science, but it has inspired several later pseudo-scientific propaganda wars. Creationism's intentions were more to protect Christianity from the perceived threat that if science could provide answers to the life we see today, it was going to chip away at the edifice of Theism until Atheism reigned supreme. I'd also argue that for at least some branches of Protestant Evangelism, there was the more real threat that the vast amount of social control those churches wielded being undermined if they were forced to accept that vast swathes of the Bible became understood as being metaphorical, and not literal.

The story is a bit different for the tobacco, sugar, and fossil fuel industries. For them, a general acceptance of science has material costs. People reducing sugar consumption would lead to significant drops in profits. Of course, we know just how much damage the defeat of the tobacco companies has cost their investors. As for the fossil fuel industry, well it's the biggest beast of all. The entire global economy, and some of the greatest accretions of wealth ever known to humanity, are tied up in the continued exploration, extraction and use of hydrocarbons. If there is a significant shift to alternative energy sources, the fossil fuel industry will find itself a lot poorer for it, with the long-term outlook not exactly healthy.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 2) 133

Why would you believe the Bible more than, say, Greek myth, Nordic paganism, or heck, an even older religion like Hinduism or Zoroastrianism?

And who said the Bible doesn't have motives attached to it? The entire book of Leviticus is about a pack of religious laws whose major purpose appears to have been social control. Seriously, do you think a law banning having sexual intercourse with your menstruating wife has no motive?

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 3, Interesting) 133

Whilie the tactics of the pseudo-skeptics certainly have borrowed heavily from the Creationists (and the tobacco company-funded pseudoscientists), the intent isn't really to tap into belief that AGW is some sort of religious heresy. Rather, it taps into two streams; the tendencies of certain groups, particularly in conservative circles, to adopt a sort of kneejerk contrarianism to anything that requires a significant shift in the way society thinks, and in part of pure selfishness (i.e. I don't want to have to pay more for gas).

Note that not just conservatives are guilty of contrarianism. You see similar views among antivaxxers, who are often liberal or left-leaning.

For the pseudo-skeptics, having identified the audience they need to convince, it's simply a matter of tapping into the contrarianism via the classic path; associating the science with a "Liberal agenda". It probably hasn't helped that some of the chief advocates of AGW on the public stage have been liberals like Al Gore. This gives the pseudo-skeptics the target they need. When you couple that with a general Libertarian-style of anti-regulation, in which any attempt to price carbon will immediately lead to cries of government interference, well, you have a perfect mix; AGW is a Liberal lie whose sole purpose is to increase the power of the State. Finally throw in the pseudo-science itself; find a few like-minded scientists in related fields, get them to write articles in friendly papers, go on speaking tours and the like, and when they are inevitably critiqued, declare those critiques as attacks by the evil liberal scientific cabal.

Again, this was all worked out a very long time ago when the Creationists began their own attacks on science. Tap into inherent contrariarnism in certain groups, attach nefarious motives (those evolutionists are trying to get rid of God), and throw in a few friendly scientists (Michael Behe, for instance, the intellectual forebearer of Frank Spencer), concoct some scientific sounding word salads, and voila, you have your Creationist attack on science.

The AGW pseudo-skeptic community is also progressing towards the Creationists final tactic; accepting just enough of the science not to look utterly absurd. For Creationists, this was the creation of Intelligent Design, for AGW pseudo-skeptics it involves memes like "climate is always changing", or the newer "well yes, it is warming up, maybe we have something to do with it, maybe we don't, but we shouldn't do anything about it and instead should deal with the effects:.

Comment Re:hal (Score 0) 133

Before Professor Lewis became senile, he held a different opinion:

in his 1990 book Technological Risk, Lewis wrote that "all models agree that the net effect" of increasing greenhouse gases "will be a general and global warming of the earth; they only disagree about how much. None suggest that it will be a minor effect, to be ignored while we go about our business." Reducing the effects, including significant sea level rise, would "require global cooperation and sacrifice now, to avert something far in the future, and a conjectural something at that. There is no evidence in human history that is in the cards, but one can always hope."[10]

Hal Lewis is 93 years old. He retired 25 years ago.

And Montford is a fiction writer and blogger whose crackpot conspiracy theories have been well and truly debunked.

Comment Re:Doomsday Predictions (Score 1) 133

The problem is that everybody has been hearing Doomsday predictions for so long that they're all just sick of it.

No, the problem is that some people have the attention span of a housefly.

A lot of people also remember that it wasn't that long ago that climate scientists were predicting another ice age. A lot of older folks remember this so it's hard to blame them for taking the global warming scare with a grain of salt.

A lot of "old folks" remember when cigarettes were healthy.

There was never,,,ever a time when more than tiny handful of scientists thought there would be another ice age. You're bullshitting. This bit about how "not long ago scientists were predicting an ice age" is simply a denialist lie. As in not true. As in you made it up because you think it helps your argument but really makes you sound extra stupid.

Comment Re: Yup (Score 1) 210

Unless you own the land outside the city you plan to fly on I wouldn't suggest that either.

Some of us live in areas with substantial public lands which are not wildlife preserves. Now, to be fair, my local BLM land is also a MOA, and in theory people aren't supposed to fly model aircraft in special operational areas. But on the flip side...

There is a reason there are rc clubs with private airstrips and tracks.

...a famous rc club strip in the Mojave is also in a MOA. And aircraft are allowed to use MOAs without permission at their own risk, so it seems like so long as I obey all the usual restrictions (max 400' AGL, LoS or in communication with a spotter with LoS) that's not a problem.

I could also just go fly at Highland Springs reservoir, which (like my house) is within the 5 mile circle around the local airport, if I just notify them ahead of time. One is not required to ask permission either, although they'd surely let me know if there were going to be firefighting aircraft in the area, at which point I wouldn't be permitted to fly. The only place around an airport where you're really not allowed to fly is within a certain relatively short distance around the air strips of controlled airports themselves. You can fly RC around private airstrips (as in, for real aviation) with permission, but you are required to keep a certain distance from actual aircraft in operation.

Comment Re:The blame can be shared (Score 1) 133

Life: Record lows in winter

There have been no "record lows in winter" for climate. Are you talking about local weather? I'm sure we could get you some remedial understanding of "weather vs climate" if you feel you need it.

Until you demonstrate you understand the distinction, your comments are not going to carry the impact you want.

Comment Clippy v2.0 (Score 1) 42

Guy1: "I heard they're going to make Portal 3"

Guy2: "Really? No way! I loved the Portal series. I need to find out more about this."
Guy2: Begins typing 'portal' into the Cortana search box

Clippy: "It looks like you're searching for porn. Here are some suggestions."

GF: "WTF are you doing on the computer?"

Comment Re:How does TensorFlow solve this? (Score 0) 109

TensorFlow is an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs.

Which is the basis of machine learning. Do you expect somebody to hold your dick for you while you pee, too?

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