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Comment Re:Another new headphone connector! (Score 1) 80

Trust Apple not to implement that. Of course it requires an audio amplifier, probably a chip so small it's difficult to see. There's also some extra logic around the USB chip, because that's a relatively high-current low-impedance task. But Apple has already driven its users to a different solution, and has no reason to admit that analog headphones are just fine, and that it can support them.

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 1) 112

The big bugbears of IT catastrophes are scope creep and poor requirements analysis/definition.

So how do you prevent them on projects that last years? This is very much a waterfall mind set of "everything must be defined before we start" even though over the course of several years in which the project can last things *will* change. What is needed is an Agile like approach to IT projects.

Comment Re: Landlords (Score 1) 697

One thing about the private sector, you learn quickly that about 80 percent of management is at best incompetent and care about little except their next promotion. The higher you go the bigger the idiots until you get to the top where at the executive level you have some really smart people and a lot of people that only know how to kiss ass and baffle people with bullshit.

I've worked for both and I didn't see much of a difference. Except that the private sector had more money to waste.

Comment Re:That's a lot of supersmart robots! (Score 1) 218

I'd disagree about what you're calling a robot, though I'd agree that you're describing a 'bot. But we seem to be arguing about the definitions of words rather than about the thing being described. But this is significant if we each interpret the guy's predictions as being about our own meaning of the words. So with two reasonably common definitions we get either an unreasonable or a reasonable prediction about quantity of "robots", depending on which meaning we think he was using.

Comment Re:That's a lot of supersmart robots! (Score 1) 218

No. If it has a timer it has a bit more intelligence than a thermostat connected to a heater. But a robot needs to have the ability to manipulate things. So a toaster is a sort of minimal robot, but not a microwave, unless it opens it's door or pops up a switch (or rotates a knob) or some such.

Now what I'm trying to decide is whether that thermostat connected to a heater counts as a robot. It has internal moving parts, like the fan to blow the air. so it might be a sort of minimal robot.

At this point I feel like I'm trying to decide whether a virus is alive or not. I think by now the consensus is that it is, where it used to be that it wasn't, and what changed was not the virus, or even our knowledge of the virus (though that did change), but rather the definition.

Comment Re:Smart enough to REALLY f*ck things up??? (Score 1) 218

IQ is, indeed, not a good measure of intelligence. In fact, intelligence isn't a unitary thing, but a bunch of separate capabilities, at least one of which handles organizing and communicating with the other parts.

That said, if we're going to talk informally about intelligence, IQ is a reasonable stand-in. It means something pretty reasonable in the area between 80-120, possibly 75-125. I'll grant that in no area is is a really good definition, but it's easily quantified.

Note that the very concept of an IQ of 1000 doesn't make any sense. So accept it as a figure of speech. Accepting it as a figure of speech, I still think he's wrong, because I believe that for every task there is an optimum level of intelligence. If he's approximately correct, then there will be a very few extremely intelligent AIs, but it sure won't be your sneakers. The claim that it *could* be in my sneakers is interesting, and a bit unbelievable. And I've got large feet. (Well, he didn't claim that the super-AI would be in my sneakers, just that it would have more computing power than I did, which is also a bit unbelievable unless you start doing strange things with word definitions. I could manage definitions that would make that a reasonable claim, but they sure aren't the standard ones.)

OTOH, my projection to a human equivalent AI is still around 2030, which is sooner than he is talking about. But I'm not expecting that thing to be mobile or portable. And when I say "human equivalent" I'm not talking about all characteristics. I'm not talking about motivational structure. I'm not talking about built-in sense organs. I'm not talking about computations/watt. Etc. I'm talking mainly about ability to reason about situations with incomplete data of uncertain reliability...which, admittedly, covers a lot of what we do.

Comment Re:but but but .. (Score 1) 71

You say "Google won't disclose it's own bugs". I'm not sure I believe that, but I do believe they won't publicize them. But the real question is "Do they fix them?". Of course, that would mean they would need to inspire upgrades...which probably means they would need to disclose the bugs, if not how to abuse them.

OTOH, the was reported a way to evade almost all bugs in recent MicroSoft products ... disable administrator mode. This sounds like it might come with considerable in the way of downsides, but it was reported to evade almost all MS* bugs.

* MS: It's not just a disease anymore.

Comment Re:This might be payback... (Score 1) 71

I'm sorry, but the primary injured party are the users. The manufacturer is at most a secondary victim. So the delay to fix is appropriate. But 90 days is about right. If you hold off forever an unscrupulous manufacturer would just let the problem persist, and once it becomes known to the criminals, it WILL be abused. 90 days may be too long, because they might have found the problem even before Google did, but you need to allow the manufacturer *some* time to fix the problem, because they aren't the primary injured party.

Comment Re:Rockets are too expensive (Score 5, Interesting) 331

And a space elevator, of course, would only cost about a Trillion, and there's this little problem of it hitting something (we'd have to make Earth Orbit absolutely pristine and keep it that way) and there's a problem with the kinetic energy if it falls down. Sort of like having many atom bombs go off.

Maybe someday. But right now making rockets as cheap as they can be is a better idea. It's only $200K to fuel up a Falcon 9. We don't get the whole thing back in working order yet, but that would be a lot easier than making a space elevator.

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