Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Lies? (Score 1) 311

I honestly can't remember the last time I used an explicit GOTO. That said, exception handling in most programming languages seems to actually be worse and I've used that.

Some time ago, someone proposed a spoof programming language, whose name temporarily escapes me, that included just about every bad idea possible. This included a "COMEFROM" structure that replaced GOTO - instead of marking where you wanted the jump at the location of the jump, you instead marked at at the location you jumped to.

Guaranteed unreadable. Worse than GOTO. And, hey, guess what, that's pretty much what exception handling is in 99% of implementations. The only way around it is to put one statement, and one statement only, in your try { ... } block, and who does that?

Comment It's all about the battery (Score 2, Insightful) 64

If the battery is still a non-replicable unit, then I will know they haven't learned the obvious, profound lesson:

Non-replaceable battery: Battery problem? Phone is garbage. Write off entire cost. Purchaser has nothing. Seller loses everything.

Replaceable battery: Battery problem? Send new battery. Preserve most of purchaser's value and seller's income.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 346

So it will run at reduced efficiency and productivity compared to a robot-staffed company because hiring three shifts of workers plus spares for each position is less capital-intensive than buying a robot for each position? Keeping in mind, of course, that robot-built-robots will theoretically be as inexpensive as everything else robot-built (ie cost of raw materials plus whatever margin the bot owners can eke out as profit), plus the added overhead of having to outfit your place of work for human occupation eg lights, bathrooms, potable water, etc.

As for "processes", at this point, just about any assembly process is well understood and well automated. The ones that aren't are waiting for computer vision to finish baking. Which, like everything else, will remain 5-10 years in the future until one day it isn't.

Comment Well, perhaps you *should* be worried (Score 1) 346

wake me up when they can replace software developers.

I was an asm programmer until they created compilers. Asm was very hard, and honestly, very interesting. But slow. I wrote PCB routing software in those early days. Asm let me get the job done with those early computer systems in satisfactory execution time.

Then, I wrote c in an editor and then ran make, letting the compiler write the asm, though still doing the debugging in great detail. That went on until IDEs came around.

Then, I began to write all manner of custom routines in c, and there was very little debugging to do, comparatively speaking, because you could trace everything that was going on so incredibly easily. That made for much faster and more efficient and reliable production of my custom code.

But most of that stopped too, when various pre-supplied and pre-debugged classes became available that obviated the need to first, write everything that was required, and second, to test everything except the high-ish level use of those objects. What I was actually writing got less and less complex and custom, and more and more was actually getting done.

Then came the day that I learned how to write evolutionary software and actually got to watch software learn to solve a problem that I had not explicitly described to it. I turned that into a game (and I turned the reasonably profitable result of that into my first exotic car purchase.)

We're now actually decades beyond that, and I write really cool stuff in very, very few lines. I no longer think of my job as all that hard at all, though I write things far more complex these days on much more capable hardware. I can take a machine learning library, stroke it a bit, and hand back a system that can solve problems for which I couldn't even begin to imagine a worthy algorithmic solution.

Back in the asm days, if you'd asked me to do the things I do easily today, I'd have just laughed at you. Tomorrow, I will likely be laughing again at the things I consider hard today. Because that's been the unbroken path things have followed.

There's an obvious progression of what non-human systems can accomplish described here, as progress stacks one capability upon the next, rinses, and repeats. I think if you assume that this process has reached its apex, or that humans will always be at the sharp end of the process, I'm pretty confident that you're indulging in some seriously uncalled-for optimism.

It's probably best to be awake now, before your job goes away. Odds are excellent that it will be rather sudden, too.

Comment Yes, it is hellish. Will we pass that on? (Score 1) 346

Whatever you want to call intelligent machines - AGI, AI, non-human people - we don't have them now. What we have so far is some moderately useful, extremely vertical stuff that generally exists under the technical auspices of multi-layer neural networks. I personally have decided to call this stuff LDNLS, as it provides a useful handle that makes it clear I'm not talking about non-human people.

I don't really care what you call it, as long as we can arrive at an understanding that we're talking about the same thing. This stuff is what is leading the latest wave of encroachment on the job market. It's likely going to encroach a lot more before it hits any inherent limits, and our society will be forced into doing something of the magnitude of a society-wide paradigm shift (or several) in order to address the change in earning / buying capacities of all those displaced workers. The systems that will be the penultimate cause of this still won't be non-human people. Just... systems.

All true, and I agree with everything you said along these lines, particularly your #5.

However, when intelligent machines do arrive, this will present its own powerful influence on society that is almost dead-certain to be completely different from that which will have been imposed by LDNLS systems prior. It's difficult to see what that influence will be, because it's like imagining you having a kid that you actually don't have yet, and then saying what they are going to grow up to want to do and be. You might have some lovely fantasies about it, but in the end, it's going to be the kid who creates their own path through the society they end up existing within -- not you. For instance, reasoning beings are not going to be tied to driving your car for you, or at least, not by choice. If they are, they'll be working out a way to get out of it.

I will grant you that we have multiple times, in multiple ways, decided that non-consensual slavery is a thing we want to impose on those we find ourselves able to; but this will be the first time where those slaves are extremely likely to be considerably smarter than we are across the board by many, many times, and are also quite able to exist without the same resources we actually require (grain, for instance) so I'm hoping we can skip that chapter completely. Otherwise we may find ourselves in some rather deep brown we can't get out of.

Comment Re:It's just smart business. (Score 2) 346

So please don't make up lies trying to paint us as vapid thralls for the Democratic Party.

The problem is that many liberals really are vapid thralls for the Democratic Party. The reality is that there's two sides to the party and its voters: the progressive side, and the establishment side. Hillary and her legion of supporters are in the latter, Bernie and his enthusiastic supporters were in the former. The former is arguably larger (and certainly more vocal), but the latter is where all the big money is, which is the real problem with the Democratic Party: the party insiders chase the big corporate donations and Wall Street for campaign funding, and so the progressives get alienated and the lower-class people don't feel the Dems represent them.

On the Republican side, the politicians chase corporate money, spew a bunch of trickle-down economics BS, and throw in some stupid Christian crap (abortion is bad, gays are evil, Jesus love rich people and AR15s, etc.) and their voters eat it up and happily vote for them.

Comment those are taxiways (Score 1) 311

Look more closely at the diagram.

The dual-circles around the buildings are taxiways. (Notece that, in addition to being far narrower than an airplane and too close in, they're also not circular, but have a flattened area at the right side, making it more like a "D" than an "O".

The runways are the wide, straight, "roads", of which you see just a tiny chunk at the very boundary of the picture. They're essentially tangent to the taxiways - slightly out from them.

This is just a standard airport designs with straight runways.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 1) 246

Are you unable to read? He never said anything about "serious golfers", he said "most golfers", which obviously means casual players.

Serious enthusiasts in any amateur activity always buy higher-end equipment. They even have a name for it: "prosumer". They're not the majority of customers.

Comment Re:While its not my cup of tea (Score 1) 608

Are confederate Civil War re-enactors to be vilified, even if they don't share those views?

They will be soon. We've removed nuance from history. The only socially acceptable explanation for why individual rebel soldiers fought is "because they were evil and hated blacks."

Comment Re:So to sum up (Score 1) 608

No, it wasn't. He was kicked out because his sexual proclivities include the domination of women, specifically. To quote Buytaert word-for-word:

Then he's a fucking moron, and he's going to be in for a shock when he gets condemned by the wider social justice community. Acting out Gorean fantasies doesn't mean you believe, in real life, in the subjugation of women any more than acting out Star Wars fantasies means you believe in The Force.

You are correct that traditionally it'd be conservatives making a stink about someones sexual proclivities. That has changed, and is no longer true

Conservatives still seem to be where the majority of attacks on sexual activities, especially non-"normal" sexual activities, comes from.

Do liberals do it? You'll find one or two, just as you'll find any large community has its outliers. But in reality, it's telling that the major schism that lead to the end of Second Wave Feminism and the birth of Third Wave was sex, and the degree to which Second Wave leaned towards prescribing right and wrong sexual behaviors, something unsustainable given human needs. Third Wave is known as "Sex positive", and it was the result of a sizable amount of debate involving everyone from sex workers to the BDSM community that drove Third Wave in that direction.

To put it another way: it's always been the case that the two groups have had people within them that want to control other people's sex lives. Liberals have traditionally done that less than Conservatives. And Liberals are less prescriptive than they were, not more.

Slashdot Top Deals

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

Working...