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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

91degrees Re:Nuclear is Clean (170 comments)

France? Not looked into this so maybe their attitude has changed but they've traditionally been pretty pro-nuclear.

10 hours ago
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Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

91degrees Net neutrality is a solution to a specific problem (123 comments)

It's not an ideal. It's not even optimal. There are arguments for imbalance. Net neutrality is a solution to a problem in the US- that of a small cartel having undue control over the internet.

There are reasons you might want to have a two tier internet, and even if there aren't it's not impossible that we might want them in the future. Most countries there's enough competition for this to self regulate to a degree.

yesterday
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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

91degrees Re:Who is going to get the pink slip (154 comments)

Pink slip? It's a Japanese company. Failure has more serious consequences.

3 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

91degrees Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (1087 comments)

It would have been a pretty cowardly political decision for the Grand Jury to do so for that reason.

Not that I think you're wrong. But such thinking would make me wonder why the Grand Jury was even there.

3 days ago
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Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

91degrees Design consultants? - Checks out! (144 comments)

Their web design looks absolutely gorgeous, but it's inefficient and not remotely fit for purpose.

3 days ago
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Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

91degrees Re:Turing test is fine (68 comments)

Imagination is not optional for intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to build mental models and manipulate them.

I like this thought. Not quite sure what counts as imagination though. Does the ability of a chess algorithm to model hypothetical future board positions count?

My experience - writing a very simple rubik cube solver as an undergraduate project - I rejected the two simple solutions for a trivial case (requires 1 turn to solve). So it turned the opposite face, then turned the first face, then turned the opposite face back. This had the appearance of a creative solution even though the algorithm was dumb.

5 days ago
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Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

91degrees Re:Inference is Hard (68 comments)

Do any of them even handle formal logic? "All cows have 4 legs. Daisy is a cow. How many legs does Daisy have?" sort of thing.

5 days ago
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Upgrading the Turing Test: Lovelace 2.0

91degrees I do wonder why it's taken so seriously (68 comments)

It was Turing's first attempt to answer the question "what makes a machine intelligent?". As a mathematician he wanted an empirical answer so he felt that the Turing Test would be a good test. A decent idea, but remember, computers had only been around for a few years. I don't know if he'd ever written a program.

But what he had was a user requirements list. He didn't have a working implementation. He had "computer must be able to respond like a human to questions asked", so we have software that fits those requirements. But it's not obvious that it's intelligent. Personally I think computer chess shows more signs of intelligence. It requires imagination, prediction and abstraction. These seem much more important than ability to communicate with a human.

5 days ago
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Intel Planning Thumb-Sized PCs For Next Year

91degrees Re:This only works if... (101 comments)

Seriously, I quite enjoy it, but please give me a UI designer, or at least an artist with UI experience to work with! I've worked on some cool interactive display stuff.

about a week ago
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Intel Planning Thumb-Sized PCs For Next Year

91degrees Re:This only works if... (101 comments)

Can confirm. I'm an engineer who once designed a UI. Turns out it's a lot harder than it looks.

about a week ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

91degrees Re:Already has 147 'Terrible' ratings (307 comments)

It's a devious ploy to step people from mobbing the review site with bogus 1-star reviews.

Although I checked yesterday and ther were 150 negative reviews, and the three newest ones looked fairly legit. I think Trip Advisor is deleting any review added since this story hit the interwebs.

about two weeks ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

91degrees Re:The Beschdel test is a strange starting point. (641 comments)

According to this site, yes. Honestly, if I looked harder I probably could have found a worse example - to give Flash Gordon its due, it does portray women as professional reporters and generals, and Princess Aura is far from the stereotypical princess in the tower.

about two weeks ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

91degrees The Beschdel test is a strange starting point. (641 comments)

I'm not really sure basing your criteria on a setup to a joke in a comic strip is the best mechanism. Epecially since it's a test that Run Lola Run, and Gravity both fail, and Flash Gordon and Twilight both pass.

about two weeks ago
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Sony To Take On Netflix With Playstation Vue

91degrees Re:Stupid (130 comments)

And it's very likely to suffer from Sony's usual concern about not ditrupting Sony's other business interests, so crippling their product - a concernt that Netflix isn't worried about.

about two weeks ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

91degrees Re:Hmmm ... what next (698 comments)

That is a good question.

There are roughly 100,000 schools in the US, which means this would cost $2-10 billion.

Could that money be better spent on programs that deal with the root causes of school shootings?

about two weeks ago
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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

91degrees Re:Hollywood overlords (356 comments)

Maybe they thought it was legal?

They did. They were wrong.

And if they thought it was legal can you say they had an intent to break the law?

They certainly had an intent to assist in making copyright materials available without the permission of the copyright holder. Ignorance of the law is not a defence. It's not that you are guilty of knowingly breaking the law but of knowingly committing the act that the law proscribes.

about two weeks ago
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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

91degrees Re:Hollywood overlords (356 comments)

I somehow suspect your reasoning was more about that the Pirate bay was made for piracy.

It's a factor. The clue is in the name. But it's not only that. You can use Google to find torrents just as easily. The difference is, if you tell Google about it, they'll remove the link. If you told The Pirate Bay about it they'd send a smug response insisting that it's legal in Sweden. They did nothing to try and encourage legitimate torrents, or discourage the illegal ones. LegalTorrents.info seems to manage.

It's hard for me to believe that they had any intention to provide anything except a site for illegal material. I'd actually think less of them if they did. I can respect opposition to current IP laws. If they didn't have an anti-copyright agenda, then we're assuming that they're simply stupid.

about three weeks ago
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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

91degrees Re:Hollywood overlords (356 comments)

If you can sell the gun someone is shot with and that's not a crime why would making a torrent tracker be one? :D

If you sell someone a gun for the purpose of shooting someone with it, then that would be a crime. You'd probably be charged as an accessory.

If your gun shop was used primarily for criminals toi acquire firearms, I imagine the police would inform you of this and urge you to do something about it. If you don't do anythng about it I could imagine that being used as evidence that you are specifically selling to criminals. If you called your gun shop "Bank Robbers Bay" or something that suggests the gund are good for crimes, I also imagine that this would be taken as evidence of criminal intent.

Crime is typically made up of two parts - actus rea and mens rea; the guilty act and the guilty mind (intent). It may be different in Sweden but probably not substantially. If you genuinely have no intention of committing the crime, then you are usually considered innocent. A large part of a typical prosecution is proving intent. Sometimes mere recklessness is sufficient - if you know that the act will very probably result from your actions.

about three weeks ago
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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

91degrees Re:Concern for high values? (356 comments)

It was an analogy to illustrate relative morality. There are some people who would have no trouble eating dog food, but we consider it unpalatable. Non-vegans have no trouble eating meat but vegans consider that unpalatable.

There's no particular reason the Swedish prison system can't cater for dietary preferences.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

91degrees hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Of course it's a troll

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, probably, but there's usually a germ of truth in what I say.

Either that or I'm not trolling, but felt like ranting. Or making a joke.

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Why computers need driving licences

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 12 years ago I was recently sent an email by a friend about stupid computer users. One of these people had broken his CD-ROM drive trying to use it as a cup holder. One of them had tried to use the mouse (The plastic device that you use to move the pointer around the screen) as a foot pedal.

My friend seemed to find this funny. I found it disturbing. We have people spending several thousand dollars on a piece of sophisticated equipment, that they have no idea how to use. It's not just this though. The shear volume of unmitigated dross on the Interent is screaming for us to regulate it, if only to make it possible to find something useful.

I think people should have to take a driving test for their computers.

This may seem like a strange suggestion, but this is simply because you aren't used to the idea. When the driving licence was first proposed for cars, people were horrified at the prospect. Now, if you even consider suggesting the abolision of the driving test, people with react with equal or greater horror.

A computer can after all be every bit as dangerous as a car. Used incorrectly, it can be used to attack commercial and government websites that are essential to the running of the free nations of the world. Even those who don't have any illegal intentions could unwillingly be allowing criminals to hack into their machines, and the evil hackers could use them as a springboard to get into other computers, making the owner of the computer an unwitting acomplace to a criminal act.

It is illegal to export powerful computers to over 100 countries. Yet these same countries do have low power computers. These can be used to hack into more powerful computers, that can be used to hack into the powerful computers that we have in the democratic world, and these can be used to hack into the extremely powerful servers that run our nation. People need to be taught to prevent this sort of attack from happening. We should not allow people to put these at risk simply because they don't know how to secure their computers.

We should expand this into restrictions of the types of computers that should be used on the internet. Now, many people here believe that Microsoft Windows should be the only operating system that people shuld use, but I feel that as long as they could ensure basic security was implemented, other operating systems should also be considered. Obviosuly we should make sure that these are rigourously tested, and at a cost to the manufdacturers. We insist on basic crash tests for cars after all. Once again, I'm sinmply suggesting that we apply the same rigourous standards to computers

This would have several benefits.

Old operating systyems such as the MS-DOS found on the early pre-Pentium machines can be decertified after they reach a certain age. This will keep the slower machines off the net, speeding up the internet for the rest of us.

After all, surely people should not be entitled to modify their computers in dangerous ways. Some people have REMOVED the Windows operating system that came with their PC, and replaced it with a free operating system in order to avoid having to pay for their software. I'm surpirised that this is still allowed. Nobody allows us to put spikes on the front of our cars, or replace the wheels with sawblades. Why should we be allowed to do the same to our computers?

Finally it will reduce the cost of our computers. Part of the cost is the cost of technical support. If they didn't have to train qualified people to answer so many questions, the cost of Windows would plummet.

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