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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

Altanar Goal Post: Mysticism (285 comments)

The machine's designers must not be able to explain how their original code led to this new program.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I have severe problem with this. This is like looking at obscurity and declaring it a soul. The measure of intelligence is that we can't understand it? Intelligence through obfuscation? There should be no way for a designer to not be able to figure out why their machine produced what it did given enough debugging.

about three weeks ago
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Agree or Disagree: We are in another tech bubble.

Altanar Re:We have an advertising bubble... (154 comments)

Sure give them that information. Then ask them this question: Would they rather see advertising and have that information tracked, or would they rather pay a monthly fee to use Google services? I have a feeling you'll be severely disappointed in the number of people who would rather have their information tracked.

about 2 months ago
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

Altanar Re:every optical disk writes full disk in three mi (250 comments)

Just nitpicking, but the write speed of a dual-layer Blu-Ray disc is nearly 12 minutes at 16x. What I'm mainly worried about is that the spin rate of a plastic disc has a definite RPM speed limit. I think we've all seen the videos of what happens to discs that are spun too fast (and if you haven't, there's some neat videos of it on YouTube). Will these archival discs be made of a different core material to facilitate faster spin speeds?

about 5 months ago
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Not Just Healthcare.gov: NASA Has 'Significant Problems' With $2.5B IT Contract

Altanar NASA's website (176 comments)

This from an organization that, when they recently redesigned their website, *still* didn't get around to forwarding http://nasa.gov/ to http://www.nasa.gov? Who would've thought?

about 6 months ago
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FSF Responds To Microsoft's Privacy and Encryption Announcement

Altanar Re:30 years of "I told you so". (174 comments)

No, if this NSA kerfluffle has amounted to anything, it's that open source software and open standards only give users a false sense of security if no one is willing to audit the software. See: The Dual EC_DRNG algorithm.

about 8 months ago
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My favorite brand of snake oil is ...

Altanar Re:My favorite brand of snake oil is open source (291 comments)

Of course, that only helps if people are able and willing to thoroughly look through the code with an untrusting eye. How many non-code submitting users ever analyze the source?

about 10 months ago
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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends

Altanar Console killer? Really? (263 comments)

"Valve's attempt at a console-killer"? Really? No, this is Valve's panicked reaction to what had been the Xbox One's planned digital game sharing, which MS had to temporarily shelve while they re-wrote how the Xbox One handles disc-based games. If you don't remember, the Xbox One was originally going to let any console owner set 10 people to be members of their family sharing plan. Those "family" members (MS stated that they didn't have to be family), could then check out any game out of the owner's library at any time.

Here's the difference between the two plans:

Steam: If the owner of a shared game wants to play any game in their library, any person playing the shared game will be booted, even if the owner wants to play a different game than the one being shared. You are accessing a shared account, not a shared game. Also, Steam knows this immediately. The person accessing the shared library "will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing." You can infer from this that shared gaming will not support offline mode... I.E., Always-on internet access is required to access a shared library.

Xbox One: The system treated shared games as a temporary license transfer. The library wasn't shared; individual games were. Your friend could play the game you lended to them without interrupting your play of any other game on in your library. To handle this license sharing, the Xbox One would, once per day, detect the status of the games and licenses on a console. Despite the constant FUD, the Xbox One *never* required an always-on connection. The requirement was for the console to be connected to the Internet at least once a day while the system did a license check for lended games.

So yeah, you can call this a great accomplishment by Valve and their "console-killer" if you want. You can hail the greatness Valve. But you have to ask yourself, why when Microsoft did it, were they burnt the stake and when Valve does it they're uplifted as a savior?

about a year ago
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BT Prepares To Pull Plug On Dial-Up

Altanar Re:How to simulate dialup (120 comments)

Exede user here. Here's my typical experience with my satellite connection:

  • Minimum latency: 700 ms
  • Download speed: Paying for 12 Mbps. Real speed: around 20 Mbps. Yes, actually faster than advertised. However, due to the built-in latency, websites feel a little slower to load.
  • Upload speed: Paying for 3 Mbps. Real speed: Usually 1 Mbps. They obviously put low priority on uploads.
  • Data cap: 15 GB/month. However, data is unmetered between 12 AM and 5 AM.
  • Internet access Essentially unfiltered. Bittorrent is throttled. However, enabling protocol encryption bypasses the throttling.

My main issue with Exede is that it's DNS is flaky and sometimes requires me to cycle my network connection to fix. Even worse, it uses a proxy to hijack all port 53 DNS requests, so you can't choose an alternate server with the standard port. Netalyzr's log info on this:

UDP access to remote DNS servers (port 53) appears to pass through a firewall or proxy. The client was unable to transmit a non-DNS traffic on this UDP port, but was able to transmit a legitimate DNS request, suggesting that a proxy, NAT, or firewall intercepted and blocked the deliberately invalid request. A DNS proxy or firewall caused the client's direct DNS request to arrive from another IP address. Instead of your IP address, the request came from [Redacted]. A DNS proxy or firewall generated a new request rather than passing the client's request unmodified.

But other than that, it's still a *vast* improvement over the dial up I had for 15 years.

about 10 months ago
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Most precise measuring tool I've used ...

Altanar Re:Tiny option missing... (328 comments)

And if we're going to be pedantic about it, why are you saying "ton" at all? Ton isn't an SI unit. What you should be saying is megagram.

about a year ago
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How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

Altanar Re:Windows 8 (255 comments)

Metro is intrusive? Your inexperience with Windows 8 is showing. If you're using the desktop, you'll likely only ever see the Start screen for a couple minutes in several hours of PC use. Even then, for most purposes, it works exactly like Windows 7 and Vista. Hit windows key->start typing to the first couple characters of the program you want->hit enter. You don't ever need to use the tiles unless you have some urgent need to use non-desktop apps. Even things like the classic control panel are still there and are easily accessible via a large shortcut on the the "Computer" section of Explorer.

Unless they're coming from Windows XP, almost all the behaviors from programs they know and love should work exactly like they did in Windows Vista and 7.

about a year ago
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New OpenWRT Drops Support For Linux 2.4, Low-Mem Devices

Altanar Re:Brilliant (194 comments)

The main problem I've had is that every newer router I've tried in the 3 or 4 years have has had horrible reliability problems... dropped connections and the like. I got tired of messing with them and spent the $50 on the WRT54GL (which is what it's still going for on Newegg: and haven't had an issue like that since. Sure, the wireless is slower, but my WRT54GL's been running stably and consistently despite not having been rebooted in over 2 months. whereas the newest router I had required a full router reboot every couple days. That wasn't my doing. That wasn't a faulty hardware. That was the default setting in the router's setup page under its "maintenance" page. The default setting had the router set to reboot on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Do they make new routers that can maintain a stable connection for under $100?

about a year ago
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Average latency to Slashdot.org?

Altanar Dialup? (558 comments)

I wish I had the latency of dialup. I'm currently using Exede satellite broadband. So I exchanged a 56 Kbps connection and 250 ms latency with a 12 Mbps connection and 750 ms latency.

It's a trade-off that I had to make. No DSL/cable broadband in my area (southern Indiana).

about a year ago
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If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

Altanar Re:RAM! (591 comments)

If you're using software in which 16 GB of RAM is way too little, perhaps you should focus more on desktop computers instead. You're trying to use a butter knife to cut a steak.

about a year ago
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In Wake of Poor Reviews, Amazon Yanks SimCity Download

Altanar Bah (511 comments)

Amazon reviews of games are completely useless. Almost all reviews for popular games are from people who never played the game and are instead riding the hate circlejerk. I bet if you looked at the reviews for SimCity, less than 5% of them would be verified Amazon purchases.

about a year ago
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Amazon AutoRip — 14 Years Late

Altanar Helpful. (215 comments)

I don't know if many people on Slashdot have noticed, but this is *not* an untimely change. Why? The price of many new CD releases is now lower than the price of an MP3 album. When Taylor Swift's "Red" album came out, the CD cost $9. The MP3 album cost $15. This is not an isolated incident.

about a year and a half ago
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How To Make PC Gaming Better

Altanar Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (337 comments)

A game that costs $100,000 to make, but sells at $2/game has to sell over 50,000 copies to make a profit. A game that costs $2,500,000 but sells at $50 has to sell the same. Your first point is only valid if you're willing to pay a higher percentage of the cost.

Dear Indie Game Devs:

  • Your game isn't intrinsically better than others because it looks like a SNES game.
  • Stop making games that think that difficulty for difficulty sake is the best mechanic a game can have.
  • Stop making clones of games from the early 1990s.
  • Stop refusing to sell your game on marketplaces like Steam, Origin, and the Windows Store. You are not hurting "the Man"; you are hurting gamers and yourself.

PC Gamers:

  • Buy games that you like.
  • If a game is worth playing, it's worth paying for. No excuses.
  • The *only* point made when you pirate a game is that the PC has a pirating problem. You are not hurting "the Man"; you are hurting gamers and yourself.

about a year and a half ago
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Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate

Altanar Re:Sen. Wyden. (151 comments)

4G, if you can get it, isn't much worse than satellite. I currently have Exede. $75/month for 15 GB of data usage, 12 Mbps. Unlimited data 12-5 AM. However, satellite has a built-in latency of 700ms. Don't expect to be playing any games that require low lag. Also, that latency is definitely felt while surfing.

about a year and a half ago
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I'd like us to explore with greatest emphasis ...

Altanar Re:If we're going to survive long term (352 comments)

You're assuming that the fix for stupidity is evolution. Me, I vote for cybernetics.

about a year and a half ago
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Adobe EULA Demands 7000 Years a Day From Humankind

Altanar Re:Half the length of a novelette (224 comments)

Or use Google Chrome. It has an Google-built PDF reader and Google-managed Flash updates. You never have to touch an Adobe installer ever again.

But if you're anti-EULA, Foxit is no help. Point of comparison: The Foxit EULA is 3,683 words long. The Adobe section in Google Chrome's EULA (which covers Flash) is 2,476. Google Chrome's ToS in the EULA is 3,983 words.

about a year and a half ago

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