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Developing the First Law of Robotics

BaronAaron Re:So, a design failure then. (164 comments)

With Asimov stories, start by assuming there was a fundamental shift in computing. The positronic brain is an artificial version of our brains, not a Turning machine. Even if you could manually rewire every neuron and synapses in a human brain you could not program a person in the traditional sense. Everything is based on fuzzy logic. Our brains don't work in absolutes and pure logic like a traditional computer.

The robots in Asimov books are like a brainwashed slave race. If you are brainwashing your human level intelligent slave race, The Three Laws is a good starting place.

4 days ago

Developing the First Law of Robotics

BaronAaron Re:So, a design failure then. (164 comments)

Unlike the robots in this experiment, most Asimov robots are not programmed in the traditional sense. Their positronic brains are advanced pattern recognition and difference engines much like our own brains. The Three Laws are encoded at a deep level, almost like an instinct.

In the story Runaround, Speedy is much like a deer in headlights, stuck between the instinct to run away and remain concealed. Doing neither very well. The design mistake was putting more emphasis on the third law versus the second. The PHBs knew better though and felt the robot was too expensive to leave to the command whims of the human mining workers.

I like that story because it illustrates what happens when managers make engineering decisions. ;-)

4 days ago

Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

BaronAaron Re:Like DRM? (448 comments)

I think you're on to something. You don't need to blow the tank up to make it inoperable though. A command that simply instructs the engine and/or transmission to enter a mechanically unsound state and cause a major failure would work well enough.

about two weeks ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

BaronAaron Re:Are You Kidding? (541 comments)

Well let's ignore the fact that Mongolia, Russia, and Ethiopia are places, not races. The underlying issue is:

Race is a social term used to generalize the ancestry of a person. It's to vague to make a prediction about the genes, and their expression, in a particular person.

There is a lot of genetic diversity even in, what can be considered, a genetically homogeneous population. Genes that have been unexpressed for generations can suddenly appear again if the right couple have offspring. Even the genetic expression within offspring from a single couple can vary wildly. I think most of know cases similar to the family with 3 brown hair and eyed kids, and 1 with blonde hair and blue eyes.

You throw genetic diversification increases from a few 100 years of globalization into the mix and the whole notion of scientifically defining a race, let alone predicting actual gene expressions in a individual, becomes ridiculous.

Predictions of gene expression can only be done on a case by case basis within a specific heredity context. This is the reason the doctor's form asks for your parent's, grandparent's, and siblings medical history, not what race you are.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

BaronAaron Re:Java or C# + AngularJS (536 comments)


The days of server-side framework being closely coupled to the client side presentation layer are over. Write the frontend in plain HTML / Javascript. Use a Javascript framework to make life easier. Do the server-side as a RESTful service.

Java or C# would be good server-side languages, because of the ease of finding developers.

I personally prefer C# and ASP.NET MVC Web API. A completely open source solution when you use Mono.

about 3 months ago

Civilization V Officially Available On Linux For SteamOS

BaronAaron Re:Yay DRM (93 comments)

Nearly every Steam game release is instantly cracked by the pirate community. If you want your games forever, no matter what, just save the crack along with your Steam backups.

about 3 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

BaronAaron Re:And with that yoiu get POWER! (420 comments)

As soon as the pressure equalizes between the two sides of the membrane the flow of water will stop. Your pump will have to do all the work to pull the water through the membrane at the point. It's now also going to have to fight gravity to pump the water from the depths of the ocean.

about 4 months ago

Bloomberg's Trading Terminals Now Providing Bitcoin Pricing

BaronAaron Re:I wonder (119 comments)

1) I hate the idea of having all of these computers working harder and harder, using more and more energy, and every day there being more miners setting up more computers, all of it in an unproductive pursuit of nothing but wealth. The energy wasted for no real societal gain makes it more socially useless than a marketing department for a law firm.

A non-centralized, freely available to anyone with an Internet connection, digital currency is a huge gain for society. Miners insure the integrity of this system. It's not wasted energy if you value the idea behind it.

2) The price varies so wildly, but it's all based off of nothing. At least with stocks, you have company metrics and financials you can at least try to use to figure out where it's going. At least with national currencies, you can look at what the country is doing politically and financially to try and guess where the currency is going. With bithcoin, it's like it's decided by a magic eight ball...there is nothing you can base decisions on other than a random guess.

Bitcoin prices are driven by supply and demand. That's about as simple as economics gets. Just like gold or any other finite commodity, as long as it has value in the minds of people the price will go up in the long term because of the limited supply.

about 5 months ago

Scientists Give Praying Mantises Tiny 3D Glasses

BaronAaron Re:"Different from ours" ?? (55 comments)

They have compound eyes like any other insect. They just happen to have Pseudopupils. Compound eyes have pigments that reflect light from wide angles and let straight on light pass through to the photo-receptor.

Mantis have a high contrast between the two states giving the appearance of a pupil, probably to creep us out a lot more.

about 5 months ago

F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

BaronAaron Re:Just more bullshit (410 comments)

How does Amazon or any other hosting provider have any negotiating power with the ISPs? Your ISP can shut off access to Amazon if they want to, what are you going to do? Switch? If you are lucky you have maybe two other choices who will do exactly the same if Amazon doesn't pay whatever extortion fee they come up with.

Cloud computing has exacerbated the whole thing by centralizing most of the content in a few companies. ISPs now have a short list (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc) of companies to extort.

about 5 months ago

The Security of Popular Programming Languages

BaronAaron ASP? (189 comments)

Do they mean Classic ASP? They list .NET separately so I don't think they mean ASP.NET, but they also don't include ASP in their list of "legacy" languages. I also seriously doubt 16% of companies are still using Classic ASP.

ASP isn't even a language, it's a framework. You can write a Classic ASP app in vbscript or javascript. You can write ASP.NET in any .NET supported language. Then there is ASP.NET MVC.

If they can't get their list of tested "languages" straight, I doubt the rest of the article.

about 5 months ago

How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

BaronAaron Re:could be blueray (146 comments)

Commercial optical disks from movie studios are stamped.. Stamping disks requires costly equipment and setup time and only makes sense when you are going to make many copies of the same disk.

Writable optical disks often use organic dye which breaks down over time, especially when exposed to bright light. This is often why their shelf life is very bad.

There is no way Amazon is using either technology for this.

about 5 months ago

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

BaronAaron Re:no one would HIRE them, either (581 comments)

just tell me this: who would hire an aging programmer, just starting out, when you can more easily abuse immigrants and h1b's who are young and will work overtime for free and deny the value of a personal life?

All things being equal, I'd hire the older developer who spent the last 10+ years in a coal mine working a very demanding, high risk job, where a fuck up gets you killed.

Younger developer come with a strong sense of self-entitlement, lack of loyalty, and little life experience. H1B's can have the same issues plus a language barrier.

about 5 months ago

Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

BaronAaron Re:Are programmers really this naive? (465 comments)

I read the bright pink one and my eyes still haven't adjusted back to seeing normal colors.

It was the most concise and to the point of the four though.

about 6 months ago

US Intelligence Officials To Monitor Federal Employees With Security Clearances

BaronAaron Re:Fourth Amendment (186 comments)

The five million number doesn't make sense.

According to official reports the federal government only employ's 4.3 million including 1.5 million military personnel.

about 6 months ago

US Intelligence Officials To Monitor Federal Employees With Security Clearances

BaronAaron Re:Fourth Amendment (186 comments)

It's absurd to have five million people working for the federal government, who need security clearance, and aren't in the military.

about 6 months ago

Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

BaronAaron Re:Shazbot! (352 comments)

Sounds like the case celebs use against paparazzi.

I don't so mind being photographed (or my property automatically scanned) in public but what I do mind is people making a profit on it.

I want the data brokers and/or repo companies to cut me a check every-time a database with my information is used to make money.

about 6 months ago

Bitcoin Payments Go Live At Overstock — Two Quarters Early

BaronAaron Re:I don't get it (182 comments)

More importantly, I don't see what is there to gain for bitcoin users. Privacy afforded by bitcoin is lost here since buyer identity is known to at least two parties - Overstock and Coinbase.

Many people are interested in bitcoin because of the lack of central bank control and it's non fiat currency nature.

about 8 months ago


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