top Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans
That's a really good point. I see the same sort of argument being used in the discussions around driverless cars - there's some attempt to set up a (rare) hypothetical scenario where a machine would make the wrong decision, but the human could make the correct one. And that's supposed to be some justification for not allowing machines to make decisions in an area humans have previous been in control of. While it's not only doubtful the scenario can be proven, you still don't need the robots to be 100% foolproof - they just need to make significantly better decisions than the humans. If killer robots end up resulting in 1/100th of the civilians casualties in a war when compared with jittery human soldiers, isn't that enough to justify the replacement?
top Amazon's Luxembourg Tax Deals
That's a nice rant on income taxation but the article here is discussing
corporate taxation (and evasion).
top Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe
But I'm safe if I disable location services on my iPhone right?
top 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater
Retribution, Rehabilitation, Off the Streets, Deterrence - that's generally the purpose of prison
Retribution - the "fair" part in your argument; I'm not going to comment on whether 33 months is fair, but you spend some time in prison to pay for what you've done. Whether it's 1 month or 10 years is a separate topic. This could arguably be a fine and not necessarily prison time, or some other form of punishment as you may be suggesting
Rehabilitation - this part is supposed to turn criminals back into model citizens. This is mostly a joke in the US prison systems; why would for profit prisons work on ensuring prisoners don't return to prison? That's just lost profit. Maybe this is what you see as pointless. This is in the UK though; I'm not familiar with the state of the prisons there so I can't comment. But even so there's still some benefit for..
Off the Streets. If he's in prison, then he's not still recording bootlegged movies. That's one less camcorder viewer for 33 months. There's your slight "improvement to society in any way" you're looking for. And on top of that there's
Deterrence. The knowledge that recording video footage and then distributing this for profit lands you jail time is probably sufficient to deter some existing people from their recording, or helpful in preventing new criminals from starting up in this business.
Deterrence is probably the most helpful argument for prison time for this. Office Space sums this up well enough; when the 3 protagonists start their scheme up, they're sure that they might just get a slap on the wrist or some minimum security light prison. But after learning that this crime is quite capable of getting them in a pound-me-in-the-ass prison, they're worried all of a sudden! Now if Samir and Michael knew before they started this scheme that there was any possibility of going to pound-me-in-the-ass prison, they probably wouldn't have started the scheme in the first place
top Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs
His argument was not that the death penalty is *only* a deterrent (in fact I don't think he said anything about deterring future crime). The argument was more that some people are so distant from humanity that they basically deserve to be removed from society permanently. You could do that with prison too, but if there's no chance of rehabilitation then perhaps they're better off dead so it's not costing taxpayers money.
Not saying I necessarily agree with these views, but I can see the reasoning behind this. Deterrence isn't the only reason we punish people. By your logic, any existing punishment isn't a deterrent for all people, therefore we shouldn't punish people with prison. "So if life imprisonment of 25 years is not a deterrent, why again does the US have it?"
top DarkMarket, the Decentralized Answer To Silk Road, Is About More Than Just Drugs
Well you gotta take the good with the bad with the DarkMarket. Sure, maybe a Dallas Buyer's Club scenario might seem more legitimate to the average person (or a market for any legitimate pharmaceutical drugs at lower prices because a huge markup in Europe / North America). But what about all the other nasty, illegal stuff will this be used for? The creators of this can't control the goods and services that are sold any more than the creators of bittorrent can control the files being transferred around.
Sure, maybe some drugs seem harmless and you can argue they're a victimless crime or whatever. What about all the other insidious shit out there that this will be used to peddle? CP, hit-man & assassination services, weapons, slavery, identity theft and stolen credit cards... surely the concept of DarkMarket opens up a new market for all these types of transactions too - you can't expect these services to be somehow excluded. In my utilitarianism-based opinion; this is a far greater harm than good for the world; the benefits of being able to buy some recreational drugs or make purchases anonymously is heavily outweighed by giving the rich the ability to put out a hit some some journalist with a dissenting opinion (with a much lower chance of being caught than without this service), or a new market for CP, etc..
I wish the creators of this project would realize this. Maybe this is just somehow acceptable in the worldview of the anarchist or the libertarian-leaning types. Or maybe it's morally rationalized by some thoughts on the lines of "Hey, I didn't kill those thousands of people! I only sold those guns to that corrupt African warlord" or "I only helped create the software that assist people making illegal transactions, I didn't actually sell or make that CP" and somehow absolve themselves from guilt because they're not the ones making the transaction. I might not agree with the current laws on drugs, but I certainly don't support this project.
top Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin
I this same sort of parallel with guitars as well; all of my musician friends that play guitar seem to highly value older guitars (made in the 60's and 70's) over those made recently. And they're not just valued for their sentimental value; every decent guitar player I've met seems to have some sort of fascination with vintage guitars and *knows* the sound is considerably better than anything they can buy today. I don't see this parallel with non-string instruments, such as brass, woodwinds, percussion or keyboards (possibly a couple of exceptions for keyboards, i.e. a hammond B Leslie; but certainly not the norm).
Maybe there's some other factor here, but I still have a hard time believing whether older string instruments are actually better sounding. As OP suggested with the Stradivari, they were certainly well crafted in their day. But surely we have the technology and material to surpass that now - especially with the same companies that continue to make guitars, right? Or is there truly some scientific factor that makes the sounder better (such as the wood "maturing" or drying up more over time, or something like that)? I still don't know whether vintage guitars actually sound better, or if everyone's just fooled into thinking they sound better because Hendrix or Page played that exact guitar that one time in the 70's - they don't sound any better than new guitars to me. Perhaps there is something "special" about older string instruments that hasn't been explained well yet?
top Gabe Newell Responds: Yes, We're Looking For Cheaters Via DNS
Most single player games on valve, or single player versions have achievements (at least 100% of the games I've purchased, around 30 or so). If you're using a cheat on single player and you're able to get those achievements as a result, then they've been devalued. I suppose they could start disabling achievements if a hack is detected, but what would be the benefit to them for implementing such a system? Then it's a constant game of cat and mouse with detectable hacks and cheats in the game.
Maybe you and others don't care about achievements or think them silly or stupid, but plenty of gamers get some sense of accomplishment or satisfaction when they're completed - especially the harder ones. We don't want these tarnished by people with hacks and cheats.
top Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?
Still missing the point. The point was we're biologically wired to want different things - male brains and female brains are hardwired differently from birth. Advertising, social differences & behavior, pink vs blue - these aren't
causes of the differences we see in boys vs girls or men vs women, they're tailored to what we're biologically included to do. Differences in brain development can already be seen at 26 weeks in the womb.
Even babies react differently depending on the gender. How are you going to pin these differences on nurture instead of nature?
top Cybercrime Marketplace Mastermind Faces 18 Years In Prison
"Hey I didn't actually sell financial information, I only helped set up a system that allowed criminals to sell stolen credit card details!"
"Hey I didn't actually molest those children, I only created a forum that let people purchase CP from eachother!"
"Hey I don't own any slaves, I only helped some sellers find some and shipped them across to people willing to buy!"
"Hey I didn't kill those thousands of civilians, I just helped facilitate a deal between an arms dealer and a corrupt dictatorship!"
Yeesh. "merely providing a forum to communicate". It's assholes like you that make the world burn - you damn well know the consequences of the actions of a scheme, a forum set up specifically for selling stolen financial information , but somehow rationalize it away in the name of some libertarianish idea of 'all free speech should be allowed' because you're actually facilitating in the crime yourself!
top Musk Lashes Back Over Tesla Fire Controversy
I can't help notice the irony of the GP posting "People are really bad at understanding statistics.", yet you use a random stat (3/20 Tesla Accidents had an auto-fire) to make it sound like the Tesla Model S is "more likely to catch fire". Kind of ignores the ridiculously small sample size, the fact all 3 cars were going extremely high speeds (maybe sports cars in general have higher accident rates?), or that fire-related problems are less likely with a more detailed on board computer etc... And where's this 20 coming from? (honest question, I don't see anything in the links - are there only 20 reported Tesla S accidents to date?) . There were only 3 fires in the Tesla Model S... ever! You can't make a statement with odds that low.
top Bitcoin Hits $400 Ahead of Senate Hearing On Virtual Currency
I don't agree with your assumption that law enforcement can confiscate a bitcoin "because this bitcoin was used in a crime X months ago and Y transactions ago". By that logic, a cop could confiscate paper money because it has trace amounts of cocaine on it (so 90% of your money, or whatever the actual percentage is if that's too high). Why would a bitcoins using during the process of ANY CRIME be subject seizure anyway? I don't see how that would assist in prosecution.
top White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care
That must be a imperial first, not a metric first.
about a year and a half ago
top Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate
"One time about 6000 years ago, a magical unicorn from a different dimension farted the universe into existence"
Prove me wrong!
about a year and a half ago
top MasterCard Forcing PayPal To Pay Higher Fees
I know! It's like watching two school bullies argues start to argue over something, as you're secretly hoping they'll get into a fight and both be suspended.
I could see MasterCard taking more of the hit for this though, Paypal funds can be added without any fee from a bank account, or with some new MoneyPak thing I'm just reading about for the first time - I forsee more people using this option if they have hefty fees when transferring from a credit card (Because the whole reason you're using Paypal is because you can't use your credit card in the first place, the money will be transferred if it has to be).
about a year and a half ago
top Could Twitter Have Stopped the Media's Rush To War In Iraq Ten Years Ago?
Ah, I kid I kid.. I just wanted to be the first person that said yes after 67 comments of NO. Slashdot is united in opinion for the first time ever! I doubt it would have made a difference
You know what would have been nice though? If twitter had been around for a couple of years before that, and it had today's popularity back in 2003. I saw somewhere earlier in this thread that claimed 90% of America was in support of the war at the time. That seems a bit high, but regardless of what that number is, I'll bet most of them are silent now. It would be nice to know which politicians, celebrities, friends & neighbors were fully supporting war back then. So when the next middle east war "opportunity" rolls around and the same people shout "We want war! But this one's legitimate this time we swear, not like Iraq", their twit / blog / wall post history can be used against them.
top Canada Launches ACTA Bill
The conservatives didn't pass the last similar bill through, though they could have. They *could* pass any bill they like, but if there's enough public backlash they may decide against passing it. They do plan on winning seats in future elections, so they won't just pass anything unless it has a minimum threshold of public support.
about a year and a half ago
top World's First Bitcoin ATM
What can you make out of $100 bills? Besides crappy paper airplanes.
Better question, what can you make out of a $100 bill with a value close to $100?
about a year and a half ago
top The Two Big Problems With Online College Courses
I'd like to see some more detailed data on a course by course basis (or in different programs). I've taken some bio courses that are about 95% pure memorization - I'd be inclined to think the online courses like this wouldn't have 90% attrition rates. Conversely, I'd be lost in some math or comp sci courses without a teacher explaining how a concept or formula actually works. Some classes have a lot more students asking teachers than others.
top Reasons You're Not Getting Interviews; Plus Some Crazy Real Resume Mistakes
See this is your problem right here, slashdot users. Instead of just reading the summary/header and commenting - you've decided to first RTFA. Maybe you even clicked on all the links the summary.
If you dumb asses would have read the comments first, you would instantly known it was a fluff piece / disguised advertising. But NOOO, you have to try to be knowledgeable about the subject before deciding you're qualified to comment. Well that'll learn ya for next time - *always* read the comments first!
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