×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Etherwalk Re:von Neumann probes (366 comments)

A real head-scratching conundrum about the universe is explaining why it's not already overrun with self-replicating robots. Because if it's possible to send self-replicating interstellar probes, all it takes is one launch, plus a few million years, to get the galaxy overrun with them. So are they not possible? nobody's launched one yet? here, but not detected? The implications boggle the mind.

It may just take them a *long* time to reach every planet. They also may, for example, have a strategy of not visiting every planet as often as possible so as to conserve fuel. They may only visit a planet when it develops detectable signs of life, knowing they command sufficient resources to utterly destroy the existing life at that point regardless of the technological sophistication of the planet. Kind of like if the rest of the world were to decide to declare war on Molokini.

yesterday
top

What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

Etherwalk Amazon (215 comments)

Historically, being embraced by Microsoft has often been deadly...

True in the 80s and early 90s, but today Microsoft is pretty responsive to their partners and that role has more been taken on by Amazon. I hear Amazon basically data mines business partners who sell on their site to undercut prices on everything except for certain narrowly agreed products.

It's a good business model for Amazon's move to gather more market power, which will give them a near-monopoly in the end. They're definitely playing the long game. But it's not a good move for their partners.

3 days ago
top

What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

Etherwalk Sales (215 comments)

They are trying to leverage their IP to get more people to buy or subscribe to their products. There's nothing wrong with that; it actually helps developers.

The idea is that if you make it easy for developers to do good stuff on your platform, they are more likely to do good stuff on your platform. Then end-users who want the good stuff will buy the good stuff from the developer and the platform from you.

3 days ago
top

Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

Etherwalk Won't last (263 comments)

This is a federal judge, not a federal appellate panel. The company will pay to have amazing representation on appeal and is much more likely to win.

5 days ago
top

CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Etherwalk Re:Crimes Against Humanity (769 comments)

It is a war crime and hence a crime against humanity. The customary punishment for those is a noose or a firing squad.

Actually, the customary punishment for most human rights violations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, is none. Nuremberg was a first, and only the defeated powers were prosecuted. (In a perfectly neutral world, allies would have been prosecuted for things like the fire-bombing of Dresden and the nuking of Nagasaki, and possibly the nuking of Hiroshima.)

Nuremberg was a first, the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda were much more recent and were beginning some international movement toward accountability for war crimes, and the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court also took us closer, but we are *nowhere* near a place where there is a "customary punishment" for crimes against humanity.

about a week ago
top

3D Printer?

Etherwalk Re:Hot Glue Guns (173 comments)

Consumers can buy any commercially available 3D printer out there, so define consumer 3D printer while you're at it.

Printer cost of under $1000. IE what the average consumer can spend on a personal printer.

The average consumer of 3D printers may be able to, the average consumer of personal printers in no way can afford to spend $1,000 on a printer.

about a week ago
top

NASA Gets 2% Boost To Science Budget

Etherwalk Re: 2% is nothing (121 comments)

http://pgpf.org/Chart-Archive/0053_defense-comparison
See the US Military budget is bigger than
China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and India combined, you see the glaring omission don't you, where the HELL IS NEW ZEALAND mentioned, Bloody hell we have seen Lord of the Rings, we KNOW how many Orcs there are.

Yes, but the US also does more with its military than those countries combined. It is also facing different cost balloon problems than some of them--e.g. China and Russia--and has a larger portion of its budget that is declassified. China with 1/3rd of the US Military budget has a good chance of approaching par with the US Military in the next two decades, if they run an efficient program.

about two weeks ago
top

AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

Etherwalk Re:In the best scenario humans lose autonomy (417 comments)

Yes; I was saying the problems inherent with the zeroeth law arise in one of the best scenarios we could have, and it is fraught with problems. That does not mean that that is the scenario we will have; it is more likely we will not, or will have some AI that develops that way but more that does not.

about two weeks ago
top

LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

Etherwalk Re:Beloved by Builders and Developers (178 comments)

Do you live here? Have you? Or are you just voicing your prejudiced notions? When I hear this kind of statement, I'm always very curious to hear where the person making it lives...

I'm sure ArmoredDragon (3450605) is secretly Sandra Bullock from Crash.

about two weeks ago
top

AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

Etherwalk In the best scenario humans lose autonomy (417 comments)

Even in the best scenario, the zeroeth law of robotics applies. Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, for example, both recognized how humans as a whole make terrible decisions for themselves and their society. A benevolent AI could take us a long way toward being a better world and still take away a lot of our freedom.

about two weeks ago
top

Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots

Etherwalk DOCSIS3 modem for Residential... (291 comments)

I had Comcast for residential service for two years not long ago (2010-2012), and they gave me no problem with using my own modem. (They did try to charge me for not returning it when I disconnected service, but corrected their error without a hassle.)

They also still list acceptable personal modems on their website:

http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.ne...

about two weeks ago
top

CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Etherwalk Crimes Against Humanity (769 comments)

In the US, the powerful can be the most evil scum and commit the most heinous crimes against humanity and will have nothing to fear from "the law" at all.

To be clear, torture is a human rights violation against customary international law and treaty; it is not a crime against humanity unless it is part of widespread or systemic practice.

It is, however, widely practiced as a practical matter. Sometimes even by heads of state. This guy has personally tortured people, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

about two weeks ago
top

Microsoft Files a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For Activating Pirated Software

Etherwalk Law (268 comments)

Actually, there' something called "moral rights" in copyright law that allows the copyright holder to prevent you from, for example, buying an art book with a bunch of nice pictures in it, cutting out and framing all the pictures, and reselling the framed pictures.

I doubt that very much. Show me a case which broadly prohibits that - not some narrower interpretation tenuously connected. I don't care if the book publisher gets in trouble if I cut up the book, I signed no such agreement when I bought it off the discount rack at B&N.

No, you probably didn't, but it's a copyright law, not a contract. You are obligated to obey the law even if you didn't agree to it.

As to show you a case, the Ninth Circuit has held for Parent in a related fact-pattern, while the seventh circuit has sided more with you, so it depends where in the United States you are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

In addition, the parent was talking about moral rights, which are more of a European thing. So you'd have to check their law.

about two weeks ago
top

Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Etherwalk Antibiotics... (368 comments)

consider that for a moment...only 90 years ago, the son of perhaps the most powerful and well connected man on the earth died from a blister. playing tennis.

No -- consider for a moment that we could be there again 90 years from now. Science fiction looks toward the future, and the current trend is that antibiotics are becoming useless.

about two weeks ago
top

Sony Employees Receive Email Threat From Hackers: 'Your Family Will Be In Danger'

Etherwalk Re:If I were SONY... (184 comments)

Is it actually being attacked by north korea? If i were to do this, i'd compromise somebody else's computer and attack from there. Jumping to conclusions is much more fun though.

True; all signs point to North Korea but it could be a false flag operation, or just someone they trained, for example. However, motive, opportunity, and skill fingerprint are pointing to them. While we are engineers trained to think in counterexamples and recognize the possibility that it was someone else, it seems highly unlikely.

That being said, I do think the "wait and see" from the UN Mission Rep from North Korea, despite seeming to implicate them, was more of an "I have no clue whether we did it or not."

about two weeks ago
top

Sony Employees Receive Email Threat From Hackers: 'Your Family Will Be In Danger'

Etherwalk Re:If I were SONY... (184 comments)

Yes, because corporate-funded (cyber-)terrorism against a soveriegn nation has *no* potential down sides, right? ( :

It absolutely has downsides; the problem is a game-theory one, not a turn-the-other-cheek one. Mutual phased reduction in hostilities is the goal. The net benefit of escalation for the aggressor at any time must be outweighed by the net cost, so a threat is necessary.

about two weeks ago
top

Sony Employees Receive Email Threat From Hackers: 'Your Family Will Be In Danger'

Etherwalk If I were SONY... (184 comments)

I would be seriously tempted to both lobby for and bankroll offensive cyber-operations against North Korea. (Lobby for ones on the public dime from every country where SONY has a sizeable presence; bankroll one from some country where it's legal.)

Whether through cyberoperations or plain old believable threats, SONY has to come up with a way to show North Korea (or perhaps independent actors in North Korea) that there's a penalty for this kind of behavior. So does the developed world generally--attacks like this cost a fortune in productivity and potentially lost jobs, and reputation. SONY is in a better position to recover than many businesses (notably in the financial or legal sectors, where the loss of trust could be fatal), but even so.

about two weeks ago
top

The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

Etherwalk Lawsuits and Patents (528 comments)

I mean it seems likely they got everything. Even the model numbers of the kitchen sinks.

I would expect they also got some fairly damning privileged information--emails exchanged with lawyers on everything from sexual harassment to copyright infringement suits. It's a BIG firm.

Plus Patents. Sony files THOUSANDS of patents a year. If that patent information (or research that could be patented) is published to the wild before SONY patents it, you have a LOT of new prior art and a fortune in IP at risk... SONY would have to patent everything within a year in the US; I am not sure that you even have that grace period everywhere else.

(a) NOVELTY; PRIOR ART.—A person shall be entitled to a patent unless— (1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention ...
(b) EXCEPTIONS.— (1) DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION.—A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if—
                (A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
                (B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.

about two weeks ago
top

Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Etherwalk Re:She's _4_ (584 comments)

+1.

A kid raised solely on TV and the average preschool isn't getting the necessary stimulus for good brain or character development.

about two weeks ago
top

Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Etherwalk Re:Yeesh (584 comments)

I'm all for removing artificial barriers, but once they are down we're gonna have to accept that maybe girls really do want to be princesses and maybe guys really do want to be monster trucks (not drive, be damnit, BE!)

Sure... once they're all down you will see differences. But they have never all been down.

Fundamentally, unless you have a significant community that actively tries to not focus on girl things with girls and guy things with guys, including training for parents who are dedicated to it, you're not going to escape your culture's gender norms. You can limit their influence, but they're still there. There are *trillions* of dollars of material and millenia of cultural inertia behind and imbued with those norms.

But there are traits that are admirable in the norms of both genders, and the trick is getting kids interested in those things. Experimenting, inventing, exploring, building things, designing things, social graces--there are lots of important traits, things it's good to bring out. Find a few parents who think the same way you do and try to set up activities around those things. Like lesson plans.

Also, look at parenting groups. Maybe even reach out through your college alumni networks to see what people from your school have done. I'm sure there are lots of parents around the country who wonder about this.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

China Criticizes US For Making Weapons Plans Stealable, Alleges Attacks.

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Etherwalk (681268) writes "Huang Chengqing, director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China, alleged that United States cyber-attacks on China have been as serious as those on the United States. In response to the recent hacks of United States military designs, he replied with an observation whose obviousness is worthy of Captain Hammer: "Even following the general principle of secret-keeping, it should not have been linked to the Internet.""
Link to Original Source
top

Manhattan, 1984

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Etherwalk writes "The New York Times (and the usual suspects) are reporting on developments in the quest to charge driving fees for all vehicles headed below 86th Street in Manhattan. Notably absent from any part of the discussion? A record is made of every car or truck that enters, together with the vehicle ownership information and the date and time of travel — either as part of EZ-Pass or in license-plate photos taken for subsequent billing."
top

Etherwalk Etherwalk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Etherwalk writes "NY's Mayor Bloomberg announced today a series of green initiatives to reduce pollution in New York City, notably planting 1 million new trees and adding an $8 fee for all cars and $21 for commercial trucks driving below 86th Street from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays, the fee to be levied via EZ-Pass and license photos. The system's implementation effectively would make it a crime to enter lower Manhattan in your own vehicle without creating a record of your driving habits for the state."

Journals

Etherwalk has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?