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Comments

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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

Oh ye of simple mind.

Oh ye of simpler.

"AI" is just fine. Its misuse is not. And I should have said "I am extremely tired of a certain type of person working in that field".

Are you a computer? Do I need to be extra carefully specific in order to avoid compile time errors? What is your preferred replacement for the term AI for referring to the wide field which you think using AI for is an abuse of the term?

5 days ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

Does the brain consume oxygen? Yes, it does.

Mine certainly does, but I think yours was deprived of it at some point.

So an acetylene-torch is an AI device?

Building strawmen with oxy-acetylene blowtorches is a fire risk. Does the oxy-acetylene blowtorch attempt to model the operation of a human brain and provide a mechanism to examine, prove and/or disprove theories about the operation of the brain? No.

5 days ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

Visual processing is a subproblem of human cognition. Your complaint is akin to moaning to someone studying human anatomy trying to work out how the left ventricle works, on the grounds that "the left ventricle is a human being".

Remember that "Artificial intelligence" is the name of the research field, and it doesn't imply that an individual research outcome is "intelligent".

Now, if you were there at the start and you are disappointed in the progress in the field, you clearly had been reading too much science fiction.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Half-pint HAL Re:Patent attorney chiming in (224 comments)

If you're applying for a job, then the recruiter probably doesn't want to hear your invention pitch.

Do you also leave your employment history off, as the recruiter isn't hiring you to do the last job you did?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Half-pint HAL Re:lawyer up (224 comments)

I'm interested in how many people say they would not hire someone with patents because they worried they had a hidden agenda or were more motivated to leave the company, and it's also relieving to see the number of people who recommend complete up-front disclosure.

Someone who would not hire someone because they hold patents is clearly an idiot, because it is a sign of having achieved something (assuming it's not an assinine patent). Unfortunately there are lots of idiots in management. Fortunately, you have a way to help filter out the idiots that you'd really be better off not working for.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Half-pint HAL Re:IP is licensed separately. (224 comments)

All your patent portfolio is likely to tell me is that I don't get to have 100% of your skills and abilities after I've hired you. NDA's and non-compete agreements can only go so far to alleviate a hiring manager's concerns in this area.

Funny you mention NDAs and non-competes... surely any dev is burdened with accumulated NDAs and trade secrets from previous employers? Why is there a difference when that employer is self-?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Half-pint HAL Re:Are you patenting software? (224 comments)

All this "farming" nonsense interferes with my natural right to hunt and gather.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Half-pint HAL Re:Are you patenting software? (224 comments)

About time too -- I'm sick of all these "businesses" with their "processes". Just let me do my bloody job!

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Half-pint HAL Re:Are you patenting software? (224 comments)

one example -- I have a large photo portfolio; if I go to work for someone, and they're aware of my existing body of work, and they want to use a piece I have for a project, is this something I should have already addressed at the job interview?

I can't think of any photographer who would open up his entire portfolio on entering contracted employment, because when that employment ends, he may well be self-employed again, and that would essentially put him starting from zero.

The problem here, though, is that while your employer can get a photograph of a similar subject and composition, you've basically blocked out a whole technique, and worse, a technique you're familiar with. You're essentially interfering with your own ability to do your job. Of course, if you had developed that patent in the name of another company, you would be just as blocked, but it wouldn't be you doing the blocking. This should not make a difference, but we don't live in a fair world.

5 days ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Half-pint HAL Re: Apparently (212 comments)

No he's not, he's absolutely right.

Back when I was in university, it was taken for granted that programming would become a non-specialist skill because the biggest difficulty in dev was knowledge transfer. How do you get a software team to understand in months what took the guys doing the job four years of university education and five years of experience? So CS professors all basically agreed that computers would never reach their potential if the programming skills never migrated to the subject matter experts. The bottleneck is the teachers. Until the teachers can teach coding, kids can't be taught coding in schools. But who's teaching the teachers to program? No-one.

Personally, I think the long-term solution isn't more "days/weeks/months of code" with specific directions, or a new language necessarily; but the requirement for all teacher training colleges to include programming training as a mandatory part of the course for would-be teachers.

5 days ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Half-pint HAL Re:Apparently (212 comments)

That is absolute fucking horse shit. The best coders I've ever worked with are American.

Sorry, but that's absolute fucking horse shit. The best coders I've ever worked with are Scottish.

This is probably because I live in Scotland so it's pretty much inevitably true. The same would hold for you. My problem with trusting you as a code dev is that you appear ignorant of statistical effects. The best coders I've worked with understand stats. Sadly most coders don't.

5 days ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Half-pint HAL Re:Apparently (212 comments)

Their stock gains its value from the profits of their companies. The companies profit more when they pay their workers less. Is it hard to grasp the relationship?

5 days ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Half-pint HAL Re:Apparently (212 comments)

Heck, I'm a Sys Admin and I don't know how to program! Sure, I understand the basic concepts of what coding is and can write a shell script or a batch file (I'm getting into Powershell too). But I don't consider that programming.

If you leave computers to one side for a moment and you think about the word "programming", it is very close in meaning to "scheduling", and batch scripting revolves around scheduling. If you think about the Unix model, a lot of early programming was just a matter of manipulating multiple command-line tools. Now if you look inside a book on C (either A Book on C or any other book on C), you'll find that procedural programming is very, very similar to the Unix command line in a lot of ways, except that instead of a restricted toolset of grep etc, we now have libraries that carry out millions of different functions.

Shell scripting really is exactly the same as any other form of programming, except that it is typically only used for small programs.

I believe your problem is that you have confused "programming" with "software development", but I suppose that's the English language's fault. In the same way that not everyone who can write is a "writer" (ie a journalist or author), not everyone who can program is a "programmer" (ie software developer).

But a basic level of skill in programming (in particular shell scripting) can make any worker more productive, as it lets them process their own data. When I was working in corporate IT management I had user to process, and where my non-coder colleagues were reading records manually out of Active Directory in the GUI, I just dumped everything to CSV and knocked up a quick script to filter the rows. A took one morning to iterate through revisions of the script until it did what I want, with my boss suggesting that I was wasting my time and should be working. After lunch, I started "working" and was finished in a couple of hours. It was supposed to be a three day job. There are many tasks that can be automated that way, if only the worker knew how to.

5 days ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Half-pint HAL Re:Apparently (212 comments)

And just like you can't simply pump more people into med school to end up with more doctors, you cannot pump more people into computer schools to get more programmers. Programming isn't middle management, you can't simply take any simpleton and expect them to be able to learn how to do it.

If your assertion is true, then there is something deeply wrong with the programming field. If it takes what is effectively a defective human brain to code, then our programming languages are wrong. Time to rewrite computing then...?

5 days ago
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Half-pint HAL Re:Read: IT wages in Europe rising (212 comments)

Scratch introduces kids to a decades-old style of programming that is well past its sell-by date. Let's write a proper functional programming language without all the imperative hacks that SML, Scala etc have and teach the next generation of programmers to think in terms of the problem to be solved, not how a typical CPU works.

5 days ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:A small vat of organic liquid? (98 comments)

In Soviet Russia, you imagine a Beowulf cluster of f*** beta, you Microsoft shill/Apple fanboi/Linux neckbeard.

Simplest variation of the Turing test on the planet: imitating slashdot posters.

about a week ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

This new definition of AI is several steps down from what Minski, McCarthy and company were aiming for. While this work is the direct descendent of theirs, and is often significant and sometimes impressive in its own right, there is an odor of self-congratulatory aggrandizement about the current usage.

In which case, there must have been an "odor of self-congratulatory aggrandizement" about Minsky (I haven't studied AI in general since 1998, but at least I know how to spell his name) because the guys working on it now are a lot nearer to what he was aiming for when he started out.

Now remind me (as I said, I haven't read the name Marvin Minsky since 98) was he a strong or a weak AI advocate?

about a week ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

Does your brain do pattern matching? Yes, it does. Therefore they are artificially modelling a process involved in human (and animal) intelligence. Would you prefer that they called it "synthetic psychology"? "Computation neuroscience"? "Electronic subconcious studies"?

about a week ago
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First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Half-pint HAL Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

I was about to ask you what your preferred replacement for the term AI would be, but then I got to this point:

I am extremely tired of that whole field.

I don't think you really care enough to have thought of a better term, do you?

about a week ago

Submissions

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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "From Linutop.com:
Linutop is a Linux-based diskless computer. It offers a completely silent, low-power operation in an extremely small package. Its main purpose is to surf the Internet.
With Abiword, Firefox, GAIM, Totem media player and Evince PDF Reader, they expect to be able to sell the units to libraries and net cafes, and to developers of custom displays/interactive demos. No pricing information is on the website, but The Register reports a price of "280 ($368/£190)"."
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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "The Register reports that a mobile software company has been granted a patent on customised dynamic content on mobile phones. From the article:
UK patent GB2408658 talks a great deal about notifying client devices using a special signal, such as an SMS, which then triggers the client to fetch information from a server using an HTTP connection — in exactly the same way as an MMS message. But the novel component of this invention is that when the client application contacts the server (having received the specially formatted SMS) the server puts together a package containing only the latest and most pertinent content for that particular user. This just-in-time generated package is then downloaded by the client.
Patent GB2408658 seems somewhat confused. How it works: user recieves notification of new content; user follows link to retrieve content; page is generated on-the-fly accounting for any changes (eg in sports scores) subsequent to the original notification. So is this little more than a patent on a link to a dynamic webpage? Where's the difference between this and — for example — an online wedding list?"

Journals

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