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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

HiThere Re: This is silly (587 comments)

No, I think upper management is going to be even more secure than owner. Of course, *getting* to upper management will be interesting, with all middle management gone.

As for "well on it's way". It's over a decade away, probably over two. I expect the first "human brain equivalent" computer to show up around 2030...but that's just the hardware. Unless one of the neural net projects succeeds, the software is going to take a bit longer. Of course you can do an awful lot by redesigning jobs to remove the need for intelligence, but SOME jobs won't be attacked that easily. How to predict what those jobs are, however, is not obvious.

OTOH, they think they may have recently identified the structure in the human brain that yields consciousness. If so, then neural simulation models may yield spectacular successes. Unfortunately, this may cause us to build things without understanding their implications. Which means we may well not understand the goal structure of the entity that we build. ... Whoops!

So a "whoops!" could happen *before* the human brain equivalent computer. It wouldn't be an "intelligent" as a human, but that's not really that important if it has enough power under its control...which it could get by just being useful.

OTOH, a decent AI with sufficient intelligent would be far superior as a world ruler to the bozos who are currently driving the bus. The key question isn't its intelligence, but rather its goal structure.

2 hours ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

HiThere Re:This is silly (587 comments)

Also historically, since the industrial revolution, displaced workers were fired and ignored, not retrained.

You can find exceptions, but that's the mode.

3 hours ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

HiThere Re:This is silly (587 comments)

The fact is that automation *is* increasing. In more and more jobs, no human can live on what it costs to have a machine do the work. It should therefore be expected that an increasing number of people will be out of work. (The number of useless jobs can only be expanded so far, and we're already hitting significant back pressure.)

The should be a decent minimal income for everyone, and anything earned at a job should be on top of that. There's the difficulty that we also don't want to increase the population, or to encourage geneotypes that cause people to breed irresponsibly, but keeping people desperate doesn't help in solving this, or other, problems. Probably improvements in virtual reality will act to address the immediate population problem even more effectively than TV did during the last couple of generations. The geneotype problem is more difficult, but also more of a long term problem. At the rate the biological knowledge is increasing, and the rate the tools are improving it should be directly addressible within a generation or two, and that's plenty of time. The current problem is to build a civilization that will be stable for then next generation or two. That implies a decent living (*not* livlihood) and equable justice for at least most citizens. And with the current directions of change the living can't be dependant upon jobs. But you also want to engage people in civil activities. Arts is one choice, so are sports and games. Improved virtual reality can allow one to have the illusion of living in a nearly ideal environment, and moving from there to other environments ad lib.

Please note, this assumes that adequate energy supplies will be available. Solar cells would work in many places, as would wind turbines, etc. But those require ways of either storing the power or of transmitting it VERY long distances. (Solar farms in the Sahara, Mohavi, and Gobi/Austrailia would probably always be generating energy, but transmitting it to where it is currently needed could be a large problem. Storage actually looks like a simpler solution.) Wind power is also widely available, but not reliable in any one place.

To conclude, if there were a guaranteed living then there would be no need for a minimum-wage law, because business would not be able to take coercive advantage of people.

3 hours ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

HiThere Re:One sample (125 comments)

No, I don't think it's that simple. I think they're figuring the percentage against different baselines. Say the difference from chimpanzees was figured against the protein coding genes and the difference from Neanderthals was figured from a baseline of "common differences from chimpanzees". That would make it plausible. But there clearly isn't much time between the first different ancestor between humans and neanderthals, so a large difference is just implausible, even if we don't consider the evidence of on-going hybridization.

3 hours ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

HiThere Re: Africans. (125 comments)

(Primitive means that it was inherited from a common ancestor.)
FWIW, the sloping forehead isn't a Neanderthal feature, but a primitive feature that was retained by the Neanderthals, and by some Cro Magnons.

Also, you will find more genetic variation among the humans of Africa than among the humans of all the rest of the world combined. By a factor of greater than 2. I'm sure that *some* of them are stupid in comparison to the rest of the world, but they've just got a wider standard deviation. And without a culture-free intelligence test there's no way to calculate the means. (E.g., how are you at finding a water hole in the desert? Very basic and important. How about at safely drinking from a water hole when there are predators around? That's a bit more advanced, but equally important.)

yesterday
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

HiThere Re:Question for sequencing expert. (125 comments)

I'd assume that the media is being quite "generous" in its interpretation. DNA tends to degrade fairly quickly, and I'd be really surprised if there was a good complete genome available to sequence. More probably several very long (unexpectedly long) sequences in several copies and nothing too corrupted.

I don't think the problems will be restricted to "fragile sites", and I'd bet the problems with telomeres weren't even considered, as those grow and shrink even during a normal lifetime.

If you're studying ancestry, then the non-coding portions of the genome are even more important than the coding portions (at least over short time scales [i.e., a million years or so]). The coding portions are exposed to pressures to conserver them, and thus evolve (except for silent point mutations) a lot more slowly.

yesterday
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

HiThere Re:One sample (125 comments)

I'm sure that in present populations DNA traced to Neanderthals has been split every which way. You get crossovers in (nearly) random places everytime a sperm or egg is made.

What's unusual here is that there haven't been many crossovers. This implies that the hybridization was recent.

My problem with this is that I'm not convinced that the populations were ever distinct enough that most genes could be traced to one species or another. So what they're saying is that 2% of our genes can be traced to Neanderthals, but that's close to the level that counts our difference from Chimpanzees, which I just find impossible to accept. So perhaps they're figuring that 2% against some other baseline than the entire genome...but I didn't read anything that said against what they were figuring it. (And I've run into that same 2% figure in other studies, always without an explanation.)

yesterday
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

HiThere Re: Exinction (125 comments)

What's a Neanderthal? What's a Cro Magnon?

Basically, these are names assigned to groups of fossils with similar bones. Sufficiently similar, for some nearly arbitrary value of sufficiently.

FWIW, it is my belief that they typical Neanderthal woman had a pelvic girdle to tight to pass a Cro Magnon baby. (The adults definitely had very differently shaped heads, though what that means is subject to doubt.) This explains nicely the lack of Neanderthal mitochondria in our genome. And it means that while Neanderthal males could successfully mate with Cro Magnon women, the converse didn't work out. As a result heads shaped like the Neanderthal disappeared from the gene pool, and any genes for producing them, and any genes that were tightly coupled with them.

OTOH, I haven't heard anything about the shape of the heads of the Denisovians. Some people have some of their genes, too.

It is my belief that Cro Magnon/Neanderthal/Denisovian is all one species, and that splitting them into separate species is an error, one fostered througout palentology, not just in this case, because it is much more important to discover a new species than to discover a new population with some unusual features.

OTOH, please note that species boundaries are nowhere near as absolute as normally thought. Often there will be diverse populations of a single species clustered in a spread out area, with the populations at the extremes of the area either unable or unwilling to interbreed, even though there is a continual flow of genes throughout the cluster, i.e., every adjacent population is willing to breed with its neighbors.

yesterday
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

HiThere Re:Yeah but ... (125 comments)

What they are is an existence proof. And since there is crossover happening with every sperm or egg, this puts a limit on the probable number of generations...though I do need to include "probable".

P.S.: This wasn't a survey of the Y chromosome.

OTOH, since the amount was only about 2%, that indicates that the hybridization must have occurred several generations ago, perhaps 50.
(2% is the modern count, so you can't just say around 5 generations, as some of it is clearly being conserved).

OTOH, since we share most of our genes with Chimpanzees (and lots with mice) I'd need to know how they calculated that 2%. It's a figure I've encountered before, but I've never been quite certain on what basic the claim is made. Taken straight it would seem to mean that Neanderthals were as different from us as Chimpanzees, and that's clearly wrong.

yesterday
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

HiThere Re: On the other hand... (686 comments)

While you speak from justice, he his speaking from law. The two often don't have much overlap. I was also speaking from justice, but I acknowledge that legally the gp is probably correct. But then the law often comes down in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

yesterday
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

HiThere Re:On the other hand... (686 comments)

Whenever someone says "defend our proprietary IP" I expect them to be malicious liars...or worse. This isn't always true, but it's true in such a large perponderance of the cases that it's a reasonable default assumption.

The hardware may be pirate hardware. But it was probably bought by people in good faith, and doing malicious damage to them is not justified by the fact that it was (unknown to the buyer) pirate hardware. Also there is the possibility that they have made a mistake. This is not a small chance, and if they do this frequently it can be expected to happen. There are lots of models of things out their, and it's just *so* easy to forget to include one of your older models.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

HiThere Re: On the other hand... (686 comments)

Is that the same? From the summary I got the impression that they overwrote firmware on the device. This would mean that the old drivers wouldn't work either.

2 days ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

HiThere Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (57 comments)

It wasn't a patent on asprin, it was a patent on asprin + ? . Later it was a patent on aceteminophen + ? (the same ?).

I don't remember what the ? was, and since the new formulation didn't do me any good I no longer take it.

2 days ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

HiThere Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (57 comments)

When a certain drug, whose active ingredients were asprin and something else, had its patents about to run out the maker "invented" a new durg that was the same except that the replaced asprin with aceteminophen. Patented that. and then withdrew the original from the market.

Unfortunately for me, I react well to asprin, and aceteminophen doesn't do a thing for me. But the other version was no longer available.

*I* did not find this an improvement, or an increase in innovation. Or anything else desireable.

O, they also increased the price.

4 days ago
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How Lobby Groups Rejected the Canadian Government's Plan To Combat Patent Trolls

HiThere Re:Simple solution ... (57 comments)

You don't necessarily get dictatorship or communism (whatever you mean by that). Bureaucracy is probably more likely, with all meaningful decisions made by people you never heard of who are angry with their boss.

Please note that this is a prediction based upon all major power being held by the government, and doesn't have any prediction about the ostensible form of the government, which may be any form of authoritarianism. This includes dictatorships, but it also included democracies. It's more a prediction about the form of administration than about the purported theory of government, of even its claimed mechanism.

4 days ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

HiThere Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (347 comments)

Then explain why discovering that the morning star and the evening star were observationally the same should mean that the religion reacted by merging the god of war and the goddess of love.

Our theories don't consider religious beliefs to be scientific and effective, but they did. So it was science. And they performed experiments (observational) that caused them to revise theories.

about a week ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

HiThere Re:Those Lockheed guys... (347 comments)

That was why I mentioned them. Also the scoffing and denials on Slashdot. I, personally, again think that there's not enough evidence to decide.

about a week ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

HiThere Re:"repeatable independently verifiable reproducti (347 comments)

If you patent it, and the government considers it valuable enough, they can just take the patent (and classify it so that you can't reveal it).

If you patent it, and you don't have a stable of lawyers and an indefinitely large war chest, then a major corporation can just take it, rephrase the patent, and patent it themselves.

If it's a trade secret, and you can produce a working plant (wouldn't need to be more than a pilot plant) then you can sell the secret to someone who can afford to get into patent battles.

about a week ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

HiThere Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (347 comments)

Actually astrology was a science. It was quite successful at predicting eclipses, and determining when to plant which crop. Also at scheduling religious festivals.

Perhaps, though, instead of saying it was a science I should say it was engineering, but it did have (several different) theoretical backstories, so science is probably better. It caused the Babylonians considerable grief when they discovered that the goddess of love was also the god of war. So it even made reliable predictions...that people were loath to accept.

Now none of this has much to do with what you see in daily newspapers, or even what professional astrologists predict. but that is really "cargo cult astrology", it copies the outward shape of the real thing, but it's missing the genuine internals. It derives more from Roman fascination with various means of prognostication than from actual living astrology.

about a week ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

HiThere Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (347 comments)

Things aren't that simple. The early transistors weren't reproducible...not predictably. And nobody knew why. It eventually turned out that they could be poisoned by trace amount of materials below the amounts chemically detectable at the time. IIRC it took over a decade of very careful work to figure that our, or it may just have been to figure out how to prevent the poisoning. And that had significant money behind it. (I think it was pre-breakup AT&T.)

Now I haven't seen anything convincing that indicates that cold fusion will work, but I also haven't heard of any significant investigation. Merely various spot checks by people who say either they can't get it to work or "I'll sell you this black box.". I'm dubious about its actually working, but not convinced, and don't see any reason that anyone else is convinced...either way.

To me this seems like "this is a low probability proposal which has some claimed marginal evidence and no reasonable theoretical justification and no convincing evidence". Remember just how difficult it is to actually prove that something is false, where you don't know care what mechanism that might be causing it. Were I investing, I don't think I'd invest in it, because even though the potential payoff is astronomical, the probability is extremely small, and the difficulty in reaching a definite negative proof is extreme. And other people have already failed to reach a positive proof. And only a positive proof has a reasonable payoff. (Buying Lockheed stock seems like a better use of the money.)

about a week ago

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