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Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

Knuckles Re:Huh? (140 comments)

It gets interesting later:

To verify the response, the researchers conducted another study in which four researchers stood in the room. Participants were told that while they were blindfolded and operating the machine, some experimenters might approach them without actually touching them. The researchers told participants to estimate the number of people close to them at regular intervals. In reality, no researcher ever approached the participants. Yet people who experienced a delayed touch on their back felt more strongly that other people were close to them, counting up to four people when none existed.

Maybe I am blindfolded, but what's interesting about this? Test subjects were blindfolded in a room with people and were told those people would come close to them but not touch them. Then something poked them, which due to desyncronization they could not relate to their actions. So they concluded that someone was poking them. And being in an uncomfortable situation (blindfolded with people in the room, operating a machine of unknown purpose - or did they know it was a poking machine?), being doubtful if the researchers had spoken the truth about coming close but not touching (because this is what you think about in the situation), and figuring that there must be some purpose to this experiment (because this is what you do), some people guessed more people were actually in the room. Big whoop?

about two weeks ago
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Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

Knuckles Re:In spite of this and other similar phenomena... (140 comments)

I can't speak for most people, but from my own perspective I don't see a conflict between "dualism" and objective empirical explanations for all human behavior. :)

From the outside, there is no verifiable reason to believe in anything beyond the (philosophical) atoms that make everything up, but Consciousness isn't about externally verifiable phenomenon. It is about subjective experience..., and while a sufficiently complex network of switches could in theory behave in an externally, verifiably, identical way to a person (i.e. essentially a biological robot), I personally have an "internal" perception of experiencing things consciously.

That seems to leave me with three options:
1) Due to unexplainable and unverifiable mystical-magical emergent properties of the organization of matter, I have a bone fide subjective experience from complex combinations of consciousness-free matter.
2) All matter has inherent consciousness properties and thus everything has a spirit (animism)
3) People are special and have a "soul"

Which of these options you choose to believe is your own business. I hope you can speak about it respectfully with others, not try to compel them to comply with your own opinion, and stand up for your beliefs in the presence of someone else trying to compel you of theirs. Cheers!

+1 for the AC
And since I already posted, 2 questions:

It has been well known for a very long time that unexpected temporal relationships between our actions and sensory impressions do weird things to our perception. Like if you turn off the light and by coincidence a sound goes off outside in the exact same moment. How is this new research so unexpected then?

How does the temporal action-result distortion in this experiment explain anything about "ghost" experiences as they are more commonly described, where the situation created in the experiment does not exist at all? Like the Reinhold Messner story in in another article about the experiment?. Other than there being other ways to induce a similar experience - but I don't believe in ghosts in the first place, so there was never a doubt that this experience can somehow be induced.

about two weeks ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Knuckles Re:More feminist bullshit (728 comments)

No mod points but AC needs to be visible:

Here's your statistics.

The study found that female bots received on average 100 malicious private messages a day while the male bots received an average of 3.7.

about a month and a half ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

I see. You didn't convince me to support a change to the Uber model here in Germany, but thanks for the insight.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

Oh. And how does that help me pay for my nurse the next 40 years after you fucked up my life (let's assume)?

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

Thanks for the effort, I am not getting it and Google gives me nothing useful. E.g., how is it a good thing if my insurances company waives my rights to further compensation.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

Sorry, not familiar with the jargon: what does "you accept it as payment in full" mean?

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

But see, 30k, 100k, and 300k are all the same woefully inadequate for medical liability. If you miss a stop sign, we have an accident and I as your passenger remain immobile drooling out of my mouth for the next 40 years, your insurance's 300k won't do me much good.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

See, and that's why we do not want Uber to undermine what we have by simply ignoring the law.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

Thanks. I couldn't find coverage numbers for commercial transportation of people, but here's the numbers for the liability insurance a private car owner is required to have. That's the minimum coverage required by law:

7.5 mil EUR for bodily injury.
1 mil EUR for property damage.
50k EUR for financial loss.

The sums for commercial vehicles are probably higher.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Drivers license (312 comments)

oh a side note how does one drive differently with a paying customer as apposed to a family member??

It's simple insurance mathematics. The insurance for taxis is most likely simply higher because the payouts are higher. Much more time on the road, etc. And it makes sense to require that a professional driver has adequate insurance for his passengers - which is a lot of coverage if you consider that a mistake can put 4 passengers in a wheelchair for decades.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Uncompetitive? (312 comments)

1 mil is not much though: cause an accident with 2 passengers who remain maimed for life, and you have to pay for their care for the next 40 years, plus destroyed cars, road damage, whatever. Those things simply happen when you reach a certain scale of number of rides. A bog-standard private general liability insurance here gives you 6 mil coverage for like 5 EUR per month or so.

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:ITT... (312 comments)

Uber only provides contacts and NOT transportation services.

How do they get paid?

about 3 months ago
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Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Knuckles Re:Anti-competitive behavior is a big deal (312 comments)

I don't see the problem here.

The problem is that in Germany we generally (there are exceptions) don't like to let people die out i the streets because they made a stupid decision. These uninsured health bills will still get paid, by taxes.

about 3 months ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Knuckles Re:Funny thing about email (232 comments)

3000 emails per week of course.

about 3 months ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Knuckles Re:Funny thing about email (232 comments)

Assuming 3000 emails in an 8 hour workday, 5 days a week, this is one email every 48 seconds on average, all the time. And if you compress its handling into part of the day, it means spending approx. 2 hours when you spend 2 seconds per email. How does this "represent a few seconds of distraction here and there a worst"?

about 3 months ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Knuckles Re:Funny thing about email (232 comments)

I frequently come back from a week out of the office and have several thousand unread emails. Keeping up with that amount of crap as it comes in is a tolerable waste of time

You get thousands of emails a week and dealing with that is just fine unless you are on vacation?

about 3 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Knuckles Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

With your attitude of "the audience is dumb", you should work at a network.

Not sure how you are getting from the factual statement I made to the phantasy you are projecting on me.

about 4 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Knuckles Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

The audience's actions being prompted by people with cue boards, etc., of course.

about 4 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Knuckles Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

Then you won't be reading slashdot any more either, right? Because the Sheldon Cooper characterizes epitomizes a significant fraction of the posts here - myopic, minimal empathy and a retreat to 'logic' that is really just selfish rationalization.

Thanks, I've been grappling with words for this for a while after having started to work in a really nerdy place. It's ok, but strangely aggravating, and you put it very well, especiall the last part. There's also no use in pointing it out to some people, it simply does not register, just like on /. sometimes.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Rest in Peace, Heinz Zemanek

Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  about 4 months ago

Knuckles (8964) writes "Austrian computer pioneer Heinz Zemanek, the first person to build a fully transistorized computer on the European mainland, died in Vienna, aged 94 (link in German). Officially named Binär dezimaler Volltransistor-Rechenautomat (binary-decimal fully transistorized computing automaton), but known as "Mailüfterl", the computer was built in 1955 and in 1958 calculated 5073548261 to be a prime number in 66 minutes. Its power was comparable to a small tube computer of the time, and it measured 4 by 2.5 by 0.5 meters. "Mailüfterl" means "may breeze" in Viennese German and was a play on US computers of the time, like MIT's Whirlwind. 'Even if it cannot match the rapid calculation speed of American models called "Whirlwind" or "Typhoon", it will be enough for a "Wiener Mailüfterl"' (Viennese may breeze), said Zemanek. Mailüfterl contained 3,000 transistors, 5,000 diodes, 1,000 assembly platelets, 100,000 solder joints, 15,000 resistors, 5,000 capacitors and 20,000 meters switching wire. It was built as an underground project at and without financial support from the technical university of Vienna, were Zemanek was an assistant professor at the time. In 1961, Zemanek and his team moved to IBM, who built them their own lab in Vienna. In 1976, Zemanek became an IBM Fellow and stayed at IBM until his retirement in 1985. He was crucial in the creation of the formal definition of the programming language PL/I. The definition language used was VDL (Vienna Definition Language), a direct predecessor of VDM Specification Language (VDM-SL). He remained a professor in Vienna and held regular lectures until 2006."
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Apple drops some features from CUPS 1.6 not needed by OS X

Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Knuckles writes "Most Slashdot readers will be aware that in 2007, CUPS (the Common Unix Printing System) became an Apple project when Apple hired chief developer Michael Sweet and purchased the CUPS source code. In 2002, Apple had adopted CUPS as the print system for OS X, starting with 10.2. As of the upcoming CUPS 1.6, Apple seems to have decided that they have less use for the "Common" in CUPS, as noted in a blog post by Tim Waugh, the print subsystem maintainer in Fedora:

The main part that is being dropped completely is CUPS Browsing. This is currently the primary mechanism for CUPS-to-CUPS printer queue discovery on Linux. It works by having each CUPS server periodically broadcast UDP packets on port 631 announcing its available queues, and listening for broadcasts from other CUPS servers. This discovery method is being dropped because DNS-SD is preferred upstream.

CUPS on Linux can use Avahi instead, but this change means that automatic CUPS queue discovery with CUPS 1.6 will require Avahi running on both the server and the client. In addition, CUPS 1.6 will drop several file type filters. These will be moved to a new package, so it should not be a big deal."
Link to Original Source

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Miguel de Icaza on Mono, Moonlight, and Gnome

Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Knuckles writes "Austrian newspaper Der Standard continues its recent series of in-depth interviews with free software developers. This time they sat down with Novell's Vice President of Developer Platform, Miguel de Icaza of Gnome and Mono fame. The interview was conducted at GUADEC (GNOME Users' And Developers' European Conference).

Miguel talks mainly about Mono 2.0 and .Net 3.5 compatibility, enhancing the collaboration with Microsoft over Silverlight ("Moonlight" in Mono), and the larger political situation of Mono and Moonlight. When the interviewer asks whether Moonlight is only validating Silverlight on the web, Miguel gives a quite detailed answer that includes a possibly well-deserved swipe at Mozilla.

And even the Mozilla guys — the keynote we had here was done on a mac, every single Mozilla developer uses a Mac. And it's funny, they constantly attack Silverlight, they constantly attack Flash and then all of them use proprietary operating systems, they don't seem to have a problem doing it. And then they had the Guiness record thing for Firefox 3 and you went to the website and it had a flash map to show where people are downloading — so there definitely is a double standard here. And that's after all their claiming that you can do everything in AJAX — so they definitely don't "walk the walk".

Another topic is Miguel's suggestion to "refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop" using Moonlight.

To be realistic I don't think we can do absolutely everything that would take years. So if I would have my choice today I would probably rewrite the gnome panel completely with Moonlight. I wouldn't go as far as doing the file manager although I think it would be great to do a new file manager or improve Nautilus but it would be a lot of work.

It should be noted that Miguel has not been responsible for Gnome development for a long time, so don't take this as "plans for Gnome"."

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Acer: Vista disappointed 'entire industry'

Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Knuckles writes "Financial Times Germany quotes (German) Acer president Gianfranco Lanci as saying, 'the entire industry is disappointed by Windows Vista.' Here is an English report about the FTD article by Tech.co.uk. Lanci said that despite the year-long wait that Microsoft imposed on the industry, Vista was not ready on launch. Lanci: 'Stability is certainly a problem.'"
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Wii puts Japanese TV stations under pressure

Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Knuckles writes "The Times reports that "Japanese desert prime-time TV to play on their Nintendo Wii". Recent figures from Japan's audience-tracking firms show that "last week was the first in nearly two decades where no single show on any commercial station attracted more than a 9 per cent audience share. "According to one senior executive of the country's largest commercial television channel, Fuji TV, families who used to tune in to its colourful diet of soap operas, panel games and comedy variety shows may, instead, be drifting away and choosing to spend the same, economically-critical "golden hour" time playing on their Wii."

Personally, I'd like new games, but I can bridge the gap with the virtual console. If only it worked with PAL games over component cables."
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Xbox 360 Failure Rate Reaches 33%?

Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Knuckles writes "DailyTech reports that with a failure rate around 33%, "the Xbox 360 is the least reliable gaming console in recent history", with launch consoles even worse. The numbers were found by polling EB Games and Gamestop employees, who answered under strict anonymity, and verifying the results with other retailers, such as Best Buy. DailyTech does however not disclose the number of employees they asked. EB Games Canada allegedly had to change their warranty policies to cope."
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Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Knuckles writes "The Samsung website has a press release announcing a broad patent deal between Samsung and Microsoft. It includes clauses that are similar to Novell's deal, giving Samsung rights to alleged Microsoft patents in Linux.

Through the agreement, Samsung will obtain access to Microsoft patents that may be practiced in a range of Samsung's existing and future product lines, such as computer products, set-top-boxes, digital media players, camcorders, televisions, printers, and home appliances. In these product lines, Samsung and its distributors and customers may utilize Microsoft's patents in Samsung's products with proprietary software and Samsung will also obtain coverage from Microsoft for its customers' use of certain Linux-based products.
Unfortunately it is not clear if they try to include just products that are based on "Linux" the kernel, or also products that are based on the OS that is usually, and erroneously, called by that name."
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Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Knuckles writes "Austrian newspaper Der Standard has released another interview from Novells Brainshare conference, this time with Novell CTO/Open Source Nat Friedman. (Slashdot carried an interview with Miguel de Icaza recently). Friedman talks about a lot of things: what's up with the Evolution email client, Service Pack 1 for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, proprietary media support, the Novell/MS deal (saying that he does not think that Novell patches will be rejected because of the deal), Beagle improvements, and why Hula failed at Novell (and its future)."
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Knuckles Knuckles writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Knuckles writes "On the Wii website the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, conducts quite extensive interviews with the developers of Wii, such as the General Manager of Research and Development. The interview comes in two volumes with three parts each. Iwata actually asks many interesting questions, such as
In general, no engineer hates higher performance. As an engineer, didn't you experience any inner conflict when it was decided that we would not necessarily take Wii in the direction of sheer horsepower alone?
The interview is the start of a series according to the Wii website."

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