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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

MozeeToby Re:von Neumann probes (354 comments)

Possible. I think unlikely, but certainly possible. By your comment I take you to mean that designing such a payload is difficult if not impossible regardless of your technology level. I would counter-argue that life itself shows how such a system is at least theoretically possible. All that it's really missing is a much more effective error detection and elimination system. Otherwise life obviously self replicates, is extremely hardy, and can store/move a vast amount of information, more than enough to build itself and several subsequent generations of more advanced machines plus the instructions needed to drive it all.

yesterday
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Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

MozeeToby Re:Even simpler (108 comments)

This doesn't actually work unless your ok with all the worlds poor continuing to be poor.

yesterday
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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

MozeeToby Re: Science, bitches, that's *how* it works! (181 comments)

One of the great scientific minds of the modern era can say it far better than me.

"John, when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

Isaac Asimov - The Relativity of Wrong

yesterday
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Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

MozeeToby Re:What percentage... (108 comments)

Damn straight! I'm sure none of those marmy smarmy researchers thought about nighttime!

yesterday
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

MozeeToby Re:von Neumann probes (354 comments)

We're talking hyper advanced self-replicating probes. The actual payload getting transferred could be on the order of grams. With a little ingenuity, we could launch a few grams to .05c right now if we really wanted to, it just wouldn't do any good because we don't have any way of making a useful payload that small.

yesterday
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

MozeeToby Re:As with all space missions: (198 comments)

Hi there. This is wrong. Just... incredibly wrong.

People had known the earth was round for hundreds if not thousands of years before Columbus. They had even done the math and experiments to figure out it's size (and gotten pretty close to being right about it). You can't actually navigate long distances on Earth without that knowledge. So what made Columbus special? He did the math wrong and thought the earth was 1/3 the size it actually is. That's also why he thought he was in the Indies in spite of having traveled a fraction the distance it actually would take.

The reason no one had ever tried to make the trip before wasn't that they thought they would fall off, it was that they thought they would run out of supplies and die. Which is exactly what would have happened to Columbus if there hadn't been a massive continent for him to run into.

3 days ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

MozeeToby Re:As with all space missions: (198 comments)

mainly because the airship is a pretty damn big single point of failure

How so? I assume the envelope would be divided into separate cells and the pressures and temperatures involved mean that the actual pressure difference between inside and outside the envelope is basically nill. In other words, if something springs a leak you'll have quit a bit of time to get it repaired, your lifting gas will escape at the rate of diffusion.

they'll effectively be cooped up inside of the craft the same as if they're traversing open space.

Except the craft can be much, much more capable because the environment is much friendlier to human life than open space. Given enough power, you could even work towards pulling breathing (and lifting for that matter) gasses and water out of the atmosphere, not directly but by processing the CO2 and acids.

3 days ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

MozeeToby Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

they do a dangerous job

Is it though? Sanitation workers, farmers, and roofers have a death rates 2x higher than police officers in the US and we don't consider them to be particularly dangerous jobs.

about a week ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

MozeeToby Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

Rogue is too random. It's at least theoretically possible to win any random game of Nethack (assuming default options of course... never could bring myself to write "elbereth" everywhere), many (most?) games of Rogue are unwinnable, there simply aren't enough decisions to be made to overcome the random number gods.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

MozeeToby Re:Senator John McCain (769 comments)

I still remember a GOP debate during the primaries. The moderator asked for a show of hands, who would approve torture to save american lives. The camera slowly pans past all the candidates with their hands up. And then there's John McCain on the end with what can only be described as a horrified expression. I felt sorry for the guy that day, there in front of him were some of his closest colleagues and presumably a few friends saying that the torture the Vietcong did to him was not only justifiable but in fact justified from the perpetrators point of view.

about two weeks ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

MozeeToby Re:No, it's not even possible (181 comments)

That it took 90,000 of the best processors slaved together for 40 minutes to simulate the computational power of the human brain for 1 sec?

That makes a ratio of 216,000,000 : 1, on a processor to human brain ratio. That isn't really fair, since a modern processor will use much less energy than the human brain but lets roll with it anyway. That seems insurmountable, but only because it's difficult to appreciate just how much faster and more powerful processors are today than they were even half a decade ago.

That ratio puts us about 11 "doubling" periods away from being able to use a 90,000 cpu cluster to simulate a mind in real time. Historically, the doubling period has been 18-24 months, so that puts it about 20 years away from large scale institutions being able to simulate a facsimile of a human mind. 17 doublings (~30 years) after that, a single processor would have the ability to simulate a human brain.

Now, there's a lot to be argued about there. There's absolutely no guarantee that processor improvement will continue at historical levels (and lots of obvious and less obvious arguments against it). But then again, chip designers have approached "impossible" barriers to improvement many times in the past and have simply changed tacks to go around them. There's no guarantee that the current simulations are at all accurate, perhaps chemical or even quantum processes significantly drive human thought for instance. But then again, 50 years is a long time to perfect the simulations.

about two weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

MozeeToby Re:What if... (574 comments)

So... Hawking is a Skroderider?

about three weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

MozeeToby Re:sigh (574 comments)

Not sure why it's funny, Hawking might be a brilliant theoretical physicist but that doesn't make him a brilliant artificial intelligence researcher any more than my competence at creating code makes me a classical painter.

about three weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

MozeeToby Re:Is it true... (355 comments)

The amount of development that has occurred in Africa over the last 50 years is staggering. Ignoring it to make a point is dishonest and smacks of prejudice at the very least.

about three weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

MozeeToby Re:we ARE different (355 comments)

Oh god I hate weighing in on the wrong side of this argument but I can't let this one lie. (For the record, I'm assuming based on what you are responding to that you're being sarcastic, if you're not... well, so it goes). Yes, natural selection can work in about 100 years. Natural selection can work in about 100s if the environment changed the right way. Do note, natural selection is only a single part of evolution, and for lasting, long term changes to occur requires, among other things, mutations. Those kinds of changes take dozens of generations. Simply changing the rate of expression of a gene in the gene pool is as simple as removing the genes you don't like, which can happen very, very rapidly.

about three weeks ago
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UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

MozeeToby Re:Knee-jerk... (256 comments)

In some states you can request the evidence. In WI for instance you can ask to see the radar gun (with read speed still displayed) as well as the certification information for said gun. Generally this is a bad idea, since it will take you from "maybe get out of this with a warning" into "they will throw everything they can at you even if they can't get you for speeding".

about three weeks ago
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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

MozeeToby Re:What about long-term data integrity? (438 comments)

In theory yes, in practice it's unlikely to ever come up. Wear leveling does wonders, over provisioning does more on top.

If SSDs had come first you'd be saying the same thing about HDDs: Don't HDDs have fragile mechanical parts that fail randomly?

about three weeks ago
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A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

MozeeToby Re:"losing" tools (82 comments)

There's 3 types of people:

1) People who lose tools by accident
2) People who steal tools on purpose
3) People who don't lose or steal tools

You might prevent or reduce losses from category 1. You will create a minor inconvenience for people in category 2. And you will piss off everyone in category 3 who will feel like they're no longer trusted.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

MozeeToby Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (652 comments)

You can't just ramp up and down a nuclear power plant when the sun goes behind a cloud (exaggeration for affect). It takes a long time for a reactor to heat up and an even longer time for it to cool down. They are very poor when it comes to the use you are advocating.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

MozeeToby Re:Well if two google engineers say so (652 comments)

Alternatively, what they're saying is that it's going to be really really hard and we should take every opportunity possible. Just because small changes aren't enough by themselves doesn't mean small changes don't have a positive impact.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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High Temperature Super Conductivity Reported

MozeeToby MozeeToby writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MozeeToby (1163751) writes "The EE Times is Reporting a developement in near room temperature super conductivity. Professor John Tse of the University of Saskatchewan announced the discovery of a new family of superconductors based on Silane (Methane with Silicon replacing the Carbon).

This new discovery does not come without its own obstacles to overcome. While the new superconductors don't need to be supercooled, they do need to be super-compressed, on the order of 100-125 GPa."

Link to Original Source
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Ohio Voting Machines Tampered With Last Year

MozeeToby MozeeToby writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MozeeToby (1163751) writes "The Columbus Dispatch is reporting on a criminal investigation currently being performed in Franklin County Ohio. It seems several voting machines listed Jay Perez as withdrawn from the race when in fact he wasn't. By the time the investigations tracked down which machines had been affected, Mr. Perez's name was back on the ballot.

Normally, we could dismiss this as confusion or a mistake on the part of the voter(s) who noticed it. In this case, the person who first noticed the discrepency was Ohio Secretary of state Jennifer Brunner. Further compounding matter, the Franklin County Board of Elections had dissabled virtually all logging on the machines to speed setup of the balot.

Naturally, the county board remains sceptical of these accusations."

Link to Original Source
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Electronic Scholars to Interpret Muslim Law

MozeeToby MozeeToby writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MozeeToby (1163751) writes "
An 'Electronic Mufti' is currently under development that will use artificial intelligence techniques to issue opinions on contemporary Muslim affairs. A mufti is an Islamic scholar who offers interpretations of Sharia, Islamic law.
Apparently, such a system does not violate muslim law and is welcomed by most traditional clerics; after all, what could possibly go wrong."

Link to Original Source
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No link between violent behavior and video games

MozeeToby MozeeToby writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MozeeToby (1163751) writes "In a study confirming what most of us already believed, it was found that there is no link between violence and video games. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M has published a meta-analysis of the results of past research done on the topic.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/66217176984x7477/

He concludeds "Once corrected for publication bias, studies of video game violence provided no support for the hypothesis that violent video game playing is associated with higher aggression."

As an added bonus, he also found that violent games improve spatial awareness. Maybe this will finally put the debate to rest... or most likely not."

Link to Original Source
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Dark Matter May Not Exist

MozeeToby MozeeToby writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MozeeToby (1163751) writes "Last August, a collision of two huge clusters of galaxy's was found to have separated the normal matter of the clusters from the dark matter. Now scientists are saying that this is not necessarily the case. Instead, John Moffat and Joel Brownstein propose a Modified Gravity theory that they say can explain these results and others without having introduce dark matter."
Link to Original Source

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