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Comments

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New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

The Living Fractal P vs. NP (161 comments)

I've always felt that our meatbrains have a pretty incredible capacity for taking WAGs at NP problems (i.e. traveling salesman). And I feel like an AI would just bring itself to its knees trying to find the 100% best solution to NP questions asked of it, so I wonder if there's some need for a bit of cognitive code that says "is this an NP question? IF yes, go to the WAG process"... Just a thought I had... someone probably already did that.

about a week ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

The Living Fractal Re:Is this a cuteness thing? (628 comments)

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that a dolphin is demonstrably smarter than a chicken and because of that people feel it is more likely to experience pain and suffering during this "fishing".

Not a personal opinion of mine, just one hypothesis for the reaction.

about 7 months ago
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Employee Morale Is Suffering At the NSA

The Living Fractal Re:Been there. Done that. (841 comments)

Sadly, this isn't just a story about the IRS.

This is a story about pretty much any organization that has too little oversight and accountability.

about 8 months ago
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Experian Sold Social Security Numbers To ID Theft Service

The Living Fractal Re:I'm Dead (390 comments)

You type pretty well for a dead guy.

about 9 months ago
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Measles Outbreak Tied To Texas Megachurch

The Living Fractal Re:This isn't a religion issue. (622 comments)

The only people refusing to get vaccinated are the religious nut jobs here.

And they are the only ones getting the disease.

Please try again.

about a year ago
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US Intel Agencies To Build Superconducting Computer

The Living Fractal Re:Old, old, old (73 comments)

That's OK. That's where the "dirt" is found.

Anyway, it has always been worth what you pay for it.

1 year,14 days
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Give Zebrafish Some Booze and They Stop Fearing Robots

The Living Fractal Maybe they were just blinded... (58 comments)

I did not RTFA (this is Slashdot you insensitive clod) but maybe the poor Zebrafish were just blinded by all the booze and therefore couldn't see the threat, which is not a behavioral change at all.

1 year,18 days
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In UK, Google Glass To Be Banned While Driving

The Living Fractal Stupid but...okay whatever. (214 comments)

The truth is pretty simple: People who want to be distracted while driving will find a way to be distracted while driving. Doesn't matter if it's a cell phone, spacing out thinking about other things, eating a Royale with Cheese or any number of other possibilities. You can write laws until you're blue in the face but you aren't addressing the behavior with any of them. What we need is smart automobiles that can tell when the driver is getting a blo---errr, is distracted, and can compensate accordingly. Maybe even by driving the car autonomously for a few moments. Obviously it's not a coincidence that Google is working on just that kind of tech right now.

1 year,19 days
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How the Smartphone Killed the Three-day Weekend

The Living Fractal Re:Not me (232 comments)

Missed a big portion of America: people who check their phones, even though they aren't on the clock, because they LIKE what they do and want to stay in the loop.

about a year ago
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Does Antimatter Fall Up?

The Living Fractal Re:What am I missing? (255 comments)

Ah so just getting the detectors in place. Thanks.

about a year ago
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Does Antimatter Fall Up?

The Living Fractal What am I missing? (255 comments)

If they have created hydrogen atoms already, why wouldn't they just check to see if those atoms fall to the bottom of the container, or float to the top? I would guess these atoms are stored in a vacuum, so buoyancy isn't a concern.

about a year ago
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Blizzard Announces Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Digital Card Game

The Living Fractal Fantastic! (79 comments)

I'll never play this, but I'm sure some people will enjoy it very much. I continue to wait for Titan.

about a year ago
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Crysis 3 Review: Amazing Graphics, Still a Benchmark Buster, Boring Gameplay

The Living Fractal Re:broken metaphor (211 comments)

No, there still is. It's just in little pieces all over the place now. It's a lot harder to render THAT than a bar of something.

about a year and a half ago
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Is It Worth Paying Extra For Fast SD Cards?

The Living Fractal Not just for professionals... (164 comments)

As an avid amateur photographer I once tried lower-end, slower SD cards. The wait between shots of ~1 second (disregarding the camera buffer) means you cannot even preview your shots during that time. Instead you get to wait with a nice blinking LED on the back of the camera until the preview is ready. I found this nearly unbearable after only a dozen or so shots and when I got a chance I immediately spent the money on a faster card that allows previews basically immediately. NOTE: I am using a D800, so your mileage may vary on this... with 36mp RAW files I was waiting several seconds to just preview a shot.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How to Pimp My Android Tablet?

The Living Fractal Please don't... (154 comments)

Using your cheap DAC in that tablet to play music is practically a crime, or should be. It's going to sound terrible. There are some decent DACs out there for $99 that can run via Android with some customization. I realize this is more than the cost of your tablet... but seriously man, the sound is world's better.

about a year and a half ago
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Homeland Security Stole Michael Arrington's Boat

The Living Fractal No way... (812 comments)

A person in a position of power abused that power? Well color me surprised! I'm sure this has everything to do with DHS and nothing at all to do with the fact that every imaginable authority organization has had people who abuse their power since the dawn of time. Why is this news? Pursue your problem, get it resolved... But this is not "news for nerds" by any reasonable stretch of the imagination.

about a year and a half ago
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Next-Gen Console Wars Will Soon Begin In Earnest

The Living Fractal Re:Well, it was nice while it lasted (284 comments)

Nintendo is not really about technology as much as innovative, fun games, for the whole family.

about a year and a half ago
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Dozens Suspended In Harvard University Cheat Scandal

The Living Fractal When cultural icons like Lance Armstrong .... (264 comments)

Look, how surprising is this really? I'd say about as surprising as the sun rising. Our cultural icons don't just cheat (think performance enhancing drugs) but when they are caught the repercussions are so minor (at least as portrayed by the media) that it makes cheating almost mandatory because everyone does it and when things are competitive or, say, graded on a curve, you're kind of screwed into following suit.

about a year and a half ago
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Cooking Up the Connected Kitchen

The Living Fractal Automation (141 comments)

Connectivity is great but I want automation. I want to be able to wake up to a couple perfectly fried eggs and some bacon next to buttered toast. Thanks science.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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"Emoticons" In The Workplace -- :) or :( ?

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "The situation: you work in an office, you're a professional, and you use e-mail extensively to correspond — both internally and externally. What is the accepted practice on emoticon use? Use them sparingly, not at all, or as much as you please? And what about the vast amounts of less-well-known emoticons? Should I tell my whining coworker to "QQ more"? Should I smile with :), :D or :-)? Or is it just best to avoid them altogether? I would be very ^_^ to see your answers."
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Aren't We Fat Enough?

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  about 6 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "CNET has coverage of Toyota's recently unveiled "Winglet". Similar to the Segway, but only capable of traveling around 3.7mph (compared to the Segway's relatively speedy 12.5mph), the Winglet promises to replace walking at a brisk pace with... motorized transport. In other news, 34% of United States citizens are now considered obese. At least now this demographic will be able to get to the food court in the mall without burning precious calories. Perhaps a good idea is to limit use of these to those with legitimate handicaps? Thoughts?"
Link to Original Source
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Largest Industrial Project Ever in North America

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "Two of the world's largest energy corporations, BP and ConocoPhillips, announced today their intent to join forces and build the single largest project ever built in North America. The project is a natural gas pipeline which will run from the tip of Alaska to Alberta, Canada, where it may further jump off to markets in the Lower 48. The pipeline will be designed to carry 4,000 MMSCFD; truly a tremendous amount of energy which previously has been 'stranded' on Alaska's North Slope oilfield."
Link to Original Source
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Human and Machine: Music of the Next Century.

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "Music. It started with gutteral chants surrounding bonfires on the wild plains of Africa. Then maybe the chants were joined by makeshift drums. Eventually instruments were created. They became ever more complex and capable of harnessing the range of human hearing. More and more people became involved. There were orchestras requiring many people. Then something happened. Computers were created, and electronic music was born. But it wasn't the same, the computer couldn't harness the truly amazing fidelity of a real instrument. But computers have gotten exponentially better. And now they give a single person the power to create an entire orchestra. Witness the future, and ask yourself, where does it go from here?"
Link to Original Source
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Black Monday: Twenty Years Ago Today

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "On October 19th, 1987, the world stock markets endured a drop so large that it would eventually be known as Black Monday. Today is not Monday, though there is certainly a similarity between what happened today in the US stock markets and what happened on the Friday before Black Monday back in 1987. Can we expect that the same thing that happened twenty years ago happens again at the open of the markets on Monday? What are the causes of this potential recession, and what, if any, is the light at the end of the tunnel?"
Link to Original Source
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US Department of Defense Stops Religious Crusade?

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Banan Tarr writes "The LA Times reports here that the United States Department of Defense has put a stop to the Pentagon-supported "Military Crusade" — a program created by a fundamentalist Christian ministry called Operation Straight Up. This comes a week after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation discovered intent to distribute "Freedom Packages" to US sodliers in Iraq. What were in these packages? Bibles, written in English and Arabic, and an apocalyptic computer game in which the main characters were "Sodliers for Christ". These packages were never delivered. But could they be a sign of things truly being out of hand in today's administration? Or is this an exmaple of checks and balances at work?"
Link to Original Source
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Slashdot References in Popular Culture?

The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  about 7 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "So I'm reading Century Rain, a great SF book by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds, and at about page 80 or so I stumble onto a hidden Slashdot reference. Reynolds' character "Niagara" runs a finger diagonally across his chest then 'dots' next to the slash, then goes on to talk about a community of progressive thinkers on one of the earliest computer networks (today's internet) who eventually founded his society. They're even called Slashers! Maybe old news to some of you, but a nice surprise for me nevertheless.
Does anyone else have /. easter eggs they've found that they can share with us?"
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The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "I am in the market for a new mobile phone. With so many new phones coming out, which do you, the Slashdot readers, consider the best of them all? Are there phones yet to be released which someone looking to get a new phone should wait for? And finally, what are the pros and cons of smartphones/PDAs vs. simple "talk only" cell phones?"
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The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "Over at AnandTech Marcus Yam's news blog details the advances NEC Electronics, in association with Elpida Memory and Oki Electric, has achieved regarding new ways of producing memory modules. The companies recently announced the use of a three dimensional stacking technique which has enabled them to create a 1-terabit (128 gigabyte) module in a very small package (each of the eight chips are a mere 50 micrometers thick). Samsung is reportedly developing the same technology for flash applications. While this is only an incremental advance and not revolutionary it is nice to know that portable media devices like cell phones and music players will soon hold more than enough data to contain one's entire library, and then some.

Does this spell an end to iPods, Zunes and all other portable music players? Or are cell phones not yet ubiquitous enough to wave goodbye to portable music players quite yet? Are the predictions of an Apple iPhone really that far away? Will Microsoft release a "Phune"? All good quesions which hopefully will be answered soon."
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The Living Fractal The Living Fractal writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Living Fractal writes "Yahoo! Business has an article about workplace socializing. Apparently, those who drink alcohol and socialize make more money on average. From the article:

"Regular drinkers make 10% to 14% more money than those who do not drink, according to the study, conducted by the Journal of Labor Research, published quarterly by the Department of Economics at George Mason University, and the Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based think tank."

This article spawns a few questions. Do those "regular drinkers" end up spending that extra 10-14% on booze? Who here is a social drinker? And have you noticed this in your workplace?"

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