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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

The Real Dr John Re:It's an issue of free-will (428 comments)

Imitating free will with a machine deciding which way to move based on programming isn't free will in the sense that animals and people have free will. You have to be alive and conscious to have a "will". When you make a conscious robot, then you can start talking about free will in machines.

yesterday
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

The Real Dr John Re:Obviously not many biologists here at Slashdot (428 comments)

"It's certainly capable of acting as if it is aware - and taken to an extreme, that's about all I can really say about other people" You would make Descarte proud.

2 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

The Real Dr John Re:It's an issue of free-will (428 comments)

Actually, it is about consciousness. Neuroscientists can define it, but they can't explain it. Brains apparently are consciousness generators, and we really don't understand how that happens based on brain circuitry, neurochemistry and physiology. Clearly, it has something to do with being "alive", and since computers aren't alive they aren't conscious.

2 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

The Real Dr John Obviously not many biologists here at Slashdot (428 comments)

As a practicing neuroscientist I couldn't agree more with Dr. Noe. It is obvious to the extreme that computers don't think, and aren't aware of anything. An amoeba is aware of its surroundings because it is alive. When we all figure out what alive actually means, then we will understand more fully why computers can't think, and why they aren't aware of anything.

2 days ago
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Ubisoft Points Finger At AMD For Assassin's Creed Unity Poor Performance

The Real Dr John Re:Runs fine on my system, despite the bugs (262 comments)

Let's just hope the patches fix the major issues and improve frame rates. I have all settings on high, and I am not getting any hesitations. I'll run FRAPS and get some frame rate numbers, my guess is they are in the 30-35 fps range, which is acceptable for so much stuff on the screen at one time. You have to admit that no other games have that many detailed NPC on the screen at once (Black Flag did not have nearly this many).

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Points Finger At AMD For Assassin's Creed Unity Poor Performance

The Real Dr John Runs fine on my system, despite the bugs (262 comments)

Yes, the game has plenty of bugs, and those can get frustrating when you hide behind rather than climb a wall because the commands are the same. But it is also true that with Direct X 11 (Windows 7) and the GeForce 780 on a 6 core Intel i7 (3.3 GHz) the frame rates are very playable and the game is beautiful to look at, and fun to play. Yes, it has pretty steep system requirements, but they should be able to fix a lot of the problems for less robust hardware with patches and lowered NPC counts. Ubisoft should have delayed the game a few weeks while they finished patching some of the issues, but then they would have been criticized for not meeting their release date.

about two weeks ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

The Real Dr John Brains are living, chips aren't (91 comments)

If you want to emulate a brain with chips, you have a major obstacle to overcome; the fact that chips don't change dramatically over time as they acquire experience with the world through a coordinated set of sensory-motor systems. You would not just need the 50 or so high-level processors that are dedicated to specific tasks, linked together very specifically, you would also need the entire system to be able to rewire itself at both microscopic and macroscopic levels based on experience. Without living organisms intrinsic ability to remake the system in real time at multiple levels of structural organization, chips will always just be chips trying to imitate the brain. They will need to be able to learn and grow, just like brains, or they will always be cheap imitations.

about two weeks ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

The Real Dr John Re:missing 0 option (260 comments)

Same here, all devices connected via Gbit network. Ran Cat5e cable everywhere. No need for WiFi.

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

The Real Dr John Maybe (381 comments)

When I can talk to one, and it can talk back...

about 4 months ago
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Are Tethers the Answer To the Safety Issues of Follow-Me Drone Technology?

The Real Dr John Ever been fishing? (88 comments)

I'm sure the tether lines of multiple drones would never get crossed and cause any problems. Right?

about 5 months ago
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Was Watch Dogs For PC Handicapped On Purpose?

The Real Dr John Re:Apparently they will do the same to Far Cry 4 (215 comments)

I really hope not. Maybe now that this story is making the rounds, they will be less inclined to screw over PC gamers. If they don't handle this correctly before release, it will probably hurt PC sales.

about 5 months ago
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Fujitsu Is Growing Radiation-Free Lettuce In Japan's Fukushima Prefecture

The Real Dr John Wow! (146 comments)

Radiation-free lettuce... what will they think of next?

about 6 months ago
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Cellular Compound May Increase Lifespan Without the Need For Strict Dieting

The Real Dr John Alpha ketoglutarate is produced in copious... (66 comments)

quantities in every cell in your body. It is one of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (Kreb's cycle) intermediates produced from either the amino acid glutamate, or from isocitrate. It is not a limiting molecule in the Kreb's cycle, and giving it to humans will not have any effect on human longevity. As noted already, many bodybuilders take it every day because they think it will give them more energy. Worms and humans do not have similar life cycles. Many things that don't affect the longevity of humans increase the lifespan of worms. The research into making geriatric worms is really a waste of time and money.

about 6 months ago
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Major ISPs Threaten To Throttle Innovation and Slow Network Upgrades

The Real Dr John Yes, we should all listen to those companies... (286 comments)

that want to make money charging for higher speed access about how preventing them from doing so will be harmful to "consumers".

about 6 months ago
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How the USPS Killed Digital Mail

The Real Dr John Benjamin Franklin (338 comments)

Can now rest easy.

about 7 months ago
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Panel Says U.S. Not Ready For Inevitable Arctic Oil Spill

The Real Dr John ex Mobil exec says fracking can't be done safely (95 comments)

Retired Mobil Oil exec Louis Allstadt recently said that fracking can't be done safely with current technology. "Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed," said Allstadt, retired executive vice president of Mobil. http://www.timesunion.com/busi... This is similar to the situation with arctic drilling, but for somewhat different reasons. To do it right would require too much equipment and too many safety procedures to be cost effective. They would need to do the work quick and dirty to make a good profit. That is precisely what is happening with fracking, where gas companies have been exempted from the clean water act and other environmental protections. If they were required to comply, they couldn't afford to extract the gas. That explains the rush to frack, before the sweetheart deal is over.

about 7 months ago
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Mute Witness: Forensic Sketches From Nothing But DNA

The Real Dr John Re:DNA anaylsis is fairly conclusive, so why... (68 comments)

You will never find the person with a crude approximation of their face, which of course is subject to all sorts of modifications and changes throughout life. You would end up bringing all sorts of innocent people in for questioning because their face looked a little bit like the reconstruction. This is no way to solve a crime.You solve crimes other ways than putting up a wanted poster with a face that may or may not look like the person in question.

about 8 months ago
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Mute Witness: Forensic Sketches From Nothing But DNA

The Real Dr John DNA anaylsis is fairly conclusive, so why... (68 comments)

would it be necessary to come up with an approximate facial image? If you have the DNA sample, that is far more definitive than the approximated face. I don't understand how this is useful. It might be interesting, but I don't see any practical use in forensics.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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NSA spyware "DROPOUTJEEP" gives agency full access to your iPhone

The Real Dr John The Real Dr John writes  |  about a year ago

The Real Dr John (716876) writes "The US National Security Agency can reportedly sniff out every last bit of data from your iPhone, according to leaked NSA documents published by German magazine Der Spiegel.Known as DROPOUTJEEP, the spyware is said to be one of the tools employed by the NSA's ANT (Advanced or Access Network Technology) division to gain backdoor access to various electronic devices. From the leaked documents: "DROPOUTJEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.""
Link to Original Source
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Pro Fracking Study Run by Industry Insider

The Real Dr John The Real Dr John writes  |  more than 2 years ago

The Real Dr John writes "Previously reported by the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal, a University of Texas fracking study claimed that some of the convincingly scientific-sounding concerns of opponents of fracking don't hold up to scrutiny. An investigation by the Public Accountability Initiative has found that the study was actually led by a gas industry insider and UT faculty member, Charles Groat, who sits on the board of the fracking company Plains Exploration & Production. Groat failed to disclose this position and forgot to mention his $1.6 million stake in the company."
Link to Original Source

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