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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

TuringTest Re:"Expected", "could", and "maybe" (329 comments)

Do you have a suggestion on how to modify our behavior to keep the sun from exploding?

5 days ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

TuringTest Re:"Expected", "could", and "maybe" (329 comments)

If I check out the windows and there were rioters and police shooting at them, I'd be wary of going out that day, yes.

5 days ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

TuringTest Re:"Expected", "could", and "maybe" (329 comments)

Have you ever heard of the Pascal wager?

The (un)likelyhood of an unwelcome outcome should be weighted by the severity of harm if it happens, to make a rational informed decision.

about two weeks ago
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Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

I said "Not if you choose to be one of the people who doesn't work and lives from the basic rent"... or also if you can't choose and are forced into it. Life is long and you never know what tomorrow brings.

With a basic income, you have a choice that you didn't have before. This is what those extra taxes are buying you (in addition to reducing competence because other people will choose not to apply to the remaining jobs). Being universal, you also benefit from them.

about two weeks ago
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Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

What if the product is not created by a person but by a robot? That option didn't ever exist in the past.

about two weeks ago
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Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

Because I have to pay taxes to support them?

Not if you choose to be one of the people who doesn't work and lives from the basic rent.

...making us less competitive internationally. Which causes more jobs to be outsourced...

Do you realize that those arguments wouldn't apply if the rent was truly universal? I.e. if *all* people could apply for them, not just people from a single country, all workers in the world would face the same increases in costs, thus not making any difference in their competitiveness.

...or just vanish due to being economically unproductive.

Again you're assuming 1) that such thing would happen and 2) that it's a bad thing. Why?

about two weeks ago
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Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

TuringTest Re: Effort dilution (254 comments)

By converted, you mean "wrapped", right? Banks sinply don't throw away well tested code that runs core business logic merely to update the language, they build interfaces around them and keep then running. Surely new systems are built in new languages (mostly Java) and old systems will be ultimately shut down, but it doesn't make sense for the parts where requirements remain the same, and the principles of banking have been the same for centuries.

And high performance scientific code is often easier to write in Fortran than C. When you add that to the knowledge an already swt-up environments in academy, there's still a relevant community trusting their libraries for their computing needs.

about two weeks ago
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Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

TuringTest Re: Effort dilution (254 comments)

By that metric, COBOL and Fortran are the most relevant and successful, as they're in wide use at core infrastructure in banking and scientific computing respectively.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

TuringTest Re: Cult (488 comments)

s/core sharing / code sharing/

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

TuringTest Re: Cult (488 comments)

Maybe it's time to give up the open source movement? Our leaders are getting old and the new generation does not understand our need for freedom and in some cases they dont have enough coding skills.

The day open source is forgotten and core sharing depends merely on developer's goodwill, without clear reuse licenses, we will face all the Unix wars all over again.

There are clear signs of that already happening in the mobile OS area, where big corps are busy using patents to invalidate the benefits that their FLOSS code base provide.

The advantage of open source is that it allows developers to advance the industry fast through collaboration on common infrastructure while competing on quality and features, rather than competing on who owns the largest amount of intellectual property. Next generation developers would be wise to learn that lesson from history or they will have to re-learn it from experience.

about three weeks ago
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Game Theory Analysis Shows How Evolution Favors Cooperation's Collapse

TuringTest Re:TIt-for-tat fallacy (213 comments)

Unchallenged presence is not a measure of success if it's unsustainable. Our current widespread presence is dependent upon a huge dependency of non-renewable resources.

The real test of success is when a species is integrated in its environment with a relationship that relies solely on renewable resources, so that their presence in that environment may run indefinitely. We are nowhere near that point yet.

Nature is full of periods where a process runs wild and fills their environment, only to be instantly wiped out when the resources required to maintain the process are exhausted. Those processes or species do not count as "successful" in terms of evolution if they become ultimately extinct.

about three weeks ago
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Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

I've known too many people who were content doing absolutely nothing.

You say that as if it was a bad thing. How does it affect you negatively?

Making people work for their wages makes sense.

That's not a given, in particular if the work they would be forced to do is not productive but "show off", as you suggest. Do you mind to elaborate that idea and justify it, to explain what it makes sense to you?

about three weeks ago
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Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

Demand for workers can shrink but the supply will not and wages will bottom out and as they do so will demand for goods, effectively creating a catch-22.

That's why a universal basic income is such a beautiful concept. It would remove from the equation human survival as an individual incentive - thus reducing the supply of workers when the work offers are not attractive enough, solving that particular problem.

If everyone had their basic survival guaranteed through an unconditional minimum wage, the work market would be driven by individual initiatives to create pretty things and to improve from that basic status by pursuing luxury.

The main fear against the UBI is that those incentives would not attract enough workers to support the needs of mankind as a whole, but I don't see evidence that this would be the case - the drive to be creative and improve your personal status are pretty strong ones.

about three weeks ago
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Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

TuringTest Re:If control is possible. (109 comments)

But those criteria will all be comprised of humans. Which they will NOT be able to predict.

Interesting hypothesis. Wouldn't it make sense to test it and see if it's right or not?

about a month and a half ago
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It's Time To Revive Hypercard

TuringTest Re:Balance taxes? (299 comments)

And there are much better ways to teach programming. For a very long time there has been a movement to bring programming to the masses, as if, somehow, everyone would be able to write beautiful, intricate code to solve their most complex problems.

You probably already know how to program, and I think that's why you seem to miss the point entirely. ;-) "Programming for the masses" is like basic literacy/alphabetization, not like formal training in High Literature: its goal is not to solve complex problems with programming tools, just like the point of literacy is not that all people will be able to write poetry. It's that they can manage the very basic, trivial tasks on their own, without having to hire a scribe (for reading and writing) or developer (for programming) to do simple tasks like basic accounting, sending letters, or in the case of programming, building simple automation tasks - like setting an alarm or opening your garage's door when the right circumstances happen. Note how there is no universal system nowadays that the general public could use to create those two trivial examples.

That niche is mostly served nowadays with apps for phones and tablets, which the end user can discover and use on their own from the app store to solve most common needs; but the developer is not totally removed from the equation yet, as even for really simple needs, the user is restricted to the subset of interactions that developers have created in advance, and the user can't build their own on top of them.

Writing programs requires clear, linear thought. It requires thinking in terms of structures and systems.

That's true of most current programming environments, but it's not an inherent property of what we call "programming" if understood in a general sense (that of creating new automated behaviours), specially when we restrict it to the basic tasks I'm talking about. Programming by example, case-based reasoning, procedural inference, constraint-based layouts... or even dexlarative markup languages are tools that allow creating some kinds of automations without using a procedural language nor learning an exact syntax.

The field of End-user Development studies those tools in a scientific context, and has some achievements in their history. Many of these tools are limited in scope (they apply to special situations) and are not general-purpose tools; but some of these, like the spreadsheet and Hypercard, are Turing machines at their core and can ultimately be used for any programming task.

The essence of EUD tools is not defined in terms of linear thought but in terms of semantics and inference of meaning - i.e. being able to make sense of the system as presented and use it to solve your current problems. All humans are good at sense-making, provided the tools are tailored to cover their needs and knowledge background. I've learned some research on semiotics applied to Human-computer interaction, and it shows how to study and build such tools. That is not the approach that is taught in common comp-sci curricula, though.

There are plenty of graphical programming languages that reduce the need for precise syntax, but they only REDUCE it, not eliminate it, and they still require procedural thinking which, ultimately, presents an insurmountable difficulty for many people.

True again, but again not an insurmountable problem. Information workers have managed to use Excel as a shared database with abstract datatypes and Outlook as a workflow management and collaborative creation tool, and as structured personal storage, all without learning how to create a single function definition. That's a Good Thing, though it would be better if they could use similar tools created specifically for those purposes.

Sure, everyone should be given basic skills in writing, and perhaps in drawing or painting as a child, and so perhaps everyone should be given basic skills in programming, but beyond that, why?

Who says there needs to be anything beyond that? The main problem for end users is that their essential needs are still not covered with current programing platforms, as basic programming skills are not enough to build even the most basic automation. The knowledge required to build anything practical like a simple app or Web page is still too much; the learning curve is just too steep. That's where a tool like Hypercard, with its hands-on approach and simple conceptual model, would help.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Search Finally Adds Information About Video Games

TuringTest Re:I don't like (47 comments)

Wikipedia is dead, for anything other than keeping track of trivia about popular media anyway. All the policies about removing content in the name of improving quality, without adding proper quality processes on top, killed it around 2007 - not coincidentally, that's where the decline of editors started.

The huge knowledge base that is Wikipedia is merely waiting for someone to successfully fork it; it may very well be Google graph, as they're the best positioned.

The first company that manages to define a process to separate spam from good content, and keeps the knowledge clean and growing from all valid contributions through a semi-automated technique, that avoids all the drama over rules and edit warring over content, will be the one to keep all the users. And then it will be instantly bought up by Google, who have been eager for a way to replace Wikipedia for a long time.

about 2 months ago
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How Women Became Gamers Through D&D

TuringTest Re:I don't get the rage (239 comments)

The gamers behing GamerGate make a really good point: that they like their games violent and showing b00bs, female bare skin and women in scant armor, and these games should not cease to exist merely because some people are offended by them.

The journalists against GamerGate make an equally really point, though: that such games do not belong in mainstream titles intended for all audiences; they should be distributed through special channels as the soft porn they are.

about 2 months ago
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The Era of Saturday Morning Cartoons Is Dead

TuringTest Re:Rose Glasses (320 comments)

While I enjoyed those older cartoons as a child, now, as an adult I can totally see why they are no longer screening. They were rife with racism, violence, sexism and other crap that I wouldn't wan pumped directly into my child's brain.

On the other hand, you watched them and grew to know it as crap. Your children, not being exposed, will not learn to recognize it, and as adults they may be more likely to fall prey to it.

There's something to be said about playing with risky or shameful behaviors in safe environments - it's the natural way for learning to face the darkest aspects of life.

about 2 months ago
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User Error Is the Primary Weak Point In Tor

TuringTest Re:Please allow me to correct the title. (70 comments)

User Error is the Primary Weak Point In Software.

Corollary: designing software that fails to work well under user error is the primary engineering mistake.

about 3 months ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

TuringTest Re:Why? (549 comments)

Uh... because each particular species can't choose to be within the survivors or the extinct? That's mostly a random outcome, based on their adaptability to the new environment - which you don't know a priori what will be, or what survival skills will require.

We were as a species on the verge of extinction once, it could very well happen again.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Wikia and SONY playing licensing mind tricks

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 7 months ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Popular culture website Wikia originally hosted its user-contributed content under a free, sharealike Commercial Commons license (CC-BY-SA). At least as soon as 2003, some specific wikis decided to use the non-commercial CC-BY-NC license instead: hey, this license supposedly protects the authors, and anyone is free to choose how they want to license their work anyway, right?

However, in late 2012 Wikia added to its License terms of service a retroactive clause for all its non-commercial content, granting Wikia an exclusive right to use this content in commercial contexts, effectively making all CC-BY-NC content dual-licensed. And today, Wikia is publicizing a partnership with Sony to display Wikia content on Smart TVs, a clear commercial use.

A similar event happened at TV Tropes when the site owners single-handedly changed the site's copyright notice from ShareAlike to the incompatible NonCommercial, without notifying nor requesting consent from its contributors. Is this the ultimate fate of all wikis? Do Creative Commons licenses hold any weight for community websites?"
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TV Tropes relicensed all its CC-BY-SA content, without permission

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 7 months ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "In the beginning, pop culture wiki TV Tropes licensed its content with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license for free content. When Google pulled away its AdSense revenue because of... let's call it NSFW fan fiction, TV Tropes changed its guidelines to forbid tropes about mature content. In response to this move, two forks were eventually created. The admins disliked this move so much that they relicensed all content to the Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike version, despite their site not having requested copyright rights from their users. Only later they added a clause to their Terms of use page requiring all contributors to grant the site irrevocable, exclusive ownership of their edits. Has it ever happened to you that you released free content, and someone changed its license and pretend that it was theirs?"
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Spanish congress rejects Internet censorship law

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "A comission of the Spanish Congress has rejected a law that allowed the closure of web sites that provide no authorized downloads. The government couldn't reach enough support from its allies not because those opposed the law in principle but because of the way it was redacted and the lack of negotiation. Recently the Spanish Senate rejected a law on net neutrality. Also the Wikileaks cables disclosed pressure from the USA to the Spanish government to pass a law to reduce Internet sharing of music and media, which is legal in Spain."
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Google acquires BumpTop physical desktop

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "BumpTop, a company providing a multi-touch physical desktop metaphor has been acquired by Google and made "no longer be available for sale". BumpTop provides a direct way to handle information through simple gestures. Some media see this acquisition as a movement by Google to position against the iPad. Will BumpTop be ported to Android?"
Link to Original Source
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TomTom anounces an open source GPS technology

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "(Found via OStatic). European company TomTom (which recently settled a patent agreement with Microsoft) has announced a new open source format OpenLR for sharing routing data (relevant points, traffic information...) in digital maps of different vendors, to be used in GPS devices. The LR stands for Location Referencing. They aim is to push it as an open standard to build a cooperative information base, presumably in a similar way than its current TomTom Map Share technology in which end users provide map corrections on the fly. The technology to support the format will be released as GPLv2. Does it make OpenLR a GPL GPS?"
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Chandler PIM reaches 1.0, loses financial support

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "I was surprised to learn that Chandler, the open-source Personal Information Manager (covered on Slashdot after releasing some stable versions), has silently reached its 1.0 milestone this summer only to (or maybe because of) having its financial support removed at the end of 2008. Chandler inherits organization concepts from Lotus Agenda and is a brainchild of Mitch Kapor (of Firefox, EFF and Lotus fame). It shares an approach to unified information representation with recent PIMs like MIT's Haystack and KDE's Nepomuk. What happened to the persistent universal data storage that object-oriented desktops and metadata filesystems were never able to provide? Did it finally arrive as a userland application, and nobody cared?"
Link to Original Source
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3D library to bring back OpenGL from the grave

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "With the controversy over the recent release of OpenGL 3.0, people is debating wether OpenGL is dead or it isn't. In this situation, a new low-level library called Gallium3D promises to ease development and refactoring of drivers for OpenGL (or any other 3D API) by acting as an efficient middleware between the API and the metal. Gallium3D seems to be gaining traction within the community with talks at several FOSS conferences (e.g. FOSDEM and aKademy)."
Link to Original Source
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Most violent video game arrives to the Wii

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "In an attempt to bring the Wii closer to the hardcore gamers taste, Sega is preparing to releaseMadWorld, a violent 'hack and slash' game. This has brought attention from family-conscious lobbies: "The decision to release a violent game on a console which has based its reputation on family fun has shocked anti-violence pressure groups. Mediawatch-UK, Britains longest running pressure group campaigning for decency in TV, films and games, said MadWorld will 'spoil' the Wii." The game features black & white cel-shaded graphics, except for the blood blobs wich are in brilliant red. MadWorld is announced to be released in early 2009."
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ENSO command launcher, open sourced

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "The code for ENSO, a keyboard-based command launcher in the line of Mac OS' Quicksilver, has been released under the revised BSD license. ENSO can be explained as an expanded application launcher that aims to combine the power of a command line interface integrated within a desktop GUI. Its design is inspired by the ideas of Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface. It currently allows to invoke arbitrary commands such as launching applications, universal spell-checking, translation and web search from any text field, google-maps integration, remote control, and search-based task switching. ENSO is programmed in Python. Thanks to being open sourced, this Windows native application is currently being ported to Mac and Linux."
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ENSO command launcher, open sourced

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "The code for ENSO, a keyboard-based command launcher in the line of Mac OS' Quicksilver, has been released under the revised BSD license. ENSO can be explained as an expanded application launcher that aims to combine the power of a command line interface integrated within a desktop GUI. It currently allows to invoke arbitrary commands such as launching applications, universal spell-checking, translation and web search from any text field, google-maps integration, remote control, and search-based task switching. ENSO is programmed in Python. Thanks to being open sourced, this Windows native application is currently being ported to Mac and Linux."
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Public buildings don't get intellectual protection

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 7 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, of international fame, recently sued the city of Bilbao (Spain) for violation of intellectual property after his Zubizuri bridge was modified by the city council to add a new footbridge on its side. Now a judge has sentenced against Calatrava saying that public right prevails over intellectual property. Altough the ruling acknowledges that the building design has intellectual property, it also concludes that a bridge is to walk on it. (Beware, some links are in Spanish. Translate at your own risk.)"
Link to Original Source
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TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 8 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Jensen Harris, the Group Program Manager of the Microsoft Office User Experience Team, blogs about Microsoft's recent licensing agreement to share its new inteface IP: "Today, we're announcing a licensing program for the 2007 Microsoft Office system user interface which allows virtually anyone to obtain a royalty-free license to use the new Office UI in a software product, including the Ribbon, galleries, the Mini Toolbar, and the rest of the user interface." (see the press release). Is there any precedent for this? Can Microsoft actually require licensing of the UI? Is it enforceable? Is this a good precedent?"

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