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Developing the First Law of Robotics

Zalbik Humans Also (164 comments)

Winfield describes his robot as an "ethical zombie" that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn't understand the reasoning behind its actions.

More and more research is hinting that humans may also be "ethical zombies" that act according to a programmed code of conduct. The "reasoning behind our actions" may very well be stories we invent to justify our pre-programmed actions.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Zalbik Yes (391 comments)

Baristas

We need our caffeine.

3 days ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Zalbik Re:Here's another idea... (236 comments)

No, no I don't. I have electricity, but I get water out of the ground and have gas brought in on a truck.

Well, there's your answer...have your internet brought in by truck.

The latency might suck, but the bandwidth would be fantastic!

3 days ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Zalbik Re:No. (236 comments)

Fuck you AT&T.

Fuck you, too, Apple.

And while we're at it:

Fuck Slashdot Beta

3 days ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Zalbik Re:You mean... (236 comments)

I think the idea is that you pay the ISP for a "Netflix booster", and then your Netflix traffic gets un-humped into the fast lane. Meanwhile everyone else's Netflix is slow, and they're griping at Netflix about why they have to pay this extra fee, and Netflix eventually gives up and pays AT&T to un-hump all of its customers' traffic.

I also interpret it as allowing AT&T to offer their own streaming service at cheap introductory prices (perhaps free for 6 months), then shape traffic to prefer that service over Netflix as so many customers want it. Once enough people migrate from the crappy slow Netflix service, they start jacking the price on their own service.

It really seems like a scheme to charge customers extra for something they have already sold them.

3 days ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

Zalbik What a shock! (182 comments)

Creator of a service says competitors service is inferior! Shocking!

Note: The article is written by a founder of Thinkful....which offers online learning. The whole article reads as an advertisement for thankful and an indictment of what their competition is doing wrong.

In other words, typical Slashvertisement. Nothing to see here.

about a week ago
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Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

Zalbik Re:Sounds familiar (129 comments)

What's the operating principles of a Heisenberg Compensator?

Easy: "I'm not in the meth business. I'm in the empire business."

I may be confusing Heisenberg's though.

about a week ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

Zalbik Re:Who would have thought (194 comments)

A roundabout is simply nothing more than a right hand turn at a yield sign

Not if it's a two-lane roundabout.

about a week ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Zalbik Re:More to the story? (441 comments)

Well, there's also the school board's press release

I've tried looking into this more, and I keep coming back to the fact that nobody is given any indication as to why this guy was taken for "emergency medical leave". Everyone just refers back to the WBOC article, and the only thing the original WBOC article says about his writings are:

"Those books are what caught the attention of police and school board officials in Dorchester County. "The Insurrectionist" is about two school shootings set in the future, the largest in the country's history."

From this I can't tell if a fascist police chief went off on a crazy tirade or if the police found a stash of bomb-making materials along with manuscripts of this guys books.

Why is there no interview with the police chief? The principal? The guy's family / friends? His students? The ACLU?

Once upon a time reporters used to at least attempt to get the whole story prior to publishing. Now it's grab whatever looks like it'll cause a stir and publish that regardless of the underlying truth.

Journalism doesn't exist anymore.

about two weeks ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Zalbik Re:Now I just have to ... (441 comments)

But amid all the despair and hopelessness, people were working indefatigably to stabilise the nation and alleviate the prevalent tumult; and on 28 August 2298, the sedulousness of these committed inidividual was recompensed.

Ouch...that makes my brain bleed.

If this guy wrote poetry he could challenge a Vogon.

about two weeks ago
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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

Zalbik Re:The diet is unimportant... (588 comments)

When people have a strong will, they are healthy

Yep, good ol' Steve Jobs just wasn't strong-willed enough.

What a great scam though....convince people that this is the secret to long life, then you can dismiss any contradicting evidence by simply claiming those people weren't "strong-willed" enough.

Your post makes as much sense as Homeopathy, which is to say: none at all.

about two weeks ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Zalbik Re:In Soviet Maryland (441 comments)

you can't necessarily blame the police or the school

Yes I certainly can; people who uphold bad laws are almost as bad as those who enact them.

And more importantly, unless there was evidence that this teacher was posing an immediate threat to children, they had no authority to arrest / detain him, regardless of any potential future litigation.

To put it simply, based on the current description of the situation, it appears the police did something both illegal and immoral and the school board did something immoral and possibly illegal.

Note: Every news story I find on this is pretty vague on the details. I suspect there is more going on here than initially reported. The news agencies have quite possibly left out important and pertinent information as it makes a great click-bait story.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

Zalbik Re:Trolling (382 comments)

Nope. just had ice cream, your opinion is invalid

I'm lactose intolerant, you insensitive clod!

In any case, everyone knows sorbet is far better than ice cream.

Your move.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

Zalbik Trolling (382 comments)

I like to play a game called "Troll the Internet"

You pick some category (music, books, movies, etc) and then ask a question along the lines of "Which is better?". You can even do it with entire categories (e.g. "What are the best songs to have in my music collection?" "What are the best books to read?")

It's hilarious watching the infighting and attempts to justify responses to a subjective question.

The game has gotten a bit out of hand though. I've even seen it being played on popular tech forums like "Slashdot".

about three weeks ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Zalbik Re:This is good! (528 comments)

that last sentence *is* pretty clear about forbidding intelligent design, or young earth, or anything like that being taught.

Really? I read that last line as:
"prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another political or religious interpretation".

I just wonder who decides what a "political interpretation" is?

Could a teacher teach the "political" interpretation that the fossil record implies evolution in favor of the "religious" interpretation that God created the fossil record to test man's faith?

It's just stupid legislation, likely crafted to show that originators stood up to Washington and their "common core" standards.

about three weeks ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Zalbik Re:"focus on" scientific knowledge (528 comments)

Explain again how a "focus on scientific knowledge " somehow magically prohibits teaching knowledge of microorganisms? About that Bible thing - I guess you missed "prohibit religious " in the law.

Simple: "focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes;"
If microbiology isn't a process, I don't know what is.

That entire section of the bill is terribly worded, incredibly vague and leaves it open to a great deal of misinterpretation. It is an blank cheque to allow legislators to bring in what they feel is "correct science" and get rid of whatever they think is "bad science".

Take the following line":
"prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another."

It looks like this means a teacher cannot favor a political or religious interpretation of scientific fact in favor of a different political or religious interpretation. Who exactly get's to decide what a political or religious interpretation is?

Is the idea that homosexuality is a genetic trait a political interpretation of science? Does this go against (some) religious interpretations that it is a punishment for sin?

Is the interpretation of the fossil record as evidence of evolution political?

How about the interpretation of the temperature of white dwarfs putting a limit on the minimum age of the universe? This goes against the 6000-year old creationist interpretation that "God did it that way"

And if this is such a grand idea for science, why not the same for mathematics? Why not have mathematics "focus on academic and mathematical knowledge rather than mathematical processes".

Because that would be insane. Just like this bill is.

about three weeks ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Zalbik Re:Facts, not Al Gore's theory of the process (528 comments)

I kind of prefer scientific knowledge myself.

So basically you want to limit what we teach to simple observation, with no grasp of what to do with those observations or how to advance knowledge based on it.

Teacher: Ok, class today in biology we're going to learn that penicillin kills bacteria

Little Johnny: How does it do that?

Teacher: Sorry Johnny, that's a process question. We've talked about this, I can't answer process questions.

Little Johnny: Well, how did we find out that penicillin kills bacteria?

Teacher: Well, there was this very smart man named Alexander Fleming who discovered it. I can't tell you how he discovered it, but just trust this big book of Science on my desk. That book says penicillin kills bacteria, and Alexander Fleming discovered it, so you can be sure that it's true.

Teacher: On another note, there's another big book on my desk you should all recognize from Sunday school. You can trust what it says too! After all, we all know that no one interpretation of facts should be favored over another!

about three weeks ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Zalbik Re:So you agree with this bill. Cool. (528 comments)

If you skip past the BS /. headline and read the bill, TFS, or even the subtitle of TFS, the bill basically requires teaching science

Really? Because that's not what one of the bills sponsors said. If you even bothered to RTFA:
"he told The Columbus Dispatch that the bill would open the door to instruction on intelligent design"

And
"he said it's all about the political interpretation of science. And his example of politicized science, naturally, was climate change"

So basically he wants the bill passed to get intelligent design in the classroom and climate change out. Wow, that really helps out in teaching science!

about three weeks ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Zalbik Re:Eh, not exactly (528 comments)

I am kind of curious what he meant by it though.

You could, you know, RTFA and find that one sponsor for the bill:

"told The Columbus Dispatch that the bill would open the door to instruction on intelligent design: “I think it would be good for them to consider the perspectives of people of faith. That’s legitimate."

And
"he said it's all about the political interpretation of science. And his example of politicized science, naturally, was climate change. ...as evidence of climate change's political nature, he cites past estimates of agricultural productivity and the availability of fossil fuels."

So basically he wants intelligent design on the table and climate change off the table. Hmmm...I wonder if he has some sort of agenda?

about three weeks ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Zalbik Re:This is good! (528 comments)

don't ask why it just is memorize it and every other result of a process!

You've just described 90% of the software developers I've had to work with. No idea why a routine works, but it was highly rated on stackoverflow, so it must be the right answer!

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Best Buy wants to fire employee over iPhone video

Zalbik Zalbik writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Zalbik (308903) writes "In a typical corporate move, Best Buy wants to fire an employee because they won't take down a YouTube video they created which spoofs the iPhone 4. Note that at no point does the video make mention of Best Buy or the employees relationship to them.

I wonder if the Best Buy executive has heard of this little thing called "freedom of speech"?"

Link to Original Source
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Activision Sued over Guitar Hero....again

Zalbik Zalbik writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Zalbik (308903) writes "It seems that Activision's legal battles over the latest edition of the Guitar Hero franchise are not over yet. Having been sued previously over the inclusion of a song cover that sounds too much like the original, they are now being subject to a class action suit due to the fact that the Wii edition of the game only outputs mono sound, despite packaging claims to the contrary.

Apparently their offer to replace any defective discs free of charge isn't enough for some people, so Samuel Livingston of San Diego (represented by the law firm KamberEdelson, LLC) has filed a class action suit over this issue. previously covered lawsuits over the latest edition of the Guitar Hero franchise."

Link to Original Source

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