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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

brantondaveperson Re:By the same logic (307 comments)

It's perfectly possible to prove that a particular program will halt.

In trivial cases yes. In the general case no (of course).

It's also perfectly possible to determine whether any given program will finish or not in a particular amount of time.

Only by running it for that long, which is kind of cheating.

yesterday
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

brantondaveperson Re: By the same logic (307 comments)

The proof may be contrived, but that doesn't make the result any less true. The point is that correctness cannot be proven for software by software. It is provably impossible to write bug-finding software that finds all bugs - even if one could describe to the bug-finder what the program is supposed to do.

Turing machines are contrived too - no-one ever builds a Turing machine to actually do anything, we use real computers instead. But Turing showed that all algorithms are homeomorphic to some Turing machine, and that all results that apply to Turing machines also apply to all other classical computers.

Hence the halting problem is important in that it places fundamental limits on what can and cannot be computed.

yesterday
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

brantondaveperson Re:Laugh (219 comments)

Citation needed on that one I'm afraid. First I've heard of it.

4 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

brantondaveperson Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (322 comments)

Reading your comments reminds me of why I come to slashdot in the first place, so firstly - thank you

Secondly; I'm a huge fan of chocolate - I mean, who isn't - and I want to know which brand of chocolate I ought to be buying. Living in NZ means I'm probably not going to be a customer of yours, so what do you suggest? Cadbury's? Whittakers? Green & Black's? Someone else that I've not heard of?

4 days ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

brantondaveperson Re:Ancient news (323 comments)

Have you done this? Is it really possible? We await more detailed instructions.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

brantondaveperson Re:Laugh (219 comments)

Enlighten us. What is the reason?

about a week ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

brantondaveperson Re:free market (219 comments)

"We have to teach the students what they will be using".

How is this stupid? Seems pretty sensible to me, Linux vs. Window notwithstanding.

Apple is fucking atrocious

In what way?

about a week ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

brantondaveperson Re:Nonsense (219 comments)

Wifi is a nightmare

How so? Seems to work fine at my Kids primary school and intermediate school.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

brantondaveperson Re:Microsoft losing to the school what? (219 comments)

That's right, children should not be taught to use the single most important innovation in communication and content creation to be invented since the pencil and paper.

Oh. Wait.

about a week ago
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Manslaughter Conviction Overturned For Scientists Who Didn't Predict Earthquake

brantondaveperson Re: Welcome! (139 comments)

Yes. There had been smaller "warning" shakes

No. There is no reason to believe that smaller shakes are warnings. None whatsoever. That there was a subsequent deadly earthquake is a terrible tragedy, but it does not change the fact that small shakes are not a predictor of large earthquakes.

If those families had left l'Aquila, then one presumes that they would have returned at some point. If a large earthquake had not occurred by that point, but did shortly thereafter, would the scientists still be at fault?

Actually, upon re-reading your reply, I'm not sure what you were actually arguing.

about a week ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

brantondaveperson Re:Bad idea (242 comments)

No, but it's still just as sinister an idea. The ideas in a film don't have to be 'mind blowing' in order to work in a story. In fact, the more you rely on your ideas being 'mind blowing', the more instantly-dated your film project becomes.

about a week ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

brantondaveperson Re:I'm sure it will suck (242 comments)

Blackadder - one word.

Two words - see it.

I envy you - being able to watch one of the greatest tv comedy series of all time for the first time.

about a week ago
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Manslaughter Conviction Overturned For Scientists Who Didn't Predict Earthquake

brantondaveperson Re: Welcome! (139 comments)

You may now try again.

Thank you.

In fact, there was special likelihood of an earthquake.

Is this true? We know an earthquake occurred, but this is far from a statement about the 'likelihood' of that earthquake, isn't it? Isn't it the case that most large earthquakes aren't preceded by anything out of the ordinary? And that most sequences of small earthquakes do not culminate in a large event - except insofar as that large event occurs eventually?

The earthquake in NZ that killed 185 people in February of 2011 was a large aftershock - there is no dispute that a large event will always cause a large number of subsequent events of varying size - of another large earthquake in September of the previous year. It could be argued that the central city should have been evacuated and not re-entered until all the unsafe buildings within the area had been strengthened - but no-one was bonkers enough to suggest that the aftershock should have been 'predicted', even though at that time the aftershocks were occurring almost every day.

Now, why is this? And what would prediction have meant in any case? There is no reason to believe that a prediction, which will never be more than a general notion of increased likelihood over an indeterminate period of time anyway, could possibly save lives. As is often said, earthquakes do not kill people, unsafe buildings kill people. The buildings that collapsed and killed in Italy were unsafe obviously, and many of those that collapsed were extremely old. Where is the court case about the council (or whoever it ought to be) failing to earthquake strengthen a town full of mediaeval buildings?

about two weeks ago
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Manslaughter Conviction Overturned For Scientists Who Didn't Predict Earthquake

brantondaveperson Re: Welcome! (139 comments)

And if there hadn't been one, then they would have been right. What's your point? Just because there was no special likelihood of an earthquake doesn't actually mean that there won't be one, does it? The whole episode is total nonsense.

about two weeks ago
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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

brantondaveperson Re:Gay? (764 comments)

The issue has nothing whatever to do with how one is 'born'. This is just a big red herring, and it's important to understand that these things can also be a choice, and that there's nothing wrong with that.

One may be born gay, one may choose to experiment with being gay for a couple of years, or a weekend, or whatever it is. It's not important. What's important is that both people in the relationship, gay or otherwise, are capable of, and have given, informed consent.

Children and animals are not capable of this, and thus are not part of the same conversation.

about two weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

brantondaveperson Re:who actually believes this rubbish (695 comments)

... when i was a kid we didnt have big business bullying us with thier lies

Good Lord. How old are you?

about two weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

brantondaveperson Re:Obviously. Dinsaurogenic Global Warming (695 comments)

Well... that rather depends on where you live doesn't it. I've got a vege patch - I'd hate to have to rely on it for food.

about two weeks ago
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Pianist Asks Washington Post To Remove Review Under "Right To Be Forgotten"

brantondaveperson Re:Sparks but no flame: Pianist Dejan Lazic at Ken (257 comments)

...in a few hours.

Not to argue with you, considering I know a grand total of nothing about your situation, but how long do you expect the guy to spend on the review? A few hours doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

about two weeks ago

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