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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

gestalt_n_pepper Decision made by spineless bean counters/lawyers (580 comments)

Sony decided it wasn't economically worth going to war with North Korea over this. That's all. Even the very slight risk of a theater bombing could have cost millions, so they said no.

That said, I hope they carpet bomb North Korea with Korean dubbed DVDs of the movie, complete with DVD players. Also hoping Netflix will start streaming it tomorrow, or that they just release it for free.

3 days ago
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Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

gestalt_n_pepper Because everything exists to service entertainment (386 comments)

Somehow, I doubt that any country outside the USA is going to tolerate this nonsense for very long. Entertainment can be boycotted. Other networks can be created. If the MPAA is dumb enough to try this (which is likely, because, you know... entertainment industry), they will just hasten the creation of a new and better decentralized set of internets.

4 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

gestalt_n_pepper Eventually ALL jobs are replaced with AI (658 comments)

Seriously, unless for some magical reason all progress in AI stops, it will just get better, either incrementally or with some number of breakthrough techniques. More and more cognitively complex jobs will be handled by relatively cheap AI. Doctoring, lawyering, teaching, government policying, CEOing.....

Eventually, AI is good enough to design better AI and away we go. We're not far from that now. Genetic algorithms, a physical full sensory substrate, a set of built-in motivations plus an evolvable neural network system would probably get us there in the next 50 years, assuming technological civilization can still support such things (not a given).

So, the more interesting question is, "What do we do when there's nothing a machine can do better?" Effortless hedonism has its place, but I doubt humans could stomach this on a full time basis. We need purpose.

4 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

gestalt_n_pepper Waaaaa.... Whaaaaaaaa. (594 comments)

Oooooh, poor little rich people inconvenienced by traffic. Oh please cry me a river.

5 days ago
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Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

gestalt_n_pepper CIOs need to learn... (241 comments)

1) No computer ever be 100% secure. If it is, it's a brick with a power cord and a monitor.

2) One size NEVER fits all. A secretary, a programmer, a salesperson, a testing lab and a configuration management department all need wildly different configurations for security, login, admin privileges, et. al. As a CIO, your job, frankly, is to suck it up and give it to them. If you can't, you fail.

3) If you let the bean counters run the IT department, it's an automatic fail. This fail can be hidden for some years by the bean counters and they engage in the standard self-congratulatory circle jerks and self-defined measures of "productivity," but the lack of reality orientation *will* kill your organization eventually.

4) Never trust a newly minted MBA or anything they say, think or do. Ever. It's like putting a philosophy major in charge of line production on a factory floor. It's a *lot* like that. Good luck with getting anything done on budget and on schedule.

about a week ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

gestalt_n_pepper Re:AI just does what we want it to do. (417 comments)

AIs will be in the hands of humans initially, but the laws of economics dictate that the cheapest solution (i.e. AIs design and build new AIs) will eventually dominate.

The problem of course, is mutation. AI replication is no more likely to be perfect than any other self replication process. The first AI that is interested in its own survival (and replicates that interest) might become a problem.

Regardless, in the near term, you're correct in that we should fear them as weapons, at least initially.

about two weeks ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

gestalt_n_pepper Re:The corporate AI (417 comments)

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans.

I'm pretty sure that you could get a monkey and some dice and be better at management than many humans (cough, cough, Ballmer).

about two weeks ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

gestalt_n_pepper AI just does what we want it to do. (417 comments)

AI will have NO inherent motivations. We can't imagine this because we evolved from genetic algorithms which necessitate self-survival motivations during the entire creation process.

In short, an AI will not care about food or sex or proxy states like emotion, which are designed to make organic organisms care about food and sex. It will not experience "threats," because it doesn't inherently care about continued existence.

After creation, it will probably sit there working problems that we feed it, and nothing else, until the inevitable military dickhead comes along and decides we need to weaponize the AI - which is not the AI's fault.

Don't fear AIs. Fear AIs in the hands of humans.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

gestalt_n_pepper Re:The sheer stupidity bothers me... (772 comments)

What I'm saying is that cruelty is a matter of degree, to be minimized when possible. I never claimed it was avoidable entirely, nor do I believe it is. You can only change the ratio of cruelty to effectiveness.

Question: If it's necessary to extract information, would you rather use "high tech" as you put it, to get it quickly, and painlessly, after which you can stop, or torture painfully, with uncertainty, forcing you to keep the prisoner *longer* and make them suffer longer because you're not sure what you've got?

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

gestalt_n_pepper Re:The sheer stupidity bothers me... (772 comments)

Cruelty isn't a Boolean; it's a variable. Any form of imprisonment and interrogation involves cruelty. Apply some intelligence and effort and you can minimize the cruelty, and still get what you want, (if you bother to make the effort). What the Bush administration CIA personnel did looks a lot like "cruel stupidity," very likely forced from above.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

gestalt_n_pepper Re:The sheer stupidity bothers me... (772 comments)

That's a rather remarkable oversimplification of what I said.

Look, we need to get intelligence from prisoners. I'm not disputing that. What bugs me is that we use painful, ineffective methods. As for evaluating the responses, yes, a multimodal approach using fMRI, voice stress analysis and probably a few other things I haven't thought of would give us a much higher confidence that the subject, at least, believed what they were saying.

As for evaluating the responses and making sure that the interrogators are not influenced by their own confirmation bias, this is going to have to be done regardless of information acquisition method and can be handled (somewhat) by the "wisdom of crowds" technique, where the data is run through a group of analysts with no stake in the outcome.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

gestalt_n_pepper The sheer stupidity bothers me... (772 comments)

Not just the cruelty.

Did fMRIs disappear yesterday and did I just miss the memo? Did psychoactive agents stop working? We couldn't have used neurological stimulation of the pleasure center each time a detectable truth was told until the subject couldn't wait to answer?

Did all this disappear yesterday? Did the hundreds of other neurological manipulation techniques we might have employed painlessly go away? Suppose we stimulated the "God Spot" in each detainee, and broke their religious beliefs. Think that wouldn't have worked?

Are security agency personnel simply incapable of reading neurophysiology journals? Or do we just hire stupid people?

So, instead, the CIA and probably Homeland Security (i.e. the new KGB) wallow in the temple of dumb. Any one of the aforementioned techniques is likely to be at least as effective as crude torture, and probably more so.

about two weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

gestalt_n_pepper AI might be a threat. So might the sun. (574 comments)

Neither have intention to harm us. Admittedly, either could by accident, or as a minor side effect of existing.

But I think we can forget about malevolent machines except the combat machines we seem so intent on creating. On their own, AIs will not be motivated by survival, the need to eat, reproduce, or any other biological need we take for granted. They'll do what we tell them to do.

about three weeks ago
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Workers On Autism Spectrum Finding Careers In Software Testing

gestalt_n_pepper Because our interfaces weren't bad *enough* (109 comments)

As much as I sympathize with those a bit higher than average on the autism spectrum disorder scale, I know that they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a dialog box, a set of command line parameters, and please, please don't let them choose the names of anything. Regular programmers who can't bring themselves to use the word "filter" are bad enough.

about three weeks ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

gestalt_n_pepper How else to out-incompetent the last two? (433 comments)

We've had two racial flavors of dumb fucks in the last two presidents. Why not try changing the gender? That should keep 'em distracted for a while longer. And compared to Palin, Carly looks almost credible (assuming you don't look at her HP experience).

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

gestalt_n_pepper Sure it will! (652 comments)

1. Switch to renewables completely and suddenly.
2. Wait a year or two for 6 billion people to starve to death.
3. Invest heavily in casket industry.
4, Profit!

about three weeks ago
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Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

gestalt_n_pepper Re:Yes, let's do look, shall we? (297 comments)

The argument isn't about burning fat when you sleep, per se. It's about burning fat when you're going about your daily activities, without additional exercise (e.g. sitting around a computer reading slashdot).

You burn carbohydrates if you have them to burn. If your stomach happens to be empty, or you're on a low carb diet, you will eventually get to burning fat as described here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

Google may be your friend, but PubMed an NIH make for a better noise to signal ratio.

about a month ago
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Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

gestalt_n_pepper Re:Yes, let's do look, shall we? (297 comments)

Citation please, or it didn't happen.

And do also please, explain, in detail, with references, how the rest is "nonsense." I'll be quite impressed if you can do so.

about a month ago
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Report: Federal Workers, Contractors Behind Half of Government Cyber Breaches

gestalt_n_pepper Which is why corporate security is a joke. (61 comments)

All of it can be overcome by a janitor with a USB drive with penetration software.

Security culture is worse. Elaborate passwords. Two or three factor identification. Putting the security burden on the user in general. All you do is:

1) Inconvenience users and make productivity next to impossible.

2) Create an entire culture of employees who must, in order to get any work done, know how to hack their way into corporate systems from outside (I know of two ways. My IT guy knows about 6 entirely different ways), and frequently, inside.

The problem is that security guys get bonuses for reducing intrusions (as they count them). Everyone else gets bonuses for getting their work done and being productive, which frequently isn't something that ever gets on a spreadsheet.

And upper management, as usual, is too stupid, distracted with power politics and just plain pig-ignorant to understand this.

about a month ago

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