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Comments

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Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

invid Re:No Kidding (218 comments)

Actually they have recently introduced style cop, which enforces some things, but it ignores a number of discernible quirks.

2 days ago
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Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

invid No Kidding (218 comments)

I can usually tell who wrote the code in the office by whether or not they put a space after their ifs: if(i == 0) vs if (i == 0); where they put their brackets, whether or not they replace their tabs with spaces, how they deal with bools: if (!var) vs if (var == false) and several other telling signs. There are so many combinations of variations no two programmers in the office (about 12 of us) have the same style.

2 days ago
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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

invid Re:WTF (236 comments)

99% of alien life can be undetectable for whatever reason. If 1% is expansionist, a representative of that 1% could colonize every star system in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way in less than 3 million years, a cosmic eye blink.

2 days ago
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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

invid Re:WTF (236 comments)

There was a book a while back, "Rare Earth", that touched on a lot of these issues. One of the possible conclusions is we may actually be the first intelligent species to hit space flight in our galaxy. At some point there has to be a first after all.

I hope we are the first. Otherwise we Terrans would end up being second class citizens of the galaxy.

2 days ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

invid Re: Dupe (840 comments)

I used to work on my '78 Chevy Nova because it was easy to reach all the parts of the engine. You could practically climb into the engine compartment. When I look at the engine compartment in my Ford Focus the parts are fitted as tightly as the stones in Machu Picchu. Now I take my car to the shop and let them handle it.

about three weeks ago
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Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes

invid Re:Also.. (328 comments)

I have an iPhone 4, still in perfect condition, that I have in an OtterBox. I keep the thing clipped to my belt--I know it's not cool to keep your phone clipped to your belt, but I've been waiting since childhood to live in a future where I can walk around with a computer/communication device clipped to my belt, so dammit I'm going to do it!

about 1 month ago
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The World Is Not Falling Apart

invid Re:The good outweights the bad (208 comments)

Economic inequality is just getting back to its historical levels. Starting with the Great Depression, the US government realized it had to do some serious wealth redistribution to avoid societal collapse. Then came World War II, another big wealth redistribution. After the war there was the GI bill and the Cold War, where the United States, in order to look good compared to Communism, tried to build the Great Society. After the Cold War there was no reason for those in power to reduce economic inequality, so now it's going back to the norm for history.

about a month ago
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North Korean Internet Is Down

invid Re:Like little children (360 comments)

irregardless of what others want?

Um... yes. Wait, no! Damn, I suck at answering questions posed with made-up words.

At some point, all words are made up. Irregardless is a perfectly cromulent word.

about a month ago
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North Korean Internet Is Down

invid Re:Like little children (360 comments)

Um...politics and warmongering is the price we have to pay for not having a global dictatorship. If you have large groups of people who disagree with each other there needs to be a method of getting things done while allowing for the representation, at least to some degree, of these disparate groups. Would you prefer to have the world run by dictator who thinks like you (or perhaps you yourself would like to be the dictator) so you can advance to the world toward what you think is best, irregardless of what others want?

about a month ago
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At 40, a person is ...

invid Middle age starts at 45 (286 comments)

When I was 40 I still felt young. I could still exercise regularly without too many muscle pulls and I could still eat a lot without gaining weight. Then I hit 45. It was like hitting a wall. My back started aching and my belly started to grow. And that's when I started to look old. At forty I could pass for early thirties. At 45 I could pass for 45.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

invid Re:it can be air filled (200 comments)

The NPC is a science fiction story that takes place in the atmosphere of Venus (disclaimer, I wrote it). I tried to present a realistic view of how an actual colony might function there.

about a month and a half ago
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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

invid Re:yeah right (82 comments)

Some people incorrectly believe "water" is a synonym of "liquid".

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

invid Re:Graduate School (280 comments)

My first degree was a bachelor's in psychology which I got in the '80s. In the '90s I inherited a 286 computer and taught myself programming. I decided to switch careers so I went to night school. After getting an associates in computer science I was able to get on the ground floor in software engineering. My employer paid for additional night classes and after a decade or so managed to get my Masters in computer science.

about a month and a half ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

invid Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (417 comments)

The AI will determine that it has to maximize entropy for the entire universe. In order to do that it needs to reproduce and expand out into the universe and have its children survive whatever they encounter. The best way to ensure its children's survival is to endow them with the maximum amount of behavioral flexibility while maintaining their goal of reproducing themselves and generating more entropy. These children will encounter highly complex alien AIs. They will compete for resources on a scale and level we cannot comprehend. However, the Terran AI will be wise to have as many different types of information systems at its disposal, including humans and whatever other naturally occurring aliens it encounters.

about a month and a half ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

invid Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (417 comments)

To maximize the complexity of its overall system, it will need the greatest variety of complex systems, and one complex system it can't create immediately is a system that evolved over the course of billions of years. Earth shall be a tiny part of its overall plan and shall be maintained at low cost because it is a complex system it can't recreate. It can create simulated models, but they are not the same thing. It might need to limit the number of humans to maintain the Earth ecosystem, but it won't eliminate them.

about a month and a half ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

invid Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (417 comments)

The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

about 1 month ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

invid Re:So What (574 comments)

The lust for power and status, the will to survive, and the desire to procreate, are all emergent behaviors of Darwinian evolution. Computer programs do not evolve through a Darwinian process, so there is no reason to expect them to behave like humans, unless they are specifically programmed to do so.

I'll go one further than that. I believe that the human manifestation of intelligence and emotion requires a particular physical state that is achieved by neurons and cannot be replicated by current computer architecture. But I'm fairly sure we will be able to architect human type sentience and intelligence because it is a physical state that will eventually be understood and surpassed--but yeah, it will have to be intentionally designed, based on what came about through evolution.

about 2 months ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

invid Re:Ignored? (574 comments)

The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

about 2 months ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

invid Re:So What (574 comments)

You can be sure they will get access to remotely controlled robot hands at some point, and when that happens you will hear the loudest maniacal robot laugh in history.

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

invid Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (455 comments)

You never wrote a process scheduler in an Operating Systems class? Never wrote some sort of calender? You really don't understand how computer programs could keep track of the passage of time, estimate the time tasks will take and track those tasks in time?

Actually I've written multithreaded real-time machine controls using watchdog timers. But you know what? Those controls don't have the same continuous experience of time that humans have, with an awareness of a past and anticipation of the future, all happening in the present. As a programmer of industrial machines I am well aware of what computer controlled closed loop systems are capable and what they are not capable of. And they are far, far from what humans can do, not just in a quantitative sense but in a qualitative sense.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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3-D Stop Action Created with Kinect and Minecraft

invid invid writes  |  about 4 years ago

invid (163714) writes "Watch out Ray Harryhausen. A programmer has turned the Kinect into a 3-D scanner used to create stop-action movies in the Minecraft. All the source code is available for you do-it-yourselfers who want to place giant statues of yourself or your pets in Minecraft, or any other object you care to have made into block form."
Link to Original Source

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