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DreamWorks Animation CEO: Movie Downloads Will Move To Pay-By-Screen-Size

jamiefaye Its 4K, HD, or SD explained in a diferent way (347 comments)

... I doubt they care what your screen size is. If you want to upscale the SD version onto your 4K TV, no problem -- it just won't look as good.

about 9 months ago

Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

jamiefaye Google = deep pockets, drivers = shallow (937 comments)

Most financial responsibility laws specify a very low (say $50,000) liability coverage requirement. That is about 100 times less than what you can get if you are killed in an airline crash.

If a self-driving car kills you and you can sue Google (or whoever), your heirs will get several million dollar dollars, instead of $50,000. In other words, until a self driving car has an error-rate 100 times lower than humans, they won't be made.

1 year,17 days

Weapons Systems That Kill According To Algorithms Are Coming. What To Do?

jamiefaye We already have mines (514 comments)

... both land and naval. They have become more sophisticated in that they can be triggered by target characteristics, and in the naval case, maneuver.

1 year,17 days

Stephen Wolfram Developing New Programming Language

jamiefaye Is Wolfram willing to make it free? (168 comments)

Stephen Wolfram is a brilliant businessman who has made a fortune charging what the market will bear for Mathematica and Alpha. Will that model break-down with the Wolfram programming language? I think it will. PARCplace tried to sell Smalltalk for awhile and the language stagnated until Alan Kay was able to get Squeak going. I can't imagine anything becoming as popular as Python or C++ if it costs thousands of dollars to get into the game.

Perhaps Wolfram will patent some of his ideas and then they will catch on 20 years later.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Tags and Tagging, What Is the Best Way Forward?

jamiefaye Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things (142 comments)

A classic book on the ontology of categories by George Lakoff. The tagging problem, in a nutshell, is that different cultures (and different individuals) create different category systems. The Tower of Babel on the semantic level.

about a year and a half ago

Amazon AutoRip — 14 Years Late

jamiefaye Re:mp3s from a record company are better than rips (215 comments)

Actually you can -- even if your authoring software doesn't give you fine-grained control, you can change the mix going in to optimize what come out. That doesn't mean every label does that, just that it is possible.

about 2 years ago

Amazon AutoRip — 14 Years Late

jamiefaye mp3s from a record company are better than rips (215 comments)

... because the record company can pay a mastering engineer to do the job right, adjusting the encoding parameters in wide variety of ways on a note-by-note basis.

For an example, compare a rip of a Beatles CD to what you can buy in the iTunes store. The iTunes version sounds much, much better, exactly what Apple Records (and Apple Computer) want for you.

While record companies want your money, they also want you to get the best possible product for your money. The Moral Right of the Artist.

about 2 years ago

Craigslist Kills Erotic Services Ads, Will Launch Adult Section

jamiefaye Re:Inertia and Stigmatic Devaluation of Property (390 comments)

  1) Some people view the commercial sexual economy as being immoral and believe that legal intervention is moral.

more than 5 years ago

Craigslist Kills Erotic Services Ads, Will Launch Adult Section

jamiefaye Inertia and Stigmatic Devaluation of Property (390 comments)

Prostitution was legal here in San Francisco up until the early part of the 20th Century. Then we had an earthquake. This was taken by many as a sign from God that He did not approve of what was taking place here. (Plate tectonics had not caught on at this time).

Prostitution was banned, as were eventually drugs & alcohol, creating the present balance of hypocrisy.

Attempts to repeal this recently have failed. There are 3 reasons:

1) Some people view the prohibition of commercial sex as immoral and believe that legal intervention is moral. They have no problems citing the indirect effects of their prohibition as evidence for their argument.

2) This group is joined by people for whom "prostitution is against the law" is accepted as being part of the common law tradition. "If its against the law, then its bad, so we better keep it that way." (It isn't against the law in most places now, and has only been prohibited in some places for the past 100 or so years).

3) Much larger than 1) and 2) are people who think "if we make this legal, then there will be naked women standing in dim-lit red windows, offering themselves for sale", and people who would otherwise buy my house for $500,000, will only give me $350,000 for it. (Perhaps too sophisticated) - Hookers would be standing in front of my house and the neighborhood would go to hell.

Craigslist advertising, in effect, creates a "virtual stroll" that doesn't cause a real-world neighborhood impact. It is, in effect a tentative cure to the "NIMBY problem".

So we have a law that was created from illogical reasons, justified for illogical reasons, that we are afraid to repeal for illogical reasons.

What is really weird is that since humans dread being shamed for making mistakes, it is hard to get an wrongly convicted person out of prison or to repeal a law with no sensible rationale.

Legalizing prostitution requires a lot of people to admit they are wrong.

If this law was based on sound logic, it would be easy to change. It isn't, so it won't - the only hope is to invent new forms of sex work that end-around it.

more than 5 years ago

Standards For Interconnecting Virtual Worlds

jamiefaye Remarkably like Electric Communities in 1996 (142 comments)

Chip Morningstar, Randy Farmer, and Doug Crockford put together a company to build a "Cyberspace protocol suite" for this purpose in the mid 1990s. (These gentlemen were the behind the original Lucasfilm Habitat project, inventing the term "Avatar", among many other things). At their heyday, E/C employed just about everyone with experience in this area, and wound-up burning through several million in VC money, building a virtual world platform on top of a customized Java virtual machine. The diagram on the Linden Labs Wiki looks surprisingly familiar (although the names of things are different, reflecting "memetic drift").

It was a cat herding party of monumental proportions. The first year was the design phase - it was amazing. We found out a need to fix Java so it had distributed garbage collection, closures, and the like. We made our own VM with these add-ons, and invented a world specification language called Pluribus for knitting together object aspects which represented the multi-party nature of distributed awareness.

Like many first attempts at "ontological revolution", the performance was less than spectacular. It didn't take long to build stuff that was beyond our understanding, either. Later, when aspect-oriented programming was invented, and the rest of the world starting thinking about distributed cyberspace, it has become possible to do what we were trying to do then. Even Java has caught up, co-opting most of the add-on features we had to come up with.

My advice to those approaching the problem today:

  • Don't reach too far beyond what the average C++/Java programmer can understand.
  • Don't invent anything that you can't make-do with that is already out there.
  • Plan on getting stuff wrong at the beginning. (E/C released their first product without a version number in the protocol!).
  • The start of the art of standards specification is not good enough to deal with this problem. Your only hope lies in producing a "Literate Reference Implementation". Doing that probably requires doing a rough-pass first, then recoding it.
  • If you attempt to assemble a "dream team" to put something like this together - be careful about the human-relations stuff. (In our first year, one of our engineers found out he was getting less money then two others and went out on a "passive-aggressive vendetta". This dampened morale during a critical time.)
There is a lot more to say about E/C and its fate. Lets hope it isn't repeated...

more than 7 years ago


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