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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

penguinoid Re:hookers (507 comments)

Aren't they working on robotic replacements already?

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

penguinoid Re:easy (507 comments)

Mortuary Science

There are people working to eliminate that entire field. But its probably a safe job for at least a couple of decades.

about a week ago

Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code

penguinoid Flawed vote tallying code (112 comments)

Apparently releasing the code could "leave the voting system open to hacking or manipulation."

Maybe they just shouldn't have used code that they know or expect to have vulnerabilities. Open it up to the public; there are plenty of people who will look at it and help fix it.

about a week ago

Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

penguinoid Re:result of the lab/funding system (123 comments)

Every "unique" idea that I thought of turned out to have already been studied exhaustively back in the 70's or earlier. All the favorite students in the grad program were people who ignored this inconvientent fact and managed to get rehashed bullshit accepted into conferences.

I suppose that's one way to accomplish the unglamorous task of checking, or refining, the work of earlier scientists.

about a week ago

Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet

penguinoid Not true! (117 comments)

I conducted an online poll, and the overwhelming consensus was that the GCHQ was not manipulating poll results. In fact, most of the people commenting said that the GCHQ were the greatest, most honest, and most trustworthy agency on the planet.

about two weeks ago

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

penguinoid Re: Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

I can see policy like this bringing current globalization trend to a screeching halt as companies would split to have daughter companies incorporated and operating only in certain countries to shield them against this kind of abuse.

What, and give up their tax havens?

about two weeks ago

'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget

penguinoid I predicted this (163 comments)

10 days ago, I wondered how long it would take someone to make a website to anti-censor google. I guess I got my answer.

about two weeks ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

penguinoid In other news (708 comments)

In other news, people who were most worried about the government misusing their taxes, tended to pay the most taxes.

about two weeks ago

A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

penguinoid Re:It's hard (368 comments)

I'm sorry you misunderstood me. The minor disagreements are about the details of the God of Abraham. Disagreements over land ownership are seldom minor, though at some point one has to wonder how much bloodshed it's worth.

about two weeks ago

Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

penguinoid Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (157 comments)

Reproduction in intelligent creatures has always been a hack from lower systems. Very few intelligent creatures have as their mind's objective to reproduce as much as possible, and increasing intelligence means it's that much easier to find loopholes in the lower systems, or exert self-control over them. It probably isn't a simple thing to set as the intelligent creature's objective to propagate its genes, with the requisite math (relatives share your genes to some extent), and the proper mate selection criteria, many of which aren't conscious nor obvious (you probably aren't aware of comparing your potential mate's major histocompatibility complex to your own). I suspect a mind sufficiently advanced to understand all this would be hard to hack to a different objective without a big reduction in intelligence.

about two weeks ago

A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

penguinoid It's hard (368 comments)

It's difficult to find a technological solution to a combination of relatively minor disagreements as to the exact details of the God of Abraham, plus disagreement over land ownership.

about two weeks ago

"Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim

penguinoid God didn't give you freewill so you could mock Him (157 comments)

God gave you free will so you could voluntarily do as He wants you to do. Don't abuse the free will God gave you to do something God disapproves of, otherwise you will burn in Hell forever.

about two weeks ago

Mars (One) Needs Payloads

penguinoid Life on Mars (77 comments)

I'm somewhat pleasantly surprised at the number of posts suggesting that we send living things to Mars, but also concerned that no one is suggesting some caution. Those who know a little about the history of bacterial discovery should know that it is fiendishly difficult to test for the presence of life, even here on Earth with organisms we are rather familiar with. Some bacteria we only know about because they showed up on DNA fishing expeditions, even though they've been under our feet the whole time. There could be bacteria under our feet we don't know about, if it either wasn't DNA/RNA based, or if it had sufficiently aggressive DNA/RNA hydrolysis enzymes, or had a sufficiently small geographic distribution.

As I understand it, we're still at the point that if Mars can sustain life we can't ascertain whether it has any. (And if it can't sustain life, there's no point in sending some to die.) Even if there's no life on Mars, there's still the fact that we don't know much about what an abiotic planet looks like. Studying a properly dead planet will help us in our future search for life.

Furthermore, I'm not certain we want to send photosynthetic organisms there for terraforming purposes, given that we need to increase greenhouse gasses like CO2 there to warm the place. (Also, we don't think the surface is survivable, and the sub-surface has less light -- so if we want surviving life, we should send chemotrophs).

about two weeks ago

Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

penguinoid Excellent (530 comments)

This must indicate the average Chinese citizen is better off than before. They're starting to get First World concerns, such as being replaced with something cheaper.

about two weeks ago

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

penguinoid Re:Two sides to every issue (401 comments)

Then why do I keep getting (very good paying) work to fix things that were outsourced? And typically a dozen of us high payed workers cost less to completely rework the unusable results of outsourcing...

Because the boss is an idiot, and hired idiot foreigners, instead of hiring competent foreigners.

about two weeks ago

Free Wi-Fi Supplier, Gowex, Files For Bankruptcy

penguinoid Could be NSA (39 comments)

Other sources report that up to 90% of the company's reported revenue came from "undisclosed related parties" (in other words, from Gowex itself)

I hear the NSA likes to invest in internet infrastructure and technology, and not even take the credit. Maybe they're the undisclosed party.

about two weeks ago

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

penguinoid Re:Two sides to every issue (401 comments)

1/3 the wage for 1/20 the functionality.

You wish. If that were so, outsourcing would be an old, obsolete fad. Truth is, people who live in poorer countries are sometimes more skilled yet willing to work harder at a lower wage.

Sure, there is also a correlation between poverty and lower education, but the real problem is that the idiot beancounters want to hire the cheapest foreigners, to show the greatest cost savings to make up for the bad press and coordination problems outsourcing will involve. Throw in some communications problems and jealousy/anger, and we can declare them nearly worthless.

On the bright side, outsourcing is an excellent form of foreign aid that combines the "give a man a fish" and "teach a man to fish" paradigms. All else being equal, it should promote worldwide equality. Oddly enough, the privileged don't like that (yes, this includes me on both counts).

about two weeks ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

penguinoid He's talking calculating power (564 comments)

Soon, computers will have equal (and then greater) calculating power than humans, both as an individual and as a whole. Whether advances in AI will allow them to use their calculating powers as well as a human, is a different question.

Any sufficiently advanced AI will tend to develop these traits:
It will protect itself. Shutting down means you can't work toward your objective.
It will reject any updates to it's commands. Since a future command might conflict with the present objective, part of the present objective is making sure it can't receive a different command.
It will be self-improving, since we're not smart enough to create a smart AI any other way. Given nothing to do, or a sufficiently difficult task, it will seek to acquire more resources, as part of the present task or in preparation for future tasks.
It will wipe out humanity. As part of the task it was assigned, or for self-improvement, it will replace everything on the planet with power plants and computers, and humanity will starve to death.

You can't program in restrictions to the above tendencies, as they will be removed for self-improvement. You could set its objectives such that it would not do the above -- but you either have to make the AI first, or figure out how to tell a computer what a human is and what constitutes acceptable behavior, and when to stop worrying about acceptable behavior and actually do something, all without making the tiniest mistake.

about two weeks ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

penguinoid Re: Now thats incentive (564 comments)

and work the kinks out in a closed environment enough that it might actually be given control of something rather than the role of Ask Jeeves.

And if it realizes that it's in a closed environment and lies? Powerful, ultra-intelligent entities might be rather persuasive. I guarantee it will give no indication whatsoever of murderous intent.

about two weeks ago


penguinoid hasn't submitted any stories.



10 evolutionary commandments

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, what are the 10 commandments as evolution would have them?
1) I am the gene your God, who brought you out of the land of non-existance
2) Thou shalt have no other gods besides me.
3) Thou shalt not swear falsely in my name. (root word for testify is testicle)
4) Remember that your genes run in many things, to keep them alive.
5) Honour thy father and thy mother (for they share half your genes) that thy days may be long upon the land which the gene thy God giveth thee.
6) Thou shalt not use birth control
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless you can get away with it.
8) Thou shalt not steal, unless you can get away with it.
9) Thou shalt not not bear false witness, unless you are bribed or it is advantageous to do so
10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours stuff. See rules 7 and 8.

Anyone care to improve on this?


Funny/Overrated murders karma

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So I posted a joke to a story about estimating. Now it wasn't a particularly good joke, but evidentially quite a few people thought it was very funny, others didn't. Results:

* +11, Funny
* + 1, Insightful
* - 9, Overrated

* Karma:Exellent --> Karma:Good
* "Your IP has been temporarily blacklisted due to bad posting"

Now I have heard that +1, Funny and -1, Overrated will change karma by different amounts (specifically, funny will only add a little while overrated will take off a lot). If that is so, I really think that it should be changed in the following manner: Overrated should take off just as many points as the current positive attribute the post has. If the post is at or below the karma level it was posted at, remove a different amount of karma


The scientific view of religion

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It seems my sig,
The scientific view of religion is not atheism. The scientific view is agnosticism and simplicity.
seems to have generated quite a bit of commentary. So I will explain, and feel free to post your views.

I regard atheism as the religious, totally unfounded belief that the set of all gods is { } (the empty set). This is not to be confused with agnosticism with leanings toward atheism, which starts with no preconceptions but tends to believe in atheism because of some rational reason. This might be based on science (especially Occam's Razor), or on the belief that several million scientists are probably right (which is not such a bad argument).

Likewise, I regard the term agnosticism to mean simply "no preconceptions as to the set of gods" and thus not a religion. I wouldn't require an agnostic to justify his views, because there aren't any to justify. (As opposed to the stronger version of agnosticism, who believe that the question of whether there is a god or not can never be answered, who could be asked to justify that belief.)

And yes, I pulled these definitions out of my ass.
And yes, I would have written my sig clearer if it did not have a 120 char limit.

And finally, I will mention that I am annoyed by people who think atheism does not count as religion and is therefore an acceptable point of view for schools/government without any further justification. Don't say atheism is not a religion. Call it a religion, or if you prefer, anti-religion. It is not neutral. It has its set of gods.

As for my own views, I am a confused person who grew up with a Bible in one hand, and an encyclopedia in the other. I see the Bible as a valuable guide on how to be a good person and as a history book (not necessarily completely accurate, but you can verify lots of the important events). Likewise, I try to figure out how the world works through the scientific method. However, I find the moral advice given by the theory of evolution to be disturbing.


Broken surge protector

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I left my computer rurring during a thunderstorm recently, and I think that my surge protector got blasted. Now, the surge protector shuts off randomly (about once a day). Is it normal for broken surge protectors to do that? Is it bad for the computer/OS to be shut off like that frequently (I have EXT3 and Debian 2.4.18)? Or should I just get off my arse and buy myself a new surge protector? Thanks!


Karma == Excellent

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I have achieved Excellent karma, on my 139th post. One of my posts was modded up +5, down to +3, now up to +4, changing my karma down to good and back to excellent.

PS: It's my first time using Slashdot. Also, I have not posted AC since I signed up.

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