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The Anthropocene Epoch Began With 1945 Atomic Bomb Test, Scientists Say

shadowrat Re:Academic wankery at its finest (154 comments)

we use latin words to be unambiguous, but we come up with the latin names ourselves. the romans didn't name a rattlesnake crotalus atrox. They hadn't even determined the whole family genus species classification stuff.

Now, if we described stuff by it's percentages of fire earth air and water and spirit...

about two weeks ago
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The Anthropocene Epoch Began With 1945 Atomic Bomb Test, Scientists Say

shadowrat Re:I don't think so. (154 comments)

i get a statistic that in 2013, china produced approximately 1 coal plant a week.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

unless we are talking about may 17, 2013. for that time period, china did apparently produce 1 coal plant a day.

i don't even know why i feel the need to argue this though. it has little to do with the topic. i just can't fight the urge to look up statistics. i think there's something wrong with me.

about two weeks ago
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The Anthropocene Epoch Began With 1945 Atomic Bomb Test, Scientists Say

shadowrat Re:Academic wankery at its finest (154 comments)

It's pure hubris to think that scientists in the future are going to go along with our stupid names for stuff.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

shadowrat Re:Qualifications (479 comments)

Read the article. This is about RECRUITERS. They go out and find candidates. If you're passively waiting for applicants, I'd fire you as a recruiter on the spot.

what are the recruiters supposed to do? just start asking random women on the street if they want to work in IT? Even recruiters are limited to the pool of people that make it known they want those jobs.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

shadowrat Re:Honest question. (479 comments)

As far as I can tell, the primary reason is that they are completely unable to manage and plan long term and agile is a perfect refuge for those who lack these skills but nevertheless covet the 'manager' title.

I think you are making it too complicated. i thought it was because they heard agile was the best.

about two weeks ago
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An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

shadowrat Re:"Forget about the risk that machines pose to us (227 comments)

I grant that machine sentience is possible. It would appear as though a physical system can become sentient if i use ourselves as an example. It's also reasonable to assume that such an intelligence could become our enemy. Again i can cite numerous examples where known intelligences did become enemies.

The doom and gloom scenarios all hinge on this idea that the AI is going to be so much smarter and more powerful than we are. That's where it's dipping way into just crazy speculation. Based on what we know about intelligent beings, the system is full of flaws that slow everything down. For all we know, the AI may never be any better at anything than we are. I'd wager the first truly sentient AI's will be quite a bit duller.

I think it's important that we devote a little bit of thought to "how can we be nice to our AI when it becomes sentient." but not because of any impending doom. i mean really, if it IS self aware, it's only right to treat it as such and be nice to it. Honestly, we kind of have a good track record there. all the AI needs to do is watch star trek and see a whole bunch of episodes devoted to how Data was a wonderful person who should be respected and cherished.

about two weeks ago
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Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

shadowrat Re:BAU (257 comments)

Out of curiosity, what would you consider a "true" (not false) religion?

I've been told there are some sects of buddhism that believe we can't possibly know any metaphysical crap and just need to focus on the here and now. i'm paraphrasing, but that sounds like a pretty rational basis to start with.

about two weeks ago
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Carnivorous Pitcher Plant "Out-Thinks" Insects

shadowrat Re:smarter than many people I know (111 comments)

the give up starbucks (or your favorite coffee place) arguments are always a bit too simple. Taken at face value, it's an expensive cup of coffee, but what is it really? for many people it's a social event. You see the same people each day, you say hi. sometimes you meet friends and former coworkers who got a job at the agency around the corner. someone remembers your name and favorite drink. It's fun. it's hard to say that fun is or is not overpriced. If you can afford it, what is wrong with having a bit fun every day?

lucky for me, i ended up in a job where i can go make a fancy esspresso drink in the break room and hang out with people. i don't have to go EVERY day, but still, i like to go damnit. i see different people at the coffee house.

i also end up going to bars. i'm pretty sure that ads up to more than coffee each year.

about two weeks ago
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Carnivorous Pitcher Plant "Out-Thinks" Insects

shadowrat Re:smarter than many people I know (111 comments)

Give up some free time now to do your school work, get paid $800,000 more later.

wtf? i did school work. where's my $800,000!?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

shadowrat Re:Raspberry Pi/Arduino (189 comments)

plumbing, as it turns out, is kind of a tricky beast. with all the plumbing analogies in EE, i figured, it's just like making a circuit. in practice, leaks and pressure are far from their electrical counterparts. it's not like your power supply delivers 3.3v if it's below the breadboard, or 9v if it's 2 feet above the breadboard.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

shadowrat Re:Raspberry Pi/Arduino (189 comments)

i build my own stuff around my raspberry pi. i've got motion detection, temperature sensors, lights, garage doors, plant irrigators. it's all fun, but be prepared to spend a lot of time. If you are making this yourself, you are taking up electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, running to home depot. Everytime i do a project i tell myself, next time i'm just buying something.

then i come back and do another.

just be realistic about what you want. do you want good home automation? or do you want to putz about with computers and components? (for me, it seems to be the later)

about three weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

shadowrat Re:Maybe (1350 comments)

I've always found it fascinating that Christians in the US, who supposedly are all about Jesus, blindly support Judaism which says point blank: Jesus wasn't the messiah, yet they are so vocally opposed to Islam which says that Jesus was a prophet of God. I chalk it down to ignorance, stupidity... or both.

logic has no place in religion.

about three weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

shadowrat Re:Maybe (1350 comments)

sarcasm. text doesn't carry it.

about three weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

shadowrat Re:Maybe (1350 comments)

Yahweh in the old testament is pretty much a real son of a bitch, no different than the angry father next door beating his kid for their lack of compliance. Though, somehow, you call the cop on latter, and prey the former.

My history is a little rusty, but isn't yahweh of the old testament and allah the same god?

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

shadowrat Re:Not expensive for an audiophile device (391 comments)

i'm wondering, can there be anything in there that justifies this cost? most of the hardware isn't stellar (the software is android, probably not the fastest chip, some decent batteries and screen on it, some audiodecoding software that is probably already available for all android devices) So all that is left is the hardware for actually creating the audio signal, which should be worth a lot in this thing, is there really hardware that is so suberb in quality that it's worth this price?

Once you hear it, you will realize it's far superior to any other listening experience. Of course, you might not be a prosumer audiphile with the refinement and experience required to properly enjoy it. Maybe you can just stick with your beats by dr dre and ipod shuffle like the rest of the plebes.

run along now. my highly acute audio perception wants to enjoy the miracle of hi-res audio as it was meant to be heard, devoid of the racket of the unwashed masses.

about three weeks ago
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Writers Say They Feel Censored By Surveillance

shadowrat Re:But anonymous publishing has always been a thin (130 comments)

that IS a good point.

still, there are, apparently, legions of people who are maintaining annonymity online while engaging not just in research, but outright hostile attacks. It would seem that it's possible to keep a low profile while researching sensitive subjects.

about three weeks ago
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Writers Say They Feel Censored By Surveillance

shadowrat But anonymous publishing has always been a thing. (130 comments)

Why can't they just be anonymous? anonymous is anonymous. if legions of script kiddies can remain hidden under all this surveillance, it must be possible for a writer who isn't ddosing to do it. I doubt it's even that difficult.

  1. get yourself some laptop.
  2. run some linux distro.
  3. never connect it to the interwebs.
  4. write.

transfer your writing across sneaker net in some seedy cyber cafe and you are publishing your subversive thoughts to the chagrin of governments everywhere! you could even wear a fedora to make you feel clandestine and important, and match your OS.

about three weeks ago
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Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

shadowrat seems a lot like human vision to me (130 comments)

idk, these results seem more similar to how humans see than they do different. When people don't know exactly what they are looking at, the brain just puts in it's best guess. people certainly see faces and other familiar objects in tv static. They see bigfoot in a collection of shadows or a strange angle on a bear. i even feel like i did sort of see a peacock in the one random image labeled peacock. it's sort of like the computer vision version of a rorschach test.

about a month ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

shadowrat Re:We should expect fewer droughts from warming (222 comments)

i have long wondered if the result of global warming should really be less extreme weather. my (admittedly limited) understanding of storms is that they are the result of masses of air of different temperatures combining. if everything is warmer, it seems like the percentage differences between various parcels of air in the atmosphere would be going down. ie: if it's 90 at the equator and 20 at the poles. thats a 78% difference. now if the global temps raise by 10 degrees, that's only a 70% difference, and that's assuming that somehow everything goes up by 10 degrees. it's probably more likely that the colder parts would get warmer faster than the already warm parts.

obviously still bad for polar bears though.

about a month and a half ago

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