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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

I *think* you got the message: I am worried about the future bug-free, perfect, software.
The one that gets via Internet -of-things the number, age, gender, medical record of the passengers in another car/bus, to minimize casualties. What a brave new world, when we start to steer vehicles in problematic situations into a state of minimal loss to society.

about a week ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

I imagine it'd be program to slam on the breaks and stop, minimizing the damage. Don't give me that bullshit about swerving to the side. In that case it's program to kill whoever is in violation of it's right-of-way.

Did you get my argument? Minimizing whose damage??

Really, you think that the car is going to have some sort of morality judgement function. No.

Yes, it will. Not that I would like that, but it will have to be mandated. Imagine a car manufacturer who does not build in such a device! The hell will be sued out of him, for not programming a function minimizing human casualties. Because it becomes possible with this type of technology.

about a week ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

It's a numbers game, and the very rare cases you are excessively concerned about do not even come into consideration.

It's a numbers game, you write, and further up, to consider own safety first. I am not clear which you actually want to reason about. If it is just 'my survival first', a single passenger would be saved to the detriment of a group?
How does this come across? The car you are sitting in deliberately runs down 5 people to save you? So, in that logic, a pedestrian, e.g., is less valued than someone in a car?

about a week ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

Humans make worse decisions in those situations. Hell, many of those situation wont occur in the first place.

The issue is you're afraid of not having the illusion of control you now have.
In the situation you describe, humans won't have time to make a decision. If there would be enough time for humans to make a conscious decision, then that's enough time for a computer to have negated the issue.

I do agree that in average, the mortality on the roads will go down. Humans make worse decisions. Though, in most such cases they don't make any decision at all. In the case of the driverless car, the decision is, as I wrote, premeditated. And when it is the choice to either run the car into a group of people or off a cliff? I wouldn't want to kill the people, though I also wouldn't want the breaks of the car I am sitting in, to not be activated based on a quick decision by the algorithm that controls activity in cases of lost causes. And deciding to let us off the cliff instead of endangering a crowd of 15.

about a week ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

Humans are sometimes faced with those decisions, too. The reality is that there are some solutions that don't have any good answers -- just a bad answer and a worse one, and we can argue about which is which.

For every one of those kids/octogenarians the computer decides to execute, it could be that there will be 100's of people who get to live because computers took over the driving. So your "look at all the blood" argument is a little misleading.

Exactly. It will be a deliberate, or even conscious, decision to - as you correctly wrote - execute either. Humans make more mistakes than a driverless car; no doubt. Though, the argument who to kill is not left to some panicky reaction of a rudderless driver with not much of cognitive capability at that moment. Instead, it must be programmed ante mortem.

about a week ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel Re:You read it here ... (435 comments)

Those do sound like problems, but human drivers terrify me for rather similar (and some different) reasons.

Absolutely. But they (human drivers) are not programmed. When they run over the octogenarian as compared to the kid, it is not planned. The latter scares the hell out of me. In a court case, the human driver is normally excused for what she did, and nobody will charge her for deliberately targeting either. Now think of an accident with loss of life, and the software was programmed either way. Then it will be called manslaughter; be the child or the senior person the deliberate choice of the algorithm.

about a week ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

udippel You read it here ... (435 comments)

... despite of me being an engineer, and a computer scientist, I am very much scared of the driverless car.
Oh no, not the scare that you can expect from the layperson; the fear of imperfect driverless cars endangering passers-by or drivers-by. Much worse, the dangers that perfect driverless cars constitute are much worse. And the fear of the FBI - far-fetched or not - is only one of many more to come.

A perfect driverless car will have to be programmed to take a pre-mediated decision in case of some accident, injury or even death becoming unavoidable. If you have plenty of spare time on your mind, start pondering about potential situations occurring outside the control of a driverless car. A driverless car cannot stop within abrupt short time. Just one, one only, example: If presented by either hitting a 4-year-old child or an octogenarian; should it take a random selection, or being programmed? If the latter is the case: who is it programmed to kill? Okay, a second example: You are sitting in a driverless car, with 4 of your family. A bus with 12 passengers comes up frontally (driven by an imperfect human driver, I guess). The whole thing on a narrow bridge, if you hit the bus, probabilities are it will slide to the side and tumble into a canyon. How would you think your perfect driverless car ought to be programmed? For the survival of you and your family, or the survival of the 12 people on the bus? Whichever the decision, the perfect driverless car becomes a pragmatic killing machine.

about a week ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

udippel Re:Because... (325 comments)

Quite a lousy argument here. I am neither in humanities nor a native English speaker. Is it really the best you can afford to take this out against me?

about a month and a half ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

udippel Re:Because... (325 comments)

Look around, and the misery increases, globally. Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.

Let me guess: you have a PhD in the humanities?

Reasonable guess, but wrong. I am teaching Computer Engineering at a university.

about a month and a half ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

udippel Re:Because... (325 comments)

Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.

On what basis do you claim these things? Objectively speaking the world has been improving over the last 50 years along almost every dimension you could look at, in some cases dramatically: Air quality, water quality, length of workweek, access to information, health care and lifespan, crime rates of all kinds (murder, theft, sexual assault), standard of living.

Yep. For *some* of us, this is true. It is not true for the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, almost all of the Maghreb. Anyplace tropical Africa and below, including South Africa. It is not true for the poor in the developed world, with the gap of the 'Haves' and the 'Havenots' increasing continuously. Read the article in The Baffler (referenced above) on the decline of North American Universities; at least their continued conversions into industries; and you'll find that the misery has increased, not decreased, since the 1970's for the underprivileged in the USA. Europe? Several countries hoovering around bankruptcy for some years now. Close to one billion people undernourished is not compensated by the epidemic level of obesity in the developed world. Languages are getting extinct; and so do species of flora and fauna in South-East-Asia; simple from greedily uprooting primary jungle. I don't remember how many acres are lost daily in Brasil, for the same reason.
Access to healthcare? I for one see an increasing number of people who drop out of healthcare for purely monetary reasons: they cannot afford it any longer. Oh yes, I am talking about the developed world. Access to information; that's true, because it brings a good ROI. Don't try to tell me any carrier increases coverage in Africa for humanitarian reasons. Are the Putins of this world what a statesman ought to be? Are the fundamentalist Muslims on the rise, and spread, or on the decline? Is democracy on the rise or on the decline? Standard of living? Cheapo tablets and great iPhones have advanced the standard of living - not so much for the exploited factory workers in PRC, who work non-regular hours under inhuman conditions ("length of workweek") to assemble all those machines; including being slowly poisoned. And the trash industry; I had the dubious honour to observe human beings crawling through dirt and trash to extract material for recycling; including wading in lakes of chemicals and pulling out things with their bare hands in Asia. For the advances that you describe above. Advances, true, but for a minority of the humans on this planet.

I stop here. I have nothing against bean counters, engineers, linguists, natural scientists, etc. I agree that everyone has the potential to improve this world of ours. Including writers, philosophers, you name them. But, and that's a big 'but', as we can see, including from the discussion in here, is that materialism and monetary / economic aspects have unabatedly taken the lead over anything else. Whatever someone does, is not based on a vocation, rather on economic considerations. And the results, samples given further up, are often based on economics having taken the primary lead in decision making. What a bleak future, when we decide to submit ourselves, our environment, our planet, to the dictate of maximizing returns.

(And only for completeness, no, I do not think the 'creation' of more and 'simpler' PhDs in the humanities would solve anything.)

about a month and a half ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

udippel Re:Because... (325 comments)

What a pity! - I might have read a books of yours; and now the best I can do, is cursing the software to which you contributed.

about a month and a half ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

udippel Re:Because... (325 comments)

Yes and no. While I shudder at the thought that a PhD in humanities should pay a 6-digit figure almost automatically, I also shudder at the thought, shudder even worse, that humanities are on the decline while actually seriously needed for the progress, if not survival of mankind. Look around, and the misery increases, globally. Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.
It looks like as if we had already passed the baton from the humanities to the bean-counters. That would've been an awful decision for the future of us and our children.

about a month and a half ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

udippel Re:Because... (325 comments)

Perhaps the lesson here is that PhDs in Humanities are incapable of understanding their place in the world?

Wow, that last sentence of yours scares me! There is a lot to argue about the notion in the MLA report that sees almost everyone tenured - that also scares me! - ; but I am confident that we as human race are running into quick stagnation, if not decline, without humanities. Without arts. We are, and that's only my conviction, running aground once everyone starts to chose apprenticeship, undergrad or doctoral study based on future income.
I miss the old days, when many had the opportunity, and desire, and courage, to follow a vocation instead of a job.

about a month and a half ago
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US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

udippel From the summary, the approach is wrong (165 comments)

[And who would ever read TFA; we are in /. !]
Reading the summary, I gather the usual driss that AI has been offering over the last 2 generations: A pre-programmed decision tree instead of an instance of real ethics, morality, or thought. The whole scenario does not sound like the US Navy would get anything close to an autonomous apparatus to be send out into the field, gather information, learn and improve from it, and take reasonable decisions based on a full analysis of the underlying facts. It rather reads like a dictionary of possible, pre-defined situations were stored, with some values of 'niceness', priorities, conveniences and disposables attached to them, and then the machines will follow their - kind of - hardcoded inherent rules.

If this was the case, there's nothing to be seen here, and everyone may well move along.

about 2 months ago
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Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?

udippel Re:Better still (187 comments)

... and don't forget the water-boarding! It will actually help in this case ...

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

udippel helpful?? (589 comments)

"most staff are already familiar with Microsoft products"

this is very much true, and the main reason for Microsoft's grip on the market. People intuitively reject change, new interfaces, etc.

"and [that] Microsoft has been flexible and more helpful"

kind of invalidates the good person's arguments. Firstly, it actually is not the case (at least not for organisations as large as Hampshire County Council); and then a prostitute tends to be more helpful to a man's sexual needs than the wife/partner; otherwise the client's visit at her place of work would be superfluous.

about 3 months ago
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Valve Sponsors Work To Greatly Speed-Up Linux OpenGL Game Load Times

udippel Re:And still linux sucks (202 comments)

Your argument is immaterial, because a lot of BOFH-s and ThePointyHaired-s use Mac. Plus, they are in average willing to spend serious money for licenses.

about 3 months ago
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An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

udippel Recently, in Ruhrort (264 comments)

I noticed some words painted on a defunct building while passing by on a tram. It said something like "Kunst ist keine Krücke, sondern das Rückgrat der Gesellschaft" (my excuses if cited not totally correct) - "Art is not the crutch but the the backbone of society". I have remembered the meaning ever since.
Humanities are on an induced decline - but arts are even more at the receiving end of the queue, because it serves even less in economic terms compared to the humanities.
It is obviously forgotten that man is not a human without art. So Henlein was correct with the 'insects' - highly intelligent in a specialized area or not makes no difference. Ants are surely better in a number of collective functions than humans.

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

udippel Re:Time to move into the Century of the fruit bat. (1198 comments)

Vengeance? It's no vengeance I'm in for. Actually, I would not want him tortured. My question was rhetorical. No, we should not stoop to the level of that.
Though - and you might not like it either - I have no qualms to see his eviction from the living part of the human race. His deeds have forfeited him all rights to live among humans; and if only because there is no regret, no extenuating circumstance, only bloody lust of hurting and killing that he has demonstrated.
He is, you may call me cynical if you want, however entitled to a torture-free death and that's what he was deprived of through the clumsiness of some medical staff.

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

udippel Re:What's the problem? (1198 comments)

The whole idea of punishing criminals seems pointless to me. How about rehabilitating them? If somebody is innocent, then we rehabilitate them and in theory that should go pretty quickly since they weren't particularly prone to committing crimes in the first place. If somebody is a likely criminal, then rehabilitation should involve whatever it takes to make them no longer a likely criminal.

Sorry, but you come across like a tad naive person. What do you mean 'then we rehabilitate them'?? How's this done?? Do you think it only takes some effort, a bit of psychology, and then - voilà - the murderer cum rapist who buried alive the girl he had raped before turns into an angel? Or what?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Which language for a beginner's course Procedural Programming for engineers?

udippel udippel writes  |  about a year and a half ago

udippel (562132) writes "I have been tasked to develop a beginner's course titled 'Procedural Programming' for the faculty of engineering. The 'desired' language is C. While I see many reasons for everyone to know this language, I still feel — and know from earlier experience teaching it — that its imperative character down to the gory details (data types, declaration, lack of strings, difficult syntax, etc.) tends to get in the way of actually drilling down into the basic concepts of procedural (functional) programming.
I for one imagine that Python or even xxsh can significantly simplify the 'syntax hurdle' and instead offer much more space for the procedural aspects. How do you perceive these thoughts; can you provide arguments for or against C, respectively suggest another language?"
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Free alternatives for a Forefront Authentication ?

udippel udippel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "Working in a university, to me, it looks as if recently our bean-counters were convinced by some Microsoft-Sales-Drone that Forefront would finally be the answer to their prayers.
Since then, there is no Internet access to any student or staff, if not logged on to a Microsoft Domain of our institution, with NTLMv2, etc., blabla. Meaning, that we, the non-Microsofties, would not get any more software, be it Ubuntu, *BSD, or MAC. But even the users of Windows would not get updates or packages for, e.g. LaTex or R.
So what we have thought of, is to propose to the management a sensible alternative. We do understand the need to authenticate users one way or another; there are just too many crooks and free-riders around. Now my question to the crowd: What do you suggest to propose in order to authenticate users, but with a cross-platform authentication method? Radius, Kerberos, or ??. My question: How do the people of the Slashdot-community solve the problem of authenticating users across platforms? And not relying on plaintext, simple Myplace123-passwords?"
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FreeBSD trivial ROOT, first on 6.X, now on 7.X

udippel udippel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "The Register made some headlines [theregister.co.uk] first, scary. There is a video [vimeo.com] that demos how to compile a small program; or upload it to your unprivileged shell, or exploit some scripting on a web server to get some shell, for example the one needed to send out mail, and off you go. Since it is the exploit of a race condition, the whole system could as well crash or hang. In its article, The Register still says "Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable". Just one day later, the author uploaded another video [vimeo.com], demonstrating the whole process another time, this time for FreeBSD 7.2.
Scary. I start to question FOSS, and wonder, how few cold eyes have reviewed this code, overlooking a NULL-dereference plus a race condition.
Icing on the cake: Przemyslaw Frasunek, who discovered the misery, duly informed FreeBSD on August 29th; but his message, so the FreeBSD guys, "got lost in the slew".
Is this the kind of OS we will gladly recommend for security-related applications?"

Link to Original Source
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FreeBSD trivial ROOT, first on 6.X, now on 7.X, to

udippel udippel writes  |  more than 4 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "The Register made some headlines first, scary. There is a video video that demos how to compile a small program; or upload it to your unprivileged shell, or exploit some scripting on a web server to get some shell, for example the one needed to send out mail, and off you go. Since it is the exploit of a race condition, the whole system could as well crash or hang. In the article, The register still says "Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable". Just one day later, the author uploaded another video, demonstrating the whole process another time, this time for FreeBSD 7.2."
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Bio-Fuel for Jet(pod) from waste cooking oil

udippel udippel writes  |  about 6 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "Some Boffins claim to have a process to turn waste palm-based cooking oil into bio-fuel to energise small aircraft of the type Jetpod. According to the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) has developed the new jet-fuel based on one of the major export commodities of Malaysia, palm oil, during the last 6 years. Avcen will try the new fuel within 3 months time. The production time from waste coking oil to jet-fuel takes less than 30 minutes, confirms the Vice-Chancellor of Uniten, Dr. Mashkuri. The Jetpod will be used as executive jet, military support aircraft, courier and air ambulance. It is estimated that more than two billion litres of palm-based vegetable cooking oil is consumed annually in Malaysia and the high volume is usually discarded into rivers, which eventually leads to environmental pollution and disruption in the eco-system. The biodiesel developed is said to fulfill the standard of the United States' National Biodiesel Board. "Uniten knows how to mass-produce the oil using the microwave technology and this is the technology we are interested in" said the inventor of the Jetpod

Sounds almost too good: fry your dinner and then pour the waste oil into your fly-machine for the way home, where you can take a swim in unpolluted waters in front of your home."
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "DELL has made up his / their minds: It is going to be Ubuntu, tells us The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/01/dell_linux _lives/ Nothing much to be added, except that I hope it will come out a great success; for Ubuntu as well as DELL. Hey, I also hope that the boxes then will be delivered with 100% Linux-kernel compatible hardware; able to run other distros just as well. And I wonder how DELL is going to sort the support nightmare that IMHO will creep up."
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The-Sun-is-shining-on-the-world-of-GPL (562132) writes "SUN implies the coming of a GPLv3-ed OpenSolaris. So reports eWEEK.
That can have wide implications in the world of Free Software. And in the world of Open Software as well.
Especially if Linus keeps insisting on 'hot air': http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/16/ 1446258
Will Paul Murphy http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/31/018 218 be proven correct at the end of 2007 ?

"Sun Microsystems is set to license OpenSolaris under the upcoming GNU General Public License Version 3 in addition to the existing Common Development and Distribution License, sources close to the company have told eWEEK.
OpenSolaris currently is licensed only under Sun's CDDL, but company executives have previously floated the idea of a dual license with GPLv3.
Sources told eWEEK that this is very likely to happen after the release of that version of the GPL, which currently is being rewritten and is expected to be made final soon."

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2084284,00.as p"
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Get-me-one-of-those-please-noooot ! (562132) writes "A bad apple — "You purchased a bad apple in the wrong country — bad luck for you !"
We have many fanboys of Apple and many fans of its services. Though, this might have more to do with being in the US and strict consumer satisfaction tradition. Elsewhere, they don't seem to take things so customer-friendly. Beware buying a rotten Apple in South-East-Asia ! You might as well get the confirmation from Apple that your machine has a 'manufacturing defect' and that they would undertake some effort to repair it — during the warranty period, that is. If this does not lead to a functional system, you've gambled — and lost.
Thus we can read from a very happy customer here: http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/61154"
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udippel udippel writes  |  more than 7 years ago

udippel (562132) writes "Huh, for you to know. You'll reject this probably as usual; and actually, the honour to submit this news should be given to a developer. But at least, I'll do my duties as slashdot reader and so you may do yours and pull the flush. As usual."

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