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New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

v(*_*)vvvv Re:So misleading. (161 comments)

You can create programs that write rules or code or draw or make music. You can create them so their output is random or unpredictable or based on something other than explicit programmer or use input. Set the input to data and you can call it Machine Learning. Big whoop.

But how this is done must still be explicitly defined and coded. That is what is meant by "go an abstraction layer higher". You can create code that writes code, but that isn't a breakthrough, and that isn't where the breakthrough will lie.

If we fully understood the nature of general intelligence, we would be able to code it, or at least know why we can't. And if we do code it, anyone could read that code and understand the nature of general intelligence.

If someone finds a way to randomly generate code and test it until the produced code is general intelligence, then wow, that'd be amazing. But given the code, it will tell us the answer. Just because our bodies are the product of evolution it doesn't mean we can't understand it. We understand how our eyes work, our ears work, etc... We have yet to understand how our brain works, or how intelligence works. But only armed with understanding, would we be able to engineer it intentionally. And if armed with understanding, we would be able to engineer it intentionally.

about a week ago

New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'

v(*_*)vvvv So misleading. (161 comments)

Like Siri, it can’t do anything that coders haven’t explicitly programmed it to do. Viv breaks through those constraints by generating its own code on the fly, no programmers required.

This is so misleading. No program can do anything outside what it is explicitly programmed to do. Viv is programmed to generate code only because it has been explicitly programmed to do so, and can only do so as explicitly laid out in its code. Sure, the code may go an abstraction layer higher, but the constraints these programs can't break through is the same. No one knows how to program general intelligence.

about two weeks ago

Final Fantasy XIV Failed Due To Overly Detailed Flowerpots

v(*_*)vvvv typical bureaucratic Japanese sense of innovation (195 comments)

the game being stuck in past ... without looking at newer MMOs to see what had worked there.

Creativity isn't about following the latest and greatest trends, or throwing your resources at a project. Yet with large Japanese bureaucracies, approval requires precedence, and innovation turns into copying. This is a general trend with any large bureaucracy, but it is especially severe in Japan, where they make it a formality. Proof that it is a formality is in this speech. Even given failure, they attribute the cause to not copying the latest trends well enough. That is why game companies should never merge.

If you thought your game was stuck in the past, think again. Maybe YOU ARE.

And given that, your games will NEVER RULE AGAIN.

about 5 months ago

The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly

v(*_*)vvvv Re: (260 comments)

> by leaving your comfort zone.

How is socializing with other members of your faith leaving your comfort zone? Church IS your comfort zone. So is the marketplace where you gather with FRIENDS.

>The real anomaly is in the walls that keep us from knowing each other.

Like the one that surrounds facebook, and the walls within facebook that prevent certain interactions between its members.

about 5 months ago

SXSW: How Emotions Determine Android's Design

v(*_*)vvvv How they avoid admitting they were inspired by... (68 comments)

They went to homes and saw how "emotionally" attached people were to their iPhones that they made the engineers duplicate iOS.

Either that or they went to homes and brought back nothing the engineers could use, and forced them to find their ideas elsewhere, like by looking at iOS.

Obviously they are not identical, but why open source is always "inspired by" their closed source predecessors and is somehow able to deny it or justify denying it is intriguing.

This is how it appears to the public:
Linux = Windows rip-off.
Open Office = Office rip-off.
Android = iOS rip-off.

Their main differences is in the freedom of the developers which also happens to be inversely proportional to how much they get paid.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
- Steve Jobs

Of course, he also is famously quoted as saying:

"Picasso had a saying - 'good artists copy, great artists steal' - and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
- Steve Jobs

Clearly Jobs knows a stolen idea when he sees one. Takes one to know one?

"Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
- Albert Einstein

How they avoid admitting they were inspired by iOS boggles my mind. BECAUSE IT IS SO DAMN OBVIOUS.

about a year and a half ago

Bill Gates: the Traditional PC Is Changing

v(*_*)vvvv Complement != Replace (552 comments)

Tablets are not replacing PCs. They are replacing that empty space that used to be between your hands when stretched on a sofa watching TV. Consumer's appetites are moving towards tablets, and the market is growing because more people are buying them for the fist time. As a business, this is the next opportunity.

PCs are incredibly useful and practical, and are never going away. Same with mobile computing, and now tablets.

Who said we had to choose? They are all staying, and the experience is evolving as they all complement one another. This is not to be confused with "replace".

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Do Kids Still Take Interest In Programming For Its Own Sake?

v(*_*)vvvv It's up to you/us. (276 comments)

It is easier for a child when something is made to look easy, and the results are made to look fascinating. The environment and the mentor are paramount. But this has become harder recently because everything has advanced so much since the Nintendo Entertainment System days. Also it doesn't help that platforms like the iPhone are hard to develop for (the closed garden hurdles, so to speak).

Games used to be a good genre but now kids are playing MW3 and GW3 so it's increasingly harder to convince them they can build something similar. Games are still a good place to start, but only if you have the right tools to do it.

Web programming is good because HTML and CSS is rather straightforward, and kids will be able to edit and publish their own web site. They can get into javascript and server admin stuff too. The reward for having the site will be the biggest hurdle, since most online presence missions are done better piggy-backing on facebook or word press.

Graphics programming is good because it has to do with math, and math is something kids are already force-fed at school. If you can demonstrate how math is used to build real things, and by learning graphics programming that the child can get straight As by way of beating the curve, kids are often all for it. Great place to start:
And John Maeda of course:

Finally, incentivising a child's behavior is not that difficult. Make them do their homework before they play. Make them program before they do their homework. Reward them for everything you make them do. Being a smart parent is the best ingredient for a child's intelligence by a mile.

more than 2 years ago

After Legal Fight, NCI Researchers Publish Study Linking Diesel Exhaust, Cancer

v(*_*)vvvv First Amendment (196 comments)

This might be a dumb question, but whatever happened to the freedom of speech? I thought this was exactly the kind of thing that it was designed to protect, especially if it is true. I am deeply confused.

more than 2 years ago

The Doomsday Clock Is Moved Closer To Midnight

v(*_*)vvvv Politics in Science (313 comments)

There is nothing scientific about this clock, and most scientists would surely admit it. It is political and is meant to sway public opinion. So what we have here are either a) fake scientists, b) real scientists shooting themselves in the foot, or c) politicians.

The whole point of the scientific method is to be grounded on evidence and be void of any political, social, or even personal biases. I have nothing against this silly clock, but as long as science lends its name to garbage such as this, science will always have a hard time in politics claiming itself to be scientific.

more than 2 years ago

Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Well... (891 comments)

Taxes weren't passed to allow a 'chosen' few to dictate citizen behavior....

Right. Except, taxes is what is redundant in that statement. A chosen few allowed to dictate citizen behavior is government.

Taxes are just one tool. I agree keeping money out of how they dictate citizen behavior is a good thing, but that would entail not only taxes, but fines, criminal fines, and even how government deals with traffic violations....

A collection of monies imposed by law is almost always in the picture.

more than 2 years ago

Why Freemium Doesn't Work

v(*_*)vvvv This isn't about freemium. It's about his site! (321 comments)

This is a very common reaction: Deny categorically, the category or entity associated with my experiment (or experience).

You can read reviews that exemplify this all the time. "I got screwed so I will never ever use them again. 1 out of 5." Will you always get screwed? Have you always been screwed? Will anyone reading the review get screwed? Not necessarily. Ergo, Verizon (insert your favorite company) survives.

In any case, the blunt interpretation here is he created a spam site with problems, got complaints, and hardly anyone paid.... This really has little to do with freemium, and everything to do with why his venture failed... It sucked.

On the topic of freemium, if a service is valuable, people will pay for it. There is no denying premium as a model. If a service is free, people will try it. There is no denying the free model either. If any service provides both free and premium services, it is by its very nature freemium. And with such a scheme so easy to setup with web based services, freemium will never go away, nor should it. Always offer what you can for free. It works, and there is no doubt about it.


more than 2 years ago

Vint Cerf On Human Rights: Internet Access Isn't On the List

v(*_*)vvvv Re:A simple test. . . (398 comments)

Beautiful. And under these terms, the human right in questions is "the right to know".

I have the right to know. I cannot be punished for what I already know, nor should I be banned from knowing what there is to know.

This isn't in the constitution, nor is it in anyway upheld by any government. But ironically, it is what is being upheld by the internet, aka the people. And that too... is beautiful.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera Advice?

v(*_*)vvvv Re:two suggestions (402 comments)

Parent has a strong case, but a) some people don't want to learn, and will never learn, and b) DSLRs are huge and expensive.

So MIL cameras fit right in the void. Even professional photographers carry portable cameras, and mirror-less construction is an honest breakthrough in cutting the form factor without compromising the sensor size.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera Advice?

v(*_*)vvvv Re:+1 two suggestions (402 comments)

I own a NEX5, and it is the best camera Sony has put out in a VERY long time. And it has really helped Sony revive the reputation of their cameras.

When choosing photo quality, the size of the sensor and the lens are the 2 biggest components. Everything else helps, but can never make up for these two components. And the screen shows you what you are shooting, and what you just shot, so the specs of the screen are extremely important. The NEX5 screen is huge, hi-res, and tilts. This means you don't have to be looking straight at the screen to view it properly. Overhead shots are a breeze, and no more bending your knees with tripods. The video is amazing too, and has its own button.

With its small form factor, proper lens, huge sensor, tilting LED screen, and HD video, this camera was an instant hit. It can also take great shots with little light.

The only nag is its controls. They are oversimplified, and the advanced features are buried in menus. If the shortcuts aren't what you use, there is no changing them, but they do cover most use cases.

The best part though, is my aunt was able to pick it up and use it right away. So without a DSLR camera, almost anyone can enjoy DSLR photos, without the weight, the geeky look, and any prior knowledge of photography.

It's been a while since the NEX5 was released, and there are a lot of MILCs now. The screens have all gotten better, and HD video is pretty much a given. At this point I am sure there are other comparable offerings from other brands, but there is no doubt in my mind that the NEX5 was a trailblazer in the MILC market.

more than 2 years ago

Thumbdrive-Sized Streaming Media Players Coming Soon

v(*_*)vvvv Re:And the point is...? (112 comments)

My New Years Eve.

I was playing around with a digital antenna to get a sub channel. One reason why I quit cable was because they weren't required to support them... I wanted to watch Kohaku on UTB 18.2 Hollywood. I am forced to use this piece of trash since it was all they had at bestbuy. It literally has 1.5 out of 5 stars. As I ask myself why I am moving this box around the room having to scan for channels in this day and age, I give up because the digital channel in MY NEIGHBORHOOD isn't picked up by the scanner no matter how hard I try, given the limitations imposed by the length of the power cord and the random antenna I chose.

I'm thinking, good thing I picked up a Roku box while I was at bestbuy for plan B... I heard about it, and just assumed it was a smart device that would magically find content given it is online. Felt like there were a few unnecessary steps, but I get it to work, only to find that it just has a bunch of youtube-like channels, but no youtube!? No access to any of the upload sites. WTF? If I wanted Angry Bird I'd just get the app, thank you. So what is the hooplah? The channels suck.

I hop online to lookup Roku alternatives, thinking I must have been thinking of something else... Find Boxee, and figure that must have been the magic box. I find I don't even need to buy one. I can just install it on my computer. Brilliant!

90MB download, installed, I try to run it, "dll not found". Silence. It turns out you need to install DirectX manually, but at this point if my Windows 7 doesn't support it, and no one cared to mention it during the install, I figure Boxee doesn't deserve any more attention.

So I end up just hooking up my PC as is to the TV... Shit, it works. I can watch anything. Brilliant!!!

What are all these boxes really about!?!? last WTF and OMG moment of 2011.

more than 2 years ago

Speculating On What a Microsoft Superphone Might Mean

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Easily explainable: Nokia (371 comments)

Is this phone cheaper? Who is buying this phone? Who is selling this phone to whom and how?

Early Android sales was much about competitors "getting something comparable to an iphone to sell" as it was about consumers "getting something comparable to an iphone on their network".

One cannot just look at product to explain sales.

more than 2 years ago

Superannuated Scientists Still Productive

v(*_*)vvvv Science is specific. (117 comments)

Firstly, this over-generalization of scientific productivity by age group is completely irrelevant unless we are having some age group contest. Scientists do extremely specific work, none of which is ambiguous. Specificity is part of the craft. A scientist who is ambiguous about their research hasn't gotten anywhere.

Secondly, the nature of research and publication, as well as their cycles, are vast and highly dependent on the scientific community that surrounds that research, as well as the environment in which that research is being done. For example, imagine a Physics professor at an ivy league university, and compare him with a chemist that works in a lab at a giant corporation. Most universities conducting research are open and public, aiming for advancement in the field. Most corporations conducting independent research are secretive, aiming for patents and advancement in their respective markets. Scientific productivity is as much the result of a community or group as it is the product of any one man's talent or inspiration.

Finally, these inferences into how the behavior of a young scientist differs from an old scientist are stereotypical, and would only contribute to prejudice at best. Any scientist with real talent would most likely be aware of it, and it is that awareness that matters more than any age bracket. Scientists know when they are on to something. They tend to believe strongly in their work, regardless of age. That belief is what is important and it can be measured.

more than 2 years ago

Google Awarded Driverless Vehicle Patent

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Patents prevent the re-use of ideas. (121 comments)

I agree with you in spirit, as do many others, and with much of what you said, although I have slightly more respect left for the status quo I think.

The problem with changing the system is that it isn't about reasoning or science. Unfortunately it is about politics, and when it is about politics it is about money. We need to make money speak, and to do it, we need to make money.

The pharma industry is built on patents, and the music and entertainment industry on copyright. They are all insanely rich thanks to IP law, and they will protect those laws til their demise.

First, everyone believes they have to own something to sell it. Until that belief changes, we will still be hogging our MP3s and "stealing" data that can be freely copied infinite times. It is as childish as playing house with sand castles. Too bad they make a real living out of it.

Second, we must solve the money problem. Until a new system is in place that makes more money for these so-called "innovators and creators", no legal change will happen. In fact, regardless of what they believe, if a new system makes more money than the existing system, there really is no contest. All those who were in favor of the current system will suddenly be rapping about how great system B is. All corporations want is money.

Free software won a generation over, but it failed to convert IP into money. It was the first step of the above 2. Programming makes it obvious... Every bit is the same. Every bit can be copied. Those who claim to own certain bits impede the progress of other bits.

Unfortunately free software didn't really care about #2. And that is fine. They really just cared about programming... which definitely worked in their favor winning people over. They did it for the love of the game, so to speak. Eventually money was found servicing free software but that is still not the same as monetizing IP or the software itself. Case in point, the music industry doesn't sell customer service. They would never be able to.

more than 2 years ago

Google Awarded Driverless Vehicle Patent

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Patents prevent the re-use of ideas. (121 comments)

temporary legal limitation on who can use it

... is precisely the bottleneck. The throughput of one person or one entity is minuscule in comparison to the entire intellectually innovative population, and because of sole ownership, no one can build on any of these "publicly disclosed" ideas. They are public as a reference of "what you may not do without our permission" and not "what we now know how to do, feel free to run with it".

But ownership is what drives capitalism, and no ownership is not necessary. What is necessary is "freedom of use" and "fair trade" together with "ownership". I should be able to sell a car based on Google's patent (assuming it is thorough enough, which it isn't) and feel comfortable with the percentage of sales the law dictates I owe Google for my "source of expertise and inspiration". This would accomplish "freedom of use". The missing piece would be regulation of trade so that it is "fair". For example, people wouldn't be able to sell something at a loss, and they would be required to profit. This is similar to the tax laws that require "fair compensation" so that even if a corporation owes little or no taxes, payroll taxes would still be collected.

Innovation evolves, grows, and stacks. The moment someone has full claim to one brick and what can be built on top of it, construction grinds to a halt, and all the innovative builders are sent away, resulting in everyone working on their own tiny little houses which is exactly what is happening today.

Patents should be a contribution to the community, with the community dictating what fair compensation for that contribution may be. Not contributing or not sharing should not even be an option, yet that is the compensation. It is totally backwards. Those who file patents should get paid, not have to pay. Those who invent shouldn't be burdened with monetizing their ideas.

Building something together requires sharing ownership. The hogging of intelligence keeps everything primitive, and fighting in court over who came up with something first or whether someone "stole" an invention is the primitive behavior the whole system encourages.

(sorry for the rant)

more than 2 years ago


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