Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!



Does Watson Have the Answer To Big Blue's Uncertain Future?

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Japan tried this with the 5th Generation Comput (67 comments)

Exactly. To predict something you need to already know it. Science is unpredictable and only reliable once it is here. You cannot schedule a scientific breakthrough.

Get rid of the stocks of companies that decide to bank on research. Research makes a company cool, not profitable. It's where they gamble, for those who can afford it, but not where they succeed.

about a month ago

The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

v(*_*)vvvv Intentions Trump All (201 comments)

To get anything done, you have to be intentional. You need the person doing it to want to do it. And once they decide they need it bad enough, they won't need that many tools. Heck, they'll even make their own. Heck, they might even break the law to do it. Intentions trump all. Too bad not wanting to do something or not giving a fuck has never been a crime...

about 3 months ago

Developing the First Law of Robotics

v(*_*)vvvv Only as smart as the smartest programmer. (165 comments)

Bottom-line. We can't program general intelligence and all these systems are following hard coded rules of conduct. So if the robot lacks intelligence, all that is is a reflection of the lack of intelligence in the coder. A program is only as smart as the smartest programmer, because with today's tools and technology, the programmer is the only source of intelligence.

So either the robot was stuck in a moral dilemma and was regretting its failures, or the guy who built the thing has no idea what he's doing. I wonder which is more probable? Well, he admits it, so it's obvious.

Winfield admits he once thought it was not possible for a robot to make ethical choices for itself. Today, he says, "my answer is: I have no idea".

But I will give the Mr. Winfield the benefit of the doubt and assert partial blame on the journalist who sensationalized the story and his research. The truth here is so boring, it would have never made it to press.

about 3 months ago

Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Science is unpredictable and unprofitable (203 comments)

Right. Because good hunches are the fundamentally sound foundations of modern science

They're sounder than the original circular assertion that scientific knowledge is unknowable until you know it.

There are no degrees in soundness here. Hunches are not scientific, period. And "unknown until you know" is not circular reasoning. It's a tautology, not reasoning. Unknown == State before you know. There is nothing circular. It's two ways of saying the same thing.

But they are only permitted to venture into where the light somewhat shines already.

Nobody forces them to use other peoples' money with other peoples' strings attached. A huge part of the problem here is that the people getting the funding aren't actually the exhilarating risk takers you make them out to be.

They need money, but have no money, hence they have no choice if they want to do science. That's what this whole topic is about. Money is only given to those who play it safe or those that lie. And if they didn't have to play it safe, more would be willing to take greater chances. And if they didn't have to lie, there wouldn't be less fake science.

about 3 months ago

Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

v(*_*)vvvv Re:Science is unpredictable and unprofitable (203 comments)

Right. Because good hunches are the fundamentally sound foundations of modern science.

They promised blood pressure medication and got a boner pill. That is science. The evidence backs the statement that science is unpredictable. If we could predict science, we could predict the future. We can do neither. But that is precisely why science is so exciting. The hunch is exhilarating and it's worth enough to pursue it even at great risk. The original article here is talking precisely why those risks are becoming harder to accept, and how we have systematically discouraged courageous science. I'm not referring to crackpots. Real scientists who know what they're doing want to go on long journeys into the unknown. But they are only permitted to venture into where the light somewhat shines already. The personal and scientific rewards here are mediocre. You only get the occasional wow when you find your pill just cured ED.

about 3 months ago

Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

v(*_*)vvvv Science is unpredictable and unprofitable (203 comments)

You cannot predict what you do not know, and to measure how long something takes, it turns out you need to know it pretty darn well. So if anyone claiming to be a scientist claims they need x dollars to get you something amazing in y days, they are talking straight out of their ass. All they have is their curiosity and a hunch. The journey is unknown, and so are the results. To know you will succeed, you have had to have succeeded already. This isn't to be confused with engineering. Engineering is different because you already know the technology and have the tools. You can simulate what you're building before you build it. But the science that gives way to technology no one can predict. If anyone should admit to this, it should be the scientists. The only reason they can't is for political and financial reasons.

about 3 months ago

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 4 months 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 4 months 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 9 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 9 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 2 years 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


v(*_*)vvvv hasn't submitted any stories.


v(*_*)vvvv has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?