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Comment I'm sorry (Score 1) 354

Everyone, before you judge me, please think back to when you made a bad call, and had a joke go a little too far.

Trump says the election is rigged, but he is too nice to tell you who did it. If Clinton gets subpoenaed, though, it's going to come out anyway. I don't want everyone to go off half-cocked, so I have decided to come forward now.

I made a bet with my brother. It started out as innocent fun. I said, "I bet I can make the Republicans lose the presidential election, by tricking them into nominating the very worst loser they possibly can." He said, "oh yeah? I can make the Democrats lose the election. Same strategy, different tactics." At stake, a single six-pack of IPA. It was a joke! At the time, we didn't intend it to get out-of-hand. But then, you know, you see little ways you can get your little virtual avatar a step foward, and not thinking it would really result in any real-world consequences, you go ahead. Or you're confident that you've got it, and next thing you know, he's taking Bernie off the board! (That was amazing; I didn't know my brother was smart enough to figure out how to do that.) Next thing I know, we're having heated arguments. "Nuh uh! You'll never get yours nominated! People aren't that stupid. They don't want their party to lose." "Yeah, huh!" We have played so many war games and simulations and such, they're all just abstractions to us. It was so easy to forget this one was more real, than say, Clash of Clans.

Needless to say, once the nominations happened, we realized the horror of it all, and the bet was off! We aren't pushing the players around anymore. We have already split the cost of the sixpack and drank it together. It's over. Well, over except the election itself. But we're not pulling the strings anymore, and if my old account (running on autopilot, I guess) wins, I can't legitimately lord that over my brother, or vice-versa.

Look, people, I know it looks ugly, but it actually isn't really all that bad. You don't have to vote for our people. Just vote against them. There are plenty of people running for president, and at least one of them is probably actually pretty close to your own politics. (Even with good candidates, you wouldn't expect those two parties to have matched very many people anyway; peoples' opinions have way more diversity than that!) You'll do fine. Just curse us for our little prank and vote against our avatars. We will bear the shame. You need not.

And yes, I'm sorry! I won't do it again. Promise.

Comment Re:Oh shut up (Score 2) 111

The universe may never achieve natural intelligence, but don't count us out yet! Humans are already the best anyone has ever seen (or found evidence of, if you discount the Pabodie expedition) at faking intelligence.

But.. achieve intelligence? Maybe we all have different ideas of where the bar is. To you, perhaps it's an ideal for which one can only strive.

Neverthess, as a dam is part of the beaver's phenotype, a web is part of the spider's, etc, so digital computers are part of ours. And with our new extensions, we may become even better at faking intelligence, smashing the old benchmarks. We call our journeys into these new dimensions of performance, "AI." 110010001000, you say these are just more shadows on the wall of the cave, but I say the results speak for themselves.

"It takes four hundred thirty people to man a starship. With this, you don't need anyone. One machine can do all those things they send men out to do now. Men no longer need die in space, or on some alien world. Men can live, and go on to achieve greater things than fact-finding and dying for galactic space, which is neither ours to give or to take. You can't understand. We don't want to destroy life, we want to save it!" -- Dr. Richard Daystrom (right before he totally lost it... what did you people do to the poor guy?!)

Comment Re:Zero Risk (Score 1) 246

Let's do something nice on Slashdot for a change: a Colorado breweries love-in!

I'll start: GREAT DIVIDE. Probably my favorite from that state, right now. (Maybe because it's not distributed in my state, so I treasure it like I treasure other hard-to-gets.)

Avery and Oskar Blues are other near-favorites. Steamwork (though I'm not sure they package). Ska can be good.

What's yours? I wanna go on another CO shopping trip in a few weeks. Help me out.

Comment Re:huh? (Score 1) 146

A decade or two ago (I'm not really sure when he wrote it)) Brad Templeton suggested something like this as a fix for various problems, especially trademark. My take is that the basic idea is that TLDs are already meaningless, so diversifying them into increased meaninglessness does no damage while offering some benefits. (e.g. makes monopolizing certain words harder, makes it easier to try out new registration policies, etc)

Comment Re:Does anybody ... (Score 1) 475

how do you cut off *his* internet connection without cutting off the entire Ecuadorian Embassy's internet connection?

Go to the rack and unplug the ethernet cable whose other end is in Assange's room. Change the wifi password and only tell people the new one along with the instructions "don't share your password, especially with that Assange guy."

The "state actor" was Ecuador, or else it didn't happen. That's the only government capable of doing it.

Comment Re:Logical (Score 1) 366

Who is responsable in the case your AI-autonomous car decides to kill some pedestrians ?

I don't know. Tell me more about what happened right before that.

Was the pedestrian running out into traffic for laughs, to see all the cars crash into each other as some other threads here suggest? Was the occupant aiming it toward crowds to impress his friend with how it suddenly swerves away from the crowd when he takes his hands off the wheel? Did it just suddenly "randomly" turn off the street into a crowd as a result of a bug?

By the time someone or something decides "hit this or hit that" you already have a huge failure. That is way more important and common than the hit-this-or-that question itself.

Comment Re:Logical (Score 1) 366

If you're worried to the point of stupidity/paralysis ("be prepared to be sued out of existence") then you've already chosen to never drive even a manually-operated car, because you were overwhelmed by your fears. Most people don't have that attitude going on, so they already drive cars anyway, where they face constant daily risk of injuring or even killing pedestrians.

And some of them end up occasionally doing it, to many peoples' grief. For whatever reason, society didn't give up and decide the existence of cars was just too dangerous to allow. It's over a hundred years too late for to advocate against cars. By the time your grandparents were born, this argument (that we're having today) had already been settled.

How the vehicle got to be out of control is what everyone trying to establish liability will be asking. That it killed a pedestrian or driver is merely the motivation for asking.

Comment Re:A web browser rewriting web pages is good thing (Score 2) 76

Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive for a web browser to be rewriting the contents on a web page?

Speaking as someone who goes to extra trouble to add various extensions (e.g. ublock origin, privacy badger, tampermonkey, etc) to fix web pages because the browser still doesn't do enough, and who used proxies (squid-with-sleezeball, privoxy) before we had good browser extensions: no, it doesn't seem even slightly counter-intuitive. Why would it be counter-intuitive? I totally don't get it.

Shouldn't it be rendering it exactly as the developers intended it?

It should be rendering it however the user intends to see it.

Isn't this the browser equivalent of a compiler that inserts malicious code in programs that it compiles?

Yes, it is, if you look at it loosely enough. But then, it's also the browser equivalent of a program loader than removes malicious code from the programs it loads, or a linker that binds symbolic references to addresses, or a program that compresses data, or an image resizer, or good ol' awk and sed, or ... it's the browser equivalent of the web browser itself (rendering pages instead of showing HTML tags)! Gee, filtering data is like a lot of things!

Sorry you've had so many bad experiences that the first analogy that came to your mind was something unpleasant. Do you use a lot of malware? Maybe cut back on that.

Comment Re:Maybe Ted was right (Score 1) 131

You might as well say "power is evil." It's not. The problem is that your adversaries have more than you.

If the shoe were on the other foot, you'd be in favor of people having the ability to do more things easier. And then you'd be saying "Maybe Conan was right. Crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women is best in life!"

Comment Re: $300 or $400 for map update (Score 3, Informative) 310

The problem isn't really even how much they're charging; it's that you can't shop around and use whatever data that you want to (or cheap out with openstreetmap or build your own data as your drive around, or whatever). If they had to compete, I doubt anyone would be complaining about the prices.

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