Towards a unified theory of crackpottery
So Bigfoot is an astronaut god and Pluto is the starship it will ride to Earth to gather the chosen ones before the arrival of Hercolubus?
...somebody stop me.
528 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010
So Bigfoot is an astronaut god and Pluto is the starship it will ride to Earth to gather the chosen ones before the arrival of Hercolubus?
...somebody stop me.
Then again, worrying about debt is for little people who don't own aircraft carriers.
...or disappointment. Maybe both.
I get the impression Kuratas was designed not so much to be effective as a weapon but to look good, while MegaBot looks ugly but sturdy. I think this fight will be slow, awkward, and end with a lucky shot sending one of the pilots straight to the hospital / grave – kind of like UFC fights, really.
OK, I see why we'd shore up an institution that would create too much collateral damage if it just crumbled.
What I don't get is why the people who oversaw such disasters can get off without so much as a slap in the wrist. Hell, some of them get bonuses!
So long as the banks get our money, can we get their executives to return the favour by doing a little dancing number over at that traditional floor, Ye Olde Gallows? Thank you.
Indeed. Confirmed by the mandatory Despair.com reference
Never get tired of that one. "Once you've got that covered, you'l be fighting love off with a stick." Priceless.
Blomkamp isn’t interested in a movie about whether AI is possible, this is a film about the complexity of human nature and the likelihood that any other sentient race we create would be just as complicated and as mired in the moral shades of grey as we are.
A thousand times this.
Oh God, I thought I'd never see the day movie makers would get this!
Except for the cut'n'paste of flesh bits I've seen this general procedure – surgically recruit nerve terminals to drive a bionic prosthesis – reported time and again for the past 5 years at least. I cannot really be arsed to look up the earliest examples now, but here is one from late last year:
Amputee Makes History with APL's Modular Prosthetic Limb http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2014/141216.asp
A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) this summer when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Most importantly, Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs, performing a variety of tasks during a short training period.
"By creating an irreconcilable contradiction between America’s domestic and foreign policies, the cause of an open and freedom-enhancing global Internet will suffer"
Well now that's complete bollocks. Outside of its own borders the US routinely supports authoritarian regimes that oppress their own people. If they were to be consistent on domestic and foreign policies we'd see American streets taken by armored vehicles and policemen in military gear
By the effectiveness of those "click here to claim the prize you totally did win for real, this is not a trap at all" ads, I'd say the later have been brain-free for many years now.
...when something from Microsoft would be evaluated on the basis of what the rest of the world is doing, and not the other way around.
So are Korean vacuum cleaner makers now going to offer products enhanced with "vacuum cleaner death" deterrents?
Herbivore's or grasseaters is a real thing. Though to be honest I'm not sure if the Gov't there has any success combating the trend. Afaik population decline is still a real issue there.
No they don't and yes it is. In fact, far from helping matters, the government is about to exacerbate the problem by getting young people into the military to fight and die in pointless Middle East wars.
I tell you, by the dawn of the 22th Japan will be granting citizenship to domestically-built robots as a way to offset population decline without having to resort to (shock, horror) immigration.
When I read notes, I thought this must be an early version of Lotus Notes. Then I realised how stupid would that be (...).
True. However it's reasonable to suppose that during his lifetime Turing did occasionally record his thoughts on pieces of paper, no? Well, where I come from that's what we usually mean by "notes", and wouldn't it be nice if we found some previously undiscovered ones by Turing! Whereas throwaway scribblings of the kind one makes when working on a math problem could also be called "notes", I guess, but except perhaps as historic artifacts it's hard to see much value on those.
When I read "notes", I expected some sort of written record – unpublished research, undeveloped ideas, maybe even personal thoughts? But this is just memorabilia.
Son, I am disappoint.
A bit like the Stephen King novel "Christine"?
...though I bet that option would only be available at a premium, as part of the "plausible deniability" package.
People will still own their own and in fact will own more as people who can't drive will be able to use one.
I'm not too sure about that. If Google offered a subscription service where I would have a self-driving car available to summon or send off whenever I wanted, and if the price was right, I'd sign up and never bother owning a horseless carriage ever again. Never again bother with parking, insurance, revisions, lining up at gas stations? Oh if I ever see the day!...
I just can't decide if this was a typo or some sort of joke I'm just not in to.
Now that women have equal rights, they can take paying jobs and support themselves; not like ancient times, where every woman had to be married so her parents wouldn't have to be the ones to feed her.
Yes, because women only care about money and power. It's only us men who miss the company of a kindred soul; woe to us, who cannot anymore just go out and buy a woman to our liking!
It leads El Reg to wonder what other suitably-small consumer products would be all the better for having a fully-fledged computer inside.
Hey I've got a crazy idea: what if we put a fully-working computer inside... A CELLPHONE?!!1!
It is kind of funny and kind of sad at the same time seeing Microsoft and Intel constantly struggle trying to expand beyond their PC market. Microsoft loses billions on boondoggles like MSN, Bing and XBox, Intel loses billions on Itanium and mobile SoCs. The sad fact is both are almost completely dependent on the PC market - both making over 100% of their profit in that market segment. If there's ever a true disruption that hurts that market, both are going to be in serious trouble.
Though you do see why they do that, right? You said it yourself: if the PC market were ever to go away, Intel and Microsoft would be pretty much done for. Unless they'd rather do like the
cancer tobacco industry – simply accept their time will run out eventually and rake in as much as possible before the inevitable curtain fall – they must find a way into other / newer markets.
We need the capability to shine a light into the activities of the worst individuals who pose the gravest threats.
I just love how the only response to terrorism the G-men can ever think of is more surveillance. How about Western powers stop bombarding, occupying and otherwise being real jerks to Middle East countries (as well as everywhere else)? I bet it would help avoid an attack or two.
My iPad would be much cooler with an aerial. Apple, take note.
Funny thing, mobile devices with embedded TV are big in Asia. A lot of Chinese no-brand phones (smart and dumb alike) pack analog TV receptors, while many Japanese devices support 1seg. Some, like my own Android 2.3 LUMIX Phone, even include an extensible antenna, though many don't bother. I haven't checked if they do tablets, but I bet they do.
So the good news is that you can have an aerial-equipped tablet! All you have to do is (1) take a trip to Asia and (2) abandon your false Apple god for the Truth and Glory of Our Saviour Google and His Prophet Android. A bit of tourism, a nifty piece of kit and salvation to your immortal soul all in one go, what's not to like?
Please don't expect us to take anything Ray Kurzweil says as being even within spitting distance of objective reality. The man has been absolutely full of it for years.
From which I gather that whatever appears on Kurzweil's website is automatically bogus, regardless of whether he's just reporting on research done by others?
I guess we should warn someone at MIT, then. Their Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences has just been outed!
Also, I am curious: when you say "us", in whose name do you speak?
Recognizing an object is "A Car" rather than "A Table" is a damn sight easier (though admittedly still not easy) than recognising [a whole list of things mostly irrelevant in the context of autonomous driving].
Why, yes, and you could make pretty much the same point about how chess-playing computers lag so hopelessly behind humans in a host of cognitive tasks. Didn't do Kasparov any good, though.
Now that's an oxymoron if I have ever read one.
I reckon the current phablet trend is just the late adopters copying the early adopters..., they'll soon with they hadn't, and next time round will be back at smaller sizes (or more likely folding devices).
The Readius e-reader developed by Phillips spin-off Polymer Vision had a foldable e-paper screen, but sadly both device and company sank a few years back. Maybe it's time we revisit the concept?
I think the development of true artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.
And that is a problem because...?
Maybe they just never heard of it? I hadn't.
Also I found no straightforward way to download anything. The main content repository seems to be a Dropbox share but you cannot download any sizable part of it (say the English subfolder) from the web, you'd need to install the desktop plug-in for that. Wikipedia for Schools includes a "download" link that actually sends you to a page stating (halfway through a lot of unrelated topics) that "[t]he full Wikipedia for Schools 2013 edition will soon be available to download via BitTorrent. Watch this space for updates..." I didn't find any indication that other resources (say, Khan Academy videos) could be downloaded separately, but given that dead end I didn't look much.
Then there are rather misleading instructions on how to install "RACHEL servers" that are actually just web servers with the project's content loaded, but how to get the damned content in order to put it in the server isn't clearly explained anywhere... Compared to this sorry mess Lantern does seem like a rather tight proposition: order it, turn it on, connect to the wi-fi hotspot, start reading, mind the updates every now and again. So not so much reinventing the wheel as getting it right the second time around?
How, exactly is that going to work then?
They expect that since it uses satellite transmission, it wouldn't be possible or at least practical to block the signal. Of course a real dictatorship could just as well ban the things, but then again smuggling exists for a reason.
Despite the touchy-feely and somewhat patronizing crap about teaching kids, supporting democracy and otherwise spreading Western greatness to "remote corner[s] of the world", I kind of like the idea of an offline web cache that dubs as a satellite receiver. And it seems far more doable than the "cubesat" nonsense they were touting earlier. Let's see how this one plays out.
Why the Hell the link purportedly leading to a previous story about Outernet actually sends us to a piece on an RBS and Natwest titsup from 2012? Is it some sort of practical joke non-Brits aren't supposed to get?
The original Outernet story is here, by the way.
Really, there's no need to rush stuff this badly, I doubt anyone would have bothered if it took another couple hours to hear about this.
My thoughts exactly. I wonder how many years of Bullshit Studies do you need to land an "expert consultant" job at one of those think (such as it is) tanks?
What's an 'wristwatches'?
It's a mechanical device people used in centuries past to take care of their wrists. You know, to ensure they don't wander away unnoticed and the like.
It was a pun, a roundabout way of saying they don't know what it is. I "no know", get it?
Surely there's no way El Reg's revision desk could ever get so lax as to let slip such a glaring mistake right at the subtitle!
You obviously never had to work with Huawei software.
I did work with some Taiwanese developers during the glorious days when feature phones were prominent, though. They'd get this wrong the other way around, trying to cram into compile time customization features that were better left to be done at runtime.
Alas, poor boy. All his money could buy him no love... Or taste.
You'd think a software developer of all people would understand creative resource usage beats over-provisioning any day. But no...
I am no stranger to the concept of spending lavishly to woo a significant other, but how were 99 iPhones supposed to do the trick? For that kind of money he might as well have bought a crazy-expensive engagement ring, rented a sports car and taken her to a fancy restaurant, then proposed over some unreasonably priced food and drinks. Go figure...
I heard that Japanese women prefer to marry foreigners, as the Japanese salarymen have no work/life balance.
On one hand there is this folklore about white guys becoming instant chick magnets the moment they set foot in Japan. On the other, there are the not-so-subtle jokes with Japanese women shrieking in panic at the prospect of getting engaged to "a foreigner". And then there are the stupid gits running amok, making a bad name for everyone.
That said, from what long-staying friends and acquaintances I have, it does seems that marrying a native is a common path to settling on the isles. Not that I would know it myself, I was already married by the time I got here...
It's obvious that very few people nowadays walk dogs in the rain
And that is just one reason I'm a cat person.
Seriously though, there are of course a number of activities where a wristwatch is a more convenient timepiece than a pocket gadget, which might explain why they're still around. But for many people, me among them, they provide no added value. By all means, though, if you have cause to wear a wristwatch, or just like the things, buy them to your heart's content, I won't judge.
I lived The Time Before Cellphones, and I was pretty much used to have a wristwatch on me except during a bath and after going to bed. At the time I liked them a whole deal more than mobile phones, for which I felt no desire or need when they first became mainstream; in fact at the beginning I actively resisted owning one, only giving in after repeated (and more than a bit pushy) offers from my parents.
For years after that I tried to keep the habit of wearing a wristwatch, but ultimately failed to find any justification to have a second timepiece, given the phone I was forced to carry already could tell the time, wake me up at set times, remind me of appointments, work as calculator etc. The couple extra seconds it would take to fish it from my pocket didn't prove to be enough of a bother, giving I was never in such a hurry to know the time, and for most of my day I would stand in front of a computer screen with a clock right there in the corner anyway.
You see, it's not that I didn't like wristwatches, or never had the chance to try one and see how nice they are. It's that as long as I own a reasonably-sized smartphone that fits well into my trousers' front pockets, the economic case for a wrist-mounted device will remain pretty weak. Maybe if smartphone makers commit themselves to only marketing oversized monstrosities that can only be carried on a briefcase, backpack or man-purse (an oxymoron?) I might be swayed back, but until then my wrist will remain a no-device's land.
Crumling's offering does look kinda cute in its own way, though. Of course I mean the cartridge, not that horrible plastic contraption trying to pass itself off as a gun.
Ach, you young people do not remember how it was, back in the the beginning.
I do remember, but technology is supposed to move forward, yes? I mean, just as if I were to launch a new computer application today, and it came out filled with bugs and security holes
But it was all made in the name of
freedom security, so it's alright.
Yep, that's just what I have been waiting for... Before I topple myself from the nearest building.
I did [look for the NASA quote on E-Cat] ages ago. It was something like "If it works, it would be great". No-one from NASA has said "It is not a scam", which leads me to ask: Why do the E-Cat guys need to publicise a miss-quote?
Uh, NASA was publishing designs created on the assumption that E-Cat works as late as this year.
Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft
The objective of this project was to explore the use of LENR as an energy source for aircraft. This report includes descriptions of different LENR propulsion or energy conversion systems, synergistic missions, and some aircraft concepts. Brief discussions of constraints that are removed by LENR and new constraints that arise are also included. This report concludes with potential research areas to infuse LENR aircraft into NASA research.
Also this piece from early this month quotes NASA's Michael Nelson as saying:
I was impressed with the work that was done to insure the measurements claiming a 3.2 to 3.6 COP were accurate. Aside from the fact that this could not have been produced from any known chemical reaction, the most significant finding to me is the evidence of isotopic shifts in lithium and nickel. Understanding this could possibly be the beginning of a whole new era in both material transmutations and energy for the planet and for space exploration. This is an exciting time to live in and this is an exciting technology to witness come about.
Unless the quote was mis-attributed and/or made up through-and-through, I'd say it's quite hard to misread it.
Mind you, I'm just as skeptical as anyone. But some people not usually taken for fools seem to think this might be the real deal, so perhaps we should give it the benefit of the doubt? After the latest report it is expected that the E-Cat team will apply for a patent for their method, and then we'd be able to get more details on it.