* Posts by TechnicalBen

1709 posts • joined 23 Mar 2012

Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

TechnicalBen
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Re: This sounds fair...

I'll be honest here. I was nit picking at the Tram Companies nit pick, that said it was unfair for them to provide this info in advance, by pointing out we could also ask others to do so?

No idea why that garnished so much negativity and down votes. Perhaps a joke icon was better, but sarcasm does not always work that way... or not sarcasm, and saying it would be nicer if all companies provided more info...?

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TechnicalBen
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This sounds fair...

Unlike the title to the article, I do think I agree with them. Don't discriminate... ask for all of them to provide price details!

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Lucky Canada. Google chooses Toronto as site of posthuman urban lab

TechnicalBen
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Joke

I love my dyslexia...

I read that as "Bacon sightings" and "bacon sensors" and now wish for such things IRL or the accompanying XKCD!

(Which would be a panel of someone reading White Hat's whiteboard with "bacon sensors" and saying "that's not a spelling mistake is it?". With White Hat's reply "Oh, good catch, should be "falcon sensors", that sounds an unlikely typo, but I use an Avery adapted version of the Dvorak keyboard")

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ARM chip OG Steve Furber: Turing missed the mark on human intelligence

TechnicalBen
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Re: general purpose CPU ...

I often wondered where the difference of memory and computation goes in a pure neural network system?

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TechnicalBen
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Look at structure...

A "bodge job" collapses. Like a poorly built house.

A "network" is sprawling, but you will find each of those knots a requirement to get from a-b efficiently without blocking the other.

Just look at plants. While a garden is the opposite to a jungle, each individual plant will *always* go towards the light source for efficiency.

Thus the assumption that the human brain is a "bodge job" may be because as a group it looks like a jungle, but on the neuron level etc it is super efficient. It uses "assumptions" only where required or where failure is not a problem (see blind spot of the eye image processing etc).

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Wheel vs Legs.

Current Computers and AI, are like a car and wheels. A car goes from a-b with wheels. So it simulates a human, who goes from a-b with legs?

Almost. It does the task, but in a different way. Thus current AI may have some of the aspects of a brain, or intelligence of a person, but not often and not completely.

PS, as to energy use, some things can be changed without using much energy... it's just we are not very good at it artificially just yet, where as the most neurons can do a switch of potential energy efficiently very well. :D

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Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

TechnicalBen
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Re: Surely...

"Surely, anyone on here with a modicum of common-coco never uses their real details for anything like this??"

But also not have the common sense to avoid an airport/aircraft? Well, I suppose everyone can be an expert at one thing, and nothing else...

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Linus Torvalds lauds fuzzing for improving Linux security

TechnicalBen
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Joke

So the only really new thing is...

the marketing/name?

Like "cloud" but for testing. ;)

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TechnicalBen
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Nice.

I can remember being a teen/school kid and wondering why they did not test those bugged games this way before poor teen/school kid me had to buy them to find it bugged and broken. ;)

But of cause, the search space can be massive, so not always successful. Though it should find simple bugs that are often overlooked, such as illegal characters in the text fields (or in this case API calls?).

Any extra tools for getting jobs done are nice.

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

TechnicalBen
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Technical Ben to rule...

if he owns the sweets in other peoples pockets...

Fat lot of good that will do?

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Facebook, Twitter slammed for deleting evidence of Russia's US election mischief

TechnicalBen
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Re: "Facebook has removed thousands of posts"...

But it is true, if you include the missing word from their sentences...

"We cannot [economically] delete your data".

Thus anything risking their cash cow, will get deleted... making it available to everyone? Too much cost involved.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

TechnicalBen
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Terminator

Re: this going to go well

The funny thing is* that most of this was in Sci-Fi as sarcasm/cynicism etc... then it happened.

*because if I don't laugh, I'd have to cry.

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Look! Over there! Intel's cooked a 17-qubit chip quantum package

TechnicalBen
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Re: How many Qubits needed to be seriously useful ?

Forget practical uses... I want my GPU powered by one (very large array) of these! :D

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TechnicalBen
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Re: So, still not really got an actual programmable architecture then?

I'm tempted to downvote... as at this point it is about getting the states.

"Programming" is not even kinda on the tables, is it? 17 qubits is like asking a computer to count to 17, and stop when it has hit the number I requested.

That's not a lot of computing power (roughly a 4bit integer search in binary). So comparable to a single 4 bit integer storage when it comes to normal computing.

However, putting a lot of these together, and possibly smaller/more efficient ones, and we could scale up to 256bit key length, and then things start to get interesting (though it may need to be the length of the message and key) to get very fast attacks on encryption. [edit] A quick read says we need 4-8k of them. A scaling we did quite easily with transistors. :P [/edit]

(Most of the above is guesswork of the articles I've read, I would hope someone could explain the actual details)

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TechnicalBen
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Re: How?

Linus Tech Tips on Youtube did a video on the Canadian Quantum computer project. The short answer is "yes", they did just cool the one chip with a server(ish) sized cooling system (that needs constant feeds of nitrogen IIRC and a couple of hours to get up... um, down to temperature).

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TechnicalBen
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Holmes

Or all of them...

Or give an average of your score across all of them...

And any answer will only be to a probability of confidence. At least when I currently lose at Solitaire, I know I did loose!

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Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

TechnicalBen
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Re: No offence...

But even in Linux/Opensource I've seen things labelled as "working as intended" and felt the need to hit a hard object forcefully in rage.

(Personally I don't care who/why/what if the software is doing something obviously wrong/broken or dumb, even if it's third party problems, then don't ask it to do it... I know I should not run into the road, even if a the driver may be at fault, I'll still avoid doing it, and not label my activity as "working as intended" ;) ).

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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

TechnicalBen
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Re: Customer beware/blame the buyer?

Really, the only reason I still have cabled headphones, still have not bought a "smart speaker" is because mine don't fail if the Bluetooth version or software bugs, or my radio still works if the internet goes down. ;)

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Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

TechnicalBen
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Re: The Future is Nuclear

I said we would have flying cars... not fuel efficient flying cars. ;) I know the technical limitations. However the social ones are the main reason there is not even a sinlge (for elites and the rich only) version out yet. Though a small quad copter is the current closest to release.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: The Future is Nuclear

The economic and political problems of ethanol as fuel does not stop it's practical and logical applications.

Basically, we could have flying cars right now if not for the woes of the world. However, even getting a bit of lettuce can get your hand shot off in the wrong place. Point has noting to do with the tech...

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El Reg was invited to the House of Lords to burst the AI-pocalypse bubble

TechnicalBen
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Terminator

Re: Brilliant

But unlike a person, a computer is still putting a car on a track...

If we assume we can copy "intelligence" then fine, we can do anything. But it is an assumption. At this point, we can do algorithms, and we can do math (busy beavers ;) ).

So so far, all evidence points to us being able to make a more perfect algorithm, an more perfect train track taking us to a destination. But how do we make a train that can choose any detonation it wants?

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Brilliant

I think computer games are a perfect example. Give any type of AI a set of rules to "play" in, and it may become the best.

In the real world? We either don't know the rules to feed the AI, or must trust it can adapt given that the "rules" change (our needs and results required), though the laws of physics do not.

A valid example: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/10/11/paperclips-browser-clicker-game/ (AI to the extreme)

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Calm down, Elon. Deep learning won't make AI generally intelligent

TechnicalBen
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Re: Here's what we know...

No idea why you got a downvote. Your logic and maths are correct.

The Google Go playing AI had to first reduce the problem to manageable chunks. I don't recall if this was all done via AI or if the programmers helped along the way. But it was then able to fit the problem into a reasonably sized neural net and some normal computations and search spaces.

When it comes to natural language the cloud based and massive datasets of the likes of Alexia or Siri still don't cover the context we assume other people have (what I'm watching, what I ate for breakfast) but I'm sure they are working on how to gather that information too. ;)

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Chinese Room

The Chinese Room fails in many ways IMO. An object performing an operation is the same, no matter the means of the operation.

The fact is, the Chinese Room has no method to perform the operation of "understanding", where as it breaks definitions with "has perfect language". It basically divides by zero. As dividing by zero makes a wrong assumption, the Chinese room assumes language requires no understanding.

Language is a 2 way communication, requires understanding. It requires a processing of information. Ask any Chinese room "what time of day is it" and it instantly fails, unless it processes eyes and a watch... where as any intelligence would process time, and be able to understand. A pure card shuffler would not (only takes cards in as it's input).

All these "AI" reduce to that problem. They are limited to what we setup, and what data we feed it (or allow it to collect). Unlike a person, an AI will do exactly what we ask it to, just to the efficiency of what we set.

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TechnicalBen
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I can still prove mathematically that we cannot...

Copy ourselves. A set cannot contain the entirety of all other sets and it's self. ;)

Well, kinda I guess. But we have little understanding on what our intelligence is, so as to copy it. Like wise, a perfect carpenter cannot make a human lung out of wood, no matter how perfect a chisel we have...

So can we make "intelligence" out of math and binary operations? Who knows. But I'll know it when I see it, and not bet the farm on it before then.

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Overdraft-fiddling hackers cost banks in Eastern Europe $100m

TechnicalBen
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Re: and this woud be solved by

Whatever you give with one hand you take with the other. If it is traceable then it is for everyone. It may also be reverseable for everyone.

At which point there is a lot more control over to one side of the arrangement. Would people trust selling to any customer who could reverse a transaction? Or buy from anyone who could trace which account the money came from?

As always there is no perfect solution. Someone somewhere has to give something up... and I doubt it will be the big paychecks at the boardroom meetings.

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

TechnicalBen
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This is nothing...

Compared to not only turning every game into a "skinning/milking" exercises of the target user base, but <b?turning every game into a real money casino</b>.

"Crates" and other prize boxes drop in the game, given to players. But these need "keys" to unlock. To get the keys you spend real money, for one use. Boxes are "random" and thus you are entirely at the mercy of random results, presuming you trust the company to even be "fair" in that regard.

Add to that, you may need multiple prize pieces to even get a full prize released to you.

The mechanism is less a concern, it could be done a million different ways, but it is gambling either way. So much so, some countries have restricted or banned the practice. The main way they get around the laws here in the UK, is the "no monetary value", which is kind of mute, considering the things in games now sell for around £250 per digital item (for access to it as a service, because it's not physical ;) ).

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Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

TechnicalBen
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Re: Hand up...

I'd say the OS and GUI or hardware spec was not a problem as such... but for what price point? That would be a problem. People would not mind a Windows phone for £30/$30, but if it's £150/$150? They might just get an android instead, if it's more? They will get an Apple. They needed to find a niche or do very well at one market point.

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How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

TechnicalBen
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I really need to...

Upgrade my "fee" from a cupcof tea, beer or dinner to a fully catered and furnished 3 day trip away to a tropical island with martinis. Why? Well at that price my services of "turning it off and on again" are much higher srandard thancthe £300 the local IT shop charges!

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Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

TechnicalBen
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Re: The Culture

Possible play on words? "Uplifting" sometimes refers to getting a society/culture/creature in Sci-fi and Aliens giving them super advanced tech.

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Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

Re: "opting for cheaper 3rd party labels"

Red Cameras provide cables for $250+ each. Though arguably many say it is worth it for the quality/guarantee... though if you ask those on Youtube, some have had 3 in a row fail.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: "Has to be in motion"...

Well, it improves your odds. Chance you put it in EXACTLY the right place, angle and unfold all those creases and sit there for 60 seconds thinking it will read?

No thanks, I'll swipe and give it a MASSIVE scanning area to hopefully succeed in. :D

(I play a lot of computer games, sweeping motion gives you a better chance of a successful attempt in many things, as you then only have to get timing/angle correct, instead of trying to hit a bulls eye with a shaky cam from 50 feet away)

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Google touts Babel Fish-esque in-ear real-time translators. And the usual computer stuff

TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

Re: My Hovercraft is full of eels.

You still think they are storing audio/text? At this point they can just store the meta data... and presume from that. ;)

(As a note, look at Youtube content ID or the current voice to text, the system does not process images/audio etc the same as a human... well, not until you get to the neuron level.)

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European Commission refers Ireland to court over failure to collect €13bn in tax from Apple

TechnicalBen
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Problem is, if what the articles and news suggests is true, this is like a local councillor saying "You, specifically, do not need to pay any tax, if you pass me that bottle of wine, because I'll change the law for you"...

It may be legal, but only as they changed the law to make it so... and would either hit bribery or uncompetitive laws.

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Oath-my-God: THREE! BILLION! Yahoo! accounts! hacked! in! 2013! – not! 'just!' 1bn!

TechnicalBen
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BT's old Email, and currently Sky...

Older BT emails are still stuck on Yahoo (AFAIK) and Sky still uses them?

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TechnicalBen
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Unable to collaborate myself...

The only reason I did not know for certain that all Yahoo users were hacked... is I was not able to ask all of them.

All of those I know (and even my own accounts), showed signs of strange actions/hack/attempts. Such as password resets (normal if someone tries) and occasional failed delivery attempts (that could have been false headers on someone else's email)... so I was unable to confirm, but was suspicious that someone had had an attempt at sending out emails from my account.

That and I know a lot of people who their accounts were "hacked" and needed to change passwords.

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

TechnicalBen
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Re: if we're going to assume a computational simulator...

We can imagine the impossible. Lack of imagination is not a problem.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Hidden Variables?

Thank you! I wish I could upvote more. While the sea of people complaining about the article is understandable... peoples lack of ability to consider things and learn is sad to see.

So I do hold out hope when other people, like you, can see the actual principles involved and the limits or possibilities allowed or disallowed by them.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Unconvinced

Bells theorem and such like can show that Quantum particles are not Turing simulated. So we would have to consider a Quantum computer.

If we consider a Quantum computer (as we have to since all observations suggest actual Quantum effects, not simulations of such), then it has to be the same size as the observable universe, to the same detail at the plank scale.

To skip any of this, would allow an error to be detected in the Quantum results (CERN etc) and we could show that Quantum Mechanics falls apart at certain scales (say stars so far away the light is not simulated, and the probabilities fall apart).

So while a real simulation would want to limit computational strain, if limited by resources, our current universe has a 13 billion or so lightcone and a BIG indication it's somewhat fundamental in our space/dimension.

However, given near infinite anything, anything is also possible. You would just have to propose an infinitely big simulation running our universe on it. Why though propose that, what observation do you have to disprove ~26 billion lightyears and ~13 billion years worth of particle interactions (or "observations" depending on the language used)?

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Simluator

Why would algorithms suggest "simulation"? It could suggest preferred starting states. It could suggest a method/system of control/organisation. But would it suggest fundamental "simulation"?

Besides such questions are somewhat pointless until we know certain things such as the shape of the universe (flat space-time or curved or doughnut etc ). Then we can consider if/how it is projected into our dimensions and it's possibility for fundamentals.

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TechnicalBen
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Then it's not a simulation.

By all means... how do you propose carving a "perfect human stone statue that is alive"?

Or how do we "make a computer so powerful it tastes like Strawberry"?

Or "Fly so fast we reach Dubstep"?

If we "perfectly simulate" something, we are no longer using an inappropriate material. Stone cannot process like biology can, we can never "carve a perfect human from stone". It's an impossibility. So certain computation cannot be done with Turing machines. We can however "clone" a human, at which case, we have a real human, not a pretend one. ;)

Certain logical principles are not other logical principles. If we have a spare universe, the same size as ours, using quantum particles in the same position, calculating the same interactions, of the same events... we no longer have a simulation, we have a universe... and not even a "model/toy" one at that. :D

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TechnicalBen
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It may...

Prove Turing correct...

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TechnicalBen
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Headmaster

Re: So basically...

Yes it makes a noise. "A tree falling in the woods" and "rendering (it falling in the woods)" are the same things. Simply "falling" and "sound" are the same thing, objects moving.

What you mean is, if the game is not rendering the forest, will the tree even fall? That is only knowable if you know the code. Is the tree falling a pre-determined event (in code or causality) or a random event?

If it is random (true at the event unknowable noise), then you never knew it was going to fall, as the forest was not rendered/calculated/simulated. It never falls and you see a tree standing up.

If you are using a pseudo random number generator (or a known algorithm for the random effects) and know the seed, then you can always recreate the event after the fact, without it needing to "fall".

If it is pre-determined and you do not render it, how do you then know where to put the tree after the fact? Our universe see no distinction between "observed" and "not-observed" for ensembles such as trees (though this changes for individual quanta ;) ).

We could retry the question as "if we see a tree lying on the floor, did it fall, or did it appear spontaneously there?" That is a better question to ask.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: As well as...

The usual computational questions might give some answer. Such as the NP/P problems and such. We can give certain logical statements that are true/false for example. Such as "at least one universe exists". :P

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TechnicalBen
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Headmaster

Re: Don't need to simulate that star a few billion light years away...

But you do... as in, currently we can test to see if it matches the laws of physics. We have eyes/telescopes and other things effected on the macro scale (gravity) and quantum scale (QM effects).

If it is not mathematically simulated, then we would get contradicting results on multiple tests/observations/detectors.

It COULD be procedural simulation, using an algorithm to pick out the number of photons from a stars light. In the same way the original Elite did on just a few K of data and computation... except one big problem.

Quantum Mechanics and the Bell's inequality prove that this cannot be the case for our universe (but could for others, for example those in the computer game Elite ;) ). The actual results are given at that time, and cannot be pre-calculated.

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Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

TechnicalBen
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Re: Elon has all the best names.

Add a VASMIR and we could even cut down transit times. :D

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TechnicalBen
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Re: I'm not buying any of this

They are already doing this on the small scale. They only need to scale it up. That is still a very difficult part.

It's impractical, but not impossible.

As the other replies suggest, you misunderstood the video/discussion massively, and it is a 2 stage to anywhere (not orbit) for the point to point on a sub orbital trajectory. And 2 stage to orbit and refuel to get anywhere else for the Mars/Moon missions.

If you doubt it, go away and do the rocket equation, double check your maths against everyone else's (NASA etc) and come back. :)

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Alexa and her kind let the disabled or illiterate make the web work

TechnicalBen
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Terminator

Yes and no.

Some systems already exist. Certain tools already exist in Windows 7 for example. But no one uses them, as the focus has never been on such broad usability.

That and the money. It costs a lot to get it running well.

A real life personal assistant can help to some extent. Though I'm still waiting for a neural net trained speech and screen recognition I can let run wild and just access anything I ask it to (though that could have some poor consequences :P ).

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Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

TechnicalBen
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Joke

Re: Didn't they used to have a flywheel?

The flywheel does not stop in Reading, but that has nothing to do with the speed it is going at... no one wants to stop in Reading!

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TechnicalBen
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Re: scaling up is the answer?

Scaling is nearly always more efficient in production. But more costly in deployment/construction. You do get diminishing returns in most systems though. Sometimes it also depends on what you mean by "bigger", is 100 size 1 units bigger or smaller than 1 unit of size 100?

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