Posts tagged ‘computers’

Artificial Intelligence and Its Threat

Its first blurry visions came in an age where computers existed by virtue of vacuum tubes.  Responses as I recall them were in terms of long seconds (long as in it might be more than one).

Observe that the primary threat has taken place and is enlarging.  As is, a person’s value is in terms of property, ‘real’ and social–money, stature (as in titles so you don’t have to work), wages, position on various social ladders especially as defined by work…and all of this except the money and stature are immediately threatened.  They were trying out replacing highly-paid surgeons with machines at John Hopkins about a decade ago.  There are robot workers on cars.  I’m not great at endless lists, so…

This means there is an increasingly large number of people whose identity is being displaced.  There almost has to be a growing population of actually unemployed who are actually sliding down that hopeless ladder I mentioned.  The stature that was job-acquired is gone.  I read an article last year that addressed the fact that someone who works at MacDonald’s lives with another wage-earner.  Does this add a perspective to people who stay in abusive relationships?  I’m not talking about palaces here.

With respect to available work there is a growing population of workers–even for jobs which don’t by themselves supply enough for survival.  I believe MacDonald’s managers do make enough to survive if they’re careful.

AI is displacing jobs and it will do so at an exponentially increasing rate.

Our society (the ‘Western’ world) doesn’t tolerate either shanty-towns or the homeless.  It frowns on communes.

Government benefits are being frowned upon by the same ones who will be frantic in a few years in the lower class–the poor–the ones who make less than $25K USD at least are poor.  It would take money now.

Final note, the historical solution to political unrest (like rioting in the streets over hunger or for that matter murder–multiplied each time it is covered) is war.  The one way we would present a real and present danger to the AIs would be if we set off a nuclear bomb or three and caused EMF events.  An electro magnetic frequency event would be the blast of multi-spectra emissions caused by such an explosion.  It would pale any voltage surge.  If it appeared that nuclear war were imminent right now, it would be very interesting to see what occurred.

What we are doing right now appears to be heading directly toward nuclear war.

September 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Reality

The one way in which “Web 2.0” is truly a valid concept to mind is this; we’re on the way for the first time to constructing a group artifact that we could call reality.  I don’t think we can capitalize it yet.  The next thing is to learn how to forget some things we don’t even remember learning–like (oddly enough) “the group is always right!”  At least, though, we did make it somewhere to where programmers were no longer the shrouded and coiffed keepers of The Holy Grail.  It even turned out they had dandruff.  Of course, it’s now that we’re trying to deal with our need for authority.  [That’s why we keep putting off the adaptability bit for another day.]

–Glenn

August 29, 2008 at 4:09 am Leave a comment

overstock.com

has truly annoying commercials, and truly worthwhile prices on computers and monitors (note that they carry absolutely no CRT-style monitors).  I’m sorry, but I can’t bring myself to link to them.

–Glenn

P.S.  No, I’m not getting paid a penny by anyone.  I just was doing some looking for my own purposes.

July 28, 2008 at 9:59 am 1 comment

want to improve your current computer’s performance?

get more RAM.  Tip of the day.  Kingston is among the top still.

–Glenn

–1.45 gig RAM vs .45 gig is a lot of difference (of free memory):  I had a gig.  Many starter computers are apparently still half a gig, 512 meg.  Order the RAM!

July 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

Computers and users; definitions

Dealing with my wife’s old computer has made me realize again that there are points at which most people are relatively ignorant, most especially including (dare I say it) programmers.  Specifically, the average “end-user” is pretty well ignorant of most of the issues involved with computing except for the current catchwords.  The concepts that are associated with these cool words are generally relatively vague.  The programmer is entirely ignorant of the average home user, mostly because of insulation.  Most start out with some understanding.

 

“OEM” has come to mean one thing in the computer world, basically.  It’s an Operating System (OS) which only works on the computer it came with.  Dells, HPs and the like have OEMs.  There are also often OEM copies of things like Adobe=”trialware”=”shareware”=crapware, or something that’s limited in some way.  Usually it’s limited as to how many times you can use it, so you have to remove it from your system, and it leaves little bits and fragments along the way, from uninstall.exe programs to text files to dll’s/dynamic linked libraries.  The dll’s just contain various kinds of information.  …Libraries.

 

This means that if the motherboard or CPU in your Dell fail, you can’t just use your old copy of Windows.  It won’t work.  There’s a piece of hardware in there that has to stick up its little hand at the right time and say it’s Dell, or it just won’t work.  More or less. 

 

Now if it’s just the hard drive, and you still have your copy of Windows, because it’s on cd, you get a cd and install Windows.  If it’s a Northgate and the OS was on a partition of the hard drive (call a partition a virtual hard drive and you’ll more or less get the picture) things aren’t perfect.  I was just reflecting on the fact that I don’t actually know that the motherboard hasn’t eaten it, either.  But much less likely than the hard drive in the first place.

 

Most motherboards take up the functions of things like graphics cards and such that used to be separate entities in the old days five years ago.  You’ll generally have Ethernet; if you do get a separate graphics or audio card you actually bypass the existent functions on the motherboard (you also substantially improve performance by the nature of things, because you’re paring down CPU functions a bit).  Generally you can’t use the old Dell or whatever box (the thing the actual computer goes into) because a standard motherboard won’t fit somehow.  It also may be tricky figuring out actual wattages and things of the sort, important considerations when laying out a power supply for the interior functions.

 

Building your  own computer is much easier than you’d think.  This is where I want to go into user types briefly and then just stop.  This should be a bit different take than you’ve generally seen on this kind of stuff, so maybe it’s a little less intimidating.  Overdoing it isn’t particularly cool, either, though.

 

With users you have generally the standard user and the power user, with the latter being almost exclusively gamers.  Graphics uses a lot of computing power, but only when done in realtime.  Fractals are maybe the best demonstration.  Naturally, editing of videos and the like will eat a lot of resources and is entirely out of the realm of this discussion, because you’ve actually gone right to programs-for-pay with the price tag for “decent” starting at a couple of grand.  The ordinary user outside a company isn’t going to touch a computer’s capabilities–remember, watching a DVD is watching a DVD, no matter whether a computer or a “DVD player”. 

 

The point is that there isn’t any great merit in being a “power user” or a “gamer”.  A few things won’t run on standard equipment, and that’s all.  As far as word processors, editing photos, and that sort of thing standard equipment does just fine or the equipment is flawed.

 

The ordinary business user uses…about a tenth of what the ordinary home user does.  It’s inexecusable to have unnecessary input ports on a machine whose sole function is formatted data entry.  There should be communication with an authorized gateway, and nothing else.  For that matter, entry into the box should be physically keyed and there are several methods of doing it.  Keep in mind that physical, keyed connection to the gateway somehow can also prevent someone just unplugging the computer and walking away, which has been done.  (Random memory of actual places I’ve worked.  If you ask the obvious question, I actually don’t know why I never did.  Risk factor was somewhere near zero.)

 

Enough for now.

 

–Glenn

June 27, 2008 at 2:46 pm 4 comments

Rose’s Old Computer (steps toward further backup protection)

I bought it for her a couple of years; it’s a Northgate, now defunct.  Half a gig of RAM, never have looked at the processor speed.  It seemed decently fast when she first got it and slowed over time, although there was of course the crapware.  And of course she accepted it.  Just as I was once an obsessive downloader.  Her picture never appears because she won’t allow it.  Then again, I’m not all that fond of my own, so I can understand that easily.

 

I just installed SP3 on her old computer.  Seems like that fix has been out there for a while.  Mind you, I just fired it back up yesterday.  Because of space constraints, I had to have another keyboard, because non-USB keyboards just aren’t designed to be connected/disconnected while everything’s powered on.  Already had a USB “mouse” actually tablet.  Bear in mind that now–since I’ve gotten the software for the combination wireless keyboard/optical mouse installed on that computer–all I actually have to do is move one USB plug-in, from a hub to the Northgate computer.  Rose’s computer.  Whatever.  Defining reality nominatively is at best a dangerous thing, because names have so many assumptions inherent in them.

 

The main function of her old computer is simply a real backup.  I have an external hard drive; I now have an external computer where I can store stuff and that pretty well will be sans executables because I actually don’t expect to have to access the Internet from it.  That means it hides behind the router firewall (effectively anonymizing the IP among a small pool) and then behind the software firewall, first of all.  I want to get a bigger hard drive pretty soon and install it in her own computer.  It would in some ways be nice to just go ahead and Linux it; I’m nearly sure that Linux word processors can come up with documents with the necessary embedded codes for formatting.

–Glenn

June 24, 2008 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

The Unconscious Mind…strikes again…in a helmet

DARPA just came up with another one.  If you’ve ever had an electro-encephalogram (they put electrodes on your head), the story makes the most sense to you.  There’s this helmet, see, that like, well, sees what you see, sort of, but like your unconscious mind…

 

As in, I think DARPA smoked too much Thai stick on this one.  A computer combined with the backbrain doesn’t sound like a promising combination to me.  I mean, look at George W.

–Glenn

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June 14, 2008 at 7:23 am 1 comment

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