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601  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Captain Drexx - 8 bit tower defense game on: March 07, 2014, 02:02:31 PM

This is a brand new retro game, right?

I'll remark they're walking into the old All Your Base trap ... unless it's an homage?
"This is enemy ... they come from ... defeat your base"?!

16 seconds into the video.

 Cool
602  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: March 06, 2014, 07:23:24 PM
I've been watching a bunch of Cracked videos. And the Matrix twice.

603  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Story of Merlin: The 1978 Electronic Game on: March 06, 2014, 08:59:29 AM
^I don't think I'm ... giving undue emphasis to what passes for human intelligence.
...

@Tao = You completely lost me. ... "No True Scotsman??? Love it! But I have absolutely no clue as to what that is alluding to!  huh  Grin)
[/quote]

Put another way:
As I understand it, the Turing Test was supposed to be about a person talking through one terminal and a computer program talking via another one, and the human operator is supposed to try to figure out which is which.

But I think there are some assumptions going on about the level of intelligence of the participants. So if the human on the other side of the terminal is less coherent than a chatterbot and can't type either, and the test taker is also feebleminded, and if the chatterbot is tuned well, it very well could win!

So the "No True Scotsman" part kicks in if we start trying to say things like "oh, well, that's not a true test...".

604  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Story of Merlin: The 1978 Electronic Game on: March 06, 2014, 12:17:23 AM
^I don't think I'm being paranoid or giving undue emphasis to what passes for human intelligence.

Yes. Yes you are. I wasn't kidding. "No True Scotsman" is deadly.

I give you the following item heard about once per week in my tax office:

"I'm on welfare. I want to file like I did last year so I get my $5,000 back, for free."

So yes. Your idea of "human" ... has serious statistical flaws!

*That's* why "Entry AI" ... isn't that tough!

Put another way, via different questions, *people* fail the Turing Test about once per week!

 ohmy  Cool

605  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Story of Merlin: The 1978 Electronic Game on: March 06, 2014, 12:07:56 AM
^I don't think I'm being paranoid or giving undue emphasis to what passes for human intelligence. I just don't think the current state of AI is that great as to be overly accommodating towards the assertions being made for it. Because from my own personal perspective (admittedly as little more than intelligent and interested bystander) it ain't nowhere near there yet.

FWIW I have a purely personal belief that 'intelligence' (or something close enough it may as well be) will ultimately be shown to inevitably emerge from from any system once it reaches sufficient power, capacity, and complexity. But that's just as much my accepting something on faith as somebody else insisting human intelligence is unique and non-reproduceable by engineering or technology. Truth is...we just don't know.

Now I'm not saying it can't be done. Just that it hasn't - and it doesn't look like there's even been a significant breakthrough in the last 20 years or so to speed the advent. Most of the approaches being taken seem pretty brute force from the readings I've done.

But that's me. I have a bias for elegant solutions.
 Cool

Great comment.

My own private theory was that we could have had it fifteen years ago, if it was an "important goal". I think deep Racial Fear is involved. Also, see the rise of "Security".

I also believe that once you get past the odd gap of Shannon-Cyc-Robotics-LoebnerDefense-Other stuff, any four of you hotshot programmers combined can create "pseudo-AI". (And that's part of the problem, by explicitly declaring it "not important" it falls to TaoP and four people to do mockups that should have been done twenty-two years ago!)

606  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Story of Merlin: The 1978 Electronic Game on: March 05, 2014, 05:15:52 AM
Based on what I know about human minds and computers, I think they're completely different mechanisms that operate (to date) on entirely different principles. Beyond a certain surface similarity of outputs and responses (which you can find looking most things - if you look hard enough and aren't too fussy) I can't think of anything further apart. And there's still Turing's 'halting problem' for a machine to get around.

But while I'm not too hopeful for genuine AI in the foreseeable future, I certainly am for ... research.

In fact...OMG! Look at the time! Yeah, let's leave this for some other day ... Grin

Heh joke at the end, ends too much research!

Sadly, human minds are much overrated, and we're risking "No True Scotsman" calling "Human Minds" to be the best 12%! (Tax season has shown me this!)

So I still think we're all falling back to my semi-paranoic theory that we're afraid of super-AI. Armchair wise, I like to say that with 10K, I could overturn some of these theories. But then, I'm just a ranter and I don't matter. But I think it's true. 170k lines of code could change the world.

I think we might have to Agree to Disagree.

Work into Siri is along the lines I have been saying, with a bit to go. But why is "Siri" different? Maybe for once not a cute little nonprofit, but a Big Biz entity working on it?

607  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: March 05, 2014, 04:02:43 AM
... the more you publish, the more we'll pay you, regardless of the quality.
Well, haven't we all - or at least most of us - been subjected to the same thing?

When management - any management, including our so-called peers - demands quantity, performance and quality degrade.  Not so certain that could not be called a force of nature.  When position becomes more important than performance, those in position punish those who do not perform to the satisfaction and gratification and reputation of those in position, no?  The powers that be, in most any venue, want accolades, rather than performance.  Recognition for private/personal performance is seldom rendered unless that recognition benefits those other than the performer.  My mind is awash with similes, but none compare with the reality of illusions fostered by governing bodies.

Just had this happen today!
 ohmy
608  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What books are you reading? on: March 05, 2014, 03:59:11 AM
I'm happy to be done with "How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed" by Ray Kurzweil

You can file this one away as another famous narcissist with money getting more famous with a self-indulgent book that is mostly empty of insight and full of self promotion. Blech. Terrible.

Blech?

Terrible?

You're far too kind. For some reason the phrase "sucks out loud" keeps popping into my head every time I think back on reading that book.
 Grin

I dunno. Even books that "repeat" stuff have value for me. Let's say you begin to suspect that it's like that ... then just skim it. Then you can just learn the few new nuances.  Going sideways this is the true key to that old "Library vs Purchase" discussion - you borrow the Kurzweil book, make your ten pages of new notes, and then give it back. For a really good book, you buy it because you plan to want to look at it for a long time!



609  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Utilities for an excel book on: March 04, 2014, 08:31:30 PM
so you're heading him off at the pass? Grin Grin Grin

Just a little! : )

610  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Utilities for an excel book on: March 04, 2014, 07:43:23 PM
if you don't want the overhead of a(nother) addin here's a bit of vba code that will do the same thing

Maybe, but as I begin to understand Contro, he's the kind of fella who wants a lot of cool new tricks. For him I'd recommend the Utilities because if he pokes around he might find answers to random things he hasn't asked us yet.

611  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Story of Merlin: The 1978 Electronic Game on: March 04, 2014, 07:20:07 PM
Starting a *whole* new topic, let's look at this quote:

"The notion of the mind as a computer, or of a computer intelligence, has fascinated me my whole life,” Doyle says.

I *So* believe in this. I truly believe that people are incredibly like computers, involving "hardware problems" and "software problems", and when faced with five misc struggles by people, the minute you ask that question, parts of it all snaps into place.

I absolutely believe that the related but sometimes maligned Loebner prize is important, with a chunk of "defensive code" that people do automatically. (Background. It's a variant-TuringTest competition, but it rewards too highly people who ask nonsense questions. Put a bit of push-back in there, and things might change a bit.)

And my secret weapon in AI is the much maligned but maybe surprisingly important P1 of "math error" fame. Because that's what "intelligence" does. Makes errors. Then just build in some meta-code that expresses doubt about its results and then you're on a new path.

Going a bit darker, I (from my dangerously arrogant flippant layman's chair) think that "AI" is just on the verge of totally owning a whole class of service workers. I still say I welcome PM's / other going into AI topics. (With no way to prove anything, I still think I have useful algorithms on this in my head that no one has considered.)

The Cyc project struggled a little in the early days, but we're just turning those corners. Somewhere between Watson that beat Jeopardy, plus X custom code, the "McDonalds Algorithm" isn't that hard, if you skip the robotics and abstract it a bit.

Heh - I chatter to much. More some other day. :  )

612  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Story of Merlin: The 1978 Electronic Game on: March 04, 2014, 07:10:46 PM
A few of y'all are a hair older than me. The "target sales year" of these classics stretched well into the mid 80's. So I had my Simon in 80-something.

But maybe I sorta disagree with the article pinpointing it as the early key to fun computing. I'd give that set of honors on the other side, the "PC" side dating from my Commodore 128, backed by my Atari (which I think caught fire after a four hour game of PacMan with bad ventilation that day.)

Little "tricks" like Simon didn't feel like computers - right on their heels came Nintendo handheld games, etc. Instead, the start (and finish! Yikes!) of my computing respect came from the C128 where I made some twelve simple programs of my very own. The stars were a Maze game where you could move only in right angles but had to deal with maze Tron-Esque walls of varying angles, and what I now joke about as a "New York Crowd Subway Simulator" - "Avoid the masses of faceless people, none of whom you care about, but none of whom you dare bump into"! (Holy hell, 30 years ahead of its time!!)

cheesy

613  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Utilities for an excel book on: March 04, 2014, 07:01:06 PM
ASAP Utilities has a function to create an index sheet with named links to each worksheet. You could easily take that list, select and copy all, and paste as values.

http://www.asap-utilities.com/

Heh yep! But I don't have Excel here at home so I didn't jump in, but I recall using it at work to do a few other things!

614  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are Tables Required Or Not? on: March 02, 2014, 09:13:35 AM
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I have been thinking about the larger question of this thread.  I have been thinking of (1) what a table really is and why it was, is used?  I have also been questioning (2) what is really happening with tabulated data?  Now, I'm no great thinker, but (at least for me) this exercise has helped me to reduce the subject to a finer granularity and has allowed me a more objective consideration.  Read on.

(1)  The first thought I had was a table is convenient.  It stores/presents related data in a matrix that is both familiar and efficient.  I think this is because its function is reinforced by its form.  Even the visual framework allows us to quickly navigate the data in a well-seasoned procedure.  Our eyes lead our minds around the grid for whatever purpose.  Tables are as comfy as our favorite chair, but mainly for graphically-oriented people which appears to be the vast majority of humankind.  On the other hand, the familiar arrangement of tables may turn out to be a prison for textually-oriented folk.  They are locked behind the bars of the grid lines without freedom of their minds to work in their behalf.  The table, like a movie inexorably leads us wherever the film maker wants us to go.  Perhaps tables imprisons all of us?  This leads me to the next bullet.

(2) In consideration of the dynamics of tables and the interactions of the user, the table is a collection of relationships.  But, it does not necessarily follow that all those relationships *must* be kept in proximity.
[Note: to the Reader:  I must admit that at this point I get kind of fuzzy trying quantify these dynamics, but I will a least try to communicate my thoughts.  Please don't ridicule me if I can't make things coherent.  At this juncture I am only working through the theory of my cogitations.]
As I looked at a table I saw separate entities within the matrix (no pun intended).  Associations specific to various entities tried to emerge, but was never really able to overcome the gravitational forces of the table.  However, this does not mean those associations could not live outside the table, but this did provoke a question of whether the different associations "needed" each other to remain coherent?  Is it possible the groups of associations did not necessarily require the table, but only needed a different proximal relationship to maintain their vitality?

Well, that's as far as I got this go-around.  Keep in mind, I am trying to communicate a "picture" which briefly surfaced and returned to the depths without revealing its true and comprehensive form.  I can kind of "see" what I am trying to say, but I can't put into words or concrete application just yet.  I hope you all do not think me mad?   huh


Great higher level comment! My eleven cents:
1. "What a table really is and why it was, is used?" - To me, a table is "very flat and wide data that desperately needs a 2x2 correlation to everything all the time".

So supposing for example in my tax prep job, I'd want a table of:

Last name, First Name, Last 4 of the social security number, full social security number, and client phone number ...

and then IRS acceptance status plus refund-check status.

That kind of data is a chart against which at any time a client calls in and "wants to know the last two items as fast as possible". Client calls, they give you any amount of the first five items, and you feed back the last two.

That's what a chart does. 2x2, very tall and very wide, but with a little care, *very flat*.

2. Trees
However, a whole lot of my mindset runs to very *deeply nested* data that emphasizes structure of the data.

Recreation
   DonationCoder
       CodeTrucker
           MyInfo Investigation
               Necessary Features
                  1 (Feature1)
                     Progress1
                         Progress 1a
                         Progress 1b
                     Solution1
                  2 (Feature2)
                      Progress2
                         Progress 2a
                         Progress 2b
                     Solution2
    Slashdot
    Aphelion
    Chessbase
       Article1
          Notes1
          Notes2
       Article2
          Notes1
          Notes2

--------------------------------------------
And so on.

So in that broad case a table is useless because the structure rules it all, and then the rest starts to get freeform.


                  




615  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are Tables Required Or Not? on: March 02, 2014, 09:03:13 AM
...
A valid observation, but again my need for global recall precludes multi-program schemes.
...
Well, given I need to do global searches often, splitting up my data collection is not really tenable, so yes, I do need to have all my data in a single repository.

I just try to live with an uneasy merging of info. What Excel/clones do really well is that sometimes data arrives requiring dynamic math abilities and linked pages. For me that's really hard to take out of the spreadsheet programs.

Other hobby data just lives in windows folders as various files that are hard to reconvert and merge anywhere else. I will make a small joke that I visit the same 120 hobby topics ten times a year. So I just collect misc notes, try to put really good file names on them, and run my "Drive Reader" about four times a year. Then I can just search the text file for that thing I looked at five months ago.

616  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Software longevity on: March 02, 2014, 08:33:55 AM
If you want I can sent you a WinAmp v1.91 installer that actually comes from 1998...which still works fine on Windows 7 (I tried it myself).

About 600Kbyte of goodness  Wink

Sounds like it would be fun to try. 

No thanks! Putting my system at risk is not my idea of fun. All of those old versions have exploitable security vulnerabilities...lots of them.  ohmy

But is any kiddie hacker old enough to remember them?  smiley
You could always run it using Time Freeze or some other sandbox, for grins.


I haven't used it in a while, but in the past I used a separate standalone machine with little important data just to mess around with stuff like that.
617  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Survivorship Bias...an Insidious Enemy on: March 01, 2014, 01:19:49 PM

Hmm. To me this topic doesn't seem to be so hard in a certain aspect. I don't read any of the "stories of great people". I read more of "reports of the times" books. I tend to read more "historical survey" articles on the web. That has the benefit of an analytical writer attempting to figure out why someone won and someone else lost.


618  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: When an arguably free service turns ad supported on: March 01, 2014, 06:30:32 AM
Let's add a new entry to this list!

I thought I liked StartPage as a "private" search engine. But just now, when loading up the "advanced" search version, I see some fishy stuff while the page loads.  Does someone have a tool that "captures" all the sources that load into a page? It flashes pretty fast, but I'll summarize it.

connecting/reading/transferring
(best guess)
intext.nav-links.com
i_rvzrjs_info.tlscdn.com
superfish.com
gir.driveopti.net

And more. Who is all that?! And why are they on the "private search engine"?!
mad

Update:
A rogue extension seems to have gotten into my browser! So that's a different topic and it might render my comment void.
619  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are Tables Required Or Not? on: February 28, 2014, 09:40:33 AM
MyInfo lets you expand and contract parts of the list so you do not in fact have to waste time scrolling!

I was making a different point. In a table you see the child info horizontally in the same row (i.e. it's in the line of sight), while to view the same info as an outline you may need to scroll down, especially with more complex tables. Of course you can collapse outlines, but then you won't see the data in the collapsed bits, so it would be more difficult to review that information as in a table.

Actually, an option that's closer to a table-like organisation is a mind map (such as Freeplane). Then the info is still more horizontally presented than a traditional vertical outline.

Ah, got it. And that's quite true. So it def depends on the type of info being worked with.

620  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are Tables Required Or Not? on: February 28, 2014, 05:39:31 AM
My question is... if tables are not used how does one handle the data normally contained in tables?

The alternative would be some kind of a hierarchical list (i.e. outline), whereby each piece of the column data is represented as a child of the row item (parent). It's a less efficient way of presenting information, as the list gets longer than the table would have been (you have to scroll down etc.), ...

Just reminding people that MyInfo lets you expand and contract parts of the list so you do not in fact have to waste time scrolling! So let's say you work on a big section for a while. Then it just becomes a reference source. So you compact it to the header and then it just sits there.

621  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are Tables Required Or Not? on: February 27, 2014, 09:15:02 PM
 (Raw Post)

It looks like about 2014 we're all starting to look at these "Information Programs". When you get a personal winner program, it's the only one you recommend. So I keep testing my pick, aka "MyInfo" against new uses.

This time for tables, it might work.

Let's try this screenshot.

[attachimg=#]

So that is a "table" pasted from Open Office, lines 1-2. Then in MyInfo, I "corrected" a line already there, and added new data.

So ignoring the Version Control issues, is that close to what you need?
622  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: February 27, 2014, 06:44:36 AM
...

I don't know that "Today is The Day We Fight Back" though. It looks rather like it was a non-event.
Maybe there's little appetite left to fight the Monster State.

Yep. Some random day two weeks ago.

623  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted) on: February 23, 2014, 11:35:54 AM

I dunno.

Per the Info Mgt threads, I put about six keywords into my file names. About 1-3 times a year I do a "drive read" into a text file. Then searching the text file is over 20 times faster than Win Search.

So I'm not sure what this new approach has to offer. I don't do many obscure searches.
624  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 20th Annual International Deming Research Seminar - March 3-4, 2014 (NY, USA). on: February 20, 2014, 06:03:23 PM
Deming was way too conceptual, compared to other quality philosophers of that time, especially Juran and populist Crosby.

Tomos, here is summary of Mr. Deming, taken from my specialisation project and master thesis, condensed for forum:

Quote
William Edwards Deming is considered to be the pioneer and the founder of the quality movement. After Second World War he was involved in planning of the Japanese Census. At that time Japanese engineers were studying Shewart's methods and techniques...

Oh, That guy. From what I recall of the story told when the factory I was working at years ago was being switched over to Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing. These techniques were indeed so new and revolutionary at the time that the current prevailing wisdom infested business establishment in the US had flat out laughed at him, and then basically foisted him on the Japanese after the war. Which then backfired rather handily for the Japanese and is much of the why the current top selling car in the US a currently the Toyota Corolla ... And has been for something like the past 12 years (which annoys me to no end).
Deming was way too conceptual, compared to other quality philosophers of that time, especially Juran and populist Crosby.

Tomos, here is summary of Mr. Deming, taken from my specialisation project and master thesis, condensed for forum:

Quote
William Edwards Deming is considered to be the pioneer and the founder of the quality movement. After Second World War he was involved in planning of the Japanese Census. At that time Japanese engineers were studying Shewart's methods and techniques. Since Deming was a student of Walter Andrew Shewhart, they decided to invite him help them rebuild the Japanese economy. Deming's work in Japan resulted in Japanese factories dominating the manufacturing sector with high quality and low cost. Ironically, his methods gained recognition in United States after his death. His major contributions to the quality management field are:

  • The Fourteen Points
  • The Deadly Diseases
  • The System of Profound Knowledge
  • Deming Wheel (PDCA is its offshot)

Now, the real value is in understanding his "System of Profound Knowledge", which is the basis for application of The Fourteen Points of transformation. With its four points it advocates holistic approach: appreciation of a system, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge and knowledge of psychology. It was way ahead of its time, since scientific management was dominant managerial approach at that time.

Hi At
Deming was way too conceptual, compared to other quality philosophers of that time, especially Juran and populist Crosby.

Tomos, here is summary of Mr. Deming, taken from my specialisation project and master thesis, condensed for forum:

Quote
William Edwards Deming is considered to be the pioneer and the founder of the quality movement. After Second World War he was involved in planning of the Japanese Census. At that time Japanese engineers were studying Shewart's methods and techniques. Since Deming was a student of Walter Andrew Shewhart, they decided to invite him help them rebuild the Japanese economy. Deming's work in Japan resulted in Japanese factories dominating the manufacturing sector with high quality and low cost. Ironically, his methods gained recognition in United States after his death. His major contributions to the quality management field are:

  • The Fourteen Points
  • The Deadly Diseases
  • The System of Profound Knowledge
  • Deming Wheel (PDCA is its offshot)

Now, the real value is in understanding his "System of Profound Knowledge", which is the basis for application of The Fourteen Points of transformation. With its four points it advocates holistic approach: appreciation of a system, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge and knowledge of psychology. It was way ahead of its time, since scientific management was dominant managerial approach at that time.

Hello Attronarch,

Is your thesis available for private perusal? I would like a copy of it if possible.

smiley

625  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Old Rubik's Cube book rediscovered via the Internet. I love you Internet. on: February 20, 2014, 07:40:08 AM
I also had one of those books as a kid, never really managed to get any good at solving the cube back then though. It's quite annoying that it's so much harder to solve by actually thinking about what to do, compared to just blindly applying some simple systematic rules embarassed.

A couple of years ago I revisited it because our son found a cube, so I google'd a bit and ended up using Tyson Mao's beginner method (video). It's not the fastest way to do it by far, but I found it fairly easy to follow, and the moves you need have a certain rhythm to them that somehow made them easier to remember for me, and it does let you comfortably solve any cube in under two minutes without really thinking much about what you're doing.

Exactly Jibz, hence my big note above.

Also, Tyson Mao's video is the same method as the Nourse book, except upside down and missing for me what was the whole secret of the cube itself, which was about piece placement and *not* stickers!

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