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Russ Steele
Russ is a systems engineer, freelance writer. Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
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Is this worth some discussion? it seems quite plausible to me. If you think the rise of robots on Earth is scary, then here's a thought for you: they might be the most prevalent lifeform in the universe. University of Connecticut philosophy professor Susan Schneider certainly thinks so. In her new paper "Alien Minds," she proposes that by the time civilizations are able to communicate by radio, they're a few short steps away from developing artificial intelligence. One they reached that level of advancement, they may have opted to upgrade their biology to something that's a biomechanical hybrid or something entirely synthetic. There could be a whole mess of Borg out there, in other words. She also argues that those civilizations will be older than ours. If a dominant intelligent lifeform developed even a million years before humanity, and within centuries uploaded their brains to alien computers, those computers are likely to be vastly more intelligent than we can even fathom. Seth Shostak, head of the SETI Institute, agrees with many of Schneider's assertions, and argues that the idea opens up the possibility of a new realm of habitable worlds. A computer doesn't drink water, after all—it just needs enough resources to keep going—which means life could be anywhere. Maybe the Goldilocks Zone is bigger than we think.
George at 11:40AM Thanks for your tip. My in-house editor is too busy, and I made some last minute edits with help by the auto speller trying to guess what I was trying to write. It guessed wrong and I did not take the time to check the results. My only solution is to slow down and try harder.
Deap Leaning will take your job, your children's jobs and their children's jobs. We need to see the problem now and start making the social and cultural adjustments now before we are overwhelmed. Watch the video and you will get a better idea what George is writing about. What happens when we teach a computer how to lean? We replace a lots of people's jobs. Computer can do in minutes what it would take a team of humans years. This YouTube demonstrates the current capabilities of computers to speak, write, see, and listen. It also shows how computers and humans can work together on complex problems enhancing both results. The really scary part is at the end of this 19 minute video on Deap Learning. Human productivity is declining, while computer productivity is advancing at a non linear rate. Look forward to your comments.
Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined. California, Texas’ biggest economic rival, has created 985,600 fewer net jobs during the same period. California’s 1.5 percent job growth is ten percentage points lower than Texas’ percent job growth. More details at
One of the robotic automation issues is the influence of government service unions. In the 1990s, Caltrans gave UC Davis a contract to develop a machine that found soft spots in the black top and automatically bored and filled the softspot. These spots were the starting points for potholes. The idea was to prevent the pot hole form developing. This significantly reduce the Caltrans work force. The workers union screamed and the project was terminated. Caltrans was no longer interested in a automated pothole fixer. A local company developed a systems for monitoring sewer plant pumps and mulching systems. Sensor softare could determine a pump or mulching motor was about to enter a failure mode, it could send a text message it needed to be repaired or replaced. One person could now monitor the operations of multiple sewage processing stations, significantly reducing the work force needed to maintain the government infrastructure. Cities were not interested in buying the systems as it would cause layoffs, creating problems with the public services unions. As more robots and automated systems enter the market, they will be welcomed in the commercial sector, but will be only slowly accepting in the government sector due to the power of the government service unions. We the taxpayer will be the loser. Automate systems do not need health care for life and a pension for 30 years after retirement.
Look, we all had better be happy that the North Korea hackers were under the management so someone who was just pissed off at Sony and not the US Power Grid. That said, the whole Sony affair could just a head fake for the real threat, the banking systems, the stock market, or the power grid. Once these hacks get some success under their belt, do you think they are going to stop? I do not think so. Have cash on hand, fuel for the generator, car tank full, and the cellphone charged. They may not wait for the President's threat of retaliation. Oh, wait he only makes threats and never follows through. North Korea is more reliable.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on The Pyongyang Censors at Rebane's Ruminations
Obama in News Conference We have a right to make movies that offend people. Obama on video that was suppose to be cause for Benghazi We can not allow movies that offend people. Well, which is it Mr. President? Will the press note the disparity? Maybe Fox News?
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Sandbox - 12dec14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Some of the current research demonstrates that the best solution to many problems is a human/robot team. Each relying on the individual strengths of the other. Research is to seek cooperative solutions. In chess, the computer has proven it's ability too beat masters players, but a team of teens using a laptop working with a computer based chess program were able to beat the IBM computer and a grand master each working alone. It was a demo of how computers and humans working as a team have synergistic capabilities. There is ongoing research for humans and robots to work side by side on package sorting lines, the effort is to insure the robot does not harm the human working at it's side, but does all the heavy lifting. There was a summer season science fiction program on TNT that teamed a robot and human police detective, showed how in the writers mind robots and humans could work together as crime fighters is the future. Yes it was science fiction, but many of the devices we have today were once science fiction. There are some interesting TED Talks on YouTube and Roko that outlines some of the ongoing robot/ human interaction research that I find very interesting. Recommended.
Some Economists See a Link Between the Scarcity of Start-Ups and the Rise in Influence-Peddling’ “The great start-up slowdown” is explored by the Washington Post: The more pronounced of those trends is a slowing birthrate for new businesses. The slowdown has persisted over two decades and has worsened since 2000. Economists aren’t entirely sure what’s causing it. The nation’s “start-up rate,” the number of new companies as a share of total companies, declined by 12 percent from the late 1980s to the eve of the Great Recession. That’s according to research by John Haltiwanger, a pathbreaking University of Maryland economist who studies business dynamics, and several co-authors. They found the rate dropped even further during the recession: By 2011, it was about 25 percent lower than it was in the late ’80s. Recent research from the Brookings Institution confirms that compared to 25 years ago, a smaller share of Americans today work in start-up companies and that a smaller share of companies are start-ups. Even the tech industry — that bastion of venture capital and IPOs — has seen its start-up rate decline. In 1982, Haltiwanger and coauthors report, 3 in 5 high-tech firms were young start-ups; in 2012, that had fallen to less than 2 in 5. This is bad for middle-class workers. Newer companies create a lot more jobs, on net, than long-established ones, according to several studies, including a recent one by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which compiles economic statistics for wealthy nations around the world. (This is true even though so many start-ups fail.) Haltiwanger’s research suggests America would have 1.1 million more jobs today if dynamism were still at even mid-1980s levels. More jobs would reduce competition among would-be workers for available slots, which would mean companies would need to pay workers more to attract or keep them. It is cheaper to buy influence than it is to innovate. Tech companies are expanding their lobbying staff in Washington. Something they used to avoid.
What is the probability this group contains a terrorist or two? Selected by the UN? Right, that should work? The federal government is preparing for another “surge” in refugees and this time they won’t be coming illegally from Central America. The U.S. State Department announced this week that the first major contingent of Syrian refugees, 9,000 of them, have been hand-selected by the United Nations for resettlement into communities across the United States. The announcement came Tuesday on the State Department’s website. WND reported in September that Syrians would make up the next big wave of Muslim refugees coming to the U.S., as resettlement agencies were lobbying for the U.S. to accept at least 75,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. Read more at
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Islamophobia 2.0 at Rebane's Ruminations
Here we go again, more bailouts needed for Wall Street? Could rapidly falling oil prices trigger a nightmare scenario for the commodity derivatives market? The big Wall Street banks did not expect plunging home prices to cause a mortgage-backed securities implosion back in 2008, and their models did not anticipate a decline in the price of oil by more than 40 dollars in less than six months this time either. If the price of oil stays at this level or goes down even more, someone out there is going to have to absorb some absolutely massive losses. In some cases, the losses will be absorbed by oil producers, but many of the big players in the industry have already locked in high prices for their oil next year through derivatives contracts. The companies enter into these derivatives contracts for a couple of reasons. Number one, many lenders do not want to give them any money unless they can show that they have locked in a price for their oil that is higher than the cost of production. Secondly, derivatives contracts protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace. These dramatic swings rarely happen, but when they do they can be absolutely crippling. So the oil companies that have locked in high prices for their oil in 2015 and 2016 are feeling pretty good right about now. But who is on the other end of those contracts? In many cases, it is the big Wall Street banks, and if the price of oil does not rebound substantially they could be facing absolutely colossal losses.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2014 on Sandbox - 12dec14 at Rebane's Ruminations
Some Fox News numbers to chews on from August 2014. A busy week in news was a good one for Fox News Channel, which logged its second highest-rated frame of the year, but a weak one for MSNBC, which found itself deep in third place. FNC, with several shows hitting 2014 highs, won in adults 25-54 and total viewers on both a primetime and total-day basis for Monday through Friday of last week. Tune-in was above average across the news board due to coverage of the protests in Ferguson and the murder of James Foley. Looking at the Nielsen numbers, Fox News averaged 443,000 adults 25-54 in primetime to finish ahead of CNN (361,000) in the key news demo, with both networks more than doubling the tally of MSNBC (179,000). CNN had narrowly won in the demo on Monday and Tuesday, before Fox News asserted itself Wednesday through Friday. In total-day numbers, FNC averaged 272,000, to 241,000 for CNN and just 106,000 for MSNBC. The only week to rate higher for Fox News this year was the State of the Union frame in January. As usual, it was no contest in total viewers, with Fox News (2.25 million in primetime, 1.26 million total-day) beating the combined tune-in of CNN (901,000 in primetime, 690,000 in total-day) and MSNBC (737,000 in primetime, 402,000 in total-day). Among the highlights for Fox News was “The Kelly File” drawing its largest weekly demo audience of the calendar year (455,000), while “Hannity” had its most-watched week of the year (1.84 million) and its highest-rated demo performance to date in the 10 o’clock hour (421,000). Daytime shows “Outnumbered” and “Happening Now” also hit some 2014 highs.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2014 on Sandbox - 12dec14 at Rebane's Ruminations
According to my contacts, people seeking jobs in Silicon Valley tech companies, many of the top companies are adopting the Google interview process for technical people. The Interviews are about 5 hours long and during the interview the potential employee is given a technical problem to solve with a two hour limit. The color of a persons skin, gender, or sexual orientation is not going to help solve this problem. The potential employee either has the skill sets to solve the problem of they do not. A lot of the government contracts the aerospace company I was working in the late 1980s and 1990s, had requirements that a certain percentage of the contract had to go to 8s minority subcontractors. We chose women owned and operated 8a companies when ever possible to score some extra points. Managing these 8s subcontract was a challenge. Some were awesome and some took more time to manage, than it took to do the work in house. It was all about satisfying the government auditors. If the tech companies are doing government contracts, I can see how Jessy and his Rainbow thugs might have some leverage. But how will Jessy and his Rainbow thugs deal with the Google interview process? Will they get interview problem solving out lawed?
Walt@11:06AM Stu lives in Mendocino. It is that end of SR-20.
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2014 on Storm Watch at Rebane's Ruminations
Had to put a new battery in the generator. It was a six year battery going on eight years. Now It is running like a top.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2014 on Storm Watch at Rebane's Ruminations
We had a dead tree taken down that could fall on the house last week. Will test the generator after lunch, and put all the devices on to charge. Might get one more five gallon can of diesel this afternoon. Remember when the broadband network goes out, many smartphone can become WiFi modems, using the cellphone network for Internet access. Youbnet does a good job of keeping residence posted on storm damage and weather maps here: PG&E Outages can be found here: Channel 3 and 13 have Cellphone Apps for tracking the storm.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2014 on Storm Watch at Rebane's Ruminations
JoeK@09:59 Everyone: Cop profiles the situation and makes decision bases on best available information. Everyone:. Unarmed black kid fails to assess the situation and charges the office, failing to heed warnings. Everyone: Government Radio ad instructs people to profile a group of people on sidewalk of dark street and recommends crossing the street to avoid being robbed. Everyone: Smart woman shopper maintains situation awareness, profiles man wandering in parking lot, requests security guard for an escort to her vehicle. Everyone: Failing to maintain situation awareness and profiling people you see on the street and in parking lots near Sacramento and Roseville can get you robbed or killed. There are news reports on TV every night about people who failed to maintain situation awareness, and did not adequately profile nearby people and take appropriate action. Often the problem is ignorance or letting political correctness inhibit their good judgment. The ability to quickly profile a situation/person/persons is a critical component of survival.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2014 on Profiling at Rebane's Ruminations
This is small potatoes compared to Senator Feinstein releasing a report that will results in the death of multiple CIA undercover agents and insure that foreign governments are never going to cooperate with the US ever again, all so she can get even with the CIA for spying on her committee. Let's talk about how the Democrats need to rewrite history, proving they did not approve CIA interrogations. Which they did. I am embarrassed that this vindictive bitch is my representative in the Senate. People are going die so she can feel good about getting even with the CIA.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2014 on Profiling at Rebane's Ruminations
Failure to effectively profile a situation can be a death sentence.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2014 on Profiling at Rebane's Ruminations
Joe@09:52PM Please provide a link to the PPIC Survey results, I could not find the survey on the webpage. The PPIC is know to have a liberal bias, and the study needs to be frisked for validation. How a question is asked can influence the answer. The results seem to be in consistent with other studies and surveys of companies that left the state. We need to know who was asked what questions.
Guess What The New York Times Journalist Who Published Officer Darren Wilson's Address Is Doing Right Now? Julie Bowman, the New York Times "journalist" who "published Darren Wilson's home address - the one he shares with his new bride and all - she's busying herself calling the COPS NONSTOP, apparently. Because she's been "complaining about people harassing and threatening her" in addition to "complaining about numerous food deliveries being sent to her residence." Sucks for her, huh? The Chicago police department told Gotnews about it yesterday. Don't you just love the blatant double standard here? And I bet she doesn't see the irony in her being all worried for her own safety here. Because American journalism and whatnot.
The future President of the United States? Hillery Clinton? “The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say, sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc,” Clinton said, according to ABC News. Yea, well the sea levels are not rising any faster than they have since 1850 when the little ice age came to an end, the ice caps are not melting, as we have more ice now than in the last ten years, storms are not more powerful, we just had a historically quiet tornado season, droughts happen on a regular schedule as the PDO shift from warm to cool, and there are fewer wildfires today than in the 1930 and 1940s. Hillery is scientifically illerate!
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2014 on Sandbox - 30nov14 at Rebane's Ruminations
KeenO@1:50PM Nestle has recently appointed an unlikely brand ambassador, a fleet of robots that are programmed to sell its coffee machines in Japan. Fondly known as Pepper, the robot has replaced Hollywood hunk George Clooney as the new face of the brand. Makers claim that not only is the robot chatty and friendly, it can also indulge in conversation. According to its engineers, the artificial intelligence of the robot is ever expanding its conversational skills by listening to consumers. The robot has a 4 foot tall body, and has a face resembling a human face which rests on a white plastic body. It also has a tablet pc like structure on its chest. Around 1000 stores, all across Japan will be seen with their own robot very soon. Pepper is also touted to understand around 80 percent of conversations. According to a statement by Nestle and SoftBank, the company responsible for Pepper's technology, "the robots will help us discover consumer needs through conversations between our customers and Pepper.'' Unveiled earlier this year in June by SoftBank, Pepper is also used for selling mobile phones throughout Japanese stores. The robot is also expected to go on sale to the public in February Read more at: Welcome to the entry point of a new world of robot sales. You will soon be greeted at the door of fast-food establishments by a robot that will take your order and another will deliver it to your table.
WayneH 1147pm There is an EMP blog that is concerned about this very issue, a nuke or the sun taking out the power grid: There are "prepper" organizations all across the country, including here in Nevada County that are preparing for such and event. We have a survivalist preparation store in Grass Valley, Hills Flat area of East Main. If you go to the Father's Day ammo sale at the Range you will run into many of the locals who are preparing for the collapse, and are stocking up on ammo. Here is link to a Prepper web site: The question is, have you taken the basic steps for survive a total power blackout? We just missed a power grid destroying CME last fall (2013). It was not aimed at the earth. More on this issue in future comments if you are interested.
Democrat front runner for 2016 is being ignored by students: As Hillary Clinton takes stage for policy speech at Georgetown Univ, scores of student seats, balcony are empty. Not good PR!
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2014 on Sandbox - 30nov14 at Rebane's Ruminations