AI And The Death of Humankind

Artificial Intelligences (AI) in fiction more often than not ‘go rogue’ and try to kill their creators, or just humans in general.  Whether it be because they decide we’re too dangerous to live, are fed up with us, or the AI in question has gone insane, the end result is the same:

Wipe them out.  All of them.

In Real Life, as far as I’m aware, we don’t have ‘real’ AI yet.  We have all kinds of attempts to mimic intelligence, but we don’t yet have the self aware artificial mind that can say “I think, therefore I’ll kill you”.

We are, however, getting close enough that some big minds are starting to panic over it.  Stephen Hawking began worrying.  Now Elon Musk has also revealed his worries, and has kicked in $10 Million to keep Skynet at bay.

Reading about Musk’s view, and the goal of that $10 Million for ‘keeping AI beneficial for humanity’ got me wondering if we aren’t heading towards a self-fulfilling prophecy here.

Continue reading

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Life Without Internet

Well, that was interesting to say the most.

I moved house, and due to Australia’s original Telco playing silly buggers, I couldn’t get a phone line – there was apparently no copper to my (established since at least 1970) house.  Still, once I worked out the rules to this ‘game’, I had some fresh copper connecting me to the exchange.  Since I wasn’t about to hand Telstra even more money after their rather appalling behaviour, I then had to go to my ISP of choice and ask them to give me ADSL2+.  I was also moving my Home Phone to the ISP, so that took even longer with all of the processes involved.

The upshot of this is that I was without ‘real’ internet for far too long a time.

Now, it was true that I had flaky 3G (down to H+ or H most often) on my phone, and I could use that as a wireless hot spot, but that wasn’t the fast and, more importantly, unlimited service I’d got used to and ‘needed’.

Obvious things like heavy, undirected browsing were out.  Any videos I wanted to see I bookmarked for later.  I had only one machine hooked up so I could control how much data I used for things like OS and Antivirus updates.  It meant a few things I was used to had to be curtailed, and I whinged about it, but really I had enough internet to talk to my wife (by messenger) who’s in the US, get email, and look up things on the web that I really had to know about.

What surprised me, but probably shouldn’t have, were the things that apparently required an internet connection.

While I could still play disc based games on the XBox 360, the majority of my arcade library was relegated to trial versions.  Even ones I’d played recently before the move.  There didn’t really seem to be a rhyme or reason to which ones remained the full versions and which were downgraded to trial.

On the tablet, a couple of apps and a game apparently decided they needed to ‘call home’ to verify that I owned them.  I’m not sure if they do this every time, but I guess I wouldn’t notice as I always have internet.  Except I didn’t now.

I didn’t even try downloading and playing Elite: Dangerous at this point., since I knew it needed an internet connection.

For me the whole railing against the trend towards games needing ‘always on’ internet has been mostly academic.  I don’t like the idea, but it usually doesn’t affect me.  It’s interesting to have it suddenly affect me, and realise what it really means for a hobby I like to spend a lot of time on.

So, I doubt I’d enjoy doing this ‘forever’, but I survived the time I did have limited internet.

Just don’t ever ask me to give up my 3G as well…

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Elite: Dangerous – Tales From the Frontier. Published!

Tales From the Frontier, part of the official fiction for Elite Dangerous, has now been published!

It’s been a hell of a ride to get here, from the Kickstarter through the finished product.   It feels worth it though.  The writers, the artists, the coordinators, the editors and the publishers have all worked hard to put out a (in my biased opinion) amazing book. Of course, you should all go out and buy several copies!

One thing I’m also proud of, is that it was agreed that some of the profits should go to something worthwhile.  To that end, 10% of the profits go to Plan International.

Really, thanks to everyone who worked hard on this, and supported us all!

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loved1-mod Loved is a flash game that …

Let me start again.  Loved is a flash story …

No, not quite right.  Loved is abusive.

Yes, that’s more like it.

I’ve tried a few times to write this while not spoiling Loved, but I’m finding that impossible, so this is your chance to decide whether to keep reading or not.  If you do keep reading, then you may not get the full ‘Loved experience’ if you decide to play it yourself.

Have you made your decision?

Continue reading

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Samsung Galaxy S5 – Fingerprint Scanner

Now that I’ve got all of that Security stuff out of my system I want to talk about the S5 Fingerprint Scanner. It works and

I’m quite impressed with it, and the user interface that the screen presents as well. Continue reading

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What Does ‘Security’ Mean?

I was going to discuss the fingerprint scanner of the Galaxy S5, but then I got bogged down in what security actually means.  So, I’ll talk about the scanner in another post and for now concentrate on what ‘security’ actually means. Continue reading

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Samsung Galaxy S5

My last phone  contract was up and as always, I figure I’ll be a good consumer and upgrade to the next probably already obsolete phone.

I was thinking of moving away from Samsung, but none of the other options available really caught my attention, so I went for the S5.  It appears I only get odd numbered Galaxys: the S,  the S3 and now the S5.

So, was it worth it? Continue reading

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Grand Theft Auto V – Well That’s Over

Amazingly, despite what I said last time, I managed to get back to Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) and complete the main story-line.  I can’t say I was overwhelmed by the ending.  However, given the way the story had been going, it wasn’t any worse than I was expecting. In fact, the best part for me was after the final credits and being thrown back into the sandbox world, a new ‘Strangers and Freaks’ mission appeared for Trevor at his home.  We get to meet his mother and find out some of the source of his various issues. Continue reading

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The Room Two: It’s A Kind Of Magic

I’ve been playing a few cheap/nearly free ‘adventure’ games on the Android lately.  These are of the ‘get item/use item in appropriate location’ style adventures.  Ever since the early days of these things (even before they became graphical and were text based) one problem the genre had was that sometimes there didn’t appear to be any logic involved in which item was used where. The worst examples become an exercise in simply trying every object you have on every object you can see.

The other issue is that once you really start thinking about these things, you wonder just how some objects got there in the first place, and how you’re finding them so fortuitously.  If a game does it well, you don’t notice this, but once you do notice it, you can’t stop. Continue reading

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Grand Theft Auto V – Is This The End?

Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) is in a strange place for me.  I’ve put a lot of hours into the game – mostly playing around in the sandbox and doing a few side missions.  I suspect I’ve spent maybe 5% of those hours on the main story missions.  If that.  In fact, I’ve yet to finish the main storyline.  Truthfully, I’m not sure when (or if) I will. Continue reading

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