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by Bjinse on Sat Oct 14th, 2017 at 08:03:44 PM EST
Is Europe's ghostliest train station about to rise again?

 It was one of the world's most opulent railway stations, sitting imposingly on the French-Spanish border - but then it fell into disrepair. Now, writes Chris Bockman, the building is showing new signs of life.

When they built the station at Canfranc, it was on a grand scale and with no expense spared. It had to be bold and modern - an architect's dream come true, built in iron and glass, complete with a hospital, restaurant and living quarters for customs officers from both France and Spain.

At the time it was nicknamed the "Titanic of the Mountains".

To give you an idea of its size - there are 365 windows, one for each day of the year; hundreds of doors; and the platforms are more than 200m long. The question is, how did such an extravagant station, high up on a mountainside in a village with a population of just 500 people, ever see the light of day?

by Bjinse on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 11:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's Dodo?  This is his gig.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 04:36:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dodo is another on the list of the long gone. Although in his case he isn't on FB (afaik) either so he really has fallen off the world

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 04:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Question: Long Gone ... gone where?  Is ET so non-informational that it's not worth a comment?  What do these people spend their time doing?  I DON'T GET IT !!  What's up with Jerome? At least Mig pops up now and then.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 08:26:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
gone, as n no longer posting on ET. Beyond that, I don't know.

He worked for Hungarian Railways, but his department was privatised then downsized and he lost his job. Beyond that, I don't know as he stopped posting.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 06:57:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh shit.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 08:33:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why so judgemental?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 09:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, at least you pop up now and again :-)

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 at 12:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corporations Have Utterly Failed to Protect Speech - Motherboard
Facebook and Twitter are hurting those they should be protecting.

Add this all to the ongoing trainwreck regarding possible election interference on Facebook (a byproduct of the company running ads from essentially anyone who can pay and relying largely on user reports to weed out the bad), and it's very clear that there is a serious problem with how private corporations manage public speech. Namely, the corporations in charge of the largest speech platforms on Earth have utterly failed to manage speech on those platforms, and increasingly seem incapable of doing so.

The actions that Facebook and Twitter take to police speech don't follow any kind of moral compass, are disproportionately applied, and--at least outwardly--seem completely arbitrary. They are full of false equivalences, as in the case of Lil B being banned because, as one Facebook spokesperson told Motherboard, if you flipped his comment around to say black people are violent that would be hateful: "If you just took a step back and replaced it with anything else, those are the type of things that our hate speech policies are intended to capture and they apply equally to all races," the spokesperson said. As if these same platforms aren't full of white people, often with connections to power, saying racist, harmful, hateful things with impunity.

These companies' actions are also often arbitrary and callous, as is the case with Facebook's ongoing campaign to force trans people to use their legal names, a policy that also puts sex workers and survivors of abuse at risk.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 12:17:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, the ultra-rich screwing over the rest of us.  Big surprise.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 04:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect their biggest problem is that the problem is absolutely colossal and they have no interest in losing the profit that would be used employing the necessary number of people to police it effectively

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 04:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heken: they have no interest in losing the profit

As they write in the article:

Every piece of content on their platforms is monetizable and they are managing customers, not citizens.
[...]

Despite Facebook's recent attempts to address the issue under government pressure, the Russian ad problem is not a bug, it's a feature. It's discourse by market demand. The health or quality of speech matters only insofar as it is a value-proposition.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 06:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And me ... a dinosaur ... without even a cell phone, much less a "device".  Oh woe is me.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 08:28:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Silicon Valley Is Inserting Its Biases Into Nearly Every Technology We Use - Motherboard
In 2015, a Google Photo algorithm auto-tagged two black friends as "gorillas," a result of the program having been under-trained to recognize dark-skinned faces. That same year, a British pediatrician was denied access to the women's locker room at her gym because the software it used to manage its membership system automatically coded her title--"doctor"--as male. Around the same time, a young father weighing his two-and-a-half-year-old toddler on a smart scale was told by the accompanying app not to be discouraged by the weight gain--he could still shed those pounds!

These examples are just a glimpse of the embedded biases encoded in our technology, catalogued in Sara Wachter-Boettcher's new book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech. Watcher-Boettcher also chronicles more alarming instances of biased tech, like crime prediction software programs that mistakenly code black defendants as having a higher risk of committing another offense than white defendants, and design flaws in social media platforms that leave women and people of color wide open to online harassment.

Nearly all of these examples, she writes, are the result of an insular, mostly-white, tech industry that has built its own biases into the foundations of the technology we use and depend on.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 12:21:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On face recognition technologies and non-white people, there is of course Joy Buolamwini's work:

'A white mask worked better': why algorithms are not colour blind - Guardian

A lot of your work concerns facial recognition technology. How did you become interested in that area?
When I was a computer science undergraduate I was working on social robotics - the robots use computer vision to detect the humans they socialise with. I discovered I had a hard time being detected by the robot compared to lighter-skinned people. At the time I thought this was a one-off thing and that people would fix this.

Later I was in Hong Kong for an entrepreneur event where I tried out another social robot and ran into similar problems. I asked about the code that they used and it turned out we'd used the same open-source code for face detection - this is where I started to get a sense that unconscious bias might feed into the technology that we create. But again I assumed people would fix this.

So I was very surprised to come to the Media Lab about half a decade later as a graduate student, and run into the same problem. I found wearing a white mask worked better than using my actual face.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 12:25:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...  an insular, mostly-white, tech industry that has built its own biases into the foundations of the technology we use and depend on.

There's nothing stopping her or anybody else from rewriting the code.  You can do that in software.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 04:23:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Man makes the machine, yo.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 06:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those who take decisions about the code that will go into production are those who wield power in the tech industry. Mostly white; mostly male.

Not a terribly complicated concept.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 at 07:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is stupid to expect Silicon Valley Techbros to be anything other than Silicon Vally Techbros.

Not a terribly complicated concept.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Oct 21st, 2017 at 11:39:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did anyone say otherwise?
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Oct 23rd, 2017 at 06:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Google's Latest Self-Learning AI Is Like an "Alien Civilisation Inventing Its Own Mathematics"
"What we're seeing here is a model free from human bias and presuppositions. It can learn whatever it determines is optimal, which may indeed be more nuanced that our own conceptions of the same."

It's a good thing then that in the very near future all human activity will be playing Go. Obversely, the GOOG machine can play Go for everyone on planet otherwise occupied.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 19th, 2017 at 10:17:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"What we're seeing here is a model free from human bias and presuppositions. It can learn whatever it determines is optimal, which may indeed be more nuanced that our own conceptions of the same."

If it kills off all the Republicans and Tories, I'll say "Job well done."

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 20th, 2017 at 01:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We went through the same hysteria* with Watson/DeepBlue after it won the Jeopardy match in 2011.  One result was MD Anderson pouring $60 million into a joint venture and achieved nothing.

The MD Anderson nightmare doesn't stand on its own. I regularly hear from startup founders in the AI space that their own financial services and biotech clients have had similar experiences working with IBM.

The narrative isn't the product of any single malfunction, but rather the result of overhyped marketing, deficiencies in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data preparation demands.

AlphaGo is a Go playing Expert System.  It can never be more than that because Neural Net technology does not allow it to be anything more.  Both Hinton ("We need to start over") and LeCun (They don't work in the real world") let the cat out of the bag on that one.  

* a psychological disorder whose symptoms include selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and over dramatic or attention-seeking behavior.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 12:15:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When Watson will be responsible for its own marketing, then we have Artificial Intelligence.

Learning Go for 960 hours straight up to a superb level is kinda cool, but... extremely dorky.

The annual top chess engine competition is under way. No Google or IBM products there, because staying behind an open source champion would be bad marketing.

by das monde on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 03:59:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"AI" per se is an insidious oxymoron. As I said, "man makes the machine." A machine, automation or automated processes --a type of system requires standardization of its constituents (systematic value) in order to guarantee predictability of its purposes-- are by definition artificial, not "natural," phenomena. Thus, as AK has said, "It can never be more than that", strictly speaking  because its human designer(s> do "not allow it to be anything more." The limiting factor even to parallel processing or "distributed" schemes on which astonishing! computing power rely, I think, will always be the programmatic scope of intelligence its engineers define.

I've been considering bitcoin and npm "block chain" theory and praxis as emulations of "best practices" in computing R&D. And I am not persuaded this method can or will obtain efficiencies in production or "innovation" to either human or machine benefit searches. The I/O and iteration are chiefly copies of prior "art." That is, the "system" lacks discriminating purpose.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 12:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 12:07:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS JUST IN!
Routes to Defensibility for your AI Startup
Copy of copy of copy of "a competitive strategy" is search of a business and unmet demand.

(I walk to my stacks, pull out Shapiro and Varian, Information Rules, a Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (1999) and Dolan and Simon,Power Pricing (1996)... grimace at Tho. Stewart, Wealth of Knowledge (2001)... return)

World of coders now equipped to transform 'barriers to entry' into moats.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 02:37:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If humans want Artificial God or artificial management (i.e., asking a machine to "make"/compel them), they may get that.

Corporations are AI entities already, Romney could say.

by das monde on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 10:32:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You fundamentally misunderstand the point of AI.

Its debatable whether the aims are achievable, but it's absolutely clear that the development of independent, self-enhancing intelligence - which transcends the abilities of its developers - is a core aim.

And the aim has been attained in minor ways across many fields. Google's AlphaGo developers didn't need to understand Go to master level to be able build a system capable of beating a master.

The only difference with general AI is that the goal is to automate learning itself, not to solve specific problems in one limited domain.

Of course this requires the design of a system with discrimination and abstraction - not necessarily a purpose in human terms, but still an explicit meta-goal.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Oct 23rd, 2017 at 01:17:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
props for the link: It refers to interesting (B) cases. The (A) cases being in a collection of primary and secondary research into "pricing knowledge management" I did around the turn of this century. IBM's decades-long "first mover advantage" and business model has been unraveling since the dotcom "boom". Probably SAP's, too. I no longer have the resources to follow up.

That said, all too many CS ventures, or "independent software vendors" (ISVs), share the same maintenance of effort dilemma. Apart from continually raising working capital (which determines marketing investment, inc. advertising and R&D)

The narrative business problem isn't the product of any single malfunction, but rather the result of overhyped marketing, deficiencies in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data preparation demands. failure to identify and satisfy unmet demand


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 10:03:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent
You may think that offering your seat to someone elderly on public transport is a considerate thing to do, but experts have revealed that doing so could actually hamper their health as they age.

In fact, old people should be encouraged to stand and discouraged from taking it easy in order to keep themselves fit, an Oxford professor claims.

Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser to Public Health England, has spoken out to say the elderly should try to walk for ten minutes a day and relatives should encourage to take the stairs instead of a lift or excalator.

If the bus is full, the driver should let the young people board. The elderly should walk; it's good for them.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 01:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only that but they're a bunch of fat fucks.  Was in the local Post Office yesterday ... there was this old fat fuck in front of me holding things up, carrying a cane; behind me, another old fat fuck.  They're everywhere.  They should get their social security checks cut for their own good.  Put them all on a diet.  Waste of good food anyway ... they'll just up and die any minute anyway.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 03:27:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus ... remember that old fat fuck with the cane?  After holding up the line at the Post Office he probably dottered home to watch geriatric porn.  There's an ugly thought for you ... old fat fucks getting it on.  Like watching a Harvey Weinstein video.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 03:42:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How a Healthy Economy Can Shorten Life Spans
The health of a nation's economy and the health of its people are connected, but in some surprising ways. At times like these, when the economy is strong and unemployment is low, research has found that death rates rise.
It must be healthy to do this kind of research.
by das monde on Fri Oct 20th, 2017 at 09:45:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently, life spans in southern Italy are even higher than the national average (and senior discounts at Matera museums start at 70).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Oct 20th, 2017 at 01:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for the comment section

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 20th, 2017 at 02:32:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An unusual story in that certainty of facts representing so-called antifa modus operandi elsewhere may imply international organization. To what end?

Police: Neo-Nazi demo and anti-fascist counter-protest in Tampere restless - Investigation opened

Police first called the demos peaceful, but an investigation of violent activities in the counter-protest is to be opened.
[...]
The protests were organised by the Nordic Resistance Movement and the opposing group, called "Tampere Without Nazis". The counter-protesters numbered some 800 people according to police, an estimated four times more than the neo-Nazi rally.
[...]
Counter-demonstrators detonated at least three smoke bombs during the demonstration, Yle reports. Counter-demonstrators also shortly interfered with train traffic by walking on the tracks for about half an hour. One demonstrator was taken into custody on suspicion of assault, one was detained on grounds of endangerment and two more were apprehended in order to prevent escalation. All those detained were marching in protest to the neo-Nazi gathering.

YLE is a state organ. Counterfactual reporting, if any, invited.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 11:06:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Labor's Stake in the Fight for Veterans' Health Care
[L]ike Britain's National Health Service, the VHA provides direct care to veterans, via salaried personnel who are not paid on a fee-for-service basis. As the nation's largest publicly funded, fully integrated health care network, it's a model of socialized medicine more far-reaching than the single-payer plans proposed by Congressman John Conyers and [?!] Senator Bernie Sanders (who is also a leading defender of the VHA).
[...]
Bernie Sanders, former chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the Senate and longtime defender [!] of the VHA, has introduced legislation to reduce staff shortages by allocating $5 billion to new hiring. But Secretary for Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin, who served in the Obama administration, is under White House and Congressional pressure to expand a program called "Choice" [!] instead. ...Created by Congress in 2014, Choice allows veterans who have to travel 40 miles or more to the nearest VHA facility, or who face appointment delays longer than 30 days, to use private providers instead.

archived: Faux Accompli

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 03:32:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Der Postillon
Die Spitzen von SPD, Linken und AfD haben sich heute in Berlin zu ersten Sondierungsgesprächen für die Bildung einer Opposition in der neuen Legislaturperiode getroffen. Dabei wollen sie ausloten, ob es eine gemeinsame Basis für Kritik an der Politik der Bundesregierung gibt.

Das Fazit nach den ersten Stunden war verhalten positiv, die Chance für Rot-Rot-Blau, das intern auch r2b oder Nordkorea-Opposition genannt wird, ist da.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 23rd, 2017 at 07:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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