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Robert Quattlebaum (darco)
Works at Nest Labs
Attended DigiPen Institute of Technology
Lives in San Jose, CA
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This means that Republicans have to treat doing business with President Obama and the Democrats as something bordering on philosophical treason. [...] Politicians of nearly every kind used to agree that building roads, bridges, mass-transit projects and airports was good for everybody. Now, even pouring concrete and laying track can be disrupted by weird ideological struggles.
Mark Meadows’s recent attempt to oust John Boehner reveals the challenges facing the Republicans.
Darrin Michelson's profile photo
Huh, it's like when you adopt a short term strategy suggesting the government is dysfunctional, to stand in the way of someone else, it somehow becomes a long term problem when you suddenly decide the government should function for the things you want. 
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As I mentioned in a previous post (and to which I plan to elaborate on in much more detail in a future paper or presentation), I disagree with Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking on the inherent dangers of "AI" to the survival of the human species. But I do admit, this proposal gave me pause. The key question here is, what exactly are they thinking about when they say "AI"?

The ban covers the development of weapon and defense systems which can identify potential targets, determine if they are friend or foe, and make a decision to engage and destroy the target---entirely without human intervention.

Developing such a weapon system (a drone comes to mind) doesn't necessarily need powerful "super-intelligent" AI. You need facial recognition, advanced object recognition, maybe some radios to identify specific cell-phones carried by people who are marked for death, maybe microphones and speech recognition to identify people talking about banned subjects... 

To the degree that such a ban would not impede research on general-purpose black-box AI, my inclination would be to cautiously support such a ban. I generally think that the world needs less weapons systems, not more---and removing human involvement at any point in the foreseeable future from the determination of who will live and who will die seems like a profoundly bad decision.
Frank Buss's profile photo
Thinking this ban on offensive autonomous weapons to the end would mean that artificial general intelligence (AGI ) has to be banned, too, because there are already drones which are remote controlled. If you have an AGI, it can be used to control drones without further development, and of course the military would use it.
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Cool discovery, but an absolutely dreadful name for the article.

I don't believe in a personal god (Allah, Yahweh... pick your Capital-G God), making me an atheist under all but the most unreasonable of definitions. But it is a logic error to imply that this discovery is has anything to do with the existence or nonexistence of God.

I'll say it again more plainly: the absence or presence of extra-terrestrial life is completely unrelated to the hypothetical existence of God.
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This is why EVERY company who makes a device with a radio or a network connection needs to have a security team which reviews everything, end-to-end.

You don't get to ignore security anymore. I don't care if you make a thermostat, a washing machine, or a blender. If it has a digital radio and/or a network connection, you MUST take security seriously. No excuses.
Fiat Chrysler last week quietly issued a software patch for critical security vulnerabilities related to its Uconnect vehicle-connectivity system.
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Dyn's two-factor authentication for non-DynECT accounts has been promised for over a year and has not materialized. I've given up waiting, and I'm now in the market for a new domain name registrar.

I'm leaning toward Google Domains. It uses Google's very strong authentication platform (which supports  #FidoU2F  tokens) and supports DNSSEC. It's also cheaper ($12/year vs. $15/year) and secret registrations don't cost extra (whereas Dyn charges $9.95/year for this).

Will keep using for secondary DNS for now, but I'm open to considering alternatives for that, too.
Search for and register a domain, get hosting, and build a site with Google Domains. The best of the internet backed by the security of Google.
Jared Finder's profile photoJarrett Lee's profile photo
I also use Gandi. They are a bit more expensive, but they do good things with that money, like contribute to open source, with both time and cash. 
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"The Falcon 9’s first stage continued firing for a few seconds as the upper stage broke apart, spilling a cloud of propellant vapors around the launcher. The U.S. Air Force, which is in charge of public safety at the Cape Canaveral launch range, said safety officers issued destruct commands after the rocket’s mid-air break-up."

So the big explosion at the end was the self destruct. The lower stage looked pretty much intact up until that point.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL - SpaceX and NASA are diligently working to “identify the root cause” of the June 28 in flight failure of the firms Falcon 9 rocket, as the accident investigation team focu...
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Have him in circles
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“Boeing depends on [the bank],” he said. “Over the last decade, while our competitors set up shop in lots of different countries, we’ve kept our jobs and our technology here, in part because of this arrangement. But right now, as the politicians have fun with this thing…I’m beginning to question the strategy of making and designing everything in the United States.”
"I've always had a view that sanity would prevail on issues of pragmatism. It's a sign of disfunctionality of this town now," Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney said.
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You know that you have reached the pinnacle of awesome when your Wikipedia article starts out describing you as an "English musician, singer, songwriter, and astrophysicist".

Dr. Brian May (Yes, that Brian May. From Queen. No shit. He wrote "We Will Rock You" for Christ's sake) is—apparently—also an astrophysicist collaborating with the New Horizons team analyzing the data being sent back from pluto.
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I have, when I was young, given some credence to the whole "Terminator" scenario: Someone writes the ultimate AI, it becomes self aware, and then decides to exterminate us. People who I consider to be brilliant minds share such fears: Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and +Elon Musk just to name a few. I, however, do not share this opinion. At all.

You cannot suddenly and accidentally come up with the ultimate evil-genius black-box AI with a god complex. Hell, even if that was someone's goal, I seriously doubt anyone would succeed—at least not to the point of achieving anything close to what could be considered anthrocide. 

When we start talking about AI that approaches human intelligence, it must be thought of as, at first, a child. The danger inherent in developing AI are the same dangers of having children. You might, if you are extremely unlucky and possibly a very bad parent, end up having an Adolph Hitler. Yet, people have kids all the time, despite this risk. Why do they do this? Because 1) It is rewarding to parent children, 2) the risk of having a Hitler is extremely low, 3) we teach our children to share our values so that they work well with others and not want to be Hitlers. 

Additionally, I hypothesize that, when you start talking about a black-box AI that is complex-enough to rival the problem-solving skills of a human brain in real time, you will also start running into physical constraints which make such a thing much less threatening in a practical sense. Things like power consumption, heat dissipation, and the ability to regenerate from injury or trauma.

AI doesn't worry me. What worries me is stunting AI research with fears that some sort of bad AI could "escape to the internet" (cough +Elon Musk *cough*). Pure hogwash.

Perhaps I should write a paper on this, since there is no way I'm going to be able to explain this in enough detail to convince anyone in a social media post.
Robert Quattlebaum (darco)'s profile photoFrank Buss's profile photo
I'm looking forward to read it :-)
A good short book about the dangers of AI is this one, highly recommended:
Currently I'm reading this book:
It is more scientific, extensive, and more difficult to read, but has some interesting insights.
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Interestingly enough, this failure was initially ruled out as a possible cause of the accident, as the company tested a number of the struts and didn’t see any failure at such a low level of force. Additionally, photos of the strut before launch looked “perfect” with no sign of visible damage or issues with its installation. However, when the company used sound recordings and triangulation to pinpoint a fault, the data led them back to the strut.

Impressive way to identify the origin of a catastrophic fault.
Elon Musk has announced the initial assessment for June's failed launch, indicating a faulty strut may be to blame for the accident.
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My home-brew, PIV-based physical access control system is coming along nicely.

The Raspberry PI is currently running some shell scripts which use OpenSC and OpenSSL, but for now it's just a prototype. (see it here: )

I'm using to load it on the RPI:

I'll be making a fully-integrated solution (which I'm calling FlexPACS) that is based on Node.js. It's just an empty repository at the moment, but I'm hoping to start filling it out over the next few weeks:
Robert Quattlebaum (darco)'s profile photoParashar Krishnamachari's profile photo
+Robert Quattlebaum I also have some stuff for you guys as well.  I don't know if Nehal has sent it yet or intends to do it in person.  Whatever the case, we should anyway try to meet up after I get back from New York.
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If you think the CDC is going to keep an eye out, think again.
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Have him in circles
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Software Engineer
  • Nest Labs
    Embedded Platform Connectivity Engineer, 2013 - present
  • Apple Inc.
    Display Systems Engineer, 2007 - 2013
  • Crystal Dynamics
    Art Tools Engineer, 2005 - 2007
  • Voria Studios
    Co-Founder, 2002 - 2005
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
San Jose, CA
Valdosta, GA - Bellevue, WA - Sammamish, WA - Redwood City, CA - Campbell, CA - Beech Mountain, NC
Maker of Things
My full name is Robert S. Quattlebaum.

I live in San Jose, California. I grew up in a small city in south Georgia called Valdosta.

My amateur radio call sign is N6DRC.

Bragging rights
Original author of Synfig, Made the ybox2 kit, Did some cool stuff with Christmas lights, Doing lots of Internet-of-Things stuff, Built a 3D printer, Looking for the next project
  • DigiPen Institute of Technology
    Science of Real-Time Interactive Simulation, 2000 - 2002
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Robert Quattlebaum (darco)'s +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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