Re: guaranteeing friendliness [more about reaching AGI now that Ben has improved the thread]

From: Chris Capel (
Date: Mon Dec 05 2005 - 16:11:36 MST

On 12/5/05, pdugan <> wrote:
> >Or wait three years and buy 5000 XBox 360's (each
> >effectively a teraflop machine, I hear) on EBay
> >and yard sales at 100 clams each. Same $500k, 12
> >years sooner. Like Ben said, it's really the
> >payroll that's a problem.
> >
> >Tom Buckner
> >
> My gut tells me that XBox 360's would be more problematic for extending the
> software than a typical PC,

It may be that the main impediment to using the XBox 360 for generic
software usage will be that Microsoft has put a whole lot of effort
into making them useless except for approved software. In other words,
they don't want you to run linux on them. The security extends all the
way down to the bootloader code and in the POST stages, requiring that
a special code be sent to some security chip or another based on a
hash of this or that.

On the other hand, the X-Box security was hacked pretty quickly, IIRC.
(The secret code was sniffed as it passed over the bus's wires.) The
360's may also be, though it's likely to be more difficult.

A lot of new hardware is moving this direction. Fortunately, the
relatively open PC architecture has been entrenched for a long time.
Unfortunately, this is not a condition that's guaranteed to last
forever, and many players have a big interest in seeing cheap,
general-purpose computing devices go away completely.

Chris Capel

"What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to bat a bee? What is it
like to be a bee being batted? What is it like to be a batted bee?"
-- The Mind's I (Hofstadter, Dennet)

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