Re: We only found out about the problems in the last board meeting
"Any other talent is an o̶p̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶e̶x̶t̶r̶a̶ actual disadvantage" FTFY
1931 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007
"Any other talent is an o̶p̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶e̶x̶t̶r̶a̶ actual disadvantage" FTFY
"On this one occasion, I read a message from a friend, that related to a very important family incident that I was not aware of (and needed to be aware of).
The header was not unusual at all.
Why did I choose to do that with this one message out of thousands?"
Here's a possible rational explanation: in scanning the junk (a lot) more processing is happening than you think --- you are just not conscious of it. Something in the content jarred and the unconscious scan poked your consciousness and said, hey, read this one.
No telepathy involved; and none in the reported experiment either --- one makes ones brain do something distinct by deliberately focusing on a different stimulus, the signal is transmitted, and a stimulus is presented to the recipient, where the two stimuli that are possible are easily distinguished.
"I was afraid the cops would get him confused with me and put me in jail for his crimes" -- ma1010
You're lucky. I look like bloody Anders Breivik.
"[a] Even identical twins don't have identical DNA ... [b] there is a lot of random rearrangement ... [c] this isn't something that could be used in a legal case as it's a very specialised difference." -- Adam Trickett
[a] Yes, but for most practical (i.e. forensic) purposes it is, if not actually impossible, difficult to distinguish using the standard routine procedures -- unlike the fingerprints;
[b] I would dispute your use of 'a lot' --- you could detect copy number variants; possibly some epigenetic changes; possibly some age-related changes (more success likely with older twins) but it's likely you'd need more detailed tests than a standard 'genetic fingerprint';
[c] if it were important enough to genetically distinguish between 'identical' twins it would be possible; but if there was decent fingerprint evidence you wouldn't have to bother ... which was kind of my point.
"I thought the evil twin defence is a defence used by actual twins, where it is not possible to prove which twin committed the crime" -- SuccessCase
For identical twins, even though the DNA is the same, some other factors (e.g. fingerprints) are different.
"No. It increases quadratic[al]ly, not exponentially." -- Phil Endecott
Apart from the spelling, this has got to be pedantic correction of the week.
"Physio the rapist" -- Rich 11
Positively benign compared to "Psycho the rapist"
Thanks big_D, understood.
I've got a 2.0 TDI A3 cabriolet, and have noticed a sort of bimodal behaviour. If I drive making 'effective progress' I get a pretty reasonable (for the performance) high 40s / low 50s mpg. However, if I really back off on the throttle (keeping the same sort of top speeds, but really accelerating slowly and coasting to decelerate) it jumps straight to low or even mid 60s. Am I turning on testing mode? And if so, am I about to run out of something (urea?) as a result?
... from the opposite direction: realising that some people could not afford to do a couple of hours work a week if they could get it, without incurring huge financial penalties. How can that make sense? Every hour that one is prepared to work should make one marginally better off, unless it is an explicit (whether stated or not) aim of the government to keep some people out of jobs.
We could also save a huge amount of money by dismantling the enormous, massively intrusive system of benefits and replacing it with non-means tested alternatives. A system which couldn't be gamed, i.e. housing costs + a minimum income with additional benefits reserved only for special needs would seem to be much more useful.
@gokr, thank you very much for your detailed response -- I will look for you on IRC
Yes, I read the blog post. I'm certainly not a Smalltalk expert either (I was, once upon a time); my view is that:
As for improved syntax, I'm sorry but I don't see persuasive examples here. Smalltalk doesn't have any syntax apart from three reserved words, some delimiters and a particular form of message passing. There is certainly no syntax for handling dictionaries or other collections, you just send them messages. If you don't like the standard messages, you can use different ones. Is it that you don't like the way messages are passed?
I'm not sure what the advantage with not declaring a functions parameters is. If you want a function with variable arity, aren't you just passing it a collection of parameters? (Or, even better, invoking a function implemented by a particular class of collection?)
Every variety of Smalltalk I have used integrates easily with C.
Smalltalk supports parallel code but support for native threads is interesting - however, the lack of this in most Smalltalks is an issue of the Virtual Machine, rather than the language.
I'm not dismissing potential improvements here - I'm extremely interested. In particular I may have misunderstood the issue concerning functions. I would concur that many Smalltalks have ended up 95% like ST-80 but I think there is a good reason for that; it is, in my opinion, nearly perfect. I also think though, that in agreeing that all Smalltalks are very nearly ST-80, you have somewhat undermined your argument that it is difficult to compare its advantages to Smalltalk in general, rather than a specific implementation. If that is true, it suggests to me that your real advances are primarily in the interpretation of bytecodes (i.e. VM work) rather than in language design.
... what advantages it has to Smalltalk. Anyone care to explain?
"I thought we all used the microwave for drying clothes...." -- Boris the Cockroach
Yeah, but it's only you that can survive doing it whilst wearing them!
Funding Committee (via Skype): "There's been a misunderstanding, Doctor, we were sure your application stated research into composite bosons"
The only trouble is that it goes titsup if you lie back
This could be dangerous in the wrong hands, let's keep it away from the Norks.
"was it obvious in 1996?"
I don't know how old you are but I suspect many of us could have written the regexp for detecting telephone numbers in 1986 let alone 1996, it would only be something like [^0-9+-() ]\+?[0-9-() ]+[^0-9+-()] I'm sure that can be revised but as I just typed it without stopping (I'm walking the dog at the moment) and I'd hardly call myself a coding genius, that should give you an idea how easy it is.
"But what's his stance on tech? "
Let's just remember, we aren't voting for a dictator, or even a president. It's quite possible that he will form a (shadow) cabinet which will temper his most left-wing views: we won't know until we see a manifesto.
The problem with British democracy remains a dire combination of First Past the Post, the whip system, and the left-right partisanship. We've decided that swinging from boom to bust is bad, why is the only way we can moderate our government by swinging from right to left? Can't we have: a parliament roughly reflecting the views of the electorate; MPs voting according to their conscience and their constituencies even if this is sometimes against the views of their leadership; and sensible constructive discussion leading to consensus government?
I live in safe seat - my national vote will make no difference at all. It's a bit of a relief really: as a pro-military liberal; a pro-nuclear green; an anti-pansurveillance patriot and a fervent believer in both market capitalism and a state health service, I have no idea who I could vote for anyway.
"depends what you consider to be a "widely accepted fact"." --- raving angry loony
Indeed -- the only way to tell whether it something is widely accepted is to take a sample of the population at random and ask them. That is the point of doing jury duty selection at random. Jurors should be trusted to exercise proper judgement in the specific case under consideration; where you can't rely on this a process without a jury would be more appropriate.
Also the precise nature of the question matters. Do you think that sexism is so endemic in the IT that women can never be treated fairly? No. Do you think there is sometimes sexism in the IT that affects the careers of women? Possibly, I don't know. Do you agree there is no place for sexism in IT? Yes. Do agree there is no sexism in the IT industry? No.
"Would you want a bunch of Apple fanbois on the jury, deciding if Android infringes Apple's rounded images patent?" -- AC
No, I'd want a representative sample of the population. That could easily include one or more 'fanbois' and/or one or more Apple sceptics. If you are going to outright chose your jury you'd be better off with a non-jury trial informed by bunch of hand-picked experts; if you are doing a jury trial you need to make sure that your jury represents the population at large. The more 'selection' that is allowed, the more chance the randomly chosen sample will deviate significantly from the make-up of the population. In fact, that is why preemptory challenge was abolished in the UK by the 1988 Criminal Justice Act.
That shocked me too. What's the next step in juror selection, asking people if they might possibly find for the plaintiff, and rejecting anyone who says yes?
Sorry that's a bit garbled, I'm not well at the moment. Say you have a dictionary including common passwords. You then get access to the a set of bcrypt12 hashes and the salt . You can now begin to check for passwords - you add the salt to each password in your dictionary and run it through bcrypt12. Problem - that is a slow algorithm (on purpose). However, AM had also stored the MD5s of some tokens they had foolishly made (I may be simplifying a bit) by concatenating together lowercase usernames, passwords and a salt. "johnhwoods::password123::salt". Now, MD5 is fast, and you know the usernames and the salt, so you can very quickly look for collisions. If you find that password123 gives you a collision, you know that some case variant of it is the answer. So now, you only need to check 256 case variants: you'd probably start "as is" then the 8 combinations with one capital, then the 28 with two etc. Suddenly instead of needing to run your whole dictionary through bcrypt you just have a few variations.
My understanding is this:
They effectively stored what amounted to the MD5 hashes of the passwords AS WELL as the bcrypt ones.
Brcypt$12$, applies 2^12 (4096) rounds of hashing. This should make the leaked bcrypt passwords very expensive to crack, and that's why AM said the passwords were safe. HOWEVER, there were also "tokens" of some sort, represented by the MD5 hashes of (prior to about June 2014) a concatenation of the lowercased username, lowercased password and the salt string. The salt and usernames being known, very many guesses could be made at the password: you just run through a list of lowercase passwords, inserting them into the input and, because MD5 is so fast (unlike bcrypt) very many guesses of these can be made in a short space of time. When you get a collision, you know what the lowercase of the password is. So then you just have to try all that password in every possible case combination and (especially as many of the passwords had low numbers of capitals -- many had none -- this is not that hard) run those through bcrypt$12$ to find out what the password was.
"Snake, SNAKE, SNAAAKE!?"
"I don't understand why password meters should not be used, except to facilitate the cracking by intelligence agencies." --- SII
I think it's just because they are crap -- see examples above. The only realistic way to check user-generated password complexity is to ensure that it's not on a list of known passwords. It might be possible to make a reasonable stab at guessing whether a given password is from a password manager though, by applying various tests of randomness.
I googled that and only got your comment! I have received a fair few business cards over the years and, although there have been some odd shapes, I don't think I've ever had an A shape one: I think A9 would be a bit too small anyway, it's more like a coupon. Maybe A8 might do the trick.
... would be an unusual shape. AN is 2^-N square metres with sides in the ratio of 1:sqrt(2); A9 is 37.2mm x 52.6mm. Most business cards are 85mm x 55mm aren't they? Probably US ones are in inches but i think they are a bit too oblong to be A-shape.
1) revolver different story
2) actually some (rare) revolvers do rotate the cylinder on firing, these are called "automatic" (although, strictly speaking they are of course semi-automatic). Manual (most) revolvers rotate the cylinder and cock the hammer when you pull the trigger (rather than when you fire the round).
You don't need Strong AI to drive a car, otherwise most of the people on the road would be incapable of driving.
DropBear, I'm very glad you survived this collision. I wouldn't call it an accident because your description clearly shows the other motorist at fault. The fact that you hit him rather than him hitting you broadside is down to a bit of a knife-edge case though - for nearly all of the scenarios where a vehicle emerges from this sidestreet into your path, you would have been able to stop.
This is why I was at pains to use the term almost always. There may never be an autonomous car that could have avoided that motorist but there will certainly be one - in fact there probably already is one - that can avoid very many more of these situations than us humans can -- even just the reduction of a 200ms eye-to-brake latency translates to nearly 3m at 30mph, and that's before we factor in the ability of a computer to exert nearly maximum breaking nearly instantly.
"if a vehicle comes out of a side street into your path immediately in front of you a collision is inevitable." --- Smooth Newt
Unless the vehicle hits your door, this is almost always a failure of anticipation. You didn't see the sidestreet or you did but you didn't see the approaching vehicle was unlikely to stop, etc. If you *couldn't see* either of those things, you were almost certainly doing some combination of going too fast and paying too little attention.
"I also like Tim's articles, even though I often disagree with some of his positions on free markets, etc."
Absolutely ... almost the opposite of my politics ... or so I thought. But, inspired by Mr Worstall, I actually read Adam Smith, and realized that almost everything I thought was wrong with free market capitalism was because the markets aren't actually free enough. I should emphasize this means in terms of competition; Adam Smith does not seem to have been particularly against regulation, rather the opposite: that government regulation (e.g. anti-cartel regulation) is absolutely essential but within that competition should be as unfettered as possible.
""1.44MB", just because weenie programmers are wedded to this bizarre shibboleth, but can't even use it consistently." -- pnony
1.44MB is an excellent choice if you want to complain about lack of consistency because the M is neither mebi nor mega but kibi-kilo (or kilo-kibi)!
(512 bytes per sector x 18 sectors per track x 80 tracks per side x 2 sides = 1440 x 1024)
Mentioning natural selection here confuses me and, in any case, I would disagree with the (equivalent) definitions you have offered. What is the 'systematic removal of the points on the left hand side'? Is it people starving to death? Skills becoming less valuable? Increases in minimum wage? I would argue the first isn't natural selection because it's about entities not traits, the second isn't because it's not about heritable traits and the third isn't because it doesn't appear to be related to natural selection at all.
Surely winning and losing, economically, are easy to define. One is winning either if one's relative standard of living is increasing or, if it remains the same in relation to others, one's absolute standard of living is improving (even if one remains on the left hand side). It is perfectly possible, relatively speaking, for only a minority of the population to be winning, as there's no guarantee the distribution will remain the same shape.
I rather like the sound of "biglet"
PS Home, when it first came out, had people coming up to you and saying ****O! because the HELL had been blipped. Also, 1 Billion people weren't allowed to refer to their own nationality because INDIAN is only ever an unacceptable word for Native American.
"I'd like a magic tool to auto-block all domains outside of the traditional .com, .net,. .co.uk, .org.au, .gov.nz, and so on." - Tannin
No magic required, dnsmasq will do what you want.
"On top of this .science isn't even in available to the general public! (yet)" -- TheOtherMatt
I think it is - I registered one just to get an email address @itsnotexactlyrocket.science. I'm not flinging any malware (or anything at all) from the address though.
baited with what?
It is very unlikely more than 10 people need to be in either the TO or even the CC field of an email. Why there are still not safeguards in email clients in 2015, I just have no idea.
"It is a bug not a data breach." The first part of the sentence is true, the second part is an outright falsehood. I do not understand how organisations are allowed to get away with making such statements.
"Stop calling me SOME PIG"
+1 for old ThinkPad T4xxs. You can even add an eGPU to get an Alienware-thrashing gaming performance when plugged in back at the dorm, and a reasonable 24" dorm monitor / TV is a very cheap addition too. Away from the dorm you get robustness, easy repair as you mentioned, and a boring looking laptop that will be near the bottom of the pile in attractiveness to thieves.
"A set cannot be a member of itself" -- DavCrav
(Apologies to Bertrand Russell and the very large set [or class] of people whose maths is better than mine if I've got this wrong but I think that ...)
... this is equivalent to saying that "the set of all sets that don't contain themselves" is the same as "the set of all sets" But clearly, because the set of all sets does contain itself, your statement is self contradictory.
In practice I seem to recall it is undecidable - you either say you are working within a system where sets can contain themselves (ZFC) where the ZF refers to Zermelo and Fraenkel and the C stands for 'Choice' (as in the Axiom of), or you say that you aren't.
Bonus AofC joke:
Q) What's yellow and equivalent to the Axiom of Choice?
A) Zorn's lemon.
"unusable to people who are red-green colorblind" -- Michael Wojcik
Did you mean red/yellow/blue button? That's hardly unusable to the colourblind once you know which button is which finger. Unlike the (still) unusable pastel shades that are the defaults for much of Excel graphs and Powerpoint templates.