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* Posts by Filippo

514 posts • joined 24 Nov 2007

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This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO

Filippo

Re: About that self-professed rational liberalism

But he doesn't. He replied to you with some "lefty" concepts he also believes in, and in which a truly rabid free marketer doesn't, such as welfare, regulation of monopolies, and so on. That assertion is well substantiated by his other articles.

You can say that he's in contradiction (which is arguable, but nevermind), but not that those are the only things he believes in.

Also, the points in this article are solid regardless of what the author believes. The idea that forcing people to buy locally made panels would help solar power adoption rates is just plain nuts.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

Filippo

Re: Pääbo.

Well, the two things are not completely exclusive. The definition of species as "can't interbreed" kinda breaks down a bit over very long time scales. When a species splits into two, it takes a very long time, during which things are not so clear. You can have some time during which two groups can interbreed, some time during which they can mate and usually produce fertile offspring, and some time during which they can mate and usually produce infertile offspring, before they get to the point where they definitely can't interbreed - and each of these stages can last hundreds of generations, and they may not even progress at the same rate across geographically distinct areas.

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Filippo

Re: Eric Raymond's (in)famous quote

I disagree with Raymond's quote. "Being direct" means telling what's wrong, why, and how to fix it. Insults *are* exactly the sort of bullshit Raymond claims they're cutting through. They suggest that someone is more concerned about feeling smug and superior than he is about solving problems.

People who *actually* want to solve problems stay technical. They don't get into pissing contests. They sure as hell don't actively try to bring the discussion to the emotional level. That's just about the last thing you should do if you want to solve problems.

We're humans, not robots; we have a hard time keeping a conversation strictly technical - but, at least, let's not kid ourselves about it by trying to argue that hacker bullshit smells nicer than HR bullshit, okay? It's all bullshit.

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One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Filippo

Trust

The problem of trust needs to be underlined more sharply, and more often. The current lifecycle of Microsoft frameworks is simply unacceptable, and it's starting to become a problem. Not everyone is making "apps" that are supposed to be maintained for three years tops before the public loses interest; some of us are making stuff that has an expected lifetime measured in decades.

Personally, I'm not even doing a "Hello World" in WinRT unless and until somebody is asking explicitly for it, and paying me for it. At the moment, I'd rather use HTML/JavaScript, which I absolutely loathe for a multitude of reasons, but which at least is pretty much certain to remain a first-class citizen for more than a few years.

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Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway

Filippo

1000 years for the media, how much for the reader?

It's kinda pointless to have a support that lasts 1000 years. You can reasonably prove that the support will last 1000 years, if stored properly.

But you certainly can't prove that the *readers* will still be around that far in the future; arguably, that's extremely unlikely. At some point, the economics of building them will fail. The cost to keep replacing them will climb steeply. Eventually, it will become cheaper to just copy all the data to a new "1000 years tech" - which will succumb to the same fate way before 1000 years have passed. And so on and so forth.

Basically, there's no way you can avoid having to migrate all the data every now and then. You can try to reduce the number of times you need to do so, but the reliability of the support is not the major factor for this (not beyond a few decades). The fact that these disks can be read using standard readers is probably much more useful than their 1000 years duration. But, arguably, you could use BRs, get pretty much the same result, and save a load of money.

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New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

Filippo

Re: Well yes...

Yup. Being generous, it looks like 50 bucks per megabyte.

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This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...

Filippo

Poor model

I wish I could just install some other app instead of the one I want that requires so many permissions. But usually damn near every other app has the same problem, or just isn't as good as the original one.

What we need is the ability to install an app, run it, and grant or deny the permissions it requires individually, at the moment it requires them, with an option to remember the choice or not.

The fact that such a blindingly obvious and easily implemented improvement has not appeared yet tells me that the OS providers just don't want it.

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Filippo

Re: BBC Worldwide @AC

AC, you're missing the point. The "mechanisms to verify that the traffic is legitimate" *are themselves* a problem. Any such mechanism would involve at the very least some kind of inspection on your private tunnel. Doing that on a profile basis, i.e. on everyone who has a lot of VPN traffic, is completely unacceptable: the real world analogy would be, as Trevor describes, to stop and search every black man with baggy clothes.

It doesn't matter that you're found innocent after the inspection; *the inspection itself* is a violation of your rights. Overruling your right to privacy can be done, but it should require a court order, not "just because".

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IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

Filippo

What Watson does is a fundamentally different type of "thinking" compared to what a human does; as a result, we can reasonably expect to miss a lot of things that a human would catch, but also to catch at least some things that a human would miss. That's where the value is.

The machine will sometimes make mistakes that are obvious to a human (like ignoring real-world knowledge that humans deem too self-evident to put in the paper), but humans sometimes make mistakes that are obvious to a machine (like overestimating the correctness of a paper that shows a result you desire). A human using a machine has a good chance of spotting both types.

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Crucial MX100 256GB SSD: Cut-throat competition in flash land

Filippo

It may not be top speed, but at that price/size ratio it's in a good position to get sold to some people who are still using HDDs, and for most common uses any SSD is going to feel vastly faster than nearly any HDD, simply because of no seek time.

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

Filippo

Re: Renewable is OK but...

Right, while burning fossils instead, which is what Chile will have to do now, is SO much better for nature.

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Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

Filippo

Re: Language skills?

I'm pretty sure the conversation was in English. Choosing a character for which English is not the primary language is probably a trick to plausibly invalidate language-based jokes.

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Rich bitch sorority girls actually more likely to put out than low-class 'sluts': Study

Filippo

semantics

Girl who sleeps around = open-minded

Girl who sleeps around, but not with you = slut

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It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Filippo

Re: 25mph (about 40kmph),

In lots of urban areas, if you could drive 40 kph reliably, but not more than that, you'd still be going about as fast as now or faster.

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Filippo

The bright eyed messianic ones eventually evolve into the gnarly old been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt ones.

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Tesla's TOP SECRET gigafactories: Lithium to power world's vehicles? Let's do the sums

Filippo

Re: SIlly

That's actually Tim's point. Lots of elements are not economic at the moment to extract and process at the concentration that they currently exist at, but there is no shortage of them.

If the low-hanging fruit runs out, you don't run out of fruit - you just buy a ladder, and sell the fruit for a little bit more. It's not the apocalypse if Li prices increase by a bunch; and it's not like they can increase indefinitely (at some point, you're better off recycling).

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128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

Filippo

Re: Too smart for their own good?

There's little text in Indus Script, and none of it has a translation. Are you suggesting that a good encryption algorithm should only be used for a handful of messages in the whole world, and said messages should never get translated into cleartext?

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Why are Fujitsu and Toshiba growing lettuce in semiconductor plants?

Filippo

Re: Seems like there's a better cash crop...

There's probably less random arsenic in that air than in your house's. There's a reason they call them clean rooms.

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Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

Filippo

Warning sign

Quote from the article, in turn quoting the paper:

---

Even worse, it's really difficult to come up with any way to measure the economic value of product quality: “the higher quality of some of the output produced with these additional inputs may not be fully reflected in the measures of real value added growth for the subsector”.

---

In other words, "I can't find a solid number for this, so I'll just ignore it".

Be wary, be very wary, of any paper, in any subject, where any variant of that concept is expressed.

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Filippo

Premise is correct, conclusion is completely wrong

Yes, providing exactly one model of anything maximises productivity.

The correct conclusion is: there is something seriously wrong with this definition of "productivity".

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All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke

Filippo

Re: Could read it both ways.....

That's the whole point of the article.

The time it takes to change one gene gets longer if the gene is more important, because mutations to important genes are very likely to kill or cripple the individual, preventing the mutation from spreading.

25m years is a pretty long time, even for evolution; the fact that it took that long to change one gene in Y is a fairly strong indicator that all the genes left on Y are the really rather important ones. Most of those 600 genes in X have probably been evolved away much faster because they weren't needed (or, more likely, because the single copy in a male's single X was sufficient).

Studies like this one are actually strongly backing the theory of evolution.

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Asteroids as powerful as NUCLEAR BOMBS strike Earth TWICE YEARLY

Filippo

Re: yeah, well

Don't worry. Plenty of money will go into understanding, and then finding ways to mitigate, this very real external threat. It'll happen very quickly _after_ the first city gets levelled.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS

Filippo

Biometrics...

A password that you cannot change, and leave written everywhere you go. I can't fathom why people think it's a good idea.

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Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades

Filippo

Drivers

The last two "certified" WHQL drivers crash when playing The Secret World on Windows 8 about every hour. And not your regular crash-to-desktop either; you get a black screen, fans spinning to max on the card, and a message from the OS saying that the driver stopped responding and was restarted.

The previous ones fortunately only crash once in a while, but when they do they bring down the whole system. As in, hard reset required. Both these issues have been confirmed by multiple users.

Just when I finally get tired of AMD's crap drivers and decide to switch to Nvidia, this is what I get. Makes sense.

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Filippo

Frustration makes people angry

In other news, water is wet.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Filippo

Causes cancer, prevents cancer...

We really hate the idea of a risk that we can't control at all, do we?

Except for some well-known factors, ultimately whether you get cancer or not is almost completely down to blind luck. Avoid the really idiotic stuff like smoking or hanging around uranium. Hope you don't have broken genes. But after that, if you work really hard at it, all you can do is very, very marginal improvements. Ultimately, you're mortal, deal with it.

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Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

Filippo

The last videogame I played on my PC saw that I had Visual Studio installed, decided I must be a cracker, and refused to run. After wrestling with it for the best part of a day, I gave up and cracked it.

It's not the money. I regularly go to the cinema, despite ticket prices being, frankly, insane. The problem is accessibiliy, availability and ease of use. That's where content owners need to start competing with piracy.

At the moment, legal copies of stuff are *less* valuable than pirated copies (DRM means you're not sure it'll work on every device where you might want to see it), and a lot harder to get (good luck finding a legal copy of the latest American TV show subtitled in your language of choice). I wouldn't want them even for free.

But give me a legal way to get a standard video format download of anything I want, with subtitles in any major language, available 24 hours after the first TV or DVD release, and here, you can have my money.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Filippo

Re: What do we do for those for whom it works?

I had an "incurable" skin condition when I was a kid too. Modern medicine offered some cortisone for the days when it was real bad, but nothing to really cure it. Not believing in unproven "medicine", I didn't turn to anything else - I simply lived with it. Now guess what - I'm 33 and it's nearly disappeared, only occasionally flaring up a little but even then perfectly manageable without treatment. At this rate I'm pretty sure it'll be gone by the time I'm 40.

Of course, if I had taken to homeopathy, I'd have had the exact same result, which are exactly the same results you've had (down to the white patch of hair, which I've had since I was 20!), with the only difference that I'd be mistakenly attributing them to homeopathy.

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Ray-Ban to produce Google Glass data-goggs: Cool - or Tool?

Filippo

more accurately

Google used not to be in the hardware business.

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

Filippo

<XP

What does it say if you're running, say, Win98?

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Rise of the Machines: Robot challenges top German player at ping-pong

Filippo

Re: Woooaaahhh

The obvious serviable slave isn't reason enough?

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Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Filippo

Unwanted roaming data

During a trip to Portugal, my GF was surprised to find a few €s in data roaming charges, when she had disabled data roaming on her phone before leaving.

Turns out that due to some kind of bug in Android, there can be a small window of time, right after connecting to the network, during which the phone is connected to the network, but it doesn't know it's roaming. If the phone decides to download an update at this point, sure enough it will download until it figures out it's roaming.

Yeah, I know - I wouldn't believe it either, but I saw this happen with my own eyes. I googled the issue, and I'm not the only one either. I don't know what versions of Android are affected; the phone in question was 2.3.

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Tired of arguing with suits? Get ready to argue with engineers!

Filippo

Re: Let me get this straight

Agree, and I work specifically in this field. It's not that hard - the heavy machinery is well-known to be inherently insecure, so you keep it behind a layer of indirectness or three. I know enough of heavy machinery to know they can't really be secured, they know enough about IT to know there's hostile traffic, we set the whole thing up so that the heavy machinery is well shielded. Problems arise when someone thinks it would be really cool to be able to run their factory from their smartphone, or when they don't want to spend a single extra buck on making the design secure, or when they feel that having to enter passwords is an unacceptable drag on productivity.

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So cool it 2.4 gigahertz: BATTERY-FREE comms for international band

Filippo

I wonder how much power it takes to refresh an e-ink display.

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Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie

Filippo

Re: Idiot film-makers

WinCE is still pretty widespread in industrial environments. And not just in legacy devices too.

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This tool demands access to YOUR ENTIRE DIGITAL LIFE. Is it from GCHQ? No - it's by IKEA

Filippo

My thought exactly. If it's a desktop application, there's nothing especially strange about it being able to access all of your files, given that desktop OSes simply don't have the same permission model that mobiles have. Chances are that Chrome just shows that warning on any .exe you download - I don't even see how it could possibly know what permissions the program requires. On Windows, pretty much the only choice is whether to require administrator or not, but even that is not something that can be easily learned without trying to run the app.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Filippo
Mushroom

Re: Practicality?

Technically, as food ultimately grows from sunlight, it's solar-powered. Then again, knowing how sunlight is made, it's actually nuclear-powered. On the other hand, knowing how stars are made, it turns out it *really is* gravity-powered. So the article was right after all!

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

Filippo

Re: Prove him wrong once and for all.

It's pointless. You won't get the thing. If you're lucky, they'll tell you it's backlogged; if you're unlucky, they'll take the money and then apply delaying strategies until you have to sue.

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Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

Filippo

Re: I read this and I think

Yup. Freedom is a process, not a product.

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Filippo

Either we're alone, or we're not

Both possibilities are equally terrifying.

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Dying HealthCare.gov bagged JUST SIX registrations on first day

Filippo

Re: Is this really an IT issue?

It's quite impressive to a foreigner that you consider 1200$/mo PLUS up to 5K$ in case something happens to be a good deal. The mind boggles at considering what would be considered a bad deal - death, I guess?

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Do+ you+ use+ Google+? Seemingly+ you+ DO+

Filippo

Depends on what they mean by "on" Google+. At some point I turned my gmail account into a Google+ account, for reasons I can't remember, but I've never even visited the actual service. I suspect I'm not the only one.

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

Filippo

Re: One question...

Like most viruses, phages are extremely specific. As a treatment, they would be way more accurate than antibiotics, which notoriously tend to kill off good bacteria as well.

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Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in anti-freetard crackdowns

Filippo

Streaming is a bad substitute for downloading. With my connection, I'm unlikely to get a reliable SD stream, and a HD stream is mathematically impossible. This is unlikely to change any time soon. And how many streaming services work with the PS3 I mostly use to watch stuff? It's pointless for studios to offer me cheap streaming, as I can't trust it to work in the first place. I wouldn't even want it for free.

And DRM poses similar problems - I can't trust it to work on my favored devices, I can't trust it to work ten years from now, I can't trust it to be able to be backupped or carried to a friend's home to watch together. Hell, even if they somehow came up with a DRM scheme that actually works perfectly, at this point the concept is so poisoned that it'd take years before I gave it a chance.

A straight AVI is free, but the important thing is that it JUST WORKS. Drag'n'drop it on a USB key, and nearly everything on the planet will reliably play it with one or two button clicks. They need to understand that their problem is not "competing against free". It's competing against *easy and reliable*.

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Cannabis can CURE CANCER - cheaply and without getting you high

Filippo

Actually, what I'm more concerned about is that when it comes to cancer, I'd really rather get treated with the most effective drug - not the most cost-effective one.

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London schoolboy cuffed for BIGGEST DDOS ATTACK IN HISTORY

Filippo

Re: 24hrs later

The Register don't just copy/paste news from agencies. They do actual analysis. I'll take that over getting it a few hours earlier any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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Apple Maps directs drivers INTO path of ONCOMING PLANES

Filippo

There are three sides at fault here, and, frankly, Apple is the least of them. Navigators are not perfect, they can't be, and they should be expected to make the occasional mistake.

On the other hand, drivers should not follow a satnav's direction blindly, and signs - not to mention common sense - always take precedence over whatever the satnav is saying.

And finally, what the hell? The airport has a direct access from the public road to the runway that doesn't even have a fence? I'm not calling for three meters tall concrete walls, but seriously, every airport I've ever seen in the first world has at least a fence. Anyone could be an idiot even without a satnav.

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Java updates too much of a bother? Maybe online banking's just not for you

Filippo

If my bank required Java for online access, I would seriously consider changing bank.

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Boffins: Earth will be habitable for only 1.75 BEEELLION more years

Filippo

Re: but what about us?

On the other hand, so far humanity has a 100% success rate at not getting extinct.

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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

Filippo

Genetic engineering of humans will fix this very soon. Not soon on a personal scale, possibly not soon on a historical scale, but definitely soon on an evolutionary scale. Unless we all die first, of course.

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