* Posts by Alfred

381 posts • joined 23 Apr 2007

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AI can now tell if you're a criminal or not

Alfred

Inherently self-contradictory

A claim of "no biases whatsoever due to past experience" except that they made it work by feeding it a "A dataset of 1,856 facial profiles".

it has nothing BUT biases based on past experiences. That's how it works.

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Alfred
Headmaster

Re: There's one bit of good news though

As I recall, to hold Irish citizenship on the basis of parentage, you don't always need to apply for it. You already have it. Applying for it just gives you a helpful piece of paper. For example, if either of your parents was an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, then you are automatically an Irish citizen.

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England expects... you to patch your apps and not just Windows

Alfred

"Most people don't update or modify their computers..... might install bits of software, games and the like"

Bingo. If they didn't do that, their computers wouldn't have to be capable of it, and a PC that was intended to never change once it left the manufacturer would be enormously more reliable.

That's the constant modding that users do, and that's (and the fact that the PC has to be capable of being constantly modded in this fashion) what makes it not like a car. That users don't realise they're taking an enormously complex machine and constantly fiddling with it doesn't change the fact that they are.

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Alfred

"Most users just expect their PCs to work. They have no more wish to be IT specialist than they wish to get their hands dirty servicing their cars."

But, on the other hand, when they buy a car, that's it. They don't spend the next three years adding shonky modifications they found on the internet, and they don't expect it to do anything it didn't do straight out of the factory gates (those few people who DO mod their cars do so knowing that they're taking it outside the official specs and go into it eyes open).

People expect to be able to modify their PC on a daily basis to change what it can do for them. If people were willing to accept their PC as they accept their modern, reliable car (that is, as a fixed, sealed unit that, should they want it modified, will be taken back to the distributor to be done properly) and are willing to accept that they will not be changing its capabilities (i.e. the software on it when you get it is all there will ever be) then they could have their PC as reliable as their modern car.

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Linux in 2016 catches up to Solaris from 2004

Alfred

About Brendan Gregg

As an aside, Gregg's presentations and helpful webpages about profiling on Linux are gold. The useful information to noise ratio is very high, and just a few hours spent paying attention to him imparts more than enough practical information to really make a difference when performance tuning your own code. At risk of sounding like his agent, he's worth listening to if you want to know how to profile your software (and its interaction with your hardware) on Linux.

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Will AI spell the end of humanity? The tech industry wants you to think so

Alfred

Re: The Matrix

You *are* in the Edwardian era. From the several orders of magnitude further up the progress chain that the controllers are, the Edwardian era and the 21st century look the same.

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Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin'?

Alfred

Re: Ubuntu and RH Enterprise

Sadly, I honestly don't recall. I know that at one point years ago I tried Ubuntu and found that it was easier for me in my particular set of use cases, but that was then. I went through SUSE as well. I wouldn't be surprised if RHEL was actually now just as good, or better, for those use cases, but as with all tools, I'll only switch back when the pain of the one I'm currently using outweighs the pain of switching.

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Alfred

Ubuntu and RH Enterprise

Single data point though I am, I work for a software company that officially supports RH Enterprise Linux. Every so often, a customer asks if it will run on Ubuntu.

We tell this customer that officially, Ubuntu is not supported. We then tell the customer that the entire Linux dev team is coding and building on Ubuntu or Mint, ranging from bleeding edge to the LTS version from 2014, and all the dev and testing right up until the final "official" test (which is expected to just pass) is done on Ubuntu and Mint machines. So it's probably more reliable on Ubuntu than the officially supported RH Linux.

RH Linux has become effectively a standard we have to meet, but never actually use ourselves. it used to simply get in the way too much, or make things that should have been easy a bit more difficult than I'd like; this article suggests some pain points have been removed. Maybe time for another look.

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Puny human sailors still needed... until drone machine learning tech catches up

Alfred

Re: ?

It communicates to other mariners that you are at anchor. It's law of the sea via the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea

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So. What's North Korea really like?

Alfred

Re: "only around a hundred outsiders get to see it each year"? Really?

I think they must have relaxed a bit on visas. As I understood it from Koryo tours, if you're not a journalist and you don't have pictures of yourself on facebook mocking the DPRK or Kim, you'll be fine.

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Alfred
Headmaster

"only around a hundred outsiders get to see it each year"? Really?

The actual document the article is reporting says, and I quote:

"About 5,000 Western tourists a year go through this rigmarole. "

Went myself with the same tour group in 2012. The act of going is really not such a big deal.

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Post-referendum UK still part of Euro cyberterror stress test... for now

Alfred

"Cyber Europe 2016 paints a very dark scenario, inspired by events such as the blackout in a European Country over Christmas period"

That's us, right? As I understand it, cyber attack not necessary; just our own cak-handed mismanagement of power stations and our energy needs.

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CEO of shady ad site Backpage and owners arrested on human trafficking suspicions

Alfred

Re: This is bloody ridiculous.

"How exactly were they assisting in the crime sweetie?"

They were told that advert X is placed by a criminal, to facilitate a crime. They chose to continue displaying advert X. In doing so, they knowingly assisted a criminal commit a crime.

Your use of "sweetie" marks you out as a passive-aggressive prick. Your inability to understand how knowingly displaying an advert from a criminal, placed for the purposes of criminal activities, assists the undertaking of a crime, marks you out as dangerously stupid.

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FT journo roasts channel leaders for spouting bullshit

Alfred
Headmaster

Thesauri at dawn

It is an error to take synonyms listed in a thesaurus as being identical in meaning, particularly in the English language.

As an example, the typical thesaurus lists "evidence" and "proof" together.

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My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

Alfred

Re: idiots with more money than sense...

"Works fine".

Up until the point that a building catches fire, it has a perfect record of not catching fire. As you say, works fine.

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Premier League Sky card crims ordered to cough up nearly £1m

Alfred

Missed headline opportunity?

"Crime doesn't pay - FACT" perhaps? Or "In FACT, crime doesn't pay" maybe.

Definitely some kind of missed opportunity here :(

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Invasion of the Brandsnatchers: How Nokia and BlackBerry inhabit the afterlife

Alfred

As an aside on Nokia the actual company...

They're making profits and paying dividends. They have been an absolute star of my haphazard portfolio for the last few years, outshone only by ARM who have latterly been snaffled by Softbank.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Alfred

Re: 20 wks in prison! He's a kid for fucks sake!

I don't get it. Do you mean 20 wks old? Was there a typo in the original article?

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It's here! Defence Secretary launches £800m MoD tech creche

Alfred

Sometimes, the wall is really quite tall. Sometimes, it's several walls in a row and climbing over the first five so you can use a periscope over the sixth isn't really practical. Sometimes the wall is far away, and sometimes standing behind it to use a periscope puts one very much in the open. Basically, there are lots of times when sauntering up to something with a periscope is a worse idea than hiding somewhere safe and sending a little drone to do the looking for you.

If you're happy with the idea of spy planes instead of sending a man to take a look, then this is the same principle, writ smaller.

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It's OK to fine someone for repeating a historical fact, says Russian Supreme Court

Alfred

Re: Or the Russians haven't updated their website yet

" 'The A and B jointly invaded C'. If you don't know what A, B and C are, would you conclude that A & B moved on the same day? At least I would yet in this case it would be a clear untruth."

So YOU would be stupid enough to make a false assumption not supported by the data? Is that really your argument? Your own stupidity?

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Robot babies fail in role as teenage sex deterrents

Alfred

Unintended lessons taught?

Does giving a child a robo-baby to look after for a week teach them that having a baby is a temporary thing that will only last a week, so it doesn't really matter?

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'The box' Bones uses to fix any ailment on the Enterprise? Yup, it's real

Alfred
Childcatcher

Outlawed in knee-jerk panic fashion the first time some foreign-looking kid is pulled in and found to have "maKe anTHraX ?? lol ?" scrawled in crayon on the back of a copy of the Beano.

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China cuffs ten white-hats, nobody knows why

Alfred

Makes a lot of sense. Such people challenge the authority of the government by competing with them to provide people with information and security and reassurance. Having the best of intentions doesn't matter; do not compete with the government.

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Flight sim records show MH370 captain practiced 'flight' near search area

Alfred

"So flight sim enthusiasts are strange people because they like doing something the author doesn't? Bit of a stretch of logic there."

You know who's stretching here? You are. Nobody said it was because the author doesn't like doing it. I won't keep you; the outrage bus is about to leave and I think they're holding your seat.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Alfred

Re: The truth is whatever people choose to believe

"produced after the fact"

Yeah, exactly. Normally, when something crashes, people know where it's going to crash *before* it happens. Coming up with the idea of where it crashed *after* the crash happens is very suspicious.

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Alfred

Re: Given that they haven't found it...

@mi1400:

As someone said above, wrong aeroplane. We're talking about mh370; the one that vanished into the sea west of Australia. You're thinking of the one shot down over Ukraine.

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Nitwit has fit over twit hit: Troll takes timeless termination terribly

Alfred

"Stop racism by ignoring the racist, trust me it works,"

So I see someone in my organisation systematically ignoring job applications from people whose skin colour he doesn't like, and everyone looking the other way will stop this happening?

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Alfred

Re: Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

Here's one.

I don't subscribe to the idea that censorship is always wrong, and I certainly don't subscribe to this fucked up notion that free speech means zero consequences and that I should be able to use someone else's medium to say whatever I like.

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GMB tests Uber 'self-employed drivers' claim at London tribunal

Alfred

"I don't understand how they can be guaranteed minimum wage"

They're not.

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Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Alfred

Legal obligations to shareholders

"it suggests that their legal obligation to do the best by their shareholders over-rides just about any other concern."

It does not, and there is in fact no such legal obligation. The duties of the board of directors are ultimately to ensure the long-term success of the company, and while shareholder considerations are part of that, the shareholders' interests certainly do not override the prime responsibilities.

http://www.lawdonut.co.uk/law/ownership-and-management/the-board-of-directors/your-responsibilities-as-a-director-faqs#YRAAD2

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Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Alfred

Re: ARM is a strategic asset

"The Government has a duty to protect the country's economic wellbeing. "

Happy with that. If selling ARM will ultimately cost UK taxpayer, in however we choose to measure it, more than we will gain by allowing the sale, then UK taxpayer via the government should think it a good deal to beat the offer price and purchase the company for the benefit of the UK.

It's immoral to have it both ways; if it's worth keeping, it's worth paying up for. I recall the the UK government put its money where your mouth is by buying large pieces of banks, subsidising railway companies (and stepping in when they collapse) and making various commitments in energy (including the high price per kwHr for electricity from that new nuclear power station, although I lost track of that - is it still on?). Want to preserve ARM as a UK company? Pay up.

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Alfred

Re: ARM is a strategic asset

It's also private property, not covered by any particular legislation (for example, the laws refusing the selling of weapons to some bloke in the pub). If the gubbermint is permitted to tell people that they may not sell their private property to Softbank, is the taxpayer prepared to reimburse the shareholders for the lost sale?

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Alfred
Joke

Re: Uh-oh

It's like a HAND job, but much more vigorous.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Alfred
Headmaster

Massive misunderstanding of how companies operate

"While it sounds like a massive leap, the majority of new websites already go through testing when they are hosted to make sure that a site is intact and that files and content are free of viruses."

Like fuck they do.

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Dell confirms price rise post Brexit vote as UK pound stumbles

Alfred

Re: great opportunity

Move manufacturing to the UK to make more profit? To make it worth doing the UK workers would have to work for less than their competitors in the developing world (less, because they've got trade agreements, and we'd be starting from scratch). So the opportunity does exist, if UK workers are willing to work for less per hour than someone in a factory in China or Malaysia.

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Alfred

Re: Is this what they mean....

"As I see it the speculators selling £ are making the UK a whole lot more attractive as a manufacturing base."

Offset by the hike in tariffs for selling those manufactured goods onwards, once we're out of the single market. To make it attractive to manufacture those goods here, the cost of manufacturing them has to be very low. Which basically means low wages. So we can attract foreign investment for manufacturing, in the same way that China does; by having low-paid workers. It's a gutsy approach; as the rest of the world tries to move up the value chain, chasing high-pay economies, the UK decides to move back down the chain.

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Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

Alfred

Re: You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

But if you have money, you can buy your way in. That's the point. That's why Oxbridge is full of the children of rich people, perpetuating the system.

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Alfred

Re: The ad hominems have started early

No, that wasn't sarcasm. Sarcasm involves implying the opposite of what you said, and you made no such implication. You realised afterwards that you were being the class clown, playing up to an audience of idiots, and then decided to pretend that actually you had read it all along.

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Alfred

Re: Fail

You're very much part of the problem. Perhaps if you and others like you could pay attention to something that wasn't flashing lights and beeping at you to hold your conditioned, obedient mind in thrall we wouldn't be in this mess.

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Alfred
Coat

Mised headline opportunty

"Marathon five-knuckle shuffle finishes on the cuff" surely?

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

Alfred

" It raises profound ethical issues of equity between generations."

Given the way the younger generation is currently being treated by their own, still living ancestor generations, I think caring about generations after that isn't on the table :(

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Google's dream city isn't a new idea

Alfred

Been tried, doesn't work

Covered in detail within James C. Scott's "Seeing Like a State". It ends up with unliveable cities like Brasilia, surrounded by zones in which the humans actually get to be humans.

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Former FBI spy hunter: Don’t trust China on ‘no hack’ pact

Alfred

Re: "Former" - Exactly!

I'm not saying they choose not to make the parts for a decent ballpoint pen because they choose to sell bad ballpoint pens.

I'm saying that they are not capable of it. The manufacturing capability to make decent parts for a ballpoint pen currently does not exist in China. For making decent ballpoint pens, they currently import expensive ball bearings from other countries.

Li Keqiang complained about it on national TV four months ago.

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Alfred

Re: "Former" - Exactly!

They cannot make the parts required for a decent ballpoint pen.

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Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

Alfred

Ease of use?

"It has cemented its hold, in part, thanks to the environment's ease of use"

Are we talking about the same software? It's painfully difficult to use. Everything is hidden away in a byzantine maze of options menus, with vitally important settings given the same visual precedence as the trivial.

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'Hot Tech Talent' IT job board ads caught up in sexism allegations

Alfred

The worst kind of sexism

" This is the worst kind of sexism as all the women are fully clothed!"

I saw some sexism once in which one gender was effectively considered property, to be traded amongst the other gender. I think that was far worse than this.

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Your xenophobia is killing us, Silicon Valley warns US Congress

Alfred

Re: @Youngone -- No surprises there then

"I have a feeling that you would have been standing on the sidelines spitting on the returnees much like certain others did."

In the interests of history, that is disputed.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/03/nobody-spat-on-american-gis/

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Alfred

Why the obsession with trashing the other team's candidates?

What do people think this is? Some kind of political website dedicated to being balanced and fair? It's not. The Reg has no requirement to trash politicians in equal handfuls. Some stupid and ignorant people said stupid and ignorant things about technology and the Reg wrote about it.

Why the fuck should the Reg feel any kind of need to then go and trash some other politicians from another political party? What makes the whingers here think that the Reg has that obligation?

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Physics uses warp theory to look beyond relativity

Alfred
Headmaster

Re: thicko amused by ftl boffins

"I said powered flight."

Yes you did.

" As in humans powering their own flight."

No you fucking didn't. You said "powered flight", which is exactly what an aeroplane does. For example, like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#First_powered_flight

If you *meant* to say "humans powering their own flight" and you accidentally misspoke, be adult enough to admit you misspoke and correct yourself. Pretending that actually you're using the correct definition and everyone else is wrong so you were totally correct all along is the action of a little child.

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