But what is the unit for measuring standardisation of units?
> while 1Pg is equal to £89.3m, 2Pg does not necessarily equal £178.6m
I look forward to reading your explanation of the Erlang
2518 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009
And I can see a whole new phishing area opening up: "Just take off your clothes and stand in front of the webcam for me"
But as for:
> they are better at processing all the determinants of health and wellbeing than even the best of doctors
That may be so, but it is only simple cases where an ill person walks into an appointment, only talks to someone and walks out with a prescription (though I can see this would be easily gamed to get some choice meds, for other uses). How will a chat-bot take your B.P. or pulse or ask "does this hurt?"
And it will still need the patient to turn up somewhere when the inevitable tests are required.
It doesn't really matter what the techies at Mercedes, Ford, GM, Telsa or any other car maker decides. The rights and wrongs of the matter will be decided country-by-country in case law, as each injury-accident or death is prosecuted.
This will, or course, be a shambolic maze of conflicting principles, examples, precedents and exceptions. Not only will each car, from each manufacturer, have to have its autonomous software updated to account for they ways each country's laws evolve with each new case won or lost, but that same software will have to be aware when the car moves from one jurisdiction into another, and then start to drive according to that place's laws (just like a person would have to).
I can also foresee mass disabling of vehicles (by the million) when updates fail. You might think that it's annoying when W10 decides, of its own volition, to make your computer unusable for hours while it downloads some updates. Imagine when you try to get into your car to go to work and the dashboard informs you that it won't be drivable for another 2 hours due to a legal upgrade. (Or worse: when it pulls in to the side of the road to do the same thing, while you're traveling).
There are a million (OK, slight exaggeration) different Linux SBCs from loads of different vendors. Most of them are deservedly obscure - although cheaper than this offering.
The ones that do succeed are the ones that realise the hardware is only a small part of what the users (or developers) need.
The major part is the software. Not just the kernel - but the libraries to handle the peripherals, the APIs, the documentation, the support forums and the bug fixes.
So please, SBC suppliers, don't think it's enough to simply slap a SoS on an "open source hardware" board, think of a cute name and logo for the box and then wait for success to embrace you. If that is all you can offer then you have nothing. Once you have done all that, you're about 10% of the way towards a product that people will want to test, develop on, advocate and use in quantity. The other 90% of the effort is in writing examples, supporting your forum, porting kernels, debugging drivers, documenting the hardware interfaces, writing up projects for users to adapt and generally keeping the "buzz" going.
> most breaches are actually the result of either criminal activity or "kids messing around"
But it is in nobody's interest to admit this.
The police look stupid if they have to admit they are unable to detect the majority of reported hacks - when they are merely the work of children "messing around". The targets (are they really victims when their security is so lax?) will lose the confidence of their users / customers and suppliers if they are found to be hacked so easily.
So, just like a cage fighter would be embarrassed by getting beaten up by a 7-stone weakling, it is in the interests of all concerned (including the hackers) to big-up the skills and luck of the hackers. That absolves all parties of blame and of the need to put in place even basic security measures (measure #1 - sack your security manager, if you get hacked again: sack the CEO).
However, this does rather assume that the same outfit isn't hacked again a short time later, when the questions about why start to be asked of the higher echelons.
> Since I work from home, most of the times ...
The guy wrote a command line app so he can spend more time bash[groan]-ing out code.
However, he still has to get up from his chair, walk over to the machine and collect his freshly brewed coffee.
A more sensible approach would simply be to put the machine near his desk.
To be successful, security measures must be at the level of intrusiveness of putting your key in the latch - once, If it can be made even simpler: down to the level of car's keyless entry, then better still. But that all requires significant changes at the hardware level - changes that can't be backed into a 30 year-old, pre-internet, PC architecture.
That is why all the security bolt-on products we are being sold are so complex, complex AND unreliable, since they continually fall behind the exploits that are being developed. I do not believe that computers as we have them today can be made secure. Not without dumping all of the backwards compatibility that seems to be mandatory in order to preserve a suppliers existing user-base.
Fortunately for the "ordinary people" in the survey, home computers are a dying breed. Being overtaken by their phone (although most transactions aren't voice calls, so "telephone" is a rather anachronistic term for them). And here there IS the opportunity to build in security measures since the life-cycle is only a few years.
However, I still won't engage in personal banking on my phone. My (Linux) computers, with multiple user accounts - only 1 of which is used for personal finance, is still far more secure that either Windows or a phone.
> a classifier for NSFW detection, and provide feedback to us on ways to improve the classifier."
So essentially Yahoo are building a search engine for porn?
I'm surprised it took someone all this time to get a round to that.
All it needs now is a snappy name.
> Most folks don't typically have a spare $100k around, nor the ability to bootstrap for three months, so this usually means the startup consists of four people, with the fourth being the pre-angel funder. In most cases this individual doesn't concern themselves directly with running the startup.
You can readily identify these pre-angel funders They are the ones riding the unicorns.
All this stuff is great if you are writing a screenplay for a geeky "sci-fi" drama. In practice it never happens. Nobody knows individuals who are willing to drop $100k in 3 months in the hope that something they don't understand might, just, turn into a winner.
As it is, most startups require their "core" people to show some level of commitment to the project. Put in purely financial terms, for a bunch of millenials still living with their parents, this means paying for your Oyster card and maybe a pizza on Friday lunchtime. Even for regular people, with commitments and families you'd be hard-pressed to find a pre-angel willing to stump up more than £1k a month for a couple of people.
> If the market is functioning perfectly. Which few do
They don't have to function perfectly - just well enough.
In the electricity market, the overheads are crucial.
Everyone uses the same electricity, bought on the same market, using the same currency hedges. It's sent down the same wires and comes from the same power stations (although some suppliers own their own power stations, they still buy and sell openly).
So in the end, there's little to differentiate the price from one supplier to another except how well they run their businesses: i.e. the performance of their C-levels and their overheads: offices, IT, call centres and metering (which is generally outsourced anyway).
We might as well go the whole IT-protectionist route and reinstate the (british) EDSAC "standard" 18-bit word length for computers and, of course, the JANET style naming convention for domains - also known as back to front or uk.co.theregister.
At least that would slow the spammers down a little.
> In conclusion, there isn’t any value in bots having unique personalities
I would expect that once a realistic sounding AI starts making cold calls and asking people for their financial secrets, the response rate will go through the roof. The only question would be whether to give it the "personality" of a bank employee, a police officer, a surveyor, one of your friends (with extra input from FB) or an elderly relative in a spot of bother.
The police bulletin is vague in the extreme. Although it is written in the plural, there is no corroboration or statements to support the claim. There could, in fact, simply have been a single USB drive put in someone's letterbox. Or it could even have been as trivial as a parent confronting a child with an "unknown" USB drive:
"Where did you get that?
I found it
Errrr, in the letterbox"
There would appear to be nothing to this story. Nothing at all.
There are only two arguments that work with regard to finance directors:
1.) It's cheaper than the alternatives
2.) We can sack a load of people
So if you really want an AFA, whether to actually use its unique features or simply to brag to your credulous, geeky, friends then the simplest course is to find someone in IT who you don't like and make a business case about how this purchase will allow the company to make "efficiency savings" from their job function.
Just make sure you get your proposal in before the other guy does the same to you.
> As for my pet, IT chiefs would rather I give it a name comprised of upper- and lower-case letters, three numbers and at least one special character
No, they would rather that you didn't actually tell them your pet's name at all.
The questions asked can take any answer. It doesn't have to be related to the subject of the question (except where date or numeric fields are all that's available).
So a valid answer to the question: What was the name of your first teacher? could easily be "pork sausages". Since the computer asking the question has no way to know if you are telling the truth - and it probably doesn't care that 90% of respondents were born on January 1.
The only thing you then need is to remember which answer you gave to which question. Which is why everyone writes them down, anyway.
The Pi has many lessons to teach. The most important (and, apparently most ignored) is the importance of an active user community.
Since its inception the Pi has, more-or-less, held its price point. A feature almost unknown in the tech world. Yet, it is still the go-to product, with seemingly unfaltering popularity, for people wishing to explore the complexities of making an LED blink.
Why would this be, when there are many, many, alternatives. Some at a quarter of the price of the Pi? (the Nanopi Neo springs to mind - not least because I have a couple on the bench beside me). The secret of the Pi's success is that users do not feel the product has been "tossed over the wall" to them. There is a lot of support available - although most comes from the community, rather than the vendor. And that support is vital: both for newbies flashing their first LED, through to those trying to push the envelope without making smoke.
Although the Pi is a venerable institution, hardware-wise many suppliers have blown past it. However, those suppliers have failed to take the Pi-killing step of investing support in their products. Whether that is supplying anything more advanced than a buggy and limited Linux 3.4 kernel, documentation for how to map the IO, or libraries, utilities and advice to ease the learning curve.
For that reason, I feel the Pi is on rather thin ice. All it takes is for a single far-eastern supplier to fill those support voids with Pi-compatibility, documentation, code and a half-modern distro and the Pi could find itself in an existential crisis with smaller, faster, cheaper and smarter products leaving it standing.
> And so it will be for everything devised by analysts who assume everything will always be in a specific place and do as it’s told
Let's face it, when software is tested all that happens is that some geek, somewhere, inputs a valid field, command or option and checks that the resulting output, action or message appears. Once that has happened: once that has happened the stuff gets shipped,
Not only is it far too complicated to test all combinations, including checking for reasonable reactions to incorrect conditions, but those throw up a distinct possibility - nay: certainrt - that something won't work. Thus delaying the release date or (more likely) an update to version 2 that half the idiot purchasers won't be able to install and the other half won't hear about.
Luckily, the Marketing Department have a solution. They ship loads of crappy products as free samples to dishonest and greedy "reviewers" who then write glowing "independent" reports about how wonderful the thing is. And we all believe them and assume that if stuff (as described above) doesn't work, it's our fault or failure.
As for delivery by drone: I foresee a resurgence in the popularity of chimneys.
> many don't even have what we might arguably describe as ‘the basics' properly covered.
In the "olden days" (speaking as someone who has, read and understood Raj Jain's book) this was almost always about disk I-O. Since everyone now has everything important on an M2 array or better, there is little point in paying people to predict problems that are now only ever due to network misconfiguration.
I wonder if journalists on The Times don't spend just a leeeeetle too much time watching old sitcoms for ideas of "news" stories?
We might find out if one of these ends up anywhere near a wind farm.
There does appear to be an enthusiasm if not actual pressure to reduce the number of cash transactions, in favour of card or contactless methods of paying.
Once this becomes ubiquitous your card / phone is in effect your ID.
No need for ID checks then, you voluntarily submit your ID (plus location and details of purchase) every time you buy something. With contactless methods, even your presence could be detected.
> and the UK will have regained complete control of its borders
Well, we *already* have complete control of our borders - what with being an island (or several islands, to be precise).
However, if you want to stop people coming in to the UK that's easy, too.
The obvious answer: closing all the airports is not very practical as there are lots of Brits who might want to come back into the UK - though once the economy crashes and we look like Tajikistan in the rain, that might slow down a bit (tho' the numbers wishing to leave could well rise).
A more nuanced approach would be to modify the entry system we have at present: with EU and non-EU channels at the UK Border. Just change this to GB and non-GB passport holders. The clever bit would be to only have one booth for the non-GB entrants, therefore making the queuing time somewhere between several hours and many days. A similar effect could be achieved by replacing all of the staffed non-GB border checks with the computerised versions that seem to be unable to process people any faster than 1 every 10 minutes.
> the UK always gets to see all the photos which were taken on the flight.
Surely high resolution photos of cloud-tops must get pretty boring after the first 10 years?
A bit like seeing them from below.
> as advertisers grow increasingly wary of the rise of ad blockers and choose to spend their precious ad dollars elsewhere
So the advertisers would prefer not to spend their money on a medium where they can see how many people are blocking their ads. And instead spend it on a medium where they can't tell how many people are FF-ing past them during the breaks?
> for the price of one cardboard desk you can buy two veneered chipboard equivalents from Ikea.
So buy your desk from IKEA.
Take it home
Throw the desk away (or not)
Make yourself a "custom" one from the IKEA packaging.
So 80 hours watching telly and then a 25 page (standard 400 words / page) report. Sounds like a good week's work!
> "not related to any warrant for user data which we have not received”
so they received a warrant (or: didn't NOT receive a warrant) for something other that user data.
Really: any programmer past novice level deals with more complex conditionals than this every day.
Nobody here is unfamiliar with De Morgan's theorems, are they?
I think the reason that the uptake is so low is that nobody can make a good financial case for additional security.
It's all very well bringing in someone who'll wave their arms in the air and scare you with apocryphal stories that don't have enough detail to be useful. But when it comes down to it, these SMEs will ask the following:
* What will it cost me?
* What financial savings will I make ?
* What guarantees can you give me?
And, like all things to do with IT security, there are no solid, consensus numbers. No formula. No certainty. So there will always be some companies - usually the ones that have suffered a major incident - who will be receptive, most will have more pressing, tangible, objectives for their budgets.
> Think of the analytics possibilities! What level of risk do your employees present if they decide to say negative things about you?
Meh, it's already been done.
There was a piece on /. the other day about a British (good to see we can still innovate) outfit that would trawl social media for landlords to determine whether potential tenants had any skeletons in their Facebook closet.
The thing is, once you know what "they" are looking for, it shouldn't be too difficult to feed a 'bot what it wants. One could suggest that for an IT person worthy of the name, it would be one of the 6 impossible things they do before breakfast.
> That is one way to hinder progress
Not at all, it's "free" money.
The americans realised a long, long, time ago that imposing massive fines on foreign companies is an excellent and painless way of raising revenue. It brings in enormous amounts of capital. It costs the taxpayer nothing and, well, they're foreign companies, so who cares?
Since they've been doing this to british and european companies, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong about the EU (or the UK, if it had the balls) fining "their" companies back, to the same extent, for acting illegally.
> do nothing for three months
Where I am, that's called the Change Management Board. The workplace equivalent of a delay loop.
> Project managers report faster and more often
Neither of which does anything to improve the accuracy of what they are reporting. I am reminded of a piece from a comedy sketch (can't recall which genius of comedy it was), that went a bit like this:
They gave me 2 weeks to answer a very difficult problem
I said I could give them an answer straight away
They asked me what my answer was
I said "I don't know"
speed of reply is not always what you want.
> *"Periscope" not a verb, you cry? It is according to Spanish cops,
So they're the language police as well?
and remember that most organisations of any size have at least three IT operations: production, test/development, business administration - and that these should never be allowed to meet.
You really don't want people who work on one of these to act as a bridge to any other. If that means having two PCs (neither with any USB ports) on a desk, then make it so. But if you want to stop contamination spreading and to protect, or at least slow down attacks, your production - revenue earning - systems, then you need barriers between them.
> You aren't one with the machines in the way that today's kids are and you never will be
I should bloody well hope not!
We read stories about people who are prepared to give away their passwords for a bar of chocolate. Just do a search for "millennial" "password" and "security" and you will be confronted with the opinion that today's under-30's neither care, are aware, nor practice any form of computer/information security.
Whether the slackness is limited to individuals of this age group (I doubt it), there is a clear warning that security is only ever an afterthought - usually after the attack: yeah, we really should start to think about doing something. But I've got a ton of work to do, maybe next week.
Aircraft hit birds all the time. Occasionally - very occasionally - it is with tragic results. But the risk is real enough that major airports go to some lengths to keep the larger birds away. We also know that engine manufacturers test the ability of their products to withstand bird strikes,
They do this by firing (dead) chickens at the engines, very, very fast. Isn't it time that someone did some work into quantifying the effect of a drone-strike on an aircraft engiine?
Until that research is carried out, we have no information either on the effect that such a collision would have (drones being made of much harder materials than birds) or what measures could be taken to mitigate the effects. Or even to assist with post-crash forensics to find or discount the signs of a drone collision.
> the BOFH would never have foolishly created extra work for himself
A true BOFH would set the defaults so that incorrectly addressed internal mail would go to everyone. That way it would be sure to end up in the right person's email (and all the wrong people's, but that's FH-ism for you).
It sounds like the email "bucket" needs a little more functionality. After something has been undelivered for a set amount of time, simply knock it back to the sender as "undeliverable".
That removes the need to actively do anything and the response can be made as "machine generated" as the admin likes. It depersonalises the situation and alerts the sender that something was amiss.
The Arduino isn't the future of IoT. The soon to be released ESP32 is / will / should be. At least for the next year or so.
Its predecessor created a lot of buzz and even a few working projects. But if the boards based on this "Mk II" live up to expectations they should really start things moving. But as with all things IT, the success will only come if the software and manufacturer / user support is in place.
In some places, security (and H & S) is used as an excuse for not doing anything. "I can't send you that data ... it might not be secure" "I can't do that for you ... you're not authorised". "I can't access that ... I haven't been given permission".
The first tenet of security is to allow the right people to have access and for everyone who needs to, to know who those people are. After that, comes the need to deny those who shouldn't be allowed.
It would seem that people continually need to be re-taught that you only have control of stuff you can touch.
Relying on "web" or "internet" services is always to put yourself at the whim of some anonymous (or Anonymous) decision-maker who has no interest in you or your problems.
Web services or cloud computing users take note.
Oh, and when an online company offers you a "lifetime guarantee", they mean the lifetime of the company - not your lifetime. This is usually to be measured in months.
> Failing to identify advertising and other marketing, so that it appears to be the opinion of a journalist or blogger, is unlawful and unacceptable
Hopefully the CMA will start to target some of the blatant adverts that pass as "user reviews" on Amazon, too.
> if your boss assigns you work, they should also assign the work a relative priority
There are only 2 levels of priority: the important job (note: singular) and everything else. The top job gets worked on at all times when progress is possible and everything else is filler in the gaps while you are waiting for the top job;s critical path to come back to you.
When a new piece of work comes in, the conversation has to be: "My highest priority is X at the moment. I expect it will take so-many more days / months. Do you want to me to stop this and work on the new job, instead?" Unless the answer is "yes", the new job goes on the bottom of the pile.
Needless to say, all of this must be conducted by email - never merely in a conversation - so that there is a paper-trail, come review time.
> allow its [ British Gas ] analysts to identify patterns in data covering customers' energy use.
Let me take a wild guess: more in the winter and less in the summer.
I think the issue here is that the AI was learning faster than it's human "controllers" could keep up with.
One would hope that this AI (and all the others that Microsoft must surely have spawned) is actually feeding into a higher AI. One that will in the future produce better AIs by learning from the mistakes of the earlier generation of man-made ones.
> it’ll also enjoy full support and updates until 2021
Just so long as you don't need / want /accidentally add a package that doesn't form part of the LTS suite - which requires a later version of a library that is lagging in the LTS stakes. Then you're (back) on your own again.
Given the amount of stuff - not just the pretty dam' popular packages that the article mentions - that don't form part of the LTS, that would be a large proportion of the user base.
... was to announce that this was a 'bot and that people could "teach" it things. They might as well have put a "kick me" sign on it.
Hopefully, the next time MS do this, there won't be any announcements, no "Hi, I'm a bot" hoopla. Just an anonymous "person" joins Twitter and starts saying "normal" things - if anyone on Twitter actually says normal things.
So, the first lesson in machine learning would be to not tell the world that you're a machine. If the people who interact with it don't twig that fact then maybe you've got something interesting going on¹. Plus, of course, Twitter could really use all the new 'bots to boost its flagging membership.
I wonder what will happen when it becomes mostly bots? Will there start to be something worthwhile on it (at last).
 but more probably that its followers are even dimmer than the bot is.
> One or 2 more ethernet ports
A tenner will buy you a USB - Ethernet adapter. Or < £3 if you buy from China