* Posts by Charles 9

8219 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Charles 9
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Re: Learning to live

But machines still lack dexterity, fine motor skills, so things like surgery, construction, other positions that require contorted or delicate physical labor on site are still pretty safe. Same for jobs that require a face like certain retail, hotels, etc because of Uncanny Valley.

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Charles 9
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Re: When no-one has a job because it's been replaced by a machine...

Amongst themselves is the answer. They'll close off their walled garden, hash it out amongst themselves, and leave the redundant proliteriat to the wolves.

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Race for wireless VR headset heats up

Charles 9
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Re: Eye-tracking is the breakthrough we need

"Actually even with a completely lag free high framerate display people would still get eyestrain, because the VR displays are only stereoscopic 3D (where the 3D has that flat popup book look)."

It's not so much that the 3D is popup-style (because you can do stereoscopic videos, too, which wouldn't have that look). The catch is that the eyes get confused because it uses accommodation (changing focus) as a depth cue, and you can't do that with a stereoscopic panel. Videos can get away with it by using a fixed focal point, but in active 3D like games, the eye expects to judge depth by adjusting focus which doesn't work. That's why interest in light field techniques such as integral imaging/plenoptics. Attempting to project a genuine light field in thin air (a true volumetric display) poses two problems: how to make the light point visible without a reflection point, and keeping up with the raw amount of data necessary to pull it off (ex. a 300x300x300 light field encompasses 27 million voxels. Updated 30 times a second requires updating 810 million voxels a second). Plus there's the problem of a depth limit.

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Charles 9
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You don't have to HOLD a backpack. You WEAR it. And with a quick-connect cable out the top and probably carrying down one of the shoulder straps, connecting it to the helmet wouldn't be that difficult.

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Charles 9
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"I wouldn't like them in something enclosing my head. Batteries distributed round a belt could be less energy dense types - and a quick release buckle would solve the problems for emergencies."

But lithium batteries can go up quickly: even more quickly than fumbling for a quick-release buckle, which may be too late if the fire got to your clothes first.

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Charles 9
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Trouble is GearVR and the like expect naked phones. Given Murphy, I always keep my devices in cases. Furthermore, because of perennial battery issues, I haven't gone beyond the 4 (the last with a removable battery), which at least still supports Marshmallow and decent security uptake.

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Charles 9
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I doubt kinetic energy collectors will draw enough power to handle something that beastly. Not to mention the weight and drag on your body. Now, a backpack unit would probably be more comfortable, and any wires from it can conveniently run down your back and out of obvious sight.

That said, whatever happened to the AR monocle?

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Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

Charles 9
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Re: Moving from XP to Win7

Impact printers are also essential if you're printing on copy-through paper (carbon or carbonless), since in many cases printing multiple copies is not legally an option (that's why the copy paper, after all). Since it takes a physical impression to make the copies, you have no choice but impact printers. That's why OKI, Epson, et al still make impact printers.

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Charles 9
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"I know some professional people that would add in the charge to the customer for the four hours driving on top of the work they do and when their customers complain about that quote they are bluntly told beforehand "take it or leave it" but since they are highly skilled and very good at their job they still invariably get the work order as its still cheaper getting it done right compared to previous contractors that maybe have right royally stuffed things up and then cost them a lot of money to rectify."

Or the client can counter, "I'll leave it, AND I'll consider this not fit for purpose, so don't expect my next payment." Which can put companies with razor-thin margins on the spot, as noted elsewhere in this thread.

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Charles 9
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Re: So you didn't fix root cause

"Perhaps decommissioning the user is the answer?"

Which can be tough if the user is on tenure or has friends on the board.

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Charles 9
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Re: Easily fixed

But there is such a thing as a money sink. I'm sure a small business owner would be savvy enough to turn away customers that will cost them more than they make: either in side costs or in turnover as your valuable employees check into homes as a result of calls from Hell.

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Charles 9
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Re: Moving from XP to Win7

"Refusing to go from XP to Windows 7 because you think it'll be too difficult? From a user perspective, that's just about the easiest transition you can do with Windows."

Unless, of course, your computers has ISA slots that are used to control proprietary (and VERY expensive) hardware that is critical to your business. Remember the article about the lathe?

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Charles 9
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Re: Ah the memories...

"To the 'tude add the look you get of "I've seen more men naked than a 2-bit hooker, often with a syringe in my rubber-gloved hands, therefore I know what you look like without clothes and I'm not impressed. Fix this computer problem or I swear I'll use a turkey baster as the syringe"."

So what happens if you return the look with kinky look of, "You know that kind of stuff turns me on. What do you plan to put in the syringe?" One of the best ways to defuse a threat is to reply that it isn't really a threat to you. The last thing a kidnapper saying, "We have your wife." wants to hear is, "Great! You can KEEP her!"

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HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

Charles 9
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"Why are they still persisting with a physical home button and two capacitive buttons? The thing looks like a Samsung or iPhone with the 'dumbass' physical button."

It's more consistent (sometimes the interface doesn't get it right and the soft buttons don't appear), plus with no need for soft buttons, apps have more real estate (which gets stolen with soft buttons). Also, the physical button doubles as the fingerprint sensor.

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Charles 9
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Re: thicko

Why is everyone so concerned with Skinny Minnie phones? Frankly, I wouldn't mind a fatso phone because it would allow room for a bigger battery. I have big hands, and Skinny Minnies feel too flimsy in them. I wouldn't mind one with a bit of bulk to them: a more solid feel in my hand.

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Charles 9
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Because many system apps can't be disabled, can't be turned off, and are constantly sapping data allowances and battery life. If I could turn them off and disable them, I could tolerate the lost space.

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Charles 9
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Re: Yet another landfill flagship

Simple. I don't. It's not like S4's and up can't do things most of today's phones can. S5 and Note 4 are on Marshmallow, and there's really nothing about Nougat that would compel me to switch. They have plenty of power under the hood, good RAM, SD slots, and since I can change the battery as needed, battery life is rarely an issue. And PS, if the battery isn't designed to be removed, I don't trust it to be removable even by a tech. The last time I had it tried, the tech cracked and bricked a Galaxy Tab 7.

So, yes, a non-removable battery is essentially a deal-breaker for me. Same with a lack of SD slot. I don't trust internal storage (especially if I have to reset it), plus the SD is transportable between devices, which I use to hold media files.

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Google Pixel pwned in 60 seconds

Charles 9
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Re: Cheaper to pay bug bounties...

Plus you can never get rid of gestalt exploits (like a multi-unit race condition) since these are by definition greater than the sum of the individual units which would see nothing wrong in themselves. And these gestalt exploits have such narrow windows as to be more like knock sequences, making them hard to detect in testing especially on a time and money budget.

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Charles 9
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Re: Cheaper to pay bug bounties...

BB as in BlackBerry. Makers of a highly regarded and tight OS...that simply got passed by. Look where it is now.

IOW security is hard to sell, especially long term.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fighting the market

And the problem with that is that the investors, especially if the company is publicly-traded, usually don't want to see beyond the short term. If something goes wrong, they'll sell out and invest in the next company.

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Charles 9
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Re: Cheaper to pay bug bounties...

"*Well, there is some current work on the old concept of formally verifying code, but it isn't widely used yet."

Plus there's the fact that the formal proof only applies to a discrete environment; it can't really apply in the general case due to the real world having too many chaos factors. For example, seL4 is ONLY proven in an environment with no direct memory access. Problem is, DMA is a frequently-demanded performance enhancement.

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FCC wants a word with AT&T about that zero-rated DirecTV streaming

Charles 9
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Everyone wants to kick out government interference...until they're reminded of the Gilded Age and The Jungle.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dump the FCC

Then how will you keep favoritism off the Internet. Com cast would be free to prioritize NBC/Universal content over say Viacom, and for many this would become a Hobson's Choice.

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Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Charles 9
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Re: Hanff BadPublisher site closes

He didn't really have a legal leg to stand on. Copyright favors the source, so the source can set terms. Second, a vendor can hold power of discretion unless there's a specific prohibition against it. A vendor is not required to sell; there are no buyer's rights, so strike two. Finally, technology and physics favor the source; there's simply no way to fool the server into thinking they're serving an ad without actually serving an ad (which means you use up your bandwidth, which for most people is limited). Because of the way the Internet works, they will know precisely where it's going, how much of it gets sent, and if it was completed, timed out, or aborted. They can make pretty good guesses from that.

So the TL;DR version. Their content, their rules; they don't have to serve you if they don't want to; and if they require you to watch an ad beforehand, they have ways to make sure you pay the piper first. Take It or Leave It, which may well mean leaving the Internet.

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IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

Charles 9
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"When you can communicate with the rest of the internet without an IPv4 address."

Working on it right now. There's an IPv4 compatibility space within the IPv6 space.

"Dual-stack HAS NO VALUE. It doesn't save IPv4 addresses."

It's not meant to. It's meant to transition IPv4 into IPv6. Sorta like a ladder so you don't have to climb the sheer cliff with your bare hands.

"What's needed? A complete redesign with forward and backward compatibility between IPv4 and IPv7."

Which is a non-starter. You can't make IPv4 forward-compatible with anything BUT IPv4 because of the hard 32-bit address limit. And no extension to IPv4 will work because older devices won't grok it; they STILL won't be able to see the new addresses, meaning they're STILL left out. You're asking us to cram a baker's dozen in an egg carton (128 bits in a system that can only grok 32). It'd be like trying to perceive a tesseract (a FOUR-dimensional object) in only three dimensions: something WILL get lost along the way. Which means as more sites got IPv6 (and by that I mean IPv6-ONLY--ask Asia), IPv4 devices won't be able to see them without a proxy, which has its own issues. And trying for a sharp break is like trying to go cold turkey on a hard drug: too much risk of withdrawal complications.

As the article says, get over it. The ONLY way to get more than 4 billion devices on the Internet is with something OTHER than IPv4, and since IPv4 can ONLY understand IPv4 (AND its 4 billion device limit), that means we either do it the way we are now or we break the Internet trying something else.

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Charles 9
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Re: Granny factor

"We're the "Somebody Else" you're talking about. We aren't all web-designers here, some of us do real work."

And we're usually the people who know how to get around things like octets. WE WRITE THEM DOWN. I've been dealing with IPv6 for years now, and it's really been no big deal for me because I'm literate enough to see the differences. For those who don't grok it, they shouldn't have to. For those that do, it comes with the territory.

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Charles 9
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Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

"Why would the accountants block it? Are they worried about the cost of the extra bits?"

Because there's tons of IPv4-only kit still in active and heavy use that would have to be replaced at significant cost in order to be able to support IPv6 properly. And if there are investors to appease, they may not have the foresight to look long-term.

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Charles 9
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Re: Consumer routers?

If your router is so old that it doesn't support IPv6, as traffic speeds increase, it's going to start choking from sheer volume. I was forced to replace a DI-604 because it kept rebooting. It was made during the WEP era and WPA (not 2) was a little too much for it. If your router has wireless support, you may need 802.11ac support for newer wireless devices (I'm talking laptops, phones, tablets, and other portable gear, not IoT) to keep wireless data rates up (this was why I switched to my current Netgear--it supports ac, my last one only went to g).

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Charles 9
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Re: IPv6 is OVER!

"But no-one has had to buy a new phone to use it, the complications are handled transparently by the networks."

Because telephones are pretty dumb devices. All the smarts are done by the exchange. However, IPv4 devices can't do that. There's a certain minimum degree of complexity involved. And one of the catches is that IPv4 devices expect a 32-bit address, period.

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Charles 9
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Re: IPv6 is OVER!

"Yes, all that endless row of people who ended up having to try to explain voltage and current using liquid flow analogies to an audience who's eyes immediately glazed over on any attempt to explain the subject directly must all have been ignorant on the matter themselves. Definitely. Yeah, that must be it."

IOW, YOU try explaining electricity to people who can't understand why 10mA (or whatever current you can get from a handheld stunner) can shock them off their feet.

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Trumped? Nope. Ireland to retain corporate tax advantage over the US

Charles 9
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Re: I doubt it really matters

"If you cannot support yourself you are not people."

So why haven't they also pledged to amend the 14th Amendment to remove the "Anchor Baby" clause, which was needed post-Civil War but not now and is being abused by birth tourists to anchor the parents in the US through their US-born (and thus Constitutionally-protected) children?

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Silicon Valley VCs: We're gonna make California great again – on its own

Charles 9
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Re: Those poor Trump voters are in for a terrible awakening

Since when can robots correctly judge the ripeness of a fruit at first glance and then pick the irregularly-shaped fruit without brushing it while moving down lanes designed for a human's width and height?

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Charles 9
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Wouldn't matter. If California took it upon itself to declare itself a Sovereign State, then can pull up the necessary resources to assert and defend itself, then the Constitution becomes irrelevant to California.

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Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds

Charles 9
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Re: Next challenge: Rubik's Magic

You'd be correct. Look up "parity puzzle" and you'll discover the Rubik's Cube is a type of parity puzzle (the common 15 Puzzle is another). Basically, while there are so many different configurations, those configurations are still bound by the physics of the cube that only allow certain rotations, meaning there are valid arrangements and invalid ones. The Cube has been researched quite extensively for the last couple decades.

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Charles 9
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The problem with picking fruit is that they are typically irregularly-shaped, positioned pretty randomly in any given tree, and a bit on the squishy side. These are problem areas where machines aren't ideal. Same with homes. They're designed for human bodies that tend to have a certain level of instinctual knowledge of how to move and so on. That's why it's been tricky to build a fully-mobile robot: some of the stuff we do comes instinctively so we don't know HOW we do it.

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Charles 9
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Re: As for that time...

"Interestingly the computation time is not included for human solvers - they get to examine the cube beforehand, and work out what they are going to do. So the 4.9 second record is simply for executing a series of pre-worked-out moves, with a few (very short) calibration stops along the route."

Which raises the possibility of a variant of the speed solve competition: from a blind start, thus taking into account on-the-spot mental solving as well as the mechanical manipulation into the time.

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Charles 9
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Re: As for that time...

"Has anyone learned if finding the optimal solution to any Rubik's cube is considered a P or NP problem?"

Found my own answer, though I never knew it as "God's Algorithm". Seems an optimal solution algorithm was written in 1997, and the Cube has been exhaustively studied. But then, I have to wonder why the record breaker took 21 moves instead of 20? Was it for reasons of mechanical efficiency (easier to do certain turns in sequence than others)?

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Charles 9
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Re: How complex is that problem anyhow?

It's mostly a matter of twisting the cube. It takes a tiny fraction to assess the cube and probably a touch more to determine a solution based on it. Still, the time is quick due to using a low-friction cube. Given its flimsier construction and looser tolerances, we can't expect the same results from the standard cube.

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Charles 9
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Re: Next challenge: Rubik's Magic

The Magic just isn't as fun. There's a set solution to each one, so fast solvers can do it in a second or so. At least with the Cube, the configuration can be randomized to keep things interesting.

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Charles 9
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Re: As for that time...

Ah, but they used a special low-friction cube, not the bog-standard cube humans have to solve. I'd love to know what's the fastest solving time, from first glance, using the standard cube. Also, the solution is substandard because it made 21 moves when any cube can be solved in 20 or less. So there's still room to improve.

Has anyone learned if finding the optimal solution to any Rubik's cube is considered a P or NP problem?

PS. I can't see the video due to my blockers.

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Charles 9
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Re: You know who you were.

Just to be straight, you did this to make it impossible to solve (you can also do this by flipping an edge piece)? A similar trick makes the sliding puzzle impossible to solve (switch two adjacent pieces).

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Charles 9
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As for that time...

Is this the COMPLETE time needed to solve the cube, complete with mechanical action? Given the sheep physical distance 20 moves would take, I would call that one heck of a feat.

Which means I don't think so. Probably just the time needed to construct an efficient solution while the actual motors take it nice and easy so as not to break the cube through overexertion.

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What do you give a bear that wants to fork SSL? Whatever it wants!

Charles 9
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Re: Oh yeah?

You want constant time (as in each iteration takes the same amount of time regardless of the input) because you have to consider side channel attacks. For example, if you get a hint that one input takes more or less time than another input, then you can file that datum as a hint on your original input. Side channel attacks can be done in all sorts of physical ways: measuring current draw, CPU temperature, times, etc. It's sorta like reconstructing a crashed airliner: a piece here, a piece there, but you eventually get enough together to get an idea of what happened. Same here.

So, no, you don't want a "done before time x" constraint. You want (and need) a "done IN time x" constraint or you'll be giving away hints.

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Trump's torture support could mean the end of GCHQ-NSA relationship

Charles 9
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Re: You don't have to look that far for examples of Torture

You realize people can (a) close distance very quickly and (b) can kill with their fists and feet. Such danger factors in neighborhoods already indifferent if not hostile to police puts them in very uncomfortable territory.

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Charles 9
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Re: Torture works?

But what I'm saying there are some people who CAN'T be intimidated. No family means no sympathy angle, a hostile family means you're on HIS side, and masochists GET OFF on being hurt so are EMBOLDENED by torture.

So how do you intimidate people like THOSE?

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Charles 9
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Re: Just say NO

"Yah. But I believe your Constitution explicitly forbids "cruel and unusual punishment"."

But what if the punishment is cruel BUT USUAL? If prescribed in the law as it is now, there can be an argument for capital punishment being usual, especially in regards to treason, which is explicitly in the Constitution.

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Charles 9
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Re: Torture works?

"As the CIA Torture Manual points out, you don't torture the person you want information from. You torture their wife or children within earshot."

Trouble is, what if the man involved has no family (they're all dead) or they've had a falling out and thus hate their family, meaning the torture appeases them? Plus you could end up with a masochist who gets off on torture.

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Chirp! Let's hear it for data over audio

Charles 9
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Except in this case there's no need for an acoustic coupler like in the old days. It's good enough to operate through the air and at short distances in contrast to over phone lines.

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Charles 9
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I know some Yamaha receivers that can do firmware upgrades using encoded sound files. You have to download the sound which is usually a CD-quality WAV file and find a way to play it back into the receiver through an audio pickup (usually by burning it to a CD player, setting the receiver to that device, and playing back the track).

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Charles 9
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Re: WiFi pairing

Which is good because proper protocol should demand you be right next to the bloody thing when trying this. A cheap but short-range protocol that nonetheless is tough to get through walls (quick chirps will be hard to record through the attenuation of your average wall) would be a good thing.

But then again, why not a QR code, which is silent and also requires immediate physical presence to use?

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