* Posts by JDX

6093 posts • joined 28 May 2010

Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

JDX
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Re: surely the enviromentalist dont want all disease cured

It's a valid argument, though one that's hard to have since it requires billions to die, but generally isn't high birth rate a sign of a nation with poor healthcare and life expectancy? As countries become developed, birth rates naturally seem to drop to closer to 1 in 1 out?

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Re: Try paying some fucking taxes...

Age old argument - is money more efficient through private, uncontrolled enterprise, or government which has more bureaucracy but is not at one person's whim?

Also you do all realise MArk's taxes and Facebook's taxes are entirely separate. He's not spending FB money on this, as I understand, but his own personal fortune.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

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Is there a practical application?

For MS to be involved I assumed there was some application of this, but the article doesn't seem to mention anything beyond the abstract.

Is it pure research or are there known theoretical uses of this?

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Apple launches HomeKit app – but where are the products?

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Re: IOT does not play nice and is a security threat

Computers are a security threat, period.

Generally speaking people will be interested in vulnerabilities they can make money off, so while senseless vandalism attacks will doubtless happen - cue a BBC news story about a rash of such attacks by teenage hackers - I don't see that aspect being the big worry.

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

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Re: What do I replace my Lumia 1020 with?

The PureView would be worse than the 1020 for a usable phone experience though.

As for "A basic phone, hotspot, small laptop or tablet, and a micro four-thirds or bridge model camera." yeah you really get the concept of a mobile phone...

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What do I replace my Lumia 1020 with?

I liked WP - I had a cheap 610 as my first smartphone on 7.0 -> 7.5 and then plumped for a 1020 running 8.1 which I bought outright for £240 - a bargain for a top-end phone.

As I understand it, there STILL isn't anything which topples the PureView/1020 camera which is a real shame since that was my reason for getting such a large phone!

Anyone got any suggestions what to replace it with - mine is dying and I don't want to go WP10?

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Space exploration: Are Musk and Bezos about to eclipse Gagarin and Armstrong?

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Re: Location, location

Maybe it's held somewhere with excellent travel links to the rest of the country, where half the nation's population are within an hour's travel?

Nah, they're just out to get you. They should hold it in Cornwall, home of the future space port.

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Twitter expands beyond 140 characters

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It's a hugely popular platform and has genuinely changed the way humans communicate (whether for good or for bad) so is very powerful. However just because something is valuable doesn't automatically make it profitable.

We were expecting Facebook to flop commercially but they seem to have turned it around after some wobbles. It does seem Twitter is struggling and it is rather confusing this is the case considering just how big a deal it is.

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Re: They should allow more text

140 is quite a lot if you actually get 140 for the text. If you find you need substantially more it might just be that Twitter isn't the best platform.

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Microsoft bods tell El Reg: We've re-pivoted open-source .NET Core

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Wasn't there some talk of converging?

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Woz says 'Jobs started Apple for money' – then says it must pay 50% tax like he does

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Sorry but you can't say you are taxed >50% on all you earn because you spend some of your earnings on things that include tax. You are taxed the amount you pay in tax on your earnings. You can include NI (in the UK, presumably similar elsewhere), to claim otherwise is misleading for dramatic effect.

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Why is Woz paying >50% on all he earns?

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Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

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Re: Ain't it amazing

The whole point is people LIKE using an IDE. That is actually a fact.

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Re: I can't imagine why anyone developing for Linux isn't doing it on a Linux box

Well there are lots of cross-platform projects for one thing.

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Japan loses contact with new space 'scope just weeks after launch

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Re: Bugger

Ha, I am also friends with Chris.

Just have wait and see I guess.

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Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

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Re: Rubbish

In terms of design and UX they have been innovative. Taking some proof-of-concept R&D and turning it into a polished mass-market product which changes the world of IT IS innovation - it's just not R&D. Innovation and invention are quite different things.

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Re: First World problems anyone?

>>I don't really see the point of this, unless it happens for all lighting, everywhere

>>Unless most people spend hours every night in darkened rooms staring at their mobiles

Um, that's rather the point - lots and lots of people do spend their time playing on their phone or watching Netflix, or reading a book on their tablet, in bed with the lights off. Plus it's closer to your eyes. And I think even modern lighting is quite yellow unless you deliberately put bright white bulbs in your bedroom.

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For now, it will be the preserve of professionals with too much money.

Or rather, professionals who are good at their jobs. Journalists would be excused for not knowing the difference ;)

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Re: Can it be turned off?

Your phone won't send you to sleep. It just won't stop you going to sleep any more. Like a book.

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Re: will anyone notice?

If it's on by default you don't need to notice.

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Pope kicks off Easter week by triumphal entry into ... Instagram

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I mean you could have used one of those images for the headline instead of filling up half a page with a silly stock image...

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Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

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Re: How can I tell if the update is applied? @ JDK

Thanks. I think I've got 3.4.2 (and have had for ages!) so maybe this only affects people who never go online with their device.

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How can I tell if the update is applied?

Will the firmware version number reported change? Because Kindle doesn't tell you it has updated unless you go looking for it.

I've received no emails and I have a Kindle Keyboard 3g which surely pre-dates 2013...

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Woz: World-changers to Apple Watches, why pay for an overpriced band?

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Re: some people genuinely need to prove they have money to burn

A few people but I think that's an overly derogatory position. More simply, lots of people have the money that they can buy an Apple Watch as just another fun gizmo. They might have several great watches already, buy one of these and play with it for a bit before it goes in a drawer, the way we might by a Pi or some £10 remote control helicopter.

If you're wealthy, you don't need a great justification for spending £500.

This talk of "entitlement" and "needing to feel important" is simply a response from jealous people who want to prove that they're better than those who are rich. Why bother? You're neither better nor worse. Just poorer.

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Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

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Re: they didn't allow either of their headlining human opponents to practice against it

Sure, but a year or two later Deep Blue would have mashed him - these days nobody even questions if a human could beat a computer. That Alpha has come right out and done so well so soon is pretty damning. All the human players were talking about how easily they would beat it 2 weeks ago...

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Re: they didn't allow either of their headlining human opponents to practice against it

Interesting point. However after 4 games, the computer still won game 5. Human players have the same issues of having to learn each others' style of play and you'd expect the best player in the world to adapt very fast.

They may well open-source this or sell it so we'd be able to know for sure but considering this is basically a 1.0 version (if that) and it ALREADY beats the top player, exactly how long do you think humans will be able to keep up?

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Re: Shall we play a game?

It's a very narrow definition of intelligence to demand it learns in the same way a human does.

You make the comparison of "an accurately trained monkey" - a monkey cannot read but it is certainly intelligent. If we could make something as smart as a monkey, that would be pretty remarkable.

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Re: Yes very significant.

You definition of "real AI" is not the same as everyone else's.

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@FatGerman

You and all those who have upvoted your faux-authoritative answer are totally wrong (why are people trusting someone who got 27% in their maths exam to discuss the principles of advanced maths and computer science?!)

>>Intelligence is not about knowing stuff. Any twat can know stuff. Even more wankers can look stuff up, which is all this charade does

The very point of this ENTIRE project is that Go is NOT about knowing stuff or looking stuff up. That's why Go was chosen, because you CAN'T brute-force it. Even the top players have to rely on intuition and 'gut-feeling' rather than, say, chess where every move can be analysed and explained by the player and expert commentators.

The people who wrote this software didn't know how to beat the top player at Go. They designed some software to figure out the answer to that question. More than likely, they actually do not know how it works themselves - that's a key feature of neural networks.

So this is entirely ground-breaking and very cool. Not specifically relating to Go, but as proof of progress in machine learning and neural networks. Software that figures out how to solve the task given it is pretty much a definition of one part of AI.

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Remix OS: China's take on an Android operating system – but for PCs

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Pretty cool

No necessarily that it will get widely used, I just find it inspiring that people do this kind of stuff. Every now and then, one takes off BIG.

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Get lost, Windows 10 and Phone fans: No maps HERE on Microsoft's OS

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Balls

Here maps are great on my phone. Free to download for pretty much any country I wanted to visit, both for walking around or full turn-by-turn GPS (also excellent).

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Steve Ballmer: Get the Facts. I 'love' SQL Server on Linux

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Re: What's the use case for this?

Azure clients running Linux would be a great example of a good target market (is this common?) Clients who are interested in .NET on Linux would be another though these are probably rare (for now).

Any sensible company who finds their options for a serious DB have just increased should investigate, it's not like there are loads of options as it is.

And then there are companies who use a mix of technologies.

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Re: I do expect at some point Microsoft will come up with Office for Linux

Linux is STILL absolutely nowhere on the desktop. And this doesn't seem to be changing. It's the servers where making Linux software makes sense.

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Re: Threat from Linux "in the rear-view mirror"

I suppose some people really find odd things fun. Installing OS certainly doesn't do it for me.

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Airbus' Mars plane precursor survives pressure test

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Re: Keep in mind it's 90 000 feet on Earth,

Maybe this is a dumb question but could this be delivered to Mars by dropping it pre-built at the edge of the atmosphere?

e.g. construct it in Earth orbit and throw it at Mars?

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More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey

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I have ABP on my PC but have not (as far as I know) ever tried installing anything on my iPad, my WinPhone, or my Mac (used rarely). I don't find the web a horrible place on the unblocked devices but then I don't tend to visit sites with awful ads. Or maybe my brain blocks the ads for me.

Oh, other than ads on Youtube. They are a PITA.

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Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

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Re: I've Seen Short Circuit 2

It takes several blows to disable Jonny 5 - it only takes one to disable a human.

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Microsoft hits the gas in drive to recruit autistic techies

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Re: Um, this is ridiculously illegal

Yeah, it's awful that they're actively seeking out disabled people to pay them a lot of money.

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Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

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Re: Stephen Fry stayed at home to become a 'national treasure' and he still resents it

I don't see how you get that.

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Re: Who is Steven Fry?

Jeeves and Wooster is an absolutely brilliant TV show. Up there with Yes Minister in my book.

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Like your iPhone, but not enough to touch it? This patent's for you

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Re: I've heard of the obvious...

Why do you need multi-touch to buy a train ticket?

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

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Re: Why put it all below water?

One reason against "why not just put the data centre on the coast" is cost. The coastline is often premium residential property and not ideally suited to big ugly data centres ruining sea views.

It seems a bit of a wacky proposition, but these things are worth at least exploring.

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Zuck's bucks are now the world's 6th-largest cash pile

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Bit of a slap in the face for all those claiming "FB will never make money" and "the shares will crash and burn".

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Back to the Future's DeLorean is coming back to the future

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Uh ... No. It just needed to get up to "88". Which it could. Barely.

Well as the article points out, acceleration is a factor when you need a road long enough to GET to 88. Although in the USA, long straight roads are hardly a rarity. In the UK, it would be much more of an issue.

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Google DeepMind cyber-brain cracks tough AI challenge: Beating a top Go board-game player

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You people do realise that human chess players are 'programmed' how to play, right? They are taught the rules, they read books on chess theory, they learn openings and end-games, they take lessons, they have their games studied and are given feedback and they study past games.

This Go system sounds far more like an AI than chess-based systems, if it is learning on its own BY playing or by interacting with humans. If they programmed it how to go about learning how to get good at Go, rather than how to play Go, this IS a big step.

It's not a human-level AI, but an ant is not a human-level intelligence either. We don't have to create something of reasoning, abstract thought and language for it to be an AI.

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Microsoft releases deep learning toolkit on GitHub. Now bring on the AI research

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C# is eminently portable. Rather surprised it is in C++ - is it cross-platform C++?

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Universal Credit: The IT project that will outlive us all

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Re: The Taxpayer in me agrees with you

Public sector contracting is by all accounts a bit of a PITA, in fact I thought they had brought in a cap of £250/day (or so) for public sector contractors, or were trying to...

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Watch: SpaceX Dragon capsule breathes fire during crucial hover test

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Re: Parachutes = Good.

Note that a)I only raised the environmental angle for completeness b)the cost angle is worth considering. I'm no greenie so I brought it up for debate/completeness in an open-minded way.

I'm not sure the "you can only re-use it if you use rockets" argument is valid. You could 'chute most of the way and use rockets purely for the landing or something.

I do think that we should be seeking to use the environment (in the non-greenie sense) wherever possible. Clearly Mars is different but what's necessary on Mars might not be the best solution here.

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Re: Parachutes = Good.

Parachutes are also good in the environmental/cost senses that you're not burning fuel you don't actually need. I don't know if the amount of fuel is large enough to be worth caring about, but it does seem a good principle to only use resources when you need to. Have jets for emergencies perhaps, but use chutes if possible?

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0-100mph in just 1.2 seconds

Ouch

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