* Posts by Paul 76

9 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Child abuse image hash list shared with major web firms

Paul 76

Re: I may be being stupid here but .....

Yes, I saw a post about that after I'd posted.

Problem is, the stuff they are trying to stop is not an issue of recognition, it is an issue of distribution.

What they want is to stop the stuff being stored on ftp servers and so on, right ?

So how does a "Photo DNA" algorithm cope if the thing is not actually a photo. Suppose the raw bytes in the file are swapped according to some key sequence and that key sequence is distributed seperately ?

Anything based on pictorial recognition will not work if the thing is not a photo, surely ?

Paul 76

I may be being stupid here but .....

Suppose I actually wanted to distribute this stuff (I don't !)

All you'd have to do would be to write a script that changed one pixel on the image (depends on compression), resized it, changed an irrelevant byte in the internal format or just about anything. You could probably convert a PNG to a JPG and back again and you wouldn't get the same file because of lossy compression. Or I could zip the file. Or I could add an extra 256 bytes to the end of the file filled with random values, which another program could strip off.

Am I wrong here ?


Apple's Watch charging pad proves Cupertino still screwing buyers

Paul 76

and in other news ....

Pigs can't fly, and trout don't live in trees.



Apple 1 goes on sale, expected to fetch £300,000 to £500,000

Paul 76

Some investment ! Beanie Babes mentality.

The odd thing is, it's not *that* rare. 50 machines is quite a few when you are looking at 900k.

I doubt it works either "incorrectly inserting a chip" sounds like someone's tried to repair it and stuffed it up. Someone who doesn't know what they are doing as well .....


Facebook's UK wing paid just £4k in corporation tax last year

Paul 76


Dividends are after tax.

Payment to staff is before tax.

If a company has a working profit of £1m but reduces that to zero by dividing it all up between employees, the no CT is paid (no profit) but IncomeTax and NI are paid on the money, which is more than the current CT rate.

And, no, you can't just "move it offshore"


Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

Paul 76

Re: The Apple iCar

"Well,, here's a funny thing. I have as yet to find any problems hooking up an iThing to anything using Open Standards"

what about the standards for USB storage ? Does that work yet ?

Paul 76

Oh, yes great idea.

"Need to turn left. Log in with your Apple ID"


"Your motor car provision key is invalidated because we feel like it. Need to turn left"


"Your Apple ID must consist of at least 417 upper and lower case letters, 38 numbers and 42 cyrillic characters and 5 randomly chosen pictures. Change it now. Need to turn left"


"Unfortunately we have detected the use of non-Apple Petrol (TM) in your Apple car. Even though we ignored it for the last three months. For your protection and safety we are going to disable the airbag and seatbelts. Please empty your tank of inferior petrol and replace with Apple Petrol (superior quality at ten times the price). Need to turn left".


"Need to Download iCar v 8.0.13. Unfortunately this will take three days as Apple's developers haven't managed to build restartable downloads yet. Version 8.0.13 has a tiny bug which stops the car from turning left, but you cannot reinstall 8.0.12. Need to turn left".


"Apple have for your safety and security replaced the standard brake system with their new improved iBrake system, where unfortunately the brake cables fall off the connector after five minutes use because it's not designed properly. Please proceeed without brakes. Need to turn left"



Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

Paul 76

Well, I think it's obvious who will pay, we are. Microsoft want a rerun of Office 365. So the 'free' version will be limited in many ways, and the full one will be subscription.

MS want a subscription model because there are plenty of people quite happy with 2000,XP,Vista,7,8 as it is and they get no money from it (mostly it costs them money). So get everyone (as far as possible) onto 10 by making it 'free' then manipulate people into paying for it.


International Cricket 2010

Paul 76

Not quite yet.

"These elements, carried over from Ashes 2009, provide a precise system that replicates the almost infinitesimal variations required to outfox batsmen."

No, they don't. It's a good game, but it still hasn't fixed the basic problem of Computer Cricket which is the player bowling to a computer batsman.

Even if it can provide such a system, and it's not far off, I agree, what is missing is the sequence of events AI between the bowler and batsman. Even with quick bowling it is not simply an issue of trying to bowl the best delivery possible ; it is the sequence that undoes the batsman - knowing when to bowl a googly because the batsman has been "trained" not to expect it, for example. Things like the sixth sense a spin bowler gets that a batsman is going to charge him are also missing. Is it the right time to bowl a slower ball or is he picking it ? All these kind of things without which it just doesn't work.

To be fair, these things are just about impossible to simulate. What cricket games do is work out an appropriate shot for the given delivery and scale the success of that delivery by the batsman's ability and confidence. That's why in some games the batsman can always be got out playing the same delivery to the same shot ; not only does the batsman never learn, but the rest of his team don't either, because they don't think.

What this means in practice in that bowling at a computer batsman is quite a dull experience. Ashes 2009 hasn't solved this and I doubt the 2010 version will either. No-one else has.