* Posts by PassiveSmoking

340 posts • joined 29 Aug 2010

Page:

UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

If we ban tits from the internet then Cameron won't be able to go on line any more.

Yeah, I went there.

0
0

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: My brain hurts

I'm sorry, but words like "holistic" and "proactive", aren't they words that stupid people use to try and sound smarter?

... I'm fired, aren't I? </simpsons>

14
0

Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Microworld ghetto

I had to read entire textbooks on the subject so I can't really go into a hugely detailed answer but the short version is that the microworld is a simplification that's supposed to allow the engineers to focus on what they think are the fundamental problems without having to worry about the messy imperfections of reality, but the truth is that many of those messy imperfections are actually part of the fundamental problem itself, and once the system that can handle the microworld has been perfected they can't adapt it to cope with the mess they'd engineered out of their simplified model in the first place.

In short, AI is hard, and you can't make it easier by making the world it works in simpler.

0
0
PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Microworld ghetto

One of the subjects they covered on my artificial intelligence module at uni was the concept of a microworld. A microworld is some sort of simplified reality built for testing and developing AI systems that are designed to interact with it. It could be completely virtual, or it could be a real world environment with all the "sharp corners" taken off (A microworld for a pattern-recognition AI could for example be tested in a microworld with "sphere", "cube", "cylinder", etc but never have to deal with things like "person", "sofa", "kumquat", "squirrel" and so on).

The problem with microworlds is that systems developed in them tended to work brilliantly in the microworld, but when you tried to graduate those systems to more complex environments their performance tended to fall apart. This phenomenon became known as the Microworld Ghetto, if your AI was born there it would never escape the microworld. The complexities of the real world aren't something you can "bolt on" to an AI system, they have to be engineered in from the start.

I think Google's approach of testing in the real world with a human in a position to pull the plug in an emergency is far more likely to yield a successful outcome than building a driverless car microworld will. The photo of the track doesn't show any buildings or blind crests or poorly laid-out road markings or worn road markings or any other kind of obstruction to vision that you'd expect to encounter on a daily basis. Those are the things a driverless car needs to be able to cope with to work in the real world.

2
0

Beaten blokes HATE the women who frag them in online games

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
IT Angle

Re: Hardcoded behaviour not going away anytime soon!

Do women really prefer pink though? But that's another conversation altogether.

4
0
PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Seems pretty spot-on to me.

3
1

Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Congratulations to Apple on becoming the market leader in a market nobody cares about. :)

Seriously though, I do not see any point to smart watches. At the level of simple functionality there are plenty of devices that tell the time and are a hell of a lot cheaper. As a piece of jewellery or a status symbol a mechanical Swiss timepiece from Rolex or Omega has a lot more credibility. All you've got left as a unique selling point is that it can work as a remote control for your smart phone, and that's just not worth the kind of price the smartwatch manufacturers are asking.

I guess Apple were hoping to rule the market by doing for smartwatches what they did for smartphones with the iPhone, but the sad fact they just haven't. Their watch may be much better than the competition but just doing the same thing better than everybody else isn't enough in this case. You need a killer app, something that demonstrates the worth of smartwatches as a product category as a whole, otherwise they'll remain expensive geek toys with one day battery lives.

8
4

Pray for AMD

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Low end parts

The Mac Pro and Macbook Pro are both stuffed full of AMD chippery. I wouldn't call those machines low-end, or plasticy for that matter.

2
0
PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

I think Microsoft and Sony have a pretty big vested interest in keeping AMD alive. Their console lines rely on AMD processors and GPUs, so if they folded then that's that for the XBone and the PS4. Even the Wii U uses an AMD GPU so an entire console generation could potentially be laid waste!

Apple also use AMD GPUs in their systems that don't simply use Intel graphics, so they've got a pretty big incentive not to let AMD fold too.

I'd be fairly confident that somebody will come to their rescue.

1
0

Swimming in smartmobe profit? Let us guess, you're Tim Cook?

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Plenty of people complain about the cost of the iPhone, but from the looks of it, it would appear Apple are the only one pricing their products at a realistic level. The Android manufacturers are probably trying to undermine the iPhone's market share with products sold at close to or maybe even below cost.

I'm sure Apple are perfectly happy to let the current situation continue.

2
0

Adobe: We REALLY are taking Flash security seriously – honest

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Thanks to our hardening efforts...

our software is now as hard as Rick Moranis. With time and effort, one day it might be as hard as Whoppi Goldberg.

1
0

Install OS X El Capitan update – or your apps may do an Ellen Pao

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Stop

Breaking news!

Beta-grade software has bugs in it! Stop the presses!

0
0

Apple snuggles closer to IPv6

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Same-same?

You can actually get IPV6 addresses. We're fresh out of IPV4.

1
0

Java jockeys join Flash fans in the 0-day exploit club

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

If it wasn't for Minecraft and the fact that most popular IDEs depend on a Java runtime I'd just get rid of it.

2
0

Someone at Subway is a serious security nerd

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

And when your credit card gets p0wn'd, I'm sure you'll be the first to whine about it.

0
5
PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Wow, of all people to be on the opposite end of the security bell curve from Adobe, Subway is the last candidate I'd expect.

Having said that, it's kind of sad that an app that actually doesn't have utterly broken security is considered a pleasant surprise. This is pretty much the level most apps where money and/or private data can change hands should be aiming for

7
0

Google makes new hires ONE pay offer. 'Negotiation'? What's that?

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: So....

When did anybody say that, ever?

1
0

Hacking Team: Oh great, good job, guys ... now the TERRORISTS have our zero-day exploits

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

So what you're saying is that only you can be trusted to use the vulnerabilities you discover in code responsibly?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! That's fucking hilarious!

Dude, if you found them then sooner or later someone else would have too. Chances are people already had and were exploiting them. The fact that all these vulns are now known can only be good news because now it means they'll actually be fixed.

If you discover a vuln and you don't report it to the developer then you're not being responsible. End of.

4
0

Security gurus deliver coup de grace to US govt's encryption backdoor demands

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Unhappy

It won't make a shred of difference

The powers that be want their new toy and they will have it. They're not going to let silly little things like common sense or the online safety of the citizenry get in their way.

3
0

GhostShell back from the other side with mass data dump

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

PHP has had various mechanisms for sanitising user input and for generating prepared statements for years now, yet if you go on Stack Overflow you'll be inundated with endless streams of questions about database programming that include stuff like

$result = mysql_query ("SELECT * FROM someTable where someThing={$_GET['someValue']}");

It's infuriating to say the least. All these years of experience and Bobby Tables is still allowed to run rampant.

https://xkcd.com/327/

5
0

Argentina finds messenger to shoot after e-vote vuln allegations

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

You committed the worst crime possible

You showed up your government. Expect no mercy.

7
0

Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Andrew Orlowski article dissing freetards, praising copyrights on APIs soon

Nope, MS Java was a deliberate attempt to destroy Sun Java with Microsoft's "Embrace, Extend, Exterminate" technique. Microsoft subverted the "Write Once, Run Anywhere" philosophy of Java by deliberately changing the way the language worked in some circumstances and by providing features in their version that weren't in the specifications so that people would develop applications under MS Java with the intent that they wouldn't run in any other version. This was found to be an abuse of a monopoly and in violation of antitrust laws.

8
1
PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

So if I list a book's table of contents/chapters I'm a filthy piece of copyright-infringing pirate scum who should be dragged before the courts and sued back to the stone age?

That's what an API/Java interface basically amounts to.

There's a chapter in LotR called "A shortcut to mushrooms". If I write a book about growing narcotic fungus and call one of my chapters that should I get the crap sued out of me?

2
1

Github's 'Atom' text editor hits version 1.0

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

All well and good

But does it run on an Acorn Atom?

2
0

Hackers exploit fresh PC hijack bug in Adobe Flash Player, the internet's screen door

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Whilst ever

Youtube went HTML5 by default a few months back and only uses Flash as a fallback for browsers that don't support HTML5 video.

If you're still getting Flash on Youtube and your browser isn't from the paleozoic era then maybe you need to toggle your settings.

https://www.youtube.com/html5

2
0

DEATH by VEGETABLES: Woman charged with killing boyf using carrots. And peas

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Coat

Had she attacked him with eggs, milk and flour, would she be on a charge for battery?

Sorry.

13
0

ITU: we'll have 5G standards ready by 2020

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Of course by the time the standard actually comes out people in the marketing department will be calling it 42G.

0
0

UK.gov loses crucial battle in home-taping war with musicians

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Home taping is killing music!

Home humping is killing porno!

1
0

Version 0.1 super-stars built the universe – and they lived all the way over there, boffins point

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Question

According to Wikipedia the population numbering is a result in which the various populations were discovered or hypothesised. Our sun and local stars were known about first so they're population 1. Metal poor stars were discovered later so they're population 2. The discovery of population 2 stars led people to theorise about stars with no metal at all and those were dubbed population 3.

1
0

Ready to go again, soldier? Final Fantasy VII remake revealed

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

All together now

This guy are sick!

3
0

Adobe to hire security auditor to prevent repeat of password SNAFU

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

The first thing that should go in the audit...

... is the fact that Adobe took 2 years from a major breach to perform an audit.

1
0

Tech giants gang up on Obama over encryption key demands

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

The Daily Mail crowd

Unfortunately, it seems there's an awful lot of people in the "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" camp, at least if the comments section of papers like the Daily Mail are any indication. They don't realise that there are plenty of things you want to hide (Your credit card details, home address, medical history, etc), or that the same infrastructure that's used for encryption is also used for authentication and that without strong encryption trust on the internet would basically become impossible.

If those people can't be convinced otherwise there won't be enough pressure brought to bear to prevent politicians undermining encryption and ruining our security, in the name of security.

1
0

Google: Our self-driving cars would be tip-top if you meatheads didn’t crash into them

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Defensive driving

Wow, just... wow.

How did you find time out of your busy schedule smashing up spinning Jennys to write this?

0
0

FBI: Apple and Google are helping ISIS by offering strong crypto

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Facepalm

How can an intelligence guy be such a moron? Has he never heard of PGP?

2
0

Compromised SSH keys used to access Spotify, UK Govt GitHub repos

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

So basically a weakened encryption key put UK government data at risk.

You paying attention Dave? Got a dictionary handy? Could you do us a favour and look Irony up?

7
0

IT-savvy US congressmen to Feds: End your crypto-backdoor crusade

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: There's a simple way to explain it to them...

That won't work.

The only thing that will is "If you try to push this through, I won't vote for you again".

1
0

BRAIN STORM: Nine mislaid cerebra found near railway line in New York

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

It must have been zombie squirrels.

0
0

EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

@Ragarath

You think filters will stop kids from getting at anything unwanted? They can't. By necessity they've got to be a blacklist because you don't want to block everything by default and only whitelist things. There'd be hell to pay if that was the case, nobody with a new website could get through to any audience regardless of what the site's content is. Because the list is a blacklist, and because any blacklist is always going to be incomplete the filtering isn't going to block everything, and as the porn sites make money from hits they'll just try to find ever more inventive ways of circumventing the blacklist.

Filtering also can and does have chilling effects on free speech. Look up the "Scunthorpe problem" for one example, and the stories about breast-cancer support forums getting nuked/blocked by overzealous porn filters.

You'll have to apply this thing called "parenting" instead. In this case it's fairly simple though, just remove any internet-connected devices the dears have in their room and have the only internet-enabled PC they have access to in your house be in the living room. It would take a fairly brazen kid to go looking at porno in front of you while you're watching X-factor.

13
1

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Ken Ham doesn't exist.

I wasn't there to witness his birth and I've never personally seen him in action. I can only assume video footage of him is actually a sophisticated animatronic.

In fact as I've never witnessed evidence of any of you personally, none of you exist either. The human population is in fact a couple of hundred people who I have witnessed personally. Nothing else could possibly exist.

11
0

Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Java started making a big comeback when Google chose to use it as the programming language of choice for Android apps. The best move Oracle ever made was to sue the guys who had rescued their* language from the doldrums </sarcasm>

* Sun's really, but eh, buying something is the same as making it yourself, right? No, I'm not an Oracle fan, why do you ask?

2
0

US plans to apply export controls to 0-days put out for comment

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

What, do they think that if you can't report on a vulnerability that it will magically cease to exist and that all will be well? That nobody will try to exploit it? That nobody outside the US is capable of finding 0-day vulns?

What new idiocy is this? I haven't got a facepalm big enough to express it.

1
0

Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: Darwin's Law is still in effect.

Except these idiots can take innocent bystanders whose only crime was being in the wrong place in the wrong time with them.

You want to die in a moronic way? Fine, do it by trying to test if your gun's barrel is blocked by putting it to your head and repeatedly pulling the trigger. Don't do it in a way that can take out an innocent third party.

2
0

Get another loan, fanbois, the new MacBook Pro and iMac are here

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

... but you can't keep the rest of them from bitching about products they're not going to buy anyway.

6
0

Jeb Bush: Repeal Obamacare and replace it with APPLE WATCHES

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Bush?

Oh God, not another one.

0
0

That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

DRM in open source couldn't work?

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the Adobe DRM module is essentially a black box that takes encrypted data in one end and spits out an unencrypted video stream from the other, and the reason it's a black box is so that it can't be reverse-engineered, right?

Okay, what about the bit of the system that takes the unencrypted stream and displays it? Isn't that part of the system open source? What's to prevent an enterprising coder writing a module that intercepts the video stream after decryption and spooling it to disc instead of displaying it?

Have I missed something here? Because to me it seems that aside from all the other arguments against DRM that it would simply be useless in this context.

2
0

ISS 'naut: How we collect our POO and DROP it FLAMING on hapless Earthlings

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Dear astronauts,

Please aim your next dump of dumps at the houses of Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and especially Farage.

2
0

Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

That's assuming people who work in tech have a view as simple-minded as "regulation bad, deregulation good". Most of us know there's more to it than that. There are times where regulation is a bureaucratic road-block, and there are times where it is necessary to keep corporations from riding roughshod over consumer rights. For example the EU regulations on E-Commerce are making it harder to do business in Europe, but consumer protection regulations give consumers a vital legal recourse if a company, for example, refuses to refund or replace a product that was clearly faulty at the time of purchase.

Thatcher and Regan deregulated the banks in the eighties. 20 years later, the entire financial system nearly collapsed under the weight of trading that would have been illegal under the regulations they did away with and we're still feeling the fallout of that today. Given that ISPs can get away with selling crap service by including the immortal "up to" weasel words, I think a bit of regulation in this area might be prudent.

14
0

Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

Re: It's called freedom, folks

"Gays require different pizza from other people"

That so should be on a tee shirt!

2
0

Bloke faces 25 years in the cooler for upsetting Thai king on Facebook

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

The king of Thailand is an utter nob-end and has sex with farm animals.

Come at me, bro!

0
0

This one weird trick deletes any YouTube flick in just a few clicks

PassiveSmoking
Bronze badge

You can still delete any video you want

Just make a DMCA claim against it.

11
0

Page:

Forums