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* Posts by 142

190 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010

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NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'

142

Re: how about adding a layer of...

The reason they keep the wheels to a bare minimum is weight. Adding mass to them would limit the amount of science instruments that can be included.

It's not like they don't test the wheels extensively.

The surface they encountered at this location had never been seen before -> hard, eroded, jagged spikes of rock. Really, really nasty stuff. Wind sculpted into 3 to 4 inch shark teeth, hidden in the dust. It's akin to driving over a car park spike strip.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

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Re: CDDA < FLAC

:-( Yeah, legend indeed. I'd have loved to have had the chance to send a mix his way.

Yeah, the reason I ask is that it seems bizarre to me that there would be any audible difference between the masters the mastering engineer made, and what was on CD, given that that would be the delivery format from the mastering engineer to the label in most cases. What leaves the mastering studio ends up on the CD with bit-perfect accuracy.

So if you were noticing a difference, I wonder were you getting the *mix masters*, from the mix engineer, before it got sent to mastering?

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142

Re: CDDA < FLAC

What specifically do you mean by "studio master", at the start of the third paragraph?

Who is the last person to have engineered it?

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142

> But if you can't tell the difference already, what "breakthrough" could possibly improve the experience?

Well there a lot of things you might want to do spacially, or spectrally, with the sound to spread it across different speakers, etc.

The problem is, once you encode audio with a perceptual codec like MP3, the resulting audio makes sense to the human ear in a very specific set of circumstances: that it's played in stereo through a standard listening system.

Outside of this, it breaks down.

The reason is straightforward: MP3 primarily removes parts of Sound A because Sound B has played before, or simultaneously, making some parts of Sound A inaudible ("masked").

Now, if you go changing the sound, dividing it between speakers, extracting elements, etc, the Sound B is played back differently and hits the ear differently, meaning different parts of Sound A get masked, and the parts the MP3 cut out of Sound A become obvious (it sounds akin to an MP3 with a 64kbps bitrate, or crap YouTube vid, with all the swirling noise and distortion).

Similarly, if you need to digitally analyse the sound for some reason, the loss of data is very significant, as it was encoded to sound good for a person, but the signal doesn't make sense in its own right - the removal of all those chunks of audio looks like weird noise added to the signal.

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

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an exceptional coincidence?

> an exceptional coincidence?

Watch this documentary - or at least from the 46 minute point.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vv0w8/horizon-20102011-6-asteroids-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

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Twitter: La la la, we haven't heard of NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES

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Re: Polaroids FTW

"keeps nude pictures of themself anywhere"

You're assuming they deliberately kept the pics. They could have taken them for a laugh one evening with their partner, and then deleted them immediately, but they auto-synced to iCloud before they were deleted.

If they're not tech savvy, they may not have realised the significance of their iCloud/photo stream setup. I've seen very tech-savvy people make mistakes with similar things like dropbox.

Edit: Also. Cloud storage providers will often recover deleted files for you if you ask them. Even if they're gone from the trash folder in your cloud drive. I know Box do, and it's an infuriating risk when I'm trying to keep data secure on their service.

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IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

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> Until Watson learns to filter out fabricated data, badly designed experiments, or incorrectly computed statistics

Actually, I think it might be well capable of this naturally. Given the depth of information it will have, it should be able to judge when a conclusion is an outlier when viewed in the grand scheme things, or when there's a logically fallacy. Certainly, it should be far better at it than a human.

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Dropbox cuts cloud storage prices $10 per terabyte, matching Google and Microsoft

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Re: factual errors in the article -> please check your story

Depends on the country, it's £7.99 here in the UK, $10 in the US, and I presume €10 in Ireland (given it's quoting you in euro in English).

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Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV

142
Pint

Nail on the head. That's exactly what'll happen.

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Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar

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Alien

Re: Could that even be pumped to Utah?

> Could that even be pumped to Utah?

Ha! Good question. I just did some digging for figures:

No... No it could not.

Total _Global_ IP traffic per year: 1.1 zettabytes in 2016, according to Cisco.

(http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html)

So that's either a millennium too much storage, or the NSA are actually the Men In Black.

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142
Facepalm

Yottabyte, my arse!

I have given up disbelieving anything said about the NSA, but a Yottabyte? Seriously? Did nobody at Wired do a sanity check before going to print?

That's multi-trillion dollars in storage cost alone, and will be for the foreseeable future. The entire US Black Budget is only* ~$50 Billion.

*"only"... heh...

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Yosemite Siri? Apple might plonk chatty assistant on your desktop - report

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Re: Or like original Star Trek?

The patent's not for using speech recognition to give the computer orders, etc.

It's specifically for invoking it with a gestures:

The claim is that it's "A method for invoking a digital assistant service, comprising: at a user device comprising one or more processors and memory: detecting an input gesture from a user according to a predetermined motion pattern on a touch-sensitive surface of the user device; and in response to detecting the input gesture, activating a digital assistant on the user device. "

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

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Re: This is what happens ....

More like this is what happens when imbeciles design user interfaces.

I was driving a rental car recently, and the song title display used the same text field as the other announcements, like directions, seatbelt warnings, etc.

And it was just displayed one or two words at a time - nothing to indicate they were partial titles!

It caused confusion repeatedly. Such as when something like Ellie Golding's "Lights" would come on the radio at night...

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Apple OS X Yosemite 4 TIMES more popular than Mavericks

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Stop

Re: I want no cloud

Jim, you're incorrect. Syncing or registering is completely optional

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London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

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Facepalm

Re: Insurance?

@YetAnotherLocksmith

.......what in the name of...?

You're adding 2 + 2 together and getting Z.

They're just licensed mini-cab drivers, operating independently. Fully professional, fully legal - has been for years and years. The only thing that's up for debate is their billing procedure.

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NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

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Re: remove everything from 20Hz to 100Hz

Nope! The harmonics go way way up through the spectrum. You'd need to get rid of every frequency that's a multiple of 50Hz+/-5%. Up to about 5k. That encompasses virtually the entire speech frequency range.

Not even professional tools can totally remove mains interference without severe artefacts.

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

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Not as unlikely as a catastrophic fire though..

Intuitively, Ac, I would agree with you. A catastrophic fire or air pressure failure disorienting and then killing the crew as they set up for an emergency landing feels most plausible.

However. Amazingly, planes and emergency protocols so reliable nowadays that based on the numbers, it's actually far more likely that it was a rogue pilot, suicidal pilot, or attempted hijacking.

This is why the rogue pilot theory refuses to die.

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USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

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Re: Possibly not a dangerous charger

I wonder if it is more likely a 220v 50Hz signal causing the coils in the earphones to superheat and melt/burn out. I've seen loudspeakers catch fire when subjected to these sort of low frequency overloads.

I guess, this could happen if the charger malfunctioned connected the positive mains signal direct to the USB ground, which would be then move the ground of the headphones from 0v dc to 220 ac. *shudders* so many horrible failure mechanisms when you start throwing mains voltage around headphones.

Almost makes me never want to wear headphones for work again.

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Google's URL-hiding 'origin chip' is 'backburnered'

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Facepalm

Re: Good Idea, Poor Implementation?

This is such an obvious and ideal solution that it astounds me they haven't used it. I just can't see a single disadvantage.

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Rap chap tapped for $3 BEELLION: Apple buys Dr Dre's Beats

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Re: Studio headphones

"When mixing one has to hear the music not the headphones "

Not everything in the studio involves mixing, or indeed needs flat monitors. For writing / production - hyped speakers can be great. Vibe is far more important than accuracy. I know on the big A-list hip-hop recordings in Record Plant in LA, the sound is always played back at max volume through the giant far fields, which are eq'd to hype the bass. They are anything but flat!

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TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

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Re: If you were the NSA...

>You can hate them all you want but they do their job in the shadows very well.

Yeah, that's a fair statement. So who was it - assuming it's a hack? Patriot Hackers? Seems like a slightly odd target.

Thoughts?

Some obscure Anonymous fringe perhaps? They're not averse to taking down things for fun on occasion, especially things that claim to be secure.

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UK.gov! frets! over! Yahoo! exodus! to! RIPA-free! Dublin!

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Re: Speaking as a Yahoo employee...

Yes. There would certainly be a lack of top level recent graduates with a couple years of experience at the moment.

When the dotcom bubble crashed in the early 2000s college applications for IT courses in Ireland went to almost zero. This is possibly true in other parts of the world, but it was exceptionally true in Ireland as every top level technically minded school kid was told to do civil engineering (as "house prices are bound to keep rising 15% per year, and we're going to need hundreds of thousands more of them each year! that's going to be an amazing job to have when young billy will be graduating in 2010" - Idiot guidance counsellors...)

I watched this happen to one flagship university IT degree I'm familiar with - it had a drop in applications of 95% between 2000 and the middle of the decade because of this. They had to resort to offering places in the newspaper to anyone who wanted one...

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

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Re: @Tom7

Following on to that, obviously you're not going to be doing CSI esque analysis of the audio after it's been degraded that much, but perhaps they view the speech part of the recordings as worth having even without detailed background noise. Important targets could be stored at a higher quality.

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Re: @Tom7

Depending on the algorithm used, you can get intelligible speech at a data rate of 1kilo*bit* per second. Examples here: http://www.nine-9s.com/prod_speech_codec_comparisons.htm

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American Idol host's keyboard firm smacks back against BlackBerry in patent spat

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re:The Sony P910 had an external keyboard...

That's not the issue blackberry have. Read the earlier article on this topic. It's to do with how the keys themselves are designed for usability and to avoid typing mistakes. They're very genuine grievances.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

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Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

You can't update-and-keep data from early versions of OSX like tiger to 10.9 without buying and installing intermediate OSs first.

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Facebook debunks Princeton's STUDY OF DOOM in epic comeback

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Alert

Re: Time will tell

> (I'd only observe that most things with a meteoric rise usually end in a meteoric fall.)

Indeed.

Except, seemingly, FB's archenemy: Google.

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UK IT supplier placed on ASA naughty step over 'misleading' HDD ad

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Black Helicopters

Re: sounds like you work for them?

I suspect you're right. There sure are some very bizarre votes being given to this article's comments, yours being a case in point!

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DOOMSDAY still just MINUTES AWAY: As it has been since 1947

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Re: Only 5 minutes before the hour?

"what has happened since the break up of the USSR "

Well, for one, you've got pakistan and india pointing nukes at each-other. Pakistan has supposedly been developing *battlefield* nuclear weapons. Not strategic ICBMs, not tactical missiles, but battlefield nuclear artillery, that would be under the command of junior officers.

There are reports Russia has doing clandestine experiments on warheads of this scale recently, too.

There's debate as to whether the use of such weapons would trigger the dominoes falling towards full scale armageddon.

(There are valid arguments on both sides:

https://www.aspi.org.au/publications/strategic-insights-62-non-strategic-nuclear-weapons-the-next-step-in-multilateral-arms-control

http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/6723/size-doesnt-matter)

Then on the full scale NATO-Russia(-China) strategic level, there are also major concerns that have grown since the end of the cold war. The most major of which is how the of balance of power is shifting, as China becomes more powerful, and Russia's nuclear detection/command system ages. It's important that all three powers' respective strengths and weaknesses cancel each-other out, so that Mutual Assured Destruction remains mutually assured. If it accidentally evolves to the point that one of the sides believes that it is no longer true (or believes that one of the other sides believes that) then all bets are off.

Then there's dangers like this... http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/soviet-doomsday-device-might-still-be-operational/

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Audiophiles: These Wi-Fi speakers have a stereo drift of less than 25μs – good enough for you?

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Re: Stereo sound

"What if you have people putting multiple speakers on top of each other?" Well yes, this is a scenario I hadn't considered.

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142

Re: Less than 25us? Why?

""Ok. 400ms is an utter disaster."

It actually isn't. By my calculations, it's a little over 5 inches, which is about what would"

To clarify, I used 400**ms** deliberately, as I thought that was what the article said.

400ms is nigh on 400feet. My experience with Apple's Airplay encoding has been delays in this sort of region.

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Re: Less than 25us? Why?

"Nope, he said "300, 400 microsecond", not milliseconds. That's (at worst) 0.0004s drift."

Ah. I wonder was the article edited? I would have sworn it said ms there when I replied.

But yes, 400us is absolutely nothing in this context!

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Meh

Re: Less than 25us? Why?

They never cease to amaze me with their awe-inspiring lack of critical thinking.

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Facepalm

Less than 25us? Why?

Ok. 400ms is an utter disaster. That is worse than the sort of delay you get an outdoor concert.

But *microseconds* between separate speakers? It's pointless in even a professional scenario (unless they're in a mathematical array, like a line array). Sound travels just over half a centimetre in 25us! No one sets their speaker positions, (and I won't even mention the LISTENING position) to that level of accuracy. And he's talking about multiroom accuracy: you could have 10ms+ delays for that and it wouldn't be audible.

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Twitter co-founder wraps tentacles around Q&A market, squirts out Jelly

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Question...

Has any co-founder of a successful website like twitter ever managed to replicate that success with a similar site?

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Snapchat: In 'theory' you could hack... Oh CRAP is that 4.6 MILLION users' details?

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Re: What's with all the downvotes?

I agree. It showed my spam-box email address, which I don't care about, was leaked by Adobe, together with the password I used on the site. There was zero reason to require an email address or account for what I had needed anyway, Adobe just insisted, like Codemasters before them, with the same result. CUNTS, the lot of them.

However, I guess a point is that you probably shouldn't need to use Hunt's site - you should assume your details are stolen, and act accordingly.

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Macbook webcams CAN spy on you - and you simply CAN'T TELL

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re: I have discovered a 3.5mm jack plug inserted in the appropriate...

Is this a hardware function or a firmware/software function, though? I suspect it's the latter.

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NSA collects up to FIVE BILLION mobile phone locations daily

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Want to know what these records have the potential to look like? Press play: http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention

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Recommendations for private cloud software...

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Re: Recommendations for private cloud software...

J., is your main concern with Dropbox that your data is stored by a third party?

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I was just looking into all these services recently...

Have a look at www.box.com.

I believe you'd need to use their enterprise edition to get the features you require in relation to auditing, data trails, and enforced file-deletion policies. Enterprise admin users have a lot of control over how they lock down accounts.

What I noticed about box, was that they have the best attention to detail of any of these companies I've looked at. A few prominent competitors' "prevent user from downloading" functions were trivially bypassed.

The other company to look at, who appear equally robust, and I believe specialise in larger companies, is egnyte.com.

They also have the benefit of being UK based, which could help you for regulatory purposes.

We chose box in the end, as I wasn't happy with Egnyte's audio options, so I can't really go in depth about that one, but I can talk about Box in a bit more detail:

> "The employee working with the rep creates a login for the vendor to use on the site."

with box enterprise, you can create different levels of admin users, so I believe you would be able to do this.

> "Vendor goes to the site, logs in with their account, and uploads the file(s)."

yes. indeed, you can create folders with upload only permissions for certain users.

>"The site gives the vendor and/or the employee a link with the file's location for sharing."

yes, box handles this quite well.

>"The file would stay on the site for a certain period of time, and automatically be removed or archived."

Yes. It's possible to disable both the link to the file, or delete the file itself, after a given period of time. From what I know, enterprise admins can set a company-wide policy in this respect.

>"We would also need the ability to audit the application's usage, and obviously security is paramount."

Box's auditing tools appear to be very hefty. Even at my team's low level usage, I can see exactly who's accessing my files, when, and from where.

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Indonesia turns Twitter into very leaky diplomatic bag

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Re: Good for him

You can assume you are. Read up on the Five Eyes, an intelligence gathering/sharing pact between the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Even if Canada was not directly involved in this particular incident, your government would likely have had access to the information.

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If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans

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Re: Not sure this is so impressive, and this is dangerous...

"The problem I see with all AI effort is the parsing of CONTEXT. To determine properly meaning and function some minimal grasp of the context or object environment needs to be there. As well subtext, history and expectation (future projection)."

It's an interesting point, isn't it.

At one level, we as humans learn by being able to choose to do an action to interact with the environment, and learn from / experience the result (the classic being kids playing with blocks trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, etc…). Computers, even massive systems like Google's don't really have the chance to perform actions that effect the world around them.

However I guess they can watch intently, and study cause and effect. I wonder, as I said above, could that be a suitable substitute? At the root level, given enough opportunity to observe, could it work? Indeed, can you learn more by standing on the sidelines and watching, rather than being directly involved?

And taking this further, is Google's system getting more chance to learn about making choices that effect things in the real world? Google's Self-Driving Cars, could be seen as one step in this direction. Choices made by that system will have direct effects on physical objects. It can watch what happens to other cars, and people, depending on its choices. How do they avoid the car? What sort of things move which way?

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Re: Not sure this is so impressive, and this is dangerous...

"It has no notion of a cat". Maybe / maybe not. Whilst that's the traditional view, Google has resources far beyond what was conceived when people say this. It has access to the context of these images. What they are named, tagged, and placed alongside. This is a massive amount of information. If their AI system has access to this, and it cross references pictures of cats with Wikipedia or say discussions about cats, for example, it can potentially make judgements in a similar way to humans.

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Google makes Gmail EVEN NOISIER, or should that be nosier?

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Re: Google slow?

Could this be the system wide SSL that Google has introduced? I know they've made vast improvements on SSL latency, but that was focused on user/server data. wonder are they finding that latency becomes an issue when every step internally involves an encryption/decryption cycle that it didn't have before?

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Fury as OS X Mavericks users FORCED to sync contact books with iCloud

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Re: SSL / TLS...

SSL is obvious. But you're at the other party's mercy for whether TLS is enabled.

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142

But...

Given that email is transmitted cleartext between mailservers, won't your email contacts be identified by default by the nsa/gchq watching emails fly by past their fibretaps? Whilst this iCloud insistance isn't ideal, does it make a material difference?

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Indestructible, badass rootkit BadBIOS: Is this tech world's Loch Ness Monster? VOTE NOW

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Re: Difficult to see this one happening

"The data frequency will have to be subsonic ( < 35Hz) or else the sum and difference products will be definitely audible."

Very good point.

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142

Re: Uh ... computer says no.

@CheesyTheClown

I suspect that's been upgraded to a 96kHz clock on newer macs, given the nature of the options presented in Logic (88 and 96k valid, but 176.4 and 192kHz greyed out) when my internal card was selected. [I don't deny they could lie though.

But anyway, I can tell you that it is possible to transmit data like this - I've done it using Dual Tone Multi Frequency encoding, transmitting text from one computer to another through their a soundcards. I knocked something together in an afternoon before, (using FFT, iirc). Mine worked in the audible range, but it will work in the ultrasonic range too. This is (very) slow, but incredibly resilient. We're spoilt for modern data rates. Cut back the bloat, and have a lot of stuff pre-programmed, and there's an awful lot you could achieve with 10bps.

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Black Helicopters

Re: The ultrasonics bit sounds like utter cobblers to me.

I've verified a laptop outputting very strong signal at 20kHz (see my post below). But what's interesting to consider - is there a way that a computer program could induce EM noise into either the mains or the environment, that would result in noise being induced into the input of a computer sound card's Analogue to Digital converter? Doing something with the monitor perhaps, etc?

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Re: Uh ... computer says no.

Ok, just ran a test myself: thought so.

20,000Hz (sine wave)* being played out of my laptop (macbook pro), and being picked up by its built-in mic, what looks to be well over 40dB above the noise floor.

http://imgur.com/8pxFgjG

I've verified that this is not crosstalk in the electronics.

Macbook pros' speakers are woeful, and their mics are worse. If it can work on a macbook, it can work on anything.

[And I can't edit my post now, but of course I offer my most humble apologies for misspelling your name, oh uncapitalised one! ;-) ]

[*inaudible to me, though I can hear it on square waves due to distortion]

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