* Posts by 142

231 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010

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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

142

17mph unbraked, into the rear, is pretty significant. Most rear end collisions are much slower than that. (even if the car was initially going faster, it will have braked below that).

17mph is like getting tackled from behind unexpectedly by a rugby player.

It's gonna give whiplash, unless you were pre-braced, with your neck against the headrest.

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KERR-PAO! Reddit interim CEO Ellen quits amid Redditor revolt

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Re: w t f

She was appointed on the recommendation of the outgoing CEO.

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

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Re: Question?

And indeed, it's not even half baked!

By all accounts, the ratio of correct categorisation to mistakes is extremely good for an image detection system of this sort.

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Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

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Re: "a brave person who said that HRA has no audible benefits"

What the? NO!

That is absolutely incorrect.

You can *and should* use a properly designed digital system all the way up to just under 0dBFS. (allowing for intersample peaks of about 1dB or so).

There is no sonic advantage to having peaks 18dB below that. None. At all. Just huge disadvantages.

Unless you've got the most appallingly designed analogue components in your system/converters.

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Re: Dan Lavry

There are a million reasons for 96/24 DACs. Improved sound quality when used as a final consumer playback standard just isn't one of them.

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142

Re: Not that subtle

For final playback purposes, Dan Lavry (who makes arguably the best converters going) argues that for a person with a normal ear (ignoring people who can hear 24khz sine waves) any audible improvement at higher sample rates is the DAC's manufacturer being unscrupulous and hyping above 10kHz or so, in order to make people feel they're getting extra detail. You can get the same sonic improvement at a lower sampling frequency by just applying a subtle EQ boost.

And you're not going to hear the bit depth difference (on playback) unless someone's been careless with the headroom, left out the dithering, or applied a bunch more digital processing to a 16bit source before playback, or it's being played loud enough to cause instant hearing damage. Granted it's not that unlikely that one of those scenarios is in play, but you did say "properly configured".

----This all assumes they're the same master source at different sr/bd. If they're different sources, then of course all bets are off.

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Re: ASA - clearly muppets

> bears no resemblance to original vocals or instruments

So!? Artistically, **we don't want them to**. Otherwise, we'd just stick a single binaural mic in the rehearsal room and release that, and save everyone a fuck load of 120 hour work weeks. There is detail there. An awful lot. In automated delays, very subtle instument stacks and incidental layers, very, very nice artificial reverbs (much nicer than real rooms), very very crude reverbs, distortions, and tons of other artistic sonic choices - there's some gorgeous imaging techniques in play these days too.

Much of which gets lost at 128kbps MP3.

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> Your speakers can't output these high frequencies either (and not your headphones either)

Not all the way up to 192k's nyquist of 96k, of course, but almost every tweeter and audio cable will give response way over 20kHz, though the linearity suffers.

That we can't hear those frequecies is a different point, obviously.

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Re: "a brave person who said that HRA has no audible benefits"

12 dB for headroom!? Why?

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FBI to 'aggressively' probe St Louis Cardinals in baseball 'hack' storm

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Re: Really?

FBI != FCC

The FBI have a pretty good track record of getting involved in hacking/computer crime cases, if reported the right way. Even low level ones like personal impersonation/harassment/fraud.

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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

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> What are the chances of anyone ever finding the discs, let alone understanding the instructions to reproduce them?

Pretty damn small. In 40000 years, it will come within 1.5 LY of another star. And then continue through interstellar space.

Though not strictly applicable to Voyager, for general context, you might find this analysis of the odds of coming close to a planet or star interesting: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/2pe4oj/say_you_had_the_ability_to_fly_a_spacecraft_from_one_side_of_the_galaxy_to_the_other_in_a_straight_line_what_are_the_chances_that_you_run_into_something/cmvvytl

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Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

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From the developer release notes:

"App Transport Security

App Transport Security (ATS) lets an app add a declaration to its Info.plist file that specifies the domains with which it needs secure communication. ATS prevents accidental disclosure, provides secure default behavior, and is easy to adopt. You should adopt ATS as soon as possible, regardless of whether you’re creating a new app or updating an existing one.

If you’re developing a new app, you should use HTTPS exclusively. If you have an existing app, you should use HTTPS as much as you can right now, and create a plan for migrating the rest of your app as soon as possible."

Though not related, there's some more VPN / Proxy functions you might be interested in too... https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/releasenotes/General/WhatsNewIniOS/Articles/iOS9.html

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BBC, Facebook steer users to vuln-afflicted Unity Web Player plugin

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The Unity plugin installer is clean as downloaded from Unity's site. Perfectly clean. No ads. No toolbars. No nothing.

If any adware is installed, it's through wrapped installers from other sites, like download.com, etc. in the same way they do with every installer.

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142

Eh? It's a plugin. No more. No less.

Unity aren't responsible for what other stuff people put on their machines.

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Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

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Re: You Know Windows 10 Is Going To Be Good...

> Microsoft used windows update to install an advertising spam application on users machines without asking.

Apple told me about Yosemite in a similar manner on Mavericks...

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It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

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Re: Windows 10?

> Pre SP1, XP was anything but good. I'd say fuckawful, actually

But after the car crash that was Windows Me, it was a Da Vinci masterpiece..

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Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

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Re: Gah!

@ Wilco

I'm replying late here, but yes, good catch.

The figures I had seen had "13 million", but they incorrectly stated it as a *monthly* figure, which is what I extrapolated from, hence the order of magnitude difference.

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142

Re: Gah!

The greens probably have a point.

100 per new car is a phenomenal amount of money. Well over 10,000,000,000. Annually.

It would lead to one hell of a road safety campaign, and given the cut in death toll many of these have caused in the past, it's not hard to think it may well exceed the impact these devices will have.

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Zuck'ed up: Facebook opens up free internet in India – but bans HTTPS

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Re: Data gathering and ad insertion

Nah, I doubt that's the case.

What's being described is similar to the system we used have with the OperaMini browser on 2G before 3G and smartphones took off, where everything was stripped and condensed on Opera's proxy servers before reaching your phone.

We had the same issue: No SSL, no video, extremely recompressed images, no fonts, limited formatting, no iframes, javascript.

You *could* choose to continue and access an SSL site, but you were then trusting Opera with your communications, and to their credit, they advised very strongly against proceeding.

What Facebook are doing here is pushing that optimisation onto the web developer side, rather than doing it on the fly on their proxy. Net result is the same.

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Google's chief finance officer quits to go backpacking

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Re: Reminds me of the old joke....

These silicon valley retirees often end up using their skills to mentor startups and support open-source projects part time.

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Worst … commute … EVER – Surrey to Sydney

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He's got children, so I guess it's understandable.

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China and Russia start again with this UN internet takeover bull****

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Re: Why?

Aha. Interesting perspective.

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142

Why?

Why is the US trying to offload its control over the Internet? I've never understood this. Surely it's a huge strategic advantage.

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Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

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Re: Watching from afar

A live mars cam would be really cool. Probably not too far off, either. But for the record, the satellite photography NASA supplied for some regions of Google Mars is higher resolution than the aerial photography on most cities in Google Earth! Check it out, around Olympus Mons.

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Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

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Re: Secure?

There's a time limit for edits, 10 minutes I believe. Perhaps you exceeded it?

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REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

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Re: Failure rates

I guess so, unless it's the same symptoms as a known software issue, which appears to be the case here. According to the article anyway.

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Chum's house burnt down? Facebook mulls 'DISLIKE' button for that

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Re: The lack of negative feedback tapped the universal narcissist in us all

That's a very good point.

What's interesting is how other social networks, especially (relatively) more anonymous ones (like Twitter, say) display almost the exact opposite.

As you point out, you can say something stupid on Facebook (on private posts), and you usually only get praise from the people who agree.

In real life, you get praise from people who agree, and someone will call you out for being a muppet. Usually it stops at one person, with everyone else just saying "yeah, he has a point, man, you were being a muppet".

What seems to happen on other networks, like twitter, or reddit, is that every one who disagrees chimes in with their own retort individually, so rather than getting slapped down once, you get pummelled twenty or thirty times.

I wonder how a balance closer to a real life discussion could be achieved.

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142

Re: Fundamental factor of Facebook

Yeah, I'm glad they realise they have the balance right already - they're not going to ever introduce like/dislikes as a voting method (on personal posts).

Doing so would completely change the tone of FB into something much darker and more combative - probably closer to the defaults on Reddit.

On El Reg, the votes work, as it's focused on an argument or debate. It's very hard to take things personally, but on FB "dislikes" on photos, etc, could feel very personal.

I reckon it would kill the service pretty quick - people would move to other social networks with a more welcoming feel.

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

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@ arnaut

A similar thing happened, at a massive scale, at the Dublin Amazon AWS data centre a few years back http://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/item/23084-mystery-surrounds-outage-at

They blamed a lightning strike initially but it appears to have been poorly configured failover gear.

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

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Re: Monetization!

Well there's only one Randall to pay, but scores of Reg staff...

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Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

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Re: Heading to Firefox territory...

Which raise as question. Firefox lead the field in its early days, then chrome took over when it came out of left-field.

So who's the new boy on the market these days?

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142

Re: How Widespread?

MacBook pro - i7, OSX mavericks, shit-loads of RAM and Chrome is bloody awful recently

Memory leaks everywhere, page rendering bugs (have to resize the window occasionally to display a new page)

I wouldn't be the first time in comouting history that more resources have made a program run worse...

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The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous

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@ TheOtherHobbes

Interesting arguments I hadn't considered.

> Perhaps a lot of women are savvy enough to realise there are better opportunities elsewhere.

I'm not sure I agree, but it's certainly food for thought.

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142

Re: Not just IT

Exactly. It depends on the role not the industry. There are a ton of women in the music industry for example. But none are sound engineers at a high level. In my ten years or more in the industry, I haven't met one in woman in a professional sound engineering context. Managers, musicians, songwriters, stage managers. Yes. TONS. But none in a senior engineering role.

Music tech colleges generally have an 80:20 split between guys and girls on entry. Almost invariably, they end up focusing on the other areas I outlined - less on the tech.

My own thinking is that there needs to be a fundamental change at school level.

We need to somehow stop the situation where girls willingly accept help from boys to solve tech problems for them.

Teaching sound engineering, and having studied IT in college, I've witnessed countless situations where the girls never learnt how to problem solve tech for themselves. You'd never see a guy allowing another guy to do everything for them. And absolutely never a girl help a guy. This showed itself right from day 1.

Yet, it was far more democratic when it was book learning, as opposed to practical. They'd form balanced study groups and all help eachother.

So, I'm not sure whether it's the case of:

A/ the guys being overly enthusiastic "knights in shining armour", or

B/ guys subconsciously don't believe that girls are fundamentally capable of solving these sort of practical logic problems or

C/ if it's the case of girls finding it easier to get through life playing the "damsel in distress" card, or

D/ the girls have been conditioned to believe they can't figure out this kind of thing.

E/ another reason?

Either way, I found it so frustrating to witness intelligent girls simply not learning because of this.

I'd be very interested to hear a female perspective on this!

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Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers

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Re: ...called going outside and getting a life

Instead of commenting on online articles?

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Poll trolls' GCHQ script sock puppets manipulate muppets

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Re: Iran.

> I've not seen anything resembling that on stories about the UK, so either the GCHQ is extremely subtle, or they've got better things to do than propagandize on Reddit & Yahoo.

I've noticed the same. I wonder is there a third option: propaganda is harder to notice when it's close to home?

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Oculus Rift tech-specs 'MANY MONTHS away' from hitting the shelves

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Re: Spec creep?

From watching their keynotes at the dev conference a couple of months back, they seem to be of the opinion that they can't launch to mainstream consumers whilst nausea is a problem, as one bad experience will put people off for life.

I got the impression they know how to prevent it completely, but logistically it's difficult (at the moment it needs a room wallpapered with QR codes).

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CBS goes OTT, releases EVERY EPISODE of Star Trek EVER MADE

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It's mostly due to legacy rights issues, such as licenses for songs on the shows, films etc. Royalty agreements with the screenwriters, etc.

They can all be worked out, but it's expensive, and takes time.

The BBC faces the a similar problem with putting its archive on iplayer. It may be public funded, but they didn't buy unlimited streaming rights from their writers, or from the music publishers.

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Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

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Re: I guess it's for the best

> On a side note, I'm informed that the latest Beats models are actually pretty good.

Hmmm. I must check them out. It wouldn't surprise me too much. Beats seem to have good acoustic designers, even if they've traditionally designed for a certain market/sound. They're a damn sight better at it than Bose!

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Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug

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Percentage...

It should probably be noted that the amount of money he's given is gargantuan in comparison to current funding.

The National Post has determined it's more than the governments Canada, France and China combined.

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It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK

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Re: Three in London is very sporadic and low quality when its actually working.

For 3G at least, this was due to the part of the spectrum they've been allocated. They were much more sensitive to line of sight than other networks as a result. I can't speak for their 4G service, though.

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NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'

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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

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Pint

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

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