Re: Charlie Stross
Thanks for the reminder: Need to go get the next couple of books and get reading.
336 posts • joined 4 Nov 2010
Thanks for the reminder: Need to go get the next couple of books and get reading.
Speech to text exists (we're using it) but it needs configuring, training (to understand the person speaking) and context tuning to get it even vaguely right. It's not perfect meaning it requires a human being to review and verify what was translated to text matches what was said.
Translating between written languages isn't difficult if you have the entire text to translate as you have context but even then you can get some very humourous translations and you can't translate word by word between many languages due to the way they are constructed and the rules that are required, so you need a delay between speech and translation simply to assemble enough of what was said to make sense of it and produce a meaningful translation.
Reading it back is the easy bit.
Or, if you know someone who does speech translation, ask them how they do it and what the pitfalls are, and that's using a system that cheats constantly (the human brain).
So, in this instance, I'm inclined to say this is another of those wonderful ideas where they're expecting more of technology than is possible. Unless they accept there will be a noticable delay between speaking and translation, and probably a longer delay than if they had someone else do the translation for them (with less accuracy, too).
Yes, gamers do indeed buy PCs and not just get the parts to build the PC themselves. They do, however, tend to go to specialist suppliers for said PC's, and not to the likes of DELL or HP who manufacture in bulk and don't use the top end components, nor allow pick-n-mix builds. These reports tend to ignore the smaller, specialist suppliers who are doing quite okay at the moment.
Had something similar here: Chief Exec wouldn't wear his ID to see who would challenge him. He was pleasantly surprised by the number who did.
He didn't sack anyone for not challenging him, but he did write to their manager to express his concern over security...
Depends on what the 'win' conditions were.
There's a premis that all Batman has to do is stand up to Superman in order to win: To show the world that Superman isn't beyond reproach. It also helps Superman out as it makes him look less like a god and more like a person.
So what was the goal of the conflict? To see who would walk away from the conflict, or was the goal something subtler? Like reminding Superman that he's not a god?
Well, according to the BBC article on this, RBS have reported that 70% of fraud victims do NOT get their money back.
If this is true, it goes against what he's saying. Then you also have the delay in getting the refund inconveniencing the victim, the hassle of reporting it, and the fear and uncertainty they'd feel while going through the process.
Basically, people don't patch because they don't think they'll be victims. Once they are, they'll patch like crazy. AKA people are generally lazy.
Nope - it's to do with applying sequential patches to bring you up to the latest version.
If you go to the manual update section, it explains how to find out which version you're on and that you may need to manually update in stages. I was lucky - only had to apply one patch.
I see it more as the FBI demanding the car manufacturers provide a master key that opens all their cars. Then they can access the cars at will - not just when the owner looses the key.
Next we'll see the FBI going after lock makers. Insist they make locks with a bypass so the FBI/Police can enter a house without having to try smashing the door open, which isn't always that easy as if police can do it, so can criminals, so people are looking for harder/stronger/more secure doors...
And after that? How about back door access to online banks, high street banks, business data, computers... give them even one inch of rope...
Some of the reports coincide with the move - not all.
I had a batch of 'failed to deliver. Reason: Email contained SPAM' alerts recently. All on the same day. This is well after the migration. These seem to be 'clean' but they do include attachments that proport to be the message I sent.
So... thinking outside the box for a moment, what's the chance this is a scam? That the 'failed to deliver' notifications are fakes (they were bounced from the same e-mail server, and not one I recognise), or they used my e-mail address for the return address but sent the e-mail from one they control. Then I get the notifications and want to investigate, open the attached copy of the message (get hit by a virus perhaps, or just get to see the spam they're sending out - job done), and waste time trying to figure out how my account got hacked (it wasn't).
This could have been timed to coincide with VM's move from GMail initially as people would assume VM slipped up and got hacked during the move - a bit of distraction to shift attention from what was really going on.
Sometimes a duck is a duck, sometimes it's a decoy.
Only need to post the Dox once to do the damage, so it has to apply on first offence.
"It's a heating coil and a fan in a plastic case designed to dry hair, what exactly can you invent or is the ping pong balls some kind of Dyson reference, look I put a ping pong ball in the end and the air moves differently causing it to dry faster. Can I get a job at IBM?"
Here are some wires through which a current is passing (A heating element?). Here is a fan to move the hot air produced along a particular path (Oh, a hair dryer?).
Now go think of a way to keep electronic circuitry from over heating.
Would that be by using a fan to move the heated air along a particular path?
It might seem stupid, but try thinking outside of the box for a moment: What can you learn from a hair dryer and how can you apply such a simple mechanism to something else, like cooling a server. Or, perhaps, take what you know of cooling servers and design a better hair dryer...
You didn't... no, you did... oh, boy...
*puts on Civil Engineer's hat* (this is a very simple overview, btw).
You start with a specification. You build to that specification. End of project.
*puts IT developer's hat on* (yes, I really do have both)
You start with a specification. You develop the core components and impliment them. Now start the cycle of refinement.
You can develop with agile methodology - do the core, plus as many extras as you can fit in, but you can always add more later, as and when you're ready, with little to no disruption or performance hits. You get the benefits from the initial development and expand on this as required. This is the normal approach to software development.
You can build in a modular approach, but doing so needs advanced planning and expanding will involve distruption and will probably affect business performance. You may not see any real benefit until all the work is done, either. It is also not always possible to work this way, or desirable, hence why most Civils projects involve getting as much done during the initial build as possible - minimise latter disruption and keep costs down in the process.
So yes, there are similarities, but due to the technical aspects, the methodologies have to vary hence they're not really the same. Interesting comparing them, though - I never thought I'd get to use both my qualifications in one post... thanks :)
So... you go to a website that has linked images (Like this one or the BBC).
Your browser connects to the websites where the images are stored in order to retrieve/display them.
This is recorded so the police/GCHQ/random hacker can look at what sites you've been visiting.
Am I the only person who can see a problem here?
(No, I really don't think they'll put in any form of failsafe to filter out such connections).
Not quite: Even showing the list came from a KKK source doesn't mean that it's a) accurate or b) hasn't been tampered with and names added to cause mischief.
After all, the KKK could have added names just to discredit the list if it was acquired by the police or a third party, just as those who 'acquired' the list could have added names. It's not like the KKK are going to say 'well, 90% of the names are correct, but those 10% are wrong', are they?
"Who gets to decide where the division between free speech and forbidden speech lies..."
That's what the courts are for: They decide.
"Where do you draw the line ?"
Actually, it's not that difficult, either.
If I say that Martians were responsible for atrocities in the wars of 1810, resulting in the deaths of millions of ants: That is free speech. I can say it. It might offend people, but it's a statement they can show as being utterly rubbish (not too hard).
If I then went on to say that we should do something about it... that isn't free speech and what I suggest or even hint at being done could be judged as incitement.
The only grey area (pun intended) is where action is not called for but might be implied. Something like 'It is intollerable that Martians should kill innocent ants by their millions' certainly implies that something should be done, but it's not actually being called for.
This is how the likes of the Western Baptist Church and the current KKK persist. As long as they moderate their tone to express their beliefs then they are exercising freedom of speech. The moment they even hint that people should take any action at all... they're no longer protected.
And mentioning the Western Baptist Church isn't by accident - I've wondered for a time if all they are doing is demonstrating how far freedom of speech can be taken, and that was their whole plan from the outset.
Anyway, people only give offence if that was their intent. In all other cases, offence is being taken, and under no circumstance should taking offence be protected.
(edited as I noticed I'd used speach not speech... doh!)
you're mixing horizontal and vertical.
The drone was claimed to be 200' + vertically (in the air). I didn't see anything about the horizontal distance from the shooter, but that would just increase the range.
Clay pigeon shoot: How high are the disks launched? I've seen a few shoots (not participated, just spectated) and they may be 100' horizontal distance, but they're at most 30' vertical.
Plus don't confuse how far a shot can travel horizontally with how far it can go vertically - again, they're not the same thing. If you're really interested in this, there are ample explinations available online, so happy reading.
Think you missed some bits:
a) They asked me to work for free - they were not prepared to pay me to do the work.
b) the short answer was 'no' - that wasn't how I phrased it, of cause, but that's what I said in essence, in part because of a) and because of the time I estimated it would take.
Basically, if they'd had the documentation and code there, I could have fixed it for them in under an hour (including travel), but was also prepared to talk them through it over the phone as what they wanted was essentially there - they just needed to follow the instructions I'd left them (basically a bit of cut and pasting was needed to update the code). Destorying that documentation meant it would have taken me quite a bit longer as I'd have to write the 'fix' from scratch and that ment relying on memory as to which bits needed changing meaning more testing and debugging meaning more time required.
Some (long) years back my contract as a developer was not renewed - not a surprise as new manager had decided not to renew any contracts.
I left documentation of everything I'd done. All code was in the code repository. Everything was there for whoever wanted to look at the projects to see what had been done, how and why. And I made sure to do a proper handover of all this before I left.
I got a call a few months later asking for me to go in and fix a problem. For free. I told them that everything they needed was in the documentation as I had already provided a 'fix' for the problem having surmised it would occur. They then told me they'd deleted the documentation and the code repository when I'd left. Oh, and they'd 'lost' the CD backups I'd done for them, too.
Needless to say my answer, in short, was 'no'.
Would be contract law: Pretty sure you can't impose conditions when *you* terminate a contract. It's your decision to do so, and it is the other party who can invoke conditions that were in place at the time they signed the contract (or were agreed to as an amendment). Conditions for terminating a contract outside of an agreed process might be levied but that's about it as far as I can recall - but I'm not a lawyer etc.
Telling someone they either agree to new terms or they are resigning is very much constructive dismissal (I know companies that have done this and it was declared illegal at tribunal and appeals court - the company had to pay redundancy rates as per contracts as a result. Once company never did pay, though - Finance director did a runner with the money, leaving a lot of very unhappy former staff).
Marty felt that Doc had let his amazing time machine go to his head when he insisted Marty now test these sonic glasses...
Practicable (that which can be done)
Fibrillation (uncontrolled twitching of muscles - confuses people who think this (just) means a heart attack)
Mendacity (basically, lying)
Mellifuous (soothing sound)
There's more, but I really need to get back into checking 'word of the day' for those. The above are ones I had to explain recently in conversation.
"I call bullshit, it's easily provable that when off a phone isn't transmitting."
Not transmitting: Listening.
there're security apps available that claim to be able to remotely activate/deactivate and track your phone so you can locate it and recover it, even if it had been switched off (but not if the battery had been pulled). If they can do this, then there is a mechanism built in to the phone and into the network to allow it. It is, therefor, entirely possible that the Spooks knew about it and have an app, possibly hidden in the OS, to allow them to do exactly as claimed.
This is supposition, of cause, and dependant on those security apps being correct - would have to try one out to see - but perhaps someone else has already done so and is willing to share their experiences?
A confused Bulgarian works on improved airbags.
"Snow Counter-Racist-Approved-Pigmentation and her Seven Friends"
How about: "A person and some people."
That should fix all potential issues, yes?
It's to do with call routing: BT charge the previous sender for handling the call (pass it on to another network or connecting it to your phone line). The previous sender charge whoever was before them and so on until you get to the source carrier/provider who bill their customer.
Even though modern switches can pass on the CLI, not all sources have modern switches, and not all providers from outside the UK will pass on CLI data, so you'll see more 'international call' notices than actual foreign CLI data.
Now, what BT an other carriers *could* do is give you the option to block ALL 'international' and/or withheld numbers. They *can* do this - their equipment has that capability, but they *don't* because doing so costs them money (they don't connect the call so they can't charge for handling the call), unless you can provide evidence you are a 'vulnerable' person (court order or get the police to hassle BT for this) or... you know someone working for BT and so know who to talk to about it. If you do push them then they generally reply by saying that blocking all such calls may block a call you *may* want.
Oh, and it's coincidental that BT also produce phones with 'Call guardian' that can 'block' withheld and international calls. Well, not block, but hide - the line is still in use, you just don't hear the phone ring.
It would, except the police (and prosecution and courts) would love more 'victims' to come forwards with their own claims as this helps build a stronger case.
This is why certain Celebrities were named for historic allegations: Get all the alleged victims in to give statements then filter out those that are clearly false, then go to trial with the best of them.
Flip side, of cause, is this increases the chance of fraudulent and malicious accusations, as witnessed in the aformentioned celebrity cases.
Won't work: The woman has the right to withdraw consent at any point, up to and including the finale.
The man can also withdraw consent, but it's easier to enforce unless he's tied down and being ridden like Seabiscuit (a race horse, if you're wondering).
"if the accused is cleared and proved innocent"
In England and Wales you are not proven 'innocent', you are found 'not guilty', which just means there was sufficient doubt that the jury could not convict. You'd need to go to Scotland to get an 'innocent' finding.
"then the accusations are either false, erroneous, wrong or malicious."
Or the evidence was simply not enough to secure a conviction. Many rapes are not reported until well after the event and that means there is little evidence to support the accusation.
"Whilst rape is seen as a particularly heinous crime, it seems false accusations are not seen in such a light. It's about time they were."
It's not quite as simple as that, and for quite a few reasons. Perhas the better fix would be to have an 'innocent' finding in English/Welsh courts, so at least the accused can have their name cleared rather than being left with the question of if he got away with it.
"Signing up to the site is what causes damage."
Surely that should read 'Being signed up'? Without validating the e-mail address it's hard to prove the person on the list was the one who signed up. Well, unless you bother to verify the rest of the details - but as people are notoriously lazy, how many spouses would bother (blackmaillers and scammers won't bother either).
Actually, reforrestation would help, too.
I've been wondering about just how much impact the changing topography has been having on the changing climate: The expanses of concrete, tarmac, houses, short crops (fields) loss of taller plans (including trees) - all this will have an impact but does anyone know of a study into the extent? Also, as I understand it, the whole global warming argument was started over satelite measurements of IR frequencies escaping the atmosphere - but has there been corrisponding studies over the production at ground level? Have these been tallied? Did try to google it but my google-fu was weak or there was nothing available online.
I'm keeping in mind the principle of chaos theory, of cause: One butterfly flapping its wings diverts a hurricane, but what effect does a hundred butterflies in different countries have?
" Any source that cannot produce electricity on demand and reliably needs another source of generation to back it up"
I'm going to disagree. you can't keep turning to other sources to prop up an unreliable one. Rather, you need to store the power from unreliable sources and use that to support reliable sources. It's not as efficient, but it turns unreliable power geneation into one that is more reliable and available on demand.
By this I do mean use wind and solar to pump water into reservoirs, then release that water to drive turbines when you need extra power. This way you have a quick source for power (don't need to fire up a boiler, which takes time) and if the power demand remains high, it gives you time to bring online a more reliable source to cope with that demand.
It starts at home with the parents and how they encourage a child. Girls tend to be told they are smart and clever when they do something, where as boys are told they tried hard. This leads to girls giving up when things get difficult and boys keeping at it in order to succeed.
This is then reinforced at school - teachers offering different praise to girls than boys, and so the problem persists. Ultimately it results in girls not trying as they don't like failing where as boys keep pushing until they get it right.
Fixing it early means we won't see any change for years, and there is no real fix for those who are making the choices now.
"truck drivers, yet not many females in those occupations either."
Originally this had something to do with the lack of power assistance on the steering making it very difficult for a woman to control a HGV. These days, with modern trucks, it's much easier and we do see more women driving trucks. It's still seen as a 'male dominated' job, of cause, but nothing like it once was.
Try 25: 2 a day, for 2 years...
They can't even excuse it as a type for 2 a week...
"The last mile will still need lots of people to maintain it. Lots of it goes overhead. Things happen to Overhead wires. For example the pole just up the road was taken out by a lost Polish HGV when he tried to do a U-turn where there was clearly no space to do it.
All the houses needed to be re-cabled, a new pole put up and reconnected to the new cables laid from the neared BY cabinet."
As I recall, BT were supposed to be burrying all cables, and no new poles were to be erected. This dates back to the late 90's when I worked with Cable, and it was why all the cable companies were burring duct for their network. BT were supposed to have replaced all suspended cables by 2000, then 2005, then 2010... maybe they'll actually get to do this now.
"Have you considered just how unlikely that is?"
As long as it's not 1:1 000 000 we'll be okay.
if it is... best head for cover!
"On the other hand, thousands of women working for local government have fought for and waited years for compensation and back pay because they were paid less than males in equivalent jobs. "
Nope, what happened was the jobs were incorrectly graded and the workers (men as well as women) were underpaid. The media made out it was gender based in their reports because most council cleaners are women.
Containers would be the building.
Actually, I'd say that we are objects. Each object has a series of properties and identity to distinguish it from other objects. It just happens that one such property is 'person'. Or perhaps 'human' but I'm not always sure about that...
" the right inputs processed at the right time, matched against a statistically driven decision tree "
And you can't see the problem with this?
Get one bit wrong and what happens?
The reason why computers aren't as adaptable as human brains is the human brain cheats. It doesn't process every bit of information, it does not evaluate every possibility, it takes short cuts and uses steriotypes to get to a conclusion quickly. This is why AI development was struggling for so long: We were trying to get computers to process everything, thinking that's what a human brain did.
Now what this means is: Under normal conditions, the AI (or expert system, to be accurate) will give repetative, reliable results. Under exceptional circumstances, it will not. So you want a computer for regular travel but a human there, ready to take over if something unexpected happens. That's why you still have pilots on aircraft, after all.
So the best we can manage for now is the equivalent of an auto pilot that will handle regular travel and alert the driver to exceptional situations, and possibly offer help.
But to have an autonomous car? No: That's not only stupid at present, it's a disaster waiting to happen.
I take it you're referring to this:
"Squadron 42 is a single player campaign that takes place within the Star Citizen universe. It can be played off-line."
I've not seen anything regarding this having changed, but go ask on their forums: They have an 'Ask a Dev' area and Cloud Imperium seem quite good at answering such concerns. Or go subscribe and post the question for Chris Roberts himself.
"3) That's a bit bizarre that his blood would be found in the car considering his only injuries were from gunshots and the autopsy showed they were done at range, not point blank as would be if he were trying to enter the vehicle."
Not at all: If someone got blood on them, they could carry traces with them and depost said traces to other locations, such as the car. I think it's called secondary transferrance. This would normally be small amounts and would not have a particular pattern to it, hence it should be easily identified as being transferred rather than being from source.
CSI: Not always accurate but it's not always fiction :p
I thought they'd set things up with the Doctor's Daughter for a female timelord to be around. Or for a spin off series.
"OK. So if your servers are in a foreign country, like, for instance, Ireland, they are still subject to US jurisdiction if you're an American or a US Company, and you have to give US authorities any and all data on them if they ask."
No. If your servers are in a foreign country, they aren't protected by US law. Therefor obtaining data from those servers doesn't break US law. Therefor such data is admissible in US courts as evidence. Those servers are not subject to US juristiction.
If the owner of the server or the data stored on the server is a US entity, however, then they can be asked to retrieve the data and hand it over. Currently the legality of such a request is under question, particularly where the data pertains to non-US entites. This does not mean the FBI has the right to go and get the data itself.
In translation: The FBI broke the laws of the nation where the servers were located. The US courts don't care, however: As far as they're concerned, the evidence is admissible as no US law was broken. What the hoste nation, or hoste company for that matter, wish to do about this is up to them: The US courts aren't concerned with that: That's a mess for the US Government to clean up.
I've been using virtual desktops on XP for years. Yes, it needs a 3rd party app to access but the functionality is there and mostly it works fine.
Why didn't MS release it before? Because it *mostly* works fine. There are bugs. So why not let a 3rd party write something to utilise the virtual desktops side of windows so those who know of the app can experience the feature, blame the 3rd party for the bugs, and when it's working and the bugs are ironed out, release it as a WIndows feature.
Or is that too Machiavellian?
"Women still earn less than men"
If this is the 77c in the $ argument*, then you really need to read the entire report - it explains why this isn't evidence of inequality in pay. Women earn less than men over their career. This is not the same as there being discrimination in pay.
A man earns $400 a week. A woman doing the same job at the same company earns $350 a week. This is inequality, yes? This is what the numbers suggest, surely.
Except: The man works 40hr a week, the woman earns 35hr a week - they are both paid at the same rate: $10 an hour. Where is the discrimination? Where is the inequality? As long as both can work 40 hours if they want or 35 hours, and they are paid the same rate, there is no discrimination. Yet they are paid different ammounts because one choses to work 40 hours, the other works 35 hours.
This is why the 77c in 1$ is misleading: Total pay, not hourly rate. And that's not even going near the issue of differences in employers, benefits in kind and the favourite: Salary Sacrifice schemes!
Study into hourly rates, strangely, indicate there is very little in the way of pay gaps, with women potentially earning $1.02 per 1$ a man earns, on hourly rates (this mostly comes from part time work, though).
As to career prospects...
Edwina Curry put this very well: If you set targets for appointing women to post then you will not get the best person for that job**.
A translation of this is simply: If you appoint a woman to post who was not the best candidate then she will not be as good as her peers. When it comes to promotions, she will logically lag behind as she isn't the best candidate, and may never be so. This will haunt her through her career as she will always be behind others, who were appointed based on their merits, not their gender.
And industry has been under pressure to appoint more women into 'male dominate' roles: A PR stunt that doesn't do anyone any good.
*I have stuck to using $ as the report most quoted in the apparent pay gap arguments is a US report by the treasury and so is in $'s.
**clarification: This refers to appointing a candidate due to gender rather than merit. This is not to say a woman can't be the best candidate.
Why does it have to die?
Remember: We don't have *proof* of guilt, just the accusation. We don't have the evidence for either side. All we have is a "They did this" v "No we didn't".
Offering to settle does sound like admission of guilt. However, accepting that offer also sounds like an admission that there was no case to answer for.
Another way to look at it is that neither side has a sufficiently strong case to have confidence in a clean win, plus the plaintiff was not sufficiently dedicated to proving their case that they would not accept a 'without prejudice' settlement.
All we can say is the parties involved settled their disagreement in an amicable fashion and they've gone their own ways, and that's really for the best for everyone.
"Then there are AAA producers trying very hard to make movies instead of games"
It's more that the investers and publishers are telling the developers what to develop. This interference and the demand for games to be released to schedule has led to games being released too soon, or developers playing safe and just reskinning an existing game.
The Indi developers are certainly where the innovation is - they just need the funding which, thankfully, the gaming community are starting to supply thanks to crowd funding and the like.
"Do we see artificial intelligence? No."
Check out Star Citizen (in development at the moment). They've a team in to specifically develop AI for the game. Their aim is for the NPC's to be as close to indistinguishable to people as they can get it.
Thing is, it's cutting edge. Someone has to invest in it, else it's an expensive path to take and as has been said: You need a powerful machine to run it. That's why most stick to more predictable NPC behaviours, although if you look at Alpha Protocol, you can see some effort towards having different NPC's behave different ways (G22 agents act differently to Mafia goons, who act differently to the VCI mercs). Yes, it's still primative, but it makes a difference when you're facing opponents who hang back and use flash grenades verse those that try to flank you, verse those who want to get in close. Even the likes of Mass Effect shows signs of rudimentary AI in opponents.
So it's getting better, and hopefully soon you'll get your wish :p
Beat me to it. Star Citizen is certainly proving that PC gaming is alive and kicking, and that there are a lot of people out there willing to back its development ($48 million in crowd funding and growing).
Personally, I think the reason why there's all this 'doom and gloom' about the gaming industry is that the subscription model isn't doing so well as casual players prefer the free-to-play plus micro-transaction model. That and a lot of the recent games haven't held the attention of gamers. Oh, there are some good games out there, but they've either taken a long time to get out of open Beta (Firefall's now officially released, for example but was in Beta for years), or they're rushed out in such a bug-ridden state that the game is frustrating to play (Elder Scrolls Online and SWTOR for example).
At least with Star Citizen they've got backers in to test things really early on so they can see (and fix) the problems while the code is still 'wet' :)
What male contraceptive medication?
Currently we are still trying to develop one that works without triggering some rather undesirable side effects not limited to the loss of sex drive, while actually being effective. Suppressing Testosterone, which triggers sperm production, is not only ineffective but triggers quite a few side effects, including loss of sex drive. Artificial testosterone is also lacking in effectiveness, more so than suppressing natural testosterone, and still has problems with long term use (permanent sterility being the biggest concern).
Focus is on alternatives, but when something might be ready - who knows?
So currently there are no male contraceptive medications available for the public. At least not here in the UK, and I haven't heard of any breakthrough from elsewhere, so I ask again: What medication?