* Posts by Schultz

1441 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007


Croydon school rolling in toilet roll after Brexit gift deemed unfit for the Queen's Anus Horribilis


There will be transport delays. Why?

Because there is paperwork and checks involved. Toilet paper sounds harmless, but what about that toxic waste, declared as toilet paper for easier disposal?

The EU made life easy, because it created common standards and rules as to what we call toilet paper and how it, and toxic waste, can be shipped around. I am sure the GB will follow the common sense toilet paper rules (together with those on banana and cucumbers) in the future, but for the moment there seems to be a bit of confusion as to how trade actually works in the modern world. You'll figure it out in time - just make sure you have a spare roll of Hakle Supersoft to carry you through the learning period.

Brexit text-it wrecks it: Vote Leave fined £40k for spamming 200k msgs ahead of EU referendum


Found your calling...

Looks like you should go into politics, Walter Bishop, then you could show them all how to properly negotiate with Brussels. I am sure you'd solve the Irish border issue in not time and a strong male negotiator could surly wrestle a decent trade deal out of the EU !(?)!

Two in five 'AI startups' essentially have no AI, mega-survey of nearly 3,000 upstarts finds


"Modern marketing represents a sweet-spot for AI"

AI is the biggest marketing success in the field of of computing 'research', so I guess it's only fair that the advertisers get sold on it.

Age checks for online pr0n? I've never heard of it but it sounds like a good idea – survey


Re: Age check = ID

This is about mature content, so they should check maturity instead of age. Something like: "write a minimum of 40 explicit and/or double-entendre words in the access field". Or: "select all pictures of adult actors and actresses". Or: "do you see dolphins or kissing humans?". Or: "write down the full time-dependent Hamiltonian for a two-spin system".

Come to think about it, you could start a broad public education campaign based on such an access system.

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either


How much botulinum toxin there is in a vial of Botox?

And how much pigment is there in a cartridge of ink? Apples and Oranges, ...


Ink sucks? No,

it blows out of the printer nozzle. Look it up.

I slowly go through the 1/3 liter ink bottles I purchased 4 years ago. Unsurprisingly, black is going fastest with already some 50-100 mL gone. Works perfectly with the cheap non-HP ink cartridges that I hold as backup option.

Seriously, who is buying the branded ink and toner? There is a factor 10 markup for both, my home HP ink and my office Samsung (now HP) toner. But then, I am a poor academic and maybe we just talk about irrelevant change for the average Corporate Man.

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands


Simple for a... human driver, not for an artificial not-so-intelligence

I believe Tesla get treated unfairly here. First, humans are also involved in stupid accidents and we accept that as fact of life. To expect a perfect record for self driving cars (or the 'autopilot' stages run by tesla, which can be considered precursors thereof) is not rasonable. And yes this new type of accidents will look stupid to us human overlords, but the human errors often look stupid too - read your news if you don't agree.

Second, this article makes a complicated case for why the autopilot is too blame (hands on or off the steering wheel,...). But traffic rules must be simple to follow, and the rule applying here is simple: the human driver must remain in control. KISS, otherwise you just feed the lawyers.

Finally a comment on battery fires. Extinguishing a battery fire with water does not work. Not a fault if Tesla. Looks like the firefighters have to get some training to prepare them for the electromobility era.

I agree with Kieran that Tesla blatantly oversells their cars and the autopilot function. Just be aware when you think about your next car purchase, but don't use it to build a criminal case against Tesla.

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports


"Trust me I know all about it."

Historic words. Can I quote you on that?

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins


The great thing about Doom was...

That is allowed you to turn and jump sidewards with most arbitrary speed (well, as fast as that mouse with a solid, heavy metal ball could move). Shoot, jump aside, turn, shoot again, ... If you were close enough to your opponent you could get out of their field of vision to deliver that chainsaw damage :). Nice memories.

Musk's popstar girlfriend Grimes croons about next-gen AI, plus more machine-learning news


Why do so many AI humanoids have (totally nonfunctional, obvs.) boobs?

Obvious answer in Austin Powers.

It's all a matter of time: Super-chill atomic clock could sniff gravitational waves, dark matter


Nice, but ...

I don't know why they threw in that statement about detecting gravitational waves.

The waves observed by LIGO have periods in the millisecond range (see: https://www.ligo.org/detections.php), but the averaging time of this experiment to get to the ultimate <1e-18 uncertainty seems to be hours to days (see: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0738-2/figures/3). I didn't do a deep dive, but I think their measurement is many orders of magnitude too slow to see gravitational waves.

LastPass? More like lost pass. Or where the fsck has it gone pass. Five-hour outage drives netizens bonkers


Keepass + Dropbox

This was the reason I created a Dropbox account (many years ago). Keep the updated keepass file on Dropbox for convenient access. For those moments without internet, you'll have the last local copy on your device. Couldn't be more convenient.

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again


As with most scientific concepts, you extrapolate.

Nuff said.

Trump in Spaaaaaaace: Washington DC battles over who gets to decide the rules of trillion-dollar new industry


"might possibly and actually BE GENETICALLY Related"

Yes, that is usually what defines a species. Puts you in close relations with your Finnish, Ethiopian, and Thai cousins and in a more loose relationship to uncle bonobo.

Have you ever, ever felt like this? Have strange things happened? Is high-speed data going round the twist?


Re: A (potentially) astonishing step change in FO bandwidth. NOT

Here is why it won't magically increase fiber bandwidth 100-fold:

Photons have two polarization states, you can label them vertical/horizontal or (via a phase-shifted superposition of v/h) right-handed/left-handed. If you send "more complex / twisted polarization states", the light will interfere and you get a spatial pattern. What scientists in this field so ingeniously discuss is the spatial detection of light. Duh. You didn't realize that?

Now, if you have a multi-mode fiber, you can get multiple-modes of light through (spatial information, aka 'the mode', can get through the fiber). That has a price; let me quote from the first Google link that came up (https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-between-single-mode-and-multi-mode-optical-fibers):

"The main drawback to the multi-mode cable, however, is that it loses strength over distance, therefore, is only useful in local networks traveling small distances.


- High attenuation and dispersion

- Greater data-transmitting capabilities

- Can be used within high-speed & large capacity networks

- Can still achieve much greater distances than coaxial cables"

So there is no magic :(.

(Disclaimer, I do not work with fibers and have no particular knowledge about them. I do, however, know my way around light and I can tell you with great confidence that there is no physically meaningful polarization state that cannot be described as superposition of h/v or right/left handed.)

Samsung's graphene batteries promise to charge five times faster – without exploding


Graphene versus Graphite

Graphene is single layer graphite. Why then do they talk about coating those silicon balls with multilayer graphene? Must be some kind of fashion statement.


Re: Still not what customers really want

I must say I am impressed by my new 'fast charging' Mi8SE phone. Plugging it for 15 minutes while preparing the kid's school snack gives me enough charge for a day or two - it is a game changer.

Boffins ask for £338m to fund quantum research. UK.gov: Here's £80m


... obviously better to give the money to banks...

Hey, someone should combine the two and create some quantum funds, hire physicists to model the markets using their magic quantum math skills...

Oh, that has been done?... Cf. Banking crisis, etc.

I guess if you hire smart scientists to mess with the money, they do mess. With the money. It starts tunneling into the strangest pockets.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms


Contrarian argument

Let's not forget history!


I second master / minion

How to better fix a culturally loaded term than to substitute it with a flimsy cultural reference?

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data


pursue... legislative... measures to achieve lawful access

Bravo,pursuing legislative measures is exactly what the security services should do to uphold the spirit and letter of a democratic state of law. By all means, have an open discussion in the legislative body about the correct balance between police powers and citizens rights. Feel free to pursue the full extent of the law to go after criminals. Just, please, don't try to cheat your way around the laws because you think you know better than the democratically elected representatives of your government.

Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom


They show quantized conduction as expected for a single/few atom junction...

but the gate is 100 nm wide. Compare this to the scale of modern silicon gates before getting too excited about atomic-scale transistors!

When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't


The dilemma: anarchy or the police state?

To address that dilemma, democratic society need separation of powers with strong oversight by an independent justice system and through public scrutiny. There is a lot of room between anarchy and the police state, but the damage by moving close to either extreme may be terrible and quite irreversible.

We have this discussion, which is evidence that Australia is neither an anarchy nor a police state. But laws that establish powers keeping "providers [...] quiet about agencies' covert operations, enforced by jail time and massive fines" would remove public scrutiny and judicial oversight and might do some damage. Judge for yourself where the right balance should be.


What if ... Bob reads and then burns the letter?

It's a matter of time until the dangerous act of Making Fire will be regulated. It's one of the oldest tool of terrorist!

Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)


Re: Prepare for...

The obligatory Copyright Class in High School, or make that Primary School, just to be safe. If the system can be simple enough to teach to kids in 1/2 hour (don't forget 'fair use' rules), I am all for it. If it takes a school year and the qualifier "always talk to the school lawyer before posting", then I think it's time to change the laws.

Make Sammy Great Again: Surprise – Samsung chucks cash at manufacturing


Re: Flagship just too expensive ...

and the sub-flagship options I looked at recently just had very underwhelming screens. I am sad to veer from Samsung, I got a good 5 years out of my S3 with its beautifully crisp OLED display, and if it weren't for software obsolescence creeping up I would still give it my love. So it's time for a good hard look at the Chinese competition. Xiomi offers the MI8 SE with a well reviewed Samsung OLED screen for just under $300.

Hmm, there's something fishy about this graph charting AMD's push into Intel's server turf


Re: (misleading stats)

Come on guys, it's a fishy graph. The only valid critique is that the eye is missing.

OpenAI bots thrash team of Dota 2 semi-pros, set eyes on mega-tourney


Re: How Competitive Game/ Sport Works and Why AI against Humans is bad

AI versus humans is not about sports, it's about a solution (AI) searching for a problem. Turns out, that a computer game is the perfect problem: there is a mathematically rigid set of rules governing the game and if a small, sluggish computer can evaluate the rules, then a big, fast computer can exploit them.

Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears


I like the fact that Google asks for a flat fee...

This means that profits from successful and established developers keep the store open for small developers. If successful apps get a discount (and newcomers pay high fees), this creates a competitive disadvantage for newcomers.

However, looking at the bottom line of Google, they should significantly reduce their take. There should be room for competitor stores (Apple store on Android?), who offer vetted apps and build a reputation for easily found quality apps.


"lesson... learned by Google is... to shut down the side load avenue"

I think that would come with legal risks: Android has a monopolistic position in many markets. Apple somehow got around this by reducing their market share to the lower double digits before thw regulators could catch up, but Google surely would be hit with the force of the law (and their near monopoly already makes them a punching bag in the EU).

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn


Re: "How to use a barometer to measure the height of a building."

Those little sensors you have in your phone actually do an excellent job. We did some quick-and-dirty soldering to track temperature and air pressure in the lab (https://www.bosch-sensortec.com/bst/products/all_products/bmp180) and could measure height differences of some 15 cm with a little bit of averaging.

Gotta love those integrated electronics and sensors!

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit


Contractually obliged to pay ...

So GB should not pay the EU -- and in return the EU should just cease paying pensions to UK citizens that had worked in the EU bureaucracy? There are some financial obligations that remain after the divorce, it's not just stuff made up to annoy the British.


"What leavers would like is a reasonable agreement that works for both sides"

Define 'reasonable'. What the Brexiteers want is not reasonable from the point of view of the EU. The EU rules and regulations were created through hard-won consensus between all member-states. You don't get to pick and choose the rules you like because that would break the EU. Breaking the EU is considered unreasonable by the remaining member states.

The EU offers a take it or leave it deal for members. There is the EEA and EFTA for those who want to opt out from the political union. Non-members get complicated trade agreements with limited benefits and obligations. Please stand in line over there and wait for your turn to negotiate a bilateral agreement.

I hope Britain can take their time to sort things out under EEA rules. Give them time to prepare proper Brexit or to change their minds.


"Anyone who thinks that Brexitday+1 will run smoothly ..."

Come on Brits, I count on your famously stiff upper lip. Queue up, be patient, and remember that your blood, toils, tears and sweat will eventually build a better world. (I withhold judgement whether that better world will appear within or outside of the EU :).

Spectre rises from the dead to bite Intel in the return stack buffer



The hardware fix might require a rethinking of the processor architectures. Take the performance hit of non-speculative execution in one/several cores for safety-relevant processes. Separate those from the performance-optimized number-crunching cores. It's a kind of striatification, offering the hardware to perform the different jobs encountered in the wild.

That should solve the problem for intel, they can blame the programmers if the software doesn't use the hardware properly ;). Allow the programmers to set the flag for 'optimized' (i.e., speculative) execution at their own risk if they want the performance boost. Give it a catchy name to clarify that your hardware offers xy% performance boost for optificated software and watch the programmers scramble to release their new versions.

Kremlin hacking crew went on a 'Roman Holiday' – researchers


Allies don't do that kind of thing...

You forgot to use the <irony> tag, it's not obvious to all readers otherwise.

Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost


More ways to spot the spoof

- Have the system track additional satellites, compare to the Galileo, Glonass, and BaiDu systems.

- Analyse signal strength, jitter, and noise of signals. That device in the trunk will become much more expensive if it has to properly simulate a GPS satellite including atmospheric ally induced noise.


Re: Chilling

Climate change science has already proved that most people can't distinguish opinion and expertise.

Now how did this relate to GPS hacking again?

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help


"Thats how these games are played."

@OP, are any of your claims actual facts, or do you just play the game of 'spot what I just made up' for your entertainment'? Hillary Clinton was I the limelight for decades, you can bet that countless hours of research went into finding any possible dirt on her in the run-up to the elections, so why do you claim there is (some handwaving now) some mysterious unknown juicy evil stuff on Hillary waiting to be discovered?

In dubio pro reo, so I'll assume the OP is not a paid shill for the GRU. Or (some handwaving again) is he?


For democracy to work...

there should be a level playing file for all participants / parties. If one team cheats, they should be persecuted to protect the democratic process. This is not because you believe the right or wrong party won, but because you believe in democracy!

Some Russian operatives tried to cheat - go get them and try to make sure this won't happen again. This should be a no-brainer for anyone believing in the democratic process, right up there with the need to accept the outcome of a democratic election even if you don't personally like it.

It's 2018 so, of course, climate.news is sold to climate change deniers


"decried as 'fake news' because it's written by well known climate 'deniers'"

I don't know why you make this claim about the cited article. The abstract seems to discuss the scientific consensus about climate warming (towards a new equilibrium that may be some 1.6 K warmer), as assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Maybe the authors ruined their reputation previously, but in the cited work they seem to just summarize reviewed scientific results.

US drug cops snared crooks with pre-cracked BlackBerry mobes – and that's just the start


Symptoms of misguided policies

I like the fact that the police in this case specifically targeted the bad guys with surveillance - and succeeded. But in the bigger picture, these efforts are futile, because the invisible hand of the market will balance supply and demand and the long war on drugs does not seem to make a difference on the demand side.

Time to fix the policy on drugs. The government should not start a war against its people if they want to enjoy their addiction, be it for alcohol (I am looking at you, average TheReg commentard), nicotine, equasy, or cocaine. The resources wasted on the fight against drugs would be more productive elsewhere.

AI threatens yet more jobs – now, lab rats: Animal testing could be on the way out, thanks to machine learning


Re: Only 57%?

The toxicity of chemicals in the Chemical Safety Data Sheet (CSDS) is given as LD50 value (lethal dose causing 50% mortality). I assume the additional 7% die from natural causes.

The big question I didn't see addressed in the article is whether the 'predictive power' was evaluated based on chemicals that were part of the training data (making it more of a recognition AI) or whether the predictions were made for compounds that were not part of the training data.

Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything


"it's the labelling of jars 'Kitchen Utensils' (...) that I don't understand."

That's to remind the users to Put It Back Where It Belongs after use. Nifty, isn't it?

An $18m supercomputer to simulate brains of mice in the land of Swiss cheese. How apt, HPE


"as intelligent as your average socialist"

Now who would that be? I would not consider myself average (who does), but having grown up in a 'social market democracy' and being a proponent of government controlled redistribution (progressive taxes, welfare) and socially responsible regulation you can probably throw me into that pool.

Maybe, next time, check your prejudice against real people you know. Or if you don't know anybody that would fit the bill, go out and meet some - encountering new ideas won't shrink your intelligence even if those ideas are connected to socialism.

Trump's Supreme Court pick will decide critical tech issues for decades – so what are the views of the contenders?


"Union rights =/= worker's rights"

While the above statement is logically true, a quick look into the history books tells us that worker unionization is strongly correlated to worker's rights. Before unionization, workers had almost no power to influence their own working conditions and this correlation is still very strong today.

So in the big picture of things, union rights == worker's rights.

Uncle Sam is shocked, SHOCKED to find dark-web bazaars trading drugs, weapons, etc


"... the Darknet invites criminals into our homes ..."

How does that work exactly? Did I miss the invite?

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

Thumb Up

LeeD: "I work on the basis of: - I don't *want* to do that, it's not my core job. ..."

So then you do the dishes and bring out the garbage, ...

That's the deal I try to get when I hear this particular argument..

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF


"Placement and styling is important" ...

if the content requires it. Sometimes you just want the text, which explains the great success of the good old printed book. Sometimes you want sound, or moving pictures, or VR. Just find the right medium for your job and accept that others may prefer a different medium / file format.

MOS-SAD: Israeli govt weighs in on Facebook privacy, promises action


"Zuckerberg - The clues in the name"

Now how would you address that issue? Maybe hire IBM to create a database (don't forget to create a sensibly graded system for those of mixed ancestry), make them wear a star so they can be recognized, ...? Of course the same critique applies to the OP with his 5 beautiful upvotes. Your racist comments disgust me.

Now wheres the Grammar Nazi when you need him.


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