* Posts by Frumious Bandersnatch

2148 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007

Apple weans itself off Intel with 'more ARM chips' for future Macs

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Doesn't seem very feasible

Initial big/little implementations basically hid the fact that there were 8 ARM cores running at the high (application) level, but later iterations let you use all cores at full tilt if you wanted, leaving the pairing of big/little cores (and transparent migration of processes between them) as more of a secondary option.

So that's how big/little seems to have panned out in practical terms in a purely ARM system.

The article suggests that somehow there can be transparent migration of workloads from high-draw Intel cores to low-draw ARM cores. This between systems that don't share an ABI or machine code or whatever. So how is that supposed to work? Some sort of qemu-like emulation of the workload? Even if it's only doing the translation once, I can't see how emulation is going to be power-efficient enough to warrant sticking in a new CPU.

I guess the other option is that there is no migration and that the hardware uses all native big/little ARM code. Sounds a bit like winmodems, and I don't mean that in a good way.

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'Mafia' of ageing scientists, academics and politicos suck at picking tech 'winners'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Graphene

Indeed. I saw a report on that on NHK World last night. They also had a segment on building a space elevator, with a Japanese company planning to use carbon nanotube cables to get up there by 2050.

I found their web site and it mentions:

The current technology levels are not yet sufficient to realize the concept, but our plan is realistic, and is a stepping stone toward the construction of the space elevator.

Are carbon nanotubes strong enough for this to even work, assuming it's possible to make a 96,000-km cable?

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Father of Pac-Man dies at 91

Frumious Bandersnatch
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obligitory cultural references

#1 Zappa's Valley Girl

"You know me, I'm like into like the clean stuff. Like PAC-MAN and like, I don't know?"

#2 Marcus Bridgstocke's (him an his misplaced 'e') Fringe-worthy joke:

“If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”

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Doomsday Clock moves to 150 seconds before midnight. Thanks, Trump

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: This is the year...

> the year when I finally get my act together, write that novel, ...

The Doomsday Clock certainly didn't stop Alan Moore writing "Watchmen". Contrariwise, he used it to good effect throughout the book.

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I'm deadly serious about megatunnels, vows Elon Musk

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Anyone buying the LA earthquake argument?

> Tunnel projects almost always go massively overbudget

So they'll end up sapping his cash, you say?

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H0LiCOW! Hubble's constant update paves way for 'new physics'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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I dunno. Maybe it was the aliens wot thunk it up. If they're listening in to our ancient and archaic UHF broadcasts they probably caught wind of Brexit and Trump: "Holy cow... there goes the neighbourhood. Better accelerate our withdrawal .."

Hence the observed bending of the Hubble "constant"

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Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "get a guernsey"?

> A "guernsey" is the knitted garment you might wear playing football

Hmm. That's news to me. A "geansaí" (pronounced ganzi) in Irish is a sweater/jumper/pullover/shirt (sport). I'm not sure of the etymology but it looks more like it got borrowed into English than the other way around. At least it seems like a native Irish word to me.

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Penguins force-fed root: Cruel security flaw found in systemd v228

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: @Gerhard

Waiting until something (eg, some initialisation) is finished is trivial:

1. Make a named pipe (done once)

2. Thing waiting on the dependency reads from the pipe and hence blocks

3. Thing providing the dependency writes "success" to the pipe when it's finished

4. init script wrapper sends "fail" to the pipe after a programmable timeout

5. Thing waiting on the pipe looks for "success" (in which case it stops the timeout program and continues as normal) or "fail[ure]" and does error logging

You could do this dependency stuff in any number of ways, but this is doable in a script that you put into /etc/init.d and requires no more than mkfifo, read, echo, sleep and kill commands.

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Lord of the Dance set to deliver high kicks at Trump’s big ball

Frumious Bandersnatch
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a dearth of Scottish artists

I wonder was Arab Strap invited? Probably no, given the "Arab" in their name.

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Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Missed title opportunity Ed.

Speaking of 3rd clocks (for avoiding indeterminacy when both of your clocks are telling different time) and assuming you're referencing the 3rd man:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041959/faq#.2.1.4

TL;DR: no, the Swiss didn't invent cuckoo clocks

(Galileo, Galileo, Bee-el-zi-bug's got a daemon set aside for me)

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Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Windows

jeez

It's like Time Magazine elected 4chan as pesron of the yare or something.

All military operations in urban terrain from here on? It's pronounced CYBA!

(the piano^Hclavier has been drinking ... not me)

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2016 just got a tiny bit longer. Gee, thanks, time lords

Frumious Bandersnatch
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even a stopped clock

tells the right time three times a day

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Chinese boffins: We're testing an 'impossible' EM Drive IN SPAAAACE

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Nothing but the universe comes for free

They don't, but any useful measure of mass has to ignore (or decouple) mass due to acceleration. Since photons travel at the speed of light, they either have infinite energy or zero rest mass. The second option is the only one that makes sense. That's because it takes infinite energy to accelerate a massive object to c, even if the mass is tiny, since a fraction of infinity is still infinity.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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the engines, used in concert, may even power human exploration.

I read this and I wondered if it was a Disaster Area concert.

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Oracle exec quits over co-CEO Safra Catz's promise to assist Trump

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "Planned Register of Muslims"

Congratulation!

Saluton! Is Esperanto your first language?

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'I told him to cut it out' – Obama is convinced Putin's hackers swung the election for Trump

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: DNC - Remove the mote from your own eye

they voted for an orange monkey to be president

Hmm. Reminds me of one of the minor characters from 2000AD, namely "Dave" the Orangutan. Was voted in as mayor of Mega City One.

http://britishcomics.wikia.com/wiki/Dave_the_Orangutan

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'Emoji translator' sought by translations firm

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Sometimes I despair...

The vast majority of CJK characters aren't pictographs. Just saying.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Sometimes I despair...

You forget two things

Except that if you use a Unicode character in SMS, then the entire text gets promoted to UTF-16. Or at least that's the way it was the last time I looked into it. So the 5 characters you "save" are wiped out by the 144/2 characters you lose thanks to the 2-byte encoding.

Anyway, if you want to send a clear, unambiguous message then text is the way to go.

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EU dings Sony, Panasonic over rechargeable battery cartel

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: And the victims of the scam ...

Reminds me of that gag that they had on the comedy version of Countdown. Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock what he'd do if he was prime minister or whatever. Well you know all those people who got refunds for mis-sold PPI? He'd have them pay it all back.

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Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Pixel vs Galaxy

The article has the extra word "services" in the description of the non-compete clause.

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Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

Frumious Bandersnatch
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the US will be the new Somalia

Not if the MPAA and RIAA have their way. A lot of lobby dollars says that won't happen.

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AI brains take a step closer to understanding speech just like humans

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Interesting. I was wondering about this the other day. I was reading about subvocalisation, which is where people mentally form words when reading. When learning foreign languages, this can be a necessary step, but if you get into the habit of hearing each single word in your head as you read it, it means that your reading speed is limited to how fast you can vocalise it (so reading speed = speaking speed, effectively).

Anyway, that got me thinking about how people who are deaf from birth process written material. I suppose that's a variation on this "antiphasia" you mentioned, though I still wonder can people who were born deaf still have mind's-eye style auditory hallucinations even absent the signals needed to prime it? Is it possible that the brain uses other sense data (such as muscle memory of tongue position, mouth shape and so on, as gained from speech practice) as a proxy for subvocalisation?

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Algorithm advance alleviates AI amnesia

Frumious Bandersnatch
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do androids dream of electric sheep?

I haven't read the paper, so I'm not sure of why the authors decided to investigate this, or even how it's implemented. While I was reading the article, though, I was thinking about a couple of things. First, is how they reckon that sleep is necessary for most (if not all) things with a brain. Something to do with assimilating memories and inputs, most likely, and shifting experiences around between different layers of memory. The other thing that I was thinking about is research on combining neural nets with expert systems of some kind, particularly of the fuzzy-logic variety. Oh, and also some of the stuff that Douglas Hofstadter was researching on "creative analogies" and kinds of symbolic intelligence.

Like I said, I have no idea how these guys are implementing their nets, but it seems to me that something that mimics the way the human brain dreams, complete with multiple levels of memory (with associated reinforcement and deliberate forgetting) and some sort of symbolic reinterpretation of neural network states (equivalent to codifying an expert system) would give you a system that is capable of the same kind of trick as outlined in the article. Namely, integrating new "experiences" and "skills" without nuking what's there already.

The biggest problem with neural nets is that they are opaque. You can observe its "thinking" only by reference to the outputs, but explaining the reasons (and hence giving a usable expert system that isn't just a non-symbolic rehash of the neural weights) isn't easy. Still, if you could combine a kind of symbolic (associative) memory with something that's designed to play around with stored memories (ie, dream), for example, building trial fuzzy cognitive maps, you could perhaps compress the large neural network state matrices into some more manageable expert-system-like rules.

I'm sure that the learning algorithms would have to be adapted for this to work. You can't just compress a neural network state into a fixed expert system without lossage. So as stuff is shifted around between different types of memory, the system would have to self-check to make sure that the new model still works with the training set. Probably this would involve replaying and reformulating the steps that the net made as it learned (or "experienced") as a result of being corrected (with back-propagation or whatever). I imagine that a kind of blockchain structure could work very well, albeit one that provides a very subjective and revisionist version of events, thanks to it needing to be rewritten as the underlying representation of stored knowledge shifts around across the different memories and procedural parts.

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Frumious Bandersnatch
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halal fivers?

Apparently, it's fine so long as you're not eating the money. Same thing as leather sofas, which aren't forbidden.

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The Internet Society is unhappy about security – pretty much all of it

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Security is rubbish

10 i've been to lazy to make a coffee.....

20 maybe a coffee would help you get motivated?

30 goto 10

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Creates more problems than it solves?

> leads to the concept of infinite _dimensions_

Erm, no. That's a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of what fractional dimensions are.

To take the example you mentioned, of coastlines not being circles, the length we measure depends on the length of the ruler we pick to measure it. The fractal part is due to self-similarity at various scales and the overall "crinkiliness" of the thing being measured.

The thing is/things are:

* physical law determines that things have to bottom-out at the Planck scale, so any weirdnesses observed with your set of rulers is merely an epiphenomenon when compared with c/Planck-based metrics

* Mandelbrot's "nature" is not the same "nature" as in the "nature of reality" (whether it be relativistic, string-theoretic or multiversal or whatever); Mandelbrot's "nature" is stochastic and has underlying power laws

* using relativistic rulers is by definition the "wrong thing" when dealing with the fundamental nature of things; it's like measuring how "plaid" the universe is

* something like the fractal/Hausdorff dimension is a mathematical abstraction, not a real "dimension" (again, see power laws)

Besides, just because there are fractions doesn't mean that there have to be an infinite number of numerators and denominators (and associated explanations for them as separate things) in the universe. Unless you want to try to argue that, your argument falls apart.

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AI can now tell if you're a criminal or not

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Headmaster

So...

Getting beaten up in prison is merely a case of percussive maintenance with a solid scientific justification in retrophrenology? Perhaps I should write a paper on the strongly anthropic interpretation of the slipperiness of soap in the context of anti-recidivism.

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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Why USB?

I suppose it's just a case of "because I/we can".

ARP spoofing is still a thing. If you can connect to the same network segment, you can craft packets that make other machines on the segment associate your network MAC address with the IP of the real DHCP server. From there, you just run a DHCP server giving bogus IP addresses and routing information so that you can "man in the middle" machines the next time they renew their DHCP lease.

I suppose that a USB-based attack is probably going to be quicker. If it auto-configures, then there's no waiting around for existing DHCP leases to expire. As an attacker, you still have the problem of needing to connect to the local net segment and doing traffic forwarding (masquerading as the target machine) so that the user (and any running applications) doesn't notice any discontinuity.

Given that both methods need physical access to the LAN, I think that a Breaking Bad style device (that Walter White plugged into his DEA brother-in-law's PC Ethernet port) is probably the best approach, though I'm sure that it will need some sort of power supply.

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Google's neural network learns to translate languages it hasn't been trained on

Frumious Bandersnatch
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To be honest, the Japanese doesn't look too bad, though as it's a single long run-on sentence, it's hard to deal with anaphoric references. That aside, it appears that the only real problem with the final translation is not knowing what to do with 使いやすい and 簡単に, which both get translated to "easily".

This, surely is an artefact of focusing on collocation data. On the one hand, I think that this is a very sensible approach to translation between language pairs (eg 彼は背が高い versus "he is tall"), but on the other, the more hops you take through intermediate languages, the more it becomes a case of Chinese whispers. Once you start stringing together the little islands that make up sensible, mutually intelligible utterances without any reference to the underlying semantics, you're bound to end up with an archipelago where the first and last island will definitely not be mutually comprehensible to each other.

I don't know if you speak Japanese, or if you just picked it as an intermediate language for its strangeness factor. If you do, I'm sure that you can come up with many examples where the character of each individual language and (to take a slightly Whorfian viewpoint) the cultural backdrops and implied meanings make it difficult to translate things exactly. Stuff like the differences between I shall/will vs "going to" in English or conditional + いい[のに] (or ちょっと) in Japanese, plus all the rules for ellipsis in each language and what they means, plus, obviously, things like explicit anaphora in English vs implicit topics and referents in Japanese. Handling all of that needs deep understanding of both target languages at both a linguistic and (sometimes) a cultural level, so it's no surprise that this "island hopping" leads to mutual unintelligibility at the ends of the chain.

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Packet.net strong-ARMs cloud for $0.005 per core per hour

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "If we can get the open source ecosystem rebooted..."

I think that if you're just looking for number crunching or high-level stuff, then Torvald's comments probably don't apply. Porting the kernel to a new ARM board isn't straightforward because there's no standard equivalent to the PC BIOS to arbitrate between hardware and OS at boot time. ARM provides reference implementations, but then chip and board manufacturers can go off and make their own proprietary changes. Chip and board manufacturers (eg, Samsung) are often quite antipathetic to free software guys, not wanting to open up the platform unless you pay.

However, we have guys like Linaro (plus other small hardware manufacturers like hardkernel) doing a great job on getting the main components (like boot loader and kernel, and maybe GPU?) working. Once you have that (and we can assume they have this for the board mentioned in the article), as a user you can pretty much forget about it and start thinking about the over-the-top stuff like Docker instances or some sort of parallel/distributed number crunching framework (eg, MPI or Hadoop; unfortunately, OpenCL is a bit sketchy on ARM thanks to vendors not fully/properly supporting it).

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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Selfies are the symptoms of a much deeper disturbance

re: Don't look at the world. Just look at yourself.

You've probably heard of the Irish dad did that on his trip to Las Vegas (inadvertently). Here's a nicely acerbic take on it and on selfies/vlogging in general:

http://www.vice.com/read/what-irish-gopro-dad-can-teach-us-about-the-future-of-vlogging-104

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Kotkin: Why Trump won

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

> I do not recall a single case when the electoral college has voted against what

> they were elected to vote for.

It has happened. A total of 157 times since the USA was founded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

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Chirp! Let's hear it for data over audio

Frumious Bandersnatch
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the audio bursts are [...] one-to-many

This could be quite useful as an out-of-band signalling method. The article goes on to say that it could be used as a broadcast medium in something like a stadium. I think that this sort of oob channel could also be useful as an adjunct to a reliable multicast system. The problem with many multicast algorithms is that explicit ACK/NAK packets get progressively worse the more listening stations you add, to the point that they consume the bandwidth required by the broadcaster, making the whole thing less efficient.

To quote Leonard Cohen: "The fourth, the fifth / The minor fall, the major lift / The baffled king composing Hallelujah"

Assume that we have a modulation scheme to signify explicit ACK/NAK using a particular "chord", and a Bluetooth-like (base) frequency hopping algorithm to encode frame numbers, then providing the receiving stations have enough power to pump out their ACK/NAK packets, then the broadcasting station can listen to a wide spectrum of audio input and use FFT plus some sort of convolution (?) algorithm to detect specific chords at any base frequency. As a first pass, this should be able to figure out the actual error rate (by listening to the loudness of the NAK chord signature across all frequencies), and with more processing it could identify particular packets/frames that need to be retransmitted.

Still with the stadium example, you could imagine shrinking the technology down so that each phone could act as a transceiver, with a quorum-sensing algorithm quenching explicit OOB signalling in a localised area (with a hard cut-off to effectively become deaf to all the other nearby chirps outside a certain radius) along with lower-bandwidth retransmission of lost packets and possibly directionality so that those at the back can find out just how blessed the cheesemakers are.

(I'll bid you farewell. Don't know I'll be back---they're moving me tomorrow to the tower down the track ...)

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Judge throws out Trump lawyer's demand for poll worker info – because it'll feed Twitter trolls

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Man, if Trump does win

then the upset that Brexit caused will be like a drop in a bucket in the middle of the ocean in comparison.

To put this in terms that even Americans can understand, it'll be like 9/11 times a hundred. That's right: 91,100.

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Hitler's wife's lovely lilac knickers fetch £2,900 at auction

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Arnold Layne had a strange hobby

Collecting clothes

Moonshine washing line

They suit him fine

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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"equally interested in the undergarments of the Allied leaders' wives."

You never know, maybe some of J. Edgar Hoover's stash might turn up. Insert obvious "hoover up" pun.

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DRAMA ON MARS: Curiosity bot fires laser at alien metal object

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: JPL/CalTech do incredible things!

Rocket science stuff eh? Well, it's not exactly brain surgery, is it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I

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Run a JSON file through multiple parsers and you'll get different results every time

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "the job done properly" (with link to page about ASN.1)

As I recall, ASN.1 parsers have also had exploitable bugs in them.

I much prefer YAML over both of those but YMMV.

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LASER RAT FENCE wins €1.7m European Commission funds

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: I hope the thing only points downwards...

I was thinking the same myself, though more in terms of teaching the AI the difference between "small" and "far away".

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Job ad asks for 'detrimental' sysadmin

Frumious Bandersnatch
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> though what Freud was doing while wearing a slip I don't really want to know

It was purely for Ediphucational purposes, obviously.

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Chinese electronics biz recalls webcams at heart of botnet DDoS woes

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Unhappy

未来って?

過去に戻りたい。未来を見たことがあります。人殺しです。

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Iceland's Pirate Party tops polls ahead of national elections

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Pirate Party!

I expect something fairly dissimilar. Affairs will be conducted by alternate blurring through myopia and hyperopia, a la Reykjavik 101.

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The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: when I read this

Wiki page says they're headquartered in Detroit, then later taken over by a Japanese zaibatsu.

Life-imitating-art bootnote: there's now a real OCP selling stuff like Brawndo and Sex Panther eau de Cologne. They also paid for a Robocop statue in Detroit!

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Caring ?

> you really think they will do differently about a tech news outlet

Well, there is the whole "enemy of my enemy" thing (ie, Apple seems to think the Reg is its enemy). That sort of logic can make for strange bedfellows. I say wait and see.

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Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

Frumious Bandersnatch
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simple solution

Have like a riot cannon mounted on the front of the car. It can hit a person with enough force to fling them into the air but presumably not kill them. This can give the car a few more moments in which to compute another course of action that can safely avoid hitting the obstacle (or simply hit it at a less lethal speed)

A giant boxing glove mounted on a kind of scissors can also be used, as it's easier to reset/reload. Or a cannon loaded with quick-setting riot foam that can first reduce the relative velocity of impact, and second maybe protect them from a lethal knock by immobilising and/or cushioning the blow.

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BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

Frumious Bandersnatch
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While you're up there

You could install transparent pneumatic tubes for transporting people where they need to go. Just like Futurama.

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WikiLeaks claims 'significant' US election info release ... is yet to come

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: How the US election operates....

The Lizard people aren't being particularly subtle with their candidate this year

Eh? "Candidates", surely?

Kodos: It's a two party system! You have to vote for one of us!

Man: He's right, this is a two-party system

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British trio win Nobel prize for physics

Frumious Bandersnatch
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David Thouless

Wasn't he in Naked?

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When Pornhub meets the Internet of Fridges

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Dirk Gently with me

I've got Internet hang-ups

(with apologies to DNA)

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True man-in-the-middle: Transmitting logins through the human body

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Old, t'fuck

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/10572554/Want-to-exchange-contact-details-Lets-shake-on-it.html

(and I'm sure I can find earlier references than that, like at least 5+ years)

Oh, and "wireless"? The human body is the wire.

FFS

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