* Posts by DavCrav

1926 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

Numbers war: How Bayesian vs frequentist statistics influence AI

DavCrav
Silver badge

If there is no infection at all then 1% of the population will still test positive.

In mathematics (and statistics), a good way to test your reasoning is to go for the extreme values and see if it still works. So you should test 50/50, no infection and complete infection, and see what happens.

13
0

Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Corporate information commodities have zero intrinsic value, so that's the amount I'm willing to pay."

OK, this is obviously bullshit. It has a value to you, however small, otherwise you would not spend the time and electricity cost downloading an unlawful copy of it. And not all goods that we normally think of are physical, for example a repairman doesn't sell you a physical good, or even more esoterically, an insurance policy, especially one you never claim on.

In general, most goods are worth more to people than their scrap value. I assume you won't pay more than about £150 for a car then?

8
3

Sharp claims Hisense reverse-ferreted its US telly licence deal

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Wow

"I can't see what Hisense have done wrong here."

Well, one would hope that there was some kind of contract that they signed where Hisense agreed not to fuck them over. You would think, anyway.

5
0

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Says it all

"'What are we going to do to ensure we still are needed and stop all our resources being taken away?'

Not:

"As a publicly funded agency, what should we do for the people?"

Can I rephrase her statement as "this trough is almost empty - quick find another one""

No. She said that they were dealing with terrorism as well, and that was obviously getting big during the 1980s, but people didn't know about it so after the end of the Cold War, there was a danger that MI5 would be defunded and all that expertise in plot disruption would be lost.

5
1

When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

DavCrav
Silver badge

Let the fun begin

So this is a park. Should a 'game' that provides a head-up display with pulse rate, breathing, distance travelled, etc., for joggers be banned? Surely not, that's a health app, right? What about one that encourages you to go further with XP and levels, sharing results, and so on? Still a health app, or now a game? Should it be banned?

What about one that encourages people to run in small groups, that gave XP to the whole party? Ban now?

And so on.

7
3

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

DavCrav
Silver badge

Dear The People,

Under our current system of law, we tend to require evidence of wrongdoing before we can imprison someone. There are tens of thousands of extremists in the UK right now, only some of which will actually end up killing people. Precisely how do you intend that we monitor these people without something like bulk surveillance? Or should we just lock all these people up without charge?

Kind Regards,

The Government

The reality is that you know someone is dodgy, and you know he knows dodgy people. Unless you have concrete evidence that he's about to murder a bunch of people, our current innocent-until-proved-guilty system says you cannot just throw him in jail. By the way, according to the police anyway, this is lost 2, won a dozen or so, in that they "disrupted" about a dozen terror plots in the last few years.

And anyway, we are talking tens of thousands of people here. We'd have to build a few prisons just to hold them. And if we start engaging in the habitual internment of Muslims in the UK, how many more extremists do you think that will generate?

I don't know what the solution is, but some kind of automated surveillance is going to be necessary because of the sheer numbers of Islamic extremists involved. If there are 10000 extremists, and each needs a team of five (absolute minimum) to watch them, on £50000 each (salary, pension, equipment, cover, etc.) then that's £2.5bn. And that's to employ 50k people just to follow them round. It's not feasible.

And we cannot deport them because most of them are British citizens.

12
35

First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: ehm, one thing

"He didn't follow his instructions. The fact that keys to the safe are laying on the safe doesn't mean that you are allowed to open it and destroy whatever is inside."

This is more like the Big Red Button for a data centre being next to the exit button for the door, as was in another Reg story recently. You cannot blame the hapless person who hit the BRB.

17
0

Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Ooooh, It Makes Me Wonder...

"Probably far fewer failures than parcels mis-delivered by land going couriers."

Does a mis-delivery have the same kind of, well, impact?

11
0

Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Sounds about as well researched as one of the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' books where a hacker was described as being so amazing he'd been able to take control of a RN submarine as it patrolled the deeps."

That's at least physically possible. In an episode of Bones, an ueber-hacker etches a virus on a bone, so that when it's scanned into the system it infects the protagonist's computer.

0
2

No H-1B visas? No problem, we'll offshore says Tech Mahindra

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Simple government response...

"Simple government response...

Subject all code developed off shore to import and customs duties."

OK. What if other countries do this?

6
0

US laptops-on-planes ban may extend to flights from ALL nations

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: secure storage

"I agree. Who uses a laptop on a plane these days anyway? Too clunky. Tablets and phablets everywhere from what I've been seeing. If they would promise secure passage, I'd be fine with handing it over."

I use a laptop, and fly in economy. But then, I write large quantities of text on a daily basis, rather than watch films and read a report or two.

31
0

Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Natural barrier to runaway

"Silicon (or what ever we do run these on), has a worse power requirement and while in a solid state lasts a long time, is difficult to repair/replace (large fabrication factories take a LONG time to push out those AMD and Intel chips). Well, when compared to a few neurons growing in our skulls."

Yes. Human bodies are easy to repair, that's why there are no people in wheelchairs after breaking their back. Or degenerative brain conditions. What?

3
3
DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Can Machines really learn 'experience' and 'judgement'?

"How much salt is enough when seasoning something? 6.4g or 7.9g?

You taste the food and judge. The strength of other ingredients can affect how much salt you need to add."

That's not what AI is for. You are asking if AI can decide how much salt is too much for you. If you give it some data and some method of testing things then yes, it can. But chefs cannot make things with just the right amount of salt for you either, without some data and some method of testing things either.

6
1
DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Dark days to come

"There is a 4th way...

AI is bollocks and while automation and specific task robots will be built, the AI apocalypse will never happen, well, we may cause an apocalypse with something we have labelled AI, but it won't actually be AI."

That would be the 'humans are special snowflakes, nothing else could possibly have intelligence' way?

AI can be done, no doubt about that. The two questions are: 1) how long will it take, and 2) will we want to do it?

4
3

EU pegs quota for 'homegrown' content on Netflix at 30 per cent

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Brazil ? Or 1960s Britain ?

"I can just imagine Telly Savalas doing that; "Birmingham! It's the swingingest town in Limey-country!""

An actual quotation from it: "This was the view that nearly took my breath away".

4
0

WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: First, identify the constraint

"There is no reason, other than bribes from MS, that the NHS shouldn't do the same, again with the exception of the specialist custom programs for the expensive equipment which should be on its own network anyway."

I was just in an NHS hospital. The standard PC doesn't run XP. It's the non-standard ones linked to MRI machines and other networks that have XP. Anything that wants that MRI image needs to be on the same network, as you aren't easily transmitting 500GB of data a time through an air gap.

5
2

Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Slightly complicated...

"Nice try, but he has never been *charged* with anything, did you miss that part? And the girls are not interested in doing so."

Again, again, again, Swedish legal system not the same as UK/US one. The 'charging' part happens right at the end, when you are taken to trial. Jesus Christ people, these facts are not particularly difficult to remember.

4
4
DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Slightly complicated...

"BUT the charge for which he was on bail has been dropped, so in hindsight there was no reason for him to be on bail in the first place. So is it reasonable, fair and just (as opposed to legal) to continue to pursue him for something he wouldn't have done in the first place if things had moved faster, i.e. the Swedes had decided at the beginning that there didn't seem to be enough evidence?"

Well, of course. Instead of having his day in court he chose to jump bail. And the Swedes, and I think I am going to have to shout at this point, (sorry everybody) DID NOT DROP THE CASE THROUGH LACK OF EVIDENCE. They dropped it because it was clear Assange wasn't leaving the embassy, and since they can't get him, Swedish law says they have to drop it. So he hasn't been vindicated, he's just been enough of a criminal (i.e., a fugitive from the law) that the other side has given up.

UK law doesn't have this requirement, so he's going to be couchsurfing for a while longer if he doesn't want to end up in new digs with the letters 'HMP' at the start.

4
3
DavCrav
Silver badge

"6 months failing to surrender have passed and he cannot be arrested for the offense for which he is bailed as that prosecution is dropped. So they are entitled to resource him at EXACTLY ZERO resource as per current law. The law says he should just walk out of the embassy and the police are not entitled to bother him as the original charge has been dropped. So (un)fortunately (un or without un depends on viewpoint), we can no longer even nail him for jumping bail."

I'm not sure that's true. A warrant has already been served for his arrest under the Bail Act, hence his guarantors losing all their money. There is no statute of limitations for the Bail Act.

23
2

Comey was loathed by the left, reviled by the right – must have been doing something right

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: FBI in turmoil -- you know that, I know that--

"The banner headline on the BBC website after the news broke was "Washington in Turmoil" in unusually large typeface. That's the kind of hysterical reportage from a supposedly staid and reliable source which almost makes me understand Trump's antipathy towards the news media. I thought I'd gone to the Daily MIrror by mistake."

Washington is in turmoil though. What do you call the President firing the head of the FBI, who was investigating potential treason by him, allegedly for not investigating the other candidate in the race further, but then later admitting it was because he was investigating the White House? I mean, what has to happen for it to be turmoil in your eyes?

3
1

UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

DavCrav
Silver badge

"This is the UK. We don't have the construct of first degree murder. I feel it might be quite challenging to prove that $whatever was released specifically to kill, which is what you'd need for a pre-meditated murder conviction (UK's equivalent of first degree) but causing death by being a silly bugger (AKA manslaughter) would be more likely to succeed."

Don't need the whole murder, manslaughter thing. If anyone gets caught for this, it's committing a terrorist act they'll be done for. Attacking national infrastructure tends to get treated in that way.

1
0
DavCrav
Silver badge

"How is some user clicking on an attachment in such an environment an attack?"

Well, it's obviously an attack. Just because the defence wasn't great (assuming that) doesn't mean it isn't an attack.

0
0
DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Ransomware

"Because in warfare you destroy the opponents assets. You don't lock them up and demand a ransom."

Never heard of privateers, have you?

5
0

FBI boss James Comey was probing Trump's team for Russia links. You're fired, says Donald

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Comey was caught lying under oath. So Trump fired him. -- opportunely.

"Palpy, in all seriousness, we all know that there's a big fat nothing behind this whole "Russian collusion" farce."

You have to ask yourself why Trump fired the guy investigating him just as a grand jury has been convened and subpoenas are starting to land. Last person to do this: Richard Nixon. Another guy who absolutely did nothing wrong while in office.

37
2

Sorry, Dave, I can't code that: AI's prejudice problem

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Transparency...

"Thanks, but that's not answering my question. I wanted to know "why can't an AI explain how it came to a particular decision?". Not "was that a good or bad decision?"."

The answer is usually 'I was trained on this dataset and the model that fits this best looks like this. So I am using that.'

2
0

We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Every single one of these events happens because the photographer is a dick when approached by a copper. Fuck them. Answer the question, it takes a minute to say you are a professional photographer, here's my card and feel free to look at my photos."

This person wasn't a cop. So, what's your excuse now?

7
0
DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Again?

"Technically speaking your "plastic plob" was correct. If you were obstructing the highway (which includes access to it) the fact that it was your own access you were obstructing is neither here nor there. There is limited public interest in prosecution but it does happen occasionally."

No, no, no. Access to the highway is important, yes. So if someone is parked on a driveway and you drive behind them, without their permission, and block them in, you have committed a civil offence. (Although in Birmingham when this happened recently, the police didn't want to know.) If the driveway is unoccupied however, no offence has been committed, even if the property owner cannot enter their own driveway.

I got done for this once, and paid the penalty because I was 17 and a dick for parking where I did. But I was technically innocent, and if I'd have known the law then I could have appealed.

1
0

Fake invoice scammers slurp $5bn+ from corp beancounters – FBI

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Yes, it is illegal...

"you just fired off a random invoice to me for something you didn't provide. Let's say I pay it, what was illegal?"

I think you need to look up the definition of the word 'fraud'. Don't know about the US, but in the UK it is definitely illegal. It used to be called 'obtaining money by deception', but now it is rolled into general fraud.

2
1

Fake news is fake news, says Google-backed research

DavCrav
Silver badge

""technicolour" is wrong?"

As someone else said, Technicolor is a trademark. That's how it is spelled the world over.

0
1
DavCrav
Silver badge

"I hate people in grey world. They pay less for their TV license [sic]. I feel descriminated [sic] against because I live in technicolour [sic] world."

Not in a world that contains a dictionary though, I see.

5
5

Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

DavCrav
Silver badge

This is rubbish

"Webb explains that OpenSignal is confident if just 100 app users are gathering data. The firm derives its confidence intervals using CLT (Central Limit Theory) “which argues that the mean of any collection of random variables (subject to minor technical constraints our data can readily be shown to satisfy) will tend toward a Gaussian distribution,” the firm explains. “Further it says that the variance of this mean will equal the variance of the underlying population divided by the sample size. Hence, if the CLT holds, we can derive the variance of our mean from the variance of the underlying data set. It is important then to show that the CLT holds for our data and for the sampling sizes we normally use.”"

You cannot use the Central Limit Theorem if your underlying sample is biased. That's the end of that whole paragraph's chuntering. And it tends towards a normal distribution, not a Gaussian distribution. Muppet.

1
0

Tesla: Revenues up, losses deepen, in start to 'exciting' 2017

DavCrav
Silver badge

"the company is worried its customers are confusing the new Model 3 and its flagship Model S."

That's why we use names for things, rather than designations.

6
1

Loadsamoney: UK mulls fining Facebook, Twitter, Google for not washing away filth, terror vids

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Illegal where?

"I know what our reaction would be if the Chinese gummint tried to fine fb for showing something that's legal here but not there."

This sort of thing happens all the time. Lots of companies are done for things that are crimes in one country but not in others.

1
0

Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: "it is up to government to close the loopholes"

"At last a report which doesn't blame the companies themselves, but places the blame squarely at the foot of the government for not closing the loopholes in the first place."

So if there's a loophole in the murder law that let's me kill you, and I did, that would be the Government's fault as well? It#s the Government's fault for not closing the loopholes and it's these companies' fault for being absolute bastards. It's not a legal requirement for firms to be twats, the whole maximize profit law thing is a lie, as in it doesn't exist.

1
2

'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Back to the story, clearly if it is proven his formula is better and more accurate the state will be open to litigation on previous tickets issued which is probably why they have taken the stance they have."

What? To fine him for talking about maths? I would have thought that was obviously unconstitutional, but what do I know?

13
0

UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Not to put too fine a point on it...

"Really? We switched to base-60 and I haven't noticed till now?

Our counting system was actually invented by Indians, i.e., in the Commonwealth for all practical purposes... A few centuries before Islam came about, actually. So perfectly consistent with values, way of life, etc."

Not really. Babylonians used base 10, they then grouped the tens into 60s. So some hybrid of the two.

1
0

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

DavCrav
Silver badge

"The deception isn't perfect. The voice samples provided sound processed and often the phrasing sounds off."

This is true, but if you go to the demo page from Lyrebird and scroll down, there are a set of clips of Donald Trump 'saying' "I am not a robot, my intonation is always different." Each time the computer makes the clip, it uses a different intonation, some of which sound wrong. Just make it ten times and use the best intonation, if you are trying to fool people.

1
0

Leaked NSA point-and-pwn hack tools menace Win2k to Windows 8

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Let me just adjust my tin foil hat.

I'm going to suggest that these leaks are not from the NSA but from Microsoft.

These exploits cover windows up to and including windows 8.1."

As mentioned above, this was created before Windows 10.

5
0

ZX Spectrum reboot project's Great Ormond Street charity cash questions

DavCrav
Silver badge

"If all 6,500 Vegas remaining from the orignal 10,500 toal were sold direct to the public, the sum due for donation would be £64,350."

That's assuming £9.90 per console. So we are assuming that Amazon don't take a slice of the cash then? If they take 30% say, then we get about £7 instead, which brings us to the same sort of range as the other estimates.

0
0

Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

DavCrav
Silver badge

"Actually, yes, that one could be infected with malware strictly by downloading a bunch of compressed but otherwise inert data* to be interpreted as sound or pictures is indeed very much news to me. I DON'T mean clicking on the "use our shiny automatic 'downloader' instead!" button roughly four times as large as the actual link, mind you. Nor downloading something called BlockbusterActionMovie.mp4.rar.docx.bat.exe and just double-clicking it blindly as a bat either. Nor browsing a malicious download page with a browser full of holes and enabled scripting. Just the media file itself - how exactly does that "infect" anyone, again...?"

Could be a drive-by download on the website itself? I know, I know, NoScript, AdBlock, etc., but if you are running those you probably know about malware on warez sites. (Does anyone call it warez any more?)

0
0

Spanish cops snatch suspected top spammer as US moves against Kelihos botnet

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Russian propaganda TV channel.....

"Russian propaganda TV channel.....

Yeah and the BBC is a paragon of virtue and unbiased reporting!"

A is bad.

B is bad.

Therefore A and B are equally bad.

You can do better than this.

15
1

Google fumes after US Dept of Labor accuses ad giant of lowballing pay for women

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Comparing like with like

"I suppose this is why Google is asking for the data and methodology. Google almost certainly has the better statisticians."

Better statisticians just improves your ability to lie with statistics.

4
1

Overcharge customers, underpay the serfs. Who else but Uber (allegedly)

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: I fail to understand why ubber* still exist

"it's pronounced ubber, because there's no umlaut on the U"

If it's ueber, it's pronouned something like 'ew-ber'. If it's uber, it's pronounced something like 'oo-ber'.

2
0

We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: The little man who wasn't there

"But of course I'm sure they've thought of that."

Yes, they have. Because they know what they are doing, and have decades of experience with this thing. Some of them will have produced the factoid you are quoting.

"A neutrino, or in this case an antineutrino, has a 50% chance of making it through half a light-year of solid lead."

But there's loads of them.

0
0

Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Lenient

"No part of the payment of any fine levied for an offence of this kind should be accepted until complete restitution is first made to the victim. Because a criminal should never be able to pay a fine with his victim's money, and what is owed for vandalism should be treated exactly like stolen property."

What? In what sense is this lenient? He has to do both. If he goes bankrupt because of it, somebody doesn't get the full due, and you can just decide which one later. But, quite clearly stated in the article, he has to pay compo to the company.

3
0

Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: side on impact

"How can you drive so fast, while turning left at an intersection, that the freaking Volvo you hit rolls over!? Was the woman driving a tank?"

You can be doing zero, if the Volvo hits you at the right speed and angle to career off and hit something else and flip. Since the other person was turning left at an intersection, they won't have been going very fast, let's be honest. And 38 at a blind intersection is insane.

0
1

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Why?

"For values of "a while" that equate to "not yet" even after nearly four decades for Billy bookcases, and at least three for Ivar racks."

Billy bookcases might have the same name, but they have changed. Current Billy bookcase shelf supports are not backwards compatible. I found that one out last year.

0
0

LastPass scrambles to fix another major flaw – once again spotted by Google's bugfinders

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: "some people prefer to think that ignorance is bliss."

"WHAT f*cking attack? You have not been attacked at all, by anyone. [snipped]"

The word 'attack' here is a metaphor. When someone attacks a problem they don't go running towards it with an axe.

Seriously, calm down.

2
0

UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

DavCrav
Silver badge

Re: Stop taking the p***

""It isn't however, an excuse to pay less tax."

Yes it is. They have a higher risk than a permanent employee..."

Go do one. That's the reason to get paid more, not the reason to let old people die on the street. You seem to be mixing up the company and the Government. One of these is the place that pays you, and the other taxes people to provide hospitals, schools, roads, defence, and so on. You being at higher risk of being made redundant does not mean that you shouldn't pay for the school your child goes to, or the care your parents need, or for the roads you drive on.

Contractors making themselves 'tax efficient' might be legal, but austerity is your fault: you and Amazon and Starbucks and every other tax cheat.

1
2

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017