* Posts by Mage

6248 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

How good are selfies these days? Good enough to fool Samsung Galaxy S8 biometrics

Mage
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Re: What happened to blinking?

A suitably programmed tablet can blink or contract irises.

There are other ways too.

You can tweak biometrics and later it will fail again. Some ideas are just dead ends. Security wise, Biometrics and/or RFID are doomed.

You can't change your own biometrics

RFID is INHERENTLY vulnerable to sniffing/eavesdropping etc, as is WiFi and BT. A physical contact to card/key/dongle is the only secure method other than PIN or Password. The accelerometer and any other such sensors should be disabled during any security data entry.

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Mage
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Re: incriminating phone calls or texts in your name?

Um,

1) The SIM isn't registered to me, it's anonymous. I don't live in Spain, etc.

2) You can be sure I'd complain loudly to everyone that my phone is stolen, inc the Garda, to beef up their crime statistics*

So they'd need to take phone and replace it while I didn't notice (clone IMEI and SIM is possible) and somehow make the anonymous number/SIM be identified to me. I bought the phone S/H too. €50 cash, though the seller knows me.

(* Someone in there gets bored and invents statistics, we don't know why, perhaps they'd like some real ones. I ALWAYS report crimes. Even if it seems pointless)

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Mage
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Other Options

My phone is setup for Border Control.

Only PAYG, so if stolen, no big bill.

Four years old, and not an Apple, so not a huge target

Only used for note taking, photos, FM Radio, SMS and phone calls. Nothing important kept on it.

No PIN or lock, to allow instant calls.

I appreciate it's a special use case ^_^ and not much help for most people. I only take my real laptop to known "secure" places, otherwise I take a semi-disposable small netbook (Linux Mint + LXDE).

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Mage
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FAIL

Re: Dead Disks

Anecdotal.

We had 80 Segates fail in one day. Assembly area too cold, in days when you did low level formatting.

Then half the disks in two classrooms of new computers we installed (I forget why?)

Another period it was Quantum disks.

Then all those Western Digital 0.5T and 1T SATA drives, loads. Was it a firmware bug?

I've one faulty Samsung 1T drive, "dumped" yesterday.

Replacing HDDs since 1983. All anecdotal. You need a BIG sample. You need to know if moved about, in smoker's atmosphere, weather, power cuts, storms, temperature of PC etc.

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Mage
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Re: RFID

Never invented for security but tracking palettes etc instead of barcodes which are not convenient. The non--contact nature of RFID makes them inherently insecure.

Criminal also can use a scanner and cut it out. I'd rather have a physical "electronic" key / card / dongle.

The contactless debit and credit cards are already a disaster.

A pet's RFID is NOTHING to do with security.

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Mage
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Re: Three pillars of identity

No, just forget biometrics. I said from the start it was just a Hollywood trope and doomed.

Anything that can't be changed is no use for security.

Also people believe computers, so you only have to hack in a desired biometric. It's worse than a password or dongle BECAUSE the real person can't easily change it without fake skin or contact lenses etc.

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8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

Mage
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Without statistics, there can be no self-driving cars, no Siri and no Google.

Rats.

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AI-powered dynamic pricing turns its gaze to the fuel pumps

Mage
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Also this is NOT AI

It's quite simple algorithm based on demand.

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It's just 'Pro' now, guys: Microsoft gives Surface a subtle resurfacing

Mage
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Unhappy

SSD has been integrated on the motherboard.

Doesn't SSD wear out faster than an HDD?

Or maybe integrated doesn't mean soldered?

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Nokia, Apple lawyers make peace over nasty IP wrangle

Mage
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Patents and Patents

Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia, Philips etc developed stuff in an era when patents meant more, though the USA has been into approving dubious patents since Victorian times, more than any other country.

Can anyone show me even a dozen Apple phone patents that are genuinely innovative, not a copy of prior art and not obvious to any competent Engineer schooled in the art?

Apple vs Samsung was ludicrous. Not ONE of the Apple patents (or "Design Patents" = UK "Registered Design") should ever have been approved by USPTO.

I'm not surprised Apple has settled and the money is going to Finland, nor that MS got anything for their money except staff and factories that Nokia was going to close anyway. They have done paper, welly boots, TVs, setboxes and people were surprised when they decided to do phones.

Apple entered already proven markets with their iPod (the only "innovation" was iTunes and its ability to dismember LPs a track at a time with publisher agreement) and later iPhone (9 years after smart phones appeared) just as mobile data was getting practical, the innovation being the operator exclusive deals per country with bundled data when only corporate staff could afford data. The GUI was bought in and the HW was commodity parts, the clever HW being Samsung's 6400 family ARM that had CPU(with all I/O), RAM and Flash stacked in one package making PCB design simple for a beginner, no external memory PCB tracks needed.

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Mage
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source code of the original Unix for study and copying

Surely more covered by copyright than patent.

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China's phone quartet is shouldering its way into Western markets

Mage
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Big Brother

Interesting

How many of the Chinese Android phones don't have Google's "Blob", the spyware comprising Play Store and Location Services? Or don't have a Google browser as default?

Which would Europeans rather have spying on them? Chinese or Google?

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Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: Once you send your data to the cloud

Only use the Cloud for copies of public facing information, or transactions later stored on your own system.

It made sense in 1960s and 1970s for smaller operations to outsource computer use to hosting. It makes no sense now to outsource core business data to the Cloud. It's not magical, just less secure hosting than 1970s over a less secure connection.

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Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

Mage
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Other Australians

Murdoch isn't that popular

I quite like Clive James. His "J.K. Rowlings Envy" "point of view" for BBC was a classic.

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Cloud giants 'ran out' of fast GPUs for AI boffins

Mage
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so another Cloud disinformation

Better to use Cloud, because it's elastic, you get more as you need it instead of paying for your own iron.

Yeah right.

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O2 will be carrying out UK IoT connectivity trials later this year

Mage
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O2 Trials

Hopefully IoT is found guilty, i.e. that that can't do it profitably.

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No nudity please, we're killing ourselves: Advice to Facebook mods leaks

Mage
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Solution

Shut down the parasite.

It serves no useful purpose. Even Twitter is more use.

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Mage
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Devil

So

Breastfeeding gets deleted but self harm, gore and murder is OK?

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Horse named 'Cloud Computing' finds burst of speed to beat 'Classic Empire' in actual race

Mage
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cloud computing will overtake the classic empire of on-premises computing

"actual cloud computing will overtake the classic empire of on-premises computing some time in the early-to-mid 2020s"

So at some point there will be a critical mass outsourced to Cloud.

Even if a 100x more reliable, it WILL fail, (and a wrong patch might propagate in a way than makes malware writers jealous). Then you won't be able to make calls (no billing), buy food (no POS) or get cash (ATMs will be using the Cloud as will the banks anyway).

There will be no silver lining.

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And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin hologram ... Sir, it is only wafer thin

Mage
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Re: Rainbow Holograms

Advantage is they don't need lasers.

Disadvantage, is that they are only good for a novelty or security sticker.

Disadvantage is colour shading from top to bottom (clue in name).

A neat trick, but no cigar for a basis of a 3D display.

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Mage
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Re: Help me Obi-wan Kenobi...

For 500 year old vampires, what's nearly 30 years to the undead?

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Mage
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Boffin

Holograms

The earliest used a piece of film, so were static. I first saw one in 1969. The hologram surface is like a window. You can see anything you could have seen at the original scene, so you can see all of a chessboard by moving your head, even though the straight on view might show only a few pieces.

We have no idea how to do images like the original Star Wars projection done by R2D2.

Holography needs a huge bandwidth. We can do "real" 3D computer generated images by scanning an angled ground glass disk rotating fast enough, with R, G and B lasers. It's not holographic, full colour 3D viewable inside a clear cylinder. The effective Z resolution increases the normal flat X Y bandwidth considerably for any decent resolution. Another problem with the rotating disk method is that if there is a wide viewing angle the view is very translucent.

I've no idea what this is or how it can create an image above the surface (but caption does say a fake image!).

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‪There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box

Mage
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Alert

Re: "the antithesis of a strong and stable operating system"

The default settings were rubbish, both on Services and Network Interfaces. But that is true with EVERY version of windows.

Properly installed, decent drivers, no rogue apps and users as users, not admin, it's totally stable and fairly secure.

However MS has totally annoyed me with MS Office after 2003, then Win8 and Win10, so after 20 years of promoting and installing MS products, I don't care any more. Also using UNIX since 1985 and Linux since 1999, I now 100% use Linux Mint / Mate / Redmond theme on the laptop got last November, even though I paid Lenovo extra to have Win 7 pro.

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Mage
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Hmm

Would adding a fresh boot disk and re-infection give the same key or a different one?

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Mi casa es su casa: Ubuntu bug makes 'guests' anything but

Mage
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Re: Flaky guest account

Just disable Guest. ON EVERY OS

Though Win 1.x 2.x 3.x, Win9x you only had to hit cancel. The log on only affected network access.

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

Mage
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Not even been charged, but skipped bail.

Also why on earth would Sweden send him to the USA? His excuse for not facing questioning is mental. The UK extradites people to USA, but didn't, because actually, the USA at the time didn't charge him. The USA doesn't like him, though AFAIK have never charged him?

Maybe he likes the embassy.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Mage
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Re: Rather than like buying a BMW

"16 valves?"

Most Radios only need four or five, though stereo needs a few extra. Look at how many valves (tubes) a Scott radio used! Mad.

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Mage
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Thumb Up

Mungo Jerry on their Mum's powder blue Fidelity portable

Because no teen could afford a real HiFi, in real terms about x2 the price of an HDTV today ... which reminds me, 1950s TV sets and radios have far better audio than HDTV or table top radio today. Laptop speakers in the 4K res 48" TV! Gah!

Most of the home cinema has like 1995 PC speakers in plastic boxes.

256K MP3 isn't bad and 320K OK, but less compatible. Only my laptop and Tablet will play AAC.

I only buy CDs, rip and archive. I use decent wooden cabinet speakers on TV, but very many films on DVD, BD have terrible sound balance. TV drama too has the music and effects too dominant.

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What is dead may never die: a new version of OS/2 just arrived

Mage
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Re: Win32 applications, only Win32s

An artificial distinction invented by MS for mostly 16bit Win95 and mostly 16 bit Office 95 so that Office 95 wouldn't run on Win3.x. So Office 95 didn't work on true Win 32 NT3.1 or NT3.5, it wasn't a limitation of Win32s. Many users of NT3.5 got the NT3.51 upgrade free, which had the extra APIs purely invented for Office 95. There was later even an explorer shell preview on NT3.51, then we were horrified on that on NT4.0 they moved GDI (graphics and printer drivers then could blue screen) into kernel. Many organisations thus continued to install NT 3.51 server.

So really nothing to do with Win32s

OS/2 was out marketed by a gaming console and MS dishonest lock in of PC makers. Both NT3.5 and OS/2 warp were far better than Win9x, which killed the excellent Pentium Pro. But that's another story.

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Mage
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Lotus Notes

Plain evil. Totally horrible on NT too.

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Mage
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Re: Nice for abandonware

"Has it got a TCP/IP stack and internet browser as well? yes and yes"

OS/2 had both of those in 1994. More import is that it supports USB, which wasn't on OS/2 or Win95 in 1995.

I remember MIcrosoft OS/2 Server with LAN Manager (sold in 1989 after IMB and MS parted ways).

Is OS/3 the reason that NT starts at Version 3?

MS inflicted Win9x, not much more than Win3.x with the VFW & Win32s bundled optimised for gaming on businesses that would have been far better using NT3.5 or OS/2 Warp. A burden for them and business till XP (Win 5.1, Win2K was the unfinished Win 5.0). Idiots, though commercially sucessful, it was the source of most of the stupid design decisions and badly written SW on NT after 1995.

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The real battle of Android's future – who controls the updates

Mage
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Re: Who are they kidding?

therefore Google's revenues which on Android remain half of that generated on iOS

Considering iTunes (30% to Apple?) and inability for most users to transfer files without it and also Apple's massive "brand" fuelled obscene rip off profit margin on the HW sale (which Google gets almost nothing from), it's hard to see how Google can even be doing as well as half.

Google & Facebook profits almost entirely rely on [illegal in EU and other countries with close ties to EU] exploitation of privacy rather than actual sale of services. Yes, there is the Google Play Store, Google's legal equivalent of iTunes. So I expect Google profits to fall unless they get very clever. The EU is waking up and soon won't have UK disrupting action against USA businesses ripping off European privacy.

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Mage
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Maker's update

There is a Sony update for my phone. You need to first install a windows application. Which either doesn't work, or is for some flavour I don't have (I do have old PCs with various versions for such purposes as I use Linux for real work now.).

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Mage
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Other problem with a phone OS update

Where do you store it if there is no SD Card slot and the Flash memory is full?

Some cheaper phones and tablets only have about 1/3rd storage free when there are NO user files!

The only solution would be a small separate bootloader OS that can erase all of existing OS and update via USB from either PC (slave mode) or external USB reader (USB2Go host mode). A software stack / USB simulation of JTAG. Some embedded systems do work this way. Most phones, TVs, Setboxes, Tablets etc today store a full copy of new OS on board and then overwrite the old copy.

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Mage
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borrowed from Apple, who made a great fuss about its introduction in 2015.

Eh?

Been on desktop OSes since, well before 1998 (when Smart Phones started). Hardly innovative.

Updates on phones have always been a problem as the HW is so variable and till recently performance changing like PCs from 1982 to 2002, when it slowed down.

Not a problem unique to Google. Inevitable that mostly only new phones have the new OS version. It's likely that now as HW features have stabilized there will be a more standard specification and easier Android updates to exist phones, made after 2016 / 2017.

I can't see Sony or Google releasing updates for four year old Xperia Android phones.

There are sill new tablets on sale with ancient versions of Android. That's tantamount to dishonest marketing.

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Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

Mage
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Business users

Most have no choice and would rather have better legacy compatibility than telemetry, ill thought out changes, itunes, lack of classic GUI, windows store etc.

MS still don't get it.

> So... What is a sustainable business model for Microsoft?

Sell businesses stable version of windows, with better reverse compatibility. XP, Server 2003, Office 2003 and SQL7 and Visual Studio before .Net were the high points. Chasing the consumer and One Windows for Phones, Tablets, Workstations and TV has killed the quality, security and experience.

Sell ONE version, not the crazy multiple versions. Make difference between Server and Workstation purely a licence key for any server services. NO Workgroup file/Printer sharing. An absolutely stupid idea released same time as MS OS/2 Server!

At the minute Linux is MUCH superior as File Server, Web server, SQL, Email Server, Cluster. Linux and Libre Office is now a good bit better than Windows Workstation & office unless you locked into Exchange Calendars/Schedules on Outlook and Macros.

Frankly even in 2004 Linux couldn't touch MS Client SW for ease of use and stability, it's better now.

Visual Studio.net and .net is a mess.

Forget the consumer market. It's gone for laptops. Maybe even ditch Xbox. It's just a drain on R&D resources for very little or no income.

Business are the only people locked to Legacy Windows applications and few consumers need a laptop (writing, video editing, photography hobbyists is a small market).

They should split in three:

Windows (ONE product, simply licence keys or on high end a dongle for Laptop, Server, Cluster). NO tablets, unless really a laptop with detachable keyboard and Wacom as well as touch. Main emphasis on WIMP interface, touch is useless on a workstation screen or regular size laptop unless it's a single use scenario (Medical tablet, POS, ATM etc)

Tools. These should work on Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Applications. These should work on Windows, Linux and MacOS (that includes stuff like MS SQL which they have on Linux now). They should NOT also work on set boxes, TVs, Phones, Tablet.

They should open source the file formats and network APIs so iOS and Android developers can do mickey mouse apps / Widgets. I've used "Full featured" Spreadsheets on an Android tablet. It's a garbage experience for real work. A simple app that lets you open file and type some small change is limit to practicality.

GUI

Ribbon was / is absolutely stupid

Aero, excessive eye candy, depreciation Win Forms etc in favour of Direct 3D was stupid.

Excessively flat is stupid

MRU Menu items are stupid. Menus need to be unchanging and have everything.

Tiles are stupid.

Forget phones, consoles, gaming. Concentrate on 100% stable, secure, private and backwardly compatible for business laptops/workstations, or else there is no reason to buy Windows at all.

I bet I could double MS income and stop the griping. Almost everyone now hates the stuff, but has to use it. It really used to be better than Mac or Linux. (I used OS8 and OS9 and OSX is just a more Unix style prettier sideways move).

Canonical / Shuttleworth has seen the light and ditched ABSOLUTELY STUPID Unity.

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Three home security systems found to be vulnerable – if hackers were hiding in bushes

Mage
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Security

All "wireless" security sensors / cameras are pointless. Only use wired.

Perimeter Access denial is better even than professional alarm gear.

Home DIY "security" gear is mostly junk. Maybe suitable for watching calves in real time.

I've been brought warehouse security recordings where the thieves were less pixels than a 1980s video game.

"Can you enhance it?" says cop1

"Who you would you like it to be?

"Don't tempt us," says cop2

"A disposable film camera tripped by the motion sensor would be better than this. Even HD Video would be useless for this amount of area"

"So it's useless?" asks cop1

"Yes. Better shutters would be more effective."

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Self-driving car devs face 6-month backlog on vital $85,000 LIDAR kit

Mage
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Re: I don't know...

Most crashes are due to drugs, alcohol or youth aggression. Some due to fatigue or texting at wheel. Sane, sober, rested humans are pretty amazing and can cope with the unexpected, but not self driving cars as they are not real AI (that's marketing), they are huge data bases, massive expensive arrays of sensors and basically "Expert System" software, with about zero ability to cope with scenarios the human programmer didn't envision. They also have massive security and privacy issues.

On/Off disable system coupled to alcohol and drugs sensor. Sensor for "head droop" etc due to exhaustion. Let's solve computer aided driving first.

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Mage
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Re: I don't know...

It's not about new tech (that actually solves problems or that people want). It's about hype, ticking buzz words, looking cool, pretending you are bleeding edge, or if you are not Apple / Google / Facebook, raising VC in schemes like the VMs on satellites.

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Mage
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Scaleable and Secure?

Is it even really viable in the real world?

A) Easily jammed or spoofed?

B) What if every vehicle is using it, interference?

Also GPS doesn't work if there are tall buildings etc and only Galileo might be accurate enough. But is response time fast enough?

There should be more off road testing in simulated environments. It's just cost cutting and irresponsible to test this embryonic tech on public roads.

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Sorry Google, it's boring old workloads that are pumping up AWS and Azure, not sexy AI

Mage
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Pirate

Yes.

It's not AI that companies want but (in no particular order):

* Security

* Privacy

* Uptime

* Backups

* Clear costs

* Blocking DDOS traffic

* Automatic increase in capacity at peak times (or else why have cloud?)

Curiously so called Cloud [Hosting] providers are cagey about such details. Priorities vary.

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EC fines Facebook €110m for 'misleading' data on WhatsApp deal

Mage
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Devil

'Errors' in 2014 filings 'not intentional', apparently

I've a bridge for sale.

Facebook entirely make their income from mostly illegal (in EU and other related countries) exploitation of private data. Do not post and tag / label / identify photos of anyone other than yourself without permission. Do not post what your friends and relatives are doing. Give them no extra information. Ideally don't use it at all, share via email, or if public, use a blog. Facebook provides nothing of value to users that can't be done better elsewhere, free.

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Like a celeb going bonkers with botox, Google injects 'AI' into anything it can

Mage
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So in summary

Absolutely nothing of real value. More Google exploitation plans and blue sky thinking.

What they do well is selling advertising. Their best software actually developed rather than bought in is search.

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HP Inc wireless mouse can be spoofed

Mage
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Mad.

This is so ancient. Ever since wireless mice came out. I can see the value of one on a tablet (only one port and on most even a splitter can's charge while using it as USB host). But I can't see the value of a cordless mouse (or keyboard) on a laptop/workstation. Likely too the battery will go flat at a critical time.

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French fling fun-sized fine at Facebook for freakin' following folk

Mage
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Outsource

Can we outsource all the useless Irish Regulators to France/Germany/EU?

Finance- Anglo Irish, Irish Nationwide. They knew.

BCI - Sky

Comreg - Three, Eir

Data Commisioner - Google, Facebook, MS, Etc

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MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Mage
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FM vs DAB and how "analogue" FM is so superior.

DAB *COULD* be better than FM, if there was about x6 as many fill in relays (coverage in UK poor forget Ireland, it has less than 50%). Problem is that most DAB is 128k MP2, and DAB+ (AAC) is often 64K to give nearly same quality at 1/2 cost.

256K MP2 and 256K MP3 are not much different and pretty good. But does anyone anywhere transmit 256K DAB (MP2)?

I used to rip at 256K MP3. I think I might have done some at 320K, but some players won't play more than 256K. For archive, I think FLAC is the way to go.

Also BT earphones or speakers involve re-encoding. So I use analogue plug earphones and HiFi amp. The speakers / earpieces / ears are analogue.

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Mage
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Headmaster

MP3 vs other formats

Except only my Laptop/PCs and Tablet can play newer formats.

These only play MP3 or worse:

Phone, smart watch, Kindle DXG, ancient Archos PMP, anonymous cute credit, both my TVs (even though they do a load of fancy stuff on broadcast reception), FM Radio gadget with USB, SD card and BT, CD-ROM mp3 playback on DVD player and Car radio.

So like AM Radio, FM Radio, CD Audio, 33rpm and 45rpm discs, cassette tapes (yes people still selling new ones!) the MP3 format needs to be still supported both by gadget makers and download providers.

Storage for audio is no big deal on my server or laptop, so FLAC is probably best. I should re-rip all my CDs, Vinyl and tapes (reel and cassette) to FLAC.

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Google DeepMind's use of 1.6m Brits' medical records to test app was 'legally inappropriate'

Mage
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Devil

Re: Streams is showing real patient benefits.

Google is a totally inappropriate partner.

Also no evidence that any such "AI" actually does much. It's no different from 1980 "Expert Systems" for medicine, just more data.

An American hospital got into trouble doing a project with the arguably more expert IBM "AI" system, Watson. It never delivered.

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Mage
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Devil

Not surprised

I said at the time that it had to be illegal.

Unless EXECUTIVES are fined, it will keep happening.

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DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time

Mage
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Interesting

My ancient Sony Z1 connects to mouse, keyboard and HDMI HD screen. But it's just like a big android tablet then. Not very useful compared to Linux / Mac / Windows laptop.

This is the important bit.

"with apps that rescale smartly to landscape format, overlapping windows and window management."

Though really Android apps are mostly too limited or trivial. What would be more use is Android Apps and true desktop apps able to seamlessly share the app settings, bookmarks, dictionaries, data etc when you dock.

I can only see this succeeding for desks that don't need real desktop applications. But ordinary consumers and some business users only use Web, apps/widgets and email anyway.

Niche market.

The point is that only the phone is mobile, the rest is only on one desk.

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