* Posts by Pascal Monett

6189 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

An 'AI' that can diagnose schizophrenia from a brain scan – here's how it works (or doesn't)

Pascal Monett
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Re: perfectly normal

I have come to believe that "perfectly normal" can be replaced by "acceptably crazy" without any prejudice whatsoever.

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ALIS in Blunderland: Lockheed says F-35 Block 3F software to be done by year's end

Pascal Monett
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Trollface

"Block 4 is said to be already in development"

Don't you just love it when the next version of a software is "already in development" while the current version is still not finished ? How's that for agile development ?

Okay, I have no idea how these kind of projects are managed, and I am quite sure that a lot of competent people are working on this, but it still doesn't feel right when I read those words.

In the normal world, you finish a project and get a report on performance and stability before you draw up a new version to that project - because you simply cannot say you're improving things when you don't know what to improve.

But hey, I'm 15 years from retirement so what do I know ?

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Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

Pascal Monett
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Re: And if you are on a corporate build....?

If you're on a corporate build, I'll wager you're not going to the Store either. You're asking IT to install it, whatever "it" is.

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Pascal Monett
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Paint.net is really very simple to use. It starts up in less than a second on my PC, and you can use a raft of keyboard shortcuts to get things done quickly. Comparing it to Gimp is really unfair.

Give it a try. It's free, so the worst case scenario is you uninstall it.

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What sort of silicon brain do you need for artificial intelligence?

Pascal Monett
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Trollface

Your argument is flawless but for one detail : the marketing department will not be content with an AI that has only one idea every thousand years. It needs an "AI" that performs at lightspeed and wows everyone and their dog every second of the day.

At least during the TV commercials - once you get the actual product, you're on your own.

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Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Pascal Monett
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Re: FFS?

Of course it's important - to him. Other things are important to you. Other things are important to me.

One thing we can all agree on, I think, is that diversity is good. Choice is good. Having one browser on top is inevitable, but other browsers must exist to keep things fair.

For me, I do not mind at all that Firefox is not on top. Being on top makes you the prime target for all the nasties. Being obscure makes you uninteresting to the nasties. I will stay with Firefox as long as NoScript keeps on working. Firefox and NoScript are my preferred way of browsing and I will only change the day I have to.

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Europe's 'one patent court to rule them all' vision may be destroyed by EPO shenanigans

Pascal Monett
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Not a moment too soon

It is high time this nutjob is brought back under control. Erase his tenure, burn his career, trash every one of his decisions and put in place someone who is capable of advancing the whole process, not derailing it.

Oh, and can the nutjob have his pension revoked ? Please ? It would really be grating for him to get full benefits in retirement - he certainly doesn't deserve it;

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.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Pascal Monett
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"whether the Navy should be abandoning low-tech backup solutions"

Might the Admiralty need to have a general session and watch Tomorrow Never Dies ?

Or should we just ask them what they will do in case of an EMP ? Supposing they know what that is, of course. And supposing that those signal lights are without electronics, so as to be impervious to . . . ah, but motorized signal lights operated by tablets.

Ok, forget it.

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School of card knocks: Russophone criminals offered online courses in credit card fraud

Pascal Monett
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Great news

Now, can someone please explain to me why this publicly-available course isn't followed by every infosec agent at Interpol and lessons applied ?

How is it possible that such mediatisation of security data is not immediately followed by governmental measures ? I mean, if El Reg knows about it, surely government agencies do as well.

Ah, right, stupid me. Here I was again, thinking that governments are about protecting their citizens.

Right, I'm off. Carry on !

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Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

Pascal Monett
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"the holes have now been patched"

The code has been patched. That is the first major stumbling block in IoT - kudos to having passed that step.

The patches still need to be applied, which is the second major stumbling block. I recon that might take a while before all units are patched. I don't own any IoShiTe, so I wouldn't know.

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China's censorship cyber-missiles shoot down pics flying through WhatsApp, chat apps

Pascal Monett
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See, western governments ?

Encryption protects. If encryption could be backdoored, nothing would change because totalitarian governments would just use the backdoor (to say nothing of hackers).

Because WhatsApp uses proper encryption, China censors can only do wholesale blocking. They cannot go into the message content and pick and choose.

Okay, you might say that the message is still blocked and that is true, but it is blocked based on meta criteria (size, are there attachments), not on content. That remains an important distinction because it still means that censors cannot actually blame any blocked message for being illegal since they don't know what's in it.

Proper encryption protects the people. Do it right, because someone will anyway.

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Hot HoloLens models 'shafted by Microsoft'

Pascal Monett
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Thank you for such an interesting opinion.

Now go back to /.

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Pascal Monett
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Interesting development

In a company where the CEO believes that women should be happy with what he decides they should get, maybe this sorry affair is not so surprising.

A CEO is an example for his (or her) employees. Whether the example is a good one or not is a different matter. Maybe we have yet things to learn about Nadella and his secretaries ?

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Insurers claim cyber calamities could cost more than Hurricane Sandy

Pascal Monett
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Devil

These studies are incomplete

The total cost of all Internet hacking has been evaluated at $27 quintillion by my personal expert services. If you pay me $2000, I will send you a detailed, one-page summary telling you the number of elements I took into account to get to that figure, but believe me, it's true. Cross my heart.

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

Pascal Monett
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This is a good thing

Communication is extremely important, and it cannot be forgotten that many people make life decisions based on what they saw on TV.

TV has abandoned it's educational role (which is why we have public safety announcements like no alcohol for pregnant woman now), so it will have to be constrained to respect certain things.

As a result, I am entirely for this restriction because I am a bit tired of seeing the same old ads with women doing the same old stuff and men always having the same old role. I look forward to seeing what intelligent ad makers are going to do with this. I also look forward to seeing the stupid ad makers die - but I'm not putting much faith in that.

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Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

Pascal Monett
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"European courts will have no more influence after Brexit"

Of course not - as long as you have no more dealings with the EU.

Oh, you still count on having economic exchange with the EU ? Then I'm quite sorry, but European courts will have just as much influence as before - and you have no more say in it.

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The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

Pascal Monett
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Re: "when you're shook up and struggling to recall things"

Not what he wrote in his follow-up mail. He specifically indicates that he had a conversation with his friends, they reconstructed the ride and it was then that he came to the conclusion that the autopilot had disengaged.

He was shook up when he stated that it was on, and the media ran with it because headlines.

On the other hand, that tells me that Tesla's autopilot disengages when you touch any pedal, which is not what other brand autopilots generally do - they disengage when you touch the brakes.

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2017: The FBI alerts parents to dangers of Internet of Sh*t toys

Pascal Monett
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Good one

I'll be reusing that :)

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Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help

Pascal Monett
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"his document predicts it will be pervasive by 2020"

Fat chance of that. For AI to be pervasive, it first has to exist.

It doesn't. End of story.

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Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

Pascal Monett
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I am so happy

I have just purchased a feature phone that boasts up to 200 hours on standby. My Android can barely manage 24.

I will have no apps, no effin spy thingy listening in, no messages sent back to the mothership. Just a phone and SMS.

Feels like freedom.

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Pascal Monett
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Trollface

Ah, the joys of virtual currencies

So, forking BitCoin is possible too ? Wonderful. Forking its value seems to be in the works as well.

Ah, how wonderful it is to rediscover all the vulnerabilities of currency that we have spent half a millennium to iron out.

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Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

Pascal Monett
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Re: How many hospitals is that ?

I perfectly agree with your sentiment. I feel it is high time we Western countries stop telling other countries how to live because our model isn't exactly a panacea either.

I would pull out of everywhere and leave other countries to progress at their own rhythm. It may be despicable to see the Taliban reign on Afghanistan, but until its own people understand how wrong it is, we cannot expect them to understand simply because we tell them.

The unfortunate truth is that simply pulling out and leaving them to their devices will most likely cause way more mayhem than keeping up a presence would. Counted in tens of thousands of lives, if not hundreds of thousands. What do you think is keeping Putin from outright invading Ukraine ? Morals ? His rating on Twitter ? No. It's NATO and, specifically, the US forces that are part of NATO.

This is the icky situation our interventionism has got us in : we can't retreat even if we wanted to. Cue ever-spiraling military budgets because the US is actually preparing to fight Russia, not the Chinese and especially not Somalian pirates.

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AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

Pascal Monett
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On the other hand, insurance companies aren't too keen on the idea either. They like having someone to put the blame on. Who are they going to blame with AI ?

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WD gets court order: Toshiba can't block access to shared database

Pascal Monett
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Re: "the market for those is tiny"

Yeah. No more than 5 computers worldwide surely.

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Dell gives world its first wireless-charging laptop if you buy $580 extra kit

Pascal Monett
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@Khaptain

Right, so when you're traveling you would prefer the hassle of not only taking a wire but adding the charging pad to it. Sorry, I don't see that see that as a convenience.

Plus, let's be honest, a charging pad is nothing more than moving the electric socket to the table surface. It is no more convenient than a docking station, it just sounds sexier.

Until wireless charging can happen from the outlet to anywhere in the room, it will be nothing but a hipster fad that can be advantageously replaced with a wire for a fraction of the cost.

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If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft pushing its magical white space broadband

Pascal Monett
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Brilliant financial plan

Really. Have the local government front half the cost. Of course !

That way, the people who sign up pay $1000 bucks, and them plus everyone who doesn't pay more out of their taxes.

So Microsoft is basically saying to 25 million people : "your taxes will be funding this, you might as well add $1000 and benefit from it".

I'm not sure I'd like that argument.

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NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

Pascal Monett
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I'm lost

So, it's an asteroid 6.6 billion km out in the Kuiper Belt, that New Horizons is supposed to rendez-vous with. But suddenly said asteroid is passing between us and the Sun and we even put a plane in its shadow.

Article is a bit confusing, at first read I thought we put a plane in the shadow of something 6.6bn km away and thought : "not possible, even for NASA".

Anyways, this page clears up a lot of things. MU69 is traveling at an average speed of 4.47km/s (or 0.1491% of a sheep in vacuum), while New Horizons is currently whizzing along at 13km/s (0.4336% of sheep in vacuum).

Ah, the wonders of space. New Horizons is traveling almost three times faster, is already farther than Pluto, but it's going to take until the first day of 2019 to get to the same point.

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Viking storms storage monastery wielding 50TB SAS SSD

Pascal Monett
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Happy

50TB in a single disk

<speechless>

Wow. My workhorse PC has no less than 5 disks (including 2 180GB SSDs) for a total of almost 9 TB and I am quite happy with all that.

This puppy ? I stick in two 25TB disks and I have not only SSD performance for everything, but over 5 times more space to store stuff.

Looking forward to the HDD/SSD scene in a few years' time, when I will need to replace stuff. It'll be a dime a TB dozen.

<Snoopy happy dance>

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Bloke takes over every .io domain by snapping up crucial name servers

Pascal Monett
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"unaware of any issues arising from this brief exposure."

Oh well then it's all right, isn't it ? Everything peachy. It's not like procedures should exist so that the possibility of issues should not happen. Not at all. Procedures are only invoked when issues do arise - so that way we have someone to blame. The rest of the time, no need for procedures.

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OMG, dad, you're so embarrassing! Are you P2P file sharing again?

Pascal Monett
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@ratfox

Yes, it is free. As long as it is available, that is. As long as your bandwidth limit is unlimited and your Internet connection hasn't fallen over. By all means, re-dowload the same thing over and over if you like. It's not like that has any consequence on global bandwidth.

I take it you've never yet encountered anything you liked on the Internet suddenly disappearing forever ? Friendly warning : it happens. There's even a technical term for it : link rot.

When I find something I like on any page anywhere, I do my best to download it. Saves me the bother of looking it up again later and finding the link gone.

That said, I am over 50 and know how to organize my storage, not just type in search terms. Maybe that does make a difference.

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Pascal Monett
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WTF?

Indeed

With all the hoopla around piracy, MPAA/RIAA court cases and travesty of justice, and here we have people who hear "Intellectual Property Office ? You want to know if I rip stuff ? Sure I'm gonna tell you !".

Count my mind boggled.

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Google Chrome's HTTPS ban-hammer drops on WoSign, StartCom in two months

Pascal Monett
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"tends to limit traffic and ad revenue"

Initially I thought that maybe those words would only apply to non-Chinese country activities, but then I checked out this page and found that Google is 3/5ths the Chinese market in browser share.

There is a "local" browser version, Sogou explorer, which, of course, snoops on its users, but I would have thought Chinese users would have much more use for China-made browsers.

Instead, Google has that market pretty much sewn up as well. Sheesh.

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Talk about a hit and run: AA finally comes clean on security breakdown

Pascal Monett
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WTF?

How much longer is it going to take ?

How much longer will we have to wait until CEOs stop with the stonewalling, pretending and generally blundering blindly about the corridors of PR and just straight out admit there's been a problem ?

It's not like they can't see that, in the end, they always will, is it ? Or do we have a generation of PR people that have the same Pavlovian training and all have the same counsel : deny and wait ?

Kudos to AA for finally coming clean, but shame on you for trying to pull the same wool and utterly failing to do so efficiently.

Come on, CEOs ; we can accept that there are problems. Failures happen, mistakes are made. But we CANNOT accept being lied to and led through the dark. You published private data ? SAY SO.

It will be so much more impressive being the first one to actually do that, I think that in itself would be a worthy PR move.

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

Pascal Monett
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@diodesign

No, he clearly meant Babylon 5.

Check out the pics here if you have any more doubts.

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Largest advertising company in the world still wincing after NotPetya punch

Pascal Monett
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I'm guessing that "world's largest" actually means "real-life world's largest", which would exclude the Internet and thus avoid shaming themselves.

But what do I know.

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Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Pascal Monett
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Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us

This push to DRM is like Chinese Water Torture - but a drop at a time, but it still drives you crazy in the end.

Sir Tim - shame on you for accepting any sort of compromise on this front. Fracturing the ever-ineffectual efforts of DRM makers is the only thing that ensures that we can continue to benefit from our legally-acquired content without trouble.

Indeed, DVD's were made copiable because one of the many publishing companies included its key in an unencrypted manner, IIRC. The result ? Piracy for the MPAA, but for me it means that I have all my DVDs ripped to my NAS and backed up properly without those horrid effing ads or "previews" for films I never was interested in in the first place. When I want to watch a film, I watch the film, not an endless stream of drivel that was only relevant in the month or two when I bought the DVD.

By keeping this fracture, we ensure that DRM companies will only ever employ second-rate programmers whose code will inevitably kneel to the steely-eyed abilities of their betters who will mercilessly rip apart their stupid schemes and allow us to continue to master our content in the manner of our choosing.

Yes, piracy will be a continuous menace - but the response to piracy is not locking down the content, it is making content that people genuinely want to pay for. Minecraft can be easily pirated, yet it is making money hand over fist. Films can easily be pirated, the good ones still have many, many people who buy the DVD or BluRay because they want to have the box, the artwork, and the ability to watch it even if the Internet is down for whatever reason.

DRM is a relic of last millennium, like DVD regions and dinosaurs. Let them effing die already.

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Sniffing the scent of free publicity, Google and Facebook steamroll into net neutrality protest

Pascal Monett
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It would be nice to think so. Unfortunately, humans have a proven track record of great trouble remembering anything past what happened last week.

As such, I'm quite sure there will be many, many people taking this at face value and remembering that "Google stood up for us", forgetting entirely that Google has more data on our surfing habits than the NSA does.

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Astronomers fire up AI algorithms to hunt Milky Way's hot Jupiters

Pascal Monett
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Agreed. This is definitely a domain where I totally subscribe to Big Data and assorted data mining techniques. There is a lot of data already existing and we probably need many, many times more than what we have. It is impossible for any size group of humans to go through it all hunting for specific data markers or worse, correlations. Machines have to help us here and we will learn with them how to better train them to help us.

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Someone's phishing US nuke power stations. So far, no kaboom

Pascal Monett
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"the attackers had apparently gained at least one set of user credentials"

Obviously the response is that all user credentials have been changed, or at the very least, if they know which user then they changed that one (prefer the former though).

Happy to read that there is at least one installation which sets its industrial comm infrastructure apart from its public corporate one.

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Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

Pascal Monett
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Re: "before someone noticed it"

The point is, someone noticed it.

We now know the NSA was sitting on a trove of Windows vulnerabilities it had found or gotten info on. Who could notice ? How could we have known about them if nobody had hacked their servers and found out ?

Yes, hackers would have found some things, one at a time, but hackers don't appear to share their discoveries. They horde them, like the NSA, to be the rare one who does know.

The Linux community and FOSS in general share their vulnerability discoveries so many more people can intervene once a problem is found and try to fix it. The fact that one vuln took 9 years to discover does not impeach the good foundation of this process.

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Pascal Monett
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Trollface

Re: "commercial software from 3rd parties"

The problems in Linux come with commercial software from 3rd parties, some which insist on using abnormally large amounts of shell scripts with lots and lots of assumptions (and no fail check whatsoever), seem to have odd libraries that have strange dependencies, and support personnel who think the Linux shell is a more complicated version of MS-DOS.

Might those products be made by Windows programmers dabbling in reproducing their mistaken ways in a brand new environment ?

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Facebook's left hand is fighting for Americans' right to privacy

Pascal Monett
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No "reasonable expectation of privacy while browsing the Internet" ?

Ouch, that hurts.

Especially since he may just be right.

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Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Pascal Monett
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"just to be looked after by robots?"

Right. AI will be the replacement of TV, and parents will still do nothing for the education of their offspring.

Isn't the future great ?

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Pascal Monett
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Not sure that one needs to put all that much thought into such things. Simply mentioning specific keywords is usually enough to get the target base all riled up.

In other words : just wave the red flag aggressively, the bulls will charge soon enough.

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Pascal Monett
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"discovering an increased value for Planck's constant"

Isn't that the kind of thing that has an impact on just about everything concerning the history of the Universe ?

Massive news indeed.

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123-reg resolves secure database access snafu

Pascal Monett
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Flame

"only an (unspecified) "small number""

Well we knew that, didn't we ? It's only ever a small number, even when the actual number is in the millions.

Okay, right, in this specific case it might very be true that only a small number of users were affected - mainly because there hasn't been large headlines and furious tweets about the issue, but still - I just can't read those words any more and take them at face value.

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Despite high-profile hires, Apple's TV plans are doomed

Pascal Monett
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"help it transform television"

Between Netflix and YouTube, I think that's pretty much done already.

I don't see where Apple will be able to put any shiny-shiny, much less make an actual difference, but hey ! Apple is welcome to try.

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Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

Pascal Monett
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"would cause dirt and grease from fingers to accumulate much more quickly than normal"

So, you gain 3% contrast and 30% more smudges.

Not sure that's a win.

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Facebook gives itself mission to 'bring the world closer' by getting people off Facebook

Pascal Monett
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"coagulator of like-minded obsessives"

Seems difficult to avoid that happening when you give the users the ability to choose who they want to associate with, especially since if you don't, the users will just go to a platform that does.

I think it is clear that people today demand convenience and the illusion of freedom without paying attention to what they are actually paying to get it.

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Heaps of Windows 10 internal builds, private source code leak online

Pascal Monett
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Re: "Technically, it's the best news we will get all year"

Not really. The people who will be scrutinizing this code the most are the scum who will use what they learn to craft more efficient malware. This is going to cause so much pain down the road . . .

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