* Posts by Pascal Monett

6929 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Your AI pet project is only as smart as its garbage training set

Pascal Monett
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Well duh, what a surprise

"The techies claim to have experienced a greater rate of accuracy using the game data to train their AI than relying entirely on the real-world stuff from CamVid."

Game data is obviously great for AI training. You have a virtual world created by a computer used as training grounds for another computer. Advantages ? No clutter, no useless noise, and faces are polygons with textures stretched on. No pimples, no puffiness under the eyes, no 5-o'clock beard. The only things shown are the things that have been calculated. No wonder it's easier for a statistical analysis machine (what we currently call AI) to recognize and classify.

Unfortunately, Real Life (TM) is messier than that. Granted, it may be advantageous to train a not-AI on such data before turning it loose on actual, real images, but there's also a chance that we are just fooling ourselves into thinking that we are making this work. It's the Hall of Mirrors effects for the Mentats of Dune.

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Yahoo! dismemberment! begins! as! Oath! offloads! Flickr!

Pascal Monett
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"there’s no plan [to] combine the two services or make account-holders do anything differently"

Yet.

There is always a grace period after a purchase during which the buyer pretends to not want to touch anything, to reassure the paying customers - and give themselves time to find out how everything actually works.

Then, one day, out of the blue (once they have properly mapped the existing functionality) they will suddenly have a blinding flash of a brainstorm, and changes will be announced.

Always for good, obviously.

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McDonald's tells Atos to burger off: Da da da da da, we're lobbing IT ...

Pascal Monett
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Re: Change for change's sake

Well yes there is : Capgemini whored itself out for cheaper than Atos, and McD's manglement decided to go ahead and screw with something that apparently works fine for the sake of shaving off some more trimmings from the "cost center" that is IT.

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Oh, baby! Newborn-care website leaves database of medics wide open

Pascal Monett
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"own up to your mistakes"

That right there is one of the hardest things to do. If you look at the history of humans, I'm sure that you will find many, many more instances of people covering up their goofs rather than admitting them and working on fixing the issue.

I think it is a case of misplaced pride. We act as if we are perfect, we strive to impose that image on people around us, and anything that might tar that image must be suppressed.

Before the Internet, you could maintain the illusion because nobody who didn't know you had any way of finding out. That time is over now. Maybe our species is going to learn ?

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LESTER gets ready to trundle: The Register's beer-bot has a name

Pascal Monett
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Coat

Re: User Friendly's version

Ahh ! Stop !

I already wasted two hours on that yesterday !

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And so it begins: Veritas lays off UK workers, R&D bods hit hardest

Pascal Monett
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It most definitely is. It's the Management Complex - lower ranks exist only to bulk up the salaries, it's Management that does all the hard work.

Funnily enough, that's not something that happens in the building industry. There the managers used to be the grunts, lugging bricks, sloshing pails and working out whatever the weather was. When they get to manager levels, they're quite happy keeping the grunts because that's what keeps them from the pickaxe.

Maybe managers should take charge of the Helldesk every now and then - just to remind them exactly what it is they pay us for.

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Samsung-backed gizmo may soon juice up your smartphone over the air

Pascal Monett
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Science-fiction, here we come

Step by step, minute advancement by minuscule improvement, we will some day attain the lofty 21st Century promised to us by Hollywood fifty years ago.

But right now wireless charging is something that Greenpeace should be as much up in arms about as nuclear power, because with all the energy loss in transmitting in such a fashion, we're going to need more nuclear reactors, and soon.

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

Pascal Monett
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That sounds like the story of a madhouse

I believe that the state of the IT department is rather representative of the mentality of the company.

With an IT in that state, it's a wonder that the company managed to function over a number of years.

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Nominet drains mug of tea, leans back, calmly explains how to make Whois GDPR-compliant

Pascal Monett
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I would agree with only LEAs having full access

Anyone else should make their case to their local LEA which will judge if it is actually justified, then look it up immediately if it is.

But access for anyone else should be made difficult. It is time we made personal data something that is just as valuable for the consumer as it is for FaceBook & co.

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Beware! Medical AI systems are easy targets for fraud and error

Pascal Monett
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Not very reassuring

So, images can be modified in a way that the human eye cannot perceive, but pseudo-AI does and reacts accordingly.

That means that an attack on the system would possibly take a long time to discover if nobody is checking the actual images but just working on post-analysis data.

It is already frightening to imagine that in a medical environment, but since Big Data is digging deep into our societal fabric, the consequences of such actions could really become terrifying.

And nobody will understand because everyone already trusts the machine.

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Cisco, Microsoft and 32 big vendor pals join ‘Accord’ to improve security by doing … security stuff

Pascal Monett
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Enough feel-good declarations

It is time that the InfoSec community create an Official Security Charter. Define once and for all the required measures to ensure privacy and data security, and publish it.

Everything else should then be measured against those points, in a checklist manner.

That would even allow for grading a company's promises. So, your latest blah ranks 2 on the Total Security Checklist ? Try again.

You are FaceBook ? Don't even check, just try again.

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Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

Pascal Monett
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Re: "all that we have going for us, is opposable thumbs, and intelligence"

Opposable thumbs ? Undoubtedly.

Intelligence ? Allegedly.

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ID theft in UK hits record high as crooks shift to more vulnerable targets

Pascal Monett
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Re: Beware quizes on social media

Used to be ?

Still effing are, from what I see.

My father is George Washington and my mother's maiden name is Amazone.

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Hello DARKNESS, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again... about a 10,000-pixel alien-hunting camera

Pascal Monett
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Trollface

10,000 ?

i demand that the next iPhone be a 10,000 pixel phone !

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Surprise! Wireless brain implants are not secure, and can be hijacked to kill you or steal thoughts

Pascal Monett
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Devil

Bah. Why choose ?

It'll be a joint effort.

Leading the way and all that.

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Facebook previews GDPR privacy tools and, yep, it's the same old BS

Pascal Monett
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"an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy."

You know, Zuck, in the Real World, you first have to invest in something before you can invest more.

I read through this article just to remind myself of why I don't have a FaceBook account.

Mission accomplished.

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Docker enterprise kit gets cozy with Kubernetes

Pascal Monett
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Thumb Up

"make its way through denial, [..] and depression before finally settling on acceptance"

Brilliant.

Bloody brilliant.

Though I have a mind that it is drunken acceptance, but still. Brilliant.

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Supreme Court punts on Microsoft email seizure decision after Cloud Act passes US Congress

Pascal Monett
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Re: Hmmm...

What I fail to understand is how the Tax Office can accept that MS USA pay fees to "another entity", while MS lumps profits and cash flow from all entities when it makes its earnings declaration to Wall Street.

Sorry, if it's "another entity" for tax purposes, then you don't the right to rope in that entity's profits for your earnings statement.

Either that, or it's the same entity and your "fees" are bunkus.

Come on, Tax Man, wake up !

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Pascal Monett
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"legal disputes over access to data on servers held outside the US"

There is no dispute because you don't have acces to data on servers held overseas. It's outside of your jurisdiction.

So you ask for access. Politely.

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Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

Pascal Monett
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Re: "Most mobile & landline contracts now have bundled local calls"

You're still paying for them.

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Pascal Monett
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Getting a cheap website does not get you known. Plus you have the hassle of needing to manage said website, overhaul it every now and then, keep it fresh. Not many people have the knowledge, or the time, to do that. Then there's the fact that nobody can Like your website. You have to fight PageRank to get yourself up in the search engines and become visible. That's hard work, without any guarantee of success.

FaceBook is practical, free and easy. There is literally no other platform that can get you known faster, and getting Likes is easy-peasy.

I hate FaceBook, I hate Zuckerberg, but I am not blinded by that hate. I acknowledge that FaceBook is here to stay, much as I would prefer it to die, and it is useful to a great many people in more ways than one.

Indispensable ? Probably not, but in the current lazy state of our society, it is pretty much the easiest option, so it wins. Every time.

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One of IBM's latest financial figures was off by four cents today – so down go its shares

Pascal Monett
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Ah, Wall Street analysts

They didn't get what they expected, so IBM gets punished.

It's never the analysts that get told to sharpen their skills, no. It's the company's fault that it didn't perform to expectations.

Alanysts should be graded on the exactitude of their forecasts. That would balance the situation somewhat.

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Gang way! Compsci geeks coming through! AI engine can finger fakes on social networks

Pascal Monett
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Nothing with the word "AI" in it is a simple algorythm, and the trolls will only be aware that something is amiss when their accounts are shut down.

Kinda hard to find a way around that.

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Hey, govt hacker bod. Made some really nasty malware? Don't be upset if it returns to bite you

Pascal Monett
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"you have to be aware that someone might steal your tools"

But the NSA was 100% certain their data was secure.

Add administrative complacency to that state of mind and bingo, you have a perfect blind eye environment.

Proper data security is hard. The NSA has demonstrated that even spooks whose job it is to be secure can still goof it up.

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Cisco casts an eye over IoT protocol landscape: Everything the light touches is ours

Pascal Monett
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Facepalm

Dear Lord In Heaven

As if our hospitals don't have enough trouble, now Cisco wants to to go and shove IoT in there ?

Run, people. Run for your lives.

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You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!

Pascal Monett
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Re: Unequal contest

I think you glossed over the fact that the information was published for public access.

So no, the kid did not download information he shouldn't have access to. He, and everyone in the world, has access to that information.

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Pascal Monett
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Re: Seems like deja vu

You do not need to know how a computer works to balk at so-called non-authorized access to public data.

All you need is a functional brain and an extremely basic notion of logic.

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Cambridge Analytica's ex-CEO decides not to front UK Parliamentary Committee again

Pascal Monett
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Re: "There is no legal reason for him to appear."

Except for the fact that he has been "invited" by the fucking Parliament of his own country.

That should be summons enough to anyone with a smidgen of honor and sense of duty.

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Europe wants cloud giants to cough up data from anywhere in 6hrs

Pascal Monett
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But of course it will be for terrorism

Initially, that is.

Then "terrorism" will be applied to journalists they don't like.

Objectively, there are obvious good reasons for this kind of requirement. It's the potential for overreach I don't like.

Plus the fact that we are doing more to damage our liberties than terrorists could hope for in their wildest dreams.

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Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

Pascal Monett
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Re: 3) You can't improve products by testing

Oh really ? You never test anything ?

How do you do your debugging then ?

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France building encrypted messaging app for politicians

Pascal Monett
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Re: isn't "Macron" French for "absolute war mad fuck nugget"?

Of course, you're absolutely right.

He has a long history of insulting other countries, threatening with nuclear armageddon and pathetically calling people names like "Rocket Man".

Oh no, wait, that's Trump.

You were saying ?

As for fuck nugget, I cannot possibly comment on your tastes. My wife would agree he does look rather fetching, though.

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Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

Pascal Monett
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Re: I'm surprised

You shouldn't be. That's par for the course. Never tell anyone about costs, just bleat on about free.

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Europe turns nose up at new smartphones: Beancounters predict 7% sales drop

Pascal Monett
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So, this year Europe will have a 0.2% increase

Despite the fact that the last two years have seen decrease, and the US market is scheduled to decrease as well.

Seems to me that the crystal ball is particularly cloudy - as usual.

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Three storage hardware devices, a cash raise and Oracle gets blocked

Pascal Monett
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"We’re going to see surveillance video cameras get a whole lot smarter"

I'm guessing we're going to see them get a whole lot bigger as well, then.

Because smarts is based on data these days, not on AI, so they're going to need some sort of data storage. Even SSDs will add some bulk to a camera that doesn't have storage now.

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

Pascal Monett
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Indeed

Although it may be possible, it does not generate revenue, and is therefor not a priority.

Because customer satisfaction is no longer a priority. Reeling a prospect in and getting him to fork over the dough is the only priority these days.

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Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Pascal Monett
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Re: "I am not trying to annoy anyone"

Well you're effing annoying me, I can tell you that.

I'm on communal WiFi, powered by solar panels - when it works.

I can tell you one thing - nobody had better try selling me solar panels, because my reaction may be a tad exaggerated.

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Google accidentally reveals new swipe-happy Android UI

Pascal Monett
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As far as upgrading is concerned . . .

My Android is on Nougat, and I have zero options to upgrade outside of rooting the phone, which I have no intention of bothering with.

On the other hand, after having checked, I found that the security package is dated February of this year - so there's that at least.

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UK spy agency warns Brit telcos to flee from ZTE gear

Pascal Monett
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Trollface

Re: Then again...

I didn't know France was as dangerous as Russia, thanks for the heads-up.

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Wow, braking news: Overworked, tired ride-sharing drivers declared a public health risk

Pascal Monett
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Re: Self drive crash

Being killed by an unattended driver is not exactly a novelty since a long time ago.

The car did have a human driver, who was not looking at the road for just long enough to become a killer. The fact that the system was unattentive as well is why the story got attention.

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Security? We've heard of it, say web-app devs. 31 in 33 codebases have at least one big bad vuln

Pascal Monett
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Re: There is zero accountability

Not true and not entirely fair. Coders are very accountable to their management - fail to bring a module out on time and on spec and you risk the pink slip, especially if it happens regularly.

Having warned that security is insufficient and risks are present just makes you a nuisance, an obstacle in the way of the PHB who wants to brag and show off his new toy, or wants to look good to the board.

I doubt very much that there are that many developers who don't give a fig that their application can be compromised and used against the user. I think most devs would react to such news if they had the chance.

Most, that is. I know a few who really, honestly don't care as long the money keeps rolling in.

I don't talk to them.

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'Uncarrier' T-Mobile US to un-carry $40m for bumpkin blower bunkum

Pascal Monett
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"That's not going to have CEO John Legere quaking in his boots"

No, it certainly won't, but the fine is still in the millions, not in the tens of thousands, so there's that.

Then there's the fact that it represents a day and half of not raking in the dough, which always makes the board wince.

Finally, there's the fact that they got fined, and a repeat offense will likely cost more (at least, one can hope).

Personally, I'm just glad that a company screwing its customers got a multi-million dollar fine. There's not enough of that.

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Infosec brainiacs release public dataset to classify new malware using AI

Pascal Monett
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Antivirus needs a different approach

Signature-based protection is an after-the-fact approach - you have to have the virus locally before a signature-base AV can scan it, and that means you run the risk of triggering it before the AV can check out the file.

Instead of using signatures, an activity-base approach might be better. On a clean system, the AV creates a record of legitimate programs and kernel programs. After that, anything trying to modify those files is stopped cold, with a warning. Any process trying to access memory it shouldn't is frozen and quarantined. Any new application installed is sandboxed until its activity has been thoroughly analyzed and found acceptable, then it stands a chance of being whitelisted. Any whitelisted program trying to modify the kernel generates a warning for the user before the modification is allowed to complete.

Of course, the problem with this approach is that security is basically user-based, so the user has to know what he is doing.

And with that I realize that I have just shot down my own theory. Bugger.

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Microsoft has designed an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip. Repeat, an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip

Pascal Monett
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I see nothing better in this news

Telling me that IoT will now talk to Azure is not improving things in my view.

It'll be another reason to not buy any of that shite (not that I'm lacking reasons now).

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Intel's security light bulb moment: Chips to recruit GPUs to scan memory for software nasties

Pascal Monett
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Flame

And on top of that, we're going to crow about how that will diminish power usage of the CPU.

Please.

You're adding a new process to an already non-trivial workload. Don't try and find advantages that don't exist. I don't give a flying one that the CPU is burning less hot if my GPU suddenly has an entirely new workload that it wasn't designed for and I never expected it to have.

What's next ? Is intel going to tout a new architecture which just offloads everything to the GPU ? And then cry victory over having permanently lowered CPU consumption by 90% ?

Bollocks, I say.

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If you guessed China’s heavy lifter failed due to a liquid hydrogen turbo engine fault, well done!

Pascal Monett
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So, no new timeframe on moon launch

I would take that as bad news. It seems that the moon mission is on hold, or at least severely set back.

Which is contradictory when China declares that the launcher's problems have been dealt with. If that is truly the case, then China should have given a new timeframe immediately, with enthusiasm.

But no. No more problems, and no moon launch timeframe. Those two things don't go together.

It doesn't look good.

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Internet Engineering Task Force leaves home, gets own bank account

Pascal Monett
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I'm confident they will work something out

Given that the IETF is the polar opposite of ICANN, I am confident that serious discussions are being had, opinions are being taken into account, and the IETF will have a proper charter and all that jazz in the timeframe they have themselves appointed.

In other words : a normal transition, managed normally by reasonable people in a reasonable way.

And that is just about as different from ICANN as can be.

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Google, AWS IPs blocked by Russia in Telegram crackdown

Pascal Monett
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National Security Grounds

Wah, wah, we can't read your mail so we ban you.

One has to wonder just how much security the nation has if citizens cannot go about their private business without being spied upon. But this is Russia, where the cadaver of the Soviet Union has yet to be buried and it's stinking up the place like usual.

That stink is contagious, however, and our own, supposedly "democratic" governments have long learned just how interesting that smell is to them. What is frightening is realizing that politicians may change, but the newcomers get infected all the same.

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Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

Pascal Monett
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Re: "the rigmarole of whitelisting a bunch of sites every time you visit somewhere new"

I don't need to, because the sites that have not been whitelisted by now are not going to be if I go to a new page and they are required.

My NoScript is set exactly how I like it, with the sites I know and trust whitelisted, and everything else consigned to oblivion.

That is how I surf in peace. If a website cannot work with my settings, it is not a website I wish to linger on.

That said, I agree with you that I shouldn't have to do anything to not be tracked, but hey, this is the Internet. Anyone can do what they want, and most do exactly that.

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Linus Torvalds schedules Linux Kernel 5.0, then maybe delays 'meaningless' release

Pascal Monett
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“probably a first. Ever. In the history of the universe. Or at least kernel releases.”

I agree. Every single update ever made is usuall for either adding functionality or adding more code to improve existing functionality. Removing functionality has practically never happened, especially at kernel level.

And it will likely not happen again before quite a while, because when we get to the point where we can retire x86 architecture, well I think Linus won't even be around to do the removing.

And neither will most of us.

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