Classic Catch 22 situation
One Heller with a side order of Kafka, please
3775 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007
What they are really saying is that they need MANY more videos of white supremacist massacres shot from the point of view of the killer to train their "AI" (artificial idiot?) to detect them. Well isn't that just dandy. Any volunteers to be the victims?
I touch upon cryptography in my course "Introduction to Computing Science", and might well put up links to this code for students to have a play around with it.
Donning my tinfoil hat: this might be a decoy, without any back doors, to lead people on a wild goose chase through the code on GitHub, while the REAL back doors are quietly inserted through other means.
Interesting project though it was, it was let down somewhat by being slower at text entry than making punched cards with a nail gun.
I once saw somebody working (or at least trying to) work with that CorelDraw Java monstrosity, and that warned me to steer very clear. Earlier CorelDraw stuff (I still have the installation CD-ROMs of one version somewhere) was pretty good. Later it all went to bits.
Auto-ranters are labour-saving devices, that can spew conspiracy theories and other fake news without us humans having to do this tedious work. Sifting through and fact-checking all this stuff is of course tedious too, and is well beyond current AI. We should therefore just believe all of it, or rather develop electronic monks, who will believe this kind of shit for us, so we don't have to do it ourselves.
Doffs hat to the late, great Douglas Adams.
Mine is the one with "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" in the pocket
We have to book our flight with one particular travel agency, in the name of saving money, and always end up spending more than if I just booked through any of the sites like budgetair or cheaptickets. Our brilliant travel agent has its own search engine, which invariable doesn't have the flight you want, or alternatively does list it, but booking it invariably borks the website. The usual procedure is to look up the best/cheapest flight on budgetair (which is generally pretty fast), then log into our corporate portal to the travel agent's search engine, and find out they don't have the flight you want available, or if they do have it available, and you fill in all your details, and press "book flight", it sits there for a while and then states that something is wrong with my credit card. The latter cannot be the case as it is the university's credit card, so it is their own internal system that has gone TITSUP yet again. In either case the official procedure is to phone the travel agent, explain once more in detail which flight you want (once you have navigated their menu system and waited for somebody to respond), and then get charged 30 euro per flight for your pains. There is clearly no incentive for the travel agent to get their web system in working order, as they earn more whenever it fails.
The procedure for me to book a flight, which used to take me less than 15 minutes as a rule, now typically takes the better part of an afternoon, and a considerable increase in my blood pressure. The last time I was so fed up that I couldn't get the 118 euro direct flight, which couldn't be found on the travel agent's site, I opted for an indirect flight which cost 469 euro, but at least got me to the location at the time I wanted. Some savings. So now, whenever possible, I go by train, which I can just book myself, and has the plus that I do not have to go through the usual security theatre at airports
I have had one online booking system make a booking at a restaurant (with e-mail confirmation and all), and when we turned up it turned out the business had closed down two months before. Happily, another restaurant right next door did have a table available (and I knew it to be excellent). Since then I prefer phoning myself, rather than using the booking system.
I would have thought that the bigger the rock, the harder it would be to shatter into completely harmless debris anyway. If the rock is big, the chances of seriously large chunks capable of seriously spoiling plans for the weekend would be higher than with smaller stuff, quite apart from the gravitational re-accumulation. Nudging a rock out of a dangerous orbit always seemed the more sensible, if not necessarily easy, option than going in with all guns blazing (which is the default Hollywood option for any problem, it seems).
Icon, well, because an H-bomb will seem like a damp squib compared to a major asteroid strike.
I have an ASI178MM planetary camera with 6 Mpixel, 12 bits/pixel grey scale running 60 FPS uncompressed and pumping the data to a Samsung T5 500 GB extern SSD at 400-450 MB/s, grabbing some 250 GB of lunar data in under 20 minutes. I would love to have the ASI183MM (20-odd Mpixel) running at the same frame rate. I would capture more quickly, and need far fewer panes for full-resolution lunar mosaics. Perhaps a niche, but there must be more use cases
The problem isn't necessarily a scripting language inside a word processor or spreadsheet. After all, LaTeX allows all sorts of scripting (made very easy with the ifthen package), and I am not aware of any security issues with that. The problem is allowing scripts like this to do anything not related to the document itself. That is a security nightmare.
I remember years back when walking to the car with the kids (they must have been 5 and 6 at the time), and pointing at the bright red dot in the sky, telling them that that was planet Mars, and two little robotic cars built on earth were driving around there (Spirit was still up and running). They were astounded at the idea, and back home I had to show them pictures from Mars, and explain about rockets and robotics. Inspirational stuff from NASA once more!
I will raise a glass to the success of Opportunity, and all folks at NASA and elsewhere who contributed
Waiting until exploits are out there would also be hampered if we do not know what exploits to look for. Of course it makes sense to alert the manufacturer of the vulnerable hardware or software before going public, and there is a case for waiting some time before going public, but only telling the general public about serious threats LONG after discovery is simply not on.
I do however often feel that an incoming Airbus would be more easily avoided than that shit load of students cycling three abreast along the narrow bicycle path on the wrong side of the road as I cycle to work in the morning. The poor dears apparently find it too much of an effort to make a detour of AT LEAST TEN WHOLE METRES (shock horror) to cycle to their lecture halls on the right side of the road so as not to inconvenience other people.
There are many complicating factors, many of which have been noted already. A point I haven't seen yet is the issue that maybe more of the code written in "old school" languages was written by older, more experienced coders, whereas the newer languages which might have better design of themselves are more likely to have been used by less experienced coder. Not sure if this can readily be tested, or whether it has an effect.
There is also the issue that compares to owners of safer cars tending to drive less safely, because they feel safe in their car. Likewise, I know that when I needed to program in assembly, way back when, I was FAR more careful about what I was doing, and checking and double checking my reasoning before even starting to write. Indeed, I was careful to limit the usage of assembly to an absolute minimum, to handle some hardware issues. Of course I managed to crash my machine a number of times (in the "good old" days of MS-DOS) a couple of times when testing the code, but the production code I delivered generally didn't cause any issues. "Back in the safety" of Pascal (the compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot), I relied much more on the compiler or run-time system giving me sensible error messages ("integer array index out of bounds" is SO much more useful than "segmentation fault"), than with either assembly or C. So maybe people writing code in "safe" languages don't pay as much attention to any remaining pitfalls as those who know they are walking in a minefield. I am not sure this is the case, but it might be worth considering.
Furthermore, quite apart from how difficult it is to fix things in brittle code, there is the issue of actually finding errors in poorly-written code, or hard to read languages. So number_of_bugs_FOUND != number_of_bugs_in_code.
Finally, I have had to write bug fixes that weren't fixes for bugs in MY code, but workarounds for problems either with a compiler or a run-time library that wasn't open source. I once was working on MS-Pascal code in which I knew the linked lists used had an even number of nodes. Therefore, if the "next" pointer in a node wasn't NIL, I could safely jump two nodes on, which in Pascal would read:
current := current^.next^.next;
which caused the program to crash. I replaced the above with:
current := current^.next;
current := current^.next;
so again, two jumps without NIL pointer test in between. This worked flawlessly. Clearly, the compiler couldn't handle the double indirection in the first version. I tried both versions on a different Pascal compiler, and both worked flawlessly. Again number_of_bug_FIXES != number_of_bugs
Oh, joy!! We “will have the best update experience based on our next generation machine learning model.”
isn't this just management speak for "we have given the computer a list of people who screamed blue murder loudest last time round, so please install updates in increasing order of dB plus number of obscenities used."
Alternatively, it might mean "go stick your head in a pig"
I'll be going. The one with the HHGTTG radio play cassette tapes in the pocket
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019