* Posts by Pete 2

2730 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Uber jams Arizona robo-car project into reverse gear after deadly smash

Pete 2
Silver badge

AV's Hindenburg?

It is not really about the absolute level of safety that will determine the future of autonomous vehicles, but the public perception. And thanks to a news media that lingers on every accident they have, that perception is increasingly negative.

At what point will the public conclude (rightly or wrongly) that these vehicles are still "in beta" and refuse to adopt them? Will it take a really big and public disaster to consign self-driving cars (and lorries) to cold-storage for a few decades until the tech is finally improved, or will they be like plane crashes and the occasional fatal accident taken as "acceptable losses" (just so long as it doesn't happen to me).

5
0

10 social networks ignored UK government consultations

Pete 2
Silver badge

The wrong medium for the message

> consultation with social media on such matters has gone badly: just four of fourteen social networks invited to consultation talks showed up.

Why did Hancock expect them to turn up in person. This sort of thing sounds ideal for a group chat on Facebook.

17
0

German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way

Pete 2
Silver badge

Smiles in the aisles

Two of the most tedious "sports" in the world are cycling and motor racing. Watching the competitors going round ..... and round ....... and round ..... and round a circuit. Sometimes for hours on end.

However if IKEA was ever given the commission to design the routes, then these "sports¹ " might actually provide some entertainment.

[1] the quote marks are meant to indicate that they aren't really sports, since so much of the result of the race is determined by the technology employed (and by extension: the amount of money spent). IMHO a proper sport would pit person against person or team against team, where the only differentiators were their individual/group skills and their level of physical fitness. That isn't to deny that these competitors have physical fitness and skill - just to point out that these attributes alone are only small factors in determining who wins.

11
21

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year

Pete 2
Silver badge

Asking the wrong question

> the big question has become: when will people other than beta testers get in them?

I want to know when they will be affordable for an average guy, like me?

If the first-generation AVs - ones that aren't death-traps: either for occupants or third parties, are going to be in the £ 6-figures, then they may as well not exist. But when they are at a price that is comparable to standard new models now then they become a viable option.

However, I still reckon that the financial model for domestic AVs is one of on-demand hailing. What is the point of buying such an expensive object, that depreciates faster than you can burn £50 notes and that is only used for a small percentage of time. Just so long as the previous user of an AV I call up hasn't puked in it.

3
0

Typical cynical Brits: Broadband speeds up, satisfaction goes down

Pete 2
Silver badge

Failure to understand "up to"

> British people are increasingly unhappy with their broadband services,

Most customers are suckers. The first thing they ever look at is the price. Then they look at the number in the biggest font. Then they look at the price again. Then they click BUY

And when they don't get what they think they bought, it is always the supplier's fault. This is not limited to BB, but applies to most things, on and off the internet.

4
2

‘I broke The Pentagon’s secure messaging system – and won an award for it!’

Pete 2
Silver badge

The myth of the "rock star" IT worker

> “I received an award for my work,” he added. “I almost felt guilty.”

One place I worked had more than its fair share of "superstar" IT people. At least that was how they saw themselves. To everyone else they were egotistical jerks who seemed to specialise in fixing the problems that they, themselves, had caused.

While Gladstone here seems to have made a genuine mistake - or simply wasn't told of a crucial change, these superstars positively feed on the bodge-disaster-crisis-superhuman effort-solution cycle to further their own reputations. It also seemed to dovetail nicely with t'management's view that they employed super-talented people, ones who would work 48-hours straight (with maybe only the first 24 of those actually being productive) to fix a problem.

But it was never publicised that the cause of those problems were the self-same people. Ones who were always "too busy" to patch systems, to perform (mundane) upgrades or preventative maintenance / housekeeping. Or even to test their supposed fixes, which often became unstuck and created the next set of problems.

55
0

Facebook: Crisis? What crisis? Look at our revenue, it's fantastic

Pete 2
Silver badge

Supertramp

OK, I can deal with the Crisis? What Crisis? line.

But is this really the Crime of the Century.

8
0

That's no moon... er, that's an asteroid. And it'll be your next and final home, spacefarer

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Life Aboard A Colony

> It could take a long time to get even 2 LY away ( maybe hardly past Oort Cloud), perhaps 100 to 500 years.

Yes. And once you get to where you were going, what will you find?

The not-so-jokey answer is that you will find people from your own world. Ones who were born centuries after the asteriod-ship left. People who had the benefit of hundreds of years of scientific development. And by using that development, all the discoveries, brand-new physics, life-prolonging and suspending technologies - they were able to beat you to your destination.

9
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

I resemble that remark

> Watch a video, film or documentary about people from 50 or a 100 years ago. Do you feel connected? Can you understand how they feel?

People from 50 years ago - definitely: that would be me!

But I reckon that a closed community of what? a few thousand people would not evolve socially. One generation would have the same environment as the one before and the one after. There would be no immigration or emigration to mix things up. And hopefully little in the way of conflict to produce rapid change, either. There might be some innovation that gets beamed up - but how much capacity to manufacture new or novel consumables would there be? Especially with light-speed being a limitation to meaningful communication.

If you built a factory today to create bleeding edge stuff - would it still be able to make the bleeding edge stuff of 100 years from now?

ISTM that for a journey of a few hundred years, there would not be much change within the asteriod. The language would evolve (unless everyone was taught by AI, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Integral_Trees Larry Niven's Integral Trees but there would not be much social pressure for other sorts of change.

Personally I would expect that most asteroid habitats would remain in their existing orbits. They would have all the advantages of proximity while allowing the independence of self-sufficiency. Plus, it takes a hell of a lot of energy to accelerate a lump of rock - and how to stop, once yo get to your destination?

5
0

US sanctions on Turkey for Russia purchases could ground Brit F-35s

Pete 2
Silver badge

and vice-versa

> Testing F-35s against a Russian-made air defence system

I am sure that if the merkins asked nicely, the Turks could also furnish them with data on how their fighters (would) fare against the same system.

Though if they are concerned that the results wouldn't be as good as they want the RoW to believe, I can see why they would be worried.

5
0

Torvalds schedules Linux kernel 5.0, then maybe delays 'meaningless' release

Pete 2
Silver badge

So much for not being predictable

> “But v5.0 will happen some day. And it should be meaningless.

If Torvalds wants to be unpredictable he should call the next release -6, or 'smørr' or something else "meaningless". It would be a small and meaningless act of rebellion. Much like the 4.17 release is looking like.

Personally I prefer step-changes to release numbering to signify meaningful and major changes to the functionality of a product. Not linked to some irrelevant administrative exercise like lines of code or commits.

8
2

Tried checking under the sofa? Indian BTC exchange Coinsecure finds itself $3.5m lighter

Pete 2
Silver badge

Who's been using one of those funny CPUs?

> The statement, which appeared on 12 April, appears to confirm that the firm already knew that the Bitcoin, worth £2,477,167,809.57 at the time of publication, had departed its servers on 9 April.

So when did 1 BTC become worth over five and a half a mil? (£££s)

Even if the currency was Rupees rather than UKP it still doesn't compute. Has someone got their millions and billions all mixed up?

1
1

A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand!

> Over the long run, let's say 5 years, while that cost should be justified, it does load that cost to the front of the project.

True, but if the cost was front-end loaded, maybe we would only get software projects that were actually worthwhile?

Whether that would be a good thing - for whom: the programmers or their employers - is part of the never-ending debate

1
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand!

> he points out that a developer's familiarity with the code, rather than the code itself, would affect the level of technical debt based on that measurement.

The greatest amount of technical "debt" is the lack of documentation. Whether that is a complete lack of it or - often worse - stuff that is out of date but looks right. At least when you have nothing, you won't follow the assumptions implicit in what was written down. And documentation isn't just about explaining what the code does, or what the author thinks it does. It isn't even about what the designer hopes it will do.

It is also about preserving the thought process of why certain design / code / implementation decisions were made. Sometimes some unbelievably bad ( or obscure - frequently the two are indistinguishable ) hacks come about due to limitations that were discovered during development, but that nobody thought to record for posterity. And as well as describing the method that works it would be kinda handy to know what other approaches were tried and rejected.

21
0

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

Pete 2
Silver badge

Lost in translation

> Vulture Central has moved to a shiny new shared collaboration space in central London, which, among other exciting advances, features a selection of beers to refresh thirsty hacks

Is that just a fancy way of saying you've been evicted from your offices and are now holed up in the local pub?

12
0

AI can't help without your data, says Gartner, so share, share, share!

Pete 2
Silver badge

Print your own cash.

> "People will start to use data as a currency,"

And as such, "data" will have exactly as much value as any other currency that a user prints for themself. The problem with trying to attach a monetary value to "data" is one of supply and demand.

How much is a Facebook profile worth? If it exchangable for (say) $1, then I'll get to work with some code that will create 1000 Facebook profiles a day KERCHING!. If a click is worth 0.001¢ then the same applies.

Everybody knows the HHGTTG reference that comes next. Maybe we really are on the B-ark.

1
0

Tech’s big lie: Relations between capital and labor don't matter

Pete 2
Silver badge

Too expensive to fire?

> Thirty years ago, a job at IBM meant secure employment for a lifetime at the most valuable company in the world

That might have been the case in the 1980s. However when I joined IBM in the mid-90's they were just starting a round of lay-offs. Some from the building I was working in. I was quite astounded that a company that successful could have employees who had been there for 30++ years but who had never, ever, met a customer nor done any revenue-earning work. What was more astounding was that these early retirees in their late 50's were walking away with their very generous final salary pensions AND roughly £250,000 each (although that was taxable) redundancy pay. While they would never get another job in the tech sector, with that amount of cash they wouldn't need to. Some of those people were resentful, due to hurt pride while many others couldn't stop grinning with the "lottery win" they had just been handed. The local Mercedes dealership had a very good year, too!

However, fashions change. Some time later I was employed by a large utility company. Their approach to redundancy was exactly the opposite. H.R. would be given a budget and a target (a simple number of "heads" or "resources" to be downsized) and left to get on with it. Being H.R. they showed neither humanity nor resourcefulness. They viewed it simply as an accounting job: the largest amount of effect for the lowest possible price. As such, all the bright, young, energetic, newbies got the chop because their redundo pay was the lowest. While the lumbering old leviathans who had been with the company for decades (and who desperately wanted early retirement) were kept on as they were too expensive to axe.

34
1

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

Pete 2
Silver badge

Some assembly required

ISTM whichever outfit (or government) can demonstrate a LEO rocket assembly capability will make the need to launch monolithic large payloads in a single shot, obsolete.

We have been told that LEO is half way to anywhere in the Solar System simply because the energy needed to get the first 200km is the same as that needed to get the next few billion. So why not use a "stepping stone" approach? Costs go up dramatically as distance increases. NASA refuted the LEO is halfway ... argument by considering $$$$ cost, rather than energy / weight requirements. By that measure the Moon is 10 times more expensive than LEO.

But if 2 LEO shots can get a Moon mission to the (energy) halfway point, then it makes the payload goals of the SLS obsolete. All they would need is a platform in low orbit to put all the parts together.

7
0

AI software that can reproduce like a living thing? Yup, boffins have only gone and done it

Pete 2
Silver badge

fork()

> a neural network that can self-replicate.

Code has been spawning itself for decades. To merely take a copy (on-write) and instantiate itself is nothing new or particularly difficult.

Even to clone itself and diddle with the NN weightings isn't that impressive. As for evolving, this is also well embedded in neural network design.

And it must be remembered that not all "mutations" are beneficial. For real evolution to take place, there has to be competition between the different instances in an ecosystem, with successful (though not necessarily success in terms of what the original programmer intended) instances taking precedent over less successful ones.

This sounds like an amusing diversion. But in the real world I doubt we'd want to employ AIs with random "mutations" simply on the offchance that one of them might be better than the original.

3
0

China to offer recoverable satellites-as-a-service

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Digestive biscuits are surprisingly fireproof

> Getting SpaceX to replace their boat-borne catcher's mitt with a giant cup of tea would be a fine thing, too.

Just so long as the inevitable recovery failures don't lead to flying saucers.

5
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Whose satellite is it anyway?

So will the chinese limit themselves to only recovering their own satellites or ones that the owners request?

Or will there be the option of "recovering" other people's satellites, against their will?

2
0

Ex-GCHQ boss: All the ways to go after Russia. Why pick cyberwar?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Tougher sanctions

> A good stiff talking to by Our Man in Moscow

That might work .... if Boris Johnson was made the ambassador.

But apart from a stern talking-to and an angry glare there is nothing much we can do that wouldn't open up the UK to tougher reprisals.

11
0

NASA on SpaceX's 2015 big boom: Bargain bin steel liberated your pressure vessel

Pete 2
Silver badge

Say no more

> It is not clear why the summary report has taken so long to be made public.

But the very first sentence tells us why it took so long: NASA has fingered ...

3
2

Are you Falcon sure, Elon? Musk vows Big Rocket will go up 2019

Pete 2
Silver badge

Closing down sale?

We are told the americans plan to dump the ISS in 2028. That gives Musk about 10 years to make them an offer. Considering that it is impractical to drop it straight into the ocean in one piece, the disassembly into easily disposable chunks will take some time .... and considerable money.

If Musk was to suggest that he would take it off NASA's hands for free and do something useful with it (by then the BFR could well have been replaced by the MFingHR). Possibly converting it into a staging post for Mars trips. Then I wonder just what the practicality of such an idea would be?

7
0

Fear the wrath of robots, for their judgement is final and irrevocable

Pete 2
Silver badge

You're never alone with all your online personalities

> China's "social credit" system, wherein each of the Middle Kingdom's billion connected adults have a rating drawn from the performance of their public role

We already have such a system in the West. Many employers (we are told) will refer to candidates social media presence to get an idea of the "real" them. Prospective partners, too. And I fully expect it is the first port of call for anyone who does a bit of private detective work, or stalking.

Therefore it would be only sensible to have as many different and separate (using different browser profiles, so different sets of cookies) online presences as possible. One to communicate with your close family, another to converse with your work colleagues, a third for your actual friends, another for your secret passion regarding whippets and maybe others concerning leathercraft, baby oil and jubilee clips (to choose items purely at random, you understand?).

Even though many social media sites have Ts & Cs that require you use your own name, none have the wherewithall to validate or even check if that is so. Until they do, this would be a good time to establish all your personas and their individual networks of associates.

Then, as the old naval toast used to go "May they never meet".

9
0

Most IT contractors want employment benefits if clobbered with IR35

Pete 2
Silver badge

Pay up!

> You need to increase fees by more like 35% to make up the difference.

Not so.

I was a contractor - actually, a consultant since I wore a suit - before and after IR35 was introduced. Prior to IR35 I paid myself, through my company, a sensible monthly wage and took whatever profits there were at the end of the year as a dividend. All perfectly legal and with the requisite taxes paid.

After IR35 kicked in I simply raised my rate to account for the difference between the CT I had been paying and the additional NI/PAYE costs.

I didn't make any more money. The clients paid a higher rate for my services and HMRC got their legitimate slice.

If a contractor is good, then companies will recognise the savings they are getting from their skills and experience. If the contractors don't have any special skills to offer then they probably shouldn't be in that business.

10
26

Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: "I was able to get all my junk on the desk"

Brings a whole new meaning to one-fingered typing.

1
0

Up to 25% of new builds still can't get superfast broadband – study

Pete 2
Silver badge

Used or available?

> one in four to one in five new premises don't have provision for 30Mbps.

Until there is data on what percentage of premises (homes. businesses, schools, etc) actually run up against the limit of their available bandwidth, this sort of statistic is meaningless.

If no user, anywhere in the country ever found they needed more than this (or any other arbitrary definition of "fast", "super-fast", "ultra-fast" or "so unbelievably, incredibly, eye-wateringly fast" connectivity) then it wouldn't matter what proportion of places didn't have access to it.

For any sense to be gleaned from this, the proportion of people who don't have it is irrelevant. What matters is who needs more and what effect not having more will have on their lives or businesses.

5
5

So the suits swanned off to GDPR events leaving you at the coalface? It's really more IT's problem

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: requesting customer data

> I think requesting this data will quickly become the annoyance of choice for any disgruntled customers.

Or employees ....

3
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

The end of the world?

> The other thing you need to understand is whether there's a gap between how you think you work and how you actually work. My favourite example here is backups:

Noooooooooooooooo!

The absolute LAST thing that any business mangler wants is to "know" that the way they think their business runs is different from reality. They are all firmly convinced of several things:

* Everything works perfectly, all of time, except when the I.T. dept. change something

* Every I.T. person has a special key on their keyboard labeled The Answer they only have to press that to respond to any technical question in easily understood language - but they don't.

* All problems happen because the techies are lazy, watching pr0n or are stupid

* The reasons that "issues" take so long to fix, is the same reason problems happen in the first place (they are probably correct about that, but not for the reasons they think).

* Most techies sit around all day (see above) and will fight for the privilege to answer the phone, if you ever call them.

That is their world view. Even a second's exposure to reality would cause a nervous breakdown in even the most hardened and cynical manager. They would never be able to sleep again, talk in coherent sentences and it would utterly destroy their golf.

4
0

Mobile World Congress: 5 buzzwords, an homage to Windows XP and a smartphone snorefest

Pete 2
Silver badge

5G benefits: real or imaginary

> It is true that 5G will change everything... kind of. Samsung gave some examples: download a 15GB movie in six seconds on mobile broadband,

To what end? it still takes the same amount of time to watch, so why not stream it at 20MB/sec and watch it as it arrives.

And another way to say you can stream a 15GB file in 6 seconds is to say that you can use up your monthly data allowance in 4 seconds. Or if you prefer, fill all the free space on your 32GB smartphone (the one without a microSD slot) in less than 10 seconds.

And as for a 1mS latency? Unless that is guaranteed: end-to-end everywhere AND has a diverse and redundant path for a backup, it is of no use for any sort of safety critical function.

In practical terms, if that is how 5G is to be marketed to users, it is completely useless and offers nothing of any value.

10
0

Hypersonic nukes! Nuclear-powered drone subs! Putin unwraps his new (propaganda) toys

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: In order to be bargained, it needs to exist

> If Russia really wants to make a point, expect a hypersonic demo in Syria

Unlikely, as the debris from the attack could easily find its way to western intelligence and its actual capabilities analysed and mitigated. Far better to conduct tests in territory you (and you alone) control.

5
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Aimed right at the heart of america

The yanks' biggest vulnerability is their paranoia. Their fear. And they will go to great (extreme?) lengths to assuage that.

Just like the 1980's Star Wars programme promised to make the USSR vulnerable to high-tech american weapons - even though they didn't exist and could never have been made - so this is the same: right back at ya!

Putin seems to have the measure of Trump. He knows the guy is an unbearable narcissist (it takes one to know one?) and that he couldn't let a challenge like this go unanswered. So by hinting that the USA might be "naked" and susceptible to some real imaginary military threat is a great bit of plonker-pulling.

And if it gets the merkins to crank up their unbelievably inefficient war-machine and spend $ TREEEEEELIONS on countering some Youtube videos and cartoons, then Putin will be laughing all the way to his next election.

25
2

Spotify cleared of exposing kids to self-love innuendo in TV spot

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Obligatory - Britian's Got Whingers

> any of those humourless 100 complainants

I would be surprised if the individuals who complained on this occasion were complaint "virgins". I have the impression that a considerable proportion of complaints all come from the same (small group of) people. To that end we could hope that the ASA is even just a little bit joined-up and can recognise the usual whining from the usual suspects and treat them with the scorn they have earned.

0
0

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Well, there's your problem!

> Productivity is defined as GDP output divided by the total of hours worked

I used to think that improving "productivity" meant getting factory floor workers to speed-up a bit. To reduce the distance they had to walk or the number of turns they had to give a screw.

But this measure, that includes ALL jobs. shows this view is faulty.

When you have so many "workers" who do absolutely nothing that contributes to the bottom line, you have a problem. When so many of them do nothing except go to meetings, fill in tick-box processes that don't shift more "stuff" (or services) out the door, or when you need to get approval from 5 different - and often competing to avoid responsibility - departments for pretty much anything then it is no surprise that your business will be inefficient, unproductive. Employing too many people who just sit at a desk and too few who actually do / make the stuff that is sold to your lucky customers.

15
1

Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Pete 2
Silver badge

Like their own stock?

If the business is anything like the tat they flog, I wouldn't be surprised if it won't work properly and the buyer wouldn't get their money back if they complain.

40 years ago (somewhere I have a catalog with a Concorde on the cover) they were a force: I could post in an order on a wednesday and get the stuff delivered on saturday. Now it just seems to be a purveyor of over-priced flashing lights.

9
1

Look out, Wiki-geeks. Now Google trains AI to write Wikipedia articles

Pete 2
Silver badge

Nothing a bit of editing can't fix

> Overall, it’s still pretty readable. The text generation seems to work OK, in your humble vulture's opinion

The "human" generated text focuses much more on the personality and biography of the guy who created the site and it tells us nothing of any use about the website itself.

While the AI version has the feel of being written by someone learning English (the repetition, instead of short-form: "it", "the site", "they"). However, it provides much more useful and relevant information to inform the reader of what to expect if they visited the site.

Once the AI overcomes its English as a foreign language issues it seems to me that its output will be of a higher quality than the human-generated version. I would suggest that, just as with real journalism, there is an additional AI-editor role needed, above just an AI text generation function.

2
1

See that over Heathrow? It's not an airliner – it's a Predator drone

Pete 2
Silver badge

Droning on

Drones are only considered a solution for delivery problems because the roads are so crowded. But that makes a drone solution merely a temporary one (a bit like the Pony Express - it only operated for a year or two, despite the folk tales) until better technology makes it pointless.

And so with drones. Once the streets are cleared of both parked cars outside their owners' homes AND 4-person vehicles with just a single occupant - mostly looking for somewhere to park - then the drone solution will become obsolete. Even better is that autonomous road delivery will allow packages to be delivered when people are actually AT HOME rather than at a time which is convenient for couriers (though if pizza joints can deliver in the evening, why is it such a big deal for couriers or the Post Office?).

Maybe [ a sharp intake of breath ] autonomous deliveries could even be made at ....... weekends!

7
0

5G won't just be fast, it'll do the ML-fuelled self-optimisation thing

Pete 2
Silver badge

Blink and it's gone.

> Stanczak said expanding auto industry connectivity and massively connected sensors will create massive overhead and “a lot of uncertainty in the network”.

The only uncertainty I have is why I would want (or pay extra for) a 5G mobile device (let's not call them "phones" any more!). There is talk of speeds of 500 MByte/sec which would use up my monthly data allowance in a dew seconds if I used this on my mobile "device". As for IoT connections: secure or not, what benefits would I personally see from 5G? What new things would I be able to do, that I couldn't do before?

For home use, there may be some benefit. But with freshly installed fibre is there really any point? Sure, for isolated communities it provides a decent connection rate. But will any of the mobile operators want to spend money prioritising internet and IoT connections for a few farms and a bunch of sheep?

0
1

It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

Pete 2
Silver badge

Seeing the goods

> In regards to flagging nonconsensual content, either the person who deems the content nonconsensual or their legal representative can use the form to request removal of content and cite that they themselves did not contest for it to be uploaded.”

What about if the pr0n star who's body was used objects to it being associated with the famous person's head? Do they have a say in the matter? And have they got a way to prove that it was actually their body.

Maybe it is time for pr0nstars to have a unique bar code tattooed somewhere on their skin. It would have to be in a place that would be readily visible in a porno. Hmmmm, where, exactly????

7
0

ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t

Pete 2
Silver badge

The power and the glory

> The ASA, which has the power to ask ...

I am sure Poundland and every other advertiser is quaking in their boots. Imagine that! Being asked not to display an advertisement.

Although in this case the ASA's power is commensurate with the harm done: both stand at zero

5
0

Newsflash! Faking it until you make it is illegal in Silicon Valley: Biz boss pleads guilty

Pete 2
Silver badge

Works both ways?

> Choi acknowledged making false statements about his educational background

So it is "wire fraud" because the claims were made electronically. That would imply two things. First, that everything you say on your CV must be supportable and provable- but only if you email it.

And secondly, possibly more importantly - that everything companies say in online job ads must be true, as well.

So the vacancy that says "dynamic company" or "good working environment" or "strong promotion prospects" or that makes promises about training, "fun" or where you will work can be sued if the job doesn't live up to the description.

I wouldn't hold my breath!

1
1

Should ISPs pay to block pirate websites? Supreme Court to decide

Pete 2
Silver badge

Pass it on

> ISPs arguing that while they don't mind being ordered to block copyright-infringing content, someone else should be bearing the costs of doing so.

And someone else does: their customers. ISPs aren't some magic, infinitely deep well of money, gold and resources. Where all they have to do is dip in and pull out a wad. Any costs they incur gets passed on to their customers.

And if all ISPs are required to pay for a universal blocking service, it isn't as if they can find "efficiency savings" (aka making people redundant and requiring the poor gits who remain, work harder and longer hours).

So a universal cost increase will just be passed on to all the ISPs' users. They will all raise their prices by the cost of implementing this. Just as all energy companies raise their prices almost in lock-step when wholesale gas prices increase.

24
0

FYI: There's now an AI app that generates convincing fake smut vids using celebs' faces

Pete 2
Silver badge

Not just faces

It seems the principle is applicable to much more than the salacious topic that the author has chosen (clickbait, anyone?).

Why not use it to remove undesirable individuals from family videos. Or add other people in. Or move the whole setting to Paris, or somewhere more exotic. Or turn that random passer-by in the background into The Queen or George Clooney (or Donald Trump).

It doesn't seem to be much of a stretch to be able to remove ugly background (power lines, graffiti, photobombers) or maybe even correct for camera shake.

While we are told that porn has been one of the drivers of internet "development", focusing on that for a cheap article in a tech pub. is unimaginative and sleazy.

13
1

Camels disqualified from Saudi beauty contest for Botox-enhanced pouts

Pete 2
Silver badge

Personality?

> Apparently judges seek shapely humps, firm muscular physiques and luscious leathery mouths.

And when interviewed, all the camels claimed they wanted to do charity work and help camels less fortunate than they were.

I wonder if we should start to steel ourselves for the spin-off shows:

I'm a Dromedary, get me out of here

The hump factor

...

18
0

Death notice: Moore’s Law. 19 April 1965 – 2 January 2018

Pete 2
Silver badge

Bzzzzt!

> Moore’s Law has hit the wall, bounced off - and reversed direction

No. Moore's Law is only about gate density on integrated circuit chips. To extend it to imply that means anything about computing power, is a misuse of the term.

Though it must be said that given the size of a Silicon atom is 0.2nm and we are now looking at 5nm architectures, the prospect of a transistor consisting of just 25 atoms, and that this would be available in your local Tesco, is worthy of some contemplation. Even if that signifies that Moore's Law (the actual Law) is banging up against physical limits.

As far as performance factors go. That is merely a limit on (current) human ingenuity. We will find ways to re-design chips. To squeeze more computation out of each square millimetre of Silicon (or maybe each cubic millimetre). We will will adopt more efficient architectures - maybe even secure ones - that will do more stuff, faster. And who knows, in the end we might even learn how to write efficient code.

13
0

UK Army chief: Russia could totally pwn us with cable-cutting and hax0rs

Pete 2
Silver badge

Please sir, can I have some more?

> This comes after calls from MPs to increase defence spending

Have the heads of Britain's armed forces every taken a different view?

When was the last time they said "thanks, but we've got enough money".

As for threats to internet traffic from undersea cables being cut - surely the sensible thing is to route all traffic through cables running through the Channel Tunnel. From there the only places that can't be reached by land are the americas, Australia and other Pacific islands.

9
2

Software that predicts whether crims will break the law again is no better than you or me

Pete 2
Silver badge

indemnity

> they'd be able to guess as well as this software as to whether the criminal would break the law again.

But that is only a small part of the process. You could equally say that the software is no worse at identifying potential reoffenders than an ordinary person.

But that "ordinary person" comes with a lot of uncertainty regarding their own background. It would be extremely easy for a challenge to be mounted against that "ordinary person's" competency, bias or consistency. And then to repeat that challenge until a result is obtained from another "ordinary person" that suits the challenger.

But a black-box approach, with a highly scrutinised history of over a million - sorry: MEEEEEELION - cases can demonstrate that over its history, it has shown no bias, racial leaning, random choices or inconsistency. Even if its inner workings are unknown. Its results and the analysis of them for any of those factors puts it above suspicion.

3
1

New Quantum head honcho thrown in at the deep end

Pete 2
Silver badge

Life at the top

> CEO Patrick Dennis has his work cut out

I wish someone would cut my work out. Then I would be free to goof around all day. Without annoying people constantly asking me to do things.

1
0

Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)

Pete 2
Silver badge

Does an AI's lips move when it reads?

> The answer to every question is explicitly contained in the text. It's not so much reading comprehension as text extraction. There is no real understanding of the prose by the machines; it’s a case of enhanced pattern matching. Human beings are smarter than this.

Errrrr, some human beings are smarter than this. I would suggest that there are millions (in the UK alone) who are not. It is entirely likely that many of their jobs will be at risk.

Just as the Turing test is intended to compare AI and human capabilities, it does not imply that all humans would be able to provide responses that were at a sufficiently high level to be deemed "human".

2
3

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018