* Posts by Pete 2

2697 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Pete 2
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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.

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Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

Pete 2
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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.

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Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Pete 2
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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.

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

Pete 2
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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.

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

Pete 2
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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!

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

Pete 2
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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?

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

Pete 2
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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????

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

Pete 2
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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

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

Pete 2
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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!

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

Pete 2
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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.

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

Pete 2
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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.

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Camels disqualified from Saudi beauty contest for Botox-enhanced pouts

Pete 2
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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

...

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

Pete 2
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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.

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

Pete 2
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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.

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

Pete 2
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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.

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New Quantum head honcho thrown in at the deep end

Pete 2
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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.

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

Pete 2
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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".

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Hey Europe, your apathetic IT spending is ruining it for everyone

Pete 2
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Who needs 'em?

> in 2017 the market began to pick up, increasing 3.8 per cent to $3.5bn. Meanwhile, spend in Europe increased 0.7 per cent to €658bn last year.

Maybe Europe has enough computers?

Since the RoW consists mostly of developing countries (and America) we would expect its I.T. growth to lag behind more technological advanced countries (and America). The more advanced countries will reach saturation soonest and then, hopefully, realise that enough is too much and not feel the need to keep buying more computers. While the RoW keeps improving its I.T. and therefore will keep growing its market.

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No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

Pete 2
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Bye bye, buy buy!

> They anticipate a period like the Great Depression

Though it is interesting to note that the 2007-8 crash actually increased the level of wage equality. Since the highest earners (in the UK, at least) took a larger hit on their pay than the lowest deciles. While that obviously didn't make anyone better off, it does show that economic downturns are not solely the domain of the least well off (though since they have less - or no - financial buffer, they do suffer the worst). It also shows that statistical analyses, such as "equality" do not measure what many people read into the data.

But regarding wealth. Robot owners can only make money of there is a large enough number of people with disposable incomes to buy the products their robots make. Impoverishing the majority of the population will not achieve that, since those people wouldn't have the money to buy stuff, apart from basics.

This is also the weakness of Universal Basic Income. Once a large enough proportion of people aren't economically active, the idea of a market driven consumer society fails.

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How much will Britain's next F-35s cost? Not telling, says MoD

Pete 2
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Re: Please leave a message after...

> ** Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep **

At least the message didn't end

NO CARRIER

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Pete 2
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Boom time over?

> illustrating the point that the RN is overstretched and the defence budget needs to grow.

Maybe not. Isn't it just possible that it means you can get by with far less destructive capacity when you stop trying to blow the crap out of every government you disagree with?

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UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

Pete 2
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If the price is right?

> a legal right to minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps

But that does not imply that the customers would get that speed cheaply.

If ISPs are forced to offer a 10 MBit/s product, there doesn't seem any sensible reason why they would be compelled to make a loss on it. So if it cost £1 million per mile to lay a cable out to a couple of houses in the middle of nowhere, who would pay for their "right" to high-speed porn?

As it is, almost every premises in the country could install a 10 MBit/s satellite internet connection. It would only cost them £20-30 a month. So it would appear that people's "right" to 10 Mbps has already been met.

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Which distant Mars-alikes could we live on? Ask these Red Planet data-sifters

Pete 2
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How many are habitable? ALL OF THEM!

By the time we have developed the technology to travel to those planets, parallel developments in all other spheres of research and development will have provided the techniques for adapting them to our needs.

And since (the real) Mars is far closer than any of those other worlds, the teraforming or genetic modification programmes will have had a long, long, time to get their tech. working - before the need to use it elsewhere in the galaxy becomes a requirement.

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Australian central bank says 'speculative mania' and crime fuel Bitcoin

Pete 2
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What goes up

> cryptocurrencies are most useful “to those who want to make transactions in the black or illegal economy, rather than everyday transactions”

Although with Bitcoin's current wild fluctuations in value ... or at least: cost, it isn't much use to anybody for making transactions.

When a "currency" is rapidly gaining in value buyers don't want to part with it. And when it is rapidly losing value sellers don't want to accept it.

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At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

Pete 2
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Re: Traditional

> Regarding sprouts ... as long as they're not overcooked.

My view too. I reckon that the people who dislike sprouts are simply doing them wrong.

Prepare them and the carrots at the same time. Toss 'em all in the same pot. Bring to the boil and then down to a simmer. When the carrots are done (soft but firm), the sprouts are, too.

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Pete 2
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Never again!

> something more exotic such as a Beef Wellington

Tried that one year. But the boots gave off a nasty rubbery smell once the oven got hot.

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Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure

Pete 2
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Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

> As a boss, if someone has a cold/flu/whatever, I'd rather they not come into the office. One person off ill is inconvenient. Half a dozen staff off a few days later with the same infection is much worse

But where do you draw the line? If someone has a cold (almost none of the self-reported "flu" is anything more than a cold, if you had real flu you wouldn't be well enough to make the call) and is capable of getting themselves into the office, it can't be that bad. So to suggest that others would get it worse and be confined at home for several days sounds a lot like slacking.

As it is, most people work at far below their capacity, so a little bit of illness won't affect their ability to delete unread emails, sit in boring meetings or add bugs to code.

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Shady US sigint base upgrade marred by stolen photograph

Pete 2
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snookered!

Given the picture shows three balls in a row with another further up the "table", shouldn't they be coloured green brown and yellow (going L to R) with the one in the background being blue?

C'mon yanks. Show a bit of cultural awareness.

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Sucks to be a... chief data officer, when they're being told: Boost revenues

Pete 2
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A data protection racket

> monetise the data companies hold

Surely a CDO /. CIO can do far better than that?

Just have a quiet word with the payroll team a few days before the end of the month. Something along the lines of: "It would be a pity if all those bank transfers were late ... so how about a little bit of cross-charge to make sure everything happens on time?"

Or a similar approach when the VAT return is due.

They could even "leverage" all the pr0n that users (aka employees) leave lying around to "persuade" them to not record all that overtime.

Or ask other C-levels for a "small contribution" when a critical file goes missing, or needs to go missing.

Since IT is at the very heart of almost every company, there should be no possible reason why they ever feel under threat from other departments or the top boss. Provided they learn how to use their position. Capisce!

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Report: Underwater net cables are prime targets for terrorists and Russia

Pete 2
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Two sides to the coin

Internet cables are needed both to enable international communication and trade and ALSO for the bad people to push their propaganda to the west. Without the internet, many terrorist organisations could not operate.

So it is debatable whether sub-sea cables would be a terrorist target - they'd be cutting off their own supporters as well as hurting us.

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Is Oomi the all-in-one smart home system we've been waiting for?

Pete 2
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smart not-smart

This seems to be a very good device for doing all sorts of things that simply don't need doing.

I like having discrete remote controls. They work far better in a multi-person house with levels of techo-savvy ranging from the couldn't-care-less to the <ahem> uber-geek.

And as for the rest, all I ask of a "smart home" and its lighting system is that it turns on the light when the first person enters a given space and turns it off again after the last one leaves. A truly smart home would know what level of lighting is appropriate at each juncture and would therefore not need programming.

The same philosophy applies to all other "smart" functions. To live up to the name, they should be smart enough to work out for themselves what needs to be done. Simply trading a switch on the wall for one on a phone or web interface is not my idea of progress.

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Report: Women make up just 17% of IT workforce, paid 15% less than men

Pete 2
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one for you, one for me

> It found that 17 per cent of the IT crowd were female

and only 20% of teachers are men.

We hear a great deal about the lack of women in IT, yet very little about the proportion of men in other professions. If people are going to start crusades about gender equality in work, it would help their cause appear impartial if they addressed the general issue rather than specific cases.

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Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

Pete 2
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A numbers game

All phones and (t|ph)ablets are basically the same. They perform the same functions: primarily running apps, occasionally taking photos and rarely making calls.

As such, to the man in the street, their only distinguishing features are brand recognition and the numbers touted in their specifications.

It seems that there are only two numbers that people either understand or care about. One is the number of megapixels the camera claims and the other is the size of the screen. MegaPix seems to be a busted flush, since the numbers are getting so large - yet the picture quality of a 20 MPix "phone" is no better than a 4 MPix phone's. And when you view them on the screen they are the same.

So stop pushing camera specs and focus on the other number. However, buyers will soon tire of over-large phones. Whether due to their unwieldy nature or their excessive weight. I can't see many people wanting to lug an 8-inch screen around - we had that with laptops.

Personally, I'd settle for any size screen. Just so long as you could see what was on it in daylight.

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Watchkeeper drones cost taxpayers £1bn

Pete 2
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Sounds like we need to start another war

The small number of combat hours for £1G of "toys" is only because we aren't currently bombing the crap out of any third-world countries. Personally, I would say that the number of hours NOT flown is a mark of a successful defence strategy and not something that should be criticised.

But it does also raise a question about the need or wisdom in buying F35s. Given that (at the current rate) the cost of just 1 F35 could keep all the remaining Watchkeepers flying for the next next half-century.

And if there aren't any combat missions for them, maybe Amazon would be interested in using them for deliveries?

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'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'

Pete 2
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The river of progress

> if the tech industry wants another wave of innovation to match the PC or the internet, Google and Facebook must be broken up

It's a catchy meme to promote a book and make some money. But it is wrong.

Think of progress as being a river. It flows in one direction, from the "primitive" past through the innovative present and into the "futuristic" errr, future.

While I see no reason to consider Google or FB to be anti-innovation (they produce many new products, continually change - maybe even improve - search engine's abilities to give us useful stuff rather than promoted stuff) I suppose if I was trying to wring money out of the techno-world, being anti-establishment is the way to go.

But even if they were choking off innovation, they would be little more than boulders in the river of progress. And we know that water flows round a rock in a river. Even if there are enough of them to stop the flow, the river will just change direction and go off elsewhere. Or roll over the top of the blockage and continue on its path·

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Give 1,000 monkeys typewriters, they'll write Shakespeare. Give them robot arms, and wait – they actually did that?

Pete 2
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One small step

> One day the same technology can be used to help human amputees control robotic prosthetics with the brain,

And presumably the next stage after that would be to train monkeys (or people) with a full set of limbs to control a remote robotic arm. Possibly for remote controlled surgery. Possibly to work in hazardous areas. Possibly to "walk" a robot across the surface of the Moon.

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Seek 'passion' and tech skills will follow, say recruiting security chiefs

Pete 2
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Geeks looking for lurve?

> the industry should be looking for "passionate people and inspire them"

Isn't this what has led to many of the I.T. industry's problems with sexism?

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Stick to the script, kiddies: Some dos and don'ts for the workplace

Pete 2
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Something missing?

the important aspects of the script:

Who is running it?

Is the script version controlled?

Is the script approved for implementation?

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the single most important aspect of a script that it actually works?

I would also suggest that the differences between scripting an operation and performing it manually is little different from performing it "manually" (on a computer) and actually doing the operations in person.

Insert data into a table, or place it in a filing cabinet

Delete a file or shred a document

All equally prone to error - filing "B" before "A", failure (the shredder jams), incorrect instruction - which files to destroy. The only difference being that the supervisor feels more confident by having a person doing the work, rather than a machine. Either that, or they know they can blame the individual for any mistakes rather than taking the blame themselves.

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Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

Pete 2
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Determinism

> concern over speeding up autonomous vehicle testing processes – particularly when it comes to assessing the artificial intelligence aspect of them

I am not at all convinced that AI should have any place in the control of an autonomous vehicle. The one thing you want from an AV is repeatability. Not just to know that it is following "the rules", but also so that forensic examination of accidents is possible. When a vehicle is autonomous - making decisions for itself, based on what it has "learned" - the concept of liability disappears. You can't blame a driverless car that learned or failed to learn, if it causes an accident.

And if I was running an insurance company I would not be prepared to cover a vehicle who's behaviour was therefore not predictable. You couldn't perform an actuarial assessment of risk to work out the cost of a policy.

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iPhone X: Bargain! You've just bagged yourself a cheap AR device

Pete 2
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Show us the money

> Others dubbed AR a "minor sideshow" to accompany Apple's iPhone noise

Maybe the lack of enthusiasm is because Apple do not yet know how to monetise AR

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Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

Pete 2
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inter-intelligence sex.

> Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

Shouldn't they be stopped?

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Fear not, driverless car devs, UK.gov won't force you to write Trolley Problem solutions

Pete 2
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Academic problems

> We may be creating a complication where the insured party, or no party in fact, gets paid for some time while these complications get sorted out.

It would be quite easy to define the law such that in the first instance the car's insurance policy pays out. It would then be up to the company to recover the cost. They would either claim against the supplier for a faulty car: whether a mechanical or software fault - it makes no difference, or against a third party which they consider to be at fault.

But that is a purely civil matter, not a criminal one. It gets the right compo to the victims quickly. The matter of criminal charges could fall under existing negligence laws. There is no need for any new ones as there are no new legal principles at stake. A negligent software design or implementation is no different from a negligent hardware design or implementation and there is a lot of precedent in that area.

The "trolley problem" is a largely bogus, merely academic exercise. If a vehicle was ever in that situation, the default action would be to stop as quickly as possible. Sure, anyone can dream up some fictitious circumstance where that would be sub-optimal, but it's just an intellectual game. The decision would be made by the prosecutor of who to go after and a jury would decide the result.

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Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

Pete 2
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Re: Why stop at prosecuting Dev's? andy why just the car manufacturer?

> Is lack of design for predicting a situation the same as an error?

In many cases, yes it is. There is a huge class of foreseeable events. Not just in autonomous vehicle design but in every aspect of software. No programmer only writes error handlers for situations that have already shown up in testing. (Actually, looking at the state of a lot of software, many programmers don't handle any errors at all - but let's limit the discussion to responsible individuals and professionally run organisations).

it would be the responsibility of governments to define the standards to be applied. It is then incumbent on the manufacturers to adhere to those and to pass certification. Just as it is with car design and manufacture today. There is no need for laws to define the "how" a safety feature is produced, just the "what" it should do or prevent.

One side-effect of stringent safety certification will be (hopefully) a small number of software updates - assuming the whole system would need to be re-certified in the event of any software change.

Another would be the absolute prohibition of AI in a vehicle's safety-critical systems, All software would have to be standard, unchanging (apart from legitimate updates) and adherent. Self-altering systems could not possibly meet that criterion.

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Pete 2
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First, find the problem

I can see three separate types of failure that could lead to an event requiring liability to be identified

1.) An operational failure (including a mechanical problem)

2.) An implementation failure

3.) A failure to define a suitable standard of operation

Operational failures, such as a blow-out, computer failure, faulty battery have a lot of case history to determine where blame lies. There would obviously be some extensions to this as new technology becomes included, but that is always the case.

An implementation failure is an entirely new concept. Since having a software driven vehicle (i.e. fully autonomous - no human input at all) is something that has never been considered. This is what the new laws are all about. Every level of "autonomy" lower than this - the ones that require a qualified driver to be able to take control - is already covered.

But a failure of the vehicle's (and we are talking lorries, buses as well as cars) systems does need to be defined. And the liability has to be determined.

From the point of view of either someone inside the vehicle (aka a passenger) there can clearly be no blame. Thus everything else comes down to "equipment failure" - just who's equipment would merely be a matter for the various suppliers to sort out in civil proceedings. But that is no different from what we have today. I reckon the major legal cases would be between the (vehicle's) insurance company and the producer of the vehicle - and after that between the maker and their subcontractors.

The third point, about situations that aren't covered by the safety standards imposed by governments is again, something we already have to deal with. Those will get closed as a matter of course, though probably only after the fact, as accidents happen and regulations get tightened.

From the cyclists' point of view, I would get worried. All these (truly) autonomous vehicles will have such a vast array of sensors that they will record every facet of an accident. Video from every direction, audio, weather conditions, positions of every object in the vicinity. All of that will be of "forensic" quality, It wold be very difficult for a cyclist, or pedestrian, who was faced with a weight of evidence that they were in the wrong, to defend against. No longer would there be an automatic presumption that every collision was always the car's fault.

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Pete 2
Silver badge

fast forward.

UBI is a great idea in theory. But so is giving everyone everything for free. Forever.

And it is the "forever" bit that is the problem. All the descriptions of UBI portray it as something that will go on for a year or two .... maybe 5 years, tops.

But consider 100 years in the future. Where will the UBI come from then? What will the citizens of 2117 be getting. And more importantly, what about the families that have known nothing except getting all their money from the state for as long as any of them can remember - what will they be like?

Will they have any education (unnecessary when the UBI pays for everything, and expensive). Will they have any skills? If UBI stopped - what would they do. And most important of all: when your entire population is dependent to a greater or lesser extent on government pay-outs, do you still have any form of democratic process? Or is the entire place run by a small elite who can use money to keep the vast majority in subservience: too scared speak out, or do anything wrong in case their UBI gets cut.

52
32

Sure, Face ID is neat, but it cannot replace a good old fashioned passcode

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Read my lips

> you're basically screwed?

It's Apple. You're basically screwed whatever you do.

Just as if your spectacles go dark in daylight after you've grown a beard and caught a cold, put on weight, had a nose job, have a sticking plaster on your "printed" finger and been given a black eye by whoever broke your tooth - though they probably stole your phone, so the whole thing becomes moot.

Though I do agree: those features mightn't be much use if you knew a ventriloquist.

0
4
Pete 2
Silver badge

Read my lips

A static solution: merely looking for matches on a stationary (or very nearly so) face seems too simple. A better solution would be able to check several metrics simultaneously.

For example having to say "hello iphone¹" while having the camera watch how your mouth moves. It could recognise both the sound of your voice, the words you spoke plus the shape and movement of your mouth. Move the fingerprint detector to the side of the phone (where you hold it) and it could use that as another factor.

With a little refinement it could even make a dental appointment for you if it detected the signs of caries.

[1] or whatever phrase the user had chosen

0
0

IBM asks remaining staff to take career advice from HR-bot

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: So basically, management are admiting IBM's failed as a company?

I think it means (what every IBMer has known for decades) is that IBM Management, and specifically their HR operation is a failure.

Although it is 20 years since I worked for them, even in those days there was a huge chasm between the day-to-day technical staff: generally on the ball, practical, knew what had to be done, just wanted to get on with doing it - and the managers. They had little or no experience of actual customers. Knew nothing except "processes". Managed by numbers. Simply did not understand any technical reasons for anything that didn't run 3270 protocols. And had no motivation to do anything that didn't directly improve their own lives.

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

Pete 2
Silver badge

Too complicated

It seems to me to be pretty simple to do. Even if it isn't what Rudd thinks she wants.

Just give each post an AI scan between the time the poster hits SEND and the message appears. If it is "approved" then it just passes into the general population of pointless witterings.

However if it fails that first test, there are all sorts of possibilities. The bluntest instrument would simply be to lose the post (maybe Yodel would tender for that job?). But that might not be subtle enough. A far more amusing possibility would be to alter the post somehow.

I expect everyone has, at some point or other, typed "now" instead of "not" [ Dilbert reference goes here ]. And I am equally sure there are far more devious possibilities that could be laid at the door of predictive text.

So, it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility to take messages that would and could be flagged as "terrorism" and turn them to your own advantage. Thus: I do now believe America is the source of all that is good from someone who's ovine followers would then be forced to give up the fight and spend, spend, spend.

With luck the originator wouldn't even notice the change!

10
0

Stop worrying and let the machines take our jobs – report

Pete 2
Silver badge

No chance I'll be replaced

> techies shouldn't be scared, not in the slightest.

Not until someone invents a machine that does absolutely nothing.

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