* Posts by John Smith 19

15367 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Object-recognition AI – the dumb program's idea of a smart program: How neural nets are really just looking at textures

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"People did, and published research about it. It's just that research was largely ignored"

Actually I didn't.

And it seems that as another poster put it the "Negative Nellies" were ignored

Personally these would have been the people I'd have hired to find out what the limits to the technology (and wheather there are ways around them)

John Smith 19 Gold badge

".. two eyes and head movement makes it easier to separate the snow from the real scene."

I'm fairly sure the hardware budget for an autonomous road vehicle could run to 2 separate cameras and some mechanism to vibrate their PoV just a bit, like a sort of mock human head.

Making the NN's use that new information effectively might be a bit tougher.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"a lot of our tests with edge cases where clinicians had to analyse not on !auto pilot"!"

I'm sure you know the rule.

"If you can describe it well enough how it works that you can predict its performance it's not AI."

Although "sort-of-mimics-a-bit-how-humans-do-the-job" is a bit more accurate, but a bit of a mouthful.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"It's fake smart."

Possibly the most succinct description of this technology to date.

"However, current state-of-the-art CNNs are very susceptible to random noise such as rain or snow in the real world, [which is] a problem for autonomous driving. "

Well that's a bit of a b**ger if you've implemented you're autonomous vehicle system using them, isn't it?

My instinct is that this should have been obvious from the mathematics underlying CNN's. Yet apparently no one picked it up.

Or was it that people did, but hoped no one would notice?

The algorithms! They're manipulating all of us! reckon human rights bods Council of Europe

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"is only a small change from what newspapers and pamphleteers have been doing for centuries."


It's using the response to each lie to determine what new lie you're going to feed them, ensuring they give you exactly the result you want. Because they are likely to be in their own little social media bubble of like minded types they will never realize you are feeding another group (possible with views exactly opposite to yours) exactly what they want to hear as well, in order to get the same result.

Once people start sharing information (with each other, but especially with people they don't like) they can (but probably won't) realize "These people are, y'know, not really our friends. They're fibbing to all of us."

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Manipulative gits crying about others possibly manipulating."

Except they are not, are they?

The "Council of Europe" oversees the "European Court of Human Rights"

Which is a body that tries to ensure fair treatment of all people in Europe.

Needles to has generations of Home Secretaries have hated this body because it stops them doing WTF they want to do, when they want to do it. Despite how stupid or poorly targeted the policy is.

You seem to have quite a flair for mis representing situations. You're looking less like a developer and more like a paid sock puppet.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"The Brexit vote was a classic example of very sophisticated micro-targeting techniques "


And you can bet it was just a dry run for much bigger operations of a similar kind.

It's possible that it's (partial) exposure would prevent the same bunch from doing the same with a 2nd referendum.

But it's not guaranteed.

Data-spewing Spectre chip flaws can't be killed by software alone, Google boffins conclude

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"I would have thought it a trivial (tedious but trivial) problem to model the cpus to exhaustion"

You really don't have any idea of the complexity inside a modern CPU do you?

And you certainly don't know how the simulation complexity grows with every step you move from the initial state of that complexity.

Or how many initial states a modern CPU can have (including the transients and deliberately faulted)

Otherwise you wouldn't have made such a dumb statement.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"but the basic problem is that chip designers traded security for speed. "


IOW the MMU should do what it was f**king designed to do properly.

Keep the executing tasks separate.

I'd say it looks like people used tricks developed to snoop data on smart card level embedded processors on data center size chips and found they worked pretty well.

Oracle throws toys out pram again, tells US claims court: Competing for Pentagon cloud contract isn't fair!

John Smith 19 Gold badge

" If the cloud is just a commodity, they do have some points."


Let's not forget how many customers went down when Amazon had a fire in its main data centre and the customers hadn't bothered to code for fall over or migration to other sites.

If the DoD needs are so great (and at 200 data centers they certainly look that way) it sounds very risky to put everything on a single supplier.

I guarantee they will do the minimal amount of documentation (electronic or paper) to prevent migration to other competitors when the contract is tendered out again, because that's what all outsourcing vendors do, something governments never seem to realize.

Roses are red, this is sublime: We fed OpenAI's latest chat bot a classic Reg headline

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Err, yes. But is it real smart,

or fake smart?

The flexibility seems quite an improvement over the usual "Can classify in 1 task and spit out results of 1 type" NN.

But is it?

Sigfox cracks open IoT radio protocol specs for world+dog (+badgers?)

John Smith 19 Gold badge

The British love Badgers and Honey

What could go wrong with putting the two together?

But honey badgers don't care.

Judge snubs FBI's bid to snaffle Autonomy docs ahead of founder Mike Lynch's UK showdown

John Smith 19 Gold badge

As court documents are they not in the public domain?

Or is it a case they are not in the public domain yet?

A once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity: NASA bids emotional farewell to its cocky, hardworking RC science car on Mars

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"That planet-wide tempest of sand and debris in June "

Something to think about if you're planning to run on solar cells.

Supposedly not a problem as the haze only cuts power output by 70-90%.

But I think you'll still need plenty of batteries, given those storms can run a long time.

BTW that 20MHz computer was IIRC on a board from BAe systems. It cost about $100K.

Fair well Opportunity. You had a bloody good run.

Sci-tech committee: UK.gov's 27-page biometrics strategy is great... as toilet paper

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Antoher case of Home Office policy constipation

6 years to s**t out this turd.

What would you call it?

Are these databases fully searchable?

How many cases have they been How many were they involved in? involved in solving? How many were they the sole evidence?

My guess is "lots" (because they're are cheap to use), a few (because they sometimes corroborate an alibi or verify a theory). As for the sole evidence that would be a question. "Almost none" or (disturbingly) "quite high" ?

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"reality TV "stars" dying from crash landing, habitat failure, or slow suffocation. "

That's entertainment?

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Cancelling Brexit would be like letting that crazy, bipolar, ex partner move back in"

Can a whole country be "Off their meds" ?

Yes I think it can.

And no, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near them either.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Re: "There isnt? So you wouldnt advocate rejoining the EU?"

" am trying to get a simple answer out of you. "

Then you could have asked. You still sound like a troll.

I "advocated" not leaving in the first place. I'll advocate another position when and if the UK leaves. So far what we've seen is the Brexit equivalent of the "phony war" of 1939. The real s**tstorm hasn't even started.

"Yes. And even with opt outs we voted to leave and so we leave. "

When enough floating voters had been spoon fed bu***hit by Aggregate IQ working for the Leave campaign, while a substantial portion of the UK electorate thought the answer so obvious they didn't see the point in wasting there time to vote. Something I think would change in a second referendum if "Cancel Leave" was an option.

<argmentative BS>

"But if the EU is so fabulous then rejoining even without opt outs should be enough? Why shouldnt we commit to the glorious project? Why do we need the opt outs?"

Save the sneering tone for Margaret Thatcher. She negotiated most of them. You wanted to leave, now you're asking about re-joining. Why don't you go away and have a little think about what you want?


"That's a lot of hysterical bull and the CIA is American."

Well done on being able to identify where the CIA is based, but why don't we look at some of those ads

here and


"Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey are joining the EU!

WTF? In how many centuries? And while we're at it who pushed hardest for all the East European countries to join the EU with full travel rights? That would the UK, continuing to try to play "Divide-and-rule" in the 21st century.

"We need an immigration system that ensure Britsh young people more jobs" Next to a neatly dressed young black woman on a tube train.

WTF is that about? Maybe what the UK needs is an education system that ensures young people more (well paid) jobs?

My impression of the UK employment market is non UK nationals are taking up jobs in things like toilet cleaning, coffee shops, bar work and all night bakeries.

Not the sort of well paid (not too demanding) office jobs young British people seem to fantasize will magically drop into their laps post Brexit (unless they fantazise about being a Premier League Footballer, but that might take some effort). Who do they think they are? One of Jacob Rees Moggs children?

Or the shot of a bull fight with "These are animals, not entertainment"

Since when has the EU had anything to do with encouraging bull fighting?

Entirely a Spannish and French thing. And how would the UK leaving the EU improve things for the bulls?

"Because... it's the EU, innit" perhaps?

About as related to the EU as the colour of UK passports.

According to the EU the Euro is the only currency in 19 member states.

The last time I did maths 28-19 = 9 states that are in the EU but don't have the Euro. Sounding not quite mandatory, is it not?

"London has been the global financial centre for Europe for how long?"

Who cares? Without frictionless trade across the UK/EU border it's status is f**ked, which might explain why 100s of Bn of Euros were transferred recently out of the City of London to offices still within the EU, like Dublin and Frankfurt.

"SJW has become a derogatory term and for good reason."

By right wing Aholes everywhere. Starting to sound like a bit of a troll again.

"The EU relies on UK intelligence as the EU isnt actually that good, particularly with criminals and terrorists abusing the EU openness."

Not able to answer the statement, so you answer a different one. Troll warning level is climbing.

"The world is bigger than the EU. The world does not stop at EU borders. Just because the UK gets a small say in EU matters it is insular."

And by extension is vastly bigger than the UK on its own.

So if the UK gets a "small" say in EU matters it will have a very small say in relating to any bigger entity.

Which means when the UK goes out there what does it offer?

A market of 60 million , when it was part of a market of 550 million.

A financial center that's on the wrong side of a tariff wall with the worlds 2nd largest currency?

Nuclear weapons the UK could sell off to someone (no questions asked)?

When the delusional aholes who voted Leave did so most of them seemed to be thinking fondly, not of the UK (as it is) but the UK + The British Empire

That was a formidable global institution, with land areas comparable to the US, Russia and China (since it included Canada and India).

But UK - The British Empire --> Not much to be honest.

It's not "Project Fear," it's "Project Reality."

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Re: "There isnt? So you wouldnt advocate rejoining the EU?"

When you try to put words in my mouth you sound quite like a troll.

I think the current UK deal gives it significant privileges other members don't enjoy. If the UK were suddenly to decide to rejoin it would not get those terms back. IOW it'd get the deal everyone else gets. The UK walked out on the EU, not the other way around. You'd be delusional to think you'd get those back, as you would be in expecting any EU institutions to automatically come back to the UK.

"The issue you seem to miss with that is a delusional fuckwit wouldnt know because of their delusion and instead would think they are right regardless of fact. "

So let's see that means

a) You're not likely to admit you could be wrong. Ever.

b) How about the fact that the NHS claim was bu***hit, and admitted as much with days of it appearing? Or most impact assessments show the UK worse off post Brexit? Or the claim Leave sent 1000 000 000 lies (that's about 16 for every man, woman and child in the UK) to its (very carefully selected) group of leave voters to ensure they voted the "right" (or should that be far Right?) way? That's not a Marketing campaign. That's a Black propaganda campaign of the sort the CIA used to engage in. Feeding cherry picked bu***hit to carefully selected marks to wind them up and let them run. I wonder if they'd be allowed to for a 2nd referendum?

"If you join the EU you surrender your country, your currency and in return your a member of the EU."

Ahh, they authentic voice of a kwitter.

The hysterical tone says it all.

9 countries in the EU do not use the Euro. So no you don't "surrender your currency" and last I heard all EU countries still run their own tax, foreign and home policy, with the results that should be obvious to most Reg readers.

This sort of drivel has proved very convenient for British politicians and civil servants over the years. "It's the EU wot made us do this. Blah. Blah.."

And what happened when the British Parliament asked for a say in this sovereignty that this process was supposed (because in reality it won't) bring back to Blighty by the Conservative govt?

Basically "You're supposed to have sovereignty. You're not supposed to actually use it (to question the government on the plans it didn't have). Go away and stop bothering us"

I don't think the EU is perfect but it gives the UK

a) A very big, closely located market for goods and services (especially financial, which are 3x what the UK mfgs)

b) It's social justice requirements put a bottom to how badly UK employers can treat their work force, which have historically been pretty s**t.

c) It puts a limit on how bad UK governents (or rather their data fetishist senior civil servants) can spy on their people.

d) It gives the UK a say in EU wide issues and the leverage to implement solutions individual countries cannot.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"There isnt? So you wouldnt advocate rejoining the EU?"

I "advocate" not being stupid and realizing the UK has a pretty sweet deal as it stands, despite what a vast swath of the press in the UK tell people.

But critical thinking amongst kwitters was never your strong point, was it? Otherwise you'd have spotted most of their complaints were a) Down to successive British govt f**kups the EU has nothing to do with and is entirely an internal UK matter and b) The Home Office.

OTOH those deals seemed mostly to benefit businesses right to treat their staff like (to coin a phrase) "disposable work units"

And I quite like the sound of the "Transparency and Money Laundering Regulations"

But I can see a large swath of the EU thinking "Thank f**k they've gone."

The UK often seems to have been a carping, grudging Member, while parts of its Civil Service have Gold Plated EU rules at every opportunity for their own benefit or convenience (again, nothing to do with Brussels. Entirely a UK problem).

So no I don't have a serious problem with re-joining, but I'd expect the EU would not be generous with the terms.

Do you have a serious problem admitting you're a delusional f**kwit? Or were you one of those who fell for AggregateIQ's targeted lying campaign?

I also don't have a problem with you admitting either of those statements.

Because the time is coming when we'll all be seeing who was really telling the truth about "Project Fear" or "Project Reality." Wheather it's full speed ahead for the "Sunlit uplands" or right into the past of the s**tstorm.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

You can't jump off and say, "Don't worry about it, we'll figure it out" when you're halfway down.

Except that is what the Leave campaign did do.

That's what happens when you trust people whose degrees are in concocting plausible and logical sounding bu***hit.

The British people (the smarter ones) will learn the meaning of the phrase "Never trust a Tory posh boy."

John Smith 19 Gold badge

The interests of the Conservative party are far more important to the PM and her ministers

than any damage that will be done to everyone"

As they always were.

This whole process has been about

a) Keeping the Parliamentary Conservative Party together

b) Killing off UKIP.

In both cases job done. Kippers. Smoked.

The wrecking of the UK economy is (in their eyes) a small price to pay for clinging to power (and a number of their disaster capitalist members will do rather well out of the chaos as a bonus).

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"the winner gets in to implement their ideas and we have another vote after a few years. "

Except this is a referendum.

There is no "After a few years" bit

Did you think there is some sort of "second chance" if you and your pals f**k this up?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

At least leave isnt confused, we want out.


You want "out"

Would that be Norway "out"? Norway+ "out" ? Canada "out"? Turkey "out"? Totally bespoke "out" ? F**k everybody "out" ?

Now it's decision time and all the little Leave sub groups have zero agreement with each other. *

*But just enough to f**k up the whole British economy in the meantime by winning a referendum by 13:12.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

I suggest that it's "experience", and it's still happening today.

You mean all those people whose lives didn't match their (vastly over inflated and unjustified) ambitions?

Those people who need someone to blame for their failures?

Yes, I think you're onto something."Blame the foreigns" is a time honored tactic.

But I think Dominic Cummings found them first.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Of course not, you're not stupid.

Kwitters voted to support what was basically a blank sheet of paper, to be filled in later.

That doesn't sound too smart to me.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

The UK is under no obligation to secure the EU's borders, other than.. being a good neighbour.

That's the sort of thick headed Little Englander thinking that makes the EU want to have a hard border.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Why? What is it with the tyrannical idea of subjugating everyone to 'our will'?

Because that is (essentially) what successive generations of British governments have thought they had the right to do with the EU despite the facts..

a) The EU is a group of 28 countries.

b) France and Germany were already major economies and were founder members.

c) The UK provides the smallest proportion of all EU bureaucrats. Even Romania provides more.

d) Cameron pulled his MEP's from the Europe wide Conservative grouping so was not plugged in with like minded parties across Europe when he presented his Brexit proposals.

There's having a sense of history and there's having a sense of entitlement that's bordering on the f**king delusional.

Freedom! Diodes Inc saves Scottish fab from closure in £50m buyout

John Smith 19 Gold badge

IIRC Diodes also bought up the old Ferranti operation in Oldham

They were power semiconductors. In analogue (or analog) cutting edge line width is not the absolute requirement. These are very low prices given the price for setting up a new fab from a green field site is reckoned to be in the $Bn range.

Fujitsu pitched stalker-y AI that can read your social media posts as solution to Irish border, apparently

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"when vehicular traffic was restricted to 20 checkpointed crossings"

IIRC there is about 1 road across the border for every mile of it.

IE about 300 of them.

AIUI stopping stuff going across the border during "The Troubles" was a massive PITA and not very successful. I'm guessing the UK could have deployed some of the stuff developed for Viet Nam ("McNamara Fence" AKA Igloo White) as planted sensors to detect foot and vehicle traffic.

A cordon of drones? With high altitude units covering long swaths with more numerous ones ready to get in close for ANPR? They'd be logistics nightmare to maintain of course.

Just another part of the that growing (negative) "Brexit Dividend" the Kwitters banged on about during the referendum campaign.

Civil liberties groups take another swing at Brit snooping regime in Euro human rights court

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"The problem is they have already got more data than they know what to do with."

For these people that is not a problem

They simply don't care. Because...


We wants it.

We wants it


John Smith 19 Gold badge

Data fetishism

It's not a sane policy. It's a personality disorder

They want all data all the time. Forever

They don't really know why. They just do.

And they probably are a PPE graduate (but not always).

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

John Smith 19 Gold badge

He's got that smug look.

"Yeah, I'm a corporate stooge"

"And you know I'm a corporate stooge"

"And I know you know I'm a corporate stooge."

"And there's not a damm thing you can do about it."

"What are you going to do, eh? Nothing."

That's why he's got that smug look.

But I bet there are people who could do something about it.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Getting Honeywell to front them pretty smart

Getting Resideo to provide the back end.

Not so smart.

F**k me sideways. 5 days? For a thermostat? And p**s poor communications between them and their customers.

Their "anonymous server farms in unknown jurisdictions" cloud infrastructure "Cannot cope"?

I thought the whole f**king point of a cloud was "Capacity on demand"?

Does this sound like a company that's "Let's sell the concept, then we'll get someone to implement it" to you?

British cops told to scrap 'discriminatory' algorithms in policing

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Let me note

Correlation <> causation

Models with (hidden) positive feedback will drive an outcome to an extreme endpoint.

But is "predictive policing" the cause or the effect?

Cause my gut reckons quite a lot of this is due to something like this

El Reg eyes up Article 13 draft leak: Will new Euro law give Silicon Valley more power? Some lawyers think so

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Copyright's a good idea *if* it's easily enforcable by individuals

Then it can create more independence for creators.

As for this BS about copyright for 70+ years.

Stop Disney f**king up the legislative process.

For them it's all about the rat.

Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear

John Smith 19 Gold badge

No that's not "Upcycling"

That's out and out fraud.

It's like low rent "waste disposal" companies that will get rid of your very complex chemical sludge for cents on the $.

How did you think they do it?

Brexit-dodging SCISYS Brits find Galileo joy in Dublin

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"how about acknowledging that sheer amount of bollocks and lying that went off before"

Starting with Dominic Cummings use of stolen Facebook data (through a third party analytics company) to send tailored lies ads to about 3 million clueless banjos disaffected social media products users that

a) All their dreams would come true if they just voted Leave

b) Their worst nightmares would come true if the UK remained in the UK. Like the whole population of Turkey would come to the UK. (No doubt led by "Boris the Turk" Johnson)

And wheather or not those statements were true (or if they were diametrically opposite in some cases) he did not give a f**k about.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

I think I now see what the "Brexit dividend" is

It'll be in the £Bn alright

But it'll have a minus sign in front of it.

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

John Smith 19 Gold badge
IT Angle

Even better than Google.

They charge the product for their service first

You can tell this is a real 21st century internet company alright.

The only place this guy knows the word ethics from is a dictionary.

Can you get much more "personal" (and sensitive) data than your DNA?

Boffins debunk study claiming certain languages (cough, C, PHP, JS...) lead to more buggy code than others

John Smith 19 Gold badge

One more time.....

Correlation is not causation.

And if you can't even duplicate the results....

As an old IT proverb has it "You can write FORTRAN in any language."

Underfunded HCI startup Maxta hits the buffers as VC cash runs out

John Smith 19 Gold badge

I always smell astroturfing when someone posts AC.

Just saying.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs

John Smith 19 Gold badge

" In what sense does that make us a shoe-in to be slotted straight onto it?"

Oh that's easy.

Because the UK is special

At least among its Brexit supporting assorted millionaire back bench MP's, media tycoons and businessmen of uncertain wealth sources who are sooo keen on this.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"a slap round the back of the head by now for repeatedly trying to fit the square

through the triangle hole."

Yes, the more I see of May's "thinking" the more I get a feeling she on the spectrum for ASD.

Someone one with no empathy with an inability to read people is not exactly what you want in the leader of a country moving toward a colossal s**tstorn.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"The UK never ceded control on anything, "


And that's such a terrible thing because??

No really, why is that so bad?

Oh, because the UK is not leading such a group?

It's not "more equal" than the rest.

It's not exceptional be it's not "special."

Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers' voices to biometric database

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Because they've got to get that Govt ID card scheme populated somehow.

And clean data for such a very large DB is very hard to come by.

The very thin end of a very long wedge.

I'd say "F**k right off" but that would also be a recording of my voice.

Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"it's not any sane version of any of the originally-agreed models for Brexit. "

You mean there was an actual sane version of Brexit where the UK gets an even better deal with the rest of the EU than the one it's already got (which from the PoV of the other 27 is pretty f**king cushy) and yet stays inside the free market?

And people actually thought the rest of the EU would sign up to that?

Here's my rule.

When bad s**t happens and keeps on happening follow the money.

For those who know "The Night Manager" ask yourself "Who is the real Richard Roper?"

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD

John Smith 19 Gold badge
IT Angle

One of those things you need to consider if you want to be really global

I sometimes wonder how many databases and bespoke software systems would be easier to use to support international customers if their developers had actually checked what the ISO/UN standards on things like telephone numbers (mobile or landline) are.

2 and 3 letter abbreviations are available, as is telephone number length and IIRC standards for name lengths as well. as opposed to using roll your own homebrew versions.

Nationwide UK court IT failure farce 'not the result of a cyber attack' – Justice Ministry

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"It's not a cyber attack"

They've just exceeded the row limit in the Access database running this PoS.*

*AFAIK the repeated efforts to bring the UK courts system into the 1990's has been ongoing for most of the last 2 decades.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Surprised that a government department got off their asses* and did something? Yes"

Continue being surprised.

That was a state official working for his state,

The F in FCC stands for Federal

And it's they, lead by their leader "Sweet" Pai that is doing the knuckle dragging.

This is a (small) start to penetrating the Big Telco wall of BS about their supposed Broadband availability (although this doesn't address that) and cell reception (which it does)..

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