* Posts by John Smith 19

14952 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Chirp unveils free tier of shouting-at-IoT devices audio net tech

John Smith 19
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And because there's very little background noise in the near-ultrasonic range

Interesting.

I've heard that when TV's had ultrasound remote controls they could be fooled by jingling coins. Presumably the "chink" produced noise that was broadband and loud enough to spoof the (very simple) channel changing protocol used.

I imagine your system is much more resistant.

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John Smith 19
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Go

"chirp at the beginning of each Hyperwave transmission"

No, that would be a James Blish novel called (IIRC) The Quincunx of Time.

There's an old PopSci article about doing a 2bps spread spectrum data stream that can sent over a TV audio channel to activate toys (developed by a toy mfg).

The big challenge is the noise issues in free space transmission. Industrial environments can be very noisy. High pressure air (used for driving some valves) can screech at the sound barrier.

So yes a system that can do reasonable data rates surrounded by broad spectrum and high amplitude noise is pretty clever. The question of course is wheather it's more power efficient than just leaving the radio transceiver on?

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UK taxman outlines its CHIEF concerns for customs IT systems

John Smith 19
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You talking about Quick Build (QB)?

Yes, I think so.

TBH I did look it up but I haven't archived the information.

It was one of those things that was quite popular in some areas and ICL definitely licensed it and created their own version, so hiring with generic skills would only go so far, and of course the ICL MF architecture, arguably better but less well known than the 360/370/4090/whatever of today.

Given the time frame was late 70's, early 80's senior devs in their 40's would be in their late 70's? PFY's would be considerable younger (although not necessarily more spry).

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John Smith 19
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IT Angle

I wonder how many codgers are still mentis enough to work on the 4GL it was written in?

It's a 70's 4GL that ICL licensed and (apparently) customized, so you need people with the necessary ICL version experience.

Sounds like an article for "Computer Resurrection" to me.

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John Smith 19
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"Donald and Boris are here to protect you."

Not to mention Rupert and Vladimir.

You are indeed safe in their hands.

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John Smith 19
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But wait, has not HMG just relaeased it's planned "White Paper" after 2 years of convulsions

on the subject?

Surely this will give unprecedented levels of clarity on all aspects of the post Brext world?*

*I'm f**king with you. The real SitRep is FUBAR, just like the day the 13-12 "landslide" was announced.

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Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

John Smith 19
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Re: Back in my day. all you needed was screwdrivers, insulating tape and penknife

True.

I still recall an old Greybeard talking about using a screwdriver as a stethoscope to listen to how well a disk drive was working.

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US drug cops snared crooks with pre-cracked BlackBerry mobes – and that's just the start

John Smith 19
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Gimp

t's us vs.them. Surrendering..is unthinkable. Existential threat. Give us more resources.

Etc, etc, etc.

The usual plea from any data fetishist.

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UK.gov is ready to talk data safeguards with the EU – but still wants it all

John Smith 19
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The problem is at Westminster and more precisely in the Executive

You could also make a good case for some departments p**s poor implementation of EU rules.

I'd start with that designated "Centre for Evil," the Home Office. Borders are its jurisdiction.

I'd give strong runners up prizes for the Ministry of Justice (rather a "Euro" name, don't you think?) who are responsible (although you might not believe it) for the Courts, the Probation Service and the Prisons.

I'm not sure who runs the Detention Centers, where people have been kept in some cases for a decade or more because the relevant Dept can't seem to sort out their f**king paperwork.

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John Smith 19
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"I won't refer to him by the cutesy name "BoJo""

Indeed.

"Johnson" is an old American slang term for a male member.

And as I've always thought of him as a complete cock...

"I am deeply ashamed of my time in the Bullinghma Club."

Was he f**k.

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John Smith 19
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"his hand was..forced if he didn't want to start being considered responsible for the mess."

True (and because in fact he is partly responsible for this mess)

Didn't stop him getting the Ministerial car back to London did it?

Because getting into a mini cab is sooo undignified (especially if like him you have a little extra round the camp fire).

As far as he's concerned "principles" are the plural of "principle," a word he's seen in a dictionary, sometime.

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John Smith 19
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The paradoxical desire to want and not want something at the same time is delusional.

Which seems to be the Brexitieers position.

As for those who voted for them I feel like I'm in Star Wars (Ep 9. The Empire hasn't a Clue)

Tech: I've powered up the droid and recorded what it said

Me:: Play it.

"I voted to make Britain stronger.... Keep fisherman in jobs....my family all voted Leave...I won't say"

Me: WTF is this gibberish? Did the Empire use EMP on its memory?

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John Smith 19
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"What I want to know.what's in it for the likes of..Farage, A. Banks,.Johnson and the rest of

that scurvy crew?"

That's the question you should always ask when a politician (or wannabe politician, or bankroller of politicians)

The big one is Rees-Mogg, who's Somerset Capital set up an Irish branch and who's on £20k/month for 35 hours "work" (that's his declare pay. He's also on a dividend of unknown size). Not bad for a History graduate, eh?

Somerst Capital (supposedly) specializes in "Emerging markets" but I'd have thought China and India have already "emerged" from being 3rd world countries.

Maybe he's looking to turn the UK into an "emerging market opportunity" ?

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Farewell then, Slack: The grown-ups have arrived

John Smith 19
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So MS will launch a "free" client then run all the competition into the ground and...

SOP at Redmond.

No change there.

All the while telling the gullible "Of course you have a choice (to join us). We just want you to be happy "(and use our for-pay products which we have a real monopoly over because we've convinced your PHB's that they can't live without us)

People will fall for the "Ohh it's free, and we can trust MS," because they always do, despite all the evidence they shouldn't.

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John Smith 19
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It basically makes the hipster devs never have to leave it.

OMG

Slack is hipster EMACS

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Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

John Smith 19
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Headmaster

it works everywhere, it has a big library.

Library(s) (or rather libraries).

But you're right.

They are all pretty big.

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John Smith 19
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Actually, this has already been said about Python. Many times over.

True.

Think I'll still learn it though.

It looks good enough to get the job done.

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Micro Focus belches as it struggles to digest HPE Software

John Smith 19
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His name is Kevin Loosemore?

Crazy name.

Crazy guy.

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Brit privacy watchdog reports on political data harvests: We've read the lot so you don't have to

John Smith 19
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CA will rise again.

Like those f**kers at Phorn, they will rise. New name, same staff, same business.

The only way to tear the heart out of such business is to make their collection processes a criminal offense.

Or maybe just tear the hearts out of Board members,

With a chain saw.

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UK.gov agrees to narrow 'serious crime' definition for slurping comms data

John Smith 19
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Gimp

The real "crime" to a data fetishist is not having 360degree access to your data 24/7/365

forever.

This desire to acquire personal data, with no limits on what is acquired, or how long it is stored simply makes no rational sense.

Because it's not a rational desire.

It's a personality disorder.*

*Unlike an illness, that can be treated, disorders have to be coped with. There is no cure for them.

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Arch Linux PDF reader package poisoned

John Smith 19
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If you leave stuff by the side of the information superhighway someone will pick it up.

Who knew?

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TalkTalk, UK2 sitting in a tree, not T-A-L-K-I-N-G: Hosting biz cut off after ISP broadband upgrade

John Smith 19
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Re: CRAP CRAP. Why is ANYONE still with them?

Simple.

The same reason people don't change any other service they use.

Inertia.

and TT know this.

It's only when people start walking (and can't be stopped with some "One off special offer" BS) that companies will start (just start) to actually do something about improving themselves.

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

Are they still shipping a copy of every web site you visit to China for "security"

Stalk Stalk Still?

Yet another of the big 5 UK ISP's no one in their right mind would touch with the end of a long sh**ty stick.

The others being Vermin, BT and Murdoch's Minions.

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UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on

John Smith 19
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Secrecy was a great cover for spectacularly bad work.

TBH that would be my suspicion as well (I noted BAe subsidiary walked away from the public national ID card scheme but they very involved in the very secrete "Controlling the Internet" project out of GCHQ).

And where BAe leads, massive cost overruns are sure to follow.

But without inside access it's impossible to know.

Which is why "It's secret" should always be viewed with extreme suspicious as a cloak for "We spent a f**kload of money and achieved little or nothing but we don't want anyone to know because y'know, it could make us look bad."

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

Anyone notice how prominent the Home Office is in this list of clusterf**kery?

Quite prominent in fact.

On the upside

If nationwide surveillance of email, telephone, text message and internet access was implemented by the same incompetent motherfu**ers the UK might still be a relatively free society.

However with secret budgets you can hire the most expensive, who might even be good at their job.

Which would say quite a lot about the priorities of those who have power in the UK.

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Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

John Smith 19
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When they said "Agenda" for a moment there.

I though they'd re hosted the Lotus personal organizer package.

Obviously not.

The only system I've seen where the system actively tries to help you, instead of just sitting there, dumb as a stump.

Oh well.

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Boffins build neural networks fashioned out of DNA molecules

John Smith 19
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This is "well, the implementation is very clever, but what's it good for?" science grants.

It's "computation" in the theoretic, Computer Science definition of the term.

Basically it maps the "image" (by hand) into a piece of DNA.

Run it next to a bunch of other pieces of DNA

Filter it with a process that deactivates less matching DNA and leaves the more matching DNA active.

In principle it could run a very (1000s, millions?) of class classification test in the same time it runs a few. So I guess you could brute force the Traveling Salesman problem (maybe), by enumerating every variation of short paths, then combining every variation of every variation of those short paths to get every variation of the entire full network path, then run them all through selection.

But TBH I think the DNA/RNA/Ribosome is already Turing complete, given it can read a "tape" (the DNA), write a tape (I'm pretty sure ribosomes can be made to generate new DNA strands) and carry out actions based on the contents of that tape.

Carnegie Mellow were working on chemistry based logic gates (with IBM funding) decades ago, using dyes for signal I/O. It never seemed to occur to anyone that what was really needed was molecular sized electron injection and extraction. Photons are 100s of times bigger than most molecules.

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UK.gov told: You're not very good at collecting quality data, are you?

John Smith 19
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Yet another myth busted..

I guessed I'd always figured HMG collected all kinds of internal stat so they could scope the problem.

Y'know, because being able to measure it's size and growth rate (whatever "it" is) gives you some idea if you can get a tender in from a £1m year business or if you need one of "The Usual Suspects (TM)" and their decades long multi £Bn contracts

But obviously the reason why departments don't know this is because they can't be f**king arsed to collect the data in the first place.

That really does make them astonishingly fu**witted.

Special mention to the Home Office and its role as a designated "Center of Evil" in the British government.

Pathetic.

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Hurry up and make a deal on post-Brexit data flows, would you? Think of UK business – MPs

John Smith 19
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UK government policy that Boris Johnson announced of "Fuck business!"

And indeed they will be.

That's what you get when you hire a lazy ex-journo with a dregree in Classics for a Foreign Secretary.

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John Smith 19
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leavers have not..one single argument..how leaving the EU will improve the lot of the British voter

Now that's simply not true.

For any voter who's a competent speculator the wildly swinging exchange rates and commodities prices will be a boom time.

"Cheap holidays in other peoples misery" as The Sex Pistols sang.

Of course such people are already likely in the top 5% of UK earners, but you can never be too rich, can you?

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John Smith 19
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!the UK will have to agree in a much shorter time scale, or risk serious economic damage!

For some that is not a problem.

It's an opportunity.

Currency speculators thrive in markets where currency exchange rates swing wildly.

Now what is it that Sommerset Capital does for a living?

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Euro bank regulator: Don't follow the crowd. Stay off the cloud

John Smith 19
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Holmes

"There may be uncertainty over the jurisdiction where the data is held"

Unless of course it's America.

In which it's simple.

The USG "All your data belong to us."

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Can join up with the U.S. instead.

Well we know there are enough stupid people in the UK who think that would be a great idea.

Of course they don't realize that a UK ruled by Lord High Chancellor Rees-Moog (I think that's got the right sort of historical ring to hit for his liking) would look like a Communist state to Trumps presidency.

But heay they voted Brexit by a 13/12 majority so getting them to believe actually being the 51st state would be child's play.

Amazing what happens when you hollow out an education system to kill critical thinking and the ability to do your own research, is it not?

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John Smith 19
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things brushed under the rug..Euro supporters..vanished once eurosceptics were proven right.

WTF are you talking about?

In what way have eurosceptics been "proved right" ?

Does this have any more meaning than "Taking back control" (A slogan that can mean whatever you want it to mean. IOW it's actually meaningless) or "Brexit means Brexit," a tautology along the same lines as "Blue is Blue" or "Rain is Rain." Also pretty much meaningless.

I will qualify my comments. All the graduates I'd spoken too did degrees on subjects with relevance to the 21st century, where any essays they wrote actually had to relate to the real world, not simply demonstrate (like English, History or Classics) that you could write elegant (but meaningless) bu***hit. Those were the degrees of respectively Gove, Rees-Mogg and Johnson (Farage apparently didn't do a degree).

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John Smith 19
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so many..of pensionable age..difficult..to understand..some people('s)..rights are now over

True.

I wonder if people will look back on Brexit and think "Yeah, that's the time when the old betrayed the young by depriving them of their future for some bu***hit fantasy."

Actually the only real dividing line I found when I asked my British friends how they voted was this.

The Remainers were all Graduates. None of the Leavers had a degree, although I'd say they could have all earned one.

Beyond that no markers for age, ethnicity or gender.

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John Smith 19
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WTF?

remarkably simple

<yoda>

The British people are. Yes.

Elect the government they deserve I think. For forty or more years, yes.

</yoda>

Here's the thing. A bunch of ex PSB politicians have listened to a bunch of ex PSB bankers and believed that financial services is the only thing the UK can really do instead of investing (IE spending money) on education (does the UK have the sh***est foreign language courses in the EU as well? I think so) and encouraging manufacturing on a long term basis.

This has f**k all to do with Europe. Let me repeat. F**k all to do with Europe.

It is entirely a problem (like the Home Offices p**s poor handling of immigration issues) that is

Made In Britain (TM).

By Britons

For Britons.

Let me suggest the real difference between the UK relationship with the US and EU.

With the EU it's impossible for UK politicians and civil servants to kid themselves "They're just an extension of us." With the US that delusion is possible, even when they tell the UK exactly what to do. But then brown nosing the school bully is no doubt a skill many ex PSB's possess.

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John Smith 19
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You made your bed. Now lie in it.

Sadly, they made everybody else's bed as well.

And it's lumpy and the legs are likely to collapse at any minute.

Meanwhile they've f**ked off to the local Hilton (what, did you think the likes of JRM, Redwood, Lawson or Farage use Travel Lodge?) for a decent years rest from their labors.

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John Smith 19
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If calling Leave voters "Banjos" seems a bit harsh..

1) Well Linton Crosby did play you like one with that "Taking Back Control (C Linton Kwesi Crosby 2017) bo***cks didn't he?

2) Realizing you've been played is the first step to not being played again.

3) Thinking out the answer for yourself is the only true freedom anyone has. But remember, thinking without including all the facts you don't want to think about is simply confirmation bias.

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CIMON says: Say hello to your new AI pal-bot, space station 'nauts

John Smith 19
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But less useful, even 790 from Lexx would have been more interesting than this.

I wonder if that's where they got the idea of a screen for a face from?

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John Smith 19
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Is it just me or does that thing look a bit like the clown in Stephen Kings "It" ?

IOW a bit f**king sinister.

In other news

Robot tries Turning Test with German scientist

A game with no winners?

It can float around like a beach ball. That just reminds me of the Rovers in The Prisoner.

Something else you didn't want to be caught by.

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Boffins want to stop Network Time Protocol's time-travelling exploits

John Smith 19
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Facepalm

if your really REALLY depend on time to < 100ms or so

Read the article.

It's all about how tampering with the system time standard enables the attack of other subsystems.

Which it does.

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Micro Focus offloads Linux-wrangler SUSE for a cool $2.5bn

John Smith 19
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We can have our beer and drink it - trebbles all round.

And not get fat.

Don't forget the not getting fat part.

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

John Smith 19
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Bagpuss, Clangers, Ivor the engine and Basil Brush

Not a bad CV and a great deal of happiness brought to many children (and not a few parents)

RIP Peter.

May the Soup Dragon never run out of your favorite flavor.

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

John Smith 19
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Re: Obnoxious Git If the hat fits...

No.

Git 365 is the obvious name in keeping with current MS "Standards"

But "Hubcrap" is probably what it'll end up being, like Skype turned to s**t and various other Redmond "acquisitions"

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Just look at the state of AI today. Literally, look. There's a report on it – plus more ML news

John Smith 19
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Sounds like HMG swallowing the "AI will help re-balance the economy" meme

No doubt these luminaries will receive a salary "Commensurate with their skills in industry"

IE Whatever deal they can screw out of gullible civil servants and their masters.

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Europe's scheme to build exascale capability on homegrown hardware is ludicrous fantasy

John Smith 19
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Any such plan needs to start by recognizing certain painful truths.

"Exascale computing" is a data centre task

And in the data centre the x86 architecture rules.

Yes it's a fu**ing dinosaur of a code museum which Intel have bolted stuff on over the years to make it look like a real processor architecture.

Consider they tried to clean sheet the problem with Itanium and look where that went.

So you need to start by developing the tools to reverse engineer any ISA and reproduce it with a hard wired design. A modern x86 variant has probably close to a 1000 different instructions.

Eliminating microcode is about the only way you'll get a processor which runs faster than Intel on foundry processes. IOW 6502, not Z80. People will point to ARM but the instruction set for ARM was designed to be easy to map into the control signals to internal PLA's, with few instruction formats. It's the smart way to go, if you have a clean sheet to work with.

Compare that to the multiple, baroque instruction formats of the Intel Pentium whatever of today. You're virtually looking at a context free grammar to decide what one to use right there.

So developing the tools that can implement such an arbitrary ISA would see Europe well placed to design any future ISA they wanted,

Historically the drill has been IS --> set of input patterns --> PALs or microcode -->outputs. But with much greater processing power why not go back to actual hard wired gates, eliminating the gate delays of driving the long lines in the PLA's or the microcode ROM addressing?

IOW a toolset from Arbitrary ISA and register set --> logic design --> logic optimization --> chip layout.

Of course if you can make the resulting chip pin compatible as well that would be better.

I'd start trying to do a single processor without any cache. I think that'll be tough enough.

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Wasn't too hard, was it? UK has made 'significant progress' in spy control

John Smith 19
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Gimp

"could possibly pass the test of necessity and proportionality,""

Because it's not?

But then who thinks holding every car number plate going through ANPR for 5 years is either "necessary" or "proportionate" ?

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UK.gov's long-awaited, lightweight biometrics strategy fails to impress

John Smith 19
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Policing needs to be hard and expensive so they are forced to focus on important crime.

As Joseph Wambaugh (who was a former beat cop) put it "Police work is only easy in a police state."

IOW in a free society police work should never be "easy."

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John Smith 19
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Gimp

government Bimetircs Strategy. TL:DR

We are the Home Office (actually we are small cabal of people within the HO and other govt departments)

We are collecting as much of your biometric data as possible.

We will keep it as long as we can (permanently if possible)

We will use it in any way we can think of. We'll try to not let it get stolen, but we're not bothered if it is.

Data fetishism.

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

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Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

John Smith 19
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At a penny (cent ?) a word you'd have to be prolific to earn a living.

Something that's not so much in evidence today in literary matters.

The concept "Write a lot. Sure many will be filler, but some will be killers."

RIP Harlan.

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