* Posts by Tikimon

675 posts • joined 3 Nov 2009

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RoboCop-ter: Boffins build drone to pinpoint brutal thugs in crowds

Tikimon
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Devil

Re: Colour me sceptical

"fixed CCTV cameras, where it could be running 24/7 across thousands of cameras."

And that, children, is the whole point of the exercise. Once those cameras are in place it will be trivial to store, share, sell, search and categorize every image they collect. Mealy mouth assurances of deleted data and "privacy protections" are only "this won't hurt" lies used to calm the victim.

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Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

Tikimon
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Re: A breakfast pint?

WARNING: Barely relevant story follows on how I was drunk by 9 AM once.

Went camping and arrived in the park around 0200 (long drive). One of our number was a little noisy setting up and a disgruntled sleeper appeared in the door of a nearby tent grumping for some quiet. Fully justified, I might add.

Next morning I was first awake, greeted the morning and surrounding mountains with coffee and a smile. Also with a little pipe and some herbal goodness (ahem). So just then that tent opens and a guy climbs out. We both immediately start profusely apologizing to each other! He's clearly a really nice guy and after a minute of this I offer the pipe and say "Hey, you want a hit?" He raises his thermos and says "You want some White Russian?" He had a quart of cold mixed drink in there, and we had a grand time.

So by 0900 we were both pretty trashed, inviting the rest of our crews to join us as they arose. Then we all went for some lunch, they were great guys. So it's not always a bad thing to be drinking early in the morning. You might meet some nice folks.

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Buttonless and port-free: Expect the next iPhone to be as smooth as a baby's bum

Tikimon
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WTF?

Steve's fingers pulling the strings still?

This is pure Steve Jobs "less is more, and screw functionality". The end goal is a featureless monolithic slab - white with patented round corners, of course. You will interact with it through voice and expressive dance. It will stream all sound and imagery to your iSpy wearable, which will project directly into your eyes and play sound through bone conduction. Unfortunately, everyone else will blindly copy them.

Steve Jobs is in Hell in a room with one door. It has a single button beside it labeled CLOSE.

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Virtual reality meets commercial reality as headset sales plunge

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Same basic flaws as 3D TV...

The VR people are missing the same boats the 3D TV people missed. Basically, our eyes and brains don't see the world like they present it. We've been looking at flat media with no depth all our lives and we're used to it so it doesn't seem strange. It IS strange though, and as soon as you move it into 3D the weirdness hits and we get headaches trying to resolve it.

We don't only align our eyes for depth info, things move in and out of FOCUS. Watch the foreground and the background goes a little fuzzy. 3D technology does not reproduce this (it would require serious eye-tracking to do it). The alignment angle does not match the depth-of-field data, and our brains don't know which is right.

Also, we don't see real-world motion as series of sharp-focus stills. If you watch a car go by, the background blurs with motion, or watch the street and the cars blur. Furthermore, the degree of blur indicates speed. VR images are always sharp, which destroys any sense of true motion.

With current tech, our brains get some cues that we're looking at a 3D world, but other cues are terribly wrong and our brains rebel. Until these two basic flaws are solved, VR or 3D of any kind is going to look weird and make people feel ill.

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AI is cool and all – but doctors and patients don't really need it

Tikimon
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Facepalm

This is only surprising to the tech industry

Our benighted tech industry specializes in creating widgets and software that do... well, SHINY! Hey, I made a Thing! Don't really know what it's good for, doesn't replace anything else, but let's convince everyone they need to buy one! Problem is, we don't buy it. Literally. Only the tech press is surprised when that happens.

Seriously look at "wearables" for a prime example. All we've heard for ten years is how Wearables are going to be in everything we buy and will transform our lives! Except they stubbornly have not. Swap out the names - AI, wearables, self-driving - and you find the same breathless insistence that it's the Future Now! Oh, and pay no attention to the failed products behind the curtain.

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Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Tikimon
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Facepalm

If cops had their way...

If our current cops had been around in the past, they would be complaining about people putting locks on their doors and demanding Master Keys to bypass them. Also demanding that houses be built with spy ports in the walls (which only the cops would use, hehehe) because people use curtains and shutters on their windows.

The US Constitution was deliberately written to protect us from that kind of intrusion, and the cops/spooks are determined to ignore and destroy those rights. Gosh, I wonder why nobody likes or trusts the government anymore?

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Tikimon
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Easy good passwords, here I go again...

Apologies if you've seen me bang on about this before. I figure every time it's new to a few more people. It just WORKS! My most clueless users do this with no problem.

Start with a sentence you can remember. SAY IT to yourself silently, and type every first or second letter (depends on length). Capitalize the first letter, add punctuation at the end. This method means it's not necessary to actually remember the password itself! There's no need to remember which letters were changed to what. It's stupid easy.

Example: "What we've got here is failure to communicate" (Cool Hand Luke) becomes

"Whwegoheisfatoco..."

There are no numbers and limited symbols. However it's a random string of letters that real people can actually remember and use. If there's an easier way to remember random-ish passwords, please share!

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Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Tikimon
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Re: Why do I smell...

"I'm with you here, the most common commands are always available muscle memory makes it very easy... I never understood why people dont like it"

Let me clue you in. If you're doing the same thing over and over, it can be good. However if you need to FIND something the Ribbon hides it.

A person can scan through a series of menus in a few seconds. We're good at reading lists, Menus always worked FINE. Ribbons and Docks appeared to Be Different and justify the cost of an upgrade, not because we wanted them. They obscure things behind unlabeled icons and drop-down menus tied to the icons. Looking for a feature is now a nightmare of hovering over every icon on six tabs of cute little pictures. Did they hide that under Format, Layout, or Home?

Most users simply give up rather than play Hide and Seek. I support a shopful of users and they universally hate it. Time and familiarity have not changed their minds.

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Turns out China loves VR. Wires and powerful hardware, less so.

Tikimon
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Is anyone besides Western tech companies suprised?

Ask the MARKET for VR displays and we all demand standalone, light, comfortable products. Only the tech industry - in their La-La-Land separate from our reality - believes that a block of concrete on your head, anchored to one spot by a cable and expensive computer is a good product!

I use the 3D capabilities of my phone constantly but not for VR. I take 3D panoramas and stills of landscapes, sculpture, anything with an interesting shape. We're used to 2D pictures, but they're terrible at capturing an impressive scene. We are primarily visual animals, so viewing something in 3D takes you 90% of the way to Being There. Try it, you'll be surprised at the impact you get from such a simple (and free!) trick.

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New York State is trying to ban 'deepfakes' and Hollywood isn't happy

Tikimon
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How does this affect Impersonators?

Scads of folks making a living based on their resemblance to someone famous. I can't even count the Elvis impersonators I've seen in my life. So now they're illegal? They're using the famous persona in "trade".

Possible loophole? What if we simply don't use the Famous Name? That's not a fake of Paris Hilton, that's "Airhead", a character loosely based on Paris. Etc.

Possible defense? That's not a fake of Paris Hilton, that's modified media of Ellen Carwood, who just happens to look like Paris Hilton, and has given full consent to the alterations.

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Aussie bloke wins right to sue Google over 'underworld' images

Tikimon
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On the "my name search" thing...

While checking out with my groceries one night, I noticed the cashier had an unusual name on her tag. It looked like a Thai name to me, and I planed to search on it to check my guess. In a moment of carelessness I used Google instead of DDG to search for that name. One word, First Name only.

Holy shite. I got pages of hits on her personal life! Her full name, where she lived, when they bought the house and what they paid for it, previous addresses where she lived. Her husband's full name, when and where they got married. It went on and on. All based on her FIRST NAME ONLY. I could have used the search hits to figure out the rest of her life, easy. Google is your One-Stop Stalking Shop.

Granted that she had an uncommon name (for this area) but it was frightening how much of our personal lives are eagerly offered up to any random stranger in a non-specific search. Maybe your name is more common and it's harder to find you specifically, but don't kid yourself that the same details aren't on offer online for you too.

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Tikimon
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Coat

Re: But

"Was he a hitman?"

He wasn't a hit in the UK but he made it big in Japan.

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Tikimon
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Angel

Re: I may be mistaken but...

Don't forget that you're being Bubbled, your search results limited and skewed based on your "personalization". Google arrogantly assumes it knows what you REALLY meant, no matter what you asked for. You never see the same Google as anyone else, your search results will never match theirs. Sometimes you won't see what you wanted at all because it didn't fit Big brother's profiling. Then they insert hits for sites that paid to pollute your search results.

Which is why I use Duckduckgo instead. I get clean, un-twiddled results based solely on my exact search terms. What a concept!

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AI built to track you through walls because, er, Parkinsons?

Tikimon
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JAMMING TECH, PLEASE

Where are the geeks knocking out RF and IR jammers for our homes and cars? We need an active jammer, not just random radiation. Shouldn't be hard to project ghost images, like submarines do with sonar. Fill your home with a dozen ghosts, and which signal is you now? Have the unit merge your track with a ghost now and then to confuse their find-the-human algorithm. The lovely thing there, is that your widget could project ghosts when you're not even there.

One each for home and maybe workplace, another for the car should do it OK, get to it lads!

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Tikimon
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Re: Prototype for proving theory

"Why is Google Maps suddenly allowing me to go inside my own and other people's houses?"

Because Google has eagerly embraced the Dark Side. They don't even pretend otherwise anymore!

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Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

VirtualFanboi666 (Microsoft MVP):

"This post is not relevant for this forum, which is only for network errors involving Token Ring on Windows 10 for Elbonian language packs, even though the same diagnosis and fixes apply to a common problem with all versions of Windows for all languages. Please repost your question in the appropriate forum, good luck finding the right one, and too bad about the time wasted. Since the 45 useful replies by users solving their own problems makes Microsoft look like the uncaring, clueless fu**s they are, this post has been locked and will no longer be updated."

Thanks to crap like that from their anointed idiots, a knowledge forum without Microsoft's involvement would work BETTER. Good riddance!

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Done and dusted? Vast storm gobbles NASA's long-lived Mars robot

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Re: Mission at end?

"Seriously, if I were the first Mars colonist, I'd hunt these things down and repurpose them."

And this is why the Pyramids, Colosseum, and so many other historical structures are RUINS. "Nobody's using that, let's dismantle it to scavenge the rocks!" Away, thoughtless jackal!

If I were the first Mars colonist I wold reverently visit these priceless pieces of history and place markers listing their history and accomplishments. Also a sentry gun and a KEEP OFF THE ROVER sign.

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PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

Tikimon
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Devil

Re: Free advertising

Yeah, but not ALL advertising is good! PETA does a good job getting their name in the news, but not in a positive way. Why did El Reg share this here? So we could all point and laugh! PETA doesn't benefit much from the exposure they get over this kind of thing.

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Tikimon
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Facepalm

Re: Undermining Themselves

"PETA like a lot of the hardline charities always seems to let the loopiest members dictate their direction and thus the undermine any valid point they might have."

I'll take that farther. ANY organization will eventually be taken over by the radicals and crazies, no matter how sensible start with. They are willing to devote their life to it, tend to be aggressive and confrontational, and their ideology justifies any action taken. Meanwhile the Normal People leaders who joined to advance a good cause give up and quit. The radicals are like squirrels. Not too bright, but they never, ever, EVER give up and sooner or later they simply wear you down.

And then an organization intended to prevent animal cruelty becomes a running joke, demanding bans on antibiotics (SAVE THE BIOTICS) and property rights for amoebas. That's a little exaggerated today, but just wait.

Activist organizations should have a time limit. Ten years and disband, before the crazies take over.

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NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

Tikimon
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Devil

Re: The moon is a Harsh Mistress

Anybody check the trajectory here? Are the Martians starting to fight back against our invasion of their planet by laser-wielding scout robots?

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Tikimon
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WTF?

Are they zarking kidding???

So NASA thinks a few hours notice could save lives? Somebody smokin' crack!

Daily traffic is bad already, but at least it's all spread out over hours. Announce an asteroid inbound and you'll generate a huge clot of traffic all at once. That will paralyze all but the smallest and most remote towns. When they show miles of stopped cars in disaster movies, they're being accurate for a change.

Specific example: Here in the Deep South where snow is uncommon and shallow, we don't maintain armies of snowplows like up North. A good winter storm can make our roads impassable, and everyone knows it. So when a winter storms threatens icy roads, most people head for home, and perhaps to pick up their kids at school. The sudden surge has paralyzed traffic more than once. In one such incident last year, I knew people who didn't get home for ten hours.

When we have a few DAYS notice, that might help. A few hours can be worse than useless.

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Four hydrogen + eight caesium clocks = one almost-proven Einstein theory

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Homeopathy placebo NOT ok

There's a huge and dangerous error in the "quackery is OK because Placebo Effect" assertion. This argument assumes that the patient has a problem that CAN be fixed through placebo effect and doesn't really need medical help. In those cases patient belief in the quack remedy may indeed trigger the patient's own body to fix it.

In every other case, the patient will waste (possibly critical) time and resources on the homeopathy or other snake oil. They will not get better. They might get worse, possibly to the point of permanent harm that can no longer be helped by Real Medicine. Look no farther than Steve Jobs, who let an easily cured (when it was found) cancer grow while he tried new-age quackery. He finally turned to Real Medicine after a year or two, but it had spread too far and was incurable.

By delaying or preventing useful treatment, quack remedies indeed do harm, sometimes enough to kill the patient. Snake oil should NEVER be given a free pass or credit, it only lets their proponents claim legitimacy and lead more people away from cures that actually work.

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DIYers rejoice: Hitting stuff to make it work even works in space

Tikimon
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Priapism for robots? The gnarly little rover will pop its circuits one day. I'm amused knowing that it will meet Eternity with the equivalent of a proud boner.

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Tikimon
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Re: Us technical/engineering

OMG surely you're forgetting one, I have it anyway. The thickened callus on the forehead from beating it on walls when the palm and knuckle pads fail to resolve the issue.

New product, folks? Wall-mounted Therapy Pad, placed like fire extinguishers in strategic locations? Customizable of course, maybe the company logo would be appropriate for once!

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

Tikimon
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Re: Indeed on the pork ...

NO CAPES!

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'Moore's Revenge' is upon us and will make the world weird

Tikimon
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Planned Obsolescence, rationalized!

"5 years is nothing like the acceptable lifetime of a TV or fridge, imho.:"

Bullseye! No more pesky consumers using a product forever or until it wears out. Now it will simply stop working or become a "HACK ME" sign if you don't dutifully ride the upgrade cycle when they want you to. Companies will be freed of having to support old products, claiming "too hard, legacy" and such.

There's a war on Ownership of Lasting Products, and IOT is a major front in that attack. They want us to either buy the same thing again and again, or keep paying for the same one as long as we have it.

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Ex-US pres Bill Clinton has written a cyber-attack pulp thriller. With James Patterson. Really

Tikimon
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Write the ending first, please!

"the best way to enjoy it is to rip out the final chapter and imagine your own conclusion. He was excellent in character development but lousy with endings."

In fairness to King, this is true of a stunning percentage of books, movies, miniseries, you name it. So many times I've enjoyed the ride, only to be frustrated and annoyed by a panicky "crap, how do we end this?" conclusion.

Extra negative points for a story with a thrown-together ending whose sole accomplishment is to set up the next $@&*! sequel. Crime against humanity.

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Kill the blockchain! It'll make you fitter in the long run, honest

Tikimon
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Re: ...the cat farts...

"I liked the bit about tumble weeds...."

Don't forget the forsaken moaning of the arid wind, broken only by the piercing cry of a distant hawk in the parched, burning sky. Bonus points for a cow skull in the foreground!

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The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

Tikimon
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Devil

And THAT is the key

"Garmins are built for a purpose (fitness tracking) and generally perform it extremely well. "

BUILT FOR A PURPOSE and does it well, what a concept! People want fitness tracking, and Garmin made one that Just Works. Contrary to what tech weenies want to hype about all-singing all-dancing "platforms", people still prefer a purpose-built widget that does its job well. Not to mention, the "platforms" cost too damned much for little extra benefit and some disadvantages.

Personal example: I wear a titanium field watch. Fifteen years and counting, waterproof, indestructible, date and alarm, battery life of two YEARS. Fit for purpose and has been through hell and back. An Apple watch in contrast is expensive, will be unsupported in a few years, battery might last the day, and has all the ruggedness of a newborn infant. Functionally it's a terrible watch, and the promised wonderful extra functions? The few I might use are already handled by my mobile phone.

I'm sure some of you love your e-watch, but my example of "built to a useful purpose" vs "built to hopefully find a use for this someday" still stands.

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International Maritime Organisation turns salty gaze on regulating robotic shipping

Tikimon
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Angel

Re: Tortuga bound

I suspect an autonomous ship would not be a viable target for pirates. With no humans aboard, the pirates have no hostages to threaten to force compliance with their demands. Bury the brains of the ship where they're not easily reached without a cutting torch and a few hours. I find it hard to believe random Somalis could disconnect the steering gear (bypassing the computer) without totally losing directional control of the vessel. Pirate-removal services (lol) can board with weapons free. There are no crewmen hostages to hide behind, no threat to offer to keep the Good Guys away. The pirates' only option would be to fight the professional military coming aboard to kill them, and good luck with that.

Heck, robot ships might END piracy.

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Uber robo-ride's deadly crash: Self-driving car had emergency braking switched off by design

Tikimon
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Angel

Humans see intentions, cars only react afterward

"A normal human driven car would still have run over the cyclist/pedestrian/lemming..."

Speak for yourself, and please stop driving! I posted about this yesterday. Humans excel at something the algorithms utterly cannot do: determining INTENTIONS. I would see a woman with a bike and keep an eye on her, prepared to react if she moved into the road. I don't wait until she's IN the road so I'm ready to react in time to dodge. No self-driving car can do that, nor will they in the foreseeable future.

Humans can also interpret events that cars cannot. A ball rolls into the street - you know a child might follow it, the car would not expect that. There's a dog beside the road - is it preparing to cross the road, eating a french fry, or sniffing a signpost? You can interpret its behavior pretty closely and be prepared.

Game, set and MATCH to humans. Sometimes we're stupid or distracted, but our greater understanding of the world means we're still safer.

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You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

Tikimon
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Re: And that....

"I just cannot imagine WHY anyone wants this guff. Worthless self serving flash in the pan."

WE don't want it, most of us. The tech companies are frothing over it for the data mining it offers THEM. So they push it and push it with endless hype. Modern home! Future! Convenience! SHINY!! So Yer Average Joe buys it, thinking it's The Future. You can't fault the consumer for being led astray by companies who spend millions to accomplish that.

Also, not everyone is aware of the surveillance and security flaws like us tech ninjas. The companies do their best to distract us from noticing or give mealy-mouth promises they are planning to break.

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

Tikimon
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Devil

Not ready for prime time

We have been working for years and years to make autonomous robot assistants, butlers, assembly line workers, etc. The challenges are the same as self-driving cars: See it, Recognize it, Select appropriate action. They may have to deal with complex environments, but they don't change quickly and the droid is in no hurry. As far as I know, none of these are ready for prime time.

How the devil can a fast-moving vehicle See, Analyze, and React any better in a constantly changing environment than a robot assistant in a fairly static environment?

This next criticism addresses the Human vs Machine debate: The cars might be able to spot a pedestrian by the road, might even recognize them as a human. They cannot discern the INTENTIONS of that person, or of another driver. We can, based on their posture, face and other clues you're not consciously aware of. How many times do you KNOW what the other driver is going to do, letting you prepare to dodge or brake? Staying alive on my motorcycle depends on that ability. A ball rolls into the street - you know a child might follow, the AI does not. Self-driving cars cannot discern intentions, and won't be able to in my lifetime.

I support the idea of assisted driving like the Tesla. Let the machine do the drudge work, and the human hits the brakes for situations the machine doesn't handle right.

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Biometrics: Better than your mother's maiden name. Good luck changing your body if your info is stolen

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Re: US Verification

Social Security Cards in the US have said different things on the front across the bottom edge. The progression is very informative.

First, nothing.

Later, "For social security purposes - Not for identification"

Later, "For social security and tax purposes - Not for identification"

Now? Blank. Your SSN is your National ID number!

It's also tailor-made to be your "primary key" in the myriad of databases storing info about you. Joy.

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Zuck to meet Euro MPs for ‘please explain’ session

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Merely "flailing", nothing to see here

I use "Flailing" to describe fight scenes in movies that have no real bearing on anything but the effects budget. The Bad Guy will NOT be stopped, the Good Guy will NOT be killed, since the movie isn't over yet. You know the fight is just a noisy dance scene, so you don't feel suspense or worry. They may as well be sparring at the gym. Maybe an unimportant minor character will die off, but nothing really changes.

The hearings, the replies, it's all just flailing to give the appearance that something is happening. The Bad Guy will NOT be reined in and fined into oblivion, the Good Gals/Guys will NOT be protected from unrestrained surveillance and the sale of our personal lives.

Call me when... IF something actually happens.

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Re: Not all mobes are smart

"This idea also assumes that people have one phone. What if you have work and personal phones?"

That's TODAY. Tomorrow the government will require you to carry one of a selection of government-approved models that have been properly backdoored. If you want to carry another one, fine, but you WILL have the Orwell Tracker on you or face jail time.

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UK.gov expects auto auto software updates won't involve users

Tikimon
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Mushroom

Re: Over the air you say?

"Wanna bet there won't be a legally mandated snoop feature added?"

Ya beat me to it! I'll go further. This is the beginning of a government-accessible backdoor to automobiles. Expect real-time tracking, monitoring of the occupants and conversation via camera and microphone, and remote-shutdown. If the cops decide they want you, the car might actually lock the doors and drive itself to a police station. Automatic non-user-controllable updates and legally mandated "most recent version" will make sure you have the most recent spyware and cannot disable any of it.

Every bit of that prediction is based on current and recent practice by governments and the companies that won't stand up to them. Believe me, I'd rather be wrong.

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Apple to devs: Give us notch support or … you don't wanna know

Tikimon
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FAIL

YES, IT'S A BAD IDEA

"They don't admit that it's a bad idea because it isn't a bad idea - it maximises the amount of screen space that your app has with the existing hardware"

Funny, my Galaxy doesn't need to cripple the screen so the hardware can keep up. "Maximizing screen space" means using ALL of it, not leaving some dead.

Apple never admits error, why would they back off on this one? "Notch" is Newspeak for Dead Zone, and it exists solely to pretend the screen is a given length, when it's really only as long as the center under the Dead Zone. Neither function nor user experience is improved by it.

Would you buy a television with a big black dead zone poking in at the top? I seriously doubt it.

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It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

Tikimon
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Megaphone

User-friendly method for good passwords

After years of frustration I finally found a trick that my users can work with, but creates good passwords. Maybe it's too simple to seem legit. I dunno, but here goes again...

Base the password on an easily-remembered sentence. Easy example: "These aren't the droids you're looking for." Take the first two letters of each word, capitalize the first, add punctuation to the end. That gives:

Tharthdryolofo!!! It's not necessary to remember that mess of letters. Run through the sentence to yourself as you type. My least technical users can do this and love it.

Is it perfect? NO! Are there recognizable words to dictionary attack? NO! Can a user remember and use this near-random password? YES! It's the best compromise between random passwords and usability I've found.

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Drone 'swarm' buzzed off FBI surveillance bods, says tech bloke

Tikimon
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FAIL

Naivete and lack of imagination

It takes a special kind of numbskull to adopt a new widget or technology, and assume their adversaries will not use that same tech against them AND find countermeasures to it. Anyone with the least grasp of history should ANTICIPATE this reaction, not act surprised.

"Wow, we have an awesome new game-changing Thing that will give us a huge advantage in our war on crime/jihadis/freedom/badgers/whatever! And nobody else will ever think of it/steal it/copy it!" Seriously?!?

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The steaks have never been higher: Swiss Lidl is selling local cannabis

Tikimon
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Angel

Re: Not just Lidl

"High THC content does nothing more than get one seriously wasted and can remove the pleasure from desiring no more than a light high"

Did you really say that as an argument? If you only want a light high, only smoke a little. Every stoner I know figured that out without much trouble.

Here are TWO good reasons for high-content weed. First, it's typically sold by weight. Weed with more kick costs less per unit of Chill (lol) and goes much farther before running out. Second, smoking weed means burning it. There are no known carcinogens in pot smoke, but plenty of regular combustion products. High-THC weed means smoking LESS to get the same high. Never ever buy the cheap stuff, it's bad for your wallet and health.

Game, Set, and MATCH for high-THC pot.

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Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA

Tikimon
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Devil

"I suggest putting a dummy hand complete with extended thumb on the end of the arm. "

I really wouldn't. Somewhere in the galaxy, that gesture is a mortal insult and an accepted shorthand method of declaring war. Somewhere else, it means "Bring that Tesla coil over here and bugger me senseless, Big Borg". Somewhere else it means "Kill the defeated gladiator", elsewhere it means "NICE TITS", a few light-years away "Are there Donuts at the next exit?".

The stony silence and stillness of mannequins is probably the best choice in this case. One can't be too careful with gestures around unfamiliar cultures.

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'Alexa, listen in on my every word and send it all to a shady developer'

Tikimon
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Re: Does anybody else notice...

I live with my wife and talk to myself anyway. Occasionally I have furious rows with myself and might not speak to me for hours. Bastard.

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

Tikimon
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Unhappy

Re: Life Aboard A Colony - Small Biomes are unstable

Show of hands - who has kept a fish tank? A 20-40 gallon or larger tank is reasonably manageable. The cute desktop 2-gallon tanks are a nightmare. It takes a much smaller change to knock the small tank out of whack, since that change is a larger percentage of the total environment. Thus, any imbalance tends to run quickly out of control. These micro-colonies will face the same issues. I wonder if it's even possible to create a sustainable, STABLE biome in such a small area.

Socially, the effect will be even stronger. Any small group of radicals will be a relatively large percentage of the population, giving them outsized influence. The population is relatively small, so it takes less effort to force changes on everyone. Biological concerns aside, I seriously doubt our species' ability to keep a stable society long enough to reach the target. Every organization formed with the best of intentions is eventually taken over by aggressive radicals intent on destroying the original founding values.

We need cold sleep, or we're stuck here.

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Oh dear... Netizens think 'private' browsing really means totally private

Tikimon
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: re Long version

"It's called Stupid User Glossover."

Only if you're a smug jerk. Don't blame the users! The blame lies with Misleading Marketing. "Unlimited Broadband" and "Private Browsing" have clear meanings that The Average Joe has every right to expect they mean when they see them used somewhere. The tech industry has misused and abused these words into a kind of Newspeak, where words mean their opposites. The whole purpose is to DECEIVE THE CONSUMER. Nobody is trying to stop them (it's a clear case of fraud) so it tends to succeed.

The consumers are deceived by aggressive and consistent misinformation campaigns. It doesn't make the users stupid. It shows the stupidity and dishonesty of the tech industry. Rather than rail at "stupid users" why don't we attack the dishonest companies who make lies and exaggerations their main marketing strategy? Say "Private" and by God it will be or you will be sued for fraud and deceptive advertising.

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SpaceX finally Falcon flings NASA's TESS into orbit

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Was that seriously the first thing that you thought of?

Here, in these politically-charged forums? Where people approve or condemn based solely on whether something aligns with their ideological beliefs? Yep, it was the first thing he thought of!

Nasty old exploiter Tesla (owned by a Rich Guy so it's evil) can't be allowed credit for anything good. So they land and re-use first stages that NOBODY ever did before? They're still an awful company because they didn't clean up the second stages that nobody ever has. Evil Tesla! Bad! Bad!

Gah...

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We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

Tikimon
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Disingenious

Oh stop bashing the poor misunderstood things. They're quite capable of successful operational deployment! It just depends on how you define the mission. They would be simply breathtaking in the right roles, such as:

Target Drone - They can draw off fighter opposition and force both ground and air elements to waste time and ordnance trying to shoot them down. Given the amazing random-number direction changes built into the navigation system, they're well-equipped to evade missile attack.

KamiKaze - Highly effective ground attack strategy. If they're going to crash anyway, may as well take out a target. It might only need slight changes to the automatic landing profile, no new approach method is needed so a huge cost-saver there.

PsyOps - Relentless buzzing attacks can destroy the morale and fighting effectiveness of poorly-rested and enemy combatants. This little-used effect can be worth a regiment of troops! Program costs can also be offset by posting advertisements on the drones, which will be seen by a large audience of consumers during repeated passes over the target.

Area Denial - Given the high percentage of "pork" involved in the construction of the drones, anywhere one crashes will be "unclean" and off-limits to Arab opponents. This can be a knock-on effect for KamiKaze operations, or a specially-targeted strike on enemy headquarters, assembly areas, or recreation facilities.

Politicians never have the imagination for military matters...

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Facebook admits: Apps were given users' permission to go into their inboxes

Tikimon
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Facepalm

Re: RE: Are there really so many people so stupid...

NONE of them are stupid. Business models of not directly charging for the service has been used for decades for many different products. None of them spied on you and sold your personal life to strangers for profit. Television (in the US) was a good example of such an ad-supported product. Note that many people were happy to pay for cable service to get rid of the ads.

It is NOT obvious that "free"" equals "spying and privacy violation". That's a fairly new trick to play on consumers and carefully not talked about in sales pitches. It's also NOT the only way to pay for free services. That's the line repeated by the snoopers to justify themselves but it's a total lie.

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2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

Tikimon
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Siri/Google != HAL

"nowhere close. Not even remotely."

SECOND THAT. HAL was a discrete entity, a digital individual of which there was ONE instance. HAL truly understood language. He understood the meaning and subtext of a conversation, well enough to psychologically evaluate the meatsack astronauts during their conversations. He had his own reactions and made decisions for himself.

Siri and its ilk are the Interface for a series of algorithms. NONE of the so-called digital assistants understand language. They have been trained to respond to This with That. They have a large data set and large collection of Possible Responses, but they don't think or understand.

HAL 9000 (in the context of the story) was a self-aware artificial intelligence. Siri et. al. are modern Mechanical Fortune Teller machines.

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