* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Nonprofit OpenAI looks at the bill to craft a Holy Grail AGI, gulps, spawns commercial arm to bag investors' mega-bucks

DougS Silver badge

Artificial General Intelligence

Doesn't have to do everything a human can do to be useful. If it could do everything an 8 year old or a learning disabled adult could do it would still be a huge breakthrough (and cause a crisis for society/government) as it could do at least half the jobs that people do now.

Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good

DougS Silver badge

Re: Industry Lobby

Apple cares about fixing the security holes they use to jailbreak, not so much the jailbreaking itself. The people doing that would probably not buy an iPhone if they couldn't jailbreak, so it is just extra money for Apple versus them getting an Android to hack.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "But there isn't any."

They are talking about routers that use SDRs, and rely on software to restrict on what bands they may transmit.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Industry Lobby

That assumes the average consumer knows or cares that their router is bug infested. They don't, and the only way their routers get updated at all is if it has automatic updates. If it does, they don't know when it stops receiving updates.

1% of people not upgrading because they install third party software is not a concern for them, anymore than Apple truly cares about the 1% who jailbreak or Samsung about the 1% who root.

DougS Silver badge

Hunting down interference is easy

You just need an antenna on a vehicle's roof and to drive by their house. If you can't find any interference from that range then their interference isn't harming anyone.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Industry Lobby

Why would the industry lobby care? The 1% of people who use alternate firmware are still buying routers from them. It doesn't matter if your 10 year old router is still supported by those, you are going to want to buy new hardware so you can use something other than 802.11b. Even if you bought a router last year, you are going to want to upgrade to get WPA3 security and 802.11ax/wifi6 features.

Some people see conspiracy theories in everything, even when they don't make any logical sense.

DougS Silver badge

Such ignorance

The equivalent to make routers you can't load new software into is requiring electricians to install receptacles and switches using rivets instead of screws so the homeowner can't fix/alter them. I'm sure that would prevent a few fires or deaths by electrocution each year, from people who don't know what they are doing trying to replace a light switch on their own.

The correct fix to people modifying firmware to use frequencies that aren't licensed is to give them a big fine and long jail sentence if they are caught interfering with legitimate frequencies - especially airport, emergency or military frequencies. If that's the law of the land in the EU, then if anyone asked in DD-WRT or OpenWRT forums about how to enable non-licensed frequencies someone would very quickly inform them what will happen if they get caught.

Yelp-for-MAGAs app maker is warned there are holes in its code. Does it A. Just fix the problem, or B. Threaten to call the FBI, too?

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Re: Who?

And would have made a better POTUS than him, too. She hires competent people to run her businesses, not the FBI's 10 most wanted.

DougS Silver badge

I thought it stood for

Moscow Agent Governing America

China still doesn't want iPhones despite Apple slashing prices, say market watchers

DougS Silver badge

The "slashed" prices

Are still about 25% higher than they are in the US, after currency adjustment.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

DougS Silver badge

Re: Already a patch available?

Agreed, but if you have even the slightest suspicion that the flight controller that prevents unsafe flying might actually have a serious problem, it is better to disable or tone down its "help" in any suspect cases, and rely more heavily on the pilot, until the flight controller can be fixed or absolved.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Already a patch available?

Given what's known of how the aircraft was performing prior to the crash, they know the crashes weren't the result of a stall. So between the "greater resistance of stall" and "less resistance of stall" choices it is obvious to take the latter.

If it turns out the cause of the crashes was something else, or two unrelated causes that had really terrible coincidence/timing, there's little harm done since MCAS is basically a backup to the pilot's abilities - if they are properly trained they should not put a commercial aircraft in a situation where it may stall in the first place.

Alphabet top brass OK'd $100m-plus payouts to execs accused of sexual misconduct – court docs

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Re: $100m plus

Trump was paying off women who voluntarily had sex with the fat orange slob. You'd think they'd pay HIM to keep it quiet...

The ones he sexually harassed he just had threatened into silence.

'What's up, Skip?' asks paraglider – before 'roo beats the snot out of him

DougS Silver badge
Devil

Re: With all these deadly creatures I always asked myself

That they're in better shape from having to run in terror from deadly gangs of predatory kangaroos?

DougS Silver badge

Re: With all these deadly creatures I always asked myself

The fact very few Australians (or tourists) die from these creatures every year is why they can. It isn't like it is Jurassic Park over there.

I'll bet if you compared the per capita deaths from Australia's fauna and the per capita deaths from severe weather like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes etc. the weather is the worse killer.

Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems

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Re: Government/defense spending

Yes but if you have something like that custom built, it is usually the first one that costs all the money. They have to figure out how to build it, and how to test it. Getting a spare or two doesn't add a lot to the cost (unless it requires expensive parts) because those initial costs are already included.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Back in my NetWare days

Anyone dumb enough to sign up for a 30 year contract for anything technology related deserves everything they get.

Though one almost wonders if the person who signed that contract back in 1991 didn't get a huge kickback from the telco...

Remember the OpenAI text spewer that was too dangerous to release? Fear not, boffins have built a BS detector for it

DougS Silver badge

Re: I wasn't (just) joking

Well surely his programmers are aware of this recent development, and made some changes to the AI to avoid the some of the things that trigger the evaluation as "bot".

Liz Warren: I'll smash up Amazon, Google, and Facebook – if you elect me to the White House

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't see this as very likely

Having common ownership would mean they are saying "trust us"...and that's been working so well for these data collecting outfits like Google and Facebook! If they really were going to operate them independently, not sharing data etc. then why not fully spin them off? Shareholders would get shares of each, so it isn't like they are losing anything - unless they are currently getting a "monopoly premium".

In many cases when a company has split its parts are worth more than the whole was. Many analysts want Amazon to spin off AWS because they think Amazon + AWS is worth less than they'd each be as separate units.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's not just Google, Facebook and Amazon that are the problem

Apple is the largest taxpayer in the US, so that isn't universally true. Now they do a better job of avoiding taxes elsewhere in the world, but the EU seems to be plugging that hole with the $13 billion they will have to pay Ireland.

I don't see any reason why a company with a revenue of $100 billion should be able to do a better job of avoiding taxes than a company with a revenue of $10 billion or even $1 billion. Once you go multinational there are a lot of avenues open which smaller businesses don't have. Splitting up companies isn't the fix for that, fixing the tax code is.

DougS Silver badge

I don't see this as very likely

But I think there are a few things that could be done:

1) force Facebook to sell off Instagram and Whatsapp

2) force Google to sell off Android+Chrome and Search

3) find some solution so Amazon can't screw all the small sellers, or take over the shipping market which will happen soon if they aren't stopped

No one company should be able to collect detailed information about people's lives the way Google does, and the way Facebook wishes they could (probably trying to catch up is why they keep stepping in privacy issues every third day) Amazon is simply trying to expand both horizontally and vertically and probably hopes to become Wall-E's BuynLarge.

No guns or lockpicks needed to nick modern cars if they're fitted with hackable 'smart' alarms

DougS Silver badge

Re: And here is yet another example why

So you do it in a way that could be blamed on the dealer service, like yanking out the wire that powers it, as it was snagged when performing maintenance...

DougS Silver badge

And here is yet another example why

Any car I buy will have any type of built-in cellular, wifi etc. communication disabled

IT guy at US govt fraud watchdog stole 16 computers from... US govt fraud watchdog

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Trollface

Re: He didn't steal enough

Good thing they don't sentence serial killers in that way!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Well thats his life down the drain

Probably he knew how bad the government's inventory management was, but wasn't smart enough to realize that Microsoft would be able to locate them by serial number quite easily - or assumed the government investigators wouldn't go so far.

DougS Silver badge

Re: He didn't steal enough

I was going to say the same thing. Willing to bet this guy gets a bigger sentence than Manafort, despite doing about 1/1000th of the crime.

Tech security at Equifax was so diabolical, senators want to pass US laws making its incompetence illegal

DougS Silver badge

Re: GDPR down the throat

Don't get me wrong, I want to see the US support better privacy and data handling. I'm just saying it totally makes sense for the way US sites are treating it now.

Even if the US gets better protection, to the extent the GDPR differs it might STILL make sense for US sites to block EU users, because the risk of running afoul of the letter of their law is still very significant.

If they were more reasonable about the fines, and fined based on a percentage of the EU derived revenue rather than overall revenue, it wouldn't be so scary. But if you make 5% of your revenue in the US and run the risk of being fined 5% of your revenue I hope you can see why many sites are taking the easy way out.

If the US did the same stupid thing then pretty soon a company would run the risk of being fined over 100% of their revenue, if they had an Equifax like breach that hit in a bunch of states/countries, all taking their own 5% cut...

If the goal is to make it painful, then fine them a higher percentage, but base it on their in region revenue only. It makes no sense that if you violate GDPR in both 2018 and 2019, and your EU revenue is flat but your US revenue doubles, that the EU should collect a bigger fine based on that increased US revenue.

DougS Silver badge

Re: GDPR down the throat

If they copy the GDPR, but not the fines, then it isn't an existential business risk the way the EU's is.

DougS Silver badge

Re: GDPR down the throat

More likely that they don't get enough revenue from EU people to make it worth the potential risk of a fine, even if they believe they are doing everything right. If I had a site that mostly US focused but happened to have 5-10% of traffic from the EU, I'd do the same.

The GDPR fines are a giant hammer that may be needed with big sites like Google and Facebook but has the same potentially devastating impact on everyone. The big sites where it is really needed are the ones who can afford fancy lawyers that will no doubt get them off with a slap on the wrist, while being a death penalty for the rest.

Resistance is... new style: Samsung says it's now shipping resistive eMRAM for IoT chips

DougS Silver badge

Re: If it requires such a specialized process

In what way is an alternative that requires 20-100F^2 cells and a more specialized process going to replace flash at all?

I wasn't talking about replacing flash, I was talking about using MRAM for an on-SoC flash cache, since that's where the controller/FTL is located. If you had to keep the cache on a separate chip you lose much of the advantage putting it on the SoC die would buy you.

DougS Silver badge

If it requires such a specialized process

It doesn't sound like it can be integrated into leading edge chips they're fabbing at 7nm EUV on bulk silicon. Too bad, it would probably have made a lot of sense in a phone form factor to put the NAND cache on your SoC with the storage controller block. It can't replace the NAND itself, it is nowhere near dense (i.e. cheap) enough, and putting it on a separate chip would eliminate both the speed and power advantages.

You've been dying to know. Here's the answer: The Milky Way tips the cosmic scales at '1.5tr' times mass of the Sun

DougS Silver badge

Supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy

I thought it was on the order of a few BILLION solar masses, when did it get down to a mere 4 to 5 million? Has it been on a diet of low carb matter?

Tired of smashing your face into the brick wall that is US net neutrality? Too bad. There's a long way to go yet, friends

DougS Silver badge

This will get solved when it becomes a problem that people can see

For example, Optimum cable is inserting ads by modifying HTTP streams that cross their network, and people are noticing and are not happy about it.

Eventually one of the big ISPs will be bold enough to try to shake down Netflix for the use of their network to connect to customers, and word will get out that a company that sells its own TV services is interfering with a competitor, and the anti net neutrality side will lose a lot of support. Once it goes from a "I'm against it because my 'side' says I should" to a problem people can actually see and know affects them negatively, republicans won't have a choice but to go along - though of course there is still plenty of room for the two parties to fight in how far to go in protecting net neutrality, so it may not get solved after all.

Put down the cat, coffee, beer pint, martini, whatever you're holding, and make sure you've updated Chrome (unless you enjoy being hacked)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double standards?

Except that Apple, Microsoft, Oracle et al don't have a policy that if they find an exploit in someone else's software they'll make the details public if it doesn't get fixed in an arbitrary 90 day limit that doesn't account for some problems being more difficult to fix etc. Only Google does, which is why they deserve special scorn here.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double standards?

Of course it is double standards. They release info about others' vulnerabilities if they can't meet the 90 day deadline, but I'm quite certain that if they need longer than 90 days to fix their own issues they won't do similar.

While this CEO may be stiff, his customers are rather stuffed: Quadriga wallets finally cracked open – nothing inside

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Re: Remind me

That theory doesn't explain why all the wallets were empty. If he had the only key, he must have emptied them before he died. Even if he died of natural causes, he must have stolen the money first, and while 150,000 may die of "normal" causes every day, most of them are far older.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Remind me

Who says someone else got in? Probably the founder stole it, and depending on which sort of conspiracy theory you prefer he either:

1) faked his own death and is living the high life under a new identity

2) was murdered by someone trying to steal his ill gotten gains

3) was murdered by someone for stealing their ill gotten gains

4) died of a drug overdose because $190 million buys a lot of drugs

Meizu ditched hole-free phone because it was 'just the marketing team messing about', not because no one really gave a toss

DougS Silver badge

Re: Deal...

You can also retrofit a big battery onto any phone in a similar manner.

Tim Apple. Larry Oracle. Ginni Layoffs: It works so why the heck not?

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Reg gets premature.....

His legacy will hopefully be the first former president to die in prison, after he's found guilty of numerous felonies in the state of New York.

It's a hard drive ahead: Seagate hits the density problem with HAMR, WD infects MAMR with shingles

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hardly

$/IOP only matters for performance critical data. Most of an enterprise's data is not performance critical to the extent that an SSD is worth it, and will only go SSD when the price is within a factor of 1.5x or so.

DougS Silver badge

Hardly

You think you can get SSDs for even a tenth of the per TB price that these 20 TB beasts will go for? It will be many years before HDDs cease to be viable, especially for cloud storage providers and lower tier enterprise storage, where price per TB dominates.

Just because they will disappear or at least nearly disappear for consumers doesn't mean they won't play a role in the enterprise world for years to come.

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates

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It is too late

The spammers already harvested the addresses from his address book. Presumably the spam is not actually being sent from talktalk via the webmail interface, the headers are just forged to appear that way.

From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic

DougS Silver badge

I wonder if they're the first to discover this

This is exactly the sort of thing the NSA would have figured out 20 years ago, back when everyone had a hard drive in their PC. Increasingly useless knowledge today though, when PCs shipping with hard drives are a dying breed, or at least should be.

How to make people sit up and use 2-factor auth: Show 'em a vid reusing a toothbrush to scrub a toilet – then compare it to password reuse

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wanting to use 2FA is one thing...

You wouldn't connect it to your computer physically. It could interface with Bluetooth, but failing that it could work just like a standalone security device, and when you open (and authenticate yourself, if you want security above the standalone security device) and it shows a 6 or 8 digit number which is good for one minute, that you will be challenged to provide to login in lieu of a password which can be easily stolen.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wanting to use 2FA is one thing...

The phone is perfectly secure if you use it as I described in my post (which you quoted from) rather than be stupid and use SMS. That's like saying a high security safe in a bank isn't secure, because it is possible to leave the door open.

5G is 'ready' once you redefine 'ready'... and then redefine 'reality'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Red flags everywhere

It won't be a disaster, it just won't live up to the hype some people are pushing. They really believe 5G is going to drive a huge upgrade cycle in phones because it is some sort of "must have" feature (and as a corollary since Apple won't have it until fall 2020 they're doomed) and carriers that haven't already announced dozens of 5G rollout cities will shed millions of subscribers as people flee them for a network they can use their new 5G phone on.

No reason is given by these 5G hypesters as to why all these people will buy phones and change carriers just to get 5G - the desire for 5G is always taken as some sort of a given that doesn't need explaining lol

It is good to see the press is starting to give 5G a much needed reality check.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "We got a glimpse of that with HTC's 5G Hub"

Because even if the utility right of way runs down down your street it costs a lot to run fiber from that to your house. Especially if it is on the OTHER side of the street. Much cheaper to have a small antenna mounted on the side of your house. Using one of those thin or flat ethernet cables you don't necessarily even need to drill a hole in your house - just run it through a window that can open (and then shut again)

And why would it need to be a battery powered device? There are plenty of cellular routers today that aren't.

Cheap as chips: There's no such thing as a free lunch any Moore

DougS Silver badge

Re: HDD vs decent SSD

Cost per transistor is still falling, the problem is the startup costs for design and especially mask sets keep increasing so you need more and more units of the same chip for it to make economic sense to use a smaller process.

If you have hundreds of millions of units of each design like Apple does for each A* SoC, no worries, at least for the foreseeable future. If you have a chip that goes in a product that sells only a million units a year, your cost per transistor will go up significiantly with each shrink. Thus why such lower volume products will often contain chips fabricated with processes at least two generations old.

Adi Shamir visa snub: US govt slammed after the S in RSA blocked from his own RSA conf

DougS Silver badge

Re: Politicize all teh thingz!

If the wall was his only campaign promise, and enjoyed support from a majority or even a third of the population, then you might be right. But it wasn't, and it doesn't. He's got between 2/3 and 3/4 of his base (people who say they support him) in favor of the wall, and that's about it, according to polls.

He had republicans in the house for his first two years, why did he wait until democrats took over before he decided he had to shut down the government over funding? The reason is obvious, its because he wanted his base to blame the other side - that would be harder to do with his party in majority. Of course being the low IQ fool he is, he gave up any advantage before the shutdown by announcing he'll take the blame. I'm sure the groans from republicans in congress was audible a mile away from the Capitol when he said that.

DougS Silver badge

Most vetted politician in history?

Hardly, we haven't even seen his taxes yet. Luckily there is now actual oversight, so oversights such as not releasing his tax forms will be corrected against his will.

Someone who signs everyone around him to NDAs, which is probably not even legal for government jobs, is obviously very, very afraid of being "vetted".

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