* Posts by Steve Knox

1901 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

One two three... Go: Long Pig Microsoft avoids cannibalising Surface

Steve Knox
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Re: No

Didn't know it was a typo -- this was the first article I read on the device, and 800x1200, though in portrait mode, is a much more common resolution than 1800x1200.

However, my point still stands -- and is perhaps reinforced:

1. my 5-year old 8-inch tablet still has a higher resolution, and cost significantly less.

2. 1800x1200 is still not FHD, as a minimum horizontal resolution of 1920 is required for that.

This second point makes me think someone at Microsoft wanted to keep this product on-point and didn't want people looking to use it as a budget FHD media player, as it's suspiciously close to FHD.

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Steve Knox
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Stop

No

"The 10-inch 800 x 1200 (217 PPI) resolution is impressive."

No, it most definitely is not. I have a 5 year old tablet with 4x that resolution that cost under $200 back then. Anything under FHD is unacceptable on any device with a screen over 3" in size.

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Thanks for the happy memories, Micron – now beat it, says China: Court bans chip sales

Steve Knox
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Headmaster

Re: People’s Court

Actually, the apostrophe in "People's Court" is correct -- just as the full name of China is indeed the "People's Republic of China" -- "people" in this case is a singular noun referring to all of the individuals in China as a unit (similar to "group" or "team"), so it takes the singular possessive form.

"Peoples" is not possessive, and "Peoples' Court" necessarily means a court for multiple nationalities, tribes or other groups of people, because people as a plural of person never has a trailing s, so "peoples'" must be the possessive plural of "people".

See http://www.dictionary.com/browse/peoples -- especially the section on usage, which touches on the possessive.

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Steve Knox
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Yes, but Taiwan doesn't have a big orange potato talking smack about Chinese steel and doing everything in its power to start a global trade war.

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Microsoft has another crack at fixing Chrome problems in Windows 10

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: Best fix for Chrome...

install Firefox.

Yeah. Because the pesky part of "performance problems" is the "performance" part..

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Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

3. We are giving replacements to anyone who is able to open the back-cover without damaging the locks.

Because criminals are going to try to not damage the locks? If the back cover can be removed, damage or no, then the lock is not fit for purpose.

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Computer Misuse Act charge against British judge thrown out

Steve Knox
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Re: Thrown out? Or she should be jailed?

Ummm ...., you seem to have lost sight of the fact that if you are not found guilty you haven't broken the law.

That is entirely incorrect. Whether or not someone broke the law is dependent solely and entirely upon the intersection between their acts and activities proscribed by statutes.

Whether not someone is found guilty is dependent on an entirely different set of factors, including but not limited to:

a. the amount of evidence against them,

b. the amount of evidence they are successful in having invalidated,

c. their ability to fund a legal defense,

d. their influence in judicial and political circles.

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Have to use SMB 1.0? Windows 10 April 2018 Update says NO

Steve Knox
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Re: So for a while now...

The BSOD has been available for Linux since 1998:

https://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/screenshots/

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Stern Vint Cerf blasts techies for lackluster worldwide IPv6 adoption

Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: Analogy Units

This is 2 million times (2^(53-32) = 2^21) more than IPv4; still a lot, but not mind-bogglingly vast.

2^53 is over 900 000 000 000 000. That's approximately 1.2 million addresses for every living person on the planet.

Except it isn't -- it's 1.2 million network addresses for every living person. Each network can contain about 2^64 = over 1 800 000 000 000 000 000 devices for over 2 200 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 devices for every living person.

But what about companies, you say? Well, there are about 115 million companies in the world. Let's make them need about 60 x more network addresses (on average) than individuals. Why 60? Because that makes their total effect roughly equal to the individual effect, and I'm lazy. So instead of 1 200 000 networks with up to 2 200 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 devices per entity, we're talking 600 000 networks with up to 1 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 devices. (That would actually be 600 000 networks per person, and 36 000 000 networks per company.)

This means that even if 99.9999999999999% of IPv6 address space gets wasted, it's still bigger than IPv4.

Put another way, even with the waste you mention, IPv4's address space is less than 0.0000000000001% of IPv6's.

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Steve Knox
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Mushroom

Re: Belgium

HOW DARE YOU USE THAT WORD OUTSIDE OF A SERIOUS SCREENPLAY?

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Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: New unit of measurement

You only need 16GB of storage to store all IPv4 addresses.

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America's comms watchdog takes on the internet era's real criminals: Pirate pastors

Steve Knox
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FAIL

Re: Whooosh!

Also, seems to be trying to restore favour with (American-definition) liberals after destroying net neutrality.

Why would (American-definition) liberals care about some superstitious cult leaders abusing an obsolete broadcast technology that is wholly irrelevant to their streaming services? Or desire additional support for cable companies to bilk their customers?

If this guy's trying to appease US liberals, he's failing miserably.

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You have GNU sense of humor! Glibc abortion 'joke' diff tiff leaves Richard Stallman miffed

Steve Knox
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Re: Shouldn’t quality and professionalism be the issue?

Let’s also make clear that there are many of us who believe Stallman should simply be muted and censored as his behavior is generally reprehensible.

So you believe that censorship is acceptable behavior? I happen to think it can be, in one specific set of circumstances.

Censorship of others is at best morally questionable: even when their statements appear reprehensible to the rest of us, logically countering them is generally much more productive.

However, self-censorship is a very useful practice, as it can preserve one's reputation and prevent foot-in-mouth disease. Give it a try, won't you?

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Microsoft's most popular SQL Server product of all time runs on Linux

Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: laugh or cry

Microsoft know the vast majority of users will eventually want features like always on availability group clustering in production so they will eventually need SQL on Windows Server and then end up paying for the fully capable version.

1. You can do Always On Availability Groups on Linux.

2. If you're using it for production data, you still need to license SQL Server on Linux, same way, same price as SQL Server on Windows.

3. Microsoft has stated that their long-term goal is feature parity between SQL Server on Linux and SQL Server on Windows. Many of the features not supported on Linux are features that have been deprecated on the Windows version for some time, so I expect those features to fade away in Windows rather than be implemented on Linux.

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Nvidia quickly kills its AMD-screwing GeForce 'partner program' amid monopoly probe threat

Steve Knox
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Stop

Nope.

Nvidia's GeForce is one of few gaming super-brands so you could forgive the company for imagining it could use that market power to tie companies into its chips.

No, I can't. And you shouldn't. Antitrust law is clear on this type of thing, and only gross incompetence on a massive scale would prevent a corporation like Nvidia from knowing this.

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FCC shifts its $8bn pot of gold, sparks fears of corporate money grab

This post has been deleted by a moderator

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

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Sensible Rules

1. Require a fixed-length password, so that it can be stored and retrieved efficiently.

2. Require a specific pattern of {lower-case letter}{upper-case letter}{number}{special character}

3. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW:

Spaces ( )

Quotes (')

Double-quotes (")

Ampersands (&)

Backslashes (\)

Forward Slashes (/)

ASCII control characters

Anything other than 7-bit ASCII printable characters (specifically ASA X3.4-1965, to maintain compatibility with IBM 2260s)

4. Determine the average amount of time to brute-force a password created using these rules, and require password changes at least twice as frequently*.

5. Require all employees to share their current passwords with their manager in case of emergency.

Problem solved!

* In fact, just require a password change every time a user logs in. Make sure to automatically lock that workstation when idle for over 1 minute!

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Apple somehow plucks iPad sales out from 13-quarter death spiral

Steve Knox
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Re: iPad user here

iPads aren't proper computers

Really? Do tell us your definition of a "proper" computer.

While you're at it, perhaps you could explain the difference between a Scotsman and a True Scotsman...

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LLVM contributor hits breakpoint, quits citing inclusivity intolerance

Steve Knox
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You're not the only source of information in the universe.

A lot of people have asked how different classes of people are represented, and what they've found is that the systems that have evolved around various types of work have evolved to support individuals who closely conform to majority norms.

Of course you couldn't give a fuck. You're not affected (except in a positive way.)

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Whoa, Gartner drops a truth bomb: Blockchain is overhyped and top IT bods don't want it

Steve Knox
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Headmaster

Re: Make your mind up Gartner

There aren't enough skilled engineers to implement Blcokchains.

Case in point?

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Texas residents start naming adopted drains

Steve Knox
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Re: Scary...

"Some"? Based on the numbering scheme, at least 260! This company, whatever it is, seems to have a predilection for big, wet holes!

As for names, how about

"a hole in the road where the rain goes out"

or

"Spout! Spout! Let it all out!"

It remains to be seen how many of these adopters will actually do the work to merit the name. In other words I wonder -- still I wonder -- who'll swab their drains?

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We just wanna torque: Spinning transfer boffins say torque memory near

Steve Knox
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Re: Intriguing....

You'd still just reboot -- or you may be able to get away with restarting a given service or component (or you would if anyone really cared about writing a truly modular OS anymore.../rant>).

The key here is working memory -- That contains current state data, which the OS should reset to reasonable start-up values restart.

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if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders

Steve Knox
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I'm anonymous, am I a man or a woman?

I can say with a fair degree of certainty that you are.

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Sprint, T-Mobile US sitting in a tree, M-E-R-G-I-N-G

Steve Knox
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The deal almost certainly won't sail through, given the competitive implications that flow from reducing the number of major mobile carriers in America. So brace for regulatory rumblings a-plenty before the deal goes down.

Have you forgotten who's running the regulatory show on this side of the pond right now?

Given that, I'd say the odds of a serious regulatory block are significantly lower than you imply here -- unless Sinclair Broadcast Group feels threatened.

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Steve Knox
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Headmaster

Re: It's technically an acquisition, but the headline fit so perfectly we couldn't resist

Passable rhyme (the only one given the limited source pattern), unacceptable meter.

2/10

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Oracle demands dev tear down iOS app that has 'JavaScript' in its name

Steve Knox
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Which is Which?

...the standard on which JavaScript is based, the ECMAScript programming language.

Shouldn't that be "...ECMAScript, the standard which is based on the JavaScript programming language"?

JavaScript was created between May and December 1995. ECMAScript didn't show up until 1997, and it was based almost entirely on Netscape's submission of JavaScript.

Perhaps you could say that future versions of JavaScript were specifically aligned with ECMAScript from there on out, but JavaScript was the original.

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Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

Steve Knox
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If that level of interest is repeated for other internet addresses under ICANN control, like .com, .org and .net, Neylon says it will be "perfectly manageable" from his business' perspective.

Which is unlikely.

Not only is .com itself 13x the size of .uk, but it still holds the sites of most interest to those who would query WHOIS. There's a reason .com accounts for almost half of all existing DNS names and almost 80% of new registrations.

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'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer

Steve Knox
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Title should be

Well intentioned lawmakers should stifle IoT innovation

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European Space Agency squirts a code update at Mars Express orbiter

Steve Knox
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Joke

Side effects...?

"We were also helped by being able to take code flown on Rosetta and transplant it into the Mars Express guidance software."

Here's hoping there aren't any passing comets...

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Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots

Steve Knox
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Thumb Up

Just as our cousins in the newspaper world had to ditch their unionized hot-metal printers as well as other follies such as accuracy and dignity...

So glad El Reg never had to sacrifice, those last two...

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Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Steve Knox
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Re: What about the El Reg commentardiat?

I've always considered it more of an antisocial media account.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: OK How To register fuck.the.sodding.EU

Just register sodding.eu and exercise your right to manage your own subdomains.

Or just get over what is an entirely predictable response to an entirely stupid move on the part of uk.gov.

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Are you able to read this headline? Then you're not Julian Assange. His broadband is unplugged

Steve Knox
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Happy

Free Assange

to a good home.

...

well, to a home.

...

someone just take the damned thing!

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Up the stack with you: Microsoft's Denali project flashes skinny SSD controllers

Steve Knox
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Re: Hang on

Yeah, but storage guys never listen to database guys.

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Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: The Swiss are in it

A lot of people were under the impression that ... their "leave" vote would be a suitable protest.

Really? Name some of these people who have no clue as to the point of voting.

A vote is a statement of your will and intent. Far from being suitable, a "protest" vote which is in direct contradiction of your desired outcome is nothing but an admission of incompetence.

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Steve Knox
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FAIL

Re: The Swiss are in it

"until 52% of you decided to shoot yourselves in the foot... errrr... head."

It was actually less than 38% (ie 52% of a 72% turnout).

So 38% of you were stupid, and 28% of you were FUCKING STUPID.

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British Level 4 driverless pods are whizzing along ... er, a London path

Steve Knox
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"Everything in the States is on a grid layout."

Was that said by the Google rep?

'cause it's completely untrue. Most of the west coast cities are on a grid layout, but many of the older east coast cities are not. And even the cities which are primarily grid-based have some major, non-orthogonal, non-straight thoroughfares, or significant non-grid sections in their city centers.

Outside of major cities, most of the US is on a "converted trails" layout.

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Another day, another self-flying car pipe dream surfaces

Steve Knox
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Re: That's all we need

"before overtaking on the left"

If you were driving on the left, instead of hogging an outside lane, then perhaps this wouldn't happen?

You're assuming OP wasn't driving on the left already.

Here in the States, the analogue is Massachusetts drivers -- they'll pass you on the right -- while you're changing a tire...

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Mum? Dad? Can I have a 3D XPoint disk for my birthday?

Steve Knox
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Re: Quick poll

Has anyone actually sat around waiting for typical task on a mainstream PC because the SSD did not have enough IOPs?

Typical for whom?

Visual Studio SQL Server Data Tools database projects build their models on-disk because Microsoft's Visual Studio team steadfastly refuse to compile their own software in 64-bit mode.

One particularly complex model which I work with frequently can take actual minutes to build on SSD.

(When I was using spinning rust, it could lock up the entire machine for hours.)

So, yes.

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It's ALIIIIIVE: Boffins detect slow-moving zombie star

Steve Knox
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We need a new law

Banning such horrid backronyms

We could call it Backronyms Are Capital Offences Now -- wait... dammit!

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Google Flutter hits beta: Another go at cross-platform mobile dev

Steve Knox
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Obligatory

https://xkcd.com/927/

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Steve Knox
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Every comment that is somewhat pro-Google gets this same knee jerk anonymous commenter saying how put off they are.

Certainly makes me laugh at the appropriateness of the handle anonymous commenters get here.

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BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Steve Knox
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Thumb Up

"...the PFY’s Chekhovian wheely chair..."

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Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: Irony

But we have no way of knowing what undocumented wake up keywords are built in, or whether there are any other circumstances in which they will start to record, send and process audio.

Bullshit. Code review, disassembly, fuzzing inputs, monitoring network traffic. Talk to any security researcher before you spout off on what we have "no way of knowing".

There have been various rumours of Google, Amazon and Smart TVs listening in for shopping-related terms in order to target advertising.

There have been various rumours of Elvis sightings and lizard overlords. Cite credible sources or don't repeat shit.

And if they aren't doing that today, they certainly will be just as soon as they can get good enough local processing (which won't be hard in mains-powered devices).

This is the one thing you've said so far that I agree with. Amazon, Google, et al are motivated by selling stuff or advertising. Anything they can do to increase profit from that is likely to happen. The only reason I don't think it's happening right now is that the local processing requirements are higher than what we find in the relatively lightweight devices available today. The only ones that might be able to approach this computing-wise are smartphones, and they're too motivated by keeping battery life within reason to go very far with this.

The article raises the question: if they are going to do that for their own commercial ends why wouldn't we require them to also do similar things for social good reasons? Good question.

Remember what I just said about local processing requirements? Okay, now scale that up exponentially. We can't be just talking keyword recognition here, because voice recognition, as good as it is, still has a lot of trouble, especially with similar words like "grape" and "rape". It'll need full contextual recognition, which even the full-bore cloud "AI" systems haven't been able to even start to get right. Otherwise your phone or in-home device will be asking "are you alright" so often that you'll likely smash it just to get some peace.

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Tor pedo's torpedo torpedoed: FBI spyware crossed the line but was in good faith, say judges

Steve Knox
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Big Brother

Re: Then what is the point of Tor?

When someone comes to you and says "hey I've got this great new community where everything you do is completely anonymous and you can do anything you want regardless of how others view such behaviour" there are three possibilities:

1. It's a complete scam, and the owners are collecting info on people for blackmail purposes,

2. It's a complete scam, and the owners are a law-enforcement agency looking to [en]trap criminals, or

3. It's an honest endeavour, which either has or will soon attract the attention of the people in (1) and/or (2), who will find a way to exploit it to their ends.

It's not even a zero-sum game. Say you play the game and use the community for completely innocuous purposes. At some point, either the 1s will mock-up something embarrassing, or the 2s will make it a crime to even be associated with the community.

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Cali cops' Clue caper: Apple technicans, in an iPhone repair lab, with the 1,600 silent 911 calls

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Hey Apple!

Faraday Cage.

Look it up.

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That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Software?

" the software to verify the e-passport chips "

Like a db of trusted certs?

Seriously, what extra software is needed to verify cryptographically signed data that you can already decrypt and read?

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Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

Steve Knox
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Re: Fly me to the moon @ Chris G

@Martin Budden

Someone needs to bone up on their Irish.

Here's a primer for ye.

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Google reveals Edge bug that Microsoft has had trouble fixing

Steve Knox
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Mushroom

Another Viewpoint

Which is just great news - NOT - seeing as Microsoft's unwillingness to dedicate enough resources to fixing the flaw in time means it's now visible to anyone who feels like some evil fun.

This is not the first time Microsoft has failed to fix flaws before Project Zero's published (and then extended (and sometimes extended again)) deadlines, and Redmond is still blaming information disclosure rather than accepting responsibility for their own mistakes.

Over the past 40 years, security experts have continued to criticize Microsoft on grounds that its irresponsible code security practices can endanger users. Significant change from Microsoft has not been forthcoming.

Who's more responsible for the explosion, the man who builds the bomb, the man who writes the manual for it, or the man who sets it off?

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Reinforcement learning woes, robot doggos, Amazon's homegrown AI chips, and more

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

“A researcher gives a talk about using RL to train a simulated robot hand to pick up a hammer and hammer in a nail. Initially, the reward was defined by how far the nail was pushed into the hole. Instead of picking up the hammer, the robot used its own limbs to punch the nail in. So, they added a reward term to encourage picking up the hammer, and retrained the policy. They got the policy to pick up the hammer…but then it threw the hammer at the nail instead of actually using it.”

This isn't a failure of RL; this is a failure of the researchers to identify and control for their own preconceptions. Why were they trying to train the robot to do thing the most inefficient way possible?

We only use hammers because our hands are too soft. Why should a robot use a hammer to pound a nail? Why was it "wrong" for the robot to identify a perfectly effective solution to the task which didn't require extraneous materials?

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