* Posts by DropBear

3043 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

DropBear
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Re: Exactly

Obligatory viewing regarding web design, customer requirements, and... EXPERTS!

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Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

DropBear
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Joke

Re: digital sound input

"Digital to Analogue Converters are not all equally good."

What do you mean? Sure they are! Silicon...? Luxury! When I was a kid, we had to listen to our digital media with resistor ladder DACs fashioned from graphite pencil lead, and we did fine!

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Varjo promises Oculus-killing VR/AR, but is it the next Magic Leap?

DropBear
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Pint

Re: It's a bit fiddly, but:

@ jonathan keith: Gah, I'm apparently dyslexic at times - I only just noticed your link (luckily, I'm also stubborn). Thanks a bunch, this looks exactly like the missing link, I'll definitely look into it - I owe you a crate of these... -->

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DropBear
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"I've been led to believe that there is quite a market for 360° movies that can only be seen privately."

That's entirely possible, but I have my doubts - the sole reason I'm interested in VR happens to be of the exact same nature, yet I've found the pre-recorded nature of the videos in question incredibly off-putting (even considering their key-points where you can switch to a different, uh, section). On the other hand, there is a veritable, literal gold rush of various entities getting paid on Patreon explicitly to work on "live", interactively generated CGI programs of the same nature - all of which run exclusively on PCs, some even supporting the "silver spoon" tier VR (Oculus and its ilk) I'll never be able to afford (or willing to use - fuck you, Zuck!). Hence my interest in a dirt-cheap headset that can show PC-generated content, and my pessimism at seeing it continually failing to materialize...

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DropBear
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I kinda expected the "pro only" market approach - everything they said indicated a possibly better but definitely much more expensive product than the competition, and VR already has a grave pricing issue. Meanwhile, dirt cheap VR viewers have a content problem (typically relying on an existing or built-in phone hardware they don't connect to a PC, so they are pretty much restricted to watching "360" movies - and they'll never get anywhere with that) while the rest of the goggles are PC-connected but stupidly expensive. Eventually, someone somewhere will figure out how to live stream Oculus-supporting PC games to a Cardboard viewer, and THEN VR will explode. Not before, though.

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WikiLeaks doc dump reveals CIA tools for infecting air-gapped PCs

DropBear
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Re: I you're a target, move

Leaving the standard autorun active would really be kinda stupid this day and age. However, one can rely on the OS trying to read the file structure of inserted media - not having read the source I can only wonder if it would be possible to exploit something there and craft a "file structure" that ends up executing a payload instead...

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DropBear
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Joke

Re: "Suspicion Deflection"

Damn right it's taken!

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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

DropBear
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Re: 29" barrel

"one then has to ask how they got the battleship up there in the first place" - A rather enormous flatbed truck.

Wait, what? Aren't battleships the standard floats for hydro-blimps...?

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

DropBear
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is a rectifier supposed to be when it's not a collection of diodes, and if that's what it is, how does it prevent a major load from overwhelming an inadequate power supply?

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OnePlus accused of installing cheat codes for benchmarks with new handset

DropBear
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Re: 5%

I didn't look into it extensively but I seem to recall what they did was disable thermal throttling or some such, artificially pegging the pedal to the metal in a way that isn't really happening anywhere else. That said, again, I'm not familiar with the exact details...

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PLATO mission to find alien life is given the thumbs up

DropBear
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Angel

Re: Go PLATO

That's one thing, but considering astronomy wasn't exactly invented yesterday, it totally blew my mind when I found out that at the time the Wright brothers were already flying and Einstein was bending space and time, they didn't even know other galaxies existed...

(That's a "me, centre of the universe" icon, right...? -->)

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It's fluffy bottom line time at Adobe. That's a good thing, if you were wondering

DropBear
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Re: Weaning yourself off of CS

I'd probably export to some standard format (like TIFF or PNG) anyway, also keeping a copy of the originals as they were initially, and move on to something else - to be honest, I currently don't even keep originals: if I think it's good enough, I'm committing to it. I've had too much hassle getting out of lock-ins in the past (never an "if", always a "when") to bother with anything I can't get out of if need be, regardless of how magical it might be.

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DropBear
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Re: Can you tell me which SD card?

I sure can, but I'm not sure it will help you much: apparently this was about a decade ago, bundled with a Lexar card. I have no idea whether they still do bundles like this or not - in any case, it was not a trial version but the full PSP9.

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DropBear
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I can only thank my guardian angel I'm _not_ a "Creative Professional" sentenced to wear the Adobe ball and chain - the Paint Shop Pro 9 I got for free bundled with an SD card will serve all my image manipulation needs (and there are indeed few of its features I never use) for the rest of my life. FOR FREE. Go die of envy, you Flash-peddling fuckers...

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Microsoft admits to disabling third-party antivirus code if Win 10 doesn't like it

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: '34 years of development - Windows 10 is the result'

"I see 3 main Linux isn't gaining in the desktop market"

I, for one, see zero reasons...

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No, really. You can see through walls using drones and Wi-Fi

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: @Sureo

I'd rather have that meta-material cape that can bend microwave around me invisibly. You got any? Come on, just because your couture of choice is tin foil-based doesn't mean you don't have to keep track of what's in vogue this year...

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Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads

DropBear
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Re: Targeted ads

"So you remember the ad, remember the product it's associated with ergo it was effective."

"Effective" is a highly questionable choice of a word when the only guaranteed outcome of the process is not causing a sale but rather forever prohibiting one. Indirect effectiveness only works when the target ends up imprinted with the brand unconsciously even if no immediate sale happened, NOT when the target quite consciously ends up vowing never to engage with the brand...

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DropBear
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Facepalm

Actually, I tried finding a way to disable that event from firing at all - so far, no luck. Any ideas anyone, other than "block all scripts" which leaves me with a glorified screenshot in my browser that reacts to nothing I do for 75% of websites...?

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The Internet of Flying Thing: Reg man returns with explicit shots

DropBear
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Re: Call me stupid but.....

Only if your flight involves the US. And don't call me Surely.

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Intel: Joule's burned, Edison switched off, and Galileo – Galileo is no more

DropBear
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Re: I'm going to stick up for the Joule...

No-one argues more crunching power isn't welcome in certain applications - but when you're not trying to make Robot Vision, how often is all that power really needed...? IoT actually works fine even on tiny MCUs, although non-masochists certainly appreciate being able to run a proper OS on an ARM chip instead where you're not expected to juggle everything from the file system to the wireless modem single-handedly. But all the dirt cheap boards (that you can get several of for the price of a single "genuine" Arduino nowadays...) already do that - why on Earth would you want to pay a ten times premium (AND futz around with minute connectors that you need nanites to wire up, as a hobbyist) if you don't have to?!? All the rest about NDAs and such are just the tip of a very, very large iceberg...

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You can't take the pervs off Facebook, says US Supreme Court

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Sex offenders covers a lot of ground

" If not, how about sending them to Antarctica to count penguins, krill and monitor melting ice?"

I suggest sending them digging for precious, rare geological bedrock samples from the North Pole...

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2 kool 4 komputing: Teens' interest in GCSE course totally bombs

DropBear
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"My son did GCSE computing and scored A, but then promptly dumped it for science at A Levels."

Not really surprising - neither is worth doing for the money, but at least science might turn out to be interesting with a bit of luck - on the other hand, nobody dreams of herding databases and debugging misbehaving cloud instances...

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Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

DropBear
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Re: Sadly you're right

I appreciate the suggestions, but I suppose this is highly subjective. I have the entire Saints Row series on backlog, so there might be something I didn't know about - otherwise, FPS games are not really my thing, multiplayer ones even less so (so thanks but no WoW / EVE / Minecraft / Overwatch for me); I saw Undertale back when it was still a demo and it really, really didn't work for me so I left it at that; and while "Borderlands" is also in my backlog I did play "The Wolf Among Us" and had to conclude that "story-on-rails laced with quick-time events" is a seriously shitty format compared to a proper point-and-click (please, do not mention the Bearded Guy of LucasArts fame or I'll still be cursing this time tomorrow). So I kinda stand by my original opinion...

PS. Okay, I yield - you might have a point with Thimbleweed Park... it's just.. uh... also on backlog so I forgot about it *hangs head in shame*

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DropBear
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Re: Sadly you're right

I honestly can't think of any "immensely good games" in recent gaming history, and frankly even a nursing home sounds like a hot spring spa resort compared to "modern gems" like Call of Duty MDCLXXIV...

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You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

DropBear
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Re: Twin Earth ?

Setting aside that I don't have a tin foil hat thick enough for this sort of, uh, suggestion - nor any hard-hitting astronomical knowledge to refute it on merit - wouldn't it be wise to consider any such proposition in a highly skeptical manner simply on the basis that while we wouldn't be able to see a perfect twin of Earth on the other side of the Sun, we can see all the other planets just fine and none of them seem to have any "twins"...?

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DropBear
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"How do you it's not Sol that's the evil one?"

Easy. "We" is by definition "the good guys". Hollywood taught me so.

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DropBear
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Thumb Up

Re: Seems difficult to accept

"If it had been ejected only at the speed of Voyager1..."

This is a particularly startling instance of being "ninja'd" - I came to post the exact same reasoning starting from the exact same data point. I guess the problem with this sort of thing is that our intuition is worse than useless when it comes to the kind of numbers involved in astronomy. Fermi order-of-magnitude estimation method for the win, I suppose...?

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Yet more reform efforts at the Euro Patent Office, and you'll never guess what...

DropBear
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Re: Leave remain

I can imagine a compromise though - a system in which some elected representative is left to vote for you EXCEPT in any issues you feel sufficiently invested in to cast a personal vote, at your discretion. Whatever you don't vote about personally, your rep's vote counts by default for you. Whenever you want, you can step in and vote instead explicitly. Surely would have its own host of problems, but wouldn't this still be better...?

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Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

DropBear
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Re: "personal information represents a security risk"

For some reason I'm suddenly reminded of the scramble suits from "A Scanner Darkly"

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As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: About that non-flammable bit...

"Especially on an aeroplane (pilotless to add to injury) up high in the skies..."

...preferably with the callsign "Flying Dutchman"? Legend has it it's still up there somewhere, the entire crew dead, haunting particularly stormy clouds...

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Backdoor backlash: European Parliament wants better privacy

DropBear
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Re: Excellent

I share the concern that this might not amount to much but you know what, in this anti-crypto climate - I'll take it!

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Google plans to scrub 'inflammatory' and terror vids from youTube

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: about time

Wait, what? But I thought this was about those nasty jump scare videos! They seem to very much provoke terror in any "react to" vid I've seen and they sure do scare me...!

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It's 2017, and UPnP is helping black-hats run banking malware

DropBear
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Funny, I could have sworn it was "ConFIcker"...

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Israel gets spooky with national quantum lab

DropBear
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Put in front of hackers to see what they think

I salute that approach. I swear I'm only mildly paranoid but I get twitchy too when told "it's unbreakable by definition, nothing to see here, move along..."

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

DropBear
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Trollface

Plan details how to get 1m humans to Mars

...wait - you want to populate Mars with small kids?!? You bastards!!!

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DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Hmmmn.. pizza!

Well, sure, as long as you have a lifetime's worth of guests at hand... otherwise you'll be left with an awful lot of stale pizza.

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Virtual reality audiences stare straight ahead 75% of the time

DropBear
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I predict that if virtual rubbernecking does ever actually become a thing, we'll be using... an analog stick or similar device to direct the view, to avoid exactly that head movement - and no I'm not joking...

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DropBear
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Re: The problem with 360 VR

It seems like eg. an on-foot chase scene would be exceedingly tiresome to watch - having to keep glancing back to see where the chaser is, instead of having the camera keep doing that cut automatically for you as they do now...

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Look who's joined the anti-encryption posse: Germany, come on down

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: BS

" I remember one trial where they were using an single letter substitution cipher for "encryption"!"

Gee, I don't know - a scheme where you substitute every single letter with the same single letter sounds like pretty hard to crack (or decrypt). I'd say it's pretty widely used too - for instance, every password I've ever seen is encrypted like this - converted to the single symbol * right as you type it...

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DropBear
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Re: Offline encryption ?

The point is that it wouldn't be too hard to syphon off still encrypted content to a separate device (can be a smartwatch, PDA or even a small DIY gadget) that handles decryption / encryption, that would be presumed free of tampering by The Powers That Be. You couldn't "backdoor" that...

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: What about the important things?

So let me ask you - do you use comment blocks before functions, and if so, have you ever re-worded any just so a multi-line one lines up nicer on the far end...?

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot

DropBear
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Re: ""I rode a bicycle with no hands today" has no meaning to someone who has never rode a bicycle"

Okay, fine, I'm not the best at picking sentences that are colloquially used yet have little meaning for the layman. Much fun to be had, have at it. The point I was trying to make though wasn't about ambiguity - which is a major issue on its own, but as noted it's not like humans are exempt either - but about how words have no "meaning" on their own unless the reader already has some reference regarding the subject, and how other words can only be used to bridge the gap if it's an isolated one. When you have no reference grounded in experience for any word, you can't bootstrap your way in by "explaining" or "describing" anything.

It's hard enough to start communicating with someone who doesn't speak your language at all, but at least you can still count on a huge body of presumably shared experiences with that person by sheer virtue of them also being a Homo Sapiens, presumably with many years of experiencing "being alive" under their belt. What I'm trying to propose is that the same task is basically impossible with a machine that lacks specifically that. All the grammatical wizardry means nought when there is ultimately nothing to attach all the pretty parsed verbs, nouns and all the rest even if you sorted out which qualifies which one.

Even further, I'm proposing that any attempt to communicate with a machine, whether by language, pictures, five musical tones or interpretive dance is pointless until we create one that "experiences" our world in some meaningful way (no, I don't think spidering our web is enough - it needs to be able to interact with the world) and manages to develop some sort of externally observable consciousness / awareness transcending what we observe with animals.

Specifically, I don't think we can arrive anywhere near the same result by simply throwing more code (or anything on the level of our current "neural networks" for that matter) at neatly arranged letters, expecting a machine to suddenly start making truly meaningful determinations based on them, which is what I think should be the yardstick AI is measured against. Concluding that "please", "buy" and "toilet paper" close together probably means we want it to do some shopping on Amazon is not what I'm talking about. We already have that, and I think it pretty much got as close to "AI" as it ever likely will. Even more specifically, I don't think it's possible to create an apparently intelligent "conversation machine" in a box, then optionally attach a body to it if we so desire - it's the other way around, a body is a mandatory first step, and language comes much, much later. If we want something with any actual intelligence, we'll need something that was born / lives out here...

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DropBear
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Re: A suggestion to tell wheather something is actually "learning"

"Actually trying to make sense of a sentence by y'know reading it (rather than running it against upteen million other sentences) has seen limited interest for some time now. Looking at again might prove useful."

Unlikely. The information in a sentence is not actually in the letters or words but in the immense amount of personal (direct or indirect) experience conjured up by them when you read them, and the specific structure they're arranged into. "I rode a bicycle with no hands today" has no meaning to someone who has never rode a bicycle, or doesn't at least have extensive indirect knowledge of what riding one entails. The words are just the index key into a (hopefully shared) giant database.

Granted, it is possible to _explain_ the same thing to someone without any of that, but that assumes the missing knowledge is a somewhat isolated hole in the net, not the entire net missing, which makes this a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. You can't really explain much anything to someone has no common experience base or at least a common language (most of which they already understand) with you. You could point at yourself and say "Tarzan", but even that assumes they already understand what pointing is, what names are, and that you're a living, conscious being just like they are. Even then, doing the same with "me" might be problematic once they grin, point at you, and repeat "me"...

So yeah, if you somehow got the impression that I believe we won't see any real AI until machines equipped with some majorly serious potential to store data and make connections get to _interactively_ experience our reality on their own - well, you would be right.

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DropBear
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WTF?

Re: How things learn

"No human player of the game would start playing without seeing the back of the box"

You're so full of it it's not even funny, I just can't decide whether you're doing it on purpose. Seriously?!? Is that a joke...? Because I'm not laughing.

All my childhood I've played any game I could get my hands on never having seen a manual let alone any box - I just started expecting a default-ish control key map and looked at what I had on the screen. If it was vaguely car-shaped and the game had "rally" in its title, I tried driving it, until it went "boom" and I learned that maybe I don't want to touch vaguely bush-like things on the road side (or were they rocks? Why would I care? They were boom-things, end of story).

Same for black spots on the road - they seem to be oil since they make me lose control = really bad, avoid. And if something seemed to shoot at me I definitely tried to a) dodge b) shoot back. If there was a place I could never reach, I tried to jump. If I didn't know what the jump key was, I kept mashing every button I had until my sprite jumped. If I could walk right up to it but not pass, I looked for a something that I could "collect" and tried again. If I had a horizon in front of me and the game's name implied flight in some way but nothing happened when I pressed "standard up", I kept mashing keys until something finally revved up - then I tried "up" again...

Where the hell you get the idea that playing any game involves "instructions" first, by necessity, I simply cannot fathom...

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Facebook has a solution to all the toxic dross on its site – wait, it's not AI?

DropBear
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Facepalm

"Algorithms still have trouble understanding the broader context of what makes content harmful and if something should be considered terrorism or not."

"Still"? "Still...?!?" How about "algorithms will never not have trouble understanding the broader context of what makes content harmful and if something should be considered terrorism or not - and for that matter, so will humans..."

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Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

DropBear
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Can we please just skip to the logical conclusion - make loaning a book / CD / DVD to anyone (or reading a newspaper in a way that would let anyone glance its other side) a disembowel-on-sight offence and be done with it once and for all...?

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Disney mulls Mickey Mouse magic material to thwart pirates' 3D scans

DropBear
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Re: Photocopier Déjà Vu

More to the point, in the appropriate sections of the Shenzen markets there will be entire tables dedicated to selling the exact same special paint(s) in no time - much like you can buy any "supa-secure" fake hologram-sticker you might need today.

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DropBear
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Trollface

Piracy warnings recited exclusively in Klingon by an appropriately-clad actor (then subtitled of course) I would actually keep in my ripped backups...

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Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

DropBear
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Trollface

Ticking them off is fine just as long as it doesn't _hit_ any of them...

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DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Tape

How is that even a question, seriously? It can only be duct tape, clearly...

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