* Posts by GrapeBunch

493 posts • joined 19 Apr 2015

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US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

GrapeBunch
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Re: Hang on a moment

Sarchasm, n. That's a cancer we can cure. No, really. The gap isn't in the credibility.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: That humming noise

Dick is dead, but a combo world of Ubik and Remoronity Import might see gov't agents visit the dead to convict them of post-crime. Philip K. is the first they'd approach. Wherever he is, he must be humming. If you thought: "Meh, this is bad, but when I die it will all be over", perhaps you didn't hear that hymn. Listen. It's faint, but if you cup your hand to your ear, you can hear Dick hum. Listen to Dick hum. It's faint, but it goes like this: "Bwahahahahahahahah"

The next great OS should be named Govern, so that hipsters can get into Govern Mint. See Dick McGovern. See Dick eat McGovern, except for the catholic comix.

I thought you could only sue McGovernment if they invited you. "Après vous, monsieur le Cœur de Lion en tête." "Non, merci, pas du tout." Did I think faux news?

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Violent moon mishap will tear Uranus a new ring or two

GrapeBunch
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Entrianglement

It's intelligent life calling to tell us they want more Dangerman:

ABC logo.

I don't know how to break this to them. Maybe by sending the first minute of The Prisoner.

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Best Korea fingered for hacks against Bitcoin exchanges in South

GrapeBunch
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Yoga retreat

What's so great about Bitcoin if there are so many reports that others are getting to steal or destroy it? Is this the Universe where all software is beta software? Are the reports of Bitcoin's weakness just fake news originating with gov'ts, that don't like vibrant and secret money exchanges? If you're quiet, you can hear the wheels-within-wheels spinning.

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China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

GrapeBunch
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The open skies of enterprise

The possibilities for ransomlair are humongous. Please pay us $5 a month not to be on the noisy flight path. Please pay us $1000 so that our non-exploding but pointy 200 kg cargo may not fall on your roof or through your window. This is almost as good as smart meters!

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Uncle Sam outlines evidence against British security whiz Hutchins

GrapeBunch
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Re: Does he sound like a baddie?

Evil villain no, Austin Powers or Monty Python, yeah...

CANADA would like to apologize to any British person who believes that Austin Powers's accent is intended to be a British accent. Our agent was instructed to make it sound like a Canadian in the television rec room annoying his friends and family with a bit of OTT.

If any American person thinks that Austin Powers's accent is intended to be a British accent, well, that's the point, innit?

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Phisherfolk dangle bait at dot-fish domain

GrapeBunch
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Coat

All of my reactions were unprintable - except the sardinic one.

Mine's the one with the net lining to hold important documents.

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UK.gov is hiring IT bods with skills in ... Windows Vista?!

GrapeBunch
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I hear they're about to say "TOODLE PIP" to CP/M 2.2.

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GrapeBunch
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Alien

Milton Keynes. That's code for Bletchley.

There was a time you could tell the weft of a chap's tweed from the bold ollocks he wrote for Hell Reg. And when you gask oogle to do the interviewing for you, it says "Sorry, Dave, old chap, I could have done that for you last week." Will have to go bad to filtering out the ones with no Reginads in the ancestor list. Pity poor Charles.

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US cops point at cell towers and say: Give us every phone number that's touched that mast

GrapeBunch
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Re: Data for Sale

It's my way or the Nor Way. Looks like it's Nor Way. Speaking, of course, only for those who cannot speak for themselves.

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Don't panic, Chicago, but an AWS S3 config blunder exposed 1.8 million voter records

GrapeBunch
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Inquayling Minds ...

... so, when somebody steals the identity of your dead grandfather, can it still affect your credit rating?

Forget what happens when your identity is stolen, that won't change the result of any election.

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Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

GrapeBunch
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Am I the only one bothered ...

... by the statement of the problem? A correct solution is a list of 100 distinct numbers between 1 and 400. Or between 0 and 399 if you're a zero-based thinker. There are no "pairs" in the solution. The dean need not provide pairs, but more efficiently a list of up to 400 lists, each containing the student-numbers incompatible with a student. References to "pairs" make me want to divide the 100 places into 50, 2-person dorm rooms, and the pairs to indicate dorm pairings that are not allowed. That is a different (set of) problem(s).

Aside from which, the Ramans do everything in threes.

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NotPetya ransomware attack cost us $300m – shipping giant Maersk

GrapeBunch
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Perhaps what they actually said was "there was nothing that could be done to stop an attack by a determined and skillful cracker targeting only our systems".

Which was not what happened, eh. Even then, I'd doubt it.

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Brit firms warned over hidden costs of wiping data squeaky clean before privacy rules hit

GrapeBunch
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Offshoring

Nobody's mentioned offshoring yet. For example, offshore your live data requirements to a non-GDPR jurisdiction such as USA. All the way down to shipping old tapes and DVD-R disks to the Third World as a "just in case" alternative to destroying them which might otherwise be required to become compliant. With suitable corporate arm's-lengthedness as secreted by appropriate lawyer-arachnid-molluscs.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Shame!

"The Wayback Machine will have to be erased using Mil-Spec algorithms on the media"

Wayback Machine has more fundamental problems. I had my website hosted at an ISP. For many years, I could find old versions of the site at the Wayback Machine. Then the ISP decided not to host websites any more. It's Canada, it's a race to the bottom, I understand. I made sure to Wayback Machine - snapshot my site. But when I came back after the date when the ISP had erased all the sites, I found that in the Wayback Machine, all versions of my site were : "Page cannot be displayed due to robots.txt."

Upon erasing all the webpages, the ISP added a robots.txt that would discourage web spiders looking for info that was not there:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

The Internet Archive interprets it to mean "don't show this", even though the ISP never had ownership over any of the material.

If even the Internet Archive, with a clear purpose, fairly independent, run by smart people and "lives in" The Land of the Free and Amendment(s) Thereof, can so easily become confused (and it's the same decision now as it was two months ago when first the problem was brought to their attention), is it any surprise that some are foreseeing a world of hurt from the GDPR?

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US military spies: We'll capture enemy malware, tweak it, lob it right back at our adversaries

GrapeBunch
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Misdirection

So when they are found to have attacked someone, it still will be all "No comment", but with the implication that it's a retaliation, rather than the default assumption: aggression. It's not about retooling malware at all.

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Hey America! Your internet is going to be so much better this January

GrapeBunch
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There is no big business, son. That's redefined to be enterprises with 100,000 or more employees, not counting robots and outsourcing. Nope. Everything is now a Mom and Pop shop.

In unrelated news, inflation continued at less than 2% year-on-year for the 467th straight month, except in Venezuela, Argentina, Iran, Belarus, and the Sudan, where it may be approaching 3%.

Mine's the one that belonged to the previous poster.

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Ukrainian man, 51, cuffed on suspicion of distributing NotPetya

GrapeBunch
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Re: You should

Neverov could also be a Russian name. Ting! If my Russian isn't too rusty, it means "Unbeliever". I'm not saying anyting about the story, but sometimes fiction writers can't resist a little play on words. Sometimes also, people get attracted to activities that reflect on their surnames, like they were born to do it.

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Intel Pumageddon: Broadband chip bug haunts Chipzilla's past, present and future

GrapeBunch
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Black Helicopters

Re: Be fair!

I was thinking something similar: that the reason the process of fixing the firmware is slated to take so long is that the NSA will have to vet it before it gets released. Like my hat? Designed by Bryantitti. Go green, girls.

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Dems fightin' words! FCC's net neutrality murder plot torn apart

GrapeBunch
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Re: Not for profit

"Canadian telecoms are way worse - we actually envy the Americans."

Candy mint, breath mint. Stop, you're both wrong.

We don't really know how bad it is in the USA. We project our best wishes on our southern cousins. Yes, it's bad here in Canada. But my main complaint with Shaw is that it is expensive. In the vast spectrum of things that can go wrong, paying 50% too much isn't that bad a fate.

Historically in Canada, operating a cable TV company--which has morphed through ISP-dom into full-blown telecom--was described as "a license to print money". That virtual license translated into inflated valuations. They're all trying to make returns (profits) that justify the valuations (stock prices). I'm persuaded that those efforts represent the lion's share of our collective telecom SNAFU.

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CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

GrapeBunch
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Windows

Several times a week.

It's easy to change the size of the Command Prompt screen. Go into Properties and change the font (size).

I also use TCC/LE. In part, I like it for the pdir command:

pdir g:\2017 /s /(dy-m-d zm fpn) >> j:\2017.txt

that sort of thing, in batch files, to have up-to-date listings, in a format of my choice, of offline files.

At best, they're making one thing better, while making a whole bunch of other things slightly worse. Typical. For example, I like the colour bright yellow. An earlier poster liked it against blue, I like it against deep red / maroon. That's what I use when editing text files with ConTEXT 0.98.3 (the later version would occasionally lose its mind, for me). In the article, the line with bright yellow against all backgrounds looks washed out in comparison to the Old Way.

With old monochrome monitors, I think the determinative factor in usability may have been the quality of the equipment rather than the chosen colour. I had a Televideo green monitor, rock-solid, never suffered eyestrain. Made me feel like a real programmer (psssst, don't look at the CODE!). Amber screens (whether black text on amber or amber text on black) tended to give the impression of fleetingness, like an inaudible buzz. Yet you could use the same colours now on an LED without that impression. Even worse were the "paper white" screens I encountered. To get the paper white colour required more complex technology, but that didn't remove the pressure of meeting a price point, so they tended to use a cheaper version of that technology. Today, we're all accustomed to paper white, few complain about it except in darkened rooms. It was the application of technology that stank, not the concept.

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To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

GrapeBunch
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Introduce my self as "Dr Gordon Freeman. I work with nuclear resonance", and people scoff and say "yeah, right, of course you are..." in a condescending tone.

I'd be tempted to believe rather that nuclear resonance works with you.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

"IIRC there was an Inspector Morse plot that revolved round the deliberate? misuse of "s" or "z" in some words in a written note."

Translating that into Laevopudlianese: There was a Perry Mason plot that hinged upon the ignorant misuse of "mimento" for "memento" in a typed letter. The perp immediately confessed to the murder. Today 60 years on, it would be " ... mento? So what? Get your own candy."

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GrapeBunch
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Re: I could careless

"I could careless" means simply this: that some time after Jefferson, they abandoned the Socratic Method.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: I could careless

But if you do find yourself careless in Blighty, take the train! BriteRaile is a genuine olde tyme experience, Guaranteed. "I could careless" is no impediment to travel.

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WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON

GrapeBunch
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Headmaster

Re: You never know

"Anyone can pick wholes in any country because none of us are perfect."

I don't have the heart to Grammar-Nazi this, even though it's usually worth a bunch of upvotes.

Fully Completely is the title of a song and album by The Tragically Hip from 1992.

We all know about Assange and Snowden and Manning. But it *is* possible that the next whistle-blower will seek to contact an "untouchable" foreign hero to get the precious info out of the country. Or is that just in Hollywood movies?

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Conferences?

The Cndin ssocition of the Hering Impired would like to organize next yer's DEF CON in the underused conference centre of Nnimo, British Columbi, Cnd. Unless you prefer Ssktchewn. Or L-Bert.

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WannaCry-slayer Marcus Hutchins 'built Kronos banking trojan' – FBI

GrapeBunch
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Re: Also Wannacry?

I upvoted you, but I'm not sure. "clueless" ... "stupid" ... it could just be a nefarious way to get something they really want. And if the dates are right, they knew they wanted it before the Las Vegas convention, but after Marcus became an accidental hero. They'll certainly be looking for other things in any electronic equipment he might have been carrying (didn't we all agree last month not to carry equipment to USA?), or if there's no data, they could add it. His safest option was to have not been carrying any equipment.

So, are there any safe countries in which to reside--and be a hacker not employed by a government? Perhaps Russia, but maybe not, if you are the wrong flavour.

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Internet's backroom boffins' big brainwave: Put people first in future

GrapeBunch
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Re: sometimes you need a very simple clear rule like this to stop the BS explosion

The Donald is an End User too.

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Dark web doesn't exist, says Tor's Dingledine. And folks use network for privacy, not crime

GrapeBunch
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Gone fishing, fishing gone.

dark * (matter + energy + fiber + web) = Alaska Black God, walking on the waves.

Mine is the one with the book and hairnet in the pocket.

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Chess champ Kasparov, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords

GrapeBunch
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AI is what works

Or, in the case of chess engine competitions, AI is what worked. Deep Blue, which was a culmination of decades of programmers standing upon each others' shoulders, was as AI as was appropriate for the age. Kasparov's likening of it to an alarm clock is quotable, but disingenuous.

With the score tied in the second match, in the final game, Kasparov made a psychological error, allowing the computer a known strong sacrificial attack in the belief that it would either not be able to handle the attack or would not play it. The computer played the sacrifice, and crushed Kasparov in that game. Did I do that? he might have asked, but rather than needing to count empty bottles, perhaps his downfall was numbered in interviews. Deep Blue was not available for comment.

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Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

GrapeBunch
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Re: Finally!

"Vivaldi"

Yes, me too. Also based on the Chromium engine is Opera, which I also use every day. Also Sleipnir, which admittedly I haven't given much of a workout. Why would one use Chrome when the chromavixxen are so much better? Because it's there?, like using IE?

The third browser I have open at all times (on the laptop that can take the activity) is Firefox (54). I remember a few years ago that the author of the best-working extensions I had ever encountered, got into an argument with Firefox about their requirements for keeping the extension up to date with new FF versions. I don't understand or know the details of the argument, but the author just up and left, pulling the plug on his extensions, so it must have been an important dispute. That put the kibosh on any thoughts I may have harboured of using Firefox exclusively.

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DeepMind says it's given AI an imagination. Let's take a closer look at that

GrapeBunch
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Re: Hype

I don't think that Chess or Go players, when they are playing Chess or Go, are dumb enough to fall for that. But when a Chess player is playing poker, bets are off! I remember a pretty good chess player who was pretty good at poker and won money locally, but after he came back from Vegas, he admitted that he realized only too late that many if not all of the other elements at the poker table were there to fleece his local winnings. It's even worse online as everything is hidden from view and executed in nanoseconds rather than the "blink of an eye". The ease of using a chess engine to assist one's play is one reason that real money chess tournaments still take place largely in the real world.

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GrapeBunch
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Pint

Re: While El Reg editors analyze my post for Badthink tendencies regarding Trump etc.

I didn't know if you were joking. But whether the patent is real or not, yours was a good comment, so I upvoted it. Imagine, google, debaser of intellectual property, patenting the obvious. Even if it's just as a placemaker so that some even worse miscreant doesn't patent it first, there's always the possibility they could sell it to a patent troll, or it could eventually be picked up by a patent troll from google's floating carcass. Here's hoping that patent trolling gets maced before google expires.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Hype

[...] "A human player, thus, would be well advised to plan moves ahead of time. The DeepMind agent, because it's capable of such planning too, is also well suited for this game, the researchers suggest."

That applies to Chess, or Go too. No creativity or AI needed.

Both "creativity" and "AI" are buzzwords. Marcel Duchamp, who must be considered one of the most creative of artists (otherwise what would his fame rest upon, technique?), gave up Art for over a decade and devoted himself to Chess, where he became good enough to represent France at the Chess Olympics, but never quite good enough to break into the world top-50. Duchamp wrote that chess players were the greater artists because they relied on the ultimate truth of their creation, whereas Artists, to be successful, had to curry favour among potential sponsors, sometimes devoting more ~creative~ juices to PR than to their Art.

Back in the days when computers were slow, Artificial Intelligence, which in those days was mainly trying to mimic the ways a human brain works, was thought by many (who I guess thereby became "AI exponents") to be the most productive way forward. Instead it was faster processors, multiple processors and eventually parallel processing, combined with extensive databases of both openings and endgames ("tablebases"), and even more with computer-friendly techniques for pruning the result trees, that made computers the strongest practical (under tournament conditions, where a game takes 5 hours or less to complete) players. So with the strongest players all computers, aspiring chess players in 2017 study the games played between them, right? No, they still study the games between the top human players, all of whom use computers for their preparation, but not during the game (that would be Cheating). Commentators frequently insert a computer-generated variation (often as in "you won't believe what the computer suggested ..."), but elucidation of a computer versus computer game is still exceeding rare. Why? Perhaps human games are more understandable. Perhaps they are more ~creative~.

Creativity, in the sense of "imagining and making real what is not", unfortunately is not always that different from plain old lying, nor from fraught new lying.

I took it that the innovation was to look ahead in the training period. It's a bit like, were you training Tic-Tac-Toe, telling you student that after >Centre, your move should be >Corner, rather than let it lose a million virtual times exploring >Side. If in a complex game they came up with the exact same or even better result (result=game-playing engine) through that cycle-saving, that is a non-trivial result (result=evaluation of training technique). To me, anyway.

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Fan of FBI cosplay? Enjoy freaking out your neighbors? Have we got the eBay auction for you

GrapeBunch
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The small bit of white powder on the vehicle? Or the larger pile of it on the ground? I don't think it's evidence gone astray. Might be owner-applied vehicle treatment (aka car wax) used to restore the vehicle. So glad didn't have to use quote marks, italics, or abrasive.

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Feature snatcher Microsoft tweaks OneDrive

GrapeBunch
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Re: "Fall Creators Update"

Fool Uptake Craters, Kilobaud EDition are we.

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Apple's 'KGB level of secrecy' harms its AI projects – but don't worry, it's started a blog

GrapeBunch
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Re: Of Buffer OverLodes ...... and Fanciful China Syndrome Meltdowns* in Surreal Life Events

I welcome our new Spanish-Italian-Chinese uberlord. Drive me to distraction, please, and make no Menai means about it.

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Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

GrapeBunch
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Re: Ask Watson?

"I'm sorry, you give the answer, then I ask the question."

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US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

GrapeBunch
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Second Amendment

Americans think it is normal for Americans to carry firearms on board airplanes. Yes, they understand that it makes other people nervous. They in turn are nervous about armed non-Americans. But they view the disapproval of loaded weapon carrying Americans (did I say that right?) as a kind of technical foul. Yes, it's wrong, but only a little bit. Don't do that again, sir.

Canada had bomb-checking of laptops decades ago, long before the Americans. They would swab the keyboard and other areas for traces of explosives. But AFAIR they stopped doing it quite some time ago. A sensible reason would be if they never after years found anybody carrying a laptop bomb. But in this wild world, it could just as easily be a nonsensical reason.

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Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

GrapeBunch
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Not Speckless Sky

I think we need to speak with the Water Bears' representatives about the fate of life on earth. I was not able to speak to any Waterbury's, but did achieve the next best thing. Jane Sea-Bear-y says I'd probably be famous if I wasn't such a good Waitress. Just about sums it up, eh?

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GrapeBunch
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Bearish

In reply to "What do you think about the future of life on this planet?", the answer: "I'm Bearish" would thus be optimistic, rather the opposite of markets. Come to think of it, markets are rather the opposite of nature.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Instant space travel

The new you won't have any memory of the old you. Perhaps that's how life got to Earth in the first place. And of course you don't blast them into space naked, you put then into icy or rocky bodies that might become gravitationally attracted to a planet-sized body, out there. Search term: "Hoyle–Wickramasinghe model of panspermia"

For the here and now, the more profitable tack may be to offer, for a price, to attach somebody else's DNA to the junk DNA of a tardigrade.... and either to put it back in the ocean or send it to Mars. Offer not valid where prohibited by law.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Pfft, the last living thing on Earth will be lawyers...

Not living, merely Undead.

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US border cops search cloud accounts? Ha ha, nope, negative, no way, siree – Homeland Sec

GrapeBunch
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Big Brother

Null promises.

1. They lie. We know this.

2. Based on that statement, they don't even need to lie. Will not search for data held only on remote servers? As we know, they copy Internet transmissions without limit. They have the data already, albeit in difficult-to-decrypt format. They can safely say whatever they want about data held only in the Cloud, because ¬∃ , within reasonable statistical approximation.

I'm wondering if anybody goes to the USA without phone or laptop, and upon being queried, tells the nice agent that the purpose of the visit is to buy a phone and a laptop. The agent might like that. Or Not.

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All hail AT&T! Champion of the open internet and users' privacy!

GrapeBunch
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Unhappy

There is no turbo button

"Would you like to turbo-fuck?" I asked Mrs. Bunch.

"With whom would you suggest I do that?" she smiled demurely.

Seeing that it was a longshot, I replied: "I saw it on television."

"Mister Oliver" she said, "has left the building."

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Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

GrapeBunch
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Coat

Re: "paying out the nose"

"No one would get that impassioned about an amateur game... You don't hear the Hockey fans belittle Polo much...."

Field Hockey is just an inferior form of Hockey played without ice and only one arm.

Polo is just an inferior form of Field Hockey played by arses riding large donkeys.

FTFY. Didn't want to, but you asked for it.

Mine's the one with the tuque hidden in the sleeve.

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Pastor la vista, baby! FCC enforcers shut down church pirate radio

GrapeBunch
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The Not So Jolly Roger

The Not So Jolly Roger, set on a pirate radio station, was perhaps my favourite episode of Danger Man. Apologies for the weak audio and video, but it was the (ironically pirate) version found. And an episode summary. The plot was corny, but the location fabulous, and so was Suzie, in all her glory, played by Patsy Ann Noble. Maybe the network economized with a 2-for-1 by getting her to be the actor and also getting to play her song, He Who Rides A Tiger. Ironic dialogue between the two, as Suzie, in what sounds to me like a BBC accent, asks John if he worked in Australia, whereas in real life she was from Australia.

Or perhaps my favourite Danger Man was the one where he pretended to be an effete culture-buff to win the confidence of a spy. With all the homo-erotic overtones they dared put in a 1960s broadcast, but thankfully not more than that. That was a nuanced performance by good old Patrick McGoohan.

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Juno beams back first closeups of Jupiter's unsightly red acne

GrapeBunch
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Re: Mistaken?

Sounds a bit like Percival Lowell spotting "canals" on Mars, this not being found by subsequent telescopic observers, and yet there are canal-like natural features on Mars. Perhaps he saw them under particularly auspicious angles of sunlight. If the current observations don't match the canal maps he made, then he was talking Baltimores. But if they do, he was (observationally) effing brilliant. I wonder if an observer of Earth, when the sun was shining bright on Sydney, could see the shadow of the Andes as a kind of canal.

Another one is Immanuel Velikovsky's prediction that Venus would be found to rotate in a retrograde manner. Again, that turned out to be true, and surprising. Doesn't mean we have to accept Velikovsky's far out theory as to how that came about. But hey, maybe a tiny quantum of sci street cred.

I'm posting this because I'm not convinced that the downvote mechanism is working properly at El Reg. Discovery awaits.

As to the red spot itself, both images we've seen look stonily like Artist Concepts. If "I could have done that", then some artist probably has, retrospectively saving NASA many meeellion$. <joke icon/> In the second image, I get the feeling that the top of the red is lower in the Jovian atmosphere than the top of the surrounding white clouds. That should be testable, by more than one means but certainly by bouncing signals and seeing how long they take to come back. In which case an alternative explanation could be "red spots, meh, they aren't unusual; what is unique is that the cloud cover above it has dispersed".

See how thoroughly I want to test downvoteology? You know you want it.

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An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

GrapeBunch
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Joke

Mein LangWocheWitzheit

I vill only belief it ven I hear präss for Liarbirdt frum a real Werld Leader sutsch ass Angela Merkel. Zeess could neffer happen in Tschurmany.

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