* Posts by Francis Boyle

1883 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

Hello DARKNESS, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again... about a 10,000-pixel alien-hunting camera

Francis Boyle
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It's a spectrograph not a camera

It's not like it going to produce anything that will end up on Instagram.

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You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!

Francis Boyle
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Er, this is ignorance of the fact that someone did something stupid

A slight difference there.

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Wow, braking news: Overworked, tired ride-sharing drivers declared a public health risk

Francis Boyle
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Everything's fallible by default

Human drivers are worst than that.

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Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

Francis Boyle
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Yes, that's nicely succint

Though I think ""Go ahead, make my day" has a certain ring to it.

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Boffins pull off quantum leap in true random number generation

Francis Boyle
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Unfortunately

The inherent bias towards stupidity rules that one out.

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Microsoft's Pelican brief, MAID in Azure* and femtosecond laser glass storage

Francis Boyle
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I wouldn't use that process

The data always ends up degraded.

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German sauna drags punters to court over naked truth

Francis Boyle
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Not to mention

those long knobby things sticking out of the water everywhere. I see where the couple got the inspiration.

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Francis Boyle
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So what you're saying is "Down with this sort of thing"

Sorry Ted, but the day El Reg stops covering this sort of thing is the day I start to get my technology news elsewhere.

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UK 'wife'-carrying champion named

Francis Boyle
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Billed as the most fun a person can have with a dead fish

But I think they should replace 'person' with 'person who isn't John Cleese'.

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OpenAI challenges you to beat 1990s classic Sonic the Hedgehog using machine learning

Francis Boyle
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I'd Like to see them use the ET game

Yeah, I'm a sadist.

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Watchdog growls at Tesla for spilling death crash details: 'Autopilot on, hands off wheel'

Francis Boyle
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I'm not sure

what "extra safety features" have to do with anything. The $3000 option is for the self-driving pack which, unsurprisingly, enables self-driving. It's software that does something useful and you pay for it. Are you arguing that self-driving is so much safer that Tesla are ethically obligated to provide the software for free?

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Fatal driverless crash: Radar-maker says Uber disabled safety systems

Francis Boyle
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Better version

Self-driving cars Uber executives will always be inferior to good human drivers humans because they cannot think. Humans are able to anticipate potential risks. Self-driving cars Uber executives can only react to the lure of profit.

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India: Yeah, we would like to 3D-print igloos on the Moon

Francis Boyle
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Nice of you

to suggest that people here wouldn't instantly recognise that picture.

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UK's data watchdog seizes suspected Scottish nuisance caller's kit

Francis Boyle
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Obviously

Obama's birth certificate is fake and he was really born in Aberdeen. And he probably eats haggis as well, which we all know is classified as a bioweapon.

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Good news: The only thing standing between NASA and $20bn is...

Francis Boyle
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No B-2s

but plenty of B-52s and other Bs (and Fs and whatever). The military-industrial complex goes back a long way.

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Uber's disturbing fatal self-driving car crash, a new common sense challenge for AI, and Facebook's evil algorithms

Francis Boyle
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Shonk company desperately tries to play catch-up to the big boys

by any means possible. Corners are cut. Rules are bent. People look the other way. Other people die. capitalism in action.

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YouTube banned many gun vids, so some moved to smut site

Francis Boyle
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"We will not be seeking any monetization from PornHub

and do not know what their monetization policies are"

I think you'll find a demonstration of their monetization policies at the end of most of their videos*.

*Lesbian content excepted.

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Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin

Francis Boyle
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er,

I'm sure Oengus is a just god and has space for them too.

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MIT boffins build rubber robot, invade privacy of unsuspecting sealife

Francis Boyle
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Well

two fish-eye lenses might have been better.

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Leaning tower of NASA receives last big arm

Francis Boyle
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Re: And the passenger in the shuttle ?!

Sorry Alistair, but and* Oxford comma goes before a conjunction. I suggest a comma whose absence radically changes the meaning of a sentence be called a Staines comma after your illustrious namesake.

*token mistake as required by all posts concerning grammar.

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Fog off! No more misty eyes for self-driving cars, declare MIT boffins

Francis Boyle
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Why would level 4 be ruled out?

If it turns out that AVs can't cope with pedestrians then restricting them to areas where pedestrians don't have access (which is a subset of level 4) is the obvious solution.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: FAIL

So Uber's system failed when it clearly shouldn't have. I think you're drawing the wrong conclusion here.

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Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

Francis Boyle
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You're missing the point

Nothing I said implies that we need to apply airline service standards to AVs. Motor vehicles as they stand are extremely safe (because of, surprise, rigorous standards) - it's the roads and drivers that kill. The danger is those rigorous standards wont be applied is to the design of the software (because, hey it's just software and it can be fixed later).

Without rigorous standards we'll get consumer grade software running cars which would be a disaster. With it we won't get anything like perfection because roads are inherently unsafe but we can road travel much safer. And why shouldn't we? Something like one in ten thousand people die on the roads every year in developed countries. If those people were dying in a war there would be mass demonstrations. Yet we just accept it. I don't consider that remotely rational given how risk averse we are in other areas of life.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: I knew this was coming...

I partly agree. Autonomous control systems for road vehicles need to be overseen with the same rigour as those for planes or trains. That said, the standards have to be imposed before AVs are made available to the public but not before development is complete. Too many bad laws have been made by politicians under pressure "to do something now".

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Francis Boyle
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Re: This is my take on what might have happened

I'd be surprised if there haven't been accidents there before. That turning lane is far too narrow. You can't just draw a white line inside an existing lane and call the result a bicycle lane.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: I wonder...

How about self-flying. One of the few justifiable uses of a "flying car" is as an ambulance.

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He He He: Seagate's gasbag Exos spinner surges up to 14TB

Francis Boyle
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About time too

That VR porn nature documentaries takes up a lot of space.

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UK's London Gatwick Airport boasts of driverless vehicle trial

Francis Boyle
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“shuttled between popular locations”

Yeah, I hear just under the left engine is a great place to hang out.

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No, Stephen Hawking's last paper didn't prove the existence of a multiverse

Francis Boyle
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Re: Awesome

I'm not a fan of multiverses myself but you have to remember that there being infinite possibilities doesn't mean everything is possible.

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Another day, another self-flying car pipe dream surfaces

Francis Boyle
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Re: That's all we need

And driven by a bloke named Gene.

You mean this collaboration isn't being called "Project Gene". And will turn out to be all a demented fantasy.

And since the resulting vehicle will almost certainly have four rotors they have to call it a Quattro" won't they.

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Geoboffins believe gigantic volcanoes kickstarted Mars' oceans

Francis Boyle
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Well that's winter for you

On the other hand I've heard there's some great skiing opportunities at the poles.

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Linux Foundation backs new ‘ACRN’ hypervisor for embedded and IoT

Francis Boyle
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Re: GPU, video and audio on car or embedded hypervisor?

Yep, absolutely bonkers but hopefully just some Intel marketdroid's fantasy. By all means put your climate control, entertainment or seat adjustment stuff in one of these things but keep the safety critical software on it's own hardware with only the leanest of real-time operating systems. The idea of cars controlled by consumer grade software gives me the willies.

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Phone-free Microsoft patents Notch-free phone

Francis Boyle
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Re: The notch is just a temporary workaround

The Catholic Church* disagrees with you.

*Not a fan personally, but like a lot of authoritarian organisations it does have style.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: The Notch: the curse of 2018 phone designs

But then the display would be 16:9 and that would be terrible because. . . reasons.

Note to phone manufacturers: I don't want my screen to give the "illusion" of extending to infinity. I want it to be right there where I can see it.

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Nip/Tug: Plastic surgeon accused of mid-surgery 'hardcore' smut binge

Francis Boyle
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This must be

the most LA story since Sunset Boulevard.

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Brit retailer Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam

Francis Boyle
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"the only computer you will have access to"

I'm not sure I understand this concept.

Why wouldn't you just get one of your Raspberry Pis out of the drawer.

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Airbus CIO: We dumped Microsoft Office not over cost but because Google G Suite looks sweet

Francis Boyle
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LOL

(Well, at least a low chortle)

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Veteran NASA probe Dawn: Winter is coming on Ceres (sort of)

Francis Boyle
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Or if you want to wait

just nick one from Starman. I don't think he's really using them.

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You always wanted to be an astronaut, right? Careful: Space is getting more and more deadly

Francis Boyle
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We just need to work out

how to implant our consciousnesses into tardigrades.

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Kepler krunch koming: Super space 'scope's fuel tank almost empty

Francis Boyle
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My Chevy's low on fuel

I'd better use what's left to drive it back to Detroit.

- Dwayne Dibley

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Francis Boyle
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The reaction wheels have gone

other parts will follow. The expense of a servicing mission would be better put towards a next generation device. We've learned a lot from Kepler but it's time to move forward.

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Russian boffins blow up teeny asteroids with tiny laser... to work out how to nuke the real thing

Francis Boyle
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"Boom"

Someone tell Elena Khavina that thar's no sound in space.

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It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Francis Boyle
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Don't leave your Pi in a drawer

Install Boinc and donate some cycles.

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There's more to blockchain than dodgy cryptocurrencies

Francis Boyle
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Re: There's more to blockchain than dodgy cryptocurrencies

Thems some ugly kitties.

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Former Google X bloke's startup unveils 'self flying' electric air taxi

Francis Boyle
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"Never have to stop at traffic lights"

A holding pattern on the other hand. . .

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Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

Francis Boyle
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I suspect

ejector seats would be more efficient if not practical.

Also how do you stop people falling into that big hole.

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Less than half of paying ransomware targets get their files back

Francis Boyle
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Re: That headline: Fewer... (please?)

"Less" is for non-count nouns.

Less has always been used with both type of nouns. The idea that it's restricted to non count terms is a "zombie rule".

Look at it this way. Mathematically integers are a special class of numbers so it's not surprising they get their own version of the inequality operator (in common speech, at least). But quantities are numbers, not numbers other than integers, so any operator that applies to them applies to integers as well.

BTW, I'm with mdubash here. "Less than half" qualifies "targets", which is a count noun, so "fewer" is appropriate here.

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Identifying planets with machine learning, dirty AI searches, and OpenAI scholarships

Francis Boyle
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What the hell is “girl time flanty?

If you have to ask, you're obviously not ready for it.

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Sneaky satellite launch raises risk of Gravity-style space collision

Francis Boyle
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According to the linked article

they're 0.25U. So four of them stacked together are the same size and shape as a cubesat. But if you happen to be looking at one side on it'll appear significantly smaller. Which is what matters.

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