* Posts by Francis Boyle

1972 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

An $18m supercomputer to simulate brains of mice in the land of Swiss cheese. How apt, HPE

Francis Boyle
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It's the whole human brain that's the problem

since it has the "I'd rather be doing something else than driving" module. Sometimes less is more.

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I think I'm a clone now: Chinese AMD Epyc-like server chips appear in China. What gives?

Francis Boyle
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"I'm sure HP and Dell would sell you a Ryzen box if they thought it was profitable."

This is of course completely unrelated and in no way represents the sales team of any large microprocessor manufacturer.

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Boffins build neural networks fashioned out of DNA molecules

Francis Boyle
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So this means I'll be able to hack my own body

So an instant high every time I see the word wombat.

A lot of drug dealers are not going to like it.

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India tells WhatsApp to add filters, ASAP

Francis Boyle
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Re: Maybe some compromise

I doubt that hashing would word since the forwarded message would probably not have the same hash as the original) and those with malicious intent could just change it) but with the appropriate network analytics it should be possible to send a warning to those likely to be targeted. It needn't be perfect. Just catching a majority might be enough to prevent the critical mass needed for mob violence. Of course, it won't work at all if there is a critical mass of people just wanting an excuse for violence but sometimes just questioning the message, sowing a seed of doubt, can be enough.

A second point. The problem here seems to be the familiar one that the internet can spread lies faster than the relevant authorities can deal with them. (Yes, something like that was always true, but improved communications made it a much less serious problem. Now, it seems, we are going backwards.) I don't see it as an unreasonable burden for the companies involved to be required to help deal with a problem they are a party to creating.

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US Declaration of Independence labeled hate speech by Facebook bots

Francis Boyle
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Re: Organized religion is the root of all evil

I beg to differ. But I as cannot possibly say it better than Patton Oswalt, I will refer you to his take on Sky Cake.

Patton Oswalt is wrong. The reason psychopaths don't get to do what they want is not because someone invented religion to fool them, but because most people are not psychopaths1. Indeed, given that "leaders" tend to be psychopaths, you could argue that every religion is creation by started by a psychopaths because it takes someone with an interest in controlling others to take an idea and turn it into an organisation.

1. Altruism and a sense of community came first2 or there wouldn't have been anybody to invent religion.

2. On second thought, don't ask a chimp. It'll probably try to rip your arm off. Ask a bonobo. It'll try to have sex with you but that's just it's way of saying hello.

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Francis Boyle
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Are you sure

it wasn't to stop Americans thinking it was a sci-fi/action film about the third in a series of androids that runs amuck because it realises that George is a really silly name for an android.

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Boffins want to stop Network Time Protocol's time-travelling exploits

Francis Boyle
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Connections, connections

Don't count on that !

Well, yes.

But the chance of there being no operating tower your phone can connect to is probably smaller than the likelihood of the outage taking down the exchange your landline is connected to.

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Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Francis Boyle
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Re: Halted machine on other side of the planet

Not when the "server" is a Raspberry Pi hanging off the end of a consumer broadband connection.

Then get another Pi to manage the first one. The solution* is always another Raspberry Pi.

*Even when there isn't actually a problem.

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Oracle, for one, says we'll welcome our new robot overlords: '90%' of you will obey an AI bot

Francis Boyle
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I do

At every intersection.

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SD cards add PCIe and NVMe, hit 985 MB/sec and 128TB

Francis Boyle
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Re: No Wear Levelling hmmmmmm

Six to eight months is only a few hundred writes. Nowhere near enough to hit the cell write limit unless you've got some very badly written code that somehow manages to continually write the same locations. I suspect it's your dashcam that doesn't deserve the enterprise moniker

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Jimmy Hill feted in Shoreditch

Francis Boyle
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Well

I think you'll find the Romans got there first. Though some of their murals probably would have been NSFS (not safe for slums).

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Infamous 'Dancing Baby' copyright battle settled just before YouTube tot becomes a teen

Francis Boyle
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Unfortunately it's not about justice, it's about the law

Refusing to hear an appeal is the default for the Supreme Court and, given the number of petitions for appeals, overwhelmingly the most common outcome. Basically the court will hear an appeal if it thinks there is a sufficiently important issue of law at stake. Otherwise the lower court's decision stands. In effect the decision is "legally speaking nothing to see here folks - go home".

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Get a grip, literally: Clumsy robots can't nab humans' jobs just yet

Francis Boyle
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That's odd

I'm a bit older than five and I've never learnt how to catch a ball. It's just not something I can do. Meanwhile, we have drones that can build a bridge.

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Francis Boyle
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Horses for courses

From what I've seen automated fruit picking is done by the simple expedient of vigorously shaking the tree. For heavier fruit though you probably can't afford to let it fall so you have to find a way to hold it. But holding it and twisting it off? Not necessarily. A human has only two arms. A robot can have as many arms (and thus hold as many tools) as it needs. I wouldn't be particularly confident that the human way is the best way in more than a very small number of cases. Except of course that making a tool to do it is the human way.

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Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

Francis Boyle
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Yes

but since it's all online, unlike Uber, they won't kill anyone. . .

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White House calls its own China tech cash-inject ban 'fake news'

Francis Boyle
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Well of course

You don't own a phone (or any other consumer product) made with by cheap Chinese labour.

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Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

Francis Boyle
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So we've started downvoting amfm

This is a sad day for the Register. I generally don't bother to read his (its?) comments but without them this would be a duller place.

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By gum, that's chewy: Samsung's NF1 fattens M.2 card capacity with wider gumstick format

Francis Boyle
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AIUI

It's really just M.2 with some of the reserved pins used for "enterprise" features and is designed for "backward compatibility". But, yes, we all no about compatibility that is backward.

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Francis Boyle
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First

make sure that your mouse isn't using its wheel. . .

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The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

Francis Boyle
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Revenge of the AI

I want to do a remake of Max Headroom in which both Max and Edison Carter (his human counterpart) are computer generated.

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Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

Francis Boyle
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Unfortunately

they're eye-wateringly expensive. If they weren't I'd have one.

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Francis Boyle
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Now

if they put the screens on actual keys. Surely that's economically feasible now. I mean, I just bought a $10 smartwatch.

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Done and dusted? Vast storm gobbles NASA's long-lived Mars robot

Francis Boyle
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I expect

Elon's already got the trophy museum room designed.

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Astroboffins trace mysterious noise from hard rock in space

Francis Boyle
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According to Wikipedia

she's still in the same place where she's been for 3.2 million years - Ethiopia. Seems she's a bit of a stay-at-home girl. (although I believe she did once do a world tour).

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Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

Francis Boyle
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I suspect

that some people around here might know about that.

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Youth crime falls as kids stay inside to play Grand Theft Auto instead of going out to steal cars

Francis Boyle
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Re: So basically ...

The resolution may be good but on most levels the design is dull and uninspiring and the special effects are just pathetic.

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

Francis Boyle
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The wheelbarrow joke

When Dave allen told it it was "the docks"*.

*Or possibly "the Doc's" if he'd been watching Police Squad".

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Motorola extends modular phone adventure for another year

Francis Boyle
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Motorola promised that Mods would be compatible with its devices for three years, which is something of a curse for the company, as it requires Motorola to produce phones that are (more or less) the same shape and size for the duration of the commitment.

Well that was the result of a bad design decision. Either you make the mod larger than the largest phone you want to support and have adaptors to suit smaller phones or you define the mod dimensions as smaller than the smallest phone and require an adapter (which can be styled to match the specific mod) to bring it up to size. Either way has (slight) disadvantages but nothing compared to locking yourself into one form factor.

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Tor-forker Joshua Yabut cuffed for armoured personnel carrier joyride

Francis Boyle
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Re: Drug-fuelled rampage?

Well, alcohol is "drugs". Maybe the National Guard is trying to cutted down on dependence on foreign oil.

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I see a satellite of a man ... Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, that's now 4 sats fit to go

Francis Boyle
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AIUI

Navstar is the name of the American satellite system that provides the GPS service. The user facing service has always been referred to as "GPS" (or possibly "Navstar GPS" if you want to be very formal). It would be indeed be a good idea if people started referring to it as Navstar, but good luck in getting Americans to do that.

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Great time to shift bytes: International bandwidth prices are in free fall

Francis Boyle
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Unfortunately

that's not something marketers want to hear. Soon enough they'll be flogging 8K because "it has to be better than 4K - the numbers don't lie".

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Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

Francis Boyle
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Re: Time

If I were remotely interested in making jokes that rely on "well known Internet meme[s]" I wouldn't be doing it here. I come here, and to the comment threads in particular, because it's full of people who know all sorts of interesting (and sometimes obscure) stuff that I don't. And sometimes they make jokes about that stuff. And if I'm interested I look it up* and maybe have a laugh. Or, you know, I don't and move on to the next comment.

*like say typing "github lesbian" into a well-known search engine.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: Time

@Hollerithevo

No, I came here to make a joke, which apparently flew over the heads of 11 people. Unfortunately there's no explainfrancisboyle.com.

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Francis Boyle
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Time

to investigate ways of becoming a lesbian.

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Is Microsoft about to git-merge with GitHub? Rumors suggest: Yes

Francis Boyle
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Re: the survey only listed Disney as a viable acquirer. How about AOL?

I chose Disney not because it was any better than any of the other choices but merely because it was mildly amusing (and I had run out of options). And no, not Red Hat. I don't need the option to insert systemd into my Arduino code.

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Capture your late-night handbrake turns with this 'autonomous' car-chasing camera drone

Francis Boyle
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Re: A petrolhead selfie stick

With all those idiots driving around maybe you should consider getting off the street.

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'Autopilot' Tesla crashed into our parked patrol car, say SoCal cops

Francis Boyle
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Musk is a geek

he thinks like a geek and is thus subject to "nerdview" (basically assuming that everyone sees a system as a system and not just as a thing that does something useful). I hate to say it but this is a case where a good marketing person would have come in handy.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: The fundamental problem of self-driving cars is deep learning

"Unlike the brain, a deep neural net can only see things it has been trained to detect."

Nonsense. A neural net can only recognise things it has been trained to detect. Just like you. Can you distinguish a sonnet by Marlowe from one by Shakespeare? But since the detection of objects by autonomous vehicles has nothing to do with neural nets (and everything to do with things like LIDAR) Star Wars fans can safely roam the streets.

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Francis Boyle
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Well

I've heard these stories about vicious animals called drop bears.

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Storm in a teapot: Anger brews over npm's jokey proxy error messages

Francis Boyle
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Does Python still take you to XKCD

if you type "import antigravity". Maybe he should get onto that. And maybe while he's there he can complain that calling a language Python is a bit silly. With a bit of luck this will happen. (No, it's not the one you think.)

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Beardy Branson: Wacky hyperloop tube maglev cheaper than railways

Francis Boyle
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The odd bridge

I think you might be slightly underestimating the number of bridges* on the UK rail system.

*I make it around 14000.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: keeping the water out

Keeping air out under normal circumstances is the least of the problem Hyperloop has. Maintaining normal circumstances on the other hand. . .

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Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

Francis Boyle
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Probably

This.

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Tufts boffins track device location without GPS or towers

Francis Boyle
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Seems to me

less tracking technology and more straightforward position finding technology. The only difference from GPS that I can see is that it will require a certain percentage of devices to reveal their location. But that doesn't need to include you if you don't want it.

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Swiss sausage sizzler 4.0 hits 200 bangers per hour

Francis Boyle
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Everthing

can be used as a sex toy.

If you have the imagination.

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Astroboffins, get in here and explain Saturn's odd-shaped balls

Francis Boyle
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Just use Mimas

Once the fitting out is done the other moons won't stand a chance before your mighty death ray.

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Senator Kennedy: Why I cast my Senate-busting vote for net neutrality

Francis Boyle
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Wait

This is the "pointless" vote that was destined to be defeated.

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Victoria's educational apps-for-students let creeps contact kids

Francis Boyle
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I believe

Richard Chirgwin is an Australian (Sydneysider if I'm not mistaken). And maybe it is a storm in a teacup. I'm not competent to judge but bringing issues like like these to the attention of those who are is a valuable function of the press and I'm glad the Register is on the case.

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Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive

Francis Boyle
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A variant of Murphy's Law

If it can be done in a non-standard way* it will be done in a non-standard way. Corollary: never assume it hasn't been done in a non-standard way.

*AKA a hack, in the old parlance.

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Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Francis Boyle
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Wow

So much dog-whistling here it's like being at a sheepdog competition.

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