* Posts by John Mangan

222 posts • joined 14 Aug 2007

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Let's harden Internet crypto so quantum computers can't crack it

John Mangan

Re: I've got a question..

I can see that's how a human would do it but it doesn't seem so clear how a computer would, with no a priori knowledge of the contents, manage that correlation.

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John Mangan

I've got a question..

.. and this seems like a good place to ask it with the assembled knowledge.

I've often wondered how a computer cracking an encrypted message knows it has been successful. I mean if a human decrypted a message that said 'Meet next Tuesday at 4:00" then they will recognise that as valid English and conclude that the decryption has been successful. Similarly a human may recognise map co-ordinates or German or whatever. But how does a computer 'know'? And if someone has used ROT13 before employed the full brute force of AES-256 how would the computer recognise the decrypted text as correct?

Anyone know.

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AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

John Mangan

Re: Skill deterioration

"I'm curious how autonomous cars do in the snow"

I think you are underestimating the amount of testing being done and the number of sensors and feedback mechanisms available to such cars.

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John Mangan

Re: The future:

But even at peak times there are still plenty of cars parked on the road, in drives, in garages so, overall, you will still need fewer cars to meet the actual need than we have now - and they can all be sent off to park out of sight when not in use so streets become open, friendly places again.

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John Mangan

Re: Automate the signals

"And why do the lights at some junctions have the green light cased in a box so it is almost impossible to see?"

To stop people monitoring the cross-junction lights and jumping the gun - to meet the people who think the first three seconds of red are equivalent to green anyway.

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John Mangan

Re: The future:

@KorndogDev & @Swarthy

I agree with both of you. I love the idea of getting the car I need (small economical for the commute, People Carrier for the family holiday) when I need it rather than having the drive full of 'best compromise I can afford' lying around idle most of the time.

But, in parallel with that, anonymous people are scum and that will need some social engineering and technical measures to resolve.

As always people are the real problem - nuke from orbit?

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John Mangan

Re: Obvious study is obvious

I think the perceived problem is there is a valley to cross where cars are not fully automated and need a 'competent' driver aboard until we get to fully automated, autonomous vehicles (which could take 'some time'). But during this time many drivers will never actually drive and so, if called into action, will not be equipped to react correctly. This will be particularly acute for those that have just passed their tests but never actually accumulate the experience or driving 'for real'.

As I mentioned on another thread where such a 'level 3' vehicle had a camera to stop you looking away from the road I predict most journeys will last less than fifteen minutes as the minders repeatedly fall asleep staring at a road with no involvement in proceedings.

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Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

John Mangan

I find it hard to believe . .

...that i could maintain concentration on the road for hour after hour, with nothing else to do and not allowed to look away, just in case the car needs me to take over at a moments notice.

In my view level 3 is worse than useless. You remove all of the effort, concentration, involvement in driving just so you can stare at a road unrolling before you. You can't read, sleep, still have to be sober (if that's a thing for you) and the only option is to die of boredom.

I don't know what 'level' would include automated speed monitoring and lane tracking in case you fell asleep but at least there you would have enough to do stay awake.

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Astronomers fire up AI algorithms to hunt Milky Way's hot Jupiters

John Mangan

"Only 1% of stars host Hot Jupiters"

So, in a galaxy of 100 billion stars, that 1 billion Hot Jupiters.

What other wonders await?

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New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

John Mangan

Re: In harms way

Whereas a child may be blissfully unaware of the danger they've put themselves in but the screaming adult on the pavement is fully aware - and you don't think a human would attempt collision avoidance in such a scenario?

I think this discussion here completely validates this research. It's not a straight cut-and-dried answer and therefore needs research and thinking about.

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John Mangan

Re: yeah, i'm not quite ready

@The First Dave - last week someone at work sent round a video of various dashcam OMGs.

One was taken from a moving van driving at what looked like a responsible speed down a road with closely parked cars on each side of the narrow road when a mother and two children walked straight out from behind a parked van mere feet from the moving vehicle. The mother looked up after clearing the parked van and stepped back, the driver reacted with commendable speed and stopped the van in very short order but the two kids still made contact with the bonnet - although with no obvious damage.

Shit happens. The world is not fully under out control. Idiots are abroad. Machinery fails; brake cables for instance.

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John Mangan

I believe the trolley problem is just a vehicle (pun intended) for trying to pry into how humans 'ideally' weight life and danger. It's meant to provide some way of addressing the ethical difficulties that real life can throw up - when someone's brakes fail, a pedestrian is paying more attention to their phone than the road, the cyclist who believes the public highway is the place to practice their wheelies, etc.

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John Mangan

Re: 4 seconds?

Although I agree with your analysis of panic-ed human collision avoidance I think the four seconds was chosen to try and tease out what humans would see as an 'acceptable' hierarchy of harm should such a thing come to pass.

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John Mangan

Re: yeah, i'm not quite ready

So no pedestrian will ever walk into the road from between parked vehicles without looking ever?

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John Mangan

Re: yeah, i'm not quite ready

But you're happy/ier for the meatbag behind the wheel to randomly take you out - because you've got better odds of not being targeted? Even thought he risk of this kind of avoidance maneuver being necessary in the first place may be higher with human drivers?

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John Mangan

Re: Ethical decisions

I'm aware of the variant but I suspect that people's squeamishness will kick in earlier than these scenarios would suggest.

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John Mangan

Ethical decisions

I've always wondered if, in the trolley problem, people would really throw the lever. It's one thing to say kill one person rather than five but if it requires a physical act to make that happen would most people actually do that or just stand frozen rather than taking responsibility?

I would hope (yeah, I know) that as automation improves the various sensors and programming will allow improved anticipation of events (and as more and more automated cars appear the erratic human element will decrease) and reduce the need for some of these ethical decisions.

But there will always be edge cases and few people will buy cars that will sacrifice the driver in those cases so working out 'acceptable' resolutions sounds like a good idea.

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PLATO mission to find alien life is given the thumbs up

John Mangan

Go PLATO

It still astonishes me that for a large part of my life nobody knew if there was a single planet outside the solar system with little short-term prospect of resolving that and now we know of 4000+ planets.

What progress, what a universe!

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

John Mangan
Joke

Re: "It is amazing that companies still use Windows,"

"You've got to keep the magic money tree fed."

But Amber Rudd said there isn't a magic money tree?

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Uber's New York competitor sued over driver equity scheme

John Mangan

A naive, weakened, sad, embittered part of me . . . .

thinks that there must surely be a path to success for companies that actually treat their employees as if they have some intrinsic value and not as disposable inconveniences but then I look at the world.

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Banking websites are 'littered with trackers' ogling your credit risk

John Mangan
Joke

It wouldn't be so bad.....

.. if it would at least save you having to fill in all of the forms.

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Pizza proffer punctures privacy protection, prompts pals' perfidy

John Mangan

Do you want a free pizza?

Pass on this information which doesn't affect you in any obvious way and is already 'public' anyway?

Why not?

Perhaps a note saying you should ask your friend if it's okay before passing on their information?

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

John Mangan

"The former policy wonk -

whose performance on radio this morning was criticised as "clueless" by" - anyone with three active neurons.

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The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

John Mangan

Re: Public sector?

It reminds me of a post-grad 'Into Business' course I attended where we had a Management Consultant providing part of the experience. Someone asked the obvious question, "So, if you go into a business where a project is running over budget and over time, how do you know you can fix it?". Without a pause the guy replied that somewhere in the organisation there will be a person who understand the issues and knows the solution but (s)he's only paid £x,000/annum. You find him/her and write up the solutions and because you are being paid 10(0)*£x,000/annum the big-wigs will listen to you.

At the time, as a callow youth, I was flabbergasted by the cynicism and effrontery of it. I've learned my lesson in the intervening years.

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Nest leaves competition in the dust with new smart camera

John Mangan

What's SMART about....

..putting an always-on panopticon spy device in your house?

Like many other posters on here; no, never.

Sell me a camera with the software and let me run my own server completely independent of the company and I might start thinking about possible uses but otherwise, I'm out!

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India sets June 5 as the day it will join the heavy-lift rocket club

John Mangan
Flame

Re: Not really heavy is it?

If this is pointing at the sky (as here) then "you have a really bad problem and will not go to space today."

(With apologies to xkcd).

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Armstrong's moon-purse set for $4m bid-off

John Mangan

RE: "Moon dust - nasty stuff."

Arthur C. clarke - A Fall of Moondust.

I think I'm due a re-read.

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Has AI gone too far? DeepTingle turns El Reg news into terrible erotica

John Mangan

Re: so this is automated buzzword bingo ?

I remember a story like that but I thought it was Strauss - can't remember the story name or author unfortunately.

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Chrome on Windows has credential theft bug

John Mangan

Re: If the .scf file contains this code:

I think some people use computers at home or while out and about .. . .

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FBI boss James Comey was probing Trump's team for Russia links. You're fired, says Donald

John Mangan

Re: TRUMP KNOWS what HE IS DOING

Satire, right?

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What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon

John Mangan

My first visceral disagreement with Mr. Dabbs

"Admit it, you’ll do anything to avoid being left alone at home."

Quite, quite the opposite. And choosing shopping as an alternative!? Quelle horreur!

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Subpostmasters prepare to fight Post Office over wrongful theft and false accounting accusations

John Mangan

This is hideous!

I haven't followed this story but at various times I've heard bits about postmasters being suspected and criticisms of the system but I hadn't realised how serious the whole thing was or how long it has been running.

That people have had their reputations blackened and their livelihoods destroyed while the Post Office at least had grounds for suspecting there might be a system issue is intolerable.

This, if proven, requires exectives to be imprisoned.

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The world's leading privacy pros talk GDPR with El Reg

John Mangan

Could we have a ruling . .

...that from now on "rogue US sysadmin Edward Snowden" is always written as "heroic US sysadmin Edward Snowden"?

It seems the least a civilized people could do.

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Square Kilometre Array precursor shrinks 5TB of data to 22MB – every second!

John Mangan

Re: My desktop computer has 4TB and can easily write 22mb a second

Would you be looking for a GRB at radio wavelengths?

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For Fark's sake! Fark fury follows 5-week ad ban for 5-year-old story

John Mangan

Re: Welcome to the New World

I've noticed a trend recently that everything is now 'customer journey' because everyone knows that the 'customer Service' and 'Customer Expereince' will be sh*t.

I presume in a year or two we will move onto 'Customer Engagement' or similar b*ll*cks.

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China to Donald Trump: Twitter diplomacy 'undesirable'

John Mangan

Re: China's record on human rights

Indeed, but they haven't, so far as I know, deliberately irradiated populations over decades to see what happens to them. While the world whistles softly and strolls away. Ask the Marshall Islanders about 'human rights'.

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Well, well. Auditors say UK govt procurement body hasn't saved your tax cash

John Mangan

Re: Bit click-baity, eh?

. . . except they do claim to have saved money. It's just that NAO questions the basis of that.

Again, the headline goes too far.

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Heard of Brexit? The UK vows to join Europe’s Patent Titanic

John Mangan

So if there are 38 members of EPO . .

and non-EU members are specifically excluded from UPC then what are the other ten members doing/going to do?

(EU=28, Britain not in UPC but presumably in EPO - article doesn't make clear - so ten 'ghost' members).

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Is that your television? Or a zero client running a virtual desktop?

John Mangan

What's the USP of PCoIP . . .

compared to VNC, RDP, X over IP, etc?

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

John Mangan

Re: Very Interesting . .

@Cynical Observer

"As such, the only way to go from here is an Act of Parliament that changes the law to allow the executive to move forward - or give parliament the opportunity to exert its sovereign will."

So you would need parliament to agree that they shouldn't have a say on this? Hee hee, that would make me laugh despite the seriousness of the whole thing.

Every day, in every way, it becomes more and more clear that David Cameron and the Brexit-eers had no clue what they were/are doing and, if nothing else comes out of this, it is a stark example that our elected representatives aren't necessarily (I'm being kind) as 'on the ball', 'wise' or capable as we would perhaps like to believe.

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John Mangan

Very Interesting . .

Obviously this will be appealed - it would have been whatever the decision - but my reading prior to the judgement seemed to suggest that the balance of probabilities was with the government so it's at least a surprise.

If the appeal fails as well (still a big 'if' at this point) then parliament is, by all accounts, heavily pro-Europe and it seems unlikely that any amount of whipping will be enough to force enough people to vote against their strongly held beliefs on this subject (and the government's shambolic performance in preparing for Article 50 is unlikely to help in this).

But then all political hell could break loose. I voted Remain but I really fear how damaging rejecting the result of the referendum could be - even though it was non-binding, etc. etc. most people voting Leave didn't see it that way.

Potentially stormy waters ahead.

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

John Mangan

@Jimbo Smith

I've posted on here before that when I was offered a free smart meter by my supplier I asked a number of questions about security that they "couldn't answer for security reasons". Then, after some quick searches revealed exactly which meters I would be getting, I found the link you've provided which, in fairness, answered most of my questions and alleviated a number of my concerns.

I forwarded the link to my supplier to share with other consumers and to sh*t on their claim that the questions couldn't be answered.

I'm still not having a smart meter though.

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UK fintech firm reaches for Ireland Brexit escape hatch

John Mangan

Re: Boo hoo

Or, by 're-balancing' they didn't mean chopping it off at the knees, more a measured and considered attempt to make other parts of the economy play a greater role over a period of time, while not under duress, threat of the axe, etc. . . .

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John Mangan

@johnaaronrose

I believe, but can't remember where I read it, that at the end of the two years it is possible for the UK to decide not to go ahead if the deal is too terrible to live with.

Of course the political consequences of that at home could be even more terrible for the government making that decision - maybe that's why Parliament will be allowed a vote on the deal?

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What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

John Mangan

I feel your pain . .

I used to love roller-coasters. Could ride them all day long. Last two visits I'd had enough before the day was 2/3rds done. Oh, woe.

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It's finally happened: Hackers are coming for home routers en masse

John Mangan

Re: Time to research alternatives

@Anonymous Blowhard - But if ISPs did that then you would get another section of the consumers - mostly the people on here I imagine (me among them) - complaining that they need to do X, Y, Z and the hardware is locked down and it is too restrictive, etc., etc.

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Crims cram credit card details into product shots on e-shops

John Mangan

Re: Exfiltration by another means - http GET

"I am in awe"

Yeah. Thieving scum, obviously. But clever with it.

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How do you make a qubit 10 times as stable? Dress it up for work

John Mangan

Re: Goddammit El Reg

A little from column A .....

1. Yes. If you want to 'understand' Quantum Mechanics you need the maths. There is no physically 'sensible' way to describe QM properly. If you think you understand it - you don't!

2. QM is NOT bullshit. Pretty much every electronic device you use, own or come into contact with depends critically on QM being 'right'.

I did QM as part of my physics degree <mumble> years ago. I passed the course but I would never have claimed to 'understand' it because it doesn't make 'sense'. But the maths describes real behaviour in real physical systems and it astonishes me to this day that people were able to work that out at the start of the 20th Century.

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Post-referendum UK still part of Euro cyberterror stress test... for now

John Mangan

"securocrats"

I like it but I can only give 9/10.

I would have gone for sec-eu-rocrats for that extra bit of heavy-handedness.

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Japan's SoftBank teams up with... Saudi Arabia to launch $100bn London tech fund

John Mangan

@Curious

Without the unnecessarily derogatory tone towards those who don't think Brexit is a good idea I also find this curious. We have an article on the Reg today bemoaning how badly tech in this country is being affected already by the negative sentiment 'foreigners' feel is coming from the UK and now an investment vehicle specifically for tech.

It doesn't say whether the investments will be specifically targeted within the UK but if not then I would be wondering why they have chosen London as the base.

Can anyone shed light?

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