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* Posts by Destroy All Monsters

16171 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

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Re: clickbait

> Santa's just a man



The eulogising of The Mother Of All Demos at 50 is Silicon Valley going goo-goo for gurus again

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Re: Icon

Interactive tech in the 60s from MIT and the burgeoning MIC:

SAGE - Semi Automatic Ground Environment - Part 1/2

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In one aspect, two-way hyperlinks, what Engelbart showed was superior to the web we have today.

Indeed but one-way hyperlinks are what make the web possible (this is the concept of "worse is better"). Two-way hyperlinks can only be kept alive in a closely controlled system where source and target work closely together. Do you really want to notify everyone linking to your blog whenever you shuffle some text around?

25% of NHS trusts have zilch, zip, zero staff who are versed in security

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Black Helicopters

But we know the whereabouts of RT staff and all expat RUSEIANS

So there is no need for alarm about any potential security incidents.

That cat is in the bag and stays there.

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory

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After the pwning of its servers was revealed Equifax blamed its woes on an IT staffer who hadn't installed the Apache patch, and fired the person. The report makes it clear that there were many more people involved in Equifax's failings than this one scapegoat.

Woah I didn't expect THAT! Surprising stuff for the 21st century.

"And next week, Mueller will deliver more indictments" (Laugh track)

Galileo's magnifico measurement: 1976 redshift test updated

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Re: The EU's masterplan…

The Eurpean Central Bank of Time will just print more seconds, destroying all the surplus, leaving the people with a timeless wasteland while they are being laughed at from Time Mansions by well-heeled Time Lords. domain hacked, plastered with trolling, filth and anti-transgender vandalism

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Paris Hilton

Re: Hopefully

> chatting up the cute next door neighbour only to discover the neighbour is a transgender ninja

I don't think you know how transgenderism works.

Here's the real world:

Transgender MMA Fighter Breaks Female Opponent’s Skull. Are we getting too “politically correct” with reality

I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right… I still disagree with Fox fighting. Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair.

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time

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There goes the Cloud Business, then?

Huawei CFO poutine cuffs by Canadian cops after allegedly busting sanctions on Iran

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Re: Canadians as puppets

> Canada is top of the list of threats to American national security

Canada should be at the top of the list of threats of anyone. Imagine the mental rot of laying back and thinking of yourself being super-virtuous while everyone has their merry way with you takes hold globally.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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Is it time for "Gilets Jaunes" downunder?

Why not?

Musk's popstar girlfriend Grimes croons about next-gen AI, plus more machine-learning news

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Re: AI representation


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“Neanderthal to human being. Evolution, kill the gene. Biology is superficial. Intelligence is artificial. Submit, submit, submit, submit, submit, submit, submit.”

Looks like someone tries to get insurance against Roko's basilisk in early.

It looks like this might be becoming a trend in pop music, as another pop star Poppy, also released an equally disturbing tune about an intelligent robot girl waking up and poisoning humans after they have destroyed nature and pillaged its natural resources.

Misanthropic stuff. Robot girl wouldn't care, then go for some natural resources "herself" (more like "itself", right?).

Meanwhile, I hear that Rethink Robotics has closed its door. Ex-chairman, CTO and feasible-AI-guru Rodney Brooks has an article in IEEE on Innovation: The Rodney Brooks Rules for Predicting a Technology’s Commercial Success: A few key questions will help you distinguish winners from losers

Warning: Malware, rogue users can spy on some apps' HTTPS crypto – by whipping them with a CAT o' nine TLS

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Re: It's time to start over

"Starting over" will just mean writing the whole bug bonanza again, maybe with a slight step up.

"The industry" is in permanent de-skilled mode. It grows too fast, the teaching is atrocious, the old hands get out, the new hands need a long time to catch up, which is generally not worth the effort because it wrecks your life.

Hell, it's 2018 and hidebound don't-know-any-better can't change, won't change coal face workers are still writing in C and derived Antikythera Languages, designed "for portability" when "computer" was a PDP-10 with a single CPU and maybe a serial interface.

Also a "Bleichenbacher Attack" sounds like something from the Atrocity Archives. Just add nether dimensions.

Thought black holes were donut-shaped? It turns out they're more like deadly fountains

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"greedy black holes gobbling matter"

So you are saying there interesting computational processes happening on the event horizon?


For an idea similar to gravastars implying actually torus-shaped black holes, see here:

Are Black Holes Actually Dark Energy Stars? and of course Jimbo's Noisy Infobunker.

Sat 1 Dec 12:07:30 CET 2018

Forget DeepFakes. This robo-Rembrandt with AI for brains is not bad at knocking off paintings

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Re: It'll make a mint 'cos all people want is knock offs of well known styles

Not sure whether true, but I hear you can also launder big by transacting modern crud, I mean, art, via auction houses. Large sums of money suddenly change hands but there is no obligation for the house to record where the money comes from.

Canuck couple returns home after night on tiles to gaggle of randomers hanging out in their flat

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Paris Hilton

It always pays to carry a Micro-Uzi in a shoulder holster

"Thank God we were insured," the frazzled tenant said.

What kind of insurance is it that pays for your home becoming a hippie center unannounced?

Would it be listed under "acts of God"?

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

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Re: Hey software, get the fuck out of the way!

Programmers, fuck off!

Someone in here has no clue how such systems are designed, implemented and rolled out.

Get to Amazon and read books.

NASA has Mars InSight as latest lander due to arrive today

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Re: Dusty

Give it a second arm then dress it up as a Pierson's Puppeteer. Without telling anyone.

That would be hilarious.

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Re: I eagerly await ...

"Of course, Great Baltar. Everything is going according to plan."

That sphincter-flexing moment for devs when it's time to go live

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About Ariane 5...

More thorough testing could have caught the problem.

More thorough testing could ALWAYS have caught the problem. This is an "empty" truth.

As Bertrand Meyer says (among others) in "The Lessons of Arian"

Is it a testing error? Not really. Not surprisingly, the Inquiry Board's report recommends better testing procedures, and testing the whole system rather than parts of it (in the Ariane 5 case the SRI and the flight software were tested separately). But if one can test more one cannot test all. Testing, we all know, can show the presence of errors, not their absence. And the only fully "realistic" test is to launch; this is what happened, although the launch was not really intended as a $500-million test of

the software.

More relevant was a software config error.

Again, Meyer:

Particularly vexing is the realization that the error came from a piece of the software that was not needed during the crash. It has to do with the Inertial Reference System, for which we will keep the acronym SRI used in the report, if only to avoid the unpleasant connotation that the reverse acronym could evoke for US readers. Before lift-off certain computations are performed to align the SRI. Normally they should be stopped at -9 seconds, but in the unlikely event of a hold in the countdown resetting the SRI could, at least in earlier versions of Ariane, take several hours; so the computation continues for 50 seconds after the start of flight mode -- well into the flight period. After takeoff, of course, this computation is useless; but in the Ariane 5 flight it caused an exception, which was not caught and -- boom.

More interesting, William Kahan has this take in

A commission of inquiry with perfect hindsight blamed the disaster upon inadequate testing of the rocket’s software. What software failure could not be blamed upon inadequate testing? The disaster can be blamed just as well upon a programming language ( Ada ) that disregarded the default exception-handling specifications in IEEE Standard 754 for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic. Here is why: Upon launch, sensors reported acceleration so strong that it caused Conversion-to-Integer Overflow in software intended for recalibration of the rocket’s inertial guidance while on the launching pad. This software could have been disabled upon rocket ignition but leaving it enabled had istakenly been deemed harmless. Lacking a handler for its unanticipated overflow trap, this software trapped to a system diagnostic that dumped its debugging data into an area of memory in use at the time by the programs guiding the rocket’s motors. At the same time control was switched to a backup computer, but it had the same data. This was misinterpreted as necessitating strong corrective action: the rocket’s motors swivelled to the limits of their mountings. Disaster ensued. Had overflow merely obeyed the IEEE 754 default policy, the recalibration software would have raised a flag and delivered an invalid result both to be ignored by the motor guidance programs, and the Ariane 5 would have pursued its intended trajectory. The moral of this story: A trap too often catches creatures it was not set to catch.

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

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If you limit speed to 0, I'm sure you can connect at any time.

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Re: This is arrant nonsense

+1 for "arrant"

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

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Black Helicopters

Uh-huh. "Former employee with high-level access".

So what we have is a former employee who for some reason had access to a secure server room in the heart of the organization, without the IT manager being informed, and who installed a fairly sophisticated bit of kit

It's lucky this isn't some high-value target or very private industry otherwise this could end in a messy kashogghi or a vatican-bank-style suicide.

Better watch out regardless, it's good that a heads-up has been posted on El Reg already. IT peons are not valued highly.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

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Re: Antitrust carve up...

OTOH, Microsoft stole the show with Windows Rekt, I mean Windows 1.0 while IBM was still working with them in a partnership on OS/2 and Presentation Manager was in incubation mode.

"Neophytes" may get things done.

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Re: History

As I understand it, no code was lifted "wholesale" from CP/M to QDOS.

However, the basic principles (not a secret) and interface (evidently, this being a clone) indeed were. Code underneath was hacked anew, and if the mystery was too great, a debugger would be used to inspect what CP/M was actually doing in there. It's a honest-to-God reverse engineering effort by Tim Paterson that every backstreet China dev shooppe would recognize. And maybe a few Open Source projects, too.

There is no need to polarize.

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Thumb Up

Re: The original open source?

Pretty sure no one really wants to hear possibly misremembered history from one who was THERE

Epic post, thanks for sharing.

Why not write a letter of misremembrances to the Computer History Museum?

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Re: Re : A conspiracy theorist might see a pattern emerging

Well... Charles Babbage and John von Neumann are dead too.. .so...

John von Neumann was actually ashkenazi enough to do IT as a sidequest.

TalkTalk hackhack duoduo thrownthrown in the coolercooler: 'Talented' pair sentenced for ransacking ISP

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"individuals of extraordinary talent"

Sounds like a Harry Potter sidequest movie.

RIP Bill Godbout: Cali wildfire claims the life of master maverick of microcomputers

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Ow old times.

I was unware of Bill Godbout but I need to toast this guys' work & life.

While we are reveling in nostalgia, here is a review of an MIT press book on the Minitel system.

The inferno moved with terrifying speed, and it appears Godbout either didn't get the warning alerts or was overcome before he could escape the conflagration.

Yeah. Talking about letting "Hellfire" loose on the "Homeland". Maybe it's Putin? No wait, he's busy directing "Masha and Bear" and posting on Facemook (or so they say, especially that Mueller guys who seems to be probing harder than a Grey). Okay.

Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

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Re: "The Dutch authorities are working with the company to fix the situation"

The word "compatible" has a special meaning in the computer industry: good enough for salesmen but not good enough for actual screen bashers.

So Libre Office will not be a practical choice until the vast majority are using it.

Because everyone needs the funky razmatazz of mental disorder driven formatting overkill to bash out a (nowadays practically white, illustration laden and mostly content-free) robo-memo about some shit organization that no-one cares about.

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Re: government using cloud-hosted

It's not entrapment if the perp is already doing the deed without you egging him on.

Something OT from the depths of time: Judge Jackson is a big fat idiot: But MS is hardly in the clear

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

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Re: WTF?

Poverty is relative.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean hackers won't nuke your employer into the ground tomorrow

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Re: Excuse me.... but,... is that YOUR backdoor?

Why are PHBs commenting here and will no-one rid us of their pesky presence?

Scare Force: Pakistan military hit by Operation Shaheen malware

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Re: Belgium, man.

Could also be that Fakir guy who makes people mad as hatters with poison darts.

Oi! Not encrypting RPC traffic? IETF bods would like to change that

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A step in the right direction. I guess.

From Convenience over Corrected to Encrypted Convenience over Correctness.

RPC will stay as evil crud, but if you must have it... by all means, encrypt.

OK Google, what is African ISP Main One, and how did it manage to route your traffic into China through Russia?

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-> Routing through RusChin: Fiasko

-> Routing through USUK: not Fiasko


Irony meters explode as WordPress GDPR tool hacked, cell network hack shenanigans, crypto-backdoors, etc...

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For once, given WordPress' reputation for lax security, it isn't the content platform's fault. Instead the problem comes from a third-party plugin called WP GDPR Compliance, which is supposed to indicate if a website is breaking the EU rules.

So, some utter idiots haven't understood that "GDPR Compliance" is not about software and can't be done by a "plugin".

Oh yeah...

with the cops can't even keep track of their own firearms.

After "de-policing" and feeding military gear to Mexican mobs, is laxity in cop stalls another leftover from the Obama era?

FYI NASA just lobbed its Parker probe around the Sun in closest flyby yet: A nerve-racking 15M miles from the surface

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Re: Units

Farenheit is NOT an anachronism.

It's "Fahrenheit".


To be pronounced with a German accent.


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Do it again, but harder!

Project Lyra: A feasibility study for a mission to the interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua

For the first option, we use a mission concept that has been previously proposed by a Keck Institute for Space Studies report for exploring the interstellar medium. It is essentially a rollercoaster ride The spacecraft is first sent on a trajectory out of the Earth’s gravitational field using a large rocket, for example the Falcon Heavy, Space Launch System, or the Big Falcon Rocket. The spacecraft is accelerated to such high velocities that it is not only thrown out of the Earth’s gravity field but has enough energy to fly out to Jupiter. At Jupiter, the planet’s gravity decelerates the spacecraft with respect to the Sun. ... our spacecraft has been decelerated so much by exploiting Jupiter’s gravity field that it is now on a trajectory that it is falling towards the Sun in an almost straight line, an extreme roller coaster ride, although it takes over a year to fall. Of course the spacecraft will not fall into the Sun but would move away from the Sun once it has passed its closest point to the Sun. The spacecraft gets very close to the Sun, about 3 solar radii or about 1.5 million km. At such a distance, the solar radiation is about 20,000 times higher than what you receive during a sunny day. Converted to Watts per square meters, the power per area is about 15 MW / m². This is higher than the power per area inside a fusion reactor. To avoid that the spacecraft melts away, a heat shield is used which is similar to the heat shield of the NASA Solar Orbiter mission, which fill fly close to similar distances to the Sun and is currently undergoing testing. Now, at the closest point to the Sun, the spacecraft ignites a solid propellant engine it has been carrying all its way. In orbital mechanics, you get the biggest “bang for the buck” for a rocket engine, if you ignite it at the closest point to the central body. Hence, the whole idea of falling so closely to the Sun is to ignite the engine at the closest point of approach and then to be propelled away from the Sun with the maximum “bang”. The spacecraft flies away from the Sun at the incredible speed of about 370 km/s. At this speed you would get from London to New York in 15 seconds. Note that this is the speed you would need for a mission duration to ‘Oumaumua in 8 years and a launch in 2021. The spacecraft will have a velocity at infinity of 55 km/s and is therefore much faster than ‘Oumuamua with 26 km/s. The spacecraft would fly pass ‘Oumuamua in 2029, taking images using a telescope at a distance from the Sun of 69 Astronomical Units (Earth-Sun distances). At this point ‘Oumaumua will be a black object in front of the blackness of space. Where the human eye would fail, a telescope and other instruments will suck in the electromagnetic waves that are nevertheless emitted by ‘Oumuamua. The data will then be sent back to Earth with an antenna powered by nuclear radioisotopic generators, a chunk of Plutonium whose heat is transformed into electricity. Finally, the data is transformed into images. What will we see?

The Lyra paper is Project Lyra: Sending a Spacecraft to 1I/'Oumuamua (former A/2017 U1), the Interstellar Asteroid, Andreas M Hein, Nikolaos Perakis, Kelvin F Long, Adam Crowl, Marshall Eubanks, Robert G Kennedy III, Richard Osborne

Bloodbath as Broadcom slashes through CA Technologies personnel

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Re: As ye sow, so shall ye reap

Jack up licence fees, hoping that most customers are too dependant on the software to switch.

Software development slows down, gets integrated into anonymously-named buzzword of the week enterprise suite thing.

This is what Atlassian does and they haven't even been bought.

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel now rotates in his grave!!

> Yankee software shit on British screens

> Screens made in Taiwan anyway

> "Engineers" with the skills of room maintainers led by the nose of penny-pinching management types thinkfluenced by fad propellers, no longer building machines but just "downloading" stuff to a very generally used platform and hoping to hell it works

> No-one knows how to fix stuff or is even aware that there is a problem


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Re: What about node.js interfering at Reading Station?

It's the new techno-televangelist screed!


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Re: Windows

> Why Windows in the first place on a system with a narrow functional requirement?

The only reason would be to use F#

Russian computer failure on ISS is nothing to worry about – they're just going to turn it off and on again

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Paris Hilton

"It's running NikitaOS 2.5"

Any good info on that gear??

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

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Naysayer sauce but where is the beef?

In other words, there has not been any significant conceptual progress in AI for more than 30 years.

I'm sorry but that is completely wrong.

If nothing else, we have learned that a lot of problems can be semi-successfully attacked by function fitting. and theoretical work is advancing.

Judea Pearl has advanced the causal revolution like a bulldozer, electrifying the field that dogmatic statisticians have kept sterile since the early 1900s.

Rodney Brooks has been working rather well on advancing robotics.

30 years includes work by Hofstaedter too, so GOFAI has had its advances.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

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All together now....


Microsoft trusting these devices to implement Bitlocker has to be the single dumbest thing that company has ever done.

I don't think so, compared to all the security pratfalls over the ages apparently implemented by TOP.SKILLED COMPUTER SCEINTIST this doesn't sound so bad.

In memoriam: See you in Valhalla, Skype Classic. Version 8 can never replace you

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"The fact that they are not planning on retaining chat history is, not just stressful, but traumatizing for some, who may have lost loved ones and their communications with them, on Skype."

While the corporate helicopter leaves the embassy roof, you hear a voice on the radio:

"You fucked up. You trusted Microsoft."

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Re: A new graveyard?

The Black Hole!

From Saggitarius A* to Sad Guitarius MS

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Re: in memorandum

No, this mourning was channelling the PHB.

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