1792 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010
"Just" pattern matching? Putting "just" in front of something doesn't make it simple.
The computers have no idea what the words actually mean. The definition doesn’t matter. To the software, it’s all matrices of numbers linking similar strings of characters.
How exactly does that differ from a child learning these facts in school?
OK, so the computer identifies a string "Mexico". As it's exposed to more and more inputs, it learns that certain ideas are, more or less closely, associated with this string. It will learn that there is a "Mexican government", and "Mexican president", and "Mexican border" and people and history and whatnot, and from this it will know to categorise "Mexico" alongside "the US", "Canada', 'China' etc. in the class of things that are called "countries'. More specifically, it will learn of the things that are associated with Mexico in particular: the Spanish language, Aztecs, burritos, tequila, Zorro. As it grows more sophisticated and discriminating in parsing its inputs, it will note that many American sources talk very negatively of "Mexican immigrants", and of NAFTA, and much more.
By that time, I'd say its "idea what the words actually mean" would be better than that of most humans.
I realise that this level of understanding has yet to be demonstrated. But I'm not seeing any qualitative jump in getting from here to there. It's "just" a matter of feeding in more data.
Type "what country borders California" into Google, and it returns the correct answer highlighted in the top search result. Is that AI?
(Answer: no, it's general knowledge, exactly what Google excels at. But it demonstrates that it's parsed the question correctly, and is able to identify the information that constitutes "the answer".)
Re: I'm failing to see how this is Just Eat's fault
It's JE's job to make sure that people who receive personal information, like phone numbers, are properly trained and aware of what they can and can't do with it. Simple as that, really.
if the driver breached those rules, then they need to accept responsibility for that breach. That includes both disciplining and/or retraining the driver, and making appropriate reparation to the customer. And, of course, recording it as a procedural failure and identifying ways to stop it from happening again.
What surprises me somewhat is that this is news - outside of JE's management, anyway. I'd be very surprised if it's the first, or last, time this has happened.
You're going to keep posting this story, and I'm going to keep correcting it.
There is no such thing, in law, as "warrantless spying on citizens". That's because "citizens" cannot be defined as a "protected class". The 14th amendment explicitly forbids that.
If you want to outlaw warrantless spying, then great. But if you allow for it to happen at all, then it can happen to anyone, regardless of citizenship. The only thing that matters is where you are, not who.
Re: Interesting questions
Exactly. Facebook is a publisher, no ifs, ans or buts. The law has centuries of experience dealing with publishers, it's heard all their slimy excuses a hundred times. Why are they being allowed to hide behind this "carrier" nonsense?
That's true of most junk food.
But - top tip here - anything sold by the bucket is probably not being "consumed in moderation', nor is it meant to be.
Re: In 100 minutes ...
Wow, someone who knows how to make real gravy. Now there's something I never expected to see in a thread about KFC.
Have an upvote.
The whole point of the "72 hours" is to differentiate "malicious actors" from the rest of us. A "non-malicious actor" becomes, by definition, someone who reports the vulnerability in time.
Re: Incompatible and unfeasible
No, it means the ICO is above the framework. She's able not only to police adherence to the framework, but also cases where the framework itself might be in error. I don't see any inherent contradiction there.
Re: I'm wondering about non-working days..
More than 48 hours. If you make the discovery at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon and don't report it before you go home, then 8:00 the following Monday is a whole 64 hours away.
And if there's a public holiday, of course...
And yet it can't mean "72 working hours". Assuming a standard 8-hour day, that would be nine days; if the discoverer is only working part-time, it might mean several weeks. And I don't think TPTB would stand for that.
So I think it has to be "72 hours by the clock", and if you do make the discovery at 4:00 on a Friday - unless you want to work that weekend - you'd better be able to show that you sent the email about it before you went home that day.
Moral: don't do reidentification research on Fridays.
Re: If you build them...
The question is, how long will Ford undertake to keep selling replacement batteries?
If the answer to that is a long time, then depreciation will be very low - much better than most of the conventional range, because there's so much less maintenance needed on an electric car. The battery is the only thing that's likely to become obsolete quickly, and if Ford will undertake to maintain that, the car should be able to go for decades.
Re: Turning down the transfer offer
What exactly is the point of typo-squatting, if you're going to give up the domain without any fight the moment you're asked anyway?
"Benefits that may accrue" - sure, but there's no suggestion anyone was using the domains to, e.g., phish or grab information improperly. I feel sure HMRC's press department would have mentioned it if they were.
I look forward to hearing more of Rita, but I wouldn't make ass-umptions about whose side she'll be on long term. She could easily be a side all by herself.
As mentioned above, PA to the capo di capi is an extremely powerful position. If Simon is wise, he won't cross her. Though the bright side is, she's unlikely to cause him much trouble, just provided she always gets what she wants.
When a well composed post gets converted to toast, that's covfefe.
Re: They will never work in an urban environment.
Holding up a human-driven car for fun invites an awkward interpersonal interaction whereas holding up a robot car would be like swearing at the self-service till in Tescos;
You're assuming there's no human in the car. Seems to me that's not a safe assumption.
Honestly, the whole "Holborn problem" as expounded here is fraught with unstated assumptions. Technology can't do everything perfectly, therefore it's doomed. The technology isn't fully developed yet, therefore it's doomed. The technology must act the way I imagine it acting, therefore it's doomed. Traffic happens, therefore it's doomed.
I shall just thank car manufacturers for not putting Christian Wolmar in charge of their R&D departments, and continue watching progress with interest.
That's the whole point of the app! That "half hour" can be reduced to 30 seconds of frantically fondling your phone - and let's be honest, that part won't be a new experience for either of you...
Re: Not panicked yet
I wrote many tools in my 45 years in IT. They made me very efficient - and sometimes I looked like a magician achieving the "impossible". The tools were all usually ignored/discarded by the people whose jobs could use them to great effect. The reasons were: they hadn't the experience to understand why they were more accurate than existing tools; they didn't enhance their CV like less accurate external supplier tools did; they didn't see any reason to invest time in learning how to use them.
Without wishing to contradict you, because obviously I know nothing about these particular cases - I wonder if you've considered an alternative hypothesis?
Maybe your tools didn't work for them. That is to say, maybe something about the workflow or the environment or the requirements changed, and your tools no longer fit. If you'd still been there, you would have tweaked them and carried on - but no-one else was capable of doing that, because they were your tools and only you understood them well enough.
That's kinda my point. In my experience, every job is (at least slightly) different from every other job. If you take a tool developed for one situation and simply apply it to another one - or even the same one, a year or so on - without at least some tweaking, then it won't work, at least not as well as it did in its previous installation.
That "tweaking" is what's going to keep many of us in work for a while yet.
Not panicked yet
I don't know about you, but I use software to automate my own job. I have a whole bunch of tools that I wrote, because I'm the only one with the detailed domain knowledge to know exactly what they have to do.
(There exists a company, which I used to work for, which is supposed to write this software. They provided the basic engine I use, and in theory they're supposed to add tools to do required tasks. But they are, not to put too fine a point on it, hopeless. All their contracted time goes to "fixing cock-ups in their own code", there is no way they could "write and test the new stuff that I actually need"; and if they did, not only would the code be hidden from me, but I'd still have to test it myself. Screw that.)
I don't own the software I write - my employer does - but my employer pays me to produce the output I do, which I get by running and maintaining these tools.
Now, of course this won't be the case for everyone. But I think it will be a much more common story than these researchers realise. If the economics of these "robots" are anything like those of the software we've come to know and love in every other context, then the "off-the-shelf" product will be pretty much useless in any given real-world situation: it will require someone like me to spend lots and lots of time making it work. And no, we won't be able to support very many instances at a time, because each deployment is different. That's why Oracle employs 130,000 people.
It seems to me that robots are just tools. When (and only when) AI passes the point of human intelligence, then we'll be in trouble - but by that time, so will the people who think they own those AIs, so we'll all be in the same boat.
Re: Could you
The notion that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to Germany was a lie invented by the National Socialists in Germany to create a sense of resentment which the Nazis exploited.
"Fair" requires a value judgement. As such, it cannot be called "a lie" unless we have explicit agreement on what constitutes "fairness". Your uncompromising use of the objective term "lie" to describe an inherently subjective claim "fair" is either silly or disingenuous.
The most contentious clauses were about reparations, which were orders of magnitude larger than anything that had ever been imposed before, and were impossible for the crippled German economy to meet. (Not unlike the terms the Germans themselves recently imposed on the Greeks.) The French eventually forgave the debt of Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria, but they held out for full repayment from the Germans. Was that "fair", in your understanding of the word?
Then there was the loss of Germany's colonies - not given independence, but ceded to the French and other allies. This was a substantial hit to the German economy at a time when it was already hobbled by the drain of the war effort and the loss of manpower, and it was being asked to pay billions of dollars in reparations. Was it fair to load all those strains on the economy at the same time?
At the end of the day, "fair" is what people agree it is. If one side feels so aggrieved that it's willing to fight - then the arrangement isn't "fair" enough, no matter how much the other side may like it.
Re: get stuffed FBI
So, what if a bad guy steals your phone? He's got physical access too.
Then that bad guy has (potential) access to your stuff, obviously. How is that different from him stealing your wallet?
The point is that in that scenario, you know your phone has been stolen, and from that point you should assume the clock is ticking, and it's only a matter of time before everything on it is available to whoever has it. You should take countermeasures. No different from cancelling your credit cards when you lose your wallet.
Not a heretic just completely missing the point of compromising encryption.
No, I understand that. But for a long time, every security advisor would have told you "when the enemy has physical access to your hardware, and unlimited time in which to operate - it's over. There is no defence from that position." As I see it, that's an inherent limitation in digital encryption, it's one I've always taken for granted.
Mind you, I also assume that if the NSA really wants to read the contents of my phone or hard drive, they can. Which is why I don't keep my plans for world domination on either of them. That's just common sense, IMO.
So...your position is that we should just trust the government to do what's right and legal?
No, my position is that the feds have a difficult job to do, and you should assume they will use every means to make it easier. That includes legal, technical and political means. If you don't give ground and meet them at some point, then they will press for more and more intrusive tools and rights, and they will get them, because politicians will see - correctly or not - that you are the ones who are being unreasonable.
If you don't give them an inch, they will take a mile.
Re: get stuffed FBI
The 4th amendment explicitly allows the executive branch to help itself to your papers and effects, provided it gets the assent of the judicial branch first. We're not talking here about J Edgar'ing up internet traffic, we're talking about unlocking devices that have been physically seized by the Feds, but are locked down in such a way that they cannot reasonably exercise their constitutional rights.
Call me a heretic, but I don't see quite what the fuss is about. A backdoor that requires intrusive physical access to the hardware - would not compromise your constitutional rights.
Re: Unfortunately congress is dysfunctional
Currently, the legislative branch is rendered impotent by the bitter factionalism that makes it politically toxic to try to reach any kind of accommodation with "the other side".
I'm not sure how much of that can be laid at the door of the executive branch. Certainly Trump personally has played a part, but more in his capacity as a media whore and talking head than as president. Opposition polarized pretty badly under Clinton and Bush, then the Republicans went absolutely apeshit against Obama, and the sentiment has been pegged in that position since.
Whether it would have been this way under a sane Republican president I'm not sure, but I'm inclined to suspect it wouldn't have been that different. Certainly the Reps showed no sign of softening towards Hillary, when they thought she was going to win - and I didn't notice the Dems giving much quarter to Cruz or Rubio either.
I'm not sure what the cure is, or if there is one. But if there is one, it will definitely involve major campaign finance reform.
Re: "The floor of the Senate"
They were "IMPLEMENTing and ENFORCing". No need to shout, by the way.
They were implementing and enforcing the Telecommunicatons Act of 1996, which gives as its aim:
to provide for a pro-competitive, de-regulatory national policy framework designed to accelerate rapidly private sector deployment of advanced information technologies and services to all Americans by opening all telecommunications markets to competition
Now, you can quibble about the FCC's interpretation of its duties, and you can certainly argue about the appropriateness and proportionality of its requirements. But to imply that they had no mandate to do it because Congress had not legislated on the subject is just plain false.
"Malicious Microsoft Word document"?
Why is it even possible, in 2018, to do this?
I must confess to being something of a heretic on Word macros. I do think they have a legitimate use.
But if Microsoft simply updated Word so that it became impossible to run macros on any machine other than the one they were compiled on - what would be lost?
That sounds uncannily like a hazing prank I pulled on my new boss, many years ago.
Fortunately she was a good sport.
If modern kids learn from internet porn, then pubic hair is still going to come, sorry, as a shock to them.
That's the real problem with the stuff - it's got the most dreadful people in it - the kinds of oiks who feel the need to shave their nethers. And the things they do to one another - well, let's just say that if you get your sex education that way, you're going to end up with some very strange ideas about how procreation works.
Re: Alternatively -
Monero will be significantly different, for at least two reasons: it's designed to be mined with general purpose chips (not ASICs), and it's a newer currency, with a lot less effort put into mining it so far, so *if* it scales anything like bitcoin (I don't know if it does or not) - then the blocks will be quite a lot easier to mine at this stage.
I'm curious as to why Monero seems to be the currency of choice for hackers currently. What drives these fashions? Is it just because the hacking tools have been published for Monero, and now every script kiddie is using them - and if the same tools were developed for Dogecoin (or whatever) then they'd adopt that as quickly? Or is there some more fundamental dynamic at work?
Re: public WiFi services
I've been using Noscript for some months now, and it's rendered (sorry) my browser almost useless.
Granted, it stops a lot of annoying stuff. But it makes quite a few web pages - fail to show me anything interesting. I can, of course, enable the scripts - but there's, like, 30 of them, from ten different domains - am I going to tick each one in turn to see which ones are or aren't necessary? Am I hell.
No, instead I'll open a separate session in Chrome for that page.
Re: UK gov impact studies (again)
"Policy-based evidence", exactly.
That's what democracy means: decisions are meant to reflect the will of the masses, not "scientific evidence".
Some rosy-eyed idealogues seem to think that the masses should want evidence-based policy, thus happily resolving this apparent conflict. Unfortunately, as we all know,"should" and "will" are orthogonal.
Re: But does it need to break to create a risk?
I doubt that there's much of the country that's more than 100km from an airfield.
If we interpret "airfield" as "commercial airport", then you could get away with it in most of the Scottish Highlands, the far west (Devon/Cornwall), and possibly some small area of the Cotswolds.
If we're going to include private and military airfields, though - well, I can't even find a map of those. (And I suspect looking too hard would probably get me added to a watchlist.)
I think a no-fly zone within about 10 km of an airport would be something like reasonable. 100 km seems overly conservative.
Re: Missing the point
Governments, in general, love "doing things". They think it looks better on their CV than "not doing things". "Not doing things" leaves them open to attack from the Wail and the Depress about how they're leaving us all in danger. Doing "something", no matter how dumb, means that the tabloids have to abandon baseless fearmongering, they have a choice between "seriously thinking about the changes" and "moving on to the next thing", and that's always an easy choice for them.
So governments are always strongly prejudiced in favour of action over inaction, even when inaction is the wiser as well as the cheaper course.
Re: I'm torn...
Just remember the golden rule: whoever wins, we lose.
Uber wins? (and I threw up a little in my mouth just typing that) - then new rules appear imposing ridiculous record-keeping requirements on advertising companies, and now no-one except Google can even get into the market.
Fetch wins? - that would be seen as a vindication of click rates, which have always been deeply suspect (and suspected), and would be a shot in the arm for in-app advertising, with the obvious depressing consequences.
Meh. My front door, which is quite typical for my city, puts maybe 4mm of glass between me and the rest of civilisation - and yet very few people own guns.
The trick is to leave out the scare quotes around "civilization".
Re: "To ink" is not a verb.
Repeat after me: there is no noun that cannot be verbed.
Re: Oh, that's why
I'm sorry, but the pages have been out there longer than this feature. If it doesn't "behave perfectly in every case", then it's Firefox that's "badly written".
I've been loyal to Firefox for *more* than 57 versions, but Quantum is seriously testing me. Pretty much every day, I see Firefox spawning too many processes, taking up way more CPU time than it should, and in extreme cases crashing my entire system. This didn't happen pre-Quantum. (And - just sayin' - it doesn't happen with Chrome.)
Yeah, I always get confused by this.
On the one hand, it's a backward little shithole with the population of Afghanistan, a GDP that's less than half the UK defence budget, and fewer IP addresses than Market Harborough.
On the other hand, it's a sinister unstoppable power capable of standing off the entire US, and striking with impunity at NATO countries who can do nothing, nothing I tell you, to stop them.
Seriously, when I wor' a lad we had the Soviet Union to worry about. There, at least, was an enemy that could credibly be talked up to those sorts of levels of paranoia. But North Korea? Something is badly wrong with this picture.
If it is true, then what that tells us is that defence (and national security) budgets are a complete waste of money. If we can't even stop North feckin' Korea from attacking us, then what the hell use is all this hardware we spend so much on?
Last week: Microsoft accused of covering up rape claim. This week: Microsoft backs anti-cover-up law ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Right hand, left hand...
What this looks like to me is that Microsoft's top management have only just noticed the PR shitstorm, and are doing their best to counter it. That includes not just supporting a fortuitous bit of legislation, but also changing their own internal procedures and rules.
That's a good thing. The only really heinous bit here is that - apparently - some level of management was, previously, able to quash the complaint without the higher-ups being aware of it. (Probably, though not provably, because the top management wanted it that way.)
But now things are changing. And that's good. I don't see the point in carping on what's gone wrong in the past, if it's being addressed properly now.
Of course, if we learn that the new rules still allow (or even encourage) middle management to browbeat, bribe or intimidate female employees out of escalating complaints, then that would be a whole 'nother complaint. But there's no sign of that in this article.
Do they also accept gold?
Or tulip bulbs?
How do they determine the exchange rate? Do they count the rate at the moment the transaction is requested, or when it's completed?
Dear Mr Hall, BTC is not a currency. Nobody is dumb enough to try to pay you in it. But I imagine you might have a few customers who are unscrupulous enough to fake payment in it (they'll cheerfully send you screenshots showing that they've made the transaction, which you'll have no choice but to honour because you made this bloody silly announcement, but with transaction times being what they are, the customer could be up and gone before you can definitively say it was a fake).
if that story is presented as "news", I would seriously consider finding an alternative newsfeed.
On the other hand, if it's presented as background knowledge that's pretty important to know about if you want to make any kind of sense out of - well, western civilisation basically - or a story used to hang contemporary morals on, then I would just acknowledge it for what it is and carry on with my day.
Seriously, comparing church doctrines with "fake news" is a cheap shot, and one that suggests both ignorance of and indifference to the Roman Catholic position on biblical teaching.
He once appeared on 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue', in a game themed on that very pun. I suggest you go and listen to every series (up to around 2005) to find it.
Re: Can't we get rid of May?
That's the screwy thing about basic democracy. 50.0000000000000001% wins.
And that is why no country in the world is insane enough to try to govern itself by direct democracy on that basis. (No, not even Switzerland or California.)
Instead we have elections to pick delegates whom we entrust to do the give and take of governing on our behalf. Indirect democracy, with all sorts of inbuilt rules and balances and delays and balances. The effect is that the political class has to compromise in order to get things done.
And then some retards say things like "Compromise is betrayal, we voted for this and we must have it and nothing else!" Those people are too stupid to entrust with a vote, but sadly there's no way to take it away from them. And that is why we avoid giving them opportunities like the Brexit referendum.
David Cameron, are you listening?
Re: @Bob Dole ... WTF? Well put
So please explain to me how having to pay up when Comcast extorted money from them (remember 2014?) is a "win/win" for Netflix or anyone other than Comcast?
Well, obviously it's a win for Comcast, because money. And it's a win for Netflix, because it entrenches their position as the provider of online entertainment, and raises the barrier to anyone who wants to try to contest that position. Ergo, win/win.
The only people who lose are nobodies - you know, like potential competitors, who being merely potential competitors, don't yet have enough money to be counted. Oh, and customers.
Re: @Bob Dole ... WTF? Well put
"businesses will work it out"? - Oh, that's all right then, whatever were we worried about.
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices" - Adam Smith.
Re: Yeah, but common sense, too...
The trouble is that the data in question is protected by Irish and EU law. What the feds demand will, if it happens, be interpreted in Ireland as a criminal hack, and the individuals and companies implicated will then be in much the same uncomfortable position as Laurie Love.
Indeed, it does raise the rather delicious prospect of Ireland demanding the extradition of USSC justices as accessories to the crime. Who would hear *that* case, I wonder?
Re: But shirley...
The fundamental point here is that if the Feds need a warrant to examine the communications of a US citizen, then they will also need exactly the same warrant to examine the communications of an Iranian or Russian or Saudi or whatever other citizen in the same place and time.
It's called "equal protection of the laws", and it's guaranteed by the same constitution as the 4th amendment that everyone likes to bang on about.
You need to decide, are you going to allow this thing or not? One thing you can't do, however, is allow it "only against foreigners".
Re: FCC must not make law,
Gosh, it's almost as if all this hasn't been discussed ad nauseam before...
You can "easily surmise" whatever you like, but please take account of the fact that Wheeler was against the Title II solution, it was Obama who pressed for that (which is, I believe, the only real reason why Trump is so determined to undo it now - he neither understands nor cares about the issue, but he knows in his gut that the taint of Obama MUST BE CLEANSED from America).
Re: No strategy is good strategy
If I thought there was any possibility that the police might choose to investigate or even detain me on the basis of my horoscope, then yes, I damn' well would want there to be some written policies around the subject.
'Testing' is all well and good. But when you are using the technology in an environment where it may be affecting real people's lives, you've gone beyond 'testing' into the domain of 'field trials', and at that point you need some kind of strategy in place.
Re: Sigh... it's geographical as well a geopolitical, innit.
In pragmatic terms, nobody is picking on Kaspersky because they are Russian; they are picking on them because the environs in which they operate are technically, legally, and politically controlled by an authoritarian regime which is inimical to many Western interests.
If that's the the case, why single out Kaspersky by name? Surely they should apply a ban to all companies with significant human assets in Russia.
Personally, I suspect Kaspersky's only real crime is "having the temerity to compete with good Murrican companies who are willing, for a price, to say nice things about the Dear Leader".