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* Posts by DCFusor

429 posts • joined 12 Oct 2013


American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

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Like many laws, a smokescreen for dominance

Real slick of them to get themselves a law that allows searching people leaving, since that may someone magically allow terrorists in. I knew law was blind, but direction? Really? Can't tell in from out?

Too bad he's gonna lose, most likely.

When it comes to AI research the West is winning, the East is rising and women are being left behind

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Re: Bit of a boy's club

Women are vastly underrepresented as garbage truck loaders as well, but I don't hear any complaining. Maybe all this proves they are smarter?

If most punters are unlikely to pay more for 5G, why all the rush?

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5G will only ever work in those dense cesspools called cities. In the case of SF, literally a cesspool.

I will never live in a city again. Moved from DC in the '70s and never looked back. The only good thing about DC was free heat - abundant hot air.

FTTP for the win. You can always lay more fiber, but only push so many bits through a given RF bandwidth - and those high frequencies don't propagate well at all.

Since it's easier to get permission to lay fiber in rural areas, we may have the last laugh. No one here is going to mind another ditch to get better service. No sidewalks to dig up.

Surely no one here thinks that there will ever be any better deal on bits/$ unless and until the regulatory environment changes from "the best rules money can buy" do they?

In 2018, Facebook is the villain and Microsoft the shining light, according to techies

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Re: Legislate, regulate

IT would only be a pretense at best. What example can you name of a company that was big enough to buy a government representative with pocket change (or a few) who has ever been regulated in any meaningful way, ever?

You can't unless you cheat and name something like "well, we made them do crash safety tests" which cost them nothing but eliminated competition. Or a bunch of other examples of regulation that just lock in the big boys.

It's legal for me to avoid taxes the same way they do it - just that it would cost more than my income, but isn't even a rounding error for them. Wonder why that is?

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

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Too much power

It's worse than you think. I recently retired (USA) and am on social security. For other reasons I had to get a paper verification of my status to a medical establishment in a tight time frame. So I log on to the government site, and try to start a "MYSSA" account, but the procedure fails. I then call the number, and after the usual multi-hour wait when calling the government, I got to a human who said that if I'm NOT in the equifax or experian databases, they cannot prove I exist! (I am in the OPM as I had a security clearance, or I should be, anyway - but two government entities here can't talk to each other apparently unless there's a political motive to incriminate someone).

Yep, the government can't keep track of my existence - even as an EMPLOYEE(!) if I'm not in a "private" database! One that has data that's all too powerful - identity theft is the least of it - can't get a loan?

Can't even get phone service with some providers, and here in the US you probably don't have a choice of that or ISP. Guess you your government really is - bankers and their services. Notice how they got bailed out with our money, how they get everything they want, and look at the horrible punishment they're getting here for history-making breach. /sarcasm

I'm sure you can connect those dots, they're real close together.

Lucky I was grandfathered in long ago on those things. All you have to do to drop off the earth is not use credit in any form or fail to pay a bill in 7+ years, and bam, you're a ghost. Screw someone - don't pay a bill, have them "screw up your rating" and it turns out that a negative number is better than no number at all! Suddenly everyone wants to lend you money, the government can find you again (which may be good or not)....

When I mentioned this to the government human and pointed out that they must know I exist and where I live as I get checks...they said "shhhhh, don't mess it up, if these dots get connected they'll stop".

And you guys think your UK government is screwy. Hold our beer. No telling who wins that one.

Oracle takes its gripes about Pentagon's JEDI contract to federal court

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Bare metal an advantage?

If you're gonna do that, you require certain expertise...and may as well not contract it out to begin with.

The point of cloud is leveraging some expertise at the vendor end, presumably including more than just keeping lights on and perhaps doing the odd backup...if they can manage to make that atomic.

US Homeland Security installs AI cameras at the White House, Google tries to make translation less sexist

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Re: Translation and Artificial Idiocy

i agree about the fool's errand, though not the gender fluid silliness you avoided mentioning, yank.

On the other hand, something that gets things consistently wrong ... is the kind of thing you can fix, or learn from your ideas on fixing being wrong. It's the intermittent bugs that kill ya. In the case of translation, as you point out, there are a lot of other issues that are a lot more important to most people "readable, accurate, idiomatically correct" seem like a good start on a list.

And the Vodka is still strong but the meat is rotten.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

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Seems to me the people complaining about American bacon - as if that was a singular thing...are missing something important.

Just like chinesium you get cheap from "bigvendor" yeah, the stuff you just buy precooked somewhere is going to be terrible - just like every other thing they offer. This is news?

If you do your own shopping and preparing, you can get heavenly bacon in the US, I do all the time.\

But then if I go to a modern supermarket (vs the small town market I usually use) - I've noticed that if microwave ovens and/or freezers were to quit working, most of America would starve or die of a soda pop/potato chip overdose, since it seems no one knows how to cook anymore....

Cities. ugh, all this crap is in cities where people think they are civilized but long ago lost anything but the advertising to those of us in more "salt of the earth" locations. There is only one fast-food outlet in the entire county I live in - and no one goes there.

I'd bet the US isn't alone may be ahead, but it's a matter of degree.

There are plenty of specialty outfits in the US that sell the best bacon on earth, or so I'm convinced - if there's any better I wouldn't be able to tell and would be confused about whether I'd died and gone to heaven.

UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'...

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And people laugh at the US government

Yeah, I know, it just irks me that others seem to think theirs is any better because your clowns use slightly different makeup.

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"When new powers are introduced, unless penalties are for misuse of those powers are introduced at the same time, they will always be abused."

Optimist. Haven't you watched long enough to see how redefinition/spin/selective enforcement work in the real world? How about "There are apparently no exceptions whatever to power always being abused".

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

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Re: It's not encrypted...

Sorry, Herby, it's worse than you think:

Now this guy is probably guilty and of some really bad stuff. But the 5th isn't keeping him out of jail for contempt of court for refusing to decrypt what is almost surely evidence against him.

That ship sailed awhile back. And in this case it's been going years and no time limit.

Why, you're no better than an 8-bit hustler: IBM punts paper on time-saving DNN-training trick

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So if you use lousier numbers, you can even more vastly overfit patterns you don't understand without the errors getting noticeably worse.

Couldn't be because they stank already in really important ways, right?

How's that turtle==gun stuff doing these days? Everything I see complaining about issues with NN's was identified in the 90's or earlier, by people who said it would only get worse with more layers, more overfitting, and a lousier squash function (relu) with...math to prove it. Guess what. GIGO is still a thing.

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

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First to file is now the law

I originally started my online sci/tech forums for just this reason - myself and others needed a free place to publish so as to establish priority of inventions. The idea that it's hosted by an otherwise uninterested third party with logs and timestamps was one of the keys there. That used to be enough, and was relatively affordable.

Then...a "bipartisan" law change - patent "reform" it was called in the states, changed the rules from first to invent to first to file, blowing that out of the water without EXTREME legal fees, Yet another law to protect the big money against competition from the small outfit.

According to my patent attorneys, you must now file a provisional patent (which you have to follow up on, the good part of that law if any was to eliminate zombie patents) - at fairly high expense, or publish in a journal that the USPTO reads - also at fairly high expense - or all bets are off.

As the law sits now, someone can steal your idea, admit they did so - and still wind up owning it due to being first to file and you not having the bucks to make enough stink and present the court with enough ancillary stuff to keep them from owning it. But you also then have to patent it yourself at ever increasing costs (10's of k$ now even if you do most of the work yourself).

Unlike open source software, you can't even give your own stuff away, in the sense of preventing some other outfit from patenting it and charging others for using it - or just holding it off the market.

At least my lawyers tell me so...

Not to pimp my place which is near-dead due to this and other factors, but it's in case you get bored. Nope, not looking for average Joe type members at all, no bucks, no ads, that's not what we are about.

Apple in another dust-up with its fans: iMacs, MacBooks lack filters, choke on grime – lawsuit

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Was the real reason for them declaring they'd have dividends awhile back simply anticipation of, and making it harder, to short their stock?

It's been quite a long time since any real innovation, and things like this story keep going on and on - this outfit gets you coming and going and revels in the highest margins in the biz.

Which is insulting enough that I managed to avoid them so far...but it really does look like they might be getting ready to lose it in a way that is publicly recognized - and financially actionable.

Oh my chord! Sennheiser hits bum note with major HTTPS certificate cock-up

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Maybe they do get security

But work for, dunno, Amber Rudd or perhaps some .gov entity in Oz or the US?

The list of those who want backdoors isn't a short one.

Pulses quicken at NASA as SpaceX gets closer to crewed launches and Russia readies the next Soyuz

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Keeping your people from revolting

NASA is full of hardcore puritans (or used to be when I dealt with them) and old cold warrior neocons. My guess is that this noise is as much about keeping their own people happy that no one else is having fun when they can't.

As is evidenced by the moon race - at least one of NASAs prime goals is to produce propaganda fodder.

Once we "won"... well, the space race kind of ended. I was one of those kids who watched Apollo 11, and thought, man, someday I'll get to go. > 65 yo now...speak of dropped balls. As soon as the need for PR was gone...funding cut and we all know the rest.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

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Re: Its about time

Blocking FB at network edge would then limit the data the UK government gets from them on the side as part of the 5 eyes, silly.

As if all of FB's servers were outside the UK to begin with...

"It's all connected" (Total Recall)

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

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Re: Home security problem

@Lee and others

Well, at some point you have to draw a line...while stopping one more thing may be kind of futile in the overall picture, not trying is sending a message you don't care. This one wouldn't matter to me personally, as I have my own solar array, batteries and whatnot. Freedom from a power bill is pretty nice. I think in many cases people are realizing that a thief isn't the only threat - the state level actor who might be a problem is your own state - there is no instance of a state power that hasn't been abused.

These days they are amateurs at hiding that compared to my own youth and some people are working that out. Here, where pot isn't legal yet, smart meters would be used to discover grow operations for just one thing.

Now, I live in the extreme boonies - where if you have an emergency, the police are maybe 45 minutes away (or more, as has happened here) - thank heavens the neighborhood is pretty good people and we look out for one another insofar as we can - I for example, can't see any of my neighbor's houses from the rooftop here (which is on a hilltop!). We DO worry somewhat about security, as sometimes a stranger is here to steal something. Particularly in hunting season where they might have some excuse to be here at all. Normally we farmers are grateful for those who keep the game under control, as they eat crops.

You could literally use a chainsaw on someone's front door and burgle for most of an hour before the neighbors would notice or the cops come if they did. Rather than encase ourselves in steel bars, well, it turns out that in farm country there are a lot of people who "Still cling to their Bibles - and their guns" as both have been known to come in handy in the presence of varmints - the latter doesn't count how many legs they have, either.

Ring my doorbell, or most others around here, and you'll be looked at either by a window or a camera.

And likely invited in and given food and other comfort. It's a nice place with nice people.

Break in by kicking or other method, well, Mr Smith and Wesson is here to greet you with a likely permanent perforation or few. Unofficially, the cops are fine with this...they know it wouldn't happen unless the situation was dire.

For some reason, there's next to zero crime here. It's kinda too dangerous - grandma knows how to shoot and is in practice. While there are some criminals living in the area, they go to the nearest town or city where they are anonymous and their victim likely unprepared to resist their attentions. If you harm someone in a tiny town - you may as well move away, if you live through the experience. Modern tech that will reveal whodunit is widely adopted even out here.

At least here, John Lott's thesis works out.

Cities promote disease. Anonymity and a constant flow of transients in a situation where no one can know all the people around are a recipe for con artists, thieves, and other predators on the dark side to ply their trades. Those sorts are by definition looking for the easy no-brainer way to get their desires.

They only have to move a couple of blocks over to regain complete anonymity and continue their bad deeds if caught. That just doesn't work in a county where pretty much everyone knows everyone else.

This points to a flaw in the "one size fits all" thinking that is always associated with strong central statist governments. I'm here to tell you, one size does NOT fit all. I completely understand that if you're going to live somewhere dense you have to be much more careful swinging your arms as someone's nose is never far away, and loss of some freedoms is required in such places to make things work. But...many people move away from that situation for that very reason. Responsible people can have more freedom without creating harm than those who have no discipline.

Britain may not be able to fend off a determined cyber-attack, MPs warn

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So much so that even Bruce Schneier was quite late to the game, thinking that all critical infrastructure was still on things like T1 lines long after it'd gone to internet, even while those few of us public online were still in dialup mode....having read his blog since those days - and even having called him out on that one, it's been an interesting evolution, not all evenly applied. This of course was so long ago it'd take serious searching in his archives to even find it. Pre "911".

The old game of the attacker and defender keeps evolving endlessly, and not always linearly or evenly. For quite some time there was a mixture of private lines and even total lack of remote control! Things were "safe" that way, but at the cost of no remote control, someone reasonably competent had to be present and on duty. And hopefully not sleeping. Most industry never adopted the equivalent of the one legged stool used in nitroglycerin plants to ensure the operator stayed awake.

Now because that's no longer required, the trend is to simply have no one competent available at all, or so it seems.

Which even includes most of the attackers, so we're safe, surely. Shirley?

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

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Yet another

markup language is how I heard it described until very recently. Example:

The recursive acronym stuff is borrowed in my memory.

As the "ain't a markup language" disturbed me, I looked it up, and indeed in a rewrite of history that's frighteningly complete, it seems that indeed that's now what it's called even on the "official" website, insofar as there can be such a thing for something that originally open and that old news.

What's next? YACC moving from "yet another compiler compiler" to the less imaginative "YACC ain't a compiler compiler"?

In looking around, I even found reference to how YAML had been changed to become a proper subset of JSON (not the other way around) which of course is comparatively a johnny come lately by comparison.

I think I'm becoming glad I don't do this stuff for a living anymore. Learning everything there is to know once is hard enough. When you rewrite history it becomes that much harder, and for what?

China examines antitrust probe thrust into Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron: Claims to see 'massive evidence'

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Business is war

Sun Tzu was adapted long ago by people who thought so...

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

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Re: Wouldn't read it anyway

Hey, no one who thinks believes Jeff Bezos bought the Post because he thought there would be a profitable resurgence in newspapers! Like him or not, he's not dumb.

It's the political mouthpiece for a person and outfit well above any law they don't like. The purpose often being the prevention of laws they don't like in the first place. Lobbying has a huge profit margin.

A few other huge companies also seem immune from things like paying taxes in the jurisdiction they make the money in. There's always some country that'll cave and who like sandwiches, thinking a little is better than none. Legislation doesn't seem to affect them much either.

Could there be a common rea$on for that?

Big $ pretty much always gets their way, almost like a JEDI...who know where they were going to put a new office from the get-go but found manipulating governments to get even more bennies a fun game anyway.

Is Jeff is trying to get into the running with Larry Ellison for who can be most evil? With that much power, it's easy to be evil even by accident.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

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The original open source?

At the time of these events, I owned a Xerox 820 (a Z-80 based machine) and soon thereafter a Kaypro (pretty much the same thing in a nice box - the 820's we got as bare boards, surplus). At my job for a "beltway bandit" we'd been doing embedded work for various parts of the US government, and were embedding Z-80 and other similar things, and had an Intel Dev system (insanely overpriced but it was gov money).

I had the source code for CP/M (a friend in the government...) and basically used that as documentation for the Intel DOS system. We had phone support on that Intel system and even spoke with Gary Kildall a few times - nudging him (without success) to look into our interrupt driven and in most cases re-entrant system hardware drivers, developed for our customers, as they would have made the Intel system a lot better. He didn't go there - Gary was Gary and it seemed, working well below what should have been his pay grade, soon to leave Intel. He didn't think it worth the effort and frankly, that class of ideas was pretty blue-sky given the capabilities of the existing hardware.

At the time we didn't think much about how similar the opsys were - and it wasn't just the int 21 calls that were identical - int 10h also - the bios...that entire concept. We were super enthused about having actual disk drives (FAT 12!) - remember that back then people were fiddling with dodgy cassette things, or were old school users of restored/surplus PDP-8's and teletypes/paper tape. BYTE magazine hadn't started up yet, quite. Everything we saw, or nearly, was following the obvious trend of filling some utterly obvious need - adding storage - there's never enough memory - adding I/O and so on, and any framework that helped make that happen was welcome. Whatever-you-call that opsys (CP/M, DOS) didn't matter, and it didn't seem weird that they were really all the same thing inside - not just the api (glad Oracle wasn't around!) but the bits, the source, same stuff. There were only so many ways to skin a cat when every byte (all semiconductor ram was static then, as god intended) and clock tick seriously mattered.

MS claim to fame then - and make no mistake, they weren't bad guys then - was the very best tools to program the little 8 bit guys - M80 and L80. Nothing else out there "just worked".

There plain wasn't enough of this stuff around, or adoption of what there was for other than hobby use (and some avionics and other things my outfit built) for us to even think of IP issues (which weren't named at all then) or the fact that this would snowball into a huge effect on the world with attendant redistribution of $$$. That was the thing Gates got right....not necessarily in a pleasing way.

Similar to Jobs real main contribution was getting the **AA's to partly remove their crania from their anus and make digital sales of some content legal. In both cases the rest simply followed.

Over the years I pointed out the similarity or near identical nature of MS-DOS to CPM and Kildall's dev system only to receive scorn and "no way, it couldn't have been " and even saw wikipedia articles explaining parallel development and that this wasn't just copied from Kildall's work.

All I wish is that A: he'd listened to us and created the basis for real multitasking as a result, and B: Microsoft's blatant copying would have resulted in a lot better initial windows instead of how things did go. But Gary was Gary - from a little bit of contact as a customer, I tend to believe the tales of his "loose cannon" exploits. He was a real character.

Pretty sure no one really wants to hear possibly misremembered history from one who was THERE, so I'll just get that coat now. We'll all miss the guys who made this all go, and in my case created the chance at a really good and long career in the biz.

Sorry, Mr Zuckerberg isn't in London that day. Or that one. Nope. I'd give up if I were you

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Re: Glad I'm not him

I see from the voting we have many members of the press who don't like being called out.

See how easy it is to provoke irrationality? Joke icon because...

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Re: Glad I'm not him

Very much agreed!

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Glad I'm not him

On a lot of levels. Think of it this way - when the press is on a witch hunt, and especially if you're partway guilty of what they want to hang on you - there is NOTHING you can say or do that will make it better, only worse, and your best option is just to shut up.

We have a rather well known politician on this side of the pond who hasn't yet figured this out....On the other hand, he has a lot less actual influence on most matters than MarkZ, other than captivating the press utterly, even or especially those who hate him most...I guess it's a trick to keep them out of other trouble.

And being the press they've either not figured this out yet, being even dumber - or they are using it to distract attention from something else they'd rather not have in the spotlight.

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

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Re: It'll still be a damm sight cheaper than the UK launching it's own Nav Sat constellation.

No it won't. One set of birds will serve however many users. This needs one per user.

There is a big number of users....times the cost per each of these.

The rest, well...I agree with the willy waving part.

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Re: Isn't this inertial guidance?

Half right Charles.

Integration itself is error prone, we don't have infinite precision in math processing itself - we have floats, doubles...and on up to a point, but it's not enough as errors accumulate - it's integration. Done over small enough sample intervals to whatever precision the buildup of error will kill you with any known processing power that is or likely will become available in the next few hundred years. See N body gravitational problem which has to be solved by perturbation (there is no closed form feedforward solution) and the inability to predict where, say, Jupiter will be in a hundred years to better than a bunch of miles accuracy. And that's with known inputs to any precision you'd like and things that take years to move around in a well known elipse - or close, as they pull on things that move and pull back and so on.

Same class of problem here.

In this case, the initial measurement by accelerometers, even if utterly exact (infinite bits/sample!), will still give errors due to gravitational anomalies making a thing that measures acceleration think its drifting up or down depending on what the gravity is where it happens to be, versus where it was calibrated. For example only - the field can be skewed in other directions as well. Looking at that is is one way to find things underground as a fairly well developed technology all its own.

Slight changes in gravity even affect clocks at this precision level:

Yeah, for that, with a 100% accurate gravitational map (NASA is making them) you could correct. Thing is, at this level of accuracy, the tides and so on become significat sources of error. This is just more press-release "gimme another grant" technology with a hint of some science attached.

Diss drive: Seagate and IBM bring blockchain sledgehammer to compliance nuts

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Re: Hard drives vs SD cards

I used to own the proper tools to dump and program the uP in many hard drives, and as an excercise, my outfit looked into what was in a few of them software wise. It's like the saying about sausage. It in no way takes "a state level actor" to do that - any reasonably competent embedded engineer with the normal tools can do it in a day or few and make it "whatever you want". Not a lot of point in that as you say, though.

FWIW, some of that data is stored on normally inaccessible *to you* parts of the regular drive. Keyword "normally" as there are tools in open source that let you get to it as well.

As you say, there's not much point in doing that for a normal thief, it's NSA kind of thing, or someone who really thinks planting an unwipeable persistent virus is worth the hassle. No need, since most people who willingly give up all their data to various slurping entities in social media, who then sell that info on cheaper than it'd be to collect it oneself.

The issue I heard of was selling repackaged drives - they had the stated capacity, the issue was that in effect, what were sold as consumer drives with a factory warranty - and at the consumer prices - we actually drives originally bought in bulk by OEMs much cheaper that had no factory warranty associated with their serial numbers (the maker does keep track). Since basically no one checks, people only found out when they had an issue and were denied warranty service - which they'd effectively paid for from some vendor hidden opaquely behind Amazon (in this case) - so no recourse.

So to me, adding another thing no one checks isn't going to be any sort of real answer to the problems that do exist. Denying the problem is a mistake, and claiming this is the answer, another.

Rule one in security is that if the adversary has physical access, it's game over. Any scheme that depends on something the adversary has had access to reporting something is utterly flawed. It can always tell you it's all good. We've seen plenty of examples of stolen keys and certs, it's not the algo that's the issue as much as it is human malfeasance. Yes, you could have a whole batch of drives all claiming they were the same legit drive, for one example (that's easy to protect against if known, but there are so many possibilities, I'll believe it when I see it).

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Not that blockchain is the answer

But yes, pullouts are commonly sold - there is a long comment thread right now on Amazon about people getting warranty-free drives originally sold to OEMs. I just happened to notice as this is a drive I have a few of, have had good luck with, and was considering getting more of. Not now, after that thread. Seems a lot of people have gotten drives that are not even re labeled as retail.

Counterfeits are also common for SD cards, as you know if you've bought many for raspberry pies and then measured their speed and capacity before putting them in use. Easy to find two that look identical, in identical packaging, that have a 3x speed difference and 5% capacity difference (or half or less).

And these are brands like Sandisk and least someone put that on the package. See this article on how commonplace that is in that world:

There's an entertaining video at that link as well. But the counterfeit issue is why Bunnie and Xobs got into hacking the internals of SD cards in the first place.

Blockchain is still dumb, though. Humans are going to cheat - they'll just move to another part of the transaction chain if you make it hard in one place - they'll just pop up somewhere else.

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

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Studied this back in the day

And I find it interesting what the current day workers are reporting as problems, because these same problems (well, most of 'em) were identified with measures to avoid them "back in the day", IIRC, the '90s.

We used sigmoid type activation functions. There's a good reason they're better than relu. The squashing of the range prevents one neuron from locking up a network by being insanely "sure of itself". Yes, this also means you need more and better training data, and it takes more time to train. Being smart is hard, get over it. There's more computer power now, but not that much more (the hardness blows up faster than improvements in hardware has).

Since we were able to prove that no function required more then two hidden layers to map, we never used more than two hidden layers. Again, this means that it took more twiddling on the numbers of neurons in each layer, and again - more and better training data - and time.

There are other mistakes one should avoid, like trying to get a network to predict over more than one time period, or simply trying to do too much in a single network, as this makes it possible for the network to minimize its cost function by being dead wrong on some outputs if some of the others are right...there are a lot of things like this - you can't just blow a lot of data and cycles at something and "test in" whether it worked - there's no foolproof automated test for unexpected data. And lots of other mistakes you can make, but this is a reg comment. Suffice it to say, when you think you've reduced a problem to the point monkeys can do get monkey solutions.

Now someone found that if you use a far easier to train (on your tiny already known univers) model is to use a stupid activation function and too many layers, you can train horribly oversized networks and sometimes get a fairly amazing result - but the truth is, and any real statistician knows this - you have ENORMOUSLY OVERFIT your tiny known universe.

Which is why you can easily fool the result into thinking a gun is a turtle, a stopsign is a hippo, whatever.

Bad networks are why GAN's are so easy. They'd be possible either way, but....

Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

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Two weeks!

Am I the only one here to recognize that picture of Arnold S in disguise at the Mars entry point in Total Recall?

for those who didn't see it, the head blows up after a glitch in its own AI gets stuck saying "two weeks" in response to the question of how long a stay is expected.

Sensor failure led to Soyuz launch failure, says Roscosmos

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Re: spacecraft design

@Lee -+1 informative, thanks!

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Re: "can the fault detection system work fast enough. "

@Peter - clearly most HAVE forgotten...

It's nice to have the new fast stuff as you can save programmer time and basically use dumber developers since the tools that come with those abstractions are much more helpful and require a lot less ingenuity to get an issue debugged. But not only is all that unnecessary, it's bad.

You'd much rather have a more experienced and competent developer who can do without all that, and who has the ingenuity to not only track down issues - building their own tools for those cases as required (down to toggle this wire if I got here with x data), and who can anticipate a bunch of corner cases the less advanced guy didn't think of up front when they are best handled.

You can't really test those 9's in past the first 2 or so. They have to be there by design. Once there is a solid design, coding is the simple part, even in the more difficult to use languages and simpler homebrew opsys' on minimal hardware.

Goodnight Kepler! NASA scientists lay the exoplanet expert to rest as it runs out of fuel

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A song

About just how much Kepler changed our world...and the search for planets in general.

Though based on a disney tune, I thought it pretty good.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

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Re: I swear to Cthulhu, Michael O'Rielly is fekkin' insane.

I regret I only have one upvote to give. This partisanship is utterly nuts - all the parties involved have been "in power" time and time again, the situation just gets monotonically worse, and whoever is out of power spends all their time, with all too much success, convincing people that it's they guys currently driving who are lost. As if the other guys weren't lost themselves when they drove the bus.

Nope...they think the only obstacles are each other and we're just cattle for them to farm. And they wonder why nut jobs get voted for - people are desperate for something better - not just change, but positive change, and failing that - burn it down so we can start clean again.

The current situation reminds me of the awe some held over the US civil war, amazed that brother would be against brother. But it's what I see now on the media, and less so (thank $diety), in real life.

We can be civil if we decide to be - it's happened in the past in my own lifetime. Let's encourage it to re-appear.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

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Maybe we get really lucky and they RIF Lennart Poettering or he quits? I hear IBM doesn't tolerate prima donnas and cults of personality quite as much as RH?

Americans' broadband access is so screwed up that the answer may lie in tiny space satellites

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Re: I can't believe it

What makes you think that? However many satellites you could put up will simply continue the creation of deliberate scarcity, with only those willing to pay high rates getting more. Sure, people who live in "nowhere" will perhaps be able to buy faster internet (but with nasty latency) where now, there's no other option at all (where I live that's the case - yes the latency of low orbit birds will be less than GEO now, but still nasty - and all the money you can spend here won't get you past a 6 megabit down/one up DSL).

But you can always put down more fiber...not so with satellites and radio bandwidth. Both run out of room pretty quickly - they just don't scale.

Just because the cable companies don't own an artificial scarcity resource today...what makes you think they won't buy it up as soon as it makes sense to them to do so (like they have with content providers)?

Our FCC has become as dysfunctional as some big parts of the EU and needs to be rethought. Kinda reminds me of issues with too much power in a bureaucracy, like the patent office (both sides of the pond, somewhat different issues but...).

Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

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Re: Just wondering

Seems to me that if the control plane has any connection at all to the customer stuff - as it must to be of any use at all....

It's gonna be "challenge accepted" by hackers, and they're gonna win. In any asymmetric warfare situation the defender is at a huge disadvantage. They have to sit there and defend...they have to have a fairly uniform interface for their customers...they can't just change up overnight (or over-nanosecond). Attackers have all the time in the world, can come from any direction (or IP range used by customers)..and so far, nothing has been immune to that - zero.

All it's going to take is for an attacker to find a way to poison the data the control plane requires from the stuff it's controlling, and bingo, there will be a hole somewhere - there haven't exactly been a lot of exceptions to that even if you leave Adobe out of it.

And yeah, I know a few people who work with Oracle stuff - zero of them like it, their licensing, or their support, along with their practice of forcing them to buy cloud licenses under threat of an audit of their on-prem stuff. The ones who can are porting to, well, anything else. The ones stuck supporting some government shop are stuck, so far.

Flash price-drop pops Western Digital's wallet: Surprise revenue fall with worse to come

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Someone downvoting all the HD lovers? I'll take a hit for the team myself. They have their place here, among, yes, lots of SSDs too.

Huge capacity per penny, the ability of just one very cheap NAS type (slow spin) drive to pretty much saturate GB ethernet (I use odroid HC2's as a very full featured NAS with linux, one with only Open Media Vault) and the ability to power down almost totally - I note all my SSD's stay quite warm no matter what - make them a good deal for the slowest layer of the storage hierarchy here.

I can (and do) have 4, tb drive/cpu setups, not all in the same building, each specialized to serve whatever I need (LAN of things, internal bulletin board, web servers with CGIs that control stuff in the lab and do data acq), that also do cron driven rolling backups - at any one time I have physically and temporally dispersed backups of code and data that has taken years to build up, and I'd hate to lose it.

I got the drives and the computers for less than the cost of SSD alone that size would be.

Hate to quote that guy, but quantity DOES have a quality all it's own. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE SSD drives, this laptop has 2 of them, and it's not my main machine at all. But....that size per buck and per joule - the mostly spun down HDDs do have a valid place in the scheme of things.

Intel: You'll get 10nm next year – now witness the firepower of this fully armed cash machine

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Haven't traded myself for a few years now, but aftermarket trading was a sort of wild-west thing - not many players, low liquidity, which can lead to "interesting" price moves that aren't later confirmed in the normal markets. That can work for you or against you as a trader if you know that and get kind of a feel for it.

Or used to.

For example, sometimes there are no buyers for something - and a dumb seller puts out a "sell at market" order. If you had a "buy at 1/2 the normal price or below" order in - you'd get a steal, one you could probably sell at something like the normal price the next day...and other variations of that kind of thing on either side of a trade.

Nowadays, the HFTs (who never sleep) and a few savvy humans (who never seem to need sleep)...kinda wrapped that one up, leaving little for the average person to play with there.

Price moves after hours are generally not as meaningful as those that occur with real volume behind them - they can be a complete illusion that will lead one astray if one things the moves are going to hold or continue the next day. It's kind of a "selected from random data" thing - prices are mostly set by uninitiated out-of-the-know small traders - it can go either way as to what's going to happen next in the "real" markets.

So, it's a possible indicator but that's all - the wind may change direction at any time...

This two-year-old give-me-root hole is so trivial to exploit, you can fit it in a single tweet

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Yep -- off topic or not, I've seen that "you have to be at the machine - right there" to do rooty stuff statement here too many times, and even if the post I replied to was incorrect about needing sudo vs ability to mess with suid - it's true despite the downvotes I collected for saying it.

It's tiresome and probably gives noobs the idea that if they have physical security they are safe.

We all know that if you don't, you're done, but the opposite isn't true.

I have plenty of single-user systems headed and headless and of course you need root privileges to do the required customization during setup. Many have never had a keyboard or terminal of any sort physically attached, yet you see this "you have to be at the machine" stuff all the time here.

And if you've got root, fooling with permissions is not exactly a problem either.

There are around 20 machines here that give the lie to that statement.

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Not one linux machine here - spanning x86. amd64 and arms (more than one flavor of each) - and several distros, requires you to be "sat at the machine" to get sudo or root - If you can get it at the machine, you can get it remotely (there may be a way to turn that off, but I've not seen it). VNC or SSH make it easy from any remote machine if you log in as a user that is an sudoer. That "have to be there" is an utter myth. On the not-raspberry pi distros you do have to know that user's password, but you'd have to know that either way.

Back when the Norse attack map was up and going, you'd see plenty of attacks to just those ports -"for some reason". Also RDP, of course.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

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Re: Who's gonna buy it?


Can't believe saying something one owns will ever be unhackable got upvotes here, where most of us know that physical access == game over.

Do you work for the Oz (or US) government wanting LEO-only backdoors?

How many DVDs or games have had their DRM unhacked?

"Should be" is not a viable either computers or stock market trading.

Think how much money such a hack would be worth (and of course, it would pre-exist for people the government thinks are "worth it") - and who'd benefit from selling'd last as long as the DHS luggage master keys at most.

Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC

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Re: Conspiracy theory? @ AC

Yeah, having been a market player myself, I note Bloomberg does NOT in any way represent any sort of "gold" standard to anyone who pays attention to what they do. They of course please the seriously left-leaning non-financially in-the-know people like um...some here who don't know about the financial facts but love the hard-left opinions constantly expressed on Bloomberg. Many consider their reporting quite slanted - you can not tell lies but still fail to tell enough truth .... telling only one side of a multifaceted story is not telling the whole truth. In fact, it's propaganda and deception 101.

They're in the same business as the other sharks and snakes, people, and play it the same as any of the other not-too-honest market participants. They make money from turmoil, even if they didn't short this stock first themselves directly (oh, there are so many ways...that don't leave much of a trail). They sell data, and the crazier things get, the more money they make. EG, simplest theory follows from Cui Bono.

A well setup outfit could indeed do such a plant on a board, there's no technical or financial reason not to, and there are such things as "silent assets" for "last resorts" in the military and spy communities, but lacking even one proven sample...the fact that it's possible is only one leg of the stool.

Need a modest Arm Cortex-A CPU in your custom chip? Just apply online. Plus $125,000

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Re: Age

It's why serious embedded devs are paid very well. If they're going to make a zillion of something, being able to use a few pennies cheaper cpu * millions, or even hundreds thousands, will amortize a heck of a lot of NRE - your pay and bennies. Hard job to get - there aren't that many around working for the big boys, but it's a real good place to be...I liked it when I was there.

The mantra is creating the response "I didn't know such a cheap thing could even DO that".

Get there and it's winning.

When everyone started putting windows CE or linux onto everything, it all got really sloppy and bloated. Sigh. Now you see these killer chips (compared to the 6502/8051/PIC "you name it") used for stuff you could almost do in a 555.

Stealthy UK startup drops veil on next frontier of speech wizardry

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Re: The Cloud?

I wrote an MFC wrapper for IBMs via voice for a startup back in the day, and if it was at all trained on a particular speaker (it could handle many but it wanted to be told who was talking) - it was super good. In many opinions better than the Dragon stuff, particularly in the case of custom vocabularies - this was used to transcribe doctor's patient notes, so it needed to know medical jargon and a multitude of ways to say any number (one hundred, a hundred, one zero zero, and on and on for more complex ones). It got so if a doctor often coughed in the middle of saying some weird drug name, it'd sill get it right - due to regular human transcriptionists error-checking and telling the speech engine what was really said.

Adapting how a thing written for unix then to windows then rose some serious eyebrows and won the odd award. It was definitely a complex thunk operation. I've thought about resurecting the codebase, this time just using in linux as I abandoned windows around .net and the VB'ing of visual studio time, as no one was paying me to fix windows anymore - linux ever since.

It's long been known in the speech recog biz that working for one person (or a few known ones) is a metric ton easier than "all ya'll out there". It is in fact easier to tell who is speaking (biometric fashion) than what they are saying for a limited population.

This is one reason the big boys use the cloud. The other is of course, the obvious snooping and slurping.

Anonymous Amazonian demands withdrawal of face-recog kit from sale

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Re: Wrong target

Ken: This ^^^^

You can't keep science/tech a secret for very long, or especially just one part - it all hangs together, which is one reason we like the scientific method.

The whole fooforah around crypto - same issues. They'd have to make good crypto illegal to have their way at all. but then it'd be all too obvious about that police state thing.

As you said, wrong target.

Of course, human nature, which governments express often the worst parts of - doesn't change much either...even in revolts as in that old UK band the Who mentioned.

"Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss". If your're lucky and don't get the French Revolution iterations instead.

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Re: If you don't like it then resign

If you're a whiny loser, you should instead stay and gum up the works...there was also a bit of that in WWII IIRC...

Yale Security Fail: 'Unexpected load' caused systems to crash, whacked our Smart Living Home app

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Re: Let this be a lesson

Yeah, gerdesj - see my post above. Roll your own and it might be fine...otherwise you're the product; that's getting tired, but what else to call this crap?

The question of who should be liable for software failures occasionally comes up on Bruce Schneieir's security blog...

MS would have gone bankrupt long since even if it was a nickle per incident. Systems failure - the big things like airplanes have laws in place...Self driving cars are going to get interesting. IoT is yet another place the question is too open.

Seems like consumers should demand something other than a handwaving warranty that doesn't cover anything. I resist saying there should be a law, as that hardly ever ends well.


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