50 posts • joined 27 Oct 2016
Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound
Re: To some MSDOS was an major leap forward.
>Kids today can still have all the joys of working constrained bare metal on the Raspberry Pi GPU
They could, but I don't think it's as interesting to young people anymore. Around the time of the ZX-81 there was a certain energy, a certain excitement in tinkering with microprocessors, which I don't think still exist. Now it's mostly a trade, not a passion.
It's the way of the world: building your own ham radio, or stereo amplifier, or getting some old broken car and rebuilding it in your backyard used to be fun activities, if you were geeky enough. They have become unfashionable, just like building your own computer, writing your own low level code or playing World of Warcraft.
AFAIK (please correct me if I'm wrong), since switching away from Yahoo as a default search provider last year, Mozilla gets a majority of its income from Google. I wonder: does this new tough anti-tracking policy also apply to Google trackers? If it does, will it still be worth it for Google to keep financing the Mozilla Foundation?
Re: Case sensor
>First HD I had in my own PC was 20MB
God yes, same here. The version of DOS I had couldn't even conceive such a large volume could exist, so I had to split the disk in a 16 MB and a 4 MB partition.
And I managed to play "The Secret of Monkey Island" all the way through, even though my 8086 PC only had a CGA graphics card *and* a green on black monochrome monitor. At some point in the game, the player gets a list of ingredients he needs to collect, written with multicolored characters. On the 4 color CGA display, different colors were merged, so the writing wasn't recognizable - only a few pixels of each letter could be seen. I didn't even realize it was just an issue with my bottom of the barrel display. I thought it was another puzzle, and the list was intentionally written in some secret alphabet - and cheerfully spent some quality time decoding it.
Re: Killer App
>[Access not being available on Linux] may not be such a bad thing. [...] in so many cases the result far exceeds what Access was intended for, and really should been written as a "proper" application.
Agreed, but for each case where the business needs end up outgrowing Access, there must be tens or hundreds of cases where somebody who may not be a full-time developer was able to put together a small Access app that does what they need quickly and cheaply.
I sometimes need to fix something small in the house - I'm not a professional plumber, and I don't have a set of professional tools; this doesn't stop me from replacing the occasional gasket, using some generic screwdriver or wrench I happen to have around. And I disagree with the idea that wrenches shouldn't be available to non-professional plumbers because they're sometimes not the right tool for the job.
Re: Nothing new here
From a Romanian friend, here's a catastrophically bad Google translation: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ro&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gustos.ro%2Fretete-culinare%2Fchec-cu-nuci-si-rahat.html&edit-text=
"Rahat" is the Romanian word for Turkish delight. It is also an euphemism for excrement. Google chooses the idiom instead of the main meaning, with hilarious results.
On the same page, Google's advice to " do the dick test to check if it's baking" should instead suggest to "do the toothpick test"..
Re: They could have used the "He said Jehova" excuse instead
Context doesn't matter to the offence culture. You can even get sacked if you don't use the N word at all, but say something that sounds similar to uneducated ears - see not one, but repeated examples here . I can understand why somebody would be wary.
>They literally asked for feedback on their diversity and hiring policies following a training session.
"I want someone to tell me", Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched to them all prayerfully. "If any of it is my fault, I want to be told."
"He wants someone to tell him," Clevinger said.
"He wants everyone to keep still, idiot," Yossarian answered.
"Didn't you hear him?" Clevinger argued.
"I heard him," Yossarian replied. "I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us."
"I won't punish you", Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore.
"He says he won't punish me", said Clevinger.
"He'll castrate you," said Yosarrian.
"I swear I won't punish you," said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. "I'll be grateful to the man who tells me the truth."
"He'll hate you", said Yossarian. "To his dying day he'll hate you."
Re: Never going to happen.
>For the simple reason that Google et al are American companies, and if they got broken up it would mean the US would lose real dominance of the Internet.
That would imply that congresscritters care about America. Watching their activities, it doesn't seem to be the case. You're right however that it won't happen, but for a different reason. Google, well aware its whole business model is based on shaky moral and legal grounds, are on track to become the biggest spender on lobbying in the USA. As long as they keep their shopping bag full of congressmen, Google is in no danger of legislative action.
>The GPL, unlike the MIT license, protects against people adding a small thing to an open-source program that might become necessary to use it - thus taking it out of being usable in its open-source form.
What are you talking about? If party A releases something under a MIT license, and party B adds some small thing to it, do you honestly believe party C can't use A's code anymore? If so, you have absolutely no understanding of how things work.
Re: Google is Evil
Don't assume Google doesn't know about you just because searches for your name come up with nothing. You have no access to their internal databases . If you could search those, you may find a lot of stuff under your Google Advertising ID. You might find out it's correlated to your home computer's MAC address, to your phone UDID and phone number, to your credit card transactions, probably your travel history (from locations of IP addresses or cell phone towers) and web access history (from Google's DNS servers) - plus who knows what else.
Re: That's a weird orbit
From the images, it passed very close to the Sun - deep within the orbit of Mercury. Statistically, given the size of the Universe, that looks really unlikely. If it was an alien spacecraft, it may have used the close passage for a gravity assist maneuver - keep into a mind we only saw it on its way out, and the incoming path is extrapolated. If it was just a space rock, either we were really lucky, or there are orders of magnitude more such objects passing through the Solar system, but somehow we failed to see any until now.
These are things man was not meant to know!
>The phrase "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" is obviously lost on these scientists.
"Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."
— Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein
Re: "They looked for the password on the CD . . ."
>Need to log in to a user's workstation? The password is 1: Under the keyboard, 2: On a post-it stuck to the monitor or, if you're very lucky, written on a notepad in the top drawer under the desk.
And this can be fine, if you understand your security threat; if your attacker has physical access to your office, you have bigger problems. Passwords under keyboards can't be read by hackers in Russia or China, which are in most cases the bigger risk.
Add the fact that many companies with bad understanding of security require passwords to be at least 75 characters long, contain mixed case letters, digits, and at least two wingdings, and be changed every full moon and you can't reasonably expect users to memorize them.
Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...
>I think Dirk Gently was the best book Adams wrote.
I agree - and I believe it shows Adams' evolution as a writer paralleled Pratchett's in some ways. They both started with gag-driven works, with little or no characterization, and with no plot to speak of beyond a flimsy framework to hang gags to - that's particularly the case for Adams' Hitchhiker books, but also for the first few Discworld books (especially the Rincewind the Wizzard series). As they both matured as writers, their later books become less dependent on gags, the plots become interesting in themselves, and the characters grow deeper and better fleshed.
Pratchett grew immeasurably as a writer - amazingly, without losing his humor; his later books are still laugh out loud funny. I think the Dirk Gently books show Adams was following a similar path. It's a tragedy Adams died so young; I think his best work was still ahead of him.
Re: Double-edged sword?
Your question piqued my curiosity, so, since nobody seems to have answered, I went looking it up on the web; I found this rather informative article on the Royal Society of Chemistry's site: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2015/cs/c5cs00236b . Here's a relevant excerpt:
Nanoparticles can be formed naturally via processes occurring in all “spheres” of the Earth, [...] by chemical, photochemical, mechanical, thermal, and biological processes separately or in combination, [...]. In addition, NPs are also formed spontaneously as a result of human activities (e.g., during mining, production of wastewaters and wastes in general, and other industrial processes). A recent estimate suggests the formation of NNPs, only from biogeochemical processes alone, occurs in the range of several thousand teragrams per year (1 Tg = 1 million metric tons). Comparatively, the mass of ENPs [engineered nanoparticles] produced per year is orders of magnitude lower, in the range of several hundreds to thousands of Tg per year
> So just what has been gained by going online/to cloud?
Well, there is this thing called "the web" now; you can actually get to your data from other computers than your main machine! If you can believe it, I once went to a coffee shop IN JAPAN and I didn't have to fly my large tower PC over at all! I used a small laptop connected to the "cloud"! And, get this, I didn't even have to find a power outlet, I could do it all FROM THE LAPTOP's BATTERY!
Re: The truth?
Even if the truth DOES come out, will it even matter? Nobody seems to care about truth anymore - Republicans haven't shown any interest in truth since at least the beginning of the Dubya years, and Democrats don't seem to give it any thought lately either. On both sides of the aisle ideology trumps reality (not intended as a pun, it just comes out this way), loud shouts trump common sense, the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
Re: "examines whether educational methods and institutions can keep pace"
There is another issue though; even with education, humans won't be able to keep pace with machines. Humans have hard built-in biological limits; education may help humans perform closer to those limits, but can't expand them. And improvements in the current generation of machines are inherited by the next generation directly, while your hard earned education won't be passed on to your kids: humanity's evolution is Darwinian while machines evolve under a Lamarckian model. The capabilities of machines grow so much faster than humans' that, if things continue apace, quite soon there will be nothing physical or intellectual an average human can do that a machine can't do better and faster.
Re: MS Watch
That would be the SPOT watch; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Personal_Objects_Technology. I used to have one of those, made by Fossil; useful enough, but it became redundant when smartphones showed up. I believe that's the product the Net Micro Framework was initially developed for.
Re: Surface pens
For what it's worth, Gabe from Penny Arcade has received a Surface Studio (the lowest specced one, with an i5 and 8 Gb RAM) and played with it for a bit. Here's his take on it after using it for a week: https://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2016/10/26/the-surface-studio . A relevant quote: "Tycho asked me to compare it to my Cintiq, and I told him that drawing on the Cintiq now felt like drawing on a piece of dirty plexiglass hovering over a CRT monitor from 1997."