* Posts by Catkin

547 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Feb 2023

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How two brothers allegedly swiped $25M in a 12-second Ethereum heist

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Good example of "novel" risks for tyro/blinkered coders

Thanks, I was worrying about despotic (or worse, despotic for the 'greater good') government when it came to CBDCs, now I can worry about Buttle and Tuttle as well.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Good example of "novel" risks for tyro/blinkered coders

I'm not sure the exact same risks exist for CBDCs because it's centrally validated. There's certainly room for other vulnerabilities but, iny view, the most dangerous outcome for the individual is them functioning as intended.

The granularity and auditability they grant to governments means that a despotic government at the helm of a country wholly or largely using CBDCs as currency would be able to silently unperson any opposition for orders less manpower than is required for other forms of currency. I'd even go so far as to propose that a single suitably empowered individual (given appropriately poor oversight) could steer the algorithms needed to target their chosen deplorables.

Catkin Silver badge

Search history

I'm astonished that what seems like a rather sophisticated bit of work would occur in conjunction with such an incriminating search history. Either, I'm naive about the security a good VPN and a self sanitising distro can offer or they really did a crummy job of maintaining deniability.

Underwater datacenters could sink to sound wave sabotage

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Re: So, sound waves can be a problem

I'm not sure immersion cooling plays nicely with spinning rust.

Apple says if you want to ship your own iOS browser engine in EU, you need to be there

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Re: I absolutely adored my Mac Classic.

The starter kits come with a preflashed card and assembly is basically clipping 3 parts together. Personally, I buy my Pi's as boards because there are some much nicer cases out there.

Global EV sales continue to increase, but Plug-in Hybrid momentum is growing

Catkin Silver badge

Re: While CSIMON is driving in another direction

I actually very loosely agree with you, I just believe you've misinterpreted what is admittedly a somewhat gadfly approach to the discussion as an outright attack. I think that, as you said, the bigger picture is important and what I was trying to point out is that, in my view, we do financially penalise people who currently own IC cars. In some cases, to the point that I believe some individuals are driven into making lifestyle choices stemming from not being able to afford to operate one. This isn't just direct interventions, actions like the scrappage scheme put money in the pockets of some existing drivers but also took vehicles off the market that would have otherwise made driving more financially accessible.

I recognise that the hostility I generated is sadly down to the current state of political discourse on the environment but I am pleased that some people were willing to consider the discussion in good faith.

Catkin Silver badge

That seems quite reasonable to me, thank you for taking the time to lay it out.

Catkin Silver badge

I think you misunderstand. I'm not portraying having a car as a voluntary choice for even the majority of car owners, I'm stating that quite a few life choices (where to live, what job to work, ect.) are made, at least in part, based upon the individual being able to afford car ownership. By 'life choices' I don't mean some frivolous decisions that are easy to make one way or the other, I mean very large-scale, long-term decisions that would require significant sacrifices to alter.

I understand your concerns about me having an agenda but, for the points I have raised, I am more interested in getting people to think about what the wider consequences are for their proposals and their justifications. For instance, if the government has a duty to make driving EVs affordable, does this duty extend to those who cannot currently afford cars or are they outside the scope of consideration (even if they also make financial contributions through taxes)?

I am much more interested in why, given the current socioeconomic landscape, proposed government policies (including a non-interventionist one) are justifiable than I am in a 'yes' or 'no' answer.

edit: could please I ask you to specifically state what you think my agenda is, if you still believe I have one?

Catkin Silver badge

Thank you very much for taking the time to ask. I would say that there's no obvious answer that seems entirely fair to me.

I would point out that, at the moment and in the past, there is already a divide between people who can afford to drive and those who can not (putting aside those who choose not to). Therefore, I would ask whether the status quo is fair and needs to be preserved.

In its simplest form, I think it can be boiled down to: how do we balance the needs of the environment against the needs of those who have made choices based upon being able to afford to run a car, in a way that is fair to those who have made involuntary choices based upon not currently being able to afford a car?

I think that shifts have already happened with the dual slow boils of increasing vehicle standards and the fuel escalator, it's just that EVs are going to lead to more acute choices and, rather than policies that make good sound bites, we really need to have a grownup discussion about what the priorities should be for future governments.

Catkin Silver badge

I understand that people get defensive over that statement and I don't mean it in a dismissive sense, only as far as how much support the state should provide to ensure people have access.

For the whole global conspiracy bit. I think that current policies are and will continue to progressively take the bottom earners off the road, more due to a 'let them eat cake' attitude, than an active stance.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: no one needs a car to live

The original post I replied to mentioned the price of charge point electricity in relation to subsidised home electricity. It was the reason I brought up relative necessities.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: no one needs a car to live

I realise that it's enormously difficult to live a comfortable, convenient life in many places without a personal car but I would say it's orders less of an obstacle than, for example, living without mains electricity in the home. If we are discussing subsidising electricity for EVs on the basis of necessity then it seems to me that the enormous duty placed on petrol or diesel (accounting for the majority of the price) starts to become less justifiable too.

I'm not one of those bicycle fetishising, inner city evangelists who tells you off for even thinking of owning one.

Catkin Silver badge

I don't see it getting any better as fossil fuel use declines. If anything, governments will be on the lookout for extra revenue. Also, compared to petrol stations, the number of customers per day per area of land is vastly lower so charging station owners in desirable locations will do even more to squeeze out a return on their investment.

As for home electricity subsidies, no one needs a car to live. I don't mean this as some authoritarian environmentalist statement, I mean that I find it hard to put running private transport in the same category as heating, lighting and food preparation.

SpaceX set to literally rock Florida with more and bigger Starship launches

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Re: What's the margin for error?

Looking at the location for the tower and the direction it faces, I assume they intend to slew over the ocean first but I have no inside information to confirm.

Catkin Silver badge

The chopsticks seem ridiculous but so did landing a Falcon 9 lower and that thing went boom a lot of times. I wouldn't write off SpaceX just yet, at the very least, as far as Starship reusability.

America's War on Drugs and Crime will be AI powered, says Homeland Security boss

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Re: China

That sounds like the sort of thing only a criminal would do

End-to-end encryption may be the bane of cops, but they can't close that Pandora's Box

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Re: If criminals...

Ban governments and police because they have been found to contain criminals.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Yeah. But...

I wouldn't discount snagging people who are committing victimless non-crimes that would be undetected by everyone without draconian privacy invasions. It helps to get the numbers up.

Got an old Raspberry Pi spare? Try RISC OS. It is, literally, something else

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Scrolling simultaneously in two axes.

China to launch sample return mission to the far side of the Moon – maybe next week

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Re: Looking forward!

Would you put the odds at about a million to one?

UK lays down fresh legislation banning crummy default device passwords

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Re: Actually, could do better

I may be misunderstanding but I thought the default passwords on most home use routers were unique to each device.

Australia’s spies and cops want ‘accountable encryption’ - aka access to backdoors

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Re: Terrorists relying on AI for bomb-making instructions?

I dearly hope that anyone shitty enough to build a bomb for nefarious purposes gets their information from a LLM.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Modest proposal.

We could use Australia as a test bed. Ban encryption there. Because you either have it or you don't. Remove all services that don't want to operate in an insecure digital environment (social media, online banking, online retail, messaging). And see how it goes.

Why inflict it on everyone? Just limit it to anyone supporting deliberately weakening encryption. Force them to use it for all communication, professional and private for a decade to prove it's safe. If even a single supporter makes use of strong encryption for any reason at all, the clock resets. To make sure they're playing by the rules, a randomly selected member of the pubic will have the right to inspect all of their electronic devices at any time, day or night.

Catkin Silver badge

Didn't take long for the people demanding that they should have global censorship rights to let the mask slip.

Catkin Silver badge

Please present yourself to the nearest prison immediately. There's a non-zero chance you are a criminal and, by your own standards, you should have no issue with being locked up, as due process can hamper attempts to prosecute. We could even throw in a little torture, just in case you're holding back anything that might help prosecute other criminals.

Don't rent out that container ship yet: CIOs and biz buyers view AI PCs with some caution

Catkin Silver badge

A 3D TV was at least a good panel (for the time) with low ghosting. I actually wish my OLED could sync with some shutter glasses.

I don't enjoy everything in 3D but a well produced 3D film can be enjoyable. I used to run a DLP that supported it.

Australia secures takedown order for terror videos, which Elon Musk wants to fight

Catkin Silver badge

Re: The problem isn't that Musk isn't wrong in his answer

I think it's a preferable option. Not because that's what I want to happen but because it would keep their efforts in the mind of their electorate, who might have some rather strong opinions about it.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Gubmit incompetence

Strawman. Governments abusing anti terror laws for their own comfort against legitimate protest and whistle blowing is documented and incompetence in one area does not necessitate incompetence in all areas.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: The problem isn't that Musk isn't wrong in his answer

Again, no arguments here. If the Australian government wishes to impose any constitutional decisions upon its citizens, that is its business. However it is not its business to do this to the world. There are plenty of governments who would suppress things we cherish to keep their society "safe".

Catkin Silver badge

Re: The problem isn't that Musk isn't wrong in his answer

No one is saying otherwise but, equally, none of that gives the Australian government a mandate to push their censorship upon the rest of the world. If ensuring none of their citizens sees said video were so critically important to them, they'd ban unregistered non-corporate VPNs and censor any site that doesn't march to their beat for Australian viewers. However, they will not do this because it is too overt and would constantly remind their citizens of their actions.

Almost no one with concerns over this cares to actually ensure this video is seen, they simply realise the potential consequences for extra-judicial censorship in squashing dissent and enabling criminal government behaviour.

Europol now latest cops to beg Big Tech to ditch E2EE

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With power comes responsibility

Will the same authorities take responsibility when their snooping keys are abused by stalkers within their own agency or used by foreign oppressive governments to undermine national security or target minority groups?

This isn't speculation, it's already happened in other agencies and yet they now want even more powerful toys?

https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/28/nsa_backdoor_wyden/

https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98Q14H/

Might I modestly propose that all members of any agency proposing ending E2EE be required to use a backdoored system for all of their communications, both operational and personal for a period of at least 5 years to show how complete their faith is in the system and demonstrate that it can be effectively secured against malicious use? If it all works out, then we can consider rolling it out to the general public. Also, any member of the agency, no matter how senior caught using a properly secured communications system during this time would face immediate imprisonment as a presumed criminal.

Elon Musk's X to challenge Australian content takedown orders in court

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Re: the Commissioner does not have the authority to dictate what content X's users can see globally

Perhaps consider the wider ramifications of governments strong arming corporations into controlling what individuals overseas are allowed to communicate to each other. Cases like this are chosen by governments precisely because it lets them conflate criticisms of their censorship with support for the specific act.

I agree that dissemination of the video is reprehensible but I would rather it continue if the only alternative is more and more foreign governments being allowed to determine what information I'm exposed to.

Catkin Silver badge

You wouldn't happen to have the name of the suspect, would you? I couldn't find a specific case around that date. In my view, that's distinct because murder is generally regarded as a crime by almost every authority that I'm aware of but I'd like to read the case to understand if there's any unusual specifics.

In my view, this is more akin to the decision process behind the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, not to downplay his sacrifice or elevate Musk. That is, a specific government sought to prevent the dissemination of information which is legal in other jurisdictions because they found it objectionable. I view this as generally undesirable (including in the absence of direct punishment of individuals) as it grants governments the ability to censor information harmful purely to them or their goals with no remit for those documenting their behaviour from abroad.

Catkin Silver badge

I completely agree that they can. My concern is that this will Balkanise the Internet if it continues. In my view, it is better for a government to not make demands which impact the communications of people in other countries because otherwise we all risk ending up as prey to the most censorious government able to exert their will.

This may be a case of stopped clock syndrome but I view this specific attempt (as far as demands over globally viewable content) to be a very reasonable thing to make a stand on.

Catkin Silver badge

Sorry for being unclear, I didn't mean jurisdiction apropos controlling what is presented to someone accessing the site from within Australia but rather controlling what is seen by users outside Australia.

Catkin Silver badge

Isn't it a jurisdiction issue? Specifically, that the Australian government is demanding power over what people see outside its borders. Even if the recording is of an event within Australian borders, that seems like overreach.

A knotty problem: Boffins working on fuel-efficient trajectories for space travel

Catkin Silver badge

Re: heteroclinic connection*

KSP is great and I understand their decision for using it in the game but the discrete spheres of influence model mean you miss out on some advanced orbital mechanics. That said, I think its the best compromise to make the game accessible.

Devaluing content created by AI is lazy and ignores history

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That's entirely true but 'legitimate theatre' was a marrying of cultural protectionism with censorship.

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This is hardly a new 'issue'. For example, the whole business that led to the legitimate theatre.

Catkin Silver badge

I suppose it comes down to where you think 'too easy' is. Personally, I could probably edit something rather nasty together in GIMP (Certainly in PS) but couldn't do it using older airbrushing and wet photo compositing techniques. There are likely still those who could do the latter. I would very much object to PS introducing guardrails, not least of all because that would involve a certain amount of privacy invasion.

Catkin Silver badge

Personally, I don't see this as a bad thing. It's been possible to fabricate pretty much any image/audio/video for many years now; the only thing that's changed, in my view, is the barrier to entry. I don't see that cat going back in the bag so if the public is left a little more sceptical about what they're presented with, that seems like a plus.

I think it's telling that content fabrication is a concern now that it's in the hands of just about anyone, rather than primarily those with significant resources.

Catkin Silver badge

Could you please highlight where you view the difference in terms of culpability? In other words, what specific capability 'AI' image generation offers and how this pertains to culpability on the part of the coder?

NASA needs new ideas and tech to get Mars Sample Return mission off the ground

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Re: Walk and Chew gum

Hopefully, the Martian authorities are more forgiving, or they'll be stuck on the surface.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: primary Don't use anything musk related

America was very lucky that they got the best rocket Nazis. The Soviets had more rocket Nazis in raw numbers.

Microsoft lifts years-old compatibility hold for Windows 11

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I'm sure both of the people desperate to switch to Windows 11 but held back due this issue will be thrilled.

MPs ask: Why is it so freakin' hard to get AI giants to pay copyright holders?

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Re: Begging the question

The illegal part was the use of the original work, which was not granted by the copyright holders.

Just to clarify, I'm not sure if you meant it this way or not but copyright holders can't dictate how their material is used by the consumer (whether that consumer is an individual or a corporation). They can only make those decisions in cases where infringement has taken place WRT whether they prosecute or not.

Galoob v. Nintendo

To give a hypothetical example, a given musician can stop a given politican from using their music at a political rally (assuming said musician still owns the copyright), they cannot stop said politician from listening to their music while they dream up a crazy rambling speech to give at their rally (assuming the song isn't quoted wholesale), even if that politician openly says that they were inspired by a given song.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Begging the question

Yes, by the legal definition, the output is a derivative work but that alone doesn't tell you whether it is infringing or not. There are derivative works that have been judged to be infringing, there are others that have judged to not be infringing.

If you disagree, could you please cite the section of the applicable law or specific legal judgment which you believe clearly identifies the output of 'AI' as infringing?

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Begging the question

In this case, a legal decision or rewrite of the applicable law(s) is very much needed because the law doesn't specify whether this is transformative or not and, in my view, there isn't a legal precedent that is unambiguous.

Catkin Silver badge

Re: Begging the question

I think, trying to be neutral, the question is whether the output represents something distinct from the input. In Copyright terms, this would be whether it's 'transformative'.

Though I think it's an interesting question if the end user plays a distinct role in the generation of potentially infringing material, I'm not sure how much weight that would carry and I don't think copyright holders are interested in going after targets they won't get an appreciable payout from.

65 years ago, America announced the names of its first astronauts

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Re: They Tested Women, Too

The Mercury 13 study was privately run and was a comparative data collection exercise.

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