* Posts by trottel

34 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Apr 2008

And lo! Tim Cook becometh tech Jesus. But with more awards


The "right" thing?

I really liked the way the article was written. I wish a little more of the beauty of "old style English" would make its way back into the media.

But what Cook said is just horrible. Business promotion aside, i just cannot accept if platform providers claim the right to decide what is "right" or "wrong". I think it was Voltaire who said "i hate what you have to say, but i will die for your right to say it"? Now that is an attitude i can 100% support.

Society as a whole - i.e. each individual in it - has to learn again how to deal with "hate speech": ignore it. If it becomes slander or diffamation - then sue. We have become so weak and soft that we always scream for someone to protect us from "the bad" this and that. I think it is the same reason that we see so many brutal beatings in school and other places: the kids today never learned how to deal with violence. In my time, when someone was down, you stopped. Period. Now they start kicking. That is because they never were down and learned it. Anyway, i digress.

If Apple does not want "hate speech" on their "platform", then that is their choice. But in that case, they should have terms and conditions that define clearly what "hate speech" is. So then someone posting it makes it *illegal*, which is something that does not deal with morality or ethics.

The customer or user enters in a legal relationship with them on using their "platform". So make your response also legal, not based on "what is right". Apple has no moral right to ban people based on morality without becoming the same thing that they try to ban: full of hate and contempt for the person and opinion they ban.

Machine learning for dummies: You needn't go back to uni to use it


Re: No need to go to Uni....

As someone who has a PhD in ML and working with lots of startups I can tell you that what i see right now is somewhere between funny and scary. People seem to think that there is a ML black box that they add to their product and suddenly all problems are solved.

This is often far from the truth. Mathematics is used in ML and related fields for a reason: it is a - somewhat- formal language to express and discuss ideas, free from semantic misinterpretations.

Of course anyone with half a brain can understand the basic idea of a decision tree or the formula given in the article. But to know when to apply which algorithm is already a question that is not easy to answer. For example, if the events A and B are independent, then using conditional probabilities as in the formula given in the article is useless. Pretty much every single algorithm I know has certain conditions attached to it which make it work well or maybe not at all. Those conditions are again mathematical concepts, like independence of events. Not knowing about those conditions means that basically the quality of the algorithm choice comes down to luck or what is on our calendar, next to solar storm as your excuse of the day.

Anyway, all I really want to say that even though the basic ideas of a certain algorithm might be simple, that does not mean that being able to use those algorithms effectively is simple, in the same sense that using a knife is simple to use, but carving a beautiful statue is not. And hence courses that aim to produce good AI/ML developers will need to have a certain amount of complexity.

Watch how Google's AI catches shoulder surfers spying on your phone


Re: 'The Googlers' work on this technique'

You must be joking. For this to work they must have the camera active at all times. And of course they will just look for other faces... This is as creepy as it gets.

Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on


Ok, let us be creative here...

It is easy to bitch about what the reboot movies have done to Star Trek. I did not like them at all, not even the effects. Yes, they look great, but i do not need effects to look that great, for the same reason i can read a book and still "see" what is happening. In fact, those too-explicit effects limit my imagination in "completing" what i see. Sort of like when i see a cute girl from behind and then wish she had not turned around... but i digress.

One reason that might make a new series a bit tricky is to incorporate the new technology developed since TNG, DS9, and VOY. I think it has not gone the right way for Star Trek. If i extrapolate what is happening now, then i guess the Borg would be what humanity looks like in the 25th century, with rounded corners et al.

And i think that it should not become "darker", as so many franchises and movies have. It should be the light fun that TNG has been, as one of our fellow commentards rightfully noted.

So, where does that leave us? I know there are some fan-fiction things and i have watched some of them on youtube. Not bad, but they also just play with the old characters. Even though some of the plots are better than in the originals. Which somehow proves that it is possible to come up with new things there. But i digress again.

I am asking you to post ideas for a potential new series here. A little like a brain storming. Let us show Hollywood that a bunch of commentards is more creative than them. If we cannot come up with something better, then i guess we should shut up and watch whatever they produce?

For my part, i think we could use Data as something to link to the new series. He is now commander of a star ship, the first android to have such a rank. The Enterprise would have to be much smarter, without becoming something like the ships in the Iain Banks novels. Even though that is fun, it takes too much attention away from the "humans". The underlying theme could be something like the tendency for humans to "augment" themselves versus not becoming Borg in the progress, i.e. walk that fine line. There might still be a conflict with the Borg, but subdued, since the Federation has caught up in technology and there are easier targets for them to assimilate.

The problem is: i want Picard and Q back. Some of the speeches Picard made should be taught at schools. And Q was just too good - an element of "benevolent chaos" just there to "imbalance the equation", as the Oracle said. Ok, that was my last digression.

Here it is: please reply to this post with concrete ideas how to continue Star Trek in the 25th century. Or 26th. Just forward in time, not backwards.

If we get enough posts here, i pledge to put up a website with all comments.

Microsoft's Brad Smith on encryption: Let the politicians decide


And not just that... People have failed for thousands of years to define what "good" or "bad" is and everyone sort of works with their own definition. So there is no "moral authority" as such. Or worse, everyone believes they are or belong to "the" moral authority. And the stronger those believes get, the less of a discussion there will be, it will become merely shouting their views.

Socrates said "I know that i know nothing". It is helpful to repeat that to oneself once in a while... and act accordingly: seeking knowledge instead of just trying to spill ones thoughts and want to convince others to accept them no matter what.

The older i get, the more i become a humanist... Funny how things go.

Facebook in new 'experiment' drama: Will users buy it?


Add: Buy-in-my-friends-name button

It is all about sharing, right? I *know* my f-friends would like to have this cute whatchacallit... So i can just buy with their money and have it sent to their home. No need to thank me... What are f-friends for...

F-Book, if you read this, is this business idea worth 19B? I would be happy with 19M...

Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet


Use a sword

Steerable, does a lot of damage,... what more can you ask for? And generals should be in the first line, followed by their officers. No horses - do not drag those poor animals into it.

My guess would be we would see a significant drop in armed conflicts.

Like an old knight once said: A sword... an elegant weapon from more civilized days.

Quantum crypto nearly ready to go mobile


Quantum Polariser

Geordie: Maybe if we charge the main display and emit an inverted polaron pulse through the accelerometer, it might create a feedback surge in the antenna that could initiate quantum polarisation. It is not pretty, but the best i can give you know.

Picard: Make it so.

... it is time for a real Star Trek sequel, not that "Into the darkness"-crap. I want old-school sci-fi.

CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON


Re: The more you know, the less you're sure...

Even though i agree with your statement as it is, in this case you would refer to the contra-positive, which would be "the more certain you are, the less you know".

'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis more massive than first thought


Re: Bye Bruce...

Do i really have to say it? Please give Chuck Norris a call. On angry glance and the asteroid will reverse its course and head for Andromeda.

Angry Birds Star Wars game review


Re: Exponential growth

If you know O-notation, you should know that $O(n^2)$ is not exponential, it is polynomial. $O(2^n)$ is exponential.

Ok, ok, i will now crawl under my stone again.

Written from my latex-vim.

Forgetting Microsoft: How Steve Ballmer's Surface could win


I have been predicting <x> for many years to happen soon...

Does that not mean by definition of "soon" that you were wrong?

I personally think there is nothing wrong with being wrong every now and then, but then i try not to make everyone painfully aware of it...

Apple loses UK 'Samsung copied us' appeal: Must publicly GROVEL

Thumb Up

Re: Nice way to stick it to..

Indeed. And even as a German i have to say: Zat waz a goot on. Up yours, Düssseldorf.

Navy pays 2x purchase price to keep warship docked for 5 years


Keep her!

This is one of my childhood dreams - one day walk on the deck of that ship and imagine that i am Hornblower fighting that crazy little guy in the movie...

No money is too much to for that. :)

Swedish college girls now twice as slutty as in 2001


11 partners in...

... a day? A month? A year? In a lifetime? All at once? What?

Army of 'socialbots' steal gigabytes of Facebook user data


Turing test 2.0

Machine passes, if you can not tell your new friend is not human...

Crypto boffins uncover rogue task risk on Amazon cloud


money != data

This analogy is just not good.

If a bank "loses" my $0.02, they can just give me another $0.02 and i will be just has happy. If xyz-cloud loses my customer invoices, they can not just give me some others... is that so hard to see?

id Software's Rage


"AI bots are never as good as [humans]". That is because they dumb them down. Play an online shooter with some "haxors" and you get a feeling that playing with a fully enabled bot would be like: you would not get a single hit in - or maybe one frag every now and then by dumb luck.

Apart from that, that is what *really* freaks me out every now and then: those bots can easily defeat the best players out there by a huge margin. Now make a Terminator with 360 degree view and bye bye John Connor. I.e. humans will not stand any chance at all when - not if - Judgment Day comes.

We are all going to die!

Facebook upgrades 'Operation Developer Love'



...i am able to create friends out of thin air! If that is not progress, then i do not know what is.

I do not even have to add them anymore. Now, if they post some decent comments about current events, "like" the odd other web page, and share some pictures from some nudie-site as their new profile picture - what do we need real friends for?

Apple patent: 'Pour' your data from iPhone to iPad



All the things it could do... you

- drop it and all your images are broken, your mp3s scratched...

- whirl it around a few times and it gets tipsy: you move your finger right and it "feels" left...

- just shake it and all folders will get randomly rearranged

- move two fingers in different direction will rip a document in half -> no more shredder needed

But why only do that to the complete device? Extend the ideas to single files.

-Grab a file with the mouse and really really shake it: forces spell-checking on the file and "drops" all spelling error in a cute little heap on the screen.

- Desktop DJ: "scratch" mp3s by dragging them over each other or rubbing them on winamp.

- Concatenate files by "docking" on on the other on the desktop...

- Mash up new applications by fusing their icons together: drag ms word into firefox and get FireWord - cloud word processing solved.

The possibilities...

Google field tests (yet another) Facebook rival


Divide and conquer - fragment and destroy

...or something like this. I hope there will be more social network sites that get traction until the market is so fragmented that people can not be bothered anymore -> death to them.

In the middle run, we will all have mobiles implanted anyway, acting on thought or subvocalizing and we can keep all contacts "in-mind" (you heard it here first!) and we will grow another sub-consciousness to sieve and sort incoming messages...

The world wants cloud coders. Where are the cloud coders?


You all got it wrong

They do not want "cloud application developers", they want "cloud developers": little white fluffy things, that they can switch on and off at their whim and pay $0.20 per hour of use to write code for them...

Schmidt: 'Elites' not 'common men' fret over net privacy


elites, not the common men search for cures of cancer

nothing else

AOL waves goodbye to 900 staffers


not just that...

... and he will get a nice bonus next year for cost savings and increasing efficiency...

Are disk drives beginning to spin down?


Spinning Down? - I certainlyy hope so.

Cmon... i understand that reg-commentaristas are a conservative tribe, but - deep in your geek soul - you know you want SSD or something else without moving parts. Star Trek did not have HDDs, iirc?

Well, on second thought... maybe tablets should have legs, so they can follow you around the house, so you can call them from the sofa, if you forgot them lying on the bed? Hm...

South Korea delivers stern warning to...Facebook


No, still not true

Where does everyone get the myth from that Vietnam does not allow FB??? Everyone i know here (HCMC, aka Saigon) is on FB.

New NASA model: Doubled CO2 means just 1.64°C warming


Apples and oranges anyone?

Science is a way of doing things, a model is a theory. You can *build* a model in a scientific way or you do not, but that is as far as models and science relate, imho.

Major Facebook redesign, smoothed-off Zuckerberg unveiled


Not true

Everyone in Vietnam is on Facebook...

WikiLeaks re-taunts feds with US Amazon mirrors


<title />

Methinks he wants a movie along the lines of "Wikileaks - The rise of Assange". Of course he writes the script, get 10% of the box office and retires.

I mean, if people watch a movie about Facebook?!

MoD labels Facebook Places a 'targeting pack' for terrorists


no title

Actually, i think they use the word open source in the best possible way: free for all to use. :)

Location-based quantum crypto now possible, boffins say


Location based?

...on a spinning planet in a traveling, spinning solar system, in a traveling, spinning galaxy... yeah, right. Makes sense to me. *Distance* based maybe...

More iPhone 4 angst: fanbois howl over head sensor


Chuck Norris Phone

I have had enough of this Jesus-phone crap. Give me the Chuck Norris Phone!

It would not make a call, it would summon the other party right next to you, so you can talk in person.

It would not need a micro our touch sensor, it could read your mind from your facial expression.

It would not need a screen, it could solidify (sp?) the air for *real* 3D.

... your product ideas welcome.

Bush-era NSA wiretap violations exposed


Of course algorithms can model intent...

Quote: "As we've noted in the past, algorithms are nothing more than mathematical models and are utterly incapable of forming intent."

You are joking?

if ($firstname.equals("alibaba") then {

$e = new mail("info@nsa.gov", "found one!", "get him!");



Is this no algorithm? There is no sensible distinction between algorithms and programs. In fact, algorithms are just abstractions from specific programming languages.

That is why i find all claims that "algorithms are impartial/fair/etc" so utterly stupid. Anyone who claims that has obviously misunderstood that an algorithm is just a formalized idea and as such naturally able to "model" intent. The *application* of an algorithm could be fair, if applied the same way to everyone, but that of does not imply in any way that the algorithm itself is fair.

IBM shakes up the server game with lean, cool iDataPlex


40 patents?

Has it come down to measure the novelty of an idea or solution by the number of patents filed? This is pitiful...