* Posts by YARR

603 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Nov 2008


Portable Large Language Models – not the iPhone 15 – are the future of the smartphone


Re: Sure, it's possible, but why would you want it?

LLMs also make stupid mistakes and are adamant they're right.

Medical diagnoses is a well defined logical process implemented in existing software such as expert systems. We only need AI for problems we don't know how to solve, and we must never trust them with our lives.

Silicon Valley billionaires secretly buy up land for new California city


Re: They keep trying to build in deserts

To substitute fossil fuel use we would need large areas of arable land to grow crops that can be converted to ethanol etc. so the demand is there.

Yes historically humans are lazy so use the best land first, including building on good arable land. There are many grades of land according to soil type drainage etc, so often there is land that is poor for agriculture not far from existing cities, which would make sense to develop first, while ring fencing good arable land for food or energy production. In general water can be piped tens of miles to where people live at reasonable cost. Agriculture uses more water per unit of land than people, so land closest to water sources should be prioritised for agriculture.

Can YouTube be held liable for pushing terror vids? Asking for a Supreme Court...


"Recommendation" misnomer?

recommend = v. to suggest that someone or something would be good or suitable

Recommend implies a value judgement, but should any content provider be making a value judgement about content they haven't personally reviewed?

If "recommended" videos were renamed to "related" videos then no value judgement is implied, so the content provider is not promoting the videos, just stating that they have some similarity with the content you are currently viewing.

Tech job vacancies hamper England's digital health plans


I don't know exactly how the NHS is organised, but if every NHS trust must independently purchase and manage all it's IT services and systems, there must be huge duplication of effort and loss of scale efficiency. If the IT departments across different trusts could organise and co-ordinate their long term plans at a national level, perhaps they won't have so many vacancies and/or they could afford to pay staff more for having greater responsibility.

GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family


Those Chinese commies are having their LoongMarch through the Linux institutions.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns


Re: re: this seems like a sensible middle ground.

The way government legislation is going worldwide

Governments in authoritarian countries should have no influence over our data privacy in non-authoritarian countries. If the authoritarian countries insist on violating data privacy it should be done via an API that surrenders access to a separate government-mandated software application that does the analysis/spying function. By default, with no government-mandated software installed the API should be inactive and respect the user's data privacy.

Given most western nations now have GDPR-like rules governing access to personal data, this processing should not happen without user consent. There should be a clear opt-in rather than a mandatory surrender of consent buried in the legal terms of service.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof


Re: Error detection

The problem with a 3rd tiebreaker is that there’s about a 1/n^2 probability of that also being ‘mercurial’ and favouring the corrupt core over the working one.

Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss


Re: Tesla can only act after the fact

Unless they start buying up accident statistics databases from everywhere which bothers to keep them, then Tesla can only act after the fact. ie people continue to get injured or die in the process of building that new database

Potentially more important than accident data is near-accident data - gathered by monitoring driver journeys.

The "fail-safe" method that I feel should be used is to have low-powered beacons emitting a "safe for auto" signal along roads that have been cleared as being safe for auto-driving.

Way too expensive, the safe-for-auto status would be included with the mapping data, like geo-fencing data is built into drones nowadays.


Re: Is the market voting with its feet?

For example the locals know about the junction where this collision occurred. .... Locals slow down

If Tesla have been monitoring drivers for years they ought to have a big database full of this kind of data about local road conditions. They ought to be able to train a new high-level / governor AI to combine mapping data and driver / accident data to instruct the low-level AI that handles realtime driving about where to be extra cautious.

Jackie 'You have no authority here' Weaver calls on the UK to extend Coronavirus Act provisions for online meetings


Virtual protests?

So if the holders of politial power are moving to online meetings, does the same apply to their minions? How effective would an online protest be if everyone who wants to protest joins the same online meeting, but no-one else hears them? Do protests have to be disruptive? How do you legally cause disruption online?

One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale


Tickets for a ride

If they operated as a business they could sell tickets for a ride (at a much slower speed over shorter distances like a disused airfield runway - after the landspeed record is achieved, and carbon offset of course).

Trump administration says Russia behind SolarWinds hack. Trump himself begs to differ



We never make those whose responsibility it is to secure their data/facilities responsible.

Responsible for what?

The perpetrator is responsible for the crime of breaking in to a network / device / physical property / etc.

The owner can only take reasonable measures to secure their property, but can never make it totally secure.

If you contract out your security, then the contract you agree will specify a remedy if security is breached, the contractor is responsible for that.

Bitcoin value jumps as PayPal says it will accept cryptocurrencies... once it has the kinks worked out


Fools and their money

Since when did “cryptocurrencies” officially become currencies rather than assets (subject to capital gains tax) ?

Conventional currencies can easily be used for online purchases, they can be just as virtual as cryptos.

What “clear advantages” do cryptos have?

“financial inclusion and access” - conventional currencies can be used with ease both online and offline. There is no artificial scarcity to skew value in favour of early adopters. = Win for conventional currencies

“efficiency” - electronic conventional currency uses minimal energy to create or trade. Many crypto’s waste energy on expensive calculations whose results have no obvious utility = Win for conventional currencies

“speed” - updating a centralised bank account is faster than updating a distributed ledger = Win for Conventional currencies.

“resilience” - judge for yourself how resilient banking IT systems are compared to crypto exchanges. How often have people lost their money / investment in each system? How many crypto wallets are now irrecoverable?

Most cryptos have 0 intrinsic value, most conventional currencies were originally backed by precious metals, then later by the assets they are loaned against.

One reason cryptos are unstable is because if there is a big sell-off, there aren’t enough buyers willing to part with large amounts of conventional currency for them. Most holders of large amounts of cryptos are long standing investors who bought them when they were cheaper. Hence the true “dollar value” is never really tested.

UK test-and-trace coronavirus data may be handed to police to nab those who aren't self-isolating as required


How is this legal?

The NHS track and trace app ( https://covid19.nhs.uk/privacy-and-data.html ) specifically says:

The app uses random IDs that cannot be used by the NHS or the government to identify who you are, or who you’ve spent time with.

The app cannot:

use your GPS location or track where you have been

be used to check or monitor if you’re self-isolating

be used by law enforcement to identify or track you

UEFI malware rears ugly head again: Kaspersky uncovers campaign with whiff of China



Would be helpful to know if DualBIOS offers an easy fix for these infections?

e.g. short a motherboard jumper to reset to the factory firware for an easy fix. Then make this a standard for all motherboards.

Not the Southern Rail of the stars: Rocket Lab plans frequent, regular trips to Venus from 2023


Surviving Venus

Given the temperature on Venus will rapidly cook any lander at ground level, but a balloon or perpetual glider could survive higher in the atmosphere, a hybrid mission could extensively explore the surface. An airship would be the mothership, slowly navigating around the planet using solar power. On occasion it could detach a drone to fly down to the surface for a very fast photo / sensor / sample mission, flying back up to the mothership to cool down, transmit data, and recharge for the next mission.

The drones could be reconfigured according to the mission, rather than hefting the weight of every sensor / collector at once. Each part of the drone could be remotely replaceable, to extend it’s operating life.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up


Re: Forget Scooters.

Kill two birds with one stone, put the lights on the helmets.

Good luck using generative adversarial networks in real life – they're difficult to train and finicky to fix


Randomly gets worse then better again

This could be an indicator that the adversaries have actually learned something by their adversarial nature. When it happens the discriminator may have realised it’s been fooled by the generator, by spotting some new feature by which to discriminate. The generator is then forced to try new random tactics to fool the discriminator, resulting in a temporary reduction in output quality.

CEO of AI surveillance upstart Banjo walks the plank after white supremacist past sinks contracts


AI can't be intrinsically biased, because it starts from a neutral position and only knows the information that's given as input. Most reported "bias" is probably real differences in data by race. For example, facial recognition being more diffiult to discern when there is less color contrast between skin and facial features, or some historical data being more readily available in countries with a particular racial majority (which skews learning to that data set) .

Nineteen mysterious invaders from another Solar System spotted hanging around the outside edge of ours

Thumb Up

Re: Only 16 times earth and moon distance

There must be some mistake, like maybe 16 Astronomical Units (Earth - Sun distances) ? If objects hundreds of km across in an orbit that crosses our orbital plane passed just 16 Earth-Moons away we should more concerned about them than we are about Covid-19.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash


Autopilot 4 less

Tesla opted for inexpensive sensors over LIDAR to keep costs down. Perhaps a miniature fly-by-wire camera drone could give the car a better view of the road ahead, if that technology has reached an affordable price point? Just brake if it hits anything.

(Or a camera on a long retractable muscle wire)

Cache me if you can: HDD PC sales collapse in Europe as shoppers say yes siree to SSD


"Hard" means solid, so "Spinning" is a better description for a drive that rotates.

SSDs would be better described as "Fixed", but we already used that to mean one that moves.

Raw sunlight is going to cause our asteroid belt to spin itself to death by YORPing – but not for another six billion years


If human descendents make it as far as colonising space, those asteroids are going to be space mined for constructing space stations / space mirrors / a halo or dyson sphere or just ballast for enlarging and terraforming Mars (to hold a dense atmosphere). I doubt they'll still be there in 6 billion years.

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps


How about installing a suspension activated switch in the wheel arch of these vehicles? When they drive over a pot hole of a certain depth the switch is activated, it logs the GPS co-ordinates and sends an automated report to base? It could even take a photo as the vehicle drives over the hole.

Of course, for this to work, the drivers will have to intentionally NOT avoid the pot holes, which may prove costlier for them and unpopular with any passengers.

Brits may still be struck by Lightning, but EU lawmakers vote for bloc-wide common charging rules


"Mobile device"

What's a legal definition of a "mobile device"? Could many small network connected devices fall foul of this legislation?

Perhaps Apple could ship their EU iPhones with a lead weight strapped to them, and a legal disclaimer that "conversion of this iPhone to an EU mobile device is performed at the user's discretion".

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?


It's pointless worrying about "pecking orders" since we are destined to relative decline as the developing world grows. Reducing dependence on other nations is a better policy, in particular avoiding singular dependence on any one nation or trade block.

We should avoid trade deals that involve political compromise - a trade deal should be purely about trade.The electorate decide what sort of country we will become, not foreign governments. Also trade agreements that give corporations the right to claim against governments must be avoided, the rights of ordinary people must come first.

Most trade deals aren't advantageous to the UK since we are a net importer of nearly everything. We should be mindful about what trade deals we commit to since they will determine in which industries we can be competitive.

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program


Article is factually incorrect

UK population (2020) is about 67.7 million, it was about 63 million at the last census in 2011. That's a net growth of 4.6 million people in under 9 years, or over 0.5 million (~ the population of Bristol) per year, most or all of which is due to immigration.

Despite all those immigrants, business leaders are still demanding more, but this time it really will fix our economy once and for all! Having our immigration policy decided by "business leaders" has worked so well in the past... for them, but not for the majority. All the while, the cost of housing for ordinary workers is more unaffordable than ever.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space


You're right those planes have intake ducts. Outlet ducts would certainly be possible (since that what thrust vectors and reversers do) but may be less efficient for normal use. Like you said, they may not fix the pitch up issue either way.

Another option might be to mount the engine further back (in the "correct" position to avoid the need for MCAS), and have a duct for the upper part of the cold air stream immediately behind the main fan. The duct could redirect the cold air down the sides of the engine, under the wing, then emit it above the hot air stream behind the wing. This would allow the engine to be positioned higher up with part of the upper fan in front of the wing.


Alternate 737MAX design kludge

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the pitch up issue that MCAS addresses happens because the larger diameter engines are positioned further forward of the wing (and higher up). This means the thrust is acting from a different point than earlier 737 models. High thrust causes a turning moment about the plane's centre-of-mass, requiring elevators to compensate.

Why did they not put a small duct on the back of the engines, so the thrust acts from the same point as earlier 737 models? Ducts must be practical since they were used in the Lockheed Tristar.

The thrust reverser could be moved to the end of the duct, or be directed through a flap in the duct.

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you


Easily done...

Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox 304 times

... or anyone downloading their Steam library on a new PC.

High-resolution display output or Wi-Fi: It seems you can only choose one on Raspberry Pi 4



Could it be caused by the recent firmware updates to increase CPU performance before thermal throttling kicks in? To allow the CPU to run hotter + faster, other support devices must have been configured to use less power, resulting in unpredictable behaviour?

European smartphone market rallies but Apple didn't get the memo


Brexit stockpiling...

... because those phones are made in the EU?

How do we stop filling the oceans with Lego? By being a BaaS-tard, toy maker suggests


Re: Replay - I thought old LEGO bricks were made from carcinogenic / BPA plastics that are unsuitable for toys that kids might put in their mouths?

So isn't it time to get the kids savvy with 3D printing instead of old fashioned blocks? When they're bored of one toy, feed it back into the 3D printer to make a different toy, no plastic wasted.

Intel unveils gen 2 Optane SCM, bellows: You Barlow Pass, as it unfurls roadmap



Ecosia says Storage Class Memory

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament


"Piece of piss" = your words. Yes a trade deal with the EU would be easier than with any other nation because we are already in the EU and are fully compliant with all current EU regulations. However, once we leave that wont be the case for long. Collectively our politicians have had >3 years to sort this out, that's not the fault of the Brexit voting majority. Unfortunately the collective failure of our politicians to co-operate and implement the electorate's will makes a mockery of democracy on the world stage.

Raspberry Pi head honcho Eben Upton talks thermals, stores and who's buying the kit


Downvoters - I wasn't advocating knock-offs, just surprised there are none. I though the hardware was all off-the-shelf parts, so in theory anyone could make their own Pi board that's 100% compatible? Wouldn't compatible ARM devices be a good thing?

I hadn't heard of the Pi-Top, I was thinking of something netbook sized but Raspbian compatible.


TBH I'm amazed there aren't knock-off Pi-es out there. Is there anything proprietary or custom to them?

They are verging on being usable low-end computers now. Perhaps an official PiBook (in the vein of the OLPC XO netbooks) might be in the offing?

Gov flings £10m to help businesses get Brexit-ready with, um... information packs


Agree with the last A/C - staying in the common market and not having control of our borders or the right to make our own trade agreements would make leaving the EU a net loss. That's why a trade deal is needed, so our most vital trade with the EU is not undermined. All major economies have trade deals of some kind, but the deal that would most benefit UK-EU trade is different from just inheriting existing EU trade deals. This will take time to negotiate, hence a backstop position is needed, but that backstop must not be permanent, hence why BJ is trying to renegotiate it with a backstop of the backstop.

People clinging to the referendum and demanding 'no deal' brexit are the ones who are frustrating leaving

WRONG. There are no MPs representing a hard-Brexit party. It's anti-Brexit MPs and Labour opportunists who have frustrated the parliamentary votes thus far. Proroguing parliament is an opportunity to stop those self-interested MPs from putting a spanner in the works at this crucial stage in UK-EU negotiations. A good trade deal is better than a hard Brexit, but a hard Brexit is better than a bad trade deal, or staying in the common market without a say.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament


ParLIARment have had three years to debate Brexit and have failed to agree a workable solution for the electorate's choice. It's time to clear their schedule, work the problem, make preparations, and discuss backstop alternatives with the EU etc. A temporary dictat that you can only speak if you have something constructive to say wouldn't go amiss.

AMD agrees to cough up $35-a-chip payout over eight-core Bulldozer advertising fiasco


Well this narrow minded decision will close the door on potential CPU designs. The next step would be to do away with the concept of cores, and just have pools of specialised execution units shared by any number of virtualised threads.

Huawei goes all Art of War on us: Switches on 'battle mode' and vows to 'dominate the world'


Pointing out virtue signalling is not virtue signalling, since you don't gain from it, but you assist others from being deceived. VS-ing is an attempt to gain favour that may or may not be deserved.

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date


Linux kernel licensing rules

... perhaps it's time to update them to ensure upgrades are available to all if they available at all? i.e. copyleft-ing

1Gbps, 4K streaming, buffering a thing of the past – but do Brits really even want full fibre?


£30b would be better spent on Brexit or not at all

£30b is like £1000 per taxpayer, which would pay for several years of complimentary broadband per household. The last thing we should be doing is committing the taxpayer to non-essential luxuries like FTTP and HS2/ HS3, when we have the HUGE known and unknown costs of transitioning our economy post Brexit. Let the market decide: let people pay the true cost of FTTP / HS2 / HS3 if they think they need it.

With no EU trade deal, business conditions will change significantly, with both new opportunities and many unviable businesses closing. LOTS of investment will be needed to survive the economic shock. Please prioritise taxpayers money for that, rather than wasting it on services most people don't need!!

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Re: Cancer causes cellphones

The xkcd data compares overall cancer rates in the USA, not brain tumors specifically. Clearly there is a major increasing trend in the detection of all cancers in the USA that predates widescale use of mobile phones.

If all of the increase in brain tumors in the UK study was due to people living longer, then all the increase should be in the uppermost age groups - the tumor incidence in younger age groups should be the same as in 1995. We don't have the data here, but the wording of the Telegraph article implies the increase in brain tumors specifically affects the young.

Again, all this relates to existing mobile phone standards 1G-4G which use a different frequency band from 5G, so is incidental to the argument against 5G.


You've not being very "scientific" by lumping 5G protesters with other environmental issues.

Anyway, the scientific evidence is that incidents of brain tumors in the UK have more than doubled in 20 years. As yet no culprit has been identified, but mobile phones are the most obvious lifestyle change that correlates with the scientific evidence.


Of course this is irrelevant to the 5G debate which argues that the higher frequency of 5G transmitters is significantly more dangerous to life than earlier generations, supposedly due to resonating with DNA or something. They also argue that past studies of the effects of EM radiation are based on short term exposure risks, not extended exposure over many years. (NB. I have not personally researched any of these claims).

Iran is doing to our networks what it did to our spy drone, claims Uncle Sam: Now they're bombing our hard drives


Re: Stop picking on me!

Re. If it doesn't have proof, it will invent it and have a 'damning' video of the event

... like the video of the Iranian boat detatching limpet mines from the oil tanker that was attacked? Can they do that with deepfakes?

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...


Re: Gone is the full-sized HDMI type A connector

With a little reshuffling, perhaps they could have one full sized and one micro HDMI? That would have been more practical for the majority.

As above, so below: El Reg haunts Scaleway's data centre catacombs 26 metres under Paris


I've got an in-Seine-ly great idea about how to cool those servers.

Boffins' neural network can work out from your speech whether you'll develop psychosis


OK, so I wasn't entirely right there.

A tautological identity statement indicates a tautological identity statement.

... and Brexit is the new Remain.