* Posts by Matthew Taylor

166 posts • joined 30 Jan 2009

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That's it. It's over. It's really over. From today, Adobe Flash Player no longer works. We're free. We can just leave

Matthew Taylor

Re: emulating the Flash player in Java applets

Yes, indeed - crazy times.

Matthew Taylor

Efficiency

I was heavily involved in emulating the Flash player in Java applets for several years (because a single now-despised platform just wasn't enough). I'm interested to see any "replacement" standards based web technology that come close to the Flash's .swf file format efficiency at delivering rich content. It was efficient and fast - and Actionscript 3 was far superior to the abject mess that is Javascript. The player should have just been open sourced, let people fix the security issues.

Lenovo reveals smart specs that let you eyeball five virtual displays, with strings attached

Matthew Taylor

Tracking

No doubt the head tracking can be recorded and transmitted to our "benevolent" dictators, so they can know if we're watching a screen or not.

Amazon’s cloudy Macs cost $25.99 a day. 77 days of usage would buy you your own Mac

Matthew Taylor

They should charge more

$1000 a month would still be steal, for the use of such a wondrous machine.

Biden projected to be the next US President, Microsoft joins rest of world in telling Trump: It looks like... you're fired

Matthew Taylor

Re: Putin lost

And Xi Jinping won. Yay.

Top doctors slam Google for not backing up incredible claims of super-human cancer-spotting AI

Matthew Taylor

Deflection from Google spokesman

The Google spokesman said nothing, and promised nothing. Fancy that.

Elizabeth Holmes' plan to avoid her Theranos fraud trial worked out about as well as her useless blood-testing machines

Matthew Taylor
Terminator

Zuckerberg

In the picture to this article, Elizabeth Holmes reminds me of modern day robot Zuckerberg somehow. Rise of the Machines trying to pull a flanker on us?

Google adopts ‘value-neutral’ language to make selfies less about ‘beauty’

Matthew Taylor

Their neutral words won't remain neutral for long. Words' meanings evolve and settle through use, and by how they describe reality - not through diktat.

Apple takes another swing at Epic, says Unreal Engine could be a 'trojan horse' threatening security

Matthew Taylor

Reducing our 30% cut from the Apple store will not only cause Global Warming and Covid 19, but may well cause the Earth to crash into the sun. Won't SOMEONE think of the shareholders, err I mean children?

The Devil's in the details: Church of Satan forced to clarify that no unholy rituals taking place in SoCal forest

Matthew Taylor

Re: Chanting your invocation of choice

Cthulhu just needed to move his mic a bit further away. That whole thing was an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Tony Blair tells Russian infosec conference that cross-border infosec policies need more gov intervention

Matthew Taylor

Jesus, can we ever be rid of that guy?

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

Matthew Taylor

Re: Just do a text search

This is definitely true - though it feels like, as top AI researchers, they ought to be able to use some AI to identify and eliminate such racist labels, rather than just ditching the whole database.

Two out of three parachutes... is just as planned for Boeing's Starliner this time around

Matthew Taylor

Re: Pedant alert

I don't think that correctly pointing out basic grammar to a journalist is pedantry. It's shameful how far we've fallen, that (a) such a correction is necessary, and that (b) the author labels the correction "Pedant", to avoid being derided for making it.

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

Matthew Taylor

Re: Those who can, code.

Programming requires abstraction - the ability to step back from concepts and see them in logical terms. Getting upset over terms like master & slave - when they're clearly nothing to do with human subjugation in a programming context - implies a lack of ability in that regard.

Google+ replacement ‘Currents’ to end beta and debut in G Suite on July 6th

Matthew Taylor

Oh good

Another method for being interrupted every 5 seconds.

Author of infamous Google diversity manifesto drops lawsuit against web giant

Matthew Taylor

Re: Reliable sources say "yeah, it doesn't mean that!"

"ISTR that the authors of the studies referenced by Damore repudiated that interpretation of the work."

Yes, I'll bet they did.

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Matthew Taylor

Re: Well that's great confidence from GCHQ

Their usual method of security in such projects seems to consist of deploying machines so slow that they take 20 minutes to open up an application. So even if the terrorists do try to steal your data, they'll only get a few bytes of it before the server crashes from the overload. Phew!

Matthew Taylor

Re: Dreaming up barriers to adoption...

Yeah! Down with Thatcher!

Matthew Taylor

Re: Dreaming up barriers to adoption...

Nice bit of sleight of hand there equating suspicion of Bill Gates' motives with thinking the earth is flat.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

Matthew Taylor

Re: Another thing...

And remember, you'd better not be the first to stop clapping this Thursday evening! Or else that 'rona will git ya!

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin

Matthew Taylor

To save us from the virus

Such half-baked measures will never be effective enough! No - I propose the whole citizenry be fitted with tracking ankle bracelets immediately! Also electric shock collars ("Enhanced feedback mechanisms") Purely to enforce social distancing. You'll all be thankful when you don't die of the virus!

Pervasive digital surveillance of citizens deployed in COVID-19 fight, with rules that send genie back to bottle

Matthew Taylor

"Strict oversight and a thirty-day limit on the use of the tools is promised." Oh yes, hahaha, good, very good... hahahaaa.

Weird flex but OK... Motorola's comeback is a $1,500 Razr flip-phone with folding 6.2" screen

Matthew Taylor

The all new Motorola Veblen

It's ok to be taken aback by a preposterously high price, especially when the phone's namesake wasn't priced so highly (in relative terms).

Stalker attacks Japanese pop singer – after tracking her down using reflection in her eyes

Matthew Taylor

Software to the rescue

So now there will be a filter to black out people's eyes to avoid stalkers. That will make for pleasant viewing. Or better still, a more advanced filter to replace the reflections with a sponsored product logo, while leaving the eyes intact.

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament

Matthew Taylor

Tooth and nail

The UK's deep state REALLY doesn't want us to leave the EU, does it? For the sake of "Democracy", of course...

'It’s not a surveillance program'... US govt isn't going all Beijing on us with border face-recog, official tells Congress

Matthew Taylor

click

Click goes the ratchet, up another notch - "don't worry, we're not USING the data!" Perish the thought. Then, in 6 months, wait for the talking heads to tell us how it's "crazy that we don't cross reference data in this connected digital world!"

Boffins ready to go live with system that will track creatures great and small from space

Matthew Taylor

"equipping hundreds of animals with miniature satellite transmitters". I don't think "Equipping" is the right word, it implies the animals are in on the scheme. Who knows, if this works maybe UK citizens will soon be similarly "Equipped".

No DeepNudes please, we're GitHub: Code repo deep-sixed as Discord bans netizens who sought out vile AI app

Matthew Taylor

Stop right there tide!

Paging King Canute, please come to the beach phone...

DeepNude's makers tried to deep-six their pervy AI app. Web creeps have other ideas: Cracked copies shared online as code decompiled

Matthew Taylor

Don't let a good crisis go to waste

Of course the silver lining (for the depraved upper echelons who dread having their eyes-wide-shut parties exposed), is that any incriminating pics or video can now be blamed on teh deepfakez, and brushed off.

'Bulls%^t! Complete bull$h*t!' Reset the clock on the last time woke Linus Torvalds exploded at a Linux kernel dev

Matthew Taylor

Here's to swearing

When the West falls, I hope the niceness police will be held up as primary architects of its demise.

Gaze in awe at the first ever movie of a solar eclipse from recording long thought lost forever

Matthew Taylor

Though this footage doesn't have a Brian Cox voice over, so that's a plus

UK's planned Espionage Act will crack down on Snowden-style Brit whistleblowers, suspected backdoored gear (cough, Huawei)

Matthew Taylor

Re: "people who "betray" Britain"

Incitement.

Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual

Matthew Taylor

Not a science

The study of algorithms and the programming of computers is not a science. The theoretical algorithmic elements are a branch of Mathematics, and the writing of software is an engineering discipline. To discard the writing of programs from the curriculum is incomprehensible.

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

Matthew Taylor

Of course... but maybe

Sounds like one of Louis CK's "Of course but maybe" bits.

Of COURSE we throw away the reverse model that removes the bikinis from the women - it has to be deleted, the hard drive set on fire, and all copies hunted down and destroyed, to preserve the sanctity of the female body outside the confines of marriage. Of course... of course.

Thought black holes were donut-shaped? It turns out they're more like deadly fountains

Matthew Taylor

It turns out that...

This will sound like a silly nitpick, but I dislike the phrase "It turns out that..." - especially when used in science articles. A few years ago it "turned out that" black holes were doughnut shaped, now it "turns out" they're like a fountain. Both times, the phrase implies that now we've finally got it right, and the job is done. It's not done, science is never done, and it's extra definitely not done when studying something like black holes.

(Not to take anything away from the actual research discussed here, which is excellent and fascinating).

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

Matthew Taylor

Re: what the people want

"ESPECIALLY nauseating when the aforementioned SCHLOCK contains all of those 'parental lessons' embedded within them. [cartoons are supposed to be FUN, not an attempt at Disney doing parents' jobs for them]."

Inspector Gadget springs to mind. As a young'un I felt personally insulted by that programme. It's creators must have considered me especially dim, if they thought I wouldn't notice the plodding do-gooder messages sprinkled throughout it.

Can you trust an AI data trust not to slurp your data?

Matthew Taylor

No.

"Can you trust an AI trust not to slurp your data"? No. You can't. They will slurp it all. All of it. Every last byte. Every time.

Alexa, cough up those always-on Echo audio recordings, says double-murder trial judge

Matthew Taylor

Re: Sounds about right

What about "undisirregardlessly"? 'Tis a common word, down our way.

'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

Matthew Taylor

Quotation

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." Cardinal Richlieu.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Matthew Taylor

Logie Baird's "stupid" ideas.

"He also came up with some stupid ideas: like trying to make diamonds by heating graphite, designing a glass razor (which shattered) and inventing a pair of pneumatic shoes whose internal balloons burst."

How are any of those things stupid ideas? Okay, they didn't pan out - but they all seem plausible enough to me, and precisely the sort of ideas a creative, inventive mind might come up with.

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

Matthew Taylor

"Smart" faucet

"Alexa, informed by this model, could in theory hear if you left the water running in your kitchen and might, given the appropriate Alexa Skill, take some action in response, like turning off your smart faucet."

If the only way of telling that a smart faucet is on, is listening for the sound of running water, it doesn't sound terribly smart. Please give us some more brilliant reasons why we should welcome 24/7 audio monitoring of our private living space.

First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

Matthew Taylor

Re: Feeling old yet?

"I'd occasionally still see DC-3s flying overhead, often on their way in to Stansted, in the early sixties."

At least one of them was a regular visitor to Hurn airport in the late 70's early 80's, when my mum would take me there plane spotting. It, along with the Handley page Herald,ran freight to the Channel Islands, if I recall.

A much rarer visitor was the Vickers Vanguard. I saw it at Hurn one time, parked far away, and apparently it was not due to leave for several days. The next week I was playing on the green outside our house when I heard an unfamiliar aircraft noise (I could recognise the "regulars" by their sound) and over it flew, nice and low, as if just for me.

All ghosts now, these memories.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Matthew Taylor

His own idea?

In these paranoid times, one can't help but worry that Linus is withdrawing at gunpoint. Hopefully the impetus for this change came from within, and just reflects Linus wishing to mellow out and manage his blood pressure as he gets older.

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Matthew Taylor

Good intentions

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, though reading drivel like this, it must be at least a 6 lane motorway.

At last: Magic Leap reveals its revolutionary techno-goggles – but wait, there's a catch

Matthew Taylor

Star Citizen?

Can I play the final release of Star Citizen on my Magic Leap?

Ex-US pres Bill Clinton has written a cyber-attack pulp thriller. With James Patterson. Really

Matthew Taylor

"I was literally this morning staring at this with a blank look of complete stupidity, wondering where or when I'd ended up. I was deep in a WH Smith store, mind, which didn't help."

I read as far as "deep in a WH",and I thought it was an acronym for White House - so I looked again at your username, but the uncertainty remained. ;-)

As Tesla hits speed bump after speed bump, Elon Musk loses his mind in anti-media rant

Matthew Taylor

The media marketplace

The media does not need to be organised by a cabal into operating in a particular way - it will self-organise. In the internet age, news is an efficient, liquid market, with thousands of providers available, all of whom have (mostly) the same information. So how to differentiate oneself? Sensationalism. The rewards for making mountains out of molehills are clear, so, even if certain scrupulous publications resist, many others will not, and soon this elevated sensationalism becomes the new normal. Then, even more sensationalism is required to stand out from the crowd, and the exaggerations escalate, feeding off each other.

LLVM contributor hits breakpoint, quits citing inclusivity intolerance

Matthew Taylor

Stagnation through niceness.

The best, most driven people aren't always the most well behaved (hello Mr Torvalds) - but the same passion that makes them volatile on message boards, can also drive a project to greatness. This is especially true in software, whose best practitioners tend to eschew the subtleties of social politics. Of course, as soon as a project comes to be seen as "established", the niceness police kick the door in, and, like a rocket when the main booster cuts off, the project begins to coast.

Facebook scandal: EU politicians should aim for straight answers, not star witnesses

Matthew Taylor

I'm for whichever option involves more of Zuckerberg failing the Turing test, while getting hauled over the coals by a room full of bigwigs.

While Zuck squirmed, Reddit revealed it found and killed 944 Russian troll factory accounts

Matthew Taylor

More embarassing anti-Russia fluff.

Russian troll accounts on Reddit? Please stop it, it's embarrassing now. Someone powerful is hell bent on having a scrap with Russia, come what may. They will throw anything and everything at us until they find something we'll get angry enough about to let them do what they're so clearly desperate to do.

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