* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

4140 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Colleges snub Turnitin's AI-writing detector over fears it'll wrongly accuse students

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My favourite is the patchwork of fonts, text sizes etc that come from cutting and pasting from websites!

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I've been in discussions about this recently. My position (for my areas) is that we need to back to exams in controlled environments, closed or open book.

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Re: Turditin

Yes. Also, front pages with the question/assignment written on them.

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Re: If it's as good as their other products...

A point made as expert witness in a research misconduct case a few years back. TurnItIn results requires skill to interpret, especially when the topic is very narrow, such as questions set for a degree or research results in a very specialist area of medicine. Of course there are going to be terms of art, specific phrases, and quotations and references common to the papers. My usual example is to consider a question about the definition of theft - a paper that doesn't have "Theft Act 1968", "Section 4", "dishonest appropriation of goods belonging to another", and at least one of three or four key cases is a failure, yet TII gives each one a really high plagiarism score.

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

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Re: Ah, the 80's...

Hailing from that area, and being at school from the late 60s to early 80s, I went on school/6th form college trips down mines, into steelworks, oh, and at around the age of around 10, into Ladybower Dam (that was a lot of climbing that day!) I think RAF Finningley was the most exciting, though, standing coder than the usual airshow flightline whilst a pair of Vulcans took off. I don't know whether I'm more sad that school children would never have the opportunity to do any of those things today because of risk-assessment disorder, or that only one of those things still exist.

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Re: But surely

What we need is a summary of them all - a condenser of all the puns.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

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Re: My first question

I agree. Microsoft doesn't do anything that won't improve its bottom line and/or lock-in.

Mozilla calls cars from 25 automakers 'data privacy nightmares on wheels'

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Re: It just keeps getting better

The ultimate reason doesn't matter. Old ICE cars are going to be very valuable assets soon.

Scared of flying? Good news! Software glitches keep aircraft on the ground

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Re: More

You usually have more imagination than that @elsergio!

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster

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Re: Great job!

So let's give them the chance - at least one of them might fail in cocking-up.

What happens when What3Words gets lost in translation?

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I'm torn

Overall, I like the idea of a word-based method of giving locations. This is based on my experience of people who cannot remember, nor are able to read out, any number with more than three digits, combined with those who cannot accurately write down/type any number with more than one digit. I absolutely agree that things like AML are probably the best way to give locations, but only as long as there is no transcription needed anywhere in the process - sometimes even 10 metres out is too much. However, any word-based solution has to be done right if it is to be used for emergency situations, and that isn't easy due to things like accents etc.

Until such a system comes along, though, many of the problems can be dealt with by a) getting people to enunciate the dots - dogs DOT toe DOT dearth is clearly different from dog DOT stowed DOT earth - and b) asking for spellings - W3E words aren't long, and can be spelled quite quickly. Again, there are accent problems if the speller doesn't know the phonetic alphabet, but it reduces the error-space quite significantly.

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Yep. In my long rallying experience, I've had (and done) many "one square out" errors. Sometimes they're obvious when plotting, other times you only find out when you can see your intended location over that river/valley/railway line...

Right to repair advocates have a new opponent: Scientologists

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Re: Expose

In general I agree, but I actually like "Battlefield Earth"!* There is something I find very playful about it, and the utterly mad change of direction from almost extinct, completely uneducated humanity to galactic superstars leaves me breathless every time!!

*The book, not the film, of course!

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Re: Expose

Wasn't Robert A Heinlein also supposed to gave been there at the time, the result being the truly awful "Stranger in a Strange Land" as an attempt to start a religion? Or am I mixing up drunken sci-fi author lunches?

We all scream for ice cream – so why are McDonald's machines always broken?

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Re: No sh!t Sherlock

There's no risk of that happening at this household* because if you ask for coffee I'll boil the kettle, transfer the brown granules from the jar to the mug, and pour the boiling water onto it. I'll even let you have milk and sugar if you wish :-)

* OK, I suppose there's a small risk depending on what can grow in/on coffee granules after >6 months in the cupboard (no one in the house drinks coffee, so it only gets used for visitors!)

Silicon Valley billionaires secretly buy up land for new California city

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Re: Flannery Row.

I'm glad you are able to benefit from it. Just be aware that not everyone is.

India lands Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on Moon, is the first to lunar south pole

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Re: Tell me again

A man with no aspiration whatsoever. How sad.

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Re: Milestone moment

Excellent! (Except for the very idea of putting cream in tea - ugh!)

Want tech cred? Learn how to email like a pro

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Re: Its all about *efficient* communication...

The thing is, you never know what is going to become "need[ed] records or memorable details" somewhere down the line. Even minuted meetings can become disputed later if (as some employers do) the "official" report gets changed to the benefit of the employer. Contemporaneous records, such as emails, can be very useful.

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Re: Its all about *efficient* communication...

No. Emails provide a searchable and all-but-permanent (if one is sensible about backing up) record of who said what and when. Management wants telephone calls so that there is no record of who said what. I'm currently assisting a person with an employment tribunal in which the employer is getting its arse kicked because the employee kept records almost obsessively.

Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead

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Re: Not holding my breath

To be fair, I live in (what is becoming*) a reasonable sized town. The older bit in which I live is very much a 15-minute town, taking in two supermarkets, what passes for a bus-station, the railway station (two trains an hour in each direction), plus a couple banks (for now), Post Office, library, couple of convenience stores, pubs, cafés etc. However, the nearest (State) schools we could get the children into was a) sink estate huge and just 15 minutes away on foot, or b) proper sized six miles away (10 minutes by car). Sounds heat, until you realise all those new developments are significantly more than 15 minutes from any of the things I've just mentioned. A car is an absolute necessity for people living in them.

*Lots of new develop ments going up around the edges.

How to get a computer get stuck in a lift? Ask an 'illegal engineer'

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Re: Getting stuck in a lift is no fun

I think figures show that cows are the most dangerous (to humans) mammal in the British Isles.

The choice: Pay BT megabucks, or do something a bit illegal. OK, that’s no choice

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Re: 100m goes a long way

Exactly. Until last year I was a landlord, using a letting agent due to distance from the property. I thought having a local agent would make maintenance easier for everyone. When the last tenant left, I went down to view the house. It was in a terrible state, not as a result of tenant activity, but because of the agent not doing the job I was paying them for. The agent knew very well that my instructions were to tell me if anything needed doing, and I would get it done. However, it was obvious they hadn't actually visited the property in years (even taking into account Covid). In the unlikely event I ever become a landlord again, I will not be using agents.

Judge lets art trio take another crack at suing AI devs over copyright

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Re: Whoops ... I Hear Solicitors Getting Rich

"So while I'm all for a world without lawyers... "

That's not even a sensible wish. Every society has/has had lawyers. Sometimes it is just one person (usually a man), such as a tribal chief, or shaman/medicine man/seer; sometimes it is a bunch of the leader's mates; sometimes (rarely) it is a profession with standards and the ability for members to be held to account by the public. Whichever model you choose, lawyers are a) powerful, b) influential and c) rich compared to other members of that society. By and large, we have the final category*, so which other model would you choose (not confining yourself to my examples)?

* I am not arguing that the current system is the best, but that it is one of the best so far.

Douglas Adams was right: Telephone sanitizers are terrible human beings

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Re: Agree but...

It's not just me, then! I've never been able to work out the putative link between the term and the meaning ascribed.

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Re: Real Sanitizers

I can't remember whether it was radio > books > TV, or books > TV > (recorded) radio. What I do know is that all my Douglas Adams books were destroyed whilst in storage during the most recent move, and I haven't the heart to replace them with ones that don't have the history. I am, though, working a quotation from TRATEOTU into an interview later today!

After Meta hands over DMs, mom pleads guilty to giving daughter abortion pills

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Re: It's all fscking insanity - I'm embarrassed for my country

Pro-life positions an come from an entirely non-religious perspective, though in the USA it is predominantly a religious standpoint. For example, the precautionary principle can lead one to such a position, and I've heard arguments based on Kantian ethics. They haven't swayed me, but they are interesting arguments that made me thing how I justify my position in a way that "God says so" hasn't.

Liberté, Égalité, Spyware: France okays cops snooping on phones

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Re: Yes give the police more power....

First, the disclaimers - I have only seen what has been shown in the UK press, and I am not overly familiar with the socio-political situation in some of the less salubrious parts of France. Having said that, nothing I have seen makes me think there was anything to warrant firing a gun at the young man in question. Dangerous driving - no. Not stopping - no. Maybe I have missed something (a post down-thread suggests that the police officer may have had reason to fear for his life), but this falls into my category of "reasons ordinary police officers should not be routinely armed".

Man who nearly killed physical media returns with $60,000 vinyl turntable

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Re: Maybe not.

I'm in the same quandary.

SpaceX says, sure, Starship blew up but you can forget about the rest of that lawsuit

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Re: SpaceX

Aren't all rockets "possibly-expodey"? The only difference is the probability of rapid unplanned disassembly.

Boss such a tyrant you need a job quitting agent? It works in Japan

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Re: Job quitting agent - great idea!

You may just have pointed out my new career!

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I sort of agree with you, even though I feel guilty about it. Doing exactly what your contract demands shows that you can do exactly what your contract demands. It doesn't show what else you can do that makes you a choice for a promotion, or raise, or job at a different employer. There are a lot of people who think that simply being good at the job they are currently doing is sufficient to move along the career track (indeed, when I was younger I fell into that trap myself), but it can't be. There needs to be something to show that you are somehow developing the skills required for the new role.

Chinese balloon that US shot down was 'crammed' with American hardware

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... if (and it's a big "if") the information being given here is even halfway true, this device could have come from/been built by anywhere. A collection of items, some with English writing, some with Chinese doesn't exactly pinpoint it's origins.

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries

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For some of us, yes. I've changed screens and batteries for other people's iPhone, but I won't do glued-in batteries. I'd be happy if manufacturers just went back to needing spudgers and/or a screwdriver to open the case, and then screws and/or a bit of tape for the innards.

Decision to hold women-in-cyber events in abortion-banning states sparks outcry

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None of the laws mentioned affect LGB people, and none of them are "anti-TQ+". Preventing - not delaying - puberty means that the child will never be a physical or psychological adult. Wrong-sex hormones have terrible side-effects only a few years after starting a young person on them. Children as young as 13 are having double mastectomies (https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/breaking-second-lawsuit-filed-in). Minors do not have the ability to consent to these life-changing, permanent physical interventions, commenced in many cases without proper psychological exploration of co-morbidities such as autism, ADHD, depression. Many of them have been the victims of sexual abuse. These laws are not "anti" anything - they are pro-child welfare.

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time

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Re: OK Boomer

Do you feel better after getting that off your chest?

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Re: Human Populations Are Not Quantised!

"Human Populations Are Not Quantised" may have to go on my gravestone, just below "Context Is Everything!"

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Very good!

Thousands of subreddits go dark in mega-protest over Reddit's app-killing API prices

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Re: Meh

I understand and sympathise with your struggle. From what I see on search results, Reddit is Twitter with no character limit, full of nasty corners you wouldn't want to enter without a warrant and very big can of bleach. I'm sure some people gain something from it, though.

Will Flatpak and Snap replace desktop Linux native apps?

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Re: Lucky you.

And the Atari St would have had an ENIAC user going "You what?!" I don't understand your point - fast yesterday is slow today.

Healthcare org with over 100 clinics uses OpenAI's GPT-4 to write medical records

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Re: Nope! Just... NOPE!

"Sign-off" has a tendency to rapidly become "rubber stamp", and the more accurate the transcriber (whether human or computer) becomes, the less likely the transcript is to be read properly.*

Also, the only way the doctor is going to know if the notes are correct is to keep contemporaneous notes her/himself to refer back to...

*Especially if it gets more [paying] patients through the door.

NASA experts looked through 800 UFO sightings and found essentially nothing

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Re: Ball lightning photos and videos

I came home from work one day to find all the electronics on the side of my house closest to the driveway fried. 2-3 metres away from the furthest fried piece of kit, in the same rooms, everything worked. My neighbours on the other side of the shared driveway (approx 3.5 metres wide) had the same. One of them had been at home and saww a growing ball float between the houses during a thunderstorm, and then dissipate once past the passageway. Fortunately, a) the insurance company paid for the TV, video, and telephone/answering machine, and b) my Atari ST was on the safe side of the house.

EU tells Twitter 'you can run but you can't hide' from disinformation policy

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Re: Twitter

I genuinely do not understand the hatred for Twitter. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are at least as bad, if not worse.

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Re: Erm

So what?

Nearly 1 in 5 academics admit close encounters of the anomalous kind

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Re: UAPs, previously known as UFOs

Well, WAP" sounds better than "Oofoe/Youfoe", I suppose.

Professor freezes student grades after ChatGPT claimed AI wrote their papers

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Re: re. Why not go back to oral exams for the Finals?

So make it a random sample of papers submitted, with perhaps some facility for obviously questionable papers, as we do with moderation. It isn't an insurmountable problem.

We regret to inform you Earth will not be destroyed by an asteroid within 1,000 years

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Never believe anything until it has been officially denied...

AI to detect heart attacks tested in the land of the deep-fried Mars bar

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Re: Only once

I saw then for sale a bit further north than you the summer before Covid - in Dunkeld (another touristy place).

Dell reneges on remote work promise, tells staff to wear pants at least 3 days a week

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That entire rant was based on the entirely unevidenced assertion in the first paragraph. Where are the data to back up "everybody else's experience"?

Datacenter fire suppression system wasn't tested for years, then BOOM

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One of the (very few) reasons I'm glad not to live on Scotland any longer. The requirement is totally disproportionate to the risk.