* Posts by veti

3098 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Detroit cops employed facial recognition algos that only misidentifies suspects 96 per cent of the time

veti Silver badge

What's the false negative rate?

So 24 in 25 flagged matches are wrong. So what? Without knowing the false negative rate, we still don't know enough to tell whether it's useful.

Hypothetically, if there are *zero* false negatives, this would still be a very useful system. If you have one suspect to identify in a crowd of 1000 faces, it's entirely worthwhile to have a computer just show you 25 faces to take a closer look at, rather than the full 1000.

Of course I know it won't be that accurate, but without knowing *how* accurate it is this "96%" figure *still* isn't enough to pronounce it useless.

And yes, I realise it will also victimise people based on skin colour - but let's be clear, that's an entirely separate issue, the cops don't need any automated help doing that anyway.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

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Re: 'Relevant' ads

Comedians were doing that routine 20 years ago. Is that really still the reality of targeted ads? I don't see the things myself.

Dems take a crack at banning Feds from using facial-recog tech. Congress will put it on todo list after 'learn Klingon'

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I don't mind the lobbying. If a proposed law is going to affect someone's business, I think they have every right to speak up about it.

It's when "speaking up" becomes "paying up" that the corruption sets in. The problem is the whole system of campaign finance, which in turn is intimately tied to the advertising business - and hence, all media.

Machine-learning models trained on pre-COVID data are now completely out of whack, says Gartner

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That was my thought too.

I'm currently living in a post-covid-19 country, and I'm here to tell you it looks very much like the pre-covid-19 economy. There's a lot fewer tourists and a bit more unemployment, but hardly a quantum shift in customer demand for anything.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

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Re: I called the cops

In what illegitimised system do you dial "11" for the UK?

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

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Re: @ Iglethat & "since hes proven that hes a gullible idiot"

I personally haven't seen a lot of stars as any more than points of light. Planets I have seen, and there is no conclusive evidence that they're round. They seem to change shape, much like the moon.

As for the proposition that gravity always acts on the CoG, perhaps you can suggest how I could verify that experimentally. (Keep in mind that "always" is a big claim, and the finding must be valid at very large scale.)

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Re: @ Iglethat & "since hes proven that hes a gullible idiot"

I would, but I'm too busy researching the flat earth theory that someone told me to last year. I've got as far as demonstrating curvature, but I'm sure you'll agree that's no reason to give in to the "round earth" conspiracy right away.

When people say "research it", what I hear is "I am too ignorant to understand the difference between Google and research".

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

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Re: How?

The test is "AI-powered drone vs human in F35", not "AI vs human". The AI should be taking every advantage it can get.

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Re: Still fighting WW2

And cavalry commanders will never accept machine guns. So what?

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Re: Which aircraft will the meat pilot use?

And all the space and weight that you would normally use supporting the meatbag, keeping it alive and comfortable, and giving it a way to control the plane - all of that can be given to some other purpose. Or better yet, cut out of the design altogether.

A drone can pack the same firepower and air-to-air capability into a platform half the size of the F35, and with less than half of the radar signature.

IBM quits facial recognition because Black Lives Matter

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The British did well out of the slave trade for a century. Then they spent another half century or more pouring blood and money into stopping it. The Royal Navy at its height chased slavers not only in the Atlantic, but all around Africa and the Indian Ocean too.

So... sure, there's guilt. But there should also be some credit there. History is long, it's ridiculous to take one episode or period and claim this is the true character of a country.

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I think a database of police misconduct is a genius idea. Turnabout is always fair, right? See if it changes how they feel about databases and surveillance.

Some Brits reckon broadband got worse after lockdown – but that's just what happens when you're online 12 hours straight

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Re: Eh...

It's not the fibre, it's the switches. That's where the congestion happens. And I'm convinced it's a real thing. In my six weeks of working from home, the Internet was absolutely definitely less responsive than usual.

'5G for Five Eyes!' US senator tells Parliamentarians the world would be better without Huawei

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Re: Another nutjob hiding behind the flag

OK, let's say that's true. (Debatable of course, but let's accept it as written.) What difference does it make?

If "the example of other countries" can be as salutary as home grown violence, the conclusion is the same - violence is still not the only way to get the political change you want. I'd go further: it's also not the best way. (Unless you really want despotism, of course.) Violence polarises. What you need is reconciliation.

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Re: Another nutjob hiding behind the flag

The civil war didn't make England a democracy, it didn't even move it close. It did neuter the (previously, abnormally strong) centralised monarchy. But when the dust of counter-revolution settled, what was left was aristocracy - power firmly in the hands of a hereditary ruling class.

What made it a democracy was a series of reform acts, from the 1830s onwards, extending the franchise. In parallel with changes in education and the acceptance of pluralism, of course.

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It's not about spite. It's just that - well, it's been 40 years. We've moved on, OK? We've got other trade partners now.

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Re: Another nutjob hiding behind the flag

I think you're wrong. Sure, political change can happen that way - Russia and France being the most prominent poster children - but do you really want to end up with what either of them got?

But it can happen non-violently too. Britain transformed from an aristocracy to a democracy, over the course of about 80 years, without a revolution. India became independent without a war. The Soviet Union fell because soldiers refused to fight their own people. Violence is not the only way.

veti Silver badge

Re: Do it! Chicken.

So at a stroke, we could get: cheaper 5G, less intelligence sharing, and no F-35s?

What's the catch?

Zealous Zoom's zesty zymotic zone zinger: Zestful zealots zip zillions

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I mean, why Zoom? How did they get to be The videocall platform of the pandemic?

I don't know about you, but six months ago I had barely heard of Zoom. My employer used MS Teams, which worked fine for them. Personally I use Skype when I need to. But then came the pandemic, and suddenly Zoom was the default platform everyone talked about - and on. How did they pull that off, exactly?

Tech set responds in wake of American protests, police violence and civil unrest

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Re: The next step...

America is fast approaching fascism on its own behalf. As for communism, the only reason to hate that is because it's used as a cover for despotism, which the US is now encouraging around the world.

Don't get me wrong, America has done great things in the past hundred years. But right now it seems bent on undoing most of them, and the goodwill it had built up is a finite resource, now nearing exhaustion.

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Re: The next step...

"Lobbyists" are not some mysterious svengali caste. They can't just pick up a cause and translate into instant results.

Lobbying is about representing the specific sectional interests of your community. That's where their influence derives from, because politicians know who they are representing and why they matter. You can't simply "lend" them to another cause, no matter how strongly you feel about it, because they would have no authority to speak on that subject.

Remember when Republicans said Dems hacked voting systems to rig Georgia's election? There were no hacks

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Re: Coup

You are playing Trump's game. If you are sincere in wanting to see the US return to some sort of sanity, this is not how to do it.

Trump is trying to make the 2020 election about the red/blue culture war. That's how he won in 2016, and it's by far his best chance of winning again. And you're playing straight into his hands. Language like "coup" and "illegal" (hint: if the relevant court says it's legal, then it is - there are such things as appeals, but your own conscience and opinions do not qualify as a higher court) are the language of violent revolution, not persuasion.

Don't try to fight dirty against Trump. He will drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.

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Re: A dry run for trumps loss in 2020

Sadly we've seen what "engaging the voters" looks like. Full on cultural warfare.

That's why half of America is now bent on getting back to business as usual without *any* acknowledgement of social distancing or masks or anything else that suggests there might be something bad happening.

When your political system is leading to tens of thousands of excess deaths, it may fairly be said to have failed. Utterly. After all, the whole point of politics is to prevent exactly that outcome.

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Re: Brits can vote

Then change the law. If it's not up to the job of preventing shenanigans, then why haven't you complained about it before?

Like Trump with his tax returns. If you want "publishing your tax returns" to be a prerequisite for standing for president, then change the law to make it so. Don't whine because someone is breaking a rule if you never made it a rule in the first place.

If someone could stop hackers pwning medical systems right now, that would be cool, say Red Cross and friends

veti Silver badge

That's true for the regular spammed attacks, but there's a whole lot of spear phishing and other highly aimed hacking that's being directed at the medical industry right now.

If I had to speculate, I'd guess it's happening because unaccustomed amounts of public funds are being poured very quickly into medical care and research. Anytime that sort of money is sloshing about in places that aren't fully accustomed to it, there will be opportunities for scumbags to siphon some of it off.

Microsoft brings WinUI to desktop apps: It's a landmark for Windows development, but it has taken far too long

veti Silver badge

Clearly the next step is to put Win32 in a big sandbox of its own. All your legacy stuff will be fine, but isolated from everything newer.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

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Re: Is it wrong to be in favour of this?

A characteristic of both sides in the US is that they don't much like the constitution. Leftists hate the second amendment, rightists aren't too keen on the first. I think it's probably possible to define every major faction in US politics by identifying "which bit of the constitution they want to repeal".

Trump and his scum really hate the 14th.

As for the "spoiled generation", you can apply that description to a generation who have grown up with their private wealth jealously protected.

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Re: So...

Well yes, the sun is generally recognised as dangerous. That's why sunscreen is a thing, to say nothing of an entire industry of hats and parasols and sun awareness campaigns.

Dude, where's my laser?

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Re: Not unbelievable

As soon as someone suggested "maybe they didn't think about it" as a plausible explanation.

Chicago: Why I just grin like a dork... It's my kind of Bork

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Re: "...or a simple mistype in the max_connections system variable"

You mean, "didn't show up in the testing because everything else over-ran and QA was told to cut a week out of its schedule".

"Production only error", my left foot.

Document? Library? A new kind of component? Microsoft had a hard time explaining what its Fluid Framework is

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Re: Will this shite never stop?

It's not for users.

As to what it's for - read up on "fire and motion". Classic Microsoft strategy.

New Zealand releases Bluetooth-free COVID-19 tracing app

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Re: IQ downward spiral...

Oh yes, of course. Mob. Now that's a thing that never happened pre-internet.

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Re: Police don't get it

Well yes, if Amazon really wants the data, I'm sure there are ways they could get it. Ditto GCHQ or the NSA or the Illuminati. But what would they do with it?

Bear in mind that if anyone twigged and could prove that they'd accessed it, there would be big, big repercussions, both legal and reputational. What gain would be worth running that risk?

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Re: Name, phone number and email

In case you missed it, the Pm explicitly says that if you choose to upload the collected data, it will only be available to health services. Police don't get it.

As for businesses, when did you hear of one that was reluctant to gather and keep information about its customers? But NZ data protection law says that you have to tell people in advance what you will be using their data for, and you can't change that after the event.

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Re: IQ downward spiral...

Like there was some golden age when there were no stupid people?

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps

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Re: "A minister's letter is not legal protection"

Maybe not, but it's the only kind that can be provided by law.

Podcast Addict banned from Google Play Store because heaven forbid app somehow references COVID-19

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Has Gmail also been pulled? How about Chrome, are they pulling that or simply replacing every mention of "coronavirus" with "Rick Astley"?

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

veti Silver badge

Re: "the long game"

Nope. The American government has no money, and since Trump it's also becoming less trustworthy. (Than China. Let that sink in.) Even Boris - American-born firm Americaphile personally backed by Trump - when forced to make a choice, went China.

This is what a crumbling empire looks like. At this point I doubt if Trump could successfully orchestrate a trade boycott against Fiji, never mind China.

'iOS security is f**ked' says exploit broker Zerodium: Prices crash for taking a bite out of Apple's core tech

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Re: Here's an idea

Security is hard, m'kay? It takes more than a bit of QA. More even than a lot of QA.

Apple does, mostly, a pretty good job of patching vulnerabilities when they hear about them. So does Microsoft, for that matter. And when that happens, both of them will do their best to push out the fix to as many users as possible (which puts them ahead of Linux or Android as far as regular users are concerned).

But nobody, not even Linux, can keep them from ever being released in the first place.

Stop tracking me, Google: Austrian citizen files GDPR legal complaint over Android Advertising ID

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Re: In all honesty

You're using software. Software costs money to create, and then it costs orders of magnitude more money to maintain.

If you're not willing to pay for that yourself, then you don't really get to complain when those who are paying for it decide to insert their own agenda.

Now there's nothing stopping the PATRIOT Act allowing the FBI to slurp web-browsing histories without a warrant

veti Silver badge

Re: Land of the free

Could happen. I can foresee a world, pretty soon now, where countries are divided in two groups: those that try to control and contain Covid-19, and those that rely on "herd immunity" and don't even try to trace cases. There will need to be very tight controls on traffic between the two groups.

I think most of Europe will eventually scrape into group 1, and the US will clearly dominate group 2.

That would actually fulfil Trump's dream of "a wall" with the foreigners paying for it. #MAGA!

If you're going to spend $3tn, what's another billion? Congress urged to inject taxpayer dollars into open anti-Huawei 5G radio tech

veti Silver badge

Re: Only themselves to blame

Compare the amount of resources devoted to defining, protecting and enforcing "intellectual property" today with the situation 100 years ago. Heck, even 50 years ago.

"Intellectual property" has been pushed by the USA, among all countries, as a way to pretend that the inexhaustible realm of "ideas" is an eternally-expanding frontier that anyone can exploit. Because what's the alternative? - letting the new generation of go-getters have actual land and real property would mean - (gasp) - the rich of today letting go of some of the stuff.

Which they have no intention of doing voluntarily, and no American government has anything like an appetite to force them to.

So instead they've built up this edifice of "intellectual property", where people can stake out their claims and exploit them without dispossessing the already-rich. The only people disadvantaged are newcomers, and the poor, and who ever gave a toss about them?

So yeah, it's very much "America's fault". Fifty years ago we wouldn't have had to worry about this kind of nonsense. But this is the world America built, and now we all have to live in it.

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

veti Silver badge

Re: Seems like a losing battle, and there's an elephant in the room

Yep, I've always loathed Outlook, but pretty much everyone I work with - including the IT department - is only, at best, dimly aware that there are other ways of handling email.

And appointments.

And room bookings.

And to-do lists. And... well, admittedly it can get a bit complicated. But still, if Outlook could just be expunged forever from every computer in my employer's company, I'd be a happy bunny.

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Re: @Charlie Clark - Seems like a losing battle, and there's an elephant in the room

This is true, but it's also true that LibreOffice developers tend to try to work through specs and, when they encounter such ambiguities or inconsistencies, don't even think to ask the question - they'll quietly "resolve" it in some way that makes sense to them, sometimes without even noticing it.

A more disciplined development community would insist on a culture of questioning and escalating issues until they could be authoritatively resolved, but that sort of discipline is precisely what LO lacks.

veti Silver badge

Re: Trust Office

Ok, there's lots to criticise in MS Word, but to insinuate that it's "not (even) marginally usable" is just plain silly. Hundreds of millions of users worldwide struggle through the issues somehow. The evidence that it is at least marginally usable - is, frankly, much stronger than you could muster for any of its competitors.

Briny liquid may be more common on Mars than once thought, unlikely to support life as we know it

veti Silver badge

Don't be silly. That's clearly an artificial decoy, probably put there when Apollo 11 landed on Mars and pretended it was the Moon.

Surprise surprise! Hostile states are hacking coronavirus vaccine research, warn UK and USA intelligence

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Lots of countries like to brag about their effective treatments. But the best evidence is, none of them are really all that effective. They still brag, because it makes their leaders look stronger and look like they're doing something to help their people - but like Trump with his hydroxychloroquine, they're just overselling something that might have helped some tiny number of people but - at best - doesn't work for most.

Iran got hit early. If their treatment was "reasonably effective", at four months in they wouldn't still be losing a full 5% of their cases, and that's just the official figures.

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Re: Bullshit article based on bullshit press releases.

The source talks about "advanced persistent threat" (APT) actors, which is a euphemism for state-sponsored hackers.

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

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Re: In other news....

I don't know what your relationship with your dad is like, but I don't fancy asking mine that question.

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Re: I reuse the same password on loads of sites

For sites I have no intention to return to, they get a randomly-generated string that I don't even bother to record anywhere. That's easy.


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