* Posts by spatulasnout

19 publicly visible posts • joined 23 May 2010

All Mac owners should migrate to OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 ASAP


Re: Since it's only Yosemite affected...

Well, no?

In the "trusecdev" article linked in the fourth paragraph, the discoverer of the vulnerability states that it works on all versions back to 10.7.x, and conceivably earlier but he didn't have a 10.6.x version to test with:


He also states in his discussions with Apple, that: "Apple indicated that this issue required a substantial amount of changes on their side, and that they will not back port the fix to 10.9.x and older."

And in the comment section of that article--despite one poster who erroneously believed Apple's patch applied to his older OS version--posters are confirming the exploit works on older OS versions, and that apple's latest patch indeed does not fix the problem on older versions.

Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof


Re: Transcript

In the transcript, it had begun to seem like a chat bot by its second reply:

J: What did you do today so far?

E: Since early this morning I’ve been involved in this funny contest. I also plan to visit some interesting places in Atlanta.

The "funny contest" part was cute, but the Atlanta part already seemed like an embellishment that doesn't quite mesh with the question being asked--in a manner so typical of chat bot responses.

I wonder what kind of briefing is given to the judges beforehand. The simplest bit of advice to the judges could thwart any chat bot I've yet encountered: try to teach it something.

I usually start out by attempting to teach them how to draw even the simplest possible shapes as ASCII art. (The simplest way to draw a "star" might be an asterisk.) Unsurprisingly, the bot immediately begins dithering and misdirecting and trying to change the subject. Not one has yet even made a pretense of being willing to attempt learning something.

Of course, if ASCII art shapes became a popular question, bot authors would code in some logic for that. The key is just finding something simple it doesn't yet know how to do (that any human could easily respond to and learn) and trying to teach it that.

The day someone makes a bot that can navigate these simple interactive learning tasks and actually add new tricks and vocabulary to its repertoire in the process, I'll be genuinely impressed (regardless of how it might perform in a Turing test setting conversationally.)

Did hackers scoop source code from DayZ zombie game brains?


Re: Since when

Agreed; though regarding, "you only need to trick the script engine to apply them to you" -- fortunately the DayZ SA netcode has diverged from ArmA in this respect.

The DayZ servers now run the simulation, and no longer need to trust clients at the wide-open level ArmA does.

In the months since DayZ SA has been released for early access, a few unpatched legacy scripting hooks were discovered by cheaters, but the dev. team is now able to close such holes in a way that was never possible with ArmA.

Ultimately DayZ will be left with just the standard array of pure client-side hackery, like wallhacks (radar, highlighting players/items), aimbots, speedhacks. Which, while annoying, at least are far less egregious than the godmode/thunderdome/turn-all-players-into-chickens-or-goats scripting exploits that have been abused in the mod.

WoW cities wiped out by 'exploit'


Re: What's the issue?

Re: "instead of being applauded by the very people who provided the interface to figure out how to kill everybody, they are vilified"

Most exploits in online games circumvent the intended gameplay mechanics. If you're playing chess with someone at a club, and you arrange to have them paged during the game and then rearrange a few pieces to your advantage while your opponent is away, you've found an exploit of similar caliber to much of the cheating that takes place in online games.

(Disclaimer: I've not played WoW; but the cheating in DayZ lately has reached absurd levels: www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dayz+hackers )

'Replace crypto-couple Alice and Bob with Sita and Rama'


Re: A lot of hostility here

Re: "... godly vs. godless appears to be a distinction without a difference"

While I'd agree homo sapiens don't require a religious framework to justify the perpetration of evil acts, is it not relatively rare for someone to do evil /in the name of/ atheism? For instance, of all those involved in preaching the sins of contraceptive use in AIDS-plagued sub-Saharan Africa, are there any likely to be doing so on the basis of a lack of belief in a deity?

On the Stalin question in particular, Christopher Hitchens had voiced a detailed reply:


"Until 1917, millions of Russians were taught for hundreds of years that the Tsar is the head of the church. Which he was, the Russian Orthodox Church. That the leader of the country should be something a little more than human, not a god but he's a little more than, -- he's not quite divine but he's a Holy Father.

If you're Joseph Stalin, you shouldn't be in the dictatorship business if you don't know how to exploit an inheritance like that: millions of credulous, servile people. And what does he do? Lysenko's biology, miracles.

We can have three harvests a year if we believe in Lysenko's biology. Inquisition, heresy hunt, orthodoxy, everything comes from the top and must be thanked for and groveled for, a complete replication of the preceding theocracy.

For your arguments to have any force at all, you'd have to point to a society that adopted the teachings of Lucretius, Spinoza, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Albert Einstein, and then fell into famine, dictatorship, torture, and genocide. And you won't, I think, be able to point to such. That's what you'd need for a level playing field."

(Interviewer: You truly wish to blame the crimes of Joseph Stalin on Christianity?)

"No, I was very careful to say, Stalin is gifted a legacy of backwardness, servility, and incredulity inculcated by Christianity and he replicates the conditions of political theocracy and he keeps the church in his corner all throughout the war and throughout the collectivization. Look it up. The church had to split on the question. Those who didn't like it had to leave for America.

And the religious mentality is very clearly shown in the totalitarian mass movements of leader worship and the Fuhrer Princip and their heresy hunts and proclamations of miracles. Yes, it's an allotropic form of the same thing."

BIG BOOBS banished from Linux kernel


Re: Are you kidding me?

N.B. It turns out "greg k-h" is an accomplished kernel developer and current maintainer of the -stable branch, so might well feel a certain weight of responsibility to lean toward professionalism + avoid avenues of potential controversy, etc.

'was laughing a bit more when I'd assumed he was some random busybody.

But anyway. We'll always have base thirty-six?


=> 10729129598233314368884084804015252


Re: Are you kidding me?

Re: All this over the number "2976579765" !!!

Indeed. And after following the lkml thread a bit, we find the Microsoft apology, followed by a complaint from super serious "greg" that the Microsoft-submitted patch to fix this grave offense "only changed it to be in decimal"!!!


Best laugh I've had all day. If I may suggest to greg, in the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka: "Lighten up, Francis."

Apple adds gay and lesbian icons to iOS 6 messaging


Re: My only question for the idiots against gay marriage is ...

Re: "... how I think the world has changed: when I grew up ..."

Not sure where you grew up, but please take a moment to recall it was a mere 45 years ago that interracial marriage was illegal in numerous states in the U.S., and interracial married couples were being arrested.


Re: "I am not asking to deny gay/lesbians/bi their rights. Just don't come and equate my marriage to yours. It's not the same and never will be in my measure. Just go call it something else. You guys are bright, creative inventive whatever. Just go and come up with your own word for it."

Take any argument against gay marriage and replace "gay couple" with "interracial couple" and think about what you sound like.

45 years is not that long ago.

Tomb Raider dev denies Croft rape scene


Re: Disgusted.

Re: "Isn't it funny that men don't seem to need to be objectified, victimized and dis-empowered to become videogame relevant?"

While I'd agree the new backstory for Lara Croft feels unnecessary, banal, trite, tasteless, etc., this sort of characterization device isn't uncommon:


Firefox 13 now available for download


Re: Still no 64-bit client?

Also: waterfoxproject.org

Uses the same profile data as the 32-bit version, so no conversion tool is needed.

Stuck in a dull conference? You need Verity's survival guide


Re: l give up.

Uncle Bob: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cecil_Martin

Didn't catch the other.

Report: Microsoft tried and FAILED to offload Bing on Facebook


Re: If they really want better search results...

Re: "I'd like to see any remotely non-contrived search term that gives significantly different results in Bing than in Google. I personally like Bing better. I like the layout and I think the layout when returning image results is actually noticeably better to use."

Since you mentioned image results, I just tried dragging and dropping an image (from the desktop and/or another browser tab) onto Bing image search. Bing does not appear to support image-based search, which is a (to me, rather technically impressive) feature of Google image search I use on a near-daily basis to find higher resolutions of a given image.

Minecraft maker plots ultimate videogame for coders


Re: It must be said

Regarding, "If you need me, I'll be over here brushing up on 16 bit assembly programming. (there's something I never thought I'd be saying)"

Indeed! Just when I was convinced I'd never again have the urge to implement another Forth interpreter...!

Megaupload kingpin found in panic room when arrested, say cops

Black Helicopters

I have altered the analogy...

...pray that I do not ..... er........

Well anyway--

The original gun shop analogy seems to miss the mark somehow. I'm not sure this reformulation is spot-on either, but here's the idea:

Not all kinds of firearms can be legally sold, in various jurisdictions.

If a gun shop wants to stay in business, it needs to make sure it's not stocking its shelves with--or at the very least not letting customers out the door with--firearms that would be illegal for it to distribute in its locality.

The gun shop may also be required to conduct background checks and/or enforce waiting periods prior to purchase.

If the gun shop fails in these areas, it's considered the gun shop's fault.

Could this level of vendor responsibility be seen as analogous to a file upload site being required to put some level of diligence into enforcing takedown requests from copyright holders?

Happiness: Yours for £50k a year


"genetically inclined to be miserable"

And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals.

'Larry and Sergey's HTML5 balls drained my resources'


Re: Hyperbole Much?

"A fancy graphic on their birthday (hint: once a year) or on a special occasion (a significant date that's tech/geek/science/education related) after which it reverts to its minimalist interface?"

For me, it's not that the minimalist appearance has changed much; but rather the delay incurred by number of scripts the Google homepage loads before becoming stable enough to receive input.

In particular, some change they made several months ago, causes a script to run once the page is apparently "fully loaded" which steals the focus from wherever the cursor may be and jams it into the Google search box. So when I bring up a new browser window with Google as the homepage, then begin typing in the browser address bar, after some random delay--say between 0.5 and 3 seconds-- (presumably affected by local caching, net congestion, and Google's server load) the Google home page "finishes loading" and the script runs and the cursor jumps from where I was typing in the address bar, to the google search box. Resulting in a nonsense "search" consisting of a portion of the URL I was trying to type in the address bar.

I had used www.google.com as my homepage for a full decade, because I liked its minimalist fast-loading nature (and I didn't mind the occasional goofy novelties such as the playable Pac Man game.)

But as of last week I switched my homepage to a local google.html file which is an instant-loading, script-free version of the Google homepage. I don't get "search suggestions" anymore while I type, but nothing steals the input focus while I'm typing, either.

Boffins baffled by 'magnetar': Ought to be black hole, but isn't


Re: magnetar pit trap

You, sir, have made my day. :D

Firefoxers howl as privacy add-on auto updates with 'bloatware'


Re: Auto update?

"Anybody who doesn't check and manually authorize updates is a fool."

We did manually authorize the update. There was nothing to distinguish it from previous updates to TACO. Previous versions simply updated the opt-out cookie list.

This update, while having the same appearance as all previous updates, instead pulled in a whole bloatware suite.

Not a brilliant way to establish trust on the part of Abine.


'Draw Mohammed' page removed from Facebook


Blasphemy is a victimless crime

I think Mark Twain put it rather well:

"Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath it."

As an aside, regarding the selection of a teddy bear costume to disguise Muhammad in the South Park episode, it was pointed out to me that this was likely chosen in reference to the 2007 incident in Sudan where the British schoolteacher was arrested for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad:


I didn't make that connection on initially viewing the South Park episode, but it seems plausible.