* Posts by JDX

6814 publicly visible posts • joined 28 May 2010

Let me X-plane: Boeing R&D unit sheds rudder, ailerons, flaps for DARPA project

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Re: History lesson

Many things were once "too hard" or "theoretically possible but not realistic". Nuclear reactors and microchips for instance.

Materials science and aerodynamic refinement are both areas which continue to move onward at more than a snail's pace - the latter especially due to the computing revolution (more well known for its impact in areas like F1).

So maybe they have cracked it this time... or maybe it's like Fusion, always just around the corner (although now even that might happen)

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Re: 'Dead stick'

Do they need safe landing, or just safe eject?

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Re: Goo goo, gah gah

>>I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that there is a political or corporate requirement to use marketing droid speakings in presentationisationings.

When someone who is far, FAR more knowledgeable than you and has been deeply immersed in a niche industry with its own terminology for decades uses language you find unusual, we can all agree ONE of you is showing their ignorance.

Language doesn't just evolve over time, it evolves in weird ways in specialised areas. In IT we refer to a PC as "a box". It's not a box. Often it's not even in a box (it's in a rack). You're just making yourself look silly criticising world-renowned senior experts on their word choice.

OpenAI is developing software to detect text generated by ChatGPT

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Re: Sources

I actually asked ChatGPT a SK question "Who is ted brautigan" the other day. It gave me a believable but incorrect answer, referencing him as a character in totally the wrong book.

I asked again today, and it gave another believable answer which is partly correct:

Ted Brautigan is a character in Stephen King's science fiction novel "Hearts in Atlantis". He is a telepath who has the ability to read minds and has fled to the United States to escape persecution for his abilities. He befriends a young man named Bobby Garfield and helps him to understand and develop his own telepathic abilities.

That last part is simply untrue. It sounds exactly the sort of thing you would read in a SK novel but Bobby has no special powers and Ted never teaches him anything of the sort, Ted's powers are mysterious and only explained in a separate novel where he returns.

It's a great example of the dangers of GPT. Even SK fans might not spot the error because it 'sounds right', and could easily miss detection if copied.

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Re: Nice way to make profits

Except they don't sell it.

They are producing a tool, that's all anyway. It's not cynical for the same company to sell scissors and tape/glue.

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So know the chatbot has to learn to evade detection

If we feed the results from the detection agent back into ChatGPT can it not train itself to produce output that will evade detection? Isn't that one of the main points of a ML chat-bot designed to appear human, that it is constantly learning how to be more believable?

Could be an interesting arms race, except these things learn in hours rather than months.

Should open source sniff the geopolitical wind and ban itself in China and Russia?

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Slippery Slope

It sounds admirable to stop FOSS being used "for evil purposes or to do harm". But who is going to decide what is evil/harmful? Do we want FOSS being banned based on political idealogies?

Non-binary DDR5 is finally coming to save your wallet

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I still don't see how it's "non-binary"

It seems an odd name since it is fundamentally still based on binary bits?

Musk roundly booed on-stage at Dave Chappelle gig

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He's getting crazier by the day at an alarming rate. Used to be controversial but effective, now it's all going wrong and he seems to be spiralling. Everything bad is someone else's fault, people who don't like him are stupid, etc.

RIP Fred 'Mythical Man-Month' Brooks: IBM guru of software project management

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Re: Man-month

You can buy "concrete accelerant" which literally makes it set faster.

"you can't speed this up with more people" is sometimes true, and sometimes not... you can speed up laying the concrete and laying the bricks but (smart alex comments aside) the concrete takes a fixed time to set.

However often a seemingly monolithic task can be decomposed into things which may be done in parallel if you take time to analyse and understand it. In software that might be via unit testing, in building well maybe you can organise things so that while the concrete sets, other work can be going on instead of the project stalling.

Developers are not typically (as a developer) very good at planning this, and tend to be sceptical that anyone else is. But a good manager/analyst/architect can.

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Re: Man-month

That's an interesting point I had never considered, that those brought up in modern paradigms simply don't work in man-months because Agile approaches deliberately avoid it.

Of course then many fo the other extreme "we can't plan or schedule anything" but that's just the pendulum swinging.

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Re: But Agile will fix everything!

If the project manager is trying to control every step, that's not Agile. Agile is specifically about all the team being involved in running the project based on them being the ones who know what's going on.

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move

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Re: So what happened to this freedom of speech thing then?

Free speech does NOT mean you do not face consequences. If you take out a newspaper advert calling your boss a **** then you can expect to be fired. It's unprofessional.

Freedom of speech means you have the right to say it, not that you get to insult your boss to the public and avoid any reprisal. Surely anyone can see this. If you tell your boss they are a **** at work you can expect to be fired, and that's far less public.

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Re: Q) How did Musk become a Millionaire?

Luckily he has done quite well on the large fortune front... to the extent Twitter is bought with his pocket money.

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Re: Firing all the wrong people

We don't actually know the developer knows what they are talking about, only that they have poor decision making.

"there's lots of unused features" is not a reason code is slow. Code you don't call makes the design messy but doesn't take any cycles.

There are not zero RPC calls, there are lots of API calls going on (presumably REST but could be websockets or something else). The technical distinction is pretty slim at best and the developer would know this.

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REST is a way of remotely calling a procedure over HTTP - not a particularly efficient way of doing so. Take thoe 3 letters and juggle them up and you might get RPC out.

A next-gen AI protein folder that could help science? Meta's good for something

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Re: Unfortunately not peer reviewed

If a news source chooses to report on a paper before it is peer reviewed or fully published, that's not really the fault of the people doing the research?

If you want hard news, read the scientific journals who wait until things are reviewed to report on them. Just because something isn't peer reviewed (yet) doesn't mean it is not interesting though.

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Scientists love being able to make quick calculations which help guide them where to focus their time for the more in-depth ones.

Bumble open sources AI code to automatically blur NSFW photos

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Re: Obligatory BlackAdder reference

"Bumble has blurred this image because we think the subject is not very pretty. Click to see the unblurred image".

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Re: Art class

Even in human circles, trying to make work you can pass off as a famous artist is considered poor form, so no it isn't different in that regard.

A human who tries to create art in the specific style of another has to put in a lot of work. They must study their muse's works and learn in great detail the exact style and technique of the artist, before spending a great deal of time honing their skills. This is very different from an AI training set, so that's "reasons".

A typical human student does not however try to do that. They learn from great artists and borrow techniques which they apply to their own passions, or they blend styles from multiple artists or come up with something totally new.

To build a better quantum computer, look into a black hole, says professor Brian Cox

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Re: Brian Cox is smart

Some criticise "pop science" but that seems asinine. He has managed to bring hard physics to sell-out shows for the general public. Who knows how many kids might be inspired by that, kind of a modern equivalent of the Christmas Lectures before they were ruined.

New measurement alert: Liz Truss inspires new Register standard

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Currency units are lacking

I was hoping to calculate my daily energy use in approved Reg units but the lowest £ value that receives a non-zero conversion in any other unit is £10,000 and even now, my energy cost is not that high.

We need a currency unit which is comparable or significantly lower than the pound, or the converter needs to have a better resolution such as nanoPogbas.

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Re: Incorrect measurement

He might have made bad decisions but it's lazy humour to say he didn't make any. He didn't get so unpopular without doing things that affected people.

Next-gen Thunderbolt capable of 120Gbps for 8K displays

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10 bit colour

I'm aware this is useful at the processing level (although I thought most GPUs worked in floating point colour values these days) but why does a display need it? Even on high-end displays can you tell the difference by eye between two RGB888 values? What's the use-case?

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Re: What the fuck is a meter?

At the top of the comments page is a "send corrections" link, which is the correct way to report errata. Rather than making profane comments.

Means we don't end up with a long comment thread about something which has already been fixed.

Waxworm's spit shows promise in puncturing plastic pollution

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Re: Terms and conditions

>>Unless washed ashore they're there to stay.

Not really. There are already projects trialling which capture plastic from the ocean. It tends to congregate in certain areas which can be effectively targeted

This won't get it all and doesn't help with tiny fragments but a lot can be done even if only the easy pickings are taken. And plastic is constantly being washed up so if we can stop more getting into the system, over time things will improve.

Being more speculative, organisms which eat plastic might even be introduced into the oceans but this seems rather unlikely... ecosystem engineering could easily cause more problems.

Tesla has a lot of work to do on its Optimus robot

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Re: Show me on this doll where Elon hurt you

How many people spend 20k more on a car than they strictly need to - a nice BMW or Audi or Mercedes. How much do people invest in hobbies like cycling or in having a nice home gym/swimming pool/fully specced garden pub?

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So instead of self-driving cars we can have robot-drivers?

Did they really just dress someone as robot last time?!

Update your Tesla now before the windows put your fingers in a pinch

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Re: Typical Musk

THe obvious meaning of the word "recall" is that the product is being "recalled". Which means "officially order to return to a place" and implies physical return.

Although it DOES make you scared enough to make sure you do something which is of course the main priority. Terminology could be improved because a minor software update should not need to be as harmful to reputation as something that requires a trip to the garage and losing your car for a time. If anything, it's wonderful that you CAN fix stuff like this over the air.

iPhone 14 iFixit teardown shows Apple's learning on repairs

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"Apple's still hoping you'll drop by the Genius Bar for repairs instead of going it alone"

Well who wouldn't want to sell their own services? What manufacturer doesn't tell you "you need to use official parts and authorised dealers?"

And for the vast majority, opening your own phone is probably not a great idea. I've experience inside PCs going back a few decades and I would still be wary. Apart from anything else, I value my own time.

If they've moved in the right direction then I don't really care if it's because they're being forced to, or to make their own lives easier doing repairs, or because "They Really Care". It's a good result. In fact, companies realising that repairability can be in their own interests is surely the best result as they'll then want to do it instead of being forced to.

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch

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Re: Not my Queen

"not my queen" shows rather a lot of ignorance ant entitlement. The queen or king is your queen or king, the PM is your PM, etc - no matter whether you voted for it or approve.

The modern view is that nobody has to accept any reality they didn't choose but this is unrealistic, self-centred nonsense. Trump was president for all those "not my president" people too.

The queen didn't choose (or expect) to be your queen either but she still was.

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Re: Not my Queen

joking with your own family is not the same as joking about other people's dead mums.

Sometimes, it's best to put your hands up and just admit you misspoke instead of relentlessly keep digging.

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"the only person in England who never had to take a driving test" ?

I am fairly sure my late grandfather (he would be 105 or so) told me he just had to apply for a license. A bit of googling suggests nobody had to take a test prior to the mid 1930s. So many, many people never had to take a test... including many who drove.

A nice piece otherwise El Reg. The point that she was not raised expecting to become Queen is something I had never really thought about too much.

Scientists pull hydrogen from thin air in promising clean energy move

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The real worry is that Jellied Eel et al presumably work in the IT industry... it's one thing to see tremendous ignorance on Facebook but this is a community of (supposedly) educated, tech-savvy people.

CERN draws up shutdown plans to save energy

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Re: Boring

Yes if you go into Tesco or McDonalds you'll see the same person buy the same exact product over and over again.

What an absurd thing to say.

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Re: "the world's largest publicly known particle collider"

I wondered about this phrasing too. Are their rumours of secret colliders elsewhere? Do I need a tinfoil hat?

A refined Apple desktop debuts ahead of Wednesday’s big iThing launch

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Re: Memories

people know how to program now. You know, like the ones writing the emulator.

People back then were not better programmers. Programming was just different. Their programs were just as buggy which is why everything used to crash all the time.

Microsoft to stop accepting checks from partners

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Re: Err because MS...

You might not be aware that in the US they have a slightly different language to us. One often has a checking account.

Scientists use dead spider as gripper for robot arm, label it a 'Necrobot'

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Re: What's the point?

They pointed out pretty clearly the benefits - basically 'growing' a robot appendage far more effective and far far cheaper than anything we can make.

As far as cruelty, how is this different than than thousands/millions of fruit flies which are farmed specifically to be used in tests? For that matter, we are being told that locusts or other creepy crawlies are a great alternative to meat and that means billions of the things will be grown and killed. Nobody is going to individually euthanize them.

If it were a million spiders being killed to extract some some of chemical, nobody would care. But show us a single spider on video and the fact we're reanimating its corpse we suddenly get up in arms (the spider doesn't care what we do with its corpse).

Many of us routinely kill spiders or wasps we see in our houses and we don't analyse the ethics. Somewhat hypocritical to lambast the scientists doing it for an actual purpose.

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Using, not abusing.

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Death by exposure is considered not a terrible way to go for humans

This credit card-sized PC board can use an Intel Core i7

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Re: M2

Well @iron wins a prize for the most arrogantly ignorant post I've read today. The M1/2 chips smoke benchmarks for real-world, hugely demanding tasks such as video editing and music production. They are incredible.

That your compiler doesn't perform well on them might be down to the compiler. Has it been optimised or is it running through an x86 translator for example?

So disappointing when developers display such obvious illogical bias and fundamental technological ingorance.

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Re: Conversion

I was born a decade later and these units were in common use even then in the UK. Methinks you are being deliberately dumb like those Americans who refuse to learn Metric because "it's too complicated".

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Old fashioned and boring like common courtesy and the adage "if you've nothing nice to say..."

Cruise self-driving cars stopped and clogged up San Francisco for hours

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Re: Does it really need to be AI?

I thought all the players did wear some tech now anyway to track their heart rate, distance run, etc. A sensor sounds like a simple extension. Although humans are not a point location; perhaps they have tried both and decided this is better, perhaps it's a human factor that they couldn't get people to agree.

Mars helicopter to take a breather, recharge batteries

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Re: Thanks NASA!

Isn't everyone in a good mood today.

I didn't realise the US government was "propping up religions". Or that data showed "all religions are failing". Numerically atheists are a minority, you may be speaking morally but in that case "it's obvious" is a statement that hardly ever holds true.

If you must be an angry atheist who can't help forcing their hobby-horse into unrelated discussions, at least be a moderately informed angry atheist so you don't give atheists a bad name. Better yet maybe we should just avoid politics and religion in the comments here. Neither ever leads to anyone feeling happier and calmer so why bother.

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Do they deliberately say "oh this is only designed to last a couple of weeks" knowing full well it should have a much longer life? Is this so they never have things fail earlier than designed, or is it a scientific thing that "designed to last 2 weeks" means "designed to have a 99.99% chance it'll last two weeks?"

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid

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Quite Interesting

This is the same problem as "everyone puts the kettle on at half-time" in big sports fixtures, but worse because we're effectively programming our homes to launch a coordinated attack on the grid. Obvious in hindsight I suppose.

Vendors could address with firmware updates, perhaps.

First-ever James Webb Space Telescope image revealed

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So how much of the night sky is that?

A grain of sand at arm's length... what sort of arc or whatever is that? Put another way, how many photos would JW need to take to get a complete photo of space? Is it easy to tell where to look or could the the most boring spot actually contain some incredible discovery when peered at very carefully?

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Re: Still missing?

Current scientific understanding hinges on about 80-90% of the universe being invisible and undetectable (for now, I can't remember if dark matter is one of the things JW hopes to understand?) Quite a large gap :)

But the 'god of the gaps' argument is and always been a bad one. Neither theologians nor physicists like it. You don't ascribe everything you can't understand "well that's God". Physics - as us physicists well be the first to tell you - is a study of what and how and when, not why. A complete unified theory of everything wouldn't remove that.