A tinfoil hat will protect your computer from slow neutrons.
82 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jul 2010
Merging the ads will be trivial: to whatever search term you enter, Google 2.0 will just append in the background "and include an advertisement for <whoever wins the on-line bidding for this ad slot>".
The result is that the AI's response to your query will have the ad seamlessly integrated into the returned content, so that naive consumers (the great majority) may not even realise that the ad is there. And Google's development costs for this tremendous advance in
human welfare marketing will be trivial.
But I mostly worry about the future of aManfromMars. Her contributions to our ruminations will no longer seem as interesting.
"switching between ... or joining a meeting ... are among the most common actions taken by Teams users."
Not for me: my most common action is shutting it down. I can't tell whether MS has accelerated this.
In the meantime, if I could be bothered, I would try to work out how to stop Teams starting up at boot (I can't uninstall it because I need it once in a blue moon for a commercial client).
Why is it that our predecessors of 50 years ago could build systems like these, but that we - far richer, better educated, with outstandingly better hardware and software - can no longer do so? I get that updating and extending an undocumented old system is impossible, but it seems that we cannot even build a modern system from scratch to do the same job, so that we could then extend it.
I am reminded of the Saxons, building hovels in timber, surrounded by great Roman stone buildings which they had no way to emulate.
"transformational new technologies on a scale not seen since the creation of the internal combustion engine" is a reference to the Great British Blockchain.
This will be bigger and better than European blockchains because it will be built using Imperial Bits, which are 1.38794 metric bits.
I'm puzzled. I operate a one-person consultancy firm. I am largely retired, and my firm now has only one remaining client: the Australian subsidiary of a US firm. All of the value is provided in the US, all of the revenue is billed and paid from Australia, and all of the cost is incurred in my country.
So perhaps you could explain to me, is my firm's profit earned in my country, in Australia, or in the US?
Since this appears to be much clearer to several commentators than it is to me, perhaps someone could explain how the tax laws need to be "fixed" so that my firm pays its taxes in the correct country.
To my way of thinking, the firm makes a profit, but it does not make the profit in any particular country, and there is no "correct" country that should levy the tax. What we see is a tax grab by countries that feel they are missing out, and would like a piece of the action.
Testosterone levels are positively correlated with cloacal bacterial diversity and the relative abundance of Chlamydiae in breeding male rufous-collared sparrows. Camilo Escallón, Matthew H. Becker, Jenifer B. Walke, Roderick V. Jensen, Guy Cormier, Lisa K. Belden, Ignacio T. Moore. Functional Ecology 2016 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12696
"operator error induced by computer illiterate end-users who don't even have the computer sense to describe how they made the error in the first place!"
Some years ago, my system was being regularly crashed by Cinnamon. I was eventually able to reproduce it by the following steps:
(1) Reboot Mint.
(2) Go to bed and come back next morning. Cinnamon was hogging far too much memory.
(3) Go away and leave the machine for the day. By the next morning, Cinnamon was hogging even more memory.
I reported the issue, and it disappeared in the next release. But for that release, I had to swtich to another desktop, because I could not use a machine where R crashed half way through a long analysis for a client because Cinnamon had gobbled up all the memory.
My suspicion is that Cinnamon was being bamboozled by some feature of my hardware, although it is always fun to blame systemd. If it is a hardware issue, I can't fault the Mint team for not being able to reproduce it on their machines, and I salute their approach of offering a software workaround until they can get better information.
That's DuckDuckGo's business model - they sell ads that are placed next to your search response, and nothing else. So they have no need to track you. They claim to have been profitable since their first month in business (although they will never be as profitable as Google).
Not that much momentum. A large slab of rock 1000km x 1000km x 10km deep, being subducted at say 1cm a year, has about the same momentum as a 100-ton jumbo jet travelling at speed. And when planes crash, their momentum does not carry them very far down into the earth.
It is gravity, not momentum, that moves stuff around in the mantle, working on thermally-induced density variations. And ocean crust is largely solidified mantle material, so when it is subducted and melts again its density will not be terribly different from the mantle material that surrounds it.
But the discovery of vast hot spots down at the edge of our planet's core has got to be the coolest science of the year. (I'll get my coat.)
The authors picked a really simple problem for which we have a lot of analysis and some very good solutions, and showed that a really poor algorithmic choice falls far outside the achievable frontier. No doubt they did a bit of searching over languages etc to find a really bad starting point.
But it is beside the point to argue that they should have used a modern BLAS library, a better language, and other optmisations that are obvious to all of us. They showed that there are design choices which make orders-of-magnitude differences to the performance of this very simple and well-understood problem.
But now, apply that to problems that are not well-understood and for which there are no conveniently pre-optimised libraries: the database structures from which you extract that complicated query, or the nonlinear pattern-matching algorithm, or whatever programming and software design task you get paid for. Can thinking more carefully about your fundamental approach to the data structures or the mathematics yield orders of magnitude improvements? Given that we can no longer count on major improvements in future processing speed, we will have to depend on improving our high-level thinking about data structures, algorithms, and suitable programming languages.
This is a very self-evident point, for which the authors have offered a correspondingly trivial example. My initial thought was that the article was not interesting enough to be publishable. But a surprising number of commentators have attacked the example and missed the underlying point, so perhaps the point is not as self-evident as it ought to be.
The Hubble constant is the reciprocal of the age of the universe, about 1/(14,000,000,000 years). Since my height is rather less than 2m and my age about 70 years, over my lifetime the expansion of the universe has increased my height by about 2*70/14,000,000,000 m, that is 10^-8 m or 100 Angstroms.
Of course, local space-time is heavily distorted by all of the matter around me, so this calculation is only illustrative.
NZ has an interesting wrinkle, which is probably what gave the taxman leverage in these cases: if the authorities consider that a tax arrangement unduly lessens the tax otherwise payable, they can simply set it aside and work out the tax differently. In principle, this is a horrible idea, because it means that no one can really work out with any certainty what tax is due. But it means that people who try to be too clever by half are likely to wind up on the wrong side of a big bill.
Firefox has had this for years. Options > Privacy & Security > Cookies and Site Data. Check "Delete Cookies and Site Data when Firefox is closed" then click "Manage Permissions" and note any sites that you want to "Allow" to retain cookies after you close Firefox.
You will no doubt need to clear all existing cookies to start fresh.
Voila! All functionality (logins, shopping baskets, whatever) works during a session. But when you close Firefox everything is gone unless you agreed to retain it. No distinction between first-party and third-party.
It does not solve every problem - you probably need NoScript to block fingerprinting, for example - but it consistently wipes out persistent cookies that you did not ask for.
No doubt the number was truncated for publication: if the fall had been 20% in the first 173 days of the year (to 22 June), then extrapolating to the full 365 days would have given 42.1965% for the full year. But presenting a forecast to that much precision would have been silly.
(1) "rare and archaic pronunciation of Gigawatt with a soft 'g' sound". Also such rare and archaic words as Giant, Giraffe, ....
(2) "Jigawatts are often referred to in Internet forums in order to make fun of someone's electrical knowledge." So that's why El Reg used the word, of course.
"... each additional chain outlet is associated with a 35.3 per cent increase in intentional injuries, including assaults, stabbing, or shooting ..."
Some years ago, New Zealand allowed wine and beer to be sold in supermarkets. There are several hundred supermarkets in New Zealand. Conservatively supposing that this increased the number of chain outlets by 200, then 1.353^200 means that intentional injuries must have increased by a factor of more than 10^26. I am sure we would have noticed even a much smaller increase in injuries (say a factor of 10^5, which would leave everyone in the country injured every day).
But when an alcohol academic can quote a frightening number in support of his wowserism, the fact that the number is nonsense is no consideration. After all, modern journalists can safely be assumed to be innumerate (always excepting our favourite Vultures, of course).
"Rum: Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.
Most of them unique, and many of them used maybe a couple of times a year.
No rules for password complexity, passphrases, or other similar solutions come close to dealing with the problem that I have to remember 203 of them, and I have to remember which memorable phrase was used for which site or account login. It ain't going to happen.
One of my banks supplies a dongle for two-factor authentication, and a few sites offer my phone as a second factor. But carrying round a keychain full of dongles is not going to happen either.
There is simply no alternative to a password manager.
"We're sorry to hear about the issues with broadband in Fernham, and we'd like to reassure residents that we’re doing all we can to resolve the matter."
(1) We are indeed sorry to hear about this. We had hoped that nobody would tell us, so that we would not need to do anything about it. We are not, of course, sorry that there is a problem.
(2) We would like to reassure residents. However, we are not in a position to reassure them, because we are doing as little as possible.
"But the Chinese consumer industry is relatively young and so is going to recycle ideas that never made it to commercial production in the West,"
Except that HTC is from Taiwan, not China. I know, China says there is no difference; but when it comes to experience of consumers, there should be.