How to pay
If people were willing to pay upfront for internet services, the ad industry would hardly exist.
1496 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Oct 2010
Designing systems to cope with errors, i.e. raw user input, is difficult. To give constructive error messages you have to parse a range of inputs that include error cases, not just the perfect working case. So system design is a bigger and more expensive task, not always appreciated by techies let alone by beancounters.
Well said, sir. There are problems with criminal behaviour on the internet which are obvious to ordinary people even if the computer nerds deny that. Law enforcement needs powers that ordinary folk don't have.
We do need some checks and balances against the abuses of power that will inevitably happen occasionally, and against the misunderstandings of the PPE graduates in our establishment. These checks and balances need constructive negotiation, as against the dismissive whining of this and many other articles.
Tracing route to www.theregister.com [18.104.22.168]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
1 4 ms 3 ms 3 ms 192.168.0.1
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 14 ms 16 ms 19 ms glfd-core-2a-xe-801-0.network.virginmedia.net [22.214.171.124]
4 * * * Request timed out.
5 * * * Request timed out.
6 14 ms 14 ms 15 ms tele-ic-7-ae2-0.network.virginmedia.net [126.96.36.199]
7 15 ms 13 ms 14 ms 2-14-250-212.static.virginm.net [188.8.131.52]
8 14 ms 14 ms 30 ms 184.108.40.206
9 41 ms 16 ms 13 ms 220.127.116.11
The traditional word processor font was Times Roman: a serif font both elegant and compact. Then people started moaning about "boring Times Roman", so in Office 2007 and 2010 the default became Cambria. The sans options were Arial with Times, and Calibri with Cambria.
Then, to my regret, the default in 2013 became Calibri.
After Germany abolished the old gothic (fraktur) fonts in 1941, Germany preferred the sans serif fonts. But Britain prefers serif fonts.
Oh spit, I guess we shall have to set up our own styles with our own preferences.
I have suggested to cat breeders that they develop cats which can talk and listen. This would take a while, though. Human throats and ears took some two million years to reach their current adaptations for speech and listening.
But it would introduce us to a non-human perspective on the world.
A simple example of emergent behaviour is the existence of chemical properties arising from the behaviour of atoms. I prefer to describe it as a new layer of logic, with new laws, but relying on the lower level logic of atomic properties.
Whether a new layer of logic can arise in these huge computer systems is a serious question. The article basically says we need better analyses than those existing today.
Anyone who sells software has a contractual liability to the purchaser. If the purchaser is a private person, then in the UK that means the Sale of Goods Act, under which an item must be fit for purpose. If a promoter puts together a package of open source software and sells it, the promoter is liable.
Humans, several animals, and some birds can recognise small numbers at sight: three people or four flowers, for example. The next step is to associate a word such as three or four with those numbers. We are down to humans and fewer animals. The final step is to understand relationships, such as 1 + 4 = 3 + 2. Here we are at humans only, and not all humans at that.
We now know that the galaxy contains a lot of simple organic molecules such as ethanol. But on Earth, DNA largely disappears from fossils after a million years, and so does protein. A speck of dust travelling at 1/10,000 of the speed of light would take 40,000 years to get here from proxima centauri, so a journey of 100,000 years would cover 10 light years. Therefore there is a faint chance we could find a trace of life in a galactic dust particle.
This does mean the first life on Earth could have come from within our galaxy, but other galaxies are much too far away.
This seems to have been stirred up by a recent academic paper, see https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/science/articles/10.3389/fsci.2023.1017235. I was led to that URL by an article (https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/whos-afraid-of-organoid-intelligence/) in The Spectator, a British weekly magazine of news and arts.
That paper does read like a begging letter for research grants. It says nothing about how early multi-cellular life evolved specialised brain cells, and how their mutual connections became useful control systems. AI/ML, and now OI, all look to me like get rich quick schemes.