Ah yes, caused me to go back and revisit Verity Stob's piece on Stallman. Thanks for keeping it around. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/21/verity_stob_mr_stallmans_parrot/
35 posts • joined 22 Aug 2011
Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid rape remarks outcry
The "Bit" was one of Tron's CG characters, rendered as a morphing 3-D solid, and was coded in APL. Judson Rosebush of Digital Effects arranged to use late night CPU cycles on STSC's mainframe APL time sharing service, at an extremely deep discount from normal rates. APL's matrix operations made 3-D transform calculations very straightforward to code, though hideously inefficient in those pre-GPU days.
Julian's Hollow Promises
The United States has never charged Assange with a crime, much less filed an extradition request. So it's easy enough to say these things. Even in the highly improbable event of a future indictment for the Manning affair, he will have grounds for defense by arguing that he is (a) not a citizen and (b) a journalist. Not a case the government would expect to win.
It's more than memristors
I believe there's still great potential in turning machine architecture "inside out" as HP envisioned, making machines that are memory-centric where processors are a resource that's applied to large data stores that permanently reside in high speed storage. If not memristors, then DRAM, or whatever new non-volatile memory does catch on. Bring the computing to the data, rather than scrape the data off a disk and feed it to the processor. Columnar data stores like HANA and others could really benefit. Or so my thought experiment goes....
Re: Kidnapping vs international arrest warrant
@Mr/Ms Coward: Not trying to make a point really, just trying puzzling over the intricacies of international law enforcement in an era when it's possible to commit a crime in country X without ever setting foot in it.
Any Interpol member nation can use a Red Notice, as I understand it. How this applies in practice is a topic for further study.
Kidnapping vs international arrest warrant
If Seleznev had been chloroformed and stuffed in the back of a car, it would have clearly been kidnapping. What happened here is much more of a gray area.
The Maldives is a member of Interpol. Interpol "Red Notices", informally called international arrest warrants, provided the legal basis for Maldives officials to detain Seleznev at the airport. It's not clear what legal process, if any, took place in Maldives before handing him over to US agents. Nor is it clear what Maldives law requires in such situations in the absence of an extradition treaty.
The judge in Seleznev's federal trial did not permit his attorneys to argue that his detention and transport was unlawful, so his defense had to use the strategy of casting doubt on the evidence of his cybercrimes. This was ineffective, leading to conviction on nearly all charges.
I expect that the judge's decision now leaves the door open for Seleznev to appeal his conviction. The story is not over.
Whoa now, fellow commentards
If Barclays have been testing this for several years before deciding to roll it out, then give them a little credit for having cause to believe it will work. An authentication session that takes two minutes might well require the customer to repeat random phrases, so DVR recordings of subject being spoofed would be useless.
As for voiceprint corruption from VOIP losses, etc: Even if this does turn out to be a problem, the effect will be a false negative, and worst case you'll have to authenticate some less convenient way.
I for one am quite interested in hearing of alternatives to passwords. If this does actually work, we'll probably see a lot more of it.
Hospital attacks in US
MedStar Health, a hospital chain in the Washington area, appears to be the latest victim. Washington Post story (link below) describes the situation. The writing is technically illiterate, alas, and the headline is misleading.
All Terribly Silly
For the price of one of these toys the military can buy hundreds, maybe thousands of actual donkeys, which move relatively silently, forage for their own fuel, pick themselves up when they fall down, heal when injured without tools and, worst case, are edible.
Nice advance in robotics, though.
Re: address, phone and DOB aside ...
The short answer is that voting is still secret. The database does NOT contain a record of who someone actually voted for.
However, registering to vote in the US involves claiming membership in a political party (or none, if you choose to be "Independent"). This party affiliation is a matter of public record and accessible to aggregation in databases such as the one described in this article. It determines which party's primary election you are allowed to vote in, and it also impacts which candidates will hound you for campaign fund donations.
The real issue, I think, is that aggregation of personal information is lawful (and extremely profitable - see Google, Facebook, mailing list vendors, etc.).
Tried Porting to a Cray Once
It was in the mid 80s, and the Cray salesman thought he could sell a machine to a certain 3-letter agency if only it had an implementation of the APL language. We had an APL system written in C, there was a C compiler that more or less worked, so Cray set us up with their porting center.
Once the code was running we eagerly fired up our benchmark suite, only to discover that the Cray ran them slower than a Sun workstation. The Cray salesman was crushed. Apparently the machine was really designed to run Fortran, and really only got going if you used the vector instructions. The cost of adapting our technology to fit the machine was much larger than we'd ever recoup in software licenses, so that was the end of that.
No intent to knock Cray here, only to reflect that to get value out of a "supercomputer" you really have to understand what that architecture actually is and what must be done to exploit it..
I recall a conversation about 25 years ago where a colleague and I agreed that flash memory was going to make spinning rust obsolete. It's happening now, but took a lot longer than we expected because rotating drives kept getting smaller, denser, cheaper and more reliable. The adoption curve for post-NAND technology may be similar, though I hope not.
Great example of what ALMA can do
30 milli-arcsecond resolution of 1mm wavelengths is very impressive. That's better that Hubble's highest resolution, as I understand it, and of course Hubble has no instruments that can see at 1mm wavelengths.
In effect, the closer elliptical galaxy is the objective lens of a really big refracting telescope, and ALMA is the eyepiece. Too bad we can't point it in a different direction.
Re: Hate to spoil the snarky paranoia...
@unitron: If that's what happened here, I believe it would be a treaty violation. But so far only the elder Seleznev seems to be claiming that this was a kidnapping by US agents operating in the Maldives. I would think that might jeopardize his detention, if not their entire legal case, if it's what occurred. Need more facts from more neutral sources on this point.
Hate to spoil the snarky paranoia...
... but Guam is part of the United States, its residents are US citizens, and the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution are in full force there. The US Secret Service's mandate includes investigations of financial crimes of the sort Seleznev is accused of committing. Seleznev appeared in US District Court in Guam, and is expected to face federal charges in Washington State, where he was indicted back in 2011. When and if he comes to trial, the trial will be held in federal court, where he will have the same rights as any defendant, citizen or not. Maldives is a member of Interpol, and cooperates with the law enforcement agencies of many nations, not just the US.
Actually a very important development
AMD seems to be pitching these chips at consumer gaming devices, which I guess makes sense if you're showing at CES. But I'm much more excited about the potential for this architecture to solve the fatal flaw in today's GPU model - the need to copy data onto and off the GPU in order to take advantage of its vector architecture. When the GPU and main CPUs are on the same die, with direct access to the same memory (and the same on-chip cache?), the potential uses for vector-assisted number crunching expand from just big scientific/math tasks to things like BI and business analytics. I could care less about having this in a game console, but put the architecture in a data warehouse and analytics server and it could be a very bid deal.
where the "<-" is meant as APL's left-pointing arrow (inexpressible in plain text but readily carved into granite) signifying the assignment operator. With no name to the left, the operator simply absorbs the value of Stob into the bit bucket. This is useful because to speak a name in APL, a la
is to summon its value to be displayed on the output stream, even if said value is an array with 93 dimensions and 111 levels of nesting and requires more than available memory to format.