* Posts by Thesheep

106 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Oct 2011


Startup Mycroft AI declares it will fight 'patent troll' tooth and nail after its Linux voice-assistant attracts lawsuit



I think I need to take out a new patent. It describes a method of extorting money from a company using a thinly described and vague patent in a court in East Texas.

Using mobile devices and computers.

Now, let's see who is abusing my patent...

Not very Suprema: Biometric access biz bares 27 million records and plaintext admin creds


And the others...

And also for the companies that use them. You don't get a pass from GDPR because you outsource your security...

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections



The amount of effort spent on this is astounding. There was 1 (one) conviction following the general election in 2017. Of the eight cautions given out, 2 were about postal voting, four were about registration, and the other two were about candidates. So twice as many candidates as actual cases of voting fraud at the polling station.


Frankly if they put as much effort into things where a real number of people were involved (for example Universal Payments) or if they REALLY need to focus on democracy then there is a whole question about how referenda are conducted...

UK getting ready to go it alone on Galileo


Space Force!

Great, we will end up with more satellites than ships! Can I be a Space Admiral?

Stephen Hawking dies, aged 76


You can't help but hear it in his voice...

Fry: Hey! Stephen Hawking! Aren't you that physicist that invented gravity?

Stephen Hawking: Sure, why not?

Thank you for everything, Stephen.

Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf


Re: If he gets his way...

I've got a feeling that any visa he had for the UK has either expired, or he's breached its conditions. So once he's spent some time in jail for jumping bail we can deport him somewhere. Anywhere.

Blockchain rebrand sends Stapleton Capital's shares soaring


Brows raised...

This is the only good blockchain I've heard of...


Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen


Re: UBI will come - soon

YOU seem to have an INTERMITTENT problem with your CAPS LOCK key. And also YOUR logic.

You better explain yourself, mister: DARPA's mission to make an accountable AI


How much are you willing to pay for explainability?

And not in terms of DARPA's cash, but in terms of less accurate predictions?

For less accurate spam? Sure

For worse traffic management? Maybe

For a self-driving car that crashes more often? Hmmm

For your cancer diagnosis?

UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars


Re: "Ensure systems are secure over their lifetime"


Volvo aren't owned by Ford anymore. They are owned by Zhejiang Geeley Holding Group.


You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins


As the bard put it...

Dr. Hibbert: That means the evil twin is and always has been...Sol.

(They all turn around and stare at Sol.)

Sol: Oh, don't look so shocked.

Supreme Court closes court-shopping loophole for patent trolls


Re: Look out Delaware!

Facebook. Teradata. Many others. In fact something like 60% of the Fortune 500 https://technical.ly/delaware/2014/09/23/why-delaware-incorporation/

UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight


900 people

Yes, only a few people could change the result of the election. After the election you can see where they are. Before the election? Much much harder.

Most of the effort in canvassing isn't about persuading. People are incredibly difficult to persuade. In all my years of canvassing I can't honestly say I got anyone to change their mind. As you indicated it's about differential turnout. Find out who your supporters are and get the buggers to vote. That is why people sit on polling stations, and collect the data.

If you're worried about the influence of Facebook or big data on that then there is an incredibly easy solution. Make voting compulsory.

Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly


There is a great painting of this in the RAF club (in fact they claim to have a painting of every aircraft flown by the RAF...)

This is where UK's Navy will park its 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers


Brows raised...

So these mighty brows can handle a man every three minutes? Either there will be an awful lot of women sailors making up the numbers, I'm misunderstanding things, or there is mighty sorcery going on...

Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring


Re: One way only

Sorry, pop(ish) culture reference: Citizen Kang from Treehouse of Horror VII, Simpsons season 8.


Re: One way only

If you vote for a third party you will throw your vote away!


One way only

As far as I can see there isn't a way of Trump undoing this. The President has the ability to commute a sentence (or grant a pardon - and yes, even in cases where no charges have yet been brought), but he doesn't have the power to extend a sentence or to impose one. That resides with the courts.

Even if it was possible legally, there is the political reality that no President would really want to mess with one of the few absolute powers of the Presidency. After all, if Trump does it to Obama, what's to stop Kang* doing it to Trump?

* Although to be fair, President Kang will have other priorities**

** Like building a death ray to destroy a planet we haven't heard of***

*** Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

NASA's asteroid orbit calculator spots a hot rock zipping past


Re: Five days notice

Well the Russian and US (and UK) arsenals will be pretty good at nuking it when it has landed. Less good at hitting anything off the surface (or near surface) of the planet.

It does seem a bit harsh to nuke a city that's already had a 25m rock hit it from orbit, but hey, at least we will all get to join in the fun...

She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down


Pity that there isn't an Enterprise in commission...

Although there will be a new one commissioned in 2025. By which time the then Admiral James Kirk may need to be sent out to sea again. To find a whale or something.

QANTAS' air safety spiel warns not to try finding lost phones


Re: Air France has done this for ages

Because a lithium-ion fire-free flight is simply chic.

Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing


They will be flying for years

The only real consideration is spare parts...

Having said that, I was disappointed by the 747-8I - sure there are a lot of improvements externally (wings, engines etc), but it still feels old inside. Of course that could have been down to Lufthansa

Space station to get shiny new ringpiece for automatic penetration


Re: Passive?

Surely all they will need to connect will be a 1996 era MacBook?

Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition


Petition vs Referendum vs Hacking

To be honest the petition has just as much validity in our constitution as a bloody referendum.

As for the idea that the petition has been hacked. Well if I saw 1Bn+ signatures then I would assume that. 100k extra? Not exactly the LOIC now, is it? FFS hackers, show some mettle!

Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one


Oh no it isn't

"There is a lot of money that the regulators are essentially transferring from mobile operators to consumers"

Not really. What they are doing is reducing the amount of money that consumers transfer to operators. There is a very important difference. Yes that means that operators will make lower profits, but frankly they've been milking consumers for years...

Sweden decides Julian Assange™ 'remains detained in absentia'


Re: Is Julian even news-worthy anymore?

Of course Sweden and the UK can extradite him to the US - there are plenty of extraditions to the US every year. You are presumably confusing this with being extradited on a charge that could carry the death penalty.

SpaceX adds Mars haulage to its price list



I'm going with the ElReg offer of $62 for 4,800kg. Presumably on LOHAN Heavy.

Elon Musk takes wraps off planet-saving Model 3 vapourmobile


Re: Size

Actually the S is large. Went in one (a taxi) in Amsterdam. It's a five seater, but with an additional two child seats in the boot. It has a second boot in the front too. As for space in the back, I thought it was very, very comfortable, and I'm 1.92m tall...

Motorola-powered Mac from 1989 used to write smartphone apps


Oh the memories

I remember moving up from the Mac Plus to the SE/30 and revelling in the power of PageMaker... And with an external 20MB HD drive the size of, well, something quite big.

Why the Sun is setting on the Boeing 747



Firstly it depends on when you lose the engines - takeoff becomes challenging (though not impossible). Landing becomes interesting - but actually we've seen 777s land without any engines. Cruise? Well we've seen engineless glides to safe landings...

As for the probabilities of losing engines, well it looks like you're assuming that the probabilities are independent - I'd suggest that in most cases of multiple failure they aren't.

Eight-billion-dollar Irish tax bill looms over Apple


Re: I am a socialist... but

Well you're a pretty dumb socialist then. Have a look at Apple's Irish HQ building. See the hundreds of floors in that gleaming tower in Cork? Perhaps we should quote from Fortune (the Trotskyist's bible): "From the front, Apple HQ could well be mistaken for a high school, bland and modern, and just three stories high. And foot traffic is thin enough that when Fortune wandered up to the entrance on Tuesday morning, security guards quickly took notice. Was there anyone we could say hello to, we asked? No, the nearest public-relations staffer was in London."

Use of big data can lead to 'harmful exclusion, discrimination' – FTC


Using people can lead to 'harmful exclusion, discrimination'

At first I wondered why the 'big' in this report. After all they firstly talk about aggregated data...

Then I realised that what they really mean is that people are very good at ignoring the things they are taught about - especially being aware of, and avoiding, biases. There are whole book shelves on this stuff. There are even pop-science books on it (Thinking Fast and Slow springs to mind).

This isn't a problem with data, 'big' or otherwise, it's a problem with dumb people doing things in a dumb way, drawing dumb conclusions, and taking dumb actions. And then forgetting to monitor the outcomes. It applies to pretty much every form of human action since the first inference was drawn.

Black hole shows off glow-in-the-dark ring after sucking in matter


Rushing to comment

So Rush get it almost right:

Six Stars of the Northern Cross

In mourning for their sister's loss

In a final flash of glory

Nevermore to grace the night...

Then drop the ball entirely:

Invisible to telescopic eye

Although to be fair, using 1970s rock as a physics primer isn't the best idea.

European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US


Re: Talk is cheap

Because kidnapping high visibility people off the street of an ally with whom you have an extradition treaty is going to cause a huge international crisis. Which means that (for example) you would put at risk, at least in the short term, all of those nice information sharing agreements you have. And all those trade deals. You can't really send him to Gitmo because he's clearly a US citizen charged with a crime in the US, so you'll have to take him into the official system.

Science sub spots lost Revolutionary-era SHIPWRECK


Britain was OK with the slave trade...

... well only until 1807 when the Slave Trade Act was passed. Although that wasn't quite the same as abolishing slavery, it did push things forwards.

Australian Bureau of Statistics drops big data bubble-buster


The real question...

is not how accurate big data/data science could be (because surely the use of it will include errors), it is about the improvement over existing decision making processes. Because lets face facts, most politicians who make decisions have no evidence base for making them (which is kind of OK as they also don't have the analytical understanding to use the evidence base if it existed).

So do you want to try and answer 'business questions' - which exist aplenty in Government - with data, big or otherwise, or do you want to answer them with opinion, voodoo, or whatever other technique happens to spring to mind?

This time we really are all doomed, famous doomsayer prof says


If he's right...

and we all die, then I will raise a glass to him.

Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs


The other extreme...

is probably the scanned aluminum foil (sp) in this US FoI request. And also just wtf is Texas up to?


Hacker data dumps scrape to make huge grey marketing database


Just because you scrape it from the web...

...it doesn't give you the right (ethically or legally) to use it. I predict a metric shitstorm of legal challenges in a variety of jurisdictions, unless he can clearly demonstrate the consent of the end user and the agreement of the owners of the scraped websites.

Polygraph.com owner pleads guilty to helping others beat lie detector


Re: Bloody replicants getting everywhere

Doesn't make any difference what desert... its completely hypothetical.


Bloody replicants getting everywhere

You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see a...

Teradata bulks up its universe, joins data warehouse to data lake


Re: Optimistic trend line?

Ignoring data that you don't like seems an interesting approach...

Do androids dream of herding electric sheep?


How would the animals perceive the robots? This claims to be from an 'experiment', but I think it's someone messing around with Aibo cruelty... http://www.maniacworld.com/AIBO-vs-dog.html

Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California


Quay Valley?

... this is more a Shelbyville idea. It put North Haverbrook and Ogdenville on the map.

Online retail giant Amazon GOES TITSUP ACROSS EUROPE


Fire TV

And I was trying to watch Bosch too... I might have to read the bloody books again at this rate. On the Kindle. Damn.



An upvote

For referring to the Great British/Brazilian space opera...

Big Blue's biggest mainframe yet is the size of a fridge


Good old Hadoop...

Running on commodity hardware like this.

IBM hastens END OF HUMANITY with teachable AI 'brain'

Paris Hilton

I for one welcome our wobbly overlords

So we're in jellyfish range then. Not long until we hit the number of neurons in a might leech.

European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans


Re: Could you refuse...

I think you'll find that that is data about your water/electricity/gas meter, and therefore not personal information as defined under the DPA. And in any case this would fall under the remit of 'data required to carry out a business function'. Nice try though.

Makers of Snowden movie Citizenfour sued by ex-oil exec


Good news everyone! I've solved Russia's financial crisis!

Putin sues the makers of the Hunt for Red October... Yesh!