* Posts by BinkyTheHorse

94 posts • joined 27 Jan 2013

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Valheim: How the heck has more 'indie shovelware with PS2 graphics' sold 4 million copies in a matter of weeks?

BinkyTheHorse
Headmaster

Re: Not here

Valheim isn't being developed by Coffee Stain 'though - they're only the publishers.

As mentioned in the article, the devs are called Iron Gate, a very small (and also Swedish) indie team.

This Brit biz's seven-screen laptop is something to behold

BinkyTheHorse
Happy

" Would you want to try and unfold that on a train [...]?"

Sure, just imagine the looks of your fellow commuters! And if one or more decides to take an unhealthy interest, it seems by the weight alone it would double as an effective bludgeon.

Police drone plunged 70ft into pond after operator mashed pop-up that was actually the emergency cut-out button

BinkyTheHorse
Headmaster

Re: Do Thales make police drones too?

Unless the drone has nonnegative buoyancy, or the pond is bottomless (drains over the Great Turtle I guess?), the difference is largely academic :).

Lenovo reveals smart specs that let you eyeball five virtual displays, with strings attached

BinkyTheHorse
Happy

Re: Mark can't see a use case so the tech is junk?

Yeah, I was under the impression this is an IT publication?

Even the late Sir Terry Pratchett, "merely" a writer, used 8!

Surprise, surprise: AI cameras sold to schools in New York struggle with people of color and are full of false positives

BinkyTheHorse
Flame

Re: Public confidence?

The Dunning Kruger effect in this post is off the charts. You do realize machine learning is significantly older than deep learning? Or that most "machine learning algos" have a degree of interpretability that makes neural networks an outlier in this regard? Or that significant work has been put into making deep learning more debuggable and interpretable (the "dog in snow" paper is 4 years old FFS)?

This is essentially like wanting to scrap the entirety of software development after experiencing the multitude of shitty mobile apps. Don't blame the tool for the tools that use it wrong.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

BinkyTheHorse

I assumed OP meant something like "NADS", or another abbreviation/purposeful corruption.

(for the record, I did upvote the OP for, well, the gonads)

BinkyTheHorse
Headmaster

I hate to be That Guy®, but you do realize that "gonad" comes from Ancient Greek, not English, and is therefore a bit more widespread than just the Anglosphere? Your ũberboss simply managed not to sleep through his biology lessons in school.

Good news: Boffins have finally built room-temperature superconductors. Bad news: You'll need a laser, a diamond anvil, and a lot of pressure

BinkyTheHorse
Trollface

Exactly! Couldn't you at least include a conversion to EUR?

Coding unit tests is boring. Wouldn't it be cool if an AI could do it for you? That's where Diffblue comes in

BinkyTheHorse
Meh

Where's the AI?

The article only makes note of stochastic methods in general. DiffBlue Cover's product page and FAQ also don't appear to include the term. So, what's the source for the "AI" assertion?

Not content with distorting actual reality, Facebook now wants to build a digital layer for the world

BinkyTheHorse

And since these are willing Facebook employees, there's little motivation against vigorously exercising one's right to privacy.

Not that I condone violence - but mass surveillance by a megacorp is a form of violence as well.

Is today's AI yesterday's software routines with better PR? We argued over it, you voted on it. And the winner is...

BinkyTheHorse
Gimp

Oh, and another problem with this specific discussion is that it married two unrelated subjects - "is enterprise $ANYTHING a load of PR/marketing hogwash" (it very often is, but that's the fault of PR/marketing/sales, not $ANYTHING) and "is AI actually mature enough to be impactful at your typical mid-sized company" (a topic actually worth discussing).

So, El Reg, for the next time, please - in the words of a certain secret agent - phrasing!

Icon is me being prepared for the votes underneath the two posts.

BinkyTheHorse
Mushroom

Here's a refutation: that's an approximation of the definition of symbolic and subsymbolic systems.There are plenty of ML schemes that are fully capable of explaining themselves, most famously expert systems. On the flipside, one conclusion from the stated definition is that virtually every person is at least intermittently not "intelligent".

<rant>And this is the weakness of at least the "public comment" side of such "debates" - people with (next to) no grasp of the subject reinventing the wheel with their late-pub-night grade hypotheses instead of spending the 5 minutes it would take them to actually improve their relevant personal knowledge. It is evident even in this very thread (no, Elledan, that's not how working on improving a CNN model works, unless done by a complete amateur that spent the last 5 years under a rock). In the end, the subject of the discussion devolved into "hurr durr, dem computers r dum cuz i says so".</rant>

Sorry for the abrasiveness there, but there's only so many times one hears something in the key of "heheh, it's just a a bunch ifs" before they inevitably blow their top - essentially the equivalent of "they just sit in front of their computers all they and get paid for it!" for ML specialists.

Open access journals are vanishing from the web, Internet Archive stands ready to fill in the gaps

BinkyTheHorse
Facepalm

Re: OA publishing

Well, what do you know, I've been using "odium" as an equivalent to "burden of responsibility" incorrectly this entire time. Boy do I feel stupid.

At least I've learned that today. Thanks!

BinkyTheHorse

Re: OA publishing

[...] so not judge the researchers (in terms of their career development) on where they publish their research, but on the research itself.

But the current system is built on that. For reputable institutions, academics are evaluated on the performance metrics of the journals they publish in, the journals tend to only select sufficient-quality papers, and in turn those papers (ideally) reinforce the journals' performance rankings.

So for anyone suggesting the current (definitely imperfect) system to be scrapped, the odium is on them to provide a superior alternative.

Linux kernel maintainers tear Paragon a new one after firm submits read-write NTFS driver in 27,000 lines of code

BinkyTheHorse
Stop

Re: Bit harsh

This is a megapatch not for "Linux" (i.e. the entire ecosystem), but for the Linux kernel.

As another commentard already noted below, there are non-kernel solutions for handling NTFS writes which already work quite well, and have been for many years.

Why should there be a "call to arms" if the prospective contributor has put (charitably assuming) minimal effort into preparing the contribution to be usable, and better alternatives already exist?

(also, I'm pretty sure there's kernel-level support for ZFS nowadays)

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

BinkyTheHorse

Re: General concern

This is a difficult issue, but there's at least one thing that can guide your understanding if you are, too, an immigrant.

Ask yourself: "What perceived problems, according to myself, do I see that the members of my nationality/ethnicity are bringing into the country I immigrated to?"

If you don't have as clear and immediate of an answer as you had with the examples of the "others", your current mindset will not lead to a good solution.

Russia admits, yup, the Americans are right: One of our rocket's tanks just disintegrated in Earth's orbit

BinkyTheHorse
Flame

Re: Elon Musk isn't helping, is he

To recapitulate:

a) any existing observatories should be abandoned and millions spent on moving that infrastructure into orbit - because, as we all know, science is not criminally undervalued in modern times anywhere in the world and always receives adequate funding;

b) all scientists should now rely on His Muskyness and other US-based launcher companies, regardless of not only their budgets, but availability, subject to trade and technology embargoes (maybe this is news to you, but not all people in countries the US has embargoes on are evil) ;

c) similarly, enthusiasts should either crowdsource money for their own space telescopes or just live with Elon's space grafitti. Because there is no value in the sense of wonder produced by tangibly observing space at one's convenience, and definitely not in inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Techbroism is rare here on El Reg forums, but when it shows, oh boy how does it show.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

BinkyTheHorse
Mushroom

You do realize this Team America: World Police crap is exactly one of the reasons why the US patent system is so broken?

In modern times, it is difficult for a lot of businesses, even small ones, not to be obliged to interface with US law in some way. Hell, in IT, it is virtually impossible in some sectors not to rely on some US-based intermediary (credit card companies, the leading mobile app stores, Paypal, Steam, Patreon, etc.). The patent trolls wised up to that - it's much easier to target some small business in a foreign country than a US-based company with billions of VC funding that can potentially very effectively push back. Essentially, this creates a larger hunting ground with more defenseless prey.

So, maybe, instead of futilely frothing at the mouth on an Internet forum, you should be spending that energy on writing to the Congresspeople representing you. Because not everyone here can do that - but you can.

US Homeland Security mistakenly seizes British ad agency's website in prostitution probe gone wrong

BinkyTheHorse
Unhappy

.net is controlled by Verisign, same as .com, so, yes. .edu - same thing, just with one degree of separation through a nonprofit. And .org - well, you have been following El Reg lately, haven't you?

BinkyTheHorse
Trollface

Re: WTF?

Two words, Jake: client lists.

Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches

BinkyTheHorse
Flame

Re: Minimum wage?

So if I someone would come to you and said that an apparition of Virgin Mary spouting fire out of her ass was present in their toilet from 03:15 to 03:30 AM, and they had proof they were indeed at home, and home alone, would you automatically believe them?

Careful with that line of reasoning. Just because there is a sole source doesn't automatically make it immune to critique. What if they cited maximum instead of average rates, would you use the exact same reasoning as well?

Remember those infosec fellas who were cuffed while testing the physical security of a courthouse? The burglary charges have been dropped

BinkyTheHorse
Stop

Re: "...elevating the alignment between security professionals and law enforcement."

And unless that particular law is fucked up (which wouldn't be a surprise), you would be laughed out of court to argue for a "criminal party" where none exists - not according to any relevant judiciary.

Being arrested is not a crime in itself, nor does it prove criminal intent. So most of the clause proposed by the OP (apart from the jail time and actual crime-related legal sanctions) appears to be sound.

Top Euro court advised: Cops, spies yelling 'national security' isn’t enough to force ISPs to hand over massive piles of people's private data

BinkyTheHorse

> For example, the EU ruling that the UK can't expel EU citizens who commit heinous crimes such as rape and child molestation.

So you'd rather they potentially walk off scot-free, instead of getting a proper trial, conviction, and sentencing?

> Or ruling that certain groups can be considered protected minorities even though their customs and practices are considered backwards and barbaric in the UK (No, not the obvious one, think again).

"Barbaric" is relative - case in point: milk in tea. Or, for a less extreme example, blanket state surveillance.

BTW, did you mean to imply that EU somehow forces the UK to render claustration, forced marriages etc. to be legal?

I caught Disco Elysium fever. No, not the Saturday Night kind. I was really quite poorly

BinkyTheHorse
Angel

Re: proof reading

They're Estonians, not Martians, they certainly know how to use a spellchecker.

BinkyTheHorse
Alert

Re: Sounds like the Shadowrun games

I'm not sure we played the same games.

While the dialogs are definitely "wordy" at times (but that's by design), they do influence what paths of solving problems you follow, what companions you get, what companions you keep, the availability of any unique items or abilities (yours or the companions'), how you interact with various factions, the possibility of secondary characters assisting you in some missions, and - not spoiling to much - even the possible endings. Certain choices can often take you out of a difficult fight - or into one.

Granted, this was more fleshed out in the second and third games (Returns is by comparison rather short and simple). Also, all three of them eventually got free "Directors Cut" versions, which are much more polished.

Ultimately, however, this comes back to what are your expectations for such games. If you're of a mindset of "clicking through" rather than "experiencing the setting" then, well, no wonder you didn't find it to your taste. And that's of course OK, but that doesn't mean certain design choices are bad.

PS. No, I'm not funded by Harebrained Schemes, I just like the stuff that they make ;).

EU wouldn't! Uncle Sam brandishes 'up to 100%' tariffs over France's Digital Services Tax

BinkyTheHorse
Angel

Re: Wrong argument

[...] Amazon is a service developed in the US. Even when you buy something in the UK and it is shipped from a UK warehouse, you are using a US service. [...]

And if you buy French cheese, the process could be construed a trivial service, where, for an X one-time payment, you get M days worth of cheese.

That cheese provisioning service is undoubtedly "developed in France", correct? So, by that logic, imposing tariffs for its import is "too simplistic and doesn't work"?

One could even make the same argument about "splitting the company" w.r.t. shipping.

Welcome to cultured meat – not pigs reading Proust but a viable alternative to slaughter

BinkyTheHorse
Mushroom

@AC

Be nice if they'd printed the list of 12 states so we know where the last bastions of sanity are.....

1. They're listed in the bloody linked article.

2. You do realize the main push for this was the scare against cell-cultured meat? Calling plant-based protein "meat" is already banned in most sane jurisdictions, so I dare say your criterion actually implies the opposite.

Icon for something I occasionally wish to inflict on those too lazy to read with comprehension, especially before spewing the consequences of that on various comment sections.

Controversies aren't Boeing away for aircraft maker amid claims of faulty oxygen systems and wobbling wings

BinkyTheHorse
Unhappy

Or, you know, it could be that there are so many problems with Boeing's planes recently that people started associating all avionics issues with Boeing. But no, it must be because those dirty Europeons are disparaging Great American Enterprise™. Never mind that 2 planes crashed and hundreds of people died.

One day we may have discussions on such topics without the flag waving, but - very clearly - it is not this day.

Black holes are like buses: You wait for one – and three turn up at once in galaxy merger

BinkyTheHorse
Thumb Up

Re: A singularity enters an event horizon

What transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that.

-- Academician Prokhor Zakharov

(from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri)

Leaked EU doc plots €100bn fund to protect European firms against international tech giants

BinkyTheHorse

Re: Nothing to see here

I understand what you meant to convey, but it is physically impossible for the EU to have "started it", because the US has been playing the trade war game for waaayyy longer than the EU has existed. For you, as an Anglo-Saxon (or as a [possibly unwitting] apologist of that geo-cultural establishment) it may be an academic difference - for me, it's just another label for the same lube dispenser.

Re your 2nd paragraph - fair is fine, but keep in mind the negotiations hang on a very specific case that affects both the EU *and the EEA*. Put yourself in the shoes of the Norwegians - would you want a leaky border of subpar goods because the EU negotiators didn't have the gonads to make a stand where common sense dictates?

BinkyTheHorse
Gimp

Re: Nothing to see here

[...] You're all crazy. Just.. Crazy. [...]

Yes, because blatant protectionism such as very loudly proclaiming trade tariffs, banning foreign suppliers on spurious grounds, and - most relevantly - considering only US-made prior art as "prior art" (which El Reg covered a while ago) is not crazy. Preparing contingencies for such actions of a critical trade partner is, however, crazy.

Icon for how I see people that blindly believe in some markets being inherently "free", while others are not, despite any actual regulations present.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer

BinkyTheHorse

Re: You won't like this.....

> Here is one of many studies you will find - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-studies-link-cell-phone-radiation-with-cancer/

If you'd actually read that article, you'd find that:

- this is actually about two studies,

- the rats in the study, in most of the groups, were exposed to much higher radiation than legally permitted for RF (sounds familar to the infamous aspartame study, doesn't it?),

- the results are considered inconclusive by some quite important experts,

- the article specifically mentions that other studies contradict these ones in conclusions.

Not being able to look at the studies, it also looks as if the researchers were doing some statistical shotgun shooting, the problems with which are described in this XKCD comic.

BinkyTheHorse

Re: "concerns that have long since been put to bed" ??

You're confusing photon energy and emission power. If you emit a signal with a given power, it does not become more intense per area because the photon energy/frequency is larger. 1W/kg stays 1W/kg, otherwise we'd be magically getting increased total energy for "free".

The frequency does define harmful effects for given power, but the effect is not linear. In fact, higher-frequency microwave e.g. achieves less body penetration than lower-frequency. And, as Loyal Commander noted, before you get to ionizing radiation you still have visible light along the way.

Amazon backtracks on planned S3 changes that would hamper free speech activists

BinkyTheHorse
Headmaster

Sorry for the nitpick, however... Please, be very wary of conflating a fallacious argument and an overtly similar, valid one. A slippery slope fallacy is an invalid argument, because it's based on an unsubstantiated implicit premise of "a slippery slope phenomenon exists here".

If you actually substantiate that premise, than it's no longer a fallacy, and using the shorthand "slippery slope" as a descriptor is IMO confusing at best, and detrimental at worst. It's essentially the same situation as "Professor Z will have his lecture at time T, because he said so yesterday" vs argument from authority, or "no true Scotsman can breathe in space" vs you guessed it*.

* Here's to hoping there's no canon continuity where Bruce Wayne dons tartan...

Mods I have known, Mods I have loved, Mods I have hated: Motorola's failed experiment is now a savvy techie's dream

BinkyTheHorse
Windows

So the promised article finally materialized...

...shame about the circumstances :/.

Since that wasn't elaborated on in the text, the keyboard mod was called Livermorium. As you can see, it was a horizontal slide-out physical keyboard, which, AFAIK, is an object of great desire of many commentards in these trying phablet times.

Sadly, supposedly due to fabber shenanigans and lack of support from Moto, the project was ultimately cancelled, with only a part of the original backer order shipped.

The team behind it went on to working on a dedicated slide-out modern Android phone. Backers for Livermorium who haven't received their unit had the option to either get a full refund or get credit towards the new phone.

Overall, somewhat of a sad story, and it would be interesting to hear how it went from the Moto side of things.

Google puts Chrome on a cookie diet (which just so happens to starve its rivals, cough, cough...)

BinkyTheHorse
Alien

Re: Crocodile tears

Adding to DougS' post, take a look at the top-right corner of the RFC in question. Do you really think that Google would propose such a thing if it was going to adversely impact them in the long run?

Monopolies are especially dangerous because a) they arise naturally in an unregulated market, and b) a monopolist will eventually be compelled to try everything to remain one, while c) every other actor on the market suffers, even if the monopolist's actions don't appear detrimental at first.

DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one

BinkyTheHorse
Angel

Because that way the probably-considerably-VP-overfunded companies don't get to use their legal war chests to file civil suits under the pretense that they were mislead somehow, and hence the results are some sort of misrepresentation?

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM

BinkyTheHorse

Re: This is good.

For USB peripherals that may be true, but a significant number of auxillary components, like sensors, run on 3.3V. Having the same voltage requirement everywhere saves cost and complexity, as the other posts outlined.

Apple web design violates law, claims blind person

BinkyTheHorse
Unhappy

Re: ..well in Cal about 90% of ADA lawsuits are straight scams

"Nothing is done about this egregious abuse because the various special interest pressure groups are loath to admit that maybe they might be wrong.[...]"

"Nothing"? I beg to differ. How about assigning the task of monitoring compliance to at least a state-level government agency? Like it's done with other health, safety, and sanitary issues I presume? Sure, it's not perfect, it's prone to inefficiency and corruption - but it's better IMO than leaving people with special needs being essentially unable to improve their situation.

In my mind, the current approach of offloading the responsibility to act on disabled people, due to the actions of some bad apples, sounds like a hilariously grim combination of private law enforcement and Stalinist group responsibility.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

BinkyTheHorse

Does your car also measure the load on its flight surfaces while airborne?

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

BinkyTheHorse
Facepalm

Really, because Python-style whitespace-based control flow is any more difficult for our powerful human visual cortex to process. Maybe that's why there's multiple competing styles on how to write that... oh, wait, no, that's brackets.

I always derive a certain sense of Schadenfreude by imagining how people who complain about whitespace in Python would fare in times when not being able to move your arse out of your comfort zone meant not noticing that new-in-the-area predator preparing to ambush and maul you.

Put WhatsApp, Slack, admin privileges in a blender and what do you get? Wickr

BinkyTheHorse
Happy

Re: Two small steps

Not only that, if you replace a few more letters, you get "Satan"!

Jet packs are real – and inventor just broke world speed record in it

BinkyTheHorse
Thumb Up

Re: Duration?

"Ya cannae beat the laws of physics."

You don't have to.

For example, for the aforementioned Search & Rescue ops, I imagine an option of a highly maneuverable, manned, small-footprint aerial vehicle is still helpful even given the several-minute limit. Drones are nice and all, and would probably be used for the "search" portion, but can't do e.g. first aid yet.

Double so if the jetpack can be refueled from the "mothership", be it a truck, an actual ship, or even - equipped with a tethered docking adapter of some sort - a helicopter.

Intel ME controller chip has secret kill switch

BinkyTheHorse
Headmaster

Re: The mind absolutely boggles.

"I had to concede that she was right and that I was speechless."

Nitpick - since there weren't any changes in Earth's gravitational field that we're aware of, your wife obviously tried a *different* way that time, otherwise the bottle would have fallen over as well.

Not that it wasn't a good idea to concede, mind you...

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

BinkyTheHorse
Happy

" [...] It's just a string, [...]"

This being spoken in the context of implementation details in a service that translates semi-arbitrary strings to network addresses...

Rap for chat app chaps: Snap's shares are a joke – and a crap one at that

BinkyTheHorse

@Yet Another Anonymous coward

Some people may think that's a joke - but that's exactly what they've done with the IPO.

Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Crashed Schiaparelli lander's 'chute and shields spotted

BinkyTheHorse
Trollface

Re: What happens

"Attempt" being the crucial word here.

Maybe you should have implemented it in another language.

Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer

BinkyTheHorse
Facepalm

One of these thing is not like the other...

"His hacking did not uncover serious security bugs [...]"

"[...] but it would let fellow hackers on the same network as the coffee machine to mess with its firmware without requiring authentication, [...]"

That's literally the same sentence (plus the "access to port 2081 is completely unauthenticated")!

Have security standards changed over the weekend so that "free access on local network" is not a "serious issue" anymore?

Kaminario partners MongoDB

BinkyTheHorse

Re: WTF?

If so, I'm claiming Poe's Law Defence.

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