* Posts by Draco

77 posts • joined 23 Jul 2014

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The ultimate 4-wheel-drive: How ESA's keeping XMM-Newton alive after 20 years and beyond

Draco
Paris Hilton

Had to look up what "unloading" a reaction wheel means.

From the terminology (I am not a space engineer), I imagined physically swapping out a reaction wheel, which lead me to wonder "why does it take fuel to do this?" Which had me imagining some physical jostling of the spacecraft to move the wheel out of place - which sounded like something horribly kludgey and risky to be doing with a spacecraft.

Turns out, there is a much more sensible meaning to "unloading" a reaction wheel. It means "unloading the momentum" of the wheel.

I know there will always be an argument over what needs further clarification and what doesn't. For me, this was one of those things that needed that extra bit of clarification.

Boffins examine interstellar comet Borisov to find out what its home was like. Pretty unpleasant, it seems

Draco
Windows

Why a red dwarf?

The claim is, “We can infer cold temperature from carbon monoxide because carbon monoxide ice has an extremely low freezing temperature ... If we see lots of carbon monoxide preserved in the comet, that means the comet must have both formed under extremely low temperature where lots of carbon monoxide ice could exist, and never heated significantly above that low temperature ever since..."

Ok, I buy that. However, couldn't the comet have formed in a region similar to the Kuiper belt - very far away from the parent star (which may or may not be a red dwarf) - where it is very cold regardless if the star is a red dwarf or not?

Fomalhaut b exoplanet may have been cloud in a trench coat: Massive 'world' formed after 'mid-space super-prang'

Draco
Mushroom

Another one bites the dust

Hopefully, the title and icon are sufficient ...

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount

Draco
Headmaster

It probably won't pass emissions standards

Fuel efficiency and emission standards have become far more stringent since the 1960s. I doubt the Saturn V will pass.

Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft speech-to-text AI systems can't understand black people as well as whites

Draco
Windows

"Black speakers are more likely to use African American Vernacular English (AAVE)"

Is this true in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Barbados, etc or is it only more likely in the USA?

One can argue that the data set is insufficient broad or biased. One might also argue that a minor accent or dialect has less representation in a sample. There might also be a discrepancy in who is willing to give a voice sample. I was recently validating audio clips from Common Voice - Mozilla's initiative to sample as much human voice as possible and of the 120 audio clips I evaluated: 20 were female, 97 were male, and 3 had no voice. Given this is an open-source project and open to anyone who can navigate to it, why aren't more women contributing? I did not track accents and dialects - which are, mostly, beyond me.

I am also willing to bet these speech-to-text systems fare poorly on English spoken with an accent - whether indigenous or "foreign" like Russian, or Chinese, or Filipino, or Spanish, etc.

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin

Draco
Joke

Shirley things have gotten better since "Hospital for Hire" aired in 1973

From The Goodies episode:

Tim: Where have you been?

Graeme: We've been to the hospital. Sorry, they kept us waiting.

Tim: For three weeks?

Bill: Yeah, and even then we were lucky, you know. Bloke ahead of us died.

Tim: For a sprained ankle?

Bill: [pointing cast on his leg] And, what is more, they put this on the wrong leg! Mmm. [points at Graeme] Should've been his.

Hey GitLab, the 1970s called and want their sexism back: Saleswomen told to wear short skirts, heels and 'step it up'

Draco
Windows

Re: Why isn't any one offended men were required to wear a blazer and slacks or suit?

I agree that it would have been far better to state the nature of the event and allow people to choose, for themselves, what to wear.

Draco
Windows

Re: Why isn't any one offended men were required to wear a blazer and slacks or suit?

Ah, so there would have been no outrage were women instructed to wear modest clothing - i.e. no exposed shoulders, clavicles, forearms, and ankles?

I think it is more a Pavlovian response with people getting whipped up into a frenzy at the mere hint of a suggestion that a women should comport herself in some manner, but remain silent when it comes to men being told how to be.

Draco
WTF?

Why isn't any one offended men were required to wear a blazer and slacks or suit?

Why are so many in the comments "indignant" about women being told what to wear, but nary a peep about men being told what to wear?

Draco
Windows

>> You're basically describing patriarchy here. And you are a victim of it, as many of us.

No, any time you compromise yourself in order to "conform" you are not a victim, you are an enabler.

Whatever "injustice" of the "patriarchy" people mewl about is, most often, a reflection of their own spinelessness and inability to own the consequences of their actions.

OK. We're off. Water ice found just below the surface of Mars. Good enough for us. Let's go. Impulse power, Mr Sulu

Draco
Pint

Another study, another watery flip-flop

It wasn't even 2 months ago, that the latest reporting on Mars boffinry leaned towards the "Mars dry" end of the spectrum. Today the pendulum swings the other way.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/25/mars_water_study/

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

Draco
Windows

Re: How about politicians make simpler tax codes / laws?

I understand the distinction between VAT and taxing the profits of the company. There are two problems:

(1) It is clear that these companies have a corporate presence in France (and other countries), but they pay a pittance (if any) corporate tax because they are run at near break even costs. I saw this happening more than 30 years ago, when I worked for an AEG subsidiary in a non-European country: the subsidiary purchased components from AEG Germany at inflated costs - so the parent company made money, while the subsidiary “struggled”. The GAFA tax is, effectively, the same as the country with the AEG subsidiary telling AEG Germany, “Hey, we want 3% of the profit you made on the sale to the subsidiary”. I agree that this type of money shuffling is a serious problem and I am not sure how you can resolve that. Ban global corporations? Ban Ban direct sales between companies in different countries and insist all transactions must go through an independent broker? So AEG would sell to a broker in a different country and the broker then gets to sell the product to whomever they want inside the country?

(2) How do you tax the profits of a company that ships a good that is not manufactured in your country? Consider: I live in Freedonia, publish books which I sell to France. I don’t use any French resources, but Fredonian paper sourced from Freedonian trees, Freedonian ink sourced from Freedonian squid, etc. But French people are happy to buy my books, send their money my way. I make good profits. I then decide to provide my books electronically – more profits for me since I have to spend less on physical resources, physical handling (shipping, packaging, etc). How can France tax that? They can’t. Unless they impose some sort of duty or tariff – which is what the GAFA, in essence, is.

So, while the GAFA is a tax on the corporation, effectively, it looks like and acts like an additional 3% VAT.

Draco
Holmes

How about politicians make simpler tax codes / laws?

As I understand the main gripe is that governments only get VAT off "digital services" and no corporate tax because the actual digital service / product is produced elsewhere.

From what I understand of the GAFA tax is that it wants 3% of the "profit" - which, I presume, is the sale price. It's fine if it was a 3% VAT surcharge on digital services / products that is applied across the board, but, it is not, it is only being applied to companies that have greater than 750 million euros in global digital sales and at least 25 million in French digital sales.

France already has 4 different VAT Rates:

20 percent: standard rate

10 percent: restaurants, transport, renovation/improvement works and certain medical drugs

5.5 percent: food, water and non alcoholic beverages, books, special equipment for the disabled and school canteens, some entertainment events and some domestic personal services.

2.1 percent: Special rate - applies to medical drugs reimbursed by the French social security. TV licences, the sale of live animals, press publications and certain entertainment events.

So why not have an across the board 23 percent for digital serices?

Larry leaves, Sergey splits: Google lads hand over Alphabet reins to Sundar Pichai

Draco
Windows

Herberts?

Methinks someone's seen Star Trek's "The Way Too Eden" once too many times - and that could be me.

Thanks, Brexit. Tesla boss Elon Musk reveals Berlin as location for Euro Gigafactory

Draco
Headmaster

That would be: Do widzenia Pet

I cannae do it, captain, I'm giving it all she's got, but she just cannae take another dose of bullsh!t

Draco
Paris Hilton

Re: Egh

Exactly what I thought as I read it

I think it was to increase clicks to other articles they've written - 7 links in an article with no substance to other El Reg articles.

As has been mentioned, many people know of the failed food scanner fundraising scam.

Watch tiny swimming magnetic robots suck up uranium in a droplet of radioactive wastewater

Draco
Meh

Re: Seems a bit arse backward to me.

Exactly what I thought. Far more efficient to filter the water through a sieve which attracts the uranium than introducing a gadjillion nano-particles, adding hydrogen peroxide to get them to go on a random swim, attract the spent nano-particles with a magnet, filter them out of the water, clean the particles up, rinse and repeat.

In a "real" environment, H2O2 + nano-particles may be toxic / hazardous to the flora and fauna.

Google claims web search will be 10% better for English speakers – with the help of AI

Draco
Windows

How is this measurable?

"Better" is not a quantitative term. Prefacing it with 10% doesn't make it any more quantitative.

Methinks, "10% better" means 10% more ad click through.

Just a friendly reminder there were no at-the-time classified secrets on Clinton's email server. Yes, the one everyone lost their minds over

Draco
Unhappy

I'm not so sure

I can (cynically) think of a few things that do die in politics: truthfulness, integrity, common sense - to name a few.

GitLab reset --hard bad1dea: Biz U-turns, unbans office political chat, will vet customers

Draco
Headmaster

TERFs aren't what you think they are

TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminist and refers to radical feminists (like Germaine Greer) who don't accept that male-to-female trans people are women.

Draco
Facepalm

Thanks for the clarification

I wasn't aware of the Northern Ireland cake controversy.

So, you are correct, there are two different versions - with the Northern Ireland one being a cancelled order.

Funny it didn't come up when I searched (and I am in Europe) for "gay wedding cake refusal" - had to add "Northern Ireland" to the search.

Draco
FAIL

Fact checking: easy. Believing fake information: narrative supporting

If you *actually* read the court document, you will see that the refusal was to create a cake celebrating a gay wedding. It did not involve reneging on a contract:

"In July 2012, Craig and Mullins visited Masterpiece, a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, and requested that Phillips design and create a cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding. Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings because of his religious beliefs, but advising Craig and Mullins that he would be happy to make and sell them any other baked goods. Craig and Mullins promptly left Masterpiece without discussing with Phillips any details of their wedding cake. "

See paragraph 3 of

https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-111-op-bel-colo-app.pdf

Draco
FAIL

Factually incorrect

If you *actually* read the court document, you will see that the refusal was to create a cake celebrating a gay wedding. It did not involve reneging on a contract:

"In July 2012, Craig and Mullins visited Masterpiece, a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, and requested that Phillips design and create a cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding. Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings because of his religious beliefs, but advising Craig and Mullins that he would be happy to make and sell them any other baked goods. Craig and Mullins promptly left Masterpiece without discussing with Phillips any details of their wedding cake. "

See paragraph 3 of

https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-111-op-bel-colo-app.pdf

When one of NASA's sun-studying satellites went down, AI was there to fill in the gaps

Draco
Windows

Data is a value obtained from direct measurement or computed in a known way.

For example, you can measure the length, width, and height of a box - these are direct measurements. You can also calculate the volume using those measurements. Any "data" that is not directly measured or directly calculable is (technically) "fake".

What is happening in this case is that the MEGS-A sensor (which measures EUV between 5 and 30 nm) is broken. However, the MEGS-B sensor (which measures UV between 30 and 105 nm) is working. NASA has created neural net that extrapolates the missing data from the MEGS-A sensor.

Consider the following: you have a machine which measures the dimensions of boxes. It uses one sensor to measure between 5 and 30 cm and another for dimensions between 30 and 105 cm. Imagine the 5 - 30 cm sensor becomes defective, but the engineers create a neural net that is trained on past data sets and can "fill in" values in the 5 - 30 cm range based on the data the 30-105 cm sensor returns - this is "fake" data. The "fake" data may be good or it may be poor, but it is not "real" because it was not measured.

Draco
Windows

I don't think anyone is missing the point

The article states clearly that they are using a neural net to to fill in values for a defective sensor (MEGS-A) - this makes the values "fake".

It is true, NASA has a large collection of complete (and, we hope, accurate) data from before the sensor died. As a general rule, it is reasonable to assume there is a strong predictable pattern across the entire spectrum it is monitoring. As a consequence, inferring the missing data is reasonable - just as we would expect to filling any missing data for a reasonably understood phenomenon (say black body radiation).

If the only reason for the satellite is to accurately monitor the sun, and the spectrum is fairly standard / uniform (the way black body radiation is), then missing the lower third of the monitored spectrum (5-37nm) isn't a big deal. The entire spectrum studied is 5-105nm.

If the reason for the satellite is to study spectrum because we don't understand it well - because it is highly variable - then interpolating the missing 5-37nm becomes problematic.

Planes, boats and autocrats: US Treasury Dept. slaps more sanctions on accused Russian troll funder

Draco

Re: So...

The president is NOT supposed to reflect either the popular vote or the state vote - the president is supposed to be independent of both.

If the President was to reflect the popular vote, then there would be no difference between the House of Representatives and the president - effectively, the President would be the same as the House Speaker.

It is very tricky to come up with a way that results in Representatives being independent of Senators being independent of the President.

One solution might be (I am not an American, nor do I, or have I, lived in the US):

1) House representatives are elected by voters under the age of 65

2) Senate representatives are elected the way they are now

3) The president is directly elected by popular vote of voters over 65

Another solution might be that every election, there is a random draw of 2 States (or maybe 5 or 10). These states are not eligible to vote for House representatives, but instead directly vote for the president.

But the Electoral College has nothing to do with "uncertainty" about population distribution because electing House representatives requires reasonably accurate knowledge of the population distribution since the number of available seats depends on it.

Draco

Re: So...

No, the Electoral College is a way of trying to keep the 3 governing powers separate and independent.

The US Republican model is based on the UK Parliamentary model which has 3 competing concerns:

1) The common people: House of Commons (House of Representatives)

2) Large Landowners: The Senate (Senate)

3) The Monarch: The President

In the Parliamentary model, the Senators and Monarch have lifetime representation. The idea of life time occupancy was done away with in the Republican model. The problem is how to ensure that you elect 3 independent and competing concerns.

1) People vote for the members of the House of Representatives. The distribution of seats tries to reflect the population distribution - so California has the most representatives (53) and South Dakota the fewest (1).

2) The Senate gives each State an equal representation (2 seats).

3) The president is elected by the Electoral College. The college electors are neither house representatives, nor senators, and intended to be independent of them. The number of college electors in each state is equal to the numbers of Representatives + Senators - so California gets 55 electors and South Dakota gets 3. How college electors vote varies from state to state, but most states simply vote in the direction of the popular vote of that state.

In the 2016 election, the electoral votes weren't solely split between Trump and Clinton, some electors voted other candidates for the presidency:

Donald Trump recieved 304 votes

Hillary Clinton received 227 votes

Colin Powell received 3 votes

Bernie Sanders received 1 vote

John Kasich received 1 vote

Ron Paul received 1 vote

Faith Spotted Eagle received 1

Facial recognition at festivals, stupid shoplifting algorithms, Google shares data to kill off deepfakes

Draco
Windows

Naive good intent or Psyops?

Google releasing "a large dataset of visual deepfakes" they've produced is - ostensibly - done with the aim of improving detection of deepfakes. However, it also provides producers of deepfakes (which, apparently, includes Google) a dataset against which they can refine their deepfakes so they no longer get classified as deepfakes.

Thinking about the "real" intent / motivation makes my head hurt: is Google optimistically naive, or is there some deeper psyop game behind it? Did a human make this decision or did some "ethical" AI come up with it?

Another sign of the End Times: Free software guru Richard Stallman speaks at Microsoft HQ

Draco
Windows

What's so astounding about this?

Microsoft offered him money and he took it.

RMS isn't opposed to money or profits or charging for sorftware - only to not having unfettered access to source code.

Moore's Law isn't dead, chip boffin declares – we need it to keep chugging along for the sake of AI

Draco
Windows

Re: Oh dear.

One of the problems is the nm nomenclature - 7nm isn't really 7nm. My understading is 28nm was the last 'true' size. The following sizes - 20nm, 14nm, 7nm, etc - where more 'generation' names than accurate descriptions of transistor size.

Googlers hate it! This one weird trick lets websites dodge Chrome 76's defenses, detect you're in Incognito mode

Draco
Windows

I thought the same.

The article claims that the meta-data and data are stored in memory - hence faster write speed.

A Google engineer proposed keeping the meta in memory and the writing encrypted data to disk. Personally, I think just writing random data of the same size to disk is better.

Jesse Li counters that this still leave meta-data around. I'm not sure what meta-data Li is talking about - that in memory?

I don't see how "evidence" that incognito mode was used is "bad". Is it not better to do sensitive things (like banking) in incognito mode than not? Surely, we haven't yet come to the point where incognito mode has come to be equated with unsavoury behaviour on the net?

Facebook celebrates Independence Day by lighting up American outage maps

Draco
Pint

Same here. Many images aren't appearing and I get to see the ALT tags - also a little more sluggish than usual.

I'm on the continent.

Bloody vultures! Cheeky Spanish paraglider firm pinched El Reg's mascot

Draco
Devil

It's floating around the web

This site - claiming "download free logo" - has the logo available:

http://logosolusa.com/the-register-logo.html

Sophos has it on one of their pages:

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/01/21/the-state-of-facebook-security/

Also, good to know you can buy Reg vultures for your car window from AliExpress (and ... they are "patriotic" - whatever that means):

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/EARLFAMILY-15cm-x-15cm-Old-Buzzard-Vpu-1-Us-Navy-Logo-Style-1-Patriotic-Vinyl-Window/32999529148.html

Monster magnet in my pocket: Boffins' gizmo packs 45.5-tesla punch and weighs just 390g

Draco
Headmaster

The numbers are not tautological.

Given:

1) 245.3 A of coil current

2) 0.00945 V of coil voltage

3) 0.0471 Ω of coil resistance (this is implied, it could be the whole circuit resistance is 47.1mΩ because, while the coil voltage is 9.45 mV, the "tiny resistance" is associated, but not explicitly delcared, as "coil resistance")

Then Ohm's Law gives us the following numbers:

1) voltage and current imply a coil resistance of 35.8 μΩ

2) Voltage and resistance imply a coil current of 200mA

3) resistance and current imply a coil voltage of 11.6V

Or do superconducting materials not obey Ohm's Law?

Oh dear. Secret Huawei enterprise router snoop 'backdoor' was Telnet service, sighs Vodafone

Draco
Paris Hilton

Bloomberg has Zero Tech Credibility

Reg readers should recall the obvious piece of fake news Bloomberg published (and doubled down on) about the Chinese infiltration of Super Micro servers.

This article simply goes to show that either Bloomberg knows nada about tech and will publish any piece of BS that will garner them sales.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/22/super_micro_chinese_spy_chip_sec/

Paris because she'd be the perfect face for Bloomberg

Defense against the Darknet, or how to accessorize to defeat video surveillance

Draco
Angel

Finally, sensible fashion choices coming back

My take on this is that clothing from my childhood is about to make a comeback.

https://bit.ly/2Iwa1DX

There is no better feeling than walking the streets incognito.

We've read the Mueller report. Here's what you need to know: ██ ██ ███ ███████ █████ ███ ██ █████ ████████ █████

Draco
Windows

Guilty whether there is proof or not ...

"... he remained confident that his way of doing business was going to make it very hard for anyone to prove a conspiracy – in which he was proven right"

This has the clear fingerprints of the Illuminati who, as is well known, are the undisputed masters of conspiracies without proof.

Facebook ad platform discriminates all on its own, say boffins

Draco
Mushroom

Re: A pox on people behaving sterotypically

Evidently I can't do sums at the end of the day (shows you I'm not a bot). That should be 10% women and 1% men or 1% women and 0.1% men or any other 10:1 ratio.

Draco
Mushroom

Re: A pox on people behaving sterotypically

There is a tremendous difference between If User.sex == 'female' then Display('cosmetics') and Match(User.interests, available_ads).

The first explicitly targets 100% of women (well, those identifying as 'female').

The second targets those who have expressed interest in things like: hiding skin blemishes, eyeshadow, comparison between Maybelline and Revlon mascara, skin toning, etc. It does NOT select 100% of women, only those who expressed interest in those sorts of things. In like manner, it does not ignore 100% of men, because it selects those who expressed interest in those sorts of things. Now, if 10% of women expressed interest and 0.1% of men expressed interest, then you would get women representing 90% of the target audience.

Draco

Re: A pox on people behaving sterotypically

Checking the gender of El Reg readers algorithmicly and replacing the job advert with one for cosmetics if you think I'm female - immoral, stupid, and arguably illegal.

I agree, this would be illegal, but the paper isn't saying that coders have written code along the lines of:

if User.sex == 'female' then Display('cosmetics')

What the paper is arguing is that when code like this:

Match(User.interests, available_ads)

returns 'cosmetics' it has done so correctly based on the user's interests, but when you look at the aggregate set of users for whom 'cosmetics' was returned, you notice that it is predominantly women. Since this 'clustering' is higher than you would expect from a random sampling of users, the algorithm is inadvertently discriminating towards women (or against non-women). Since sex discrimination is illegal, this algorithmic bias is "illegal".

Consider this from a different angle. If the algorithm predominantly showed ads for Romulan Ale to people who are Star Trek fans, but not Star Wars fans, you could make the same argument that it discriminates against Star Wars fans (or discriminates toward Star Trek fans) when choosing to place ads for Romulan Ale. If Star Trek and Star Wars fanship was a protected category, this would be "illegal".

Draco
Mushroom

A pox on people behaving sterotypically

The paper lays out the following:

"Intuitively, the goal is to show ads that particular users are likely to engage with, even in cases where the advertiser does not know a priori which users are most receptive to their message. To accomplish this, the platforms build extensive user interest profiles and track ad performance to understand how different users interact with different ads. This historical data is then used to steer future ads towards those users who are most likely to be interested in them, and to users like them."

Which is exactly what you would expect effective advertising to do: target based on individual interests.

However, the paper then shifts from the individual to the group with the following argument:

"However, in doing so, the platforms may inadvertently cause ads to deliver primarily to a skewed subgroup ... if these “valuable” user demo-graphics are strongly correlated with protected classes, it could lead to discriminatory ad delivery"

So, if the targeted individuals could be strongly correlated with a protected class, then it leads to "discriminatory" targeting. As the paper continues:

For example, ads targeting the same audience but that include a creative that would stereotypically be of the most interest to men (e.g., bodybuilding) can deliver to over 80% men, and those that include a creative that would stereotypically be of the the most interest to women (e.g., cosmetics) can deliver to over 90% women. Similarly, ads referring to cultural content stereotypically of most interest to black users (e.g., hip-hop) can deliver to over 85% black users, and those referring to content stereotypically of interest to white users (e.g., country music) can deliver to over 80% white users"

Which, to me, suggests the algorithms are working correctly, the problem is people engaging in "stereotypical" patterns of behaviour which the algorithms are picking up on.

Boss of venerable sect with millions of devoted followers meets boss of venerable sect with... yeah, you get the idea

Draco

The problem with LGBTI is that it is not inclusive enough.

You might consider: LGBTQQIP2SAA or LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP or even LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA. But even they don't capture the full range - hence the little + that is often appended at the end of these acronyms to signify, "While we haven't added you to our list, we consider you a vital and cherished member of our group - except if you are male, especially if you are a cis male, doubly especially if you are white cis male."

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

Draco
Paris Hilton

Bricks and Mortar

Funny how 20 years ago (or so), people were predicting the death of Brick and Mortar shops and touting the virtues of the online Amazon. Yet, over the past few years, it seems retailers are not averse to wanting actual Brick and Mortar shops.

Yay, we got a B for maths. Literally, a bee: Little nosy nectar nerds smart enough to add, abstract numbers

Draco
Holmes

Are the bees really doing arithmetic?

I'm going to engage in a little armchair pedantry based on the video (which I saw) and the not the paper (which I didn't read).

When it was doing addition, the prompt was a single blue spot and the possible answers were: 2 blue spots or 5 blue spots. Or (from what I infer the bee to be seeing): region with few blue spots and region with many blue spots.

When it was doing subtraction, the prompt was 5 yellow triangles and the possible answers were: 4 yellow triangles or 2 yellow triangles. Again, a region with many triangles and a region with few triangles.

The bee didn't have to do any arithmetic, it only had to match similar levels of complexity. In my mind, it seems closer to a comparator circuit than an ALU.

Hate to burst your Hubble: Science stops as boffins scramble to diagnose gyro problem

Draco

Re: I learned about vacuum welding the other day

I am astounded that someone thought using pressurized oxygen was a good idea given its oxidative properties are reasonably widely known.

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Draco

Re: What's the problem here?

Wow! Who is voting down the historically accurate singular use of they / them / their / theirs / themself.

Is it grammar nazis or SJW nazis - both of which seek to deny the historic use of 'they' as a non-gender singular term.

It is easily seen in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (c 1400):

And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame,

They wol come up and offre on Goddes name

And whoever finds himself out of such blame,

They will come up and offer in God's name

AI image recognition systems can be tricked by copying and pasting random objects

Draco
Windows

This reveals interesting insight into the behaviour of "neural net" image classifiers.

It is a given that the networks have no "understanding" of what they are classifying. The wisdom being that there is no need to understand - simply fling enough images at it and it will "learn" how to correctly classify cats (if you don't like cats, substitute motorcycles, mountains, tumours, people, whatever).

We now see that these classifiers are not learning what a "cat" is, rather they are learning the types of images in which cats appear - in other words: cat in a context. Change the context and it mis-classifies.

The "obvious" solution seems to be that the neural nets need to segment images into distinct objects and then classify the objects. This is not a trivial problem.

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

Draco
Stop

I think the biggest problem is the small sample size. I'd be more willing to consider the results if the sample size was larger, or the experiment had been run several times (with different groups).

LLVM contributor hits breakpoint, quits citing inclusivity intolerance

Draco

Re: Proposal for Reg Comments

It is just a rough estimate. I suppose I could have been more dramatic and said that 90% of the world's population is cis white male - most people in the SJW camp wouldn't have noticed.

Draco
Joke

Proposal for Reg Comments

Seeing how the comments section of El Reg appears over represented with cis white males, thus creating a toxic commenting environment for remaining 92% of the world's population*, I propose:

1) cis white male comments shall comprise no more than 2% of all comments in discussion threads - this is to allow for a more diverse flow of comments, as well it applies some positive discrimination to redress all past injustices.

2) No cis white male shall be allowed to leave the first comment. Not only would this violate the first proposal, it would also set a toxic environment for other commenters thus discouraging them from leaving a comment.

3) No cis white male comment shall be given prominence over other comments. All cis white male comments must appear at the end of the discussion thread - preferably, requiring secondary authentication each time someone may wish to view them.

4) All comments not made by cis white males shall only have an up vote icon since there is no need to down vote diversity comments.

5) All comments made by cis white males shall only have a down vote icon since there is nothing they could say that could require up voting.

*white population has been roughly estimated as Europeans + North American + Australia = ~18%

** white male population is ~50% of white population = ~9%

*** cis white male population excludes homosexual, trans, queer, etc = ~8%

It should be obvious from these numbers that cis white males are the majority oppressors.

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