* Posts by The bigger, blacker box.

18 posts • joined 24 Aug 2015

Oracle exec quits over co-CEO Safra Catz's promise to assist Trump

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Re: "Planned Register of Muslims"

>>Exactly. This was never going to happen;

Of course it could never happen...

Cough, cough, IBM...

Donald Trump confirms TPP to be dumped, visa program probed

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Re: And so it begins...

>>No, we're headed out of an eight year recession. The one that got Obama elected and somehow never went away. Funny about that.

The latest US recession started a year before Obama took office, but blue collar jobs have been crashing since 2000, however, blue collar jobs have been on a steady increase for the last 4 years, the recession is officially (statistically) over, bundling in interest rates, employment rates, poverty thresholds etc. this is little consolation for those who are still suffering the affects of the blue collar crash, but as much as Obama has stopped the steady decline (and to some extent reversed it in the last 4 years) it's totally impossible to have historical levels of industrial employment, automation is cheaper, it's here and it's increasing, you either have expensive hand made, inconsistent quality products or cheaper, consistent quality products, which do you think a business man like Trump will want?

Top of the bots: This AI isn't a cold, cruel killing machine – it's a pop music hit machine

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Re: AI is still a joke.

The first "real" work into AI started with Turing, but he made an assertion that almost all AI avoids, this is the need to learn "everything", modern AI starts with rules rather than a system that can find/define/create rules, intelligence has evolved, but most people working in AI like to "hit the ground running" which means you get an approximation really quickly, but it's bounded by it's own rules.

Ironically, the Turing test (despite it's flaws) is touted as a way to identify successful AI - although I suspect that Turning envisioned a machine that could learn and could go on to pass the test, not a machine that could be taught to pass the test, and that as Seth Brundle would say is the beauty in the flesh.

Asimov recognised this as a restriction with creation of the three rules and he regularly toyed with the possibility that they were optional, in Cal, he directly implied creativity requires removing of the rules.

UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

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Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

>>I don't think you understand the law too well. There is a high level of proof required - 99% doesn't do the job - so "not guilty" means that there was insufficient proof for the jury. It does not mean that he was innocent.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

i.e. Presumption of innocence, it means legally, he is innocent until proven guilty, as he wasn't proven guilty, he is legally innocent - whether he is actually innocent is a different matter (which of course is your point), the problem here is two fold, firstly is it even legal to impose a legal constraint on someone not found legally guilty of something, secondly this legal constraint appears to exceed the boundaries of the guidelines.

In this "safe not sorry" environment it disturbs me slightly to feel comfortable that his life is messed up on the possibility that this protects innocent people (even if he is practically and legally innocent of anything), it seems as if he has been dealt with in a very draconian way and the SJW in me doesn't like it, I guess, as a test case if his appeal is successful, this might protect innocent people, the risk is (of course) if he is a "wrongun" and he then attacks someone where the restrictions would have protected them.

I can't help feeling that there's some bad stuff going on, just can't put my finger on it, perhaps there's just better ways of dealing with aberrant desires than presumption of guilt.

What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

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>>Alternatively they can refuse a deal and watch their car industry go bust....

You say this with a smug air of power, while it's obviously true that people in the UK do buy a lot of cars from Germany, the reverse direction is actually more true, the UK sells more cars to the EU than anywhere else, in fact it's over 10% of our exports, if you think that we can somehow use our purchasing power as some kind of zero tariff lever, then (by your logic) this puts us in a very weak bargaining position as we depend far more on the EU for our car industry than they do on ours.

Replacement IT at 'high risk'. Squeaky bum time for UK tax folk

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At least we are blaming the government.

Would have been terrible to put any of the responsibility on Cap's shoulders, it's not as if they are doing the actual work....

Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill

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Re: Godwin!!

>>Does this count as a Godwin? If so, is this possibly the fastest Godwin on El Reg ever?

Not quite a Godwin per-se, but It won't take too long to get to the money that the US was making from the Nazis, or where the Nazis were getting their machines for Jewish census and tracking from (IBM), brokered indirectly through Dehomag to hide the purchase.

GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

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Re: Gene escape

>>What is the difference between "releasing" artificially modified genes into the environment, and releasing what you presumably would call "naturally" modified genes as has been done for thousands of years by selective breeding?

#1 Natural genetic drift is slow

#2 Natural borders such as seas, mountains, deserts provide degrees of isolation and therefore protection

#3 Most "naturally" modified genes are passed through vertical gene transfer in multicellular life (VRT)

#4 Most "artificially" modified genes are created through horizontal gene transfer in multicellular life (HRT)

Selective breeding is a VRT technique, but is far too slow to use practically in the emerging food markets, so these genes are spiced directly using HRT, this means that any harmful characteristics don't usually have time to be fully expressed or even identified, even in selective breeding of dogs, the selective breeding of one trait may drag in undesirable traits (such as hip dysplasia).

There are also, of course natural parallels, sickle cell anaemia is "selected in" because it offers a degree of malaria resistance, and this is in natural VRT.

HRT is a really good technique, lets say you have five species of corn, each has a useful trait expressed by having a specific gene, now, you could cross breed these five until one offspring eventually has all five traits, but that takes time and many generations (and of course they may not be cross fertile or drag unwanted issues in) - much better to pick up the five genes and splice them in, more accurate and less prone to error, and of course you are merely speeding up the process.

What is in the unknown, or at least there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns are where genes from otherwise incompatible species are spliced, these HRT hybrids are very rare in nature in comparison to VRT and have only been observed regularly in bacteria, single cell and to some extent viruses (there's potential for a virus to "inject" the genes).

If you have no concerns with GM because you think it's the same as selective breeding then you're wrong, plain and simple - it's far more complex than you think, if you have no concerns with GM because you think there's sufficient controls to protect the environment and that commercial success will come second to profit and time to market then you're a little naive.

Blighty starts pumping out 12-sided quids

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Re: Today????

Actually the UK mints coins for many other countries, and is actually largest exporter of minted foreign currency in the world - it's been doing it for centuries.

There's a few unusual "accidents" whereby a coin has had two different countries sides when dies have been mixed up (known as a mule), not as common as something like the undated 20p, and much easier to spot than the very rare 1970 halfpenny with the early obverse but usually rare enough to suspect it wasn't completely accidental.

FAA's 'drone smash risk to aircraft' is plane crazy

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@Sir Alien

>>"ANY" model aircraft whether fitted with a camera or not, is not allowed to fly within a set radius of an airport or critical location (e.g. large packed stadium). This is just one example.

Actually the CAA UK regulations only restrict A, C, D and E airspace for drones (and other craft) over 7Kg or having a camera (although technically any surveillance, which could mean other telemetry or even audio).

In fact, If it's under 7Kg and doesn't have any kind of surveillance then the only rules are you must be able to see it (direct line), you're not allowed to drop anything from it, and (the kicker, which might get you) "be reasonably satisfied the flight can be safely made".


NASA celebrates 50-year anniversary of first spaceship docking in orbit

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Re: And in three years ...

It was all totally political, rockets exist because of politics, the Russians were beating the Americans hands down, first man made object in solar orbit, first man in space, first woman in space, first two, three person rocket, first fully automated docking, first space walk, first "hard" landing on the moon (and first deliberate crash), first "soft" landing, first "far side" pictures of the moon, first automated sample return, the first pictures from the moon's surface.

In many ways, both practically and semantically the Russians won the space race, over and over again, and of course - are still winning, by actually having a space program, the U.S. had the first man on the moon, this was such an amazing technical achievement, many considered it "the goal" and declared the U.S. "The Winner", you'll even see the moon missions broken down into multiple achievements (first human to fly to the moon, first to land, first to leave) you'll see the space station ignored as an achievement despite the Russians doing it two years before the U.S.

America jumped ahead of the Russians for a brief moment with the manned moon landings, this was sheer will, and of course money, the U.S. spent about $25bn (non adjusted) to get to the moon, Russia's budget for the next 10 years is $20bn, the potential moon base has a finger in the air of $50bn - these are not adjusted figures, adjust for inflation over the last 50 years and you see just how massive the investment was.

The space shuttle was a big white elephant, it's inability to leave LEO meant no more moon for the foreseeable future, the design constraint of launching (and retrieving) from a bay meant it's capacity wasn't as great as other heavy lift.

There's a bit of rewriting history going on as well, Goddard is credited with the first liquid propulsion rocket, but Ivan Platonovich Grave flew liquid propelled rockets earlier, ahh... the cry is "they were rudimentary and not controlled", but nor were Goddard's - yes Goddard's were better, but Sergei Korolev's were the first to have control vanes - this made it practical, so why does history ignore the two Russians and credit the American? for the same reason why the Wright brothers were credited with "inventing the aircraft" (despite being beaten to it many times before) - the reason is that the history books we in the west read credits westerners, the western history books decide what the winning post is.

And I didn't even mention Nazi's and war criminals once - apart from then, sorry.

Middle-aged US bloke pleads guilty to iCloud celeb nude photo hack

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Re: Middle aged?

It's a stretch to call 36 "middle aged", there's no dictionary definition which would make 36 middle aged, and dictionaries usually reflect the popular zeitgeist, so I think the El Reg is using it in a way which does not match common understanding.


SSL's DROWN not as bad as Heartbleed, still a security ship wreck

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Re: Is TLS vulnerable or not?

SSLv2 is inherently insecure to brute force and protocol vulnerabilities, and if cracked then you'll discover the session key, which gives you access to all the data that you captured (for that session) - which is the only reason you need to disable it.

DROWN is different, because you can expose the servers private key used for the connection, this is used to encrypt the session key, if you have the private key, then you can decrypt the handshake to get the session key for any previously captured session (or any future one), and you can do it at real-time speed.

So, if the server supports a legacy SSLv2, you can connect (with your own session, which allows you to snoop/inject/manipulate on your own network), obtain the private key and then use that private key to decrypt anyone else's session - assuming you can also snoop their session (decrypting the handshake to get the session key and any subsequent renegotiation) so, even if somebody is using the latest TLS1.2 with an AES512 session key you can pwn it (as the kids say).

Solution: don't enable SSLv2, OpenSSL is helping you with this by switching it off in a default build - IMHO, this should have happened a bajillion years ago, you could of course dig your own grave, by switching the compile option back on.

Awoogah – brown alert: OpenSSL preps 'high severity' security fixes

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Old addage

"You can either make something so simple that there are obviously no bugs, or so complex that there are no obvious bugs"

OpenSSL falls into the later category, the biggest issue is that they don't deprecate, so SSLv2 code is still in there (this is where the most serious bugs are this time), what is changing is that the default installs are no longer including weak ciphers and old transport methods.

Really old bugs (like Heartbleed) are likely to be found eventually, and this isn't the end of it - when people complain "all those eyes and these things are not found", they are wrong - they have been found, this is the point - they have just been found, the problem is this code is released, it's out there, running so it seems to be a problem.

But closed source "appears" safer because a patch gets released and it silently fixes stuff where people don't have the source in front of them to go "Look, what an idiot... that's baaaaaaad code", do you think that every MS patch isn't patching *exactly* the same sort of mistakes, in fact it's only the reverse engineering crowd that are highlighting the overflows etc. (without the benefit of the source) and building exploits, the difference is, by then it's too late, it's patched.

More code will be patched, more bugs found, and the bigger it gets, the more eyes will find issues, there *is* a case for security by obscurity (which MS do well), but not as a substitute for testing and going through the code - which of course MS do, when code crashes or acts unpredictably, that's those bugs manifesting, the difference is, Joe Smoe doesn't have the code in front of them to work out why, MS do, and their motivation is to fix it, not to exploit it - get OpenSSL to do something unpredictable or crash, you have the code and it's more fun to find an exploit.


Locky ransomware is spreading like the clap

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>>Strictly speaking, that should be "..., are ya?"

Strictly speaking, to be close to the quote, it's [You've got to ask yourself one question] "Do I feel locky?", Well do ya, punk? (the second bit was correct with the original, and the context missing for the first).

Meh... pedantry

I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

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Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...


>>None of the examples are real attempts to propose what AI might be or do. They are irrelevant to AI research and development, which in reality has hardly advanced since Alan Turning mused about it.

This is possibly the most important fact about AI, and one I discussed with my proposed masters dissertation tutor, Turing suggested something for A.I. which (most) research steered away from, Turing suggested that every rule must be learnt not innate (and of course, the context was a mash up between computing engines and AI), in CPU terms it's like having routines built in for mathematical functions, a "CISC" processor, Turing indicated that AI should be built from RISC (not his words obviously), however most AI is built from sets of rules - and Asimov cements this in the three laws (and of course, other authors seem to feel the need to add to), these laws actually destroy AI, not create it, they create a veneer, a pretence, human laws like the golden rule come from evolution, AI must evolve or it's not AI, it's AAI

Prez Obama sends Iranian defense hacker home in prisoner swap

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He hacked in order to get access to technology that was blocked to Iran by trade agreements, it wasn't stealing for profit (OK, he obviously got paid), i.e. he committed a crime that was only perpetrated because there was no legal way of getting the information, in fact all of the Iranians in the swap were found guilty of trade embargo contraventions, some of which involved other direct fraud (it's difficult to legally pay for illegal goods, services and technology).

I *think* the argument goes something like this; we made it illegal for you to do X, other countries can do X, so for you to do X you had to commit other crimes, if X was legal, you wouldn't have done the crime, so we will let you off (obviously the context is the new nuclear deal, which makes these embargo's somewhat moot anyway).

And don't forget, this wasn't free, the Iranians released four U.S. citizens (all dual Iranian) with similar pardons for their actions, and this is off the back of releasing the 10 U.S. sailors that (allegedly) violated Iranian waters, if Iran violated U.S. waters, would you expect the same?

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

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"right clocking"

Most of my overclocking tended to be finding chips which were "Underclocked" versions sold cheaply at a lower FSB setting.

Dual Celeron 266 -> Dual 400Mhz (running NT with SMP HAL on a BP6)

Celeron (300A) 300MHz -> 450MHz

Celeron 700E 700MHz -> 933MHz

The xeons were a nice find, I got a Dell 490 and put in a pair of E5350 (2.67GHz) then clocked them to 3.33GHz, eight cores, and that was five or six years ago.

The harper xeons were also pretty good, as the 1333Mhz units are just 1600MHz and the L5408 (2.13GHz) can do 3.2GHz with nothing more than some tape and silver paint, I've got 3.6GHz from a pair of E5450's (stock coolers) and 4GHz from a pair of X5470's (on water)

For a budget system you can get a cheap E5420 (obviously a 771 chip), hack it to 775 and overclock on a cheap 1600 775 mobo and you have four cores @3GHz or try for 3.6GHz with a E5450 and these things are as cheap as chips (well, they would be wouldn't they?).


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