* Posts by staringatclouds

112 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jan 2016


Intel slaps forehead, says I got it: AI PCs. Sell them AI PCs

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Oh hell no

Probe reveals previously secret Israeli spyware that infects targets via ads


You appear to be using an ad blocker

Damn right I am

UK admits 'spy clause' can't be used for scanning encrypted chat – it's not 'feasible'


Re: Logical fallacy of cracking encryption

So the police rock up to your door saying "Our AI powered decryption tool has decrypted your message & it says this 'some really nasty CSAM' so we're arresting you"

You: "It says nothing of the sort"

Police: "Prove it"

Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead


Re: Computer MOT

I had a similar problem, woke up one day no internet connection, checked the landline - no phone either, fired up my mobile as a hotspot, no reported errors on my line, auto testing showed no problem

It took 3 days, including promising t̵o̵ ̵s̵a̵c̵r̵i̵f̵i̵c̵e̵ ̵m̵y̵ ̵f̵i̵r̵s̵t̵b̵o̵r̵n̵ pay for an engineers time if the problem was inside the house, to get an engineer to visit

He was very nice but obviously had a brief that he needed to find a fault in the house

The problem was an engineer for a company that shared the green box had unplugged our line at the box for some reason

Eventually, after about half an hour of checking wires & taking connectors apart, he gave up trying to find the fault at my end & wandered down to the green box & voila within 2 minutes we had a phone & internet again

And he still gave me side eye like I'd somehow done this


Re: Computer MOT

"Sir, please install the latest Windows Updates and enable Onedrive backups."

Certainly, can you talk me through the process of how I do that without an internet connection please

... Sorry I was forgetting we're not talking to a human yet, we're still on the script, my bad

Wrong time to weaken encryption, UK IT chartered institute tells government


I believe the bill criminalises any content OFCOM can't read

So the bad guys will go old school, the time & date of messages will be the message, innocuous phrases will be the message, it'll all be readable but no one but the bad guys will understand what's being said

Of course that'll just be bad guys within the UK

Those that live elsewhere or visit the UK from countries that allow encryption or happen to be UK MP's will blithely continue to use encryption OFCOM can't read

Meanwhile the Government will be able to see our banking transactions

Big Brother

Re: Lets start by making all UK politician's calls and messages public.

Cardinal Richelieu - If you give me six lines written by the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him

GPT-4 to launch this week, Microsoft Germany's CTO lets slip


Wonderful, yet another parrot mashing our own words up & handing them back to us with zero comprehension

Actually, that's an insult to parrots, I apologise to all parrots everywhere

Salesforce latest to sprinkle ChatGPT on itself, will ask language models to write code


ChatGPT isn't intelligent

A possibly unpopular opinion

From what I've seen of ChatGPT interactions I am of the opinion that it isn't 'intelligent', has no 'understanding' & very definitely isn't sentient

Unfortunately some people are treating it as if it is

They see it as some sort of oracle, that gives human language answers to human language questions, they don't realise that at least some of those answers are complete BS

What seems to be happening is you give it a search term like "Write me a couple of paragraphs about the band Pink Floyd", it consults it's database built from the internet for articles about "the band Pink Floyd" that are at least 2 or 3 paragraphs long, builds a template from the results & then generates a reply from that template

So it can't help but look like human language as that's what it was generated from

It's probably nothing like that in practice, but that would fit the examples so far

The problem comes from the search terms, it also seems to find results for Pink & Floyd & Band & The

So it could generate a paragraph about how Pink Floyd went down with the Titanic as "The Band" played on or about how they all wear Pink or literally any old toss it found on the internet whether it's right or wrong

Because it has no intelligence, it doesn't understand the words, it's just digesting and regurgitating our own words back to us, which sadly some people are taking as a sign of sentience, even more sadly a lot of those people are in positions of authority

There's the journalist on here who asked about himself and it said he was dead (https://www.theregister.com/2023/03/02/chatgpt_considered_harmful/), there would be lots of obituaries of people with his first name and lots with his last name, so it generated a paragraph saying he was dead, some of them were in the Guardian so it generated a fake link that looked like all the others it had seen

It's just a free associating bot spewing mashed up data taken from other sources

ChatGPT should go straight on the bonfire before some idiot puts it in place of actual people and it starts being asked questions where the answers affect peoples lives

Microsoft's AI Bing also factually wrong, fabricated text during launch demo


Re: Ai....

I think it's more Dark Star


Creator of Linux virtual assistant blames 'patent troll' for project's death


Pro 1

I waited nearly a year for my Pro 1, after 11 months it developed a charging fault & was returned for an in warranty repair, 9 months later my partner tracked down one of the directors on LinkedIn & basically we threatened them with legal action, a month after that I got a phone back, it wasn't the one I originally had though, someone had dropped this one & the screen had been replaced but there's still a chip in the keyboard, I'm buggered if I'm dealing with them again to get it fixed, the phone works so I'm going to use it until it falls apart

The Twitpocalypse may have begun, as datacenter migration reportedly founders


4400 character limit

All that's going to happen with the 4400 character limit is the appearance of mini novellas in linked tweet form as people who pay for the privilege get to publish their manifestos on a public platform


Re: "Going forward, Twitter will be broadly accepting of different values"

Re point 2

I used to be a moderator & later on as admin on a UK based forum for about 10 years

It was drilled into us on day one that the forum was a publication & governed by the same laws that govern newspapers, it was nothing like a chat between people in a pub

Plus the forum was responsible for all content published, so while the police might go after the OP of some actionable post they made, they'd also be coming for us for allowing it

Microsoft tells people to prepare for AI search engine that goes Bing!


Clippy for web search

Remember Clippy the animated assistant that the first thing everyone ever asked it was "How do I turn the office assistant off ... permanently?"

Well it's coming to search engines

I wonder how many search queries will be "How do I turn the AI assistant off ?"

Or just switch to DuckDuckGo

Elon Musk starts poll with one question: Should I step down as head of Twitter?


Re: Confused.com

Snu snu

California's attempt to protect kids online could end adults' internet anonymity


Re: Anonymous Speech

And here we have "Version 1.0" & "LDS" arguing against anonymity because, of course, those are their real names


Re: The Real Web 3.0

"The idea that the internet is evil & that freedom to say or read or interact with others is dangerous seems to have taken root amongst ruling elites"

It is, to them

The internet allows us to communicate, find kindred spirits & unite

This takes away "divide & conquer" which has been our rulers preferred method of ruling since they became rulers


Re: Anonymous Speech

And people who use their real names on social media can have their lives ruined

Like Mike Stuchbery who was doorstepped & harassed by Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) & his sycophants

A: Because he made the mistake of calling out TR on social media for posting misinformation, something TR admits to


B: Because he posted using his real name, which is quite distinctive, which allowed TR to track down his address & doorstep MS while livestreaming this to his followers, who now all knew where MS lived & started a campaign of harassment, eventually hounding MS out of the country

See https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/tommy-robinson-hounded-me-out-of-my-home-and-country_uk_5dfd0e41e4b0b2520d0aae59

So, solve that problem before demanding people post using real names or calling them cowards, we can't all afford to change countries because some wingnut decides to camp on our doorstep over some remark we made on social media

Back-to-office mandates won't work, says Salesforce's Benioff


Extra time

My partner is an accountant & currently is dealing with the auditors

Over the weekend she put in an extra 18 hours to ensure the work that should have been done, but wasn't because of auditor interruptions, was done

Good luck getting that sort of work, if she has to go in to an office to do it

The Souls noob's guide to Elden Ring


Re: Fun to watch, not to play

Try The Dark Mod

The emphasis is on stealth rather than combat, it's based on the Doom 3 engine & runs on PC's under Windows & Linux

99.9% of the mission content is fan generated so missions can be a bit variable, but it has quite a few missions that rival AAA games

Oh & it's free just google "The Dark Mod" for the website & downloads

Epoch-alypse now: BBC iPlayer flaunts 2038 cutoff date, gives infrastructure game away


Re: Y2K minor point

Thanks for the downvotes guys, the year I spent sorting out hardware issues must have been a total waste


Y2K minor point

"Y2K was caused by programmers saving space by storing years as two digits"

No it wasn't, if it were a software problem a patch would have solved it

It was caused by the hardware storing dates as 2 digits & because it was the hardware this meant replacing the clock chips which usually meant replacing the entire device

Y2K was primarily a hardware problem, which is why it was such a mare to deal with

Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines


Re: Last update wrecked so much

All of my machines are Linux bar one cheapo tablet which won't download any updates because no matter how much space is freed on the disk there isn't enough space to store the download

MPs charged with analysing Online Safety Bill say end-to-end encryption should be called out as 'specific risk factor'


Next time ask them what Vega is like


Re: end-to-end encryption

"Lets ban end to end encryption" say MP's who regularly talk to their party donors via Whatsapp

China's Yutu rover spots 'mysterious hut' on far side of the Moon


I wondered where that went

I used to have a gazebo

Then after a sudden storm I found I didn't have a gazebo any more

I wondered where it went, I didn't think of looking up there

The Omicron dilemma: Google goes first on delaying office work


Re: Safely reopen?

andu 103 : "In the same way if you banned all drivers from driving for 1 month, you can bet that month would have the lowest number of road accidents! See previous point about you can't do that forever."

The problem with that analogy is

Covid will die out in the population if it's not given a chance to spread for about a month

Whereas drivers won't become safer drivers, and therefore less likely to have accidents, after a month off

And the reason Covid didn't die out with previous lockdowns is they weren't coordinated globally, sometimes they weren't coordinated nationally, and there were always selfish tossers who didn't think the rules apply to them, so there was always a new virus load spreading somewhere

Bring on the downvotes

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson


Re: Palemoon, check. Seamonkey, check.

was it an e-book ?

UK schools slap a hold on facial scanning of children amid fierce criticism


Re: David Swanston should have spoken to the ICO

It would be just as interesting to see the form that parents filled in to give consent for their child to use facial scanning

I suspect the question was phrased in such a way that there was no choice

Something like "We are installing this system, it uses facial recognition, if you don't consent your child will need to make alternative arrangements"


The Key word is children

Children cannot give informed consent & their parents cannot consent because they're giving away the right to something they themselves do not possess

For example compare this with sex

Children cannot give informed consent to sex, not can their parents give consent for their children to have sex

Now facial recognition won't get anyone pregnant, but it's using personal information which is potentially damaging and can have an effect that lasts their entire life

Nobody cares about DAB radio – so let's force it onto smart speakers, suggests UK govt review


Re: Analogue radio receivers were low cost

Now they do, when DAB first came out you couldn't get a receiver for less than £100 & the smallest were the size of suitcases

Well at least the ones I could find were, finding a small, portable, cheap DAB receiver back in ye olde dayes was an exercise in frustration, especially when you could get an FM receiver that could practically fit on a keyring

Opt-out is the right approach for sharing your medical records with researchers


It's my data, if you want to access it you can ask me, if you present a decent case, can ensure anonymity & privacy I'll let you have it, otherwise, no

BOFH: You. Wouldn't. Put. A. Test. Machine. Into. Production. Without. Telling. Us.


Reminds me of the time we upgraded our SPARC box with an extra processor

Then after we'd forgotten all about it the auditors turn up and we had a conversation along the lines of

A: "SPARC Processor, part number blablabla, could I see it please ?"

Me: "You do know that's a PROCESSOR not an actual computer don't you"

A: "Yes, it says so on the ticket here SPARC Processor, can I see it?"

Me: "You see that cream coloured biscuit tin shaped box sitting on top of the other cream coloured biscuit tin shaped boxes over there?"

A: "Yes"

Me: "That's the companies main financial database server, it's in that, I'd have to turn it off & disassemble it a bit, do you still want to see it?"

A: "Yes please"

Me: "OK I'll have to send out an email to tell the people in the UK, US, Australia & Switzerland that we're going to shut down the finance server for a hardware audit, it may take them a while to get back to me, would you like a cup of tea while we wait?"

A: "... erm .... can I make a phone call?"

I know we really needed a redundant system for such a vital function, but no bugger would pay for it, this was back in Windows 95 days, possibly early NT days, a while ago anyway

Dowden out, Dorries in: Is UK data protection in safe hands?


Re: Ahem.

Boris's handler makes all the decisions...

Spending watchdog blames British Home Office for delays to £1bn crime-fighting IT system


Re: Process - minor correction

1. Choose a Tory party donor


UK's NHS hands Accenture another £5m for Test and Trace system for another year


SERCO Test & Trace with an NHS badge slapped on to shift the blame for it's failure

Rest assured if it was working SERCO would be shouting from the rooftops that it was their product

Good news: There's a slightly increased chance of asteroid Bennu hitting Earth. Bad news: It's still really slight


Keith & Lemmy's livers are immortal the rest of them not so much

Zorin OS 16 Pro arrives complete with optional 'Windows 11' desktop


Re: I have this on my Dell latitude

I have two Dell Precision T1700's originally running Win7 pro one for me & one for my partner

I migrated both to Zorin 15 when Win7 support ran out

Zero issues, it worked out of the box, I swapped the email & browser to the same as I used on Win 7 but that's about it

England's controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time


So given Priti's folder holds details of the information she gave to an unfriendly foreign power*

Why aren't MI5/GCHQ reining her in a bit ?

* You remember all those foreign 'holidays' she took & was subsequently sacked as a minister for before someone thought "the plebs will have forgotten by now lets make her a minister again"


Re: Anonymous Data is Impossible

Lets call this what it is

Eugenics by algorithm

And before people say I'm overreacting, that's exactly what this ...

"Google (Alphabet) now knows that patient 014432 is Janet Crow from Acre Lane in Clapham, and from her gmail contacts and Facebook profile can see who her friends and family are and, based on their search history and given the genetic nature of her condition, knows not to insure members of her family without an increased premium and that they should not hire from that family due to higher likelihood of death in service."

... means

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features


Audacious - https://www.audacious-media-player.org/

Sorry, that's taken


How about something like "Harmony" as it's an antonym of "Audacity"

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes


Re: Strike three

Audacious is an audio player

Playmobil crosses the final frontier with enormous, metre-long Enterprise playset



"including a stand in the shape of the Enterprise's emblem"


I really must see a Doctor about this cough

Of all the analytics firms in the world, why is Palantir getting its claws into UK health data?

Big Brother

Cambridge Analytica database

A few idle questions

Cambridge Analytica built a database of voters using various scams & scraped Facebook data, it wasn't complete but it was good enough to target at least some of the electorate with ads playing to their concerns and may have affected their vote in the EU referendum

Does anyone know what happened to that database ?

Does anyone believe it was deleted when CA closed shop ?

Does anyone think it's not being maintained & augmented ?

Does anyone wonder how the Conservatives achieved an 80 seat majority with a little over 29% of the electorate voting for them ?

Let the downvotes begin

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary


"Whilst of course preserving the highest standards of safety and privacy"

Right up until everyone has forgotten & a minister decides they can safely change the legislation because no one who hasn't opted out can opt out at that stage

Say 6 months to a year

In this round of 'Real life or Black Mirror episode', drones that hunt down humans by listening to their screams


"In Varela's defence, the technology is not intended to allow future autonomous battle machines - which may or may not look like the HK-Aerial craft from James Cameron's 1984 classic The Terminator - to track down the few remaining human survivors of an inevitable robot uprising by listening to their pitiful cries for mercy"

Skynet was "intended" to save lives

Snowden was right, rules human rights court as it declares UK spy laws broke ECHR


Re: Always listening to our customers

"Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him."

- Cardinal Richelieu