* Posts by USER100

61 posts • joined 20 Mar 2018

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We're not getting back with Galileo, UK govt tells The Reg, as question marks sprout above its BS*

USER100

Never tried that, but I have used a screwdriver as a hammer before

Howdy, er, neighbor – mind if we join you? Potential sign of life spotted in Venus's atmosphere

USER100
Alien

Re: Life

This is totally momentous. It could mean the idea of panspermia is correct. There is no way life arose on Earth by chance. For years, boffins have tried to replicate the creation of life - they've failed.

Maybe there is something bigger than we know (NNG), which might have spermed life out into the Universe.

I can 'proceed without you', judge tells Julian Assange after courtroom outburst

USER100

It's more than a legal issue

Many here are arguing over legal technicalities, but look at the bigger picture: various scandals, including war crimes, committed by corporations and our governments, were exposed by wikileaks. What's happening now is that Assange is getting done for exposing the nasty truth, as a warning to other potential trouble makers. The mainstream media are complicit.

There's an interesting article about it here: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2020-09-02/media-assange-persecution/

AI in the enterprise: Prepare to be disappointed – oversold but under appreciated, it can help... just not too much

USER100
FAIL

Re: Yeah, No. It is a pity both can't lose.

I agree. Neither side has laid their cards on the table, i.e. they've failed to address the real debate everyone wanted to see: for or against Strong/True AI.

Maybe because they know the whole thing is a philisophical concept rather than a scientific one.

USER100

The comparison (made by others also) between swimming and submarines, while initially appealing, is not apt. 'Thought', 'sentience', 'conscoiusness', 'awareness', 'intelligence', 'feeling' (so many words for it yet it's still so hard to describe) - whatever you want to call it, is in no way analogous to an engine turning a propeller. You might as well compare a person lifting a weight to a crane, which can lift thousands of times more.

While totally impractical, a ship with arms and legs that thrashes through the water could be built, but computers versus actual brains? It's not even a mismatch.

USER100

Performant in the Enterprise

Whether or not it's "in the enterprise", I take issue with this: 'AI pioneer Marvin Minsky says that AI is basically machines doing what we do'. Yes, AI can be useful for various tasks, but saying that it's 'machines doing what we do' sounds a bit silly.

+1 for the AC who said this debate is poorly phrased.

> Of course we have to argue about which is the best question first, before getting around to arguing about the answer.

I propose building a giant supercomputer...

Forget Terminators, says US military, the next-gen AI battles will hinge upon net infrastructure, not killer robots

USER100

Short-term thinking

> “What we’re working the hardest on is infrastructure, that is where the fight of 20 years will be won... It’s not who has the most exquisite algorithm – that will be obsolete in 20 years – it will be who has the best infrastructure that will still be around in 50 years."

The way things are going there might not be any infrastructure in 50 years. It's funny that when it comes to macho stuff like weaponry, governments are only too keen to think long term, when the real need for future planning is to reverse environmental destruction/climate change/massive concentration of wealth at the top (they are all linked).

> 'the Pentagon’s $10bn enormo-enterprise-cloud project dubbed JEDI'. WTF? They're actually serious. SHB Joint Operational Knucklehead Enterprise. 'JEDI'. LOL

Northrop Grumman wins $13.3bn contract with US Air Force to kick off Minuteman III ICBM replacement

USER100

Folly

> 'Our nation is facing a rapidly evolving threat environment...'. True. 'and protecting our citizens with a modern strategic deterrent capability has never been more critical'. False.

There is a greater threat from some terrorist/nerd/terrorist nerd making a bioweapon in his garage, and nuclear weapons are not a realistic way to counter that. Look at the damage covid's wrought, and it has a pretty low mortality rate.

Even the world's worst dictators are not truly 'mad', in the medical sense. They're corrupt, greedy megalomaniacs, yes, but nuclear war is not something that would benefit them.

The problem is how do you get rid of existing weapons? A country might say 'well if they've got them, we're having/keeping them'. It's the same with guns (worse actually, because state investment is needed for nuclear weapons but not for guns). They can't be uninvented. One can only hope that eventually enough people will see that a modern strategic deterrent capability is not worth the money (though this may take hundreds or perhaps thousands of years).

AI in the enterprise: Get ready for a whole new era of smart software fueled by mountains upon mountains of data

USER100

Impossible task

"you need a new algorithm that throws away the rigid logic and exploits the data."

An algorithm (a finite sequence of rules) that throws away logic. Ok.

AI in the Enterprise: How can we make analytics and stats sound less scary? Let's call it AI!

USER100

The doors of perception

The author, supposedly arguing for the motion that AI is 'dumb algorithms', refers to 'the processing pipelines of human perception - algorithms many millions of years old'. Computers are conscious in the same way that an abacus is. Both are inanimate objects. Whatever human perception is, it's biological and mushy - totally unlike algorithms, 0s and 1s.

AI in the enterprise: AI may as well stand for automatic idiot – but that doesn't mean all machine learning is bad

USER100
Headmaster

Agree with the gist of the article but

It's badly worded.

> Feed them [the algorithms] an input that slightly deviates from the ones encountered during the training process and it’ll make mistakes. {...and THEY'LL make mistakes, or feed IT [the algorithm] an input...}

> There are all sorts of issues with modern machine learning that it’s no wonder you’re highly suspicious of the rising number of companies {There are [SUCH] issues with modern machine learning that it's no wonder... or 'There are all sorts of issues with modern machine learning, (SO) it's no wonder...'}

On a non-grammatical point,

> AI has now progressed enough that cloud companies even offer off-the-shelf models to help companies perform simple tasks like translating languages or recognizing objects and faces.

Recognizing faces is not a simple task for a computer.

Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report

USER100

Re: It’s “tech washing” the dismantling of the 20th century

Not being able to do maths is indeed a hinderance. Most of the governing class (in many cases despite their lack of ability) can do maths, thanks to their tuition at private schools.They were taught 'Classics', whatever that is. Their background almost guarantees them an Establishment job. So they see nothing really wrong with the system - which continues to teach maths very poorly to comprehensive kids. And so the cycle continues...

USER100

Re: This shitshow must end

That's why I put in the caveat 'arguably'. If you find gold under your house, yes it's yours. I have no intention or ability to overturn millennia of property rights perception. I was merely making the point that most buisinesses are contingent on the infrastructure that has developed with society over time. That is, taxes have paid for public utilities like the roads, railways, the NHS (in the UK), the National Grid, etc. Some have been sold off since, but the point remains valid.

As for natural resources, is it ok for businesses to appropriate and destroy large areas of rainforest, whether it be in Brazil, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea or wherever? That is a rhetorical question.

USER100
Flame

This shitshow must end

There is a reluctance to see what's going on here, and what has happened in the past few decades.

It's all related - climate change, corporate profits, destruction of the environment, ever poorer conditions for employees... It's not a question of party politics (the main parties have been bought. The Greens seem ok but have no chance of any power under FPTP). Companies are legally bound to maximize shareholder profit above all else? WTF? They make their money by being embedded in the infrastructure (which taxpayers made) and by extracting natural resources, which no one made and (arguably) belong to everyone.

martinusher mentions Taylor, but problems started with the industrial revolution, which was really a revolution for bosses.

So it is down to the people, the employees. No political party will do anything. The only remaining way to effect change is by organising, i.e. collective power. However, such has been the massive historical influence of Murdoch & co, any such talk is deemed 'leftist' or even 'communist'. The so-called middle ground has slowly shifted waay to the right. Maybe in the seventies the unions did have too much power, but the pendulum has now swung much too far the other way. Employees are getting screwed and accepting it as 'just the way it is'. Well things can change, if enough people wake up and say "No mas".

(Rant over.)

USER100

Unions need to make a comeback

> [The Open Markets Institute proposed] a rule against any forms of surveillance that "preemptively interfere with unionization efforts".

This is the key. The power lies with the workers, if only they knew it. That's why unions have been totally defanged since the 70s, thanks to corporate pressure/donations to governments.

Bosses and managers comprise a very small section of society, yet they control the rest. Workers are the vast majority but are now, in some cases, treated little better than slaves. I've often thought there's not much difference between the average job and slavery - you are doing something all day you don't want to be doing, in exchange for the ability to (just about) pay the rent/mortgage. (Except in the case of slaves their owners often provided the housing.)

Sadly, people now seem reluctant to join unions when they have the chance. This weakens the unions still further, which makes joining one even less appealing - exactly what our corporate overlords want.

What's 2 + 2? Personal info, sniffs Twitter: Anti-doxxing AI goes off the rails, bans tweets with numbers in them

USER100

Re: Would anything of value be lost if Twitter was gone?

I also have mixed feelings about it. While not on social media myself, I can see how it might be useful in situations like if somewhere was getting bombed or whatever, people could share that news without the filter of the mass media and its sponsors. Maybe we just have to take the bad with the good.

USER100

Re: No AI

> Really, for Artificial Intelligence to happen we need a lot, lot more. We need real _understanding_ and we are nowhere near that.

I would go further and say it can't be done. It's taking scientists a long time to reach this conclusion but I think they are getting there.

When computers first appeared, people could be forgiven for thinking that one day a powerful enough machine might be able to reason like us. As time has passed and computing power has grown however, it's become clear that that's not how the brain works at all. Somehow, biology is required to produce awareness, a phenomenon that cannot be replicated by algorithms. When Deep Blue beat Kasparov, it didn't think to itself 'Have that, Garry'. It didn't even 'know' it had won.

Of course AI is still massively important, but please don't ever expect it to actually 'know' or 'think' anything.

Uncle Sam to blow millions on getting fusion power finally working – with the help of AI

USER100

Re: Still 30+ years away...

The 'too many people' argument. I agree the trouble might have started with agriculture, by which accumulation of surplus = accumulation of wealth/property etc. = roots of capitalism. It's too simplistic to say there are too many people. More like there is too much wealth in the hands of a tiny minority of people, an 'elite'. Without wishing to sound 'political', a system that has the likes of Bezos, Gates & co worth more than the GDP of very many countries must be a tad suspect.

(Btw, what is your proposal?)

USER100

Still 30+ years away...

A fusion reactor that supplies electricity to the power grid seems only slightly more likely than a genuine quantum computer, in other words not at all likely.

So far, from a massive energy input, the main output is a huge neutron flux - no use to anyone.

Considering the amount of money that has been (and is being) spent, e.g. on ITER and similar projects, space-based solar power could be a better bet. Though still years away, the problems involved are at least tractable. The same can't be said for fusion power, sadly.

The best solution, anathema to the world economic system, is simply make less stuff, use less energy. Then, maybe, renewables could supply our needs.

How do you feel about single-use plastics? OK, interesting. Now tell us your views on surprise Windows updates

USER100

Re: Keep New Zealand on the map!

> Highly recommend Te Papa museum. Hope to be allowed to return before I die.

Same here. Mind you, it was my own fault - shouldn't have shat in one of the exhibition cases.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Winking red supergiants sneezing hot gas 650 light years away

USER100

Scientifically speaking

It appears that Betelgeuse had too much beer and curry, which may have caused a severe outgassing event.

Whoops, our bad, we may have 'accidentally' let Google Home devices record your every word, sound – oops

USER100

Re: Switched off? for now, possibly.

The chances of anything happening can't be less than zero. Probability goes from zero (won't happen) to one (will happen). That's 110% true.

UK puts £200m on table for dynamic purchasing system to supply public sector with AI

USER100
Stop

hype

"[AI] is more profound than fire or electricity" - Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet. His comment could have come just as easily from the CEO of Reynholm Industries.

It's just a load of hype that idiot MPs are completely taken in by. Another splurge of money on nothing much at all. Of course AI has its place, but when the government start seeing it as TBTSSB it ends up as another public sector IT money pit.

Consultants, corrupt MPs and lawyers are the only beneficiaries I can see from this.

Oh deer! Scotland needs some tech smarts to help monitor its rampant herbivore populations

USER100

Re: Moving Target

Scotland has issues. Number one: not enough trees. Number two: too many sheep (and deer). A balanced ecosystem would automatically deal with the deer population. Predators (wolves) would limit deer numbers.

Part of the problem is that half of Scotland is owned by bellends who enjoy the 'sport' of shooting grouse etc.

The solution is simple: remove ownership of the land, and allow it to revert to its natural state.

USER100

Re: Thinking about this realistically ...

Of course you're right, there's no harm in making sausages out of the excess.

However... the lack of predators has definitely contributed to this problem. Our culture is has become terrified of anything it can't control. People killed the wolves, bears, wildcats... The forests should include those creatures. Balance would be restored and there'd be no talk of rampant herbivores.

On some primeval level, don't we need the forests to have danger in them?

€13bn wings its way back to Apple after Euro court rules Irish tax deal wasn't 'state aid'

USER100

Re: Corporation Tax should be 0%

Corporation Tax is not a regressive tax, it's a tax on profit.

VAT is a regressive tax because it taxes rich and poor for the same amount whatever the product is, e.g. a millionaire will pay the same VAT on a washing machine as will someone who can barely afford a washing machine.

The argument has been made that that's fair, as everyone pays the same amount, but £30 VAT to a poor person is a significant percentage of their weekly income, whereas it's small change to a wealthy person.

USER100

Re: Corporation Tax should be 0%

If the tax was 0% then all businesses would pay nothing, i.e. you'd be getting rid of corporation tax altogether. So business takes out (by using natural resources, the infrastructure etc.) but doesn't put back. How is that a good idea?

USER100

Re: Corporation Tax should be 0%

But if it's 0% they don't pay any, do they?

USER100

Re: Obscene

Yes, it is by design, by armies of lawyers employed by extremely wealthy people. Sorry to be such a doom-monger but the entire system of tax/law/government/media has become completely corrupt.

Sadly, there does not appear to be any way to change it either. The political system has been bought wholesale by corporate interests. They control government policy and the media. The only 'debate' to be seen is on minority rights issues - ok, that's important, but the real, taboo (for the media) issue is the fact that we now live in an oligarchy.

USER100

Great news!

Some of that €13,000,000,000 will 'trickle down' to the poor. That's how it works... right?

You're testing them wrong: Whiteboard coding interviews are 'anti-women psychological stress examinations'

USER100

Re: Interview questions

Modern job interviews are indeed rude and aggressive. They seem to have evolved so that part of the point is to entertain the interviewer(s) at the expense of the interviewee. Since the 70s, when arguably the unions had too much power, the pendulum has maybe swung too far the other way (Personnel became HR, now = management goons etc.).

It's all part of the widening power gradient between employer and employee. E.g. stupid questions like "Why do you want this job?" "Where do you see yourself [at some future point]?" "Describe a situation when you've had a disagreement..." HOW ABOUT NOW, DICKHEAD!

USER100

Problem-solving interviews are not necessarily a bad thing

This whiteboard test sounds dodgy, but I wish all interviews just consisted of some technical/physical/mechanical test relevant to the job being applied for.

Most jobs are easy - the interview's the hard part. Actual ability is far less help in an interview than ability to bullshit (this also explains why so many managers are tools).

Trump gloats, telcos weep, and China is furious: How things stand following UK's decision to rip out Huawei

USER100

Must be a bad move

I was unsure what view to have on this issue until, as so often, I was convinced by listening to Iain Duncan Smith - to believe the opposite of whatever he said.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript

USER100

Banks are not secure but

This sort of thing, and much worse, is probably rife. It's likely that cyber criminals are stealing vast sums of money, but if the banks went public they would only scare their customers, so instead they simply reimburse the money and no one is any the wiser.

They are able to do this because they can basically 'magic up' money from thin air. That's the crazy truth at the heart of the banking system, which very few people seem to realise or maybe just can't bring themselves to believe.

If you buy a house, you (would usually) borrow the money from a bank. The bank then presses some buttons on a computer. Over the years, you pay them back actual money. Ok, it didn't start out like that but that's how it works now (i.e. the money is all just numbers on computers). Despite all that, if they somehow do manage to go titsup, they get bailed out anyway, as they're 'too big to [be allowed to] fail'.

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

USER100

Re: mixed emotions

Yes, that bot was 'Tay' in 2016. It only exposed some of the limitations of AI. The problem starts when meatbags start expecting human behaviour from computers. Aint gonna happen, ever.

Many might say (reasonably) that it doesn't matter, like a robot waiter asking if you'd like the bill. Fine. But when robots are employed in combat, as they will surely be soon, then the problem becomes very real indeed. Enemy combatant? Woman? Child? IF........THEN........ SHOOT THEM

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

USER100

Greener option than car

From a purely physics POV, these scooters do make sense. If you drive to work you're transporting ~80 kg of you and ~1500 kg of metal at the same time. If the weight of the transport can be reduced to ~30 kg, that's a massive reduction in energy use. (Better still, walk or cycle).

(Slightly biased because I hate cars (used to love them), especially SUVs and child-scaring 'shouty cars' with stupid exhausts, dump valves etc.)

(And diesels).

Someone must be bricking it: UK govt website for first-time home buyers snapped up for £40,000 after left to expire

USER100

Property is not necessarily theft

Lol affordable housing! I don't care anymore. Govt. schemes mean zip. The only way to be able to have a house available to everyone is to completely re-split up and redistribute the land and allow people to build on it. And introduce a land tax.

Let's look at the truth: the land originally belonged to no one and everyone, when we were all hunter-gatherers. All these posh fuck landowners, including the Royal family, simply expropriated it from what was the Commons. Maybe the damage started millennia ago when we began with farming and the accumilation of 'wealth'.

In ancient Greece (especially Athens), mass mobilization warfare meant all citizens had a stake in society. I'm not advocating conscription but... at least they had a common cause which ultimately resulted in a more even distribution of wealth

1st time buyers, right. I'll have that bit near the river, nicely sheltered by the trees.

Redistribution of wealth seems to be a bit taboo these days. Perhaps because the PTB control polite society. The continued possession of material assets is based on power/priviledge/bullying(basically).

Maybe the trouble started 2000 years ago when a man was nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change.

Now that's a train delay Upminster with which London travellers shall not put

USER100

They won't put up with it

...that's a train delay, Upminster, with which London travellers shall not put up.

Or ...that's a train delay, Upminster, up with which London travellers shall not put

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

USER100

Crime face

Ah, Nature vs Nurture. How we act is a product of both. For example, one may possess a gene which codes for some type of 'bad' behaviour (like violence), but will only be expressed when certain environmental conditions are met. Many CEOs, MPs, scientists etc. might have been gangsters* had they been born in abject poverty in a slum. Similarly, many people now languishing in prison could have been CEOs, MPs, scientists etc. had they been given the same starting conditions as those who did achieve such status.

To say that a computer, or anyone, can tell by someone's face that they're criminal is a big load O' shite.

*(some might say they are anyway)

Chrome extensions are 'the new rootkit' say researchers linking surveillance campaign to Israeli registrar Galcomm

USER100

Stop the press

Surveillance campaign linked to Israelis...

In other news, 'Bears Defecate In Woods', 'Pope is Catholic'

Plus shocking expose: 'Earth Is Not Flat!'

Meet the dog that's all byte and no bark: Boston Dynamics touts robo-pooch Spot with $75k-a-pop price tag

USER100

It's incredible. It's amazing. Engineering to die for.

It is impressive, for a robot. Makes one appreciate just how amazing actual, meatbag, lifeforms really are.

Can it catch a frisbee in its teeth? No.

Boston Dynamics are definitely at the cutting edge of robotics. Interestingly though, I saw a programme about AI a while back which featured many robots. BD's efforts were by far the best of the bunch but, when the various designers were interviewed, most of them believed their machines were conscious to some extent. The BD boss, in stark contrast, stated that his machine was just that - a machine, with no awareness whatsoever. Smart bloke.

Smartwatches win the consumer tech sector for Q1 2020 as locked-down folk take up fight against corona-carbs

USER100

Casio F-91W, design classic

It keeps accurate time (and is also waterproof and has alarm & stopwatch)

Smartwatch battery time before charging needed: 1 - 2 days

Casio F-91W battery life: 10+ years

No one will mug you fot it

Cheap, does the job

Frenchman scores €50k compensation for suffering 'bore-out' at work after bosses gave him 'menial' tasks

USER100

bored

So the guy was bored at work - join the club, pal. Many (most?) people hate their jobs. I find that even when work's busy it's still soul-destroyingly boring.

What makes ir worse is the attitude of nearly all the managers. They don't do anything except either sit behind a computer, pretending to work, or walk around micromanaging the shit out of the people who do the actual, physical work.

"Clean those crates!" Here I am, brain the size of a planet...

Self-driving truck boss: 'Supervised machine learning doesn’t live up to the hype. It isn’t C-3PO, it’s sophisticated pattern matching'

USER100

Re: Pattern matching is not intelligence

> The missing ingredient is the ability to "understand" the world around it

Exactly. No amount of 0s and 1s will ever be sentient. That is the truth which adherents of 'strong AI' fail to grasp.

At some basic level, 'intelligence', however you measure it, requires life.

Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake

USER100
Facepalm

Re: That picture tho...

The picture is the usual 'artist's impression' of an atom (or subatomic particle), showing it as a macroscopic ball, with light and shade... it's not even potato-shaped, FFS!

If only 3 in 100,000 cyber-crimes are prosecuted, why not train cops to bring these crooks to justice once and for all, suggests think-tank veep

USER100

Cybercrime

Cybercrime is what the Mafia, Triads & co. are now investing in. The book 'Future Crimes' is a shocking eye-opener to the scale of it. They set up businesses in large office blocks and pull huge, global scams, netting millions before they're eventually closed down. These are just like 'respectable' businesses, with a CEO and hierarchy, often with some poor sod at the bottom who they use for their bank account to temporarilly stash the money ('Earn $$$ working from home!'), who is oblivious.

With cash looking like it's slowly being phased out, these crimes are only going to get bigger. Bank robberies can now be committed thousands of miles from the physical bank building. Banks underreport the frequency of their losses for fear of scaring their customers. It's definitely a good idea to put more money into combatting this type of crime (a LOT more money).

Brave, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla gather together to talk web privacy... and why we all shouldn't get too much of it

USER100

Advertising is evil

That may seem like hyperbole until you actually think about what's going on. Our planet's natural environment is being destroyed - by capitalism in its current form. Advertising is embedded in capitalism. We're constantly buying shit we don't need, because of advertising. Look into the disturbing history of 'public relations' to see how advertising was born. Edward Bernays was one of the pioneers, who heroically managed to get women to smoke (it was previously seen as a maculine habit).

Even if you have no view about the ethics of advertising and capitalism, there is a simple physical fact which is not being acknowledged by our corporate puppetmasters: constant economic growth is impossible on a finite planet.

Stuff (trees, minerals etc) is being taken from the environment and turned into products, and waste / pollution are the byproducts. There is more awareness about this than ever, yet rates of production are actually increasing. The corporations own the politicians. As long as that remains the case, nothing will change.

So yes, I use an adblocker - I absolutely hate all advertising, whether it's in the high street, on TV or online.

Satellites with lasers and machine guns coming! China's new plans? Trump's Space Force? Nope, the French

USER100

Re: For defense. Yeah, sure.

"the recoil will really mess with the orbit and cost fuel to get back to where it's supposed to be."

The recoil need not mess with the orbit if the weapon is built to simultaneously fire an equal number of rounds in the opposite direction out into space. That might kill an alien on some faraway planet in a few million years' time, but the alien government would probably cover it up anyway.

(However, I agree the whole idea it totally stupid and should be binned immediatley).

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