* Posts by osmarks

48 publicly visible posts • joined 28 May 2018

UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok


Re: Dead Cat

I don't think they can do that without also breaking their WiFi networks.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof


AMD does, I believe, but don't officially label it as supported.

Chinese server builder Inspur trains monster text-generating neural network


Re: that is more or less expected

While sample efficiency is kind of a problem for many AI things, I don't agree with your explanation for why it happens or suggested fixes. Firstly, the comparison of parameters to human neurons is somewhat inaccurate, since actual human neurons are each connected to many others, and a parameter is kind of sort of analogous to the strength of one of those connections. Secondly, you can definitely develop some understanding of the world just from seeing text - natural language is a very rich source of information about all kinds of things, both because of direct explanations like on Wikipedia and the ability to make inferences from patterns of word use - for example, if you don't know what fire is, you can probably develop a rough understanding from e.g. references to it being warm, use of wood or other things to fuel it, and water stopping it from working. And having world models like this is incentivized, since knowing more general information allows more general and accurate text predictions than just directly memorizing which words are near each other often. I also think giving AIs robotic bodies is very wasteful, given that real-world interaction would act as a massive bottleneck, and that the idea of using other types of data (images, audio, etc) which can be obtained easily in bulk to augment textual training has already proven massively successful (see CLIP).


Re: that is more or less expected

Nope. You can easily get all the training data you need by crawling the internet nowadays - a few orders of magnitude more than is needed for current models, even.

'We will not rest until the periodic table is exhausted' says Intel CEO on quest to keep Moore's Law alive


Re: Sounds nice, but reality matters

CPUs already exploit ridiculous quantities of instruction level parallelism (running instructions out of order if they don't depend on each other, and speculative execution, like you said). It just runs into diminishing returns at some point.

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations


Re: @45RPM

Nuclear is the best solution, given its high energy density, lack of need for batteries or anything like that, and basically-renewableness. Unfortunately, people are idiots about it and for whatever reason the costs keep going up.

Kaseya obtains REvil decryptor, starts sharing it with afflicted customers


Re: Is there single key ?

I vaguely remember reading that it was designed so that each system had an encryption key for the stuff on it, encrypted (asymmetrically) with a key REvil had somewhere.

Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can go wrong


I think the point was primarily just that it couldn't connect to services which hadn't been explicitly designed to support websockets.

Whoa-o BlackBerry, bam-ba-lam: QWERTY phone had a child. 5G thing's newly styled


Not allowing root also means it's not really user modifiable and you can't remove Google's preinstalled spyware.

The Surface Duo isn't such an outlandish idea, but Microsoft has to convince punters the form factor is worth having


It's weird that $1400 is now *not* seen as a ridiculously high price for a phone.

Mozilla doubles down on anti-tracking tech: It'll be tougher for wily ad-biz cookie monsters to track Firefox


Re: Barking up the wrong tree


Amazon gets green-light to blow $10bn on 3,000+ internet satellites. All so Americans can shop more on Amazon


Re: Kessler effect

Even if we lost all satellites, only GPS and connectivity in weird exotic locations would break. Most stuff runs on the ground because it's cheaper.

Gone in 15 minutes: Qualcomm claims new chargers will fill your smartmobe in a flash


Personally, I'd get more use out of a less thin phone with more battery capacity, and batteries which can actually be replaced. Do people not charge phones overnight or something?

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory


Re: This is a typical method of the secret services

None of the in-testing vaccines, as far as I'm aware, "alter the genome", and testing/development is going quite a lot faster than usual because they would not be much use if we had to wait several years for them.

Google to bury indicator for Extended Validation certs in Chrome because users barely took notice


Re: We control your bass, and we control your treble

Let's Encrypt isn't owned by Google or anything, and... you've never been able to make your own certificates any browser would trust, since that would defeat half the point of CAs.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'


I don't think randomly changing words whenever someone is "offended" by them scales very well *either*.


Re: The single best argument I have seen that doing this matters

This argument might make sense if this sort of thing did not have large-scale costs.

If at first you don't succeed, pry, pry again: Feds once again demand Apple unlock encrypted iPhones in yet another terrorism case


Re: No more iPhones, check.

The trouble is that they can only install this "eavesdropping software" if there's some sort of exploit or deliberate backdoor in the software involved, and exploits not being reported and instead being hoarded, or backdoors being added, is also very bad.


Re: Yeah, sure

I complained to my MP about this sort of thing by email. About a week later, I got a response, by letter, from someone else in Parliament, which didn't seem to have been remotely connected to what I said except that it was loosely about encryption.

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators


Re: So I watched the Hearing...

About your suggestion regarding exploits in devices: if governments are just meant to hoard security issues in everyone's devices, and then give access to these to every government department that wants to access someone's stuff, that's basically as bad if not worse as some system which "only" gives the government plaintext access to all communications.


Re: What is it ....

I'm pretty sure they do know, or at least some advisor or whoever is pushing these laws does. A bit, anyway. One must wonder what their actual goal is, given that you can't really ban encryption or anything - backdoor the popular messaging apps people use?


This reminds me of that Malcom Turnbull (former Australian Prime Minister) quote: "The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia". It was on the same subject, too, in which he insisted that they needed encryption which was magically secure against evil hackers but also insecure if a Good Guy™ wanted access.

Samsung Galaxy S11 tipped to escalate the phone cam arms race with 108MP sensor


I'm kind of expecting the next pointless phone camera gimmick to be IR/UV sensors, since moar megapixels and moar cameras can't go for that long.

WebAssembly gets nod from W3C and, most likely, an embrace from cryptojackers online


Re: Flash ah aaaahhhh!

WASM is only able to do I/O by calling JS functions explicitly exposed to it.

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze


Re: Do...While

Rust's conditionals are actually expressions, so you can totally do something like:

let x = if y { 1 } else { 2 };

We're so, so, sorry you're not able to get PC chips, says Intel to everyone who hasn't gone with AMD yet


Re: Not entirely true

Opterons were pretty awful for a while, but Epyc is *much* better and beats Intel in most metrics.

Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election


While I *do* want a faster internet connection (currently on slow BT VDSL which they call "fibre" because after the copper connection there's a fibre line to somewhere), this would probably do the opposite.


Re: Just wish someone would nationalist the road duct industry

I have no idea how practical this is, but it would be even better to install larger service tunnels/conduits under roads so they don't have to pull up the entire road surface to run a cable.


Re: Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

Because a different party being in charge doesn't mean that the other structures the higher-up bits of the government use to actually execute their grand plans, or the fundamental realities involved in doing stuff, change.

Google emits Network Intelligence Center to help untangle misconfigured cloud networks


The pricing of those services seems pretty high for what they offer.

Infosec boffins pour cold water on claims Home Office Brexit app can be easily hacked


This is ridiculous. Your software kind of has to trust the environment it's running on, no real way around that...

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro


Re: Selective deafness

I run Linux on Windows laptops and it seems to work okay. You can get somewhat maintainable and usable hardware at saner prices with a usable OS.

Median speeds for UK 5G four times faster than 4G, but still way behind US and South Korea


So apparently EE 5G would let me burn through my entire data cap in about 6 minutes. What a useful thing to have. Of course, I barely get 4G here, so I'll have to settle for downloading 4K movies on my regular home network connection now.

Here we go again: US govt tells Facebook to kill end-to-end encryption for the sake of the children


Re: Idiot politicians

They're not idiots. I think they know exactly what they're doing.

It's 2019 – and you can completely pwn millions of Qualcomm-powered Androids over the air


I'm fairly sure that that list includes my phone's SoC. But given that it's somewhat old I'll probably never actually get an update patching this. How wonderful.

And we're back live with the state of the smartphone market in 2019. Any hope? Yeah, nah


Re: What I dont get is...

I get cheap ~£100 ones every year and a half or so, since I basically just want something which I can browse the web and possibly call/text on-the-go om.

Google to offer users a choice of default search engine on Android in the EU – but it's pay to play


Re: Meh

It is in theory open source, but huge amounts of important functionality have been moved into Google Play Services and whatnot.

Bored of laptops? Love 200Gb/s interconnects? Then you're going to hate today's Intel news


Re: 10nm

They claim the IPC uplift is 18%. The graphics is a lot better too though.

New UK Home Sec invokes infosec nerd rage by calling for an end to end-to-end encryption


Ebg13 "rapelcgvba" vf frpher rabhtu sbe gur nirentr pvgvmra, bayl tbireazrag zrzoref ernyyl ARRQ nalguvat orggre.

Low Barr: Don't give me that crap about security, just put the backdoors in the encryption, roars US Attorney General


Are they actually this stupid or just pretending to be?

Internet imbeciles, aka British ISP lobbyists, backtrack on dubbing Mozilla a villain for DNS-over-HTTPS support


Re: other tech sites (zdnet) have provided a fool's how-to guide

1. implement useful security feature

2. wait for ISPA to complain

3. mention this to tech press

4. ???

5. profit


Well, too late for them, I've already gotten DNS over HTTPS turned on on most of my devices.

Netflix wants to choose its own adventure where Bandersnatch trademark case magically vanishes


Rounded corners. Really. They're suggesting that their stuff is being stolen because there are some rounded corners.

So about that Atari reboot console... you might want to sit down. It's going to be late, OK?



It has to be powerful so they can 4K internet of things with the cloud using a serverless blockchain network.

The knives are out for cloud gaming as Nvidia flashes blade-based box packing 40 RTX GPUs


Re: Hard to say how that flies

I can see it working for the types who just buy a console and play Fortnite or something equally awful without being particularly good.

Overhyped 5G is being 'rushed', Britain's top comms boffin reckons


Until data caps go up, it'll be totally useless for most people; you'll end up burning through your entire cap in a few minutes of high bandwidth use.

Bug-hunter faces jail for vulnerability reports, DuckDuckPwn (almost), family spied on via Nest gizmo, and more


Re: Pretty soon, you won't be able to turn them off

I expect eventually mesh networking will make that null and void.

Microsoft, Google: We've found a fourth data-leaking Meltdown-Spectre CPU hole


Can we just not base our CPUs on the awfully slow execution model of C?