* Posts by Dinanziame

942 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Sep 2019

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Microsoft teases deepfake AI that's too good to release

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Windows

Only a matter of time

There is practically no technology that can be prevented from existing. It's good that they are not releasing it, but it's good that they can demonstrate this is possible and there was no point in stopping themselves from creating something so dangerous — what they did is not that hard, it is not a mind-blowing advance on what other people are doing. At the most we are one year away from the same technology being developed and actively used by bad actors.

WhatsApp, Threads, more banished from Apple App Store in China

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WTF?

YouTube is available in China?

I'm surprised. I'd have thought there was way too much objectionable content inside for the country.

Google fires 28 staff after sit-in protest against Israeli cloud deal ends in arrests

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Devil

"The truth is clear: Google is terrified of us."

That's a bold statement. It looks to me rather like Google is jumping on the opportunity to get rid of US employees; plenty of replacements can be found in Bangalore...

EU tells Meta it can't paywall privacy

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Holmes

Thank you!

Though apparently Facebook is sticking to its guns that what they do is legal. I'm looking forward to the inevitable billion dollars fine.

YouTube now sabotages ad-blocking apps that stream its vids

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Windows

Re: "I have a hard time believing"

To be honest, I have a hard time believing people care that much about privacy — If they did, they would be a lot more careful about what they do on the internet. I think people use adblockers because they don't want ads, and YouTube could remove the behavior tracking and users wouldn't uninstall the adblockers.

Google location tracking deal could be derailed by politics

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Devil

Presumably, he would not have complained if the money had gone to the right organizations. Or as the case may be, the right-wing organizations.

Japan turns up heat on Apple, Google with threat of hefty fines

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Holmes

This is why monopolies, or as the case may be duopolies, are bad. When they launched their app stores, nobody argued against the 30% commissions, because it was a smallish market. But the market has ballooned, and at some point they were making money hand over fist, and the 30% commission was becoming disproportionate. With a market functioning properly, rival app stores would have been created with smaller commission fees, and eventually they would have had to lower theirs as well to stay relevant. But since nobody could create another app store for the iPhone, and even for Android the starter advantage of the play store was overwhelming, they never had to do that. If anything, they have become more strict in grabbing a share of everything that was getting paid through their platforms.

So now, countries have to intervene to protect competitors, and the users who are ultimately paying for the fees.

Google plunks down $1 billion for extra Japan-US submarine cable

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IT Angle

Private and public traffic?

When a company gets such submarine cables, is it just for their private use, or can other packets transit through them as well? I have no idea about how the internet is connected these days (it's a series of tubes, right?)

X fixes URL blunder that could enable convincing social media phishing campaigns

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Angel

They fell victim to one of the clbuttic blunders

The post is required, and must contain letters.

Notepad++ dev slams Google-clogging notepad.plus 'parasite'

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Angel

Re: "They Said"

Yet I bet that you find it completely normal to say that somebody forgot their umbrella...

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To be honest, there's always been a lot of websites which have many ads and not much content. The fact this is even a story seems to me a rather positive sign — I'd love to be in a world where you have articles about one single person killed in the middle east.

San Francisco's light rail to upgrade from floppy disks

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Devil

Re: "best in the US"

with a weird track gauge (for odd reasons known only to the locals).

I forgot the place where I read this, but apparently BART was designed by engineers at local universities who had no experience whatsoever in rail systems. Consequentially, they thought the best possible thing to do was to reinvent everything from scratch — can't be just following what people developed over decades of experimentation, need to invent something revolutionary. In particular, they infamously designed BART with cylindrical wheels, leading to screeching noise and wear and tear. Forty years later, they finally just changed to conical wheels like all other trains in the world. By designing something very different from all existing systems, they also ensured that it was way more expensive to build and maintain.

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Angel

Re: "best in the US"

Low bar

US insurers use drone photos to deny home insurance policies

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WTF?

Re: As usual, it's cover for taking advantage of old people

As a home owner you need to be budgeting for 10 year replacement.

I don't get this. My parents' house has the same roof tiles as when it got built in 1978... I don't think I've ever seen somebody replace a roof, unless the whole building gets renovated.

Google is wrong to put AI search features behind paywall, says HPC leader

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Devil

The problem is that AI costs a lot of money

I recall that each query costs a few cents, and Google has billions of users. It's all very well to speak of democratization of access, and Google says they want to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful... But these days, they also really insist on not losing money.

Uber Eats to rid itself of pesky human drivers with food delivery by robo Waymo

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Holmes

Re: Coming to a video-shorts service soon

Self-driving cars have been around for quite a while, and they thought of that. If you attempt to steal the car it will simply not drive:

Man arrested and accused of trying to steal a self-driving taxi in L.A.

FCC to reinstate net neutrality in the US until someone decides to scrap it again

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Holmes

Re: Framing the issue

Arguably the John Oliver show was the greatest deciding factor in passing the net neutrality rules in the first place, all the way back in 2015, by encouraging viewers to write to the FCC:

https://youtu.be/fpbOEoRrHyU?t=757

Though this regrettably resulted in a massive roboted spam campaign when the FCC head wanted those rules removed...

Google will delete data collected from 'private' browsing

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Still misleading

No matter what Google tracks and does not track, nothing prevents third-party websites or your ISP from tracking you when you are in incognito mode; and there's nothing Google can do about that. Incognito has never been about tracking; the only use it to hide your surfing habits from your wife.

Ex-White House CIO tells The Reg: TikTok ban may be diplomatic disaster

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Devil

Re: Political suicide.

People who actually make cash from TikTok are probably vanishingly rare. On the other hand, there are a lot of users, but do they even vote?

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Re: With no express right to privacy in the U. S. Constitution,

The fourth amendment only regulates what the government is allowed to do, not private companies. Just like the first amendment, as we've been repeatedly reminded these past few years: Companies are allowed to block your speech on their platforms, it's just the government who technically can't order them.

FTX crypto-crook Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years in prison

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Angel

Re: This morning's local news

There are still people trying to sell them! I recently saw a hotel showing NFTs on a wall, and apparently all you had to do to buy them was scan a QR code.

I know a guy who claims he made money on every NFT he's bought and sold. He carefully neglects to mention that there's some he's bought, but never sold...

Uncle Sam's had it up to here with 'unforgivable' SQL injection flaws

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Angel

Re: constructing the SQL on the fly

But it’s easy enough to roll your own.

Famous last words...

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Megaphone

SQL is the problem

A lot of trouble could be avoided if people were using a real programming language to execute queries. SQL is the level of COBOL in language evolution, trying to have statements that sounds like English and ignore rules of logic. If people are not coding with statements like "ADD B TO C" they shouldn't be using "SELECT X FROM Y" either.

It's a travesty that database queries are transmitted by building a string from logic, and the string is then parsed back to logic. You might as well be printing them on punch cards on the way for all the sense it makes. Parameterized statements are just a bandaid to cover the flaws.

Uncle Sam, 15 US states launch antitrust war on Apple

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Happy

"Apple has yet to respond to questions from The Register for this story"

Ha ha

Sorry, Siri: Apple may be eyeing Google Gemini for future iPhones

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Re: Generative AI

Interesting point: Fahrenheit 451 shows a very primitive user engagement, where there is no real personalisation for the viewer who obviously has no impact at all despite the claims. In the future, you could imagine a TV series where the story is adapted to the viewer, they can interact with the people on screen, and have some impact on the story. A bit like a real-life RPG.

There's already AI girlfriend chatbots...

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Re: A rotten Apple

Apple always has been a hardware company more than a software company.

Poking holes in Google tech bagged bug hunters $10M

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Angel

Re: Alternatively

They already have people paid to do debugging, who are simply not finding those bugs — what's their incentive?

On the other hand, paying your own employees by bug fixed is an excellent way to have a lot of bugs in your software: "I'm going to code myself a minivan this afternoon!"

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Angel

That's still good, I guess? I think we can forget the notion of companies designing secure from the start — good luck with that — so bug bounties are at least a way to find new vulnerabilities, and to give some cash to third-party white hats. They could get better results by raising the bounties, but...

Copilot can't stop emitting violent, sexual images, says Microsoft whistleblower

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Holmes

A pass for what? Giving ridiculous results only exposes you to ridicule. Being woke is not illegal, and definitely more accepted than the tiniest suspicion of being racist. Hell, they might even have staged the whole thing to give themselves some protection in case their AI does return racist results later.

Oh look, cracking down on Big Tech works. Brave, Firefox, Vivaldi surge on iOS

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Meh

Surging how much

If it's surging from 5% to 10% that's very nice. But I suspect it's surging from 0.05% to 0.1%

Trump 'tried to sell Truth Social to Musk' as SPAC deal stalled

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Pirate

Re: How much?

I can only assume they are trying to pump up the numbers before the IPO. Trump is quite good at getting other people to invest in his failed businesses and extract millions from them.

Chinese chap charged with stealing Google’s AI datacenter secrets

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'We had to educate Oracle about our contract,' CIO says after Big Red audit

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Devil

Re: Audit checks

I suppose their contacts contain clauses like "we might change the licensing model at any time once you're locked in"?

Google dresses up services for the EU's Digital Markets Act

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Devil

Re: Google, why are you like this?

I think you can count yourself very lucky if they only ask you to reconsider this one time, on the day the change happens. They definitely want users to think of Google as one big blob that provides dozens of services rather than a collection of unrelated services which can easily be replaced by a third party. They don't even feel bad about this — from their point of view, it makes their services better. They think they can provide better results on YouTube if they know what you searched for on Google, and so on.

Not that people will feel reassured by these new rules. A large number of people think that their phone is constantly listening to them just to choose which ads to show them, permissions be damned, with no more evidence than "I talked about cars and then it showed me ads for cars". The fact that DMA makes this explicitly illegal won't convince them.

Indian tech minister vows to stop Google removing local apps from Play Store

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Devil

Re: Choke...

You might want to check out this John Oliver video about people who try to gain your friendship on the internet: Pig Butchering Scams

Note: Even though you are posting a comment on a website and I am answering your comment, this should in no way be interpreted as a social contact. I'm not trying to be your friend!

Apple's Titan(ic) iCar project is dead as self-driving dream fails to materialize

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Holmes

Re: I don't get it

I think they just got conned into following Google in doing something that's way outside their domain. I actually think it makes more sense for Apple to build a self-driving car rather than just doing software, because Apple is primarily a hardware company, not a software company. If they had created something high-quality they could have convinced people to pay double usual prices. By the time they decided to just do the software I think the project was already dead. And when they saw Tesla having to cut prices to fight off competition that was probably the last nail in the coffin.

Admittedly it does not technically make a lot of sense for Google to do self-driving cars either; that was the old Google that would spend billions on a white elephant project just because it sounded cool (They literally had the motto "do cool things that matter" for a while). The current Google is concentrating on raising its stock price, and would never start such a project. I'm actually wondering how long they will keep it around, considering that it's very unlikely to be profitable for a long time, much less reach the kind of profit margins that are considered successful within Google.

OpenAI sued, again, for scraping and replicating news stories

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Alert

Re: So how do you stop this?

I think those models can be really useful to help writing boring stuff, like "write a letter in German to my landlord to complain about this issue with the building". It might help people whose job is to write things, though for the moment they might want to be really careful about fact checking the output, since the models tend to hallucinate. When it comes to automatically answering questions and queries though, I think their ability to put statement of facts into nice-looking sentences is mostly form over function — the form looks high quality, which we tend to think implies that the content is high quality as well, but that's not the case.

Google wants regulators to take Microsoft down a notch before it stifles AI

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Alert

Re: The pot calling the kettle black

Offering features in your cloud that makes it hard to migrate to another cloud is something that all cloud platforms do. But here Microsoft has the particularity that it is using the fact they have a quasi-monopoly in one domain (Windows in enterprise software) to reinforce their position in another domain (cloud), by charging more for Windows licenses if it doesn't run on their cloud. It's the local electricity company saying "we are also an ISP, and if you get another ISP we'll charge you more for electricity".

Google to reboot Gemini image gen in a few weeks after that anti-White race row

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Holmes

White people might be a minority in numbers in the world, but the decision to promote minorities are taken at the country level. And in most countries that promote minorities, White people are the majority.

Microsoft trying to stop Copilot generating fake Putin comments on Navalny's death

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Re: Autonomous cars and other road users

My understanding is that braking lights are supposed to turn on when the deceleration is higher than X m/s^2. That's however not what gas cars do; the lights turn on at the first brush against the brake pedal, and not at all when braking with the engine.

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Re: Autonomous cars and other road users

Eye contact is a plus, though it's not strictly necessary — it doesn't work at night, for example. But on the other hand, we tend to concentrate on what humans do that self-driving cars cannot replicate, like eye contact, and we fail to imagine things that self-driving cars could do that humans couldn't because of their own limitations. For instance, self-driving cars could have a blinking red light on the front of the car meaning "I'm not moving, you go ahead", or multiple other indicators which would be too bothersome for a human to coordinate and trivial to implement on a self-driving car.

Now that I think of it, when eye contact is not possible at night, humans sometimes stop and flash the headlights to indicate "go ahead". I wonder if this has been implemented on self-driving cars.

It's crazy but it's true: Apple rejected Bing for wrong answers about Annie Lennox

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Re: If Google loses, it does not win

I think Google is popular enough that most Apple customers want to use Google, and would complain not having it as the default. I assume they would complain even more if it is clear that Apple switched to Bing in order to receive billions from Microsoft.

Unless Apple goes with creating their own search engine (not entirely impossible, they did just that for Apple Maps), I assume the default search engine will remain Google, and Apple will just get billions less.

Google sends Gemini AI back to engineering to adjust its White balance

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Devil

I assume they remembered the Tay fiasco, and were determined not to fall in the same trap. And AIs have been slammed in the past for only recognizing white people and ignoring other races. Still there's a big jump from "include other races when appropriate" to "refuse to depict white people".

There was probably a judgement that it's preferable to be seen as woke than racist.

Please stop pouring the wrong radioactive water into the sea, Fukushima operator told

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This seems relatively minor, but it's good to know that they're paying attention.

Two days into the Digital Services Act, EU wields it to deepen TikTok probe

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IT Angle

Re: Penalties of up to 6%

Have you missed the multi-billion dollars fines that have been handed out by the EU to various tech companies? What reason would the EU have to not apply such fines to TikTok?

Google open sources file-identifying Magika AI for malware hunters and others

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Windows

Isn't it a bit dangerous to publish your defense tool? Makes it easier for bad actors to figure out how to break them, no?

X accused of taking money from terrorists by selling checkmarks to US enemies

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Stop

Re: More tribal BS,

How are American citizens or businesses supposed to be able to vet every customer?

Banks have had know your customer regulations for a very long time. You just need to work on it, and not fire the whole team charged with doing it.

FCC Commissioner calls for crackdown on Apple's iMessage gatekeeping

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Boffin

Re: Hmmm

If Apple provides the infrastructure for iMessage, don’t they get to say who can access it? Or is it so big now it falls outside of that usual rule of business.

Indeed, it's about size. Nobody cares if a small barely used service makes it hard for competitors to work with it; but if it's one of the largest services around, that's when it starts being a gatekeeper and different rules apply.

For instance, Apple fought the EU's efforts to force open iMessage by pointing out that it is barely used in Europe compared to the US.

UK Cabinet Office hits pause on £9M Microsoft deal

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Devil

Re: Move

The problem was that no consultant can get paid for not migrating to a new platform. Also, choosing not to do something looks like you're not doing anything, which does not look good.

Dumping us into ad tier of Prime Video when we paid for ad-free is 'unfair' – lawsuit

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Boffin

Re: Question is...

There are also network effects for large ad businesses. Your ads carry a big bonus if you can guarantee that at least X% of the population see them. For that reason, when you have a large ad business, you have a strong disincentive to offer ad-free tiers. The reason is that when people switch to the ad-free tier, you not only lose the ad revenue, but you can even charge less for ads, because advertisers know that their ads is reaching only part of the population so they are less valuable.

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