* Posts by AVR

110 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Feb 2020


Scientists suggest possible solution to space-induced bone loss


And multiple myeloma sufferers. Biphosphonate does indeed have a bunch of side effects, notably odd pains, and normal dentists won't take you any more. I wonder how they solved that?

I'll see your data loss and raise you a security policy violation


Re: Outlook...

Not really true now but that sort of thing used to cause awful disk space problems back in the day. I remember trying to explain to someone that keeping lots of multi-gig .pst files on the server was in fact a problem.

US Air Force wants $6B to build 2,000 AI-powered drones


Re: "well below"

And that's if the project ever gets finished at all - the Pentagon has quietly folded and put away projects before.

Criminals go full Viking on CloudNordic, wipe all servers and customer data


Re: Design for failure

No, no, the CIO's job is to manage people in one area of the business. Only very rarely will any responsibility for design problems reach up to the CIO.

Bad software destroyed my doctor's memory


Re: Completely portable laptop-slash-tablet

I think the writer's an Aussie. Whatever legislation they have over there it's not HIPAA.

Tesla's Autopilot boasts, safety probed by California AG


Re: EV Version Of Dieselgate?

It's more or less the direct opposite to dieselgate. On the one hand the harm to the purchaser is obvious with the false range display, on the other hand they haven't used that to deceive the regulators. It may come to a similar extremely expensive end though.

A room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor? Take a closer look


Re: Even if its not a superconductor

Make it in sufficient bulk and current density at least won't be an issue; I think that'd help with magnetic fields too. Lead, copper, phosphorus and oxygen are fairly cheap. You'd probably want to bury black stony cylinders of lead/copper apatite rather than hang them as wires but that doesn't seem impossible.


It doesn't look hard to replicate (if it works) and people are going to try in the very near future. There should be results in a couple of days.

World's most internetty firm tries life off the net, and it's sillier than it seems


Re: "who knows how insecure it actually is?"

And then the forensic report is buried so deep that it starts turning into a diamond. I don't see Alphabet/Google posting it for all to see, or indeed publicising whatever event might inspire such a report.

Obscure internet boutique Amazon sues EU for calling it a Very Large Online Platform


Re: Fairness

The German retailer Zalando is included, and probably more will be in time. These are just the first 17 to be listed as VLOPs remember.

Australia's 'great example of government using technology' found to be 'crude and cruel'. And literally lethal to citizens


Re: Accountability

Fortunately politicians aren't involved - prosecutors aren't elected in Australia, and the cases have been referred to them rather than going through any politicians. Aussie prosecutors do tend to be protective of those working in the criminal justice system but these aren't. We'll see, but the signs aren't bad.

Ariane 5 to take final flight, leaving Europe without its own heavy-lift rocket


Re: But wait! There's more...

Yeah, the Ariane 6 program is wasteful... but just giving up and handing a monopoly to SpaceX would end up costing more in the long run. It sounds like they're taking some steps towards reusability with Susie, and hopefully they'll take more.

Experts scoff at UK Lords' suggestion that AI could one day make battlefield decisions


You've missed out the possibility of some organisational failure which isn't any real person being the one left holding the bag. It's certainly known outside the military, I'd be surprised if it was entirely unknown in the armed forces for all their insistence on the chain of command.

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office


Re: employees were happy (31%), motivated (30%) and excited (27%) to be in the office

Also, "If the survey's findings are correct". If, indeed.

Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?


We had a server room where a downpour leaked through the ceiling once. The flooring wasn't relevant.

Small custom AI models are cheap to train and can keep data private, says startup


Solution seeking problem

So they have an LLM which is cheaper than some, that's nice. Still doesn't say what anyone can actually do with this in a legit business.

Existential dread time: One day Earth's oceans will boil. This exoplanet might reveal when


Not half a billion, much longer. A whole lot of rocks had to be oxidised before that half-billion years of oxygen building up in the atmosphere could even begin.

Thousands of subreddits go dark in mega-protest over Reddit's app-killing API prices


Insufficient Notice

Also of note, a month's notice isn't nearly enough time for those third party apps to make the required changes to set up or change their billing. Especially true of freeware, but even paid software will struggle to estimate how much they need to increase prices and roll that out in time.

A toast to being in the right place at the right time


Re: He's toast

For a lot of fire drills the intended audience is whoever's responsible for ticking the boxes. With correct positioning of the audience almost any fire drill can work.

Guess who is collecting and sharing abortion-related data?


I think you misunderstand who the law binds and who it protects by default.

Owner of 'magic spreadsheet' tried to stay in the Lotus position until forced to Excel


Strange things in dark corners

There was an old MSDOS machine used to control card access to the doors in the place where I got my first permanent job. Do not touch, it's far too important to alter in any way even if it's totally unsupported, etc. One day it crashed anyway and I was asked to take a look. I can't remember what I did to fix it, but afterward I did suggest removing the games (Lemmings Christmas Edition and a handful of others). I was assured that those games couldn't possibly exist on that PC.

New York AG offers law to crack down on backfire-happy cryptocurrencies


Nice for New York

Do the NY financial authorities have any particular ability to enforce rules on a crypto exchange run out of Florida, Japan, or the Bahamas? If all that's needed to keep their business sort-of legal is a web server across an appropriate border they're going to do that rather than comply.

Google sues CryptBot slingers, gets court order to shut down malware domains


Getting tough...

Blocking the domains, that'll stop them for at least five minutes!

Deplatforming hate forums doesn't work, British boffins warn


Re: Missing half the population?

I just googled beta-soy; above AC is one of the creepy trolls.

Automation is great. Until it breaks and nobody gets paid


Spreadsheet lines? A few per contractor (four, say) to a maximum of Excel 97-2003's 65536 limit.

Pentagon super-leak suspect cuffed: 21-year-old Air National Guardsman


Re: Why would he have access to any of that stuff?

Cast your mind back. The year is 2001, it's mid-September. A bunch of hijackers just used passenger planes as weapons. The intelligence services were forewarned, but the warnings never reached anywhere useful because they were too deeply classified to move fast. The shock and fear will scar America for decades.

One of the minor effects of the episode was making classified information more available outside the silos where it arrives. Audits to check that this isn't being misused would be a good idea, but would take a lot of organisation and money and just haven't been implemented on the literal millions of people with access to some kind of classified information.

In the battle between Microsoft and Google, LLM is the weapon too deadly to use


Not nukes

Many of the dangers of nukes were known well before the Manhattan project. Plus some which didn't pan out. They are after all bombs.

The dangers of LLM (which definitely aren't AI) aren't so clear. It may aid trolls, or be a troll, or enable infringing copyright? Whatever. You can ask it how to build a nuclear weapon and it'll make up a fake process for you? Not really a problem. The related tech which helps create deepfake images is more of a concern but still no nuclear weapon.

Defunct comms link connected to nothing at a fire station – for 15 years


Re: Money for nothing, it's the best

I had a friend who had a problem with an intransigent ISP which kept charging despite his requests to cancel the service & stop it. After a few attempts, going to the bank and showing them a bill and a letter (snail mail) cancelling the service then posting it got the bank to stop the bills.

Today's old folks set to smash through longevity records


Because that's something you can measure, and medicine has had problems with false claims made on the basis of unmeasurable things. Also aiming for keeping people alive as long as possible often (not always) has a side effect of keeping them well - the newer chemotherapy drugs used when my cancer came back for a second go were more effective (the cancer went away faster and hasn't yet come back again) and had less unpleasant side effects than those used the first time.

Microsoft and GM deal means your next car might talk, lie, gaslight and manipulate you


Re: Why is use of a 'phone in a car discouraged ?

There's people who spend most of their time in a car on the phone (e.g. my sister). Unwise or not, illegal or not. I'm sure there'll be people who like the AI enough to do so too.

Humanoid robot takes a retail job, but not one any store clerk wants to do


I guess the idea is that you can make teleoperating the bot a job for someone in a lower wage country? How much would lag impair the bots performance, I wonder. It might be enough to shitcan the idea, might not.

If we plan to live on the Moon, it's going to need a time zone


Re: Fail...

Nah. No one's been breathing genuine MoonAir before. If you wanted additive-free air then you should have brought your own.

Ford seeks patent for cars that ditch you if payments missed


If they can get you to disable the car when you stop making payments, you're working for them.

The Pentagon is shockingly bad at managing its employee smartphones


Re: I never understand this

And then someone with weight to swing around demands that their device be unlocked so they can use it properly. Others want the same when they hear about it. Pretty soon you're operating at least three levels of access permissions across the organisation, and support is that much harder. I can understand wanting to skip that.

Marketing company chases Twitter for $7,000 over 'swag gift box for Elon'


"Twitter performed on the parties' contract for nearly 10 years, but beginning in September 2022, it stopped paying Canary's invoices."

It's not about how reasonable the invoices are, Twitter's stopped paying all kinds of bills. Notably their rent.

SpaceX threatened with $175,000 fine for Starlink crash risk paperwork blunder


Re: Safety Regulation?

The statement was issued 6 months later, i.e. last Friday. It seems unlikely that the statement was issued immediately upon discovery of the omission; it's just the wheels of justice grinding slowly.

Water-hunting NASA cubesat won't reach Moon after total thruster fail


Re: If the job is important, neverruse untested technology

Four on a tetrahedron will do the 3D job.

Australian government doxxed citizens who criticized illegal 'Robodebt' scheme


Re: The "weather" balloon

The balloon was flying above a F-22's flight ceiling. The cannon wasn't a real option.

User was told three times 'Do Not Reboot This PC' – then unplugged it anyway


If it happens to one person it's no big deal. When you're dealing with even a small to medium sized organisation you'll get multiple people doing this. Anything larger and you need a procedure for dealing with them.

Yes, most people either don't read emails from IT or don't take them in, and a clear message on the screen isn't enough for some too.

ChatGPT talks its way through Wharton MBA, medical exams


If ChatGPT can do this much then eventually using ChatGPT (or its descendants) is likely to be a required skill in the real world. Panicking over students using it at all may be unnecessary, panic over them using it badly if you must.

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building


Concrete dust = Kryptonite

The worst I've seen involved a builder drilling into concrete in the server room - I don't know why - and the dust causing every hard drive in there to fail, some immediately, others over weeks. Insurance wouldn't cover it either.

University students recruit AI to write essays for them. Now what?


Re: Critical thinking

Is gaining critical thinking skills the first priority of a student who wants a piece of paper for the job market? Or learning creative writing for that matter? The student might want these too, but they just as well might not care at all. An essay-writer (AI or natural I) fills their desires there.

Honestly, for many doctors collating symptoms and writing a corresponding prescription is the majority of their jobs and I expect some sort of automation to take a bite out of that soonish. Those doctors don't need (or at least use) critical thinking skills.

FCC calls for mega $300 million fine for massive US robocall campaign


Re: And the operators that allowed the spoofing?

Those don't sound terribly legit? Convenient lies at best. It doesn't sound like a serious loss to make them harder to access, or even to stop them.

Medibank prognosis gets worse after more stolen data leaked


Re: Return of the data?

Assuming the crims encrypted the data in situ with ransomware then the latest data at least is gone as far as Medibank is concerned.

Exchange Online and Microsoft Teams went down in APAC because Microsoft broke itself


My memories of Exchange servers are a lot worse than that. Some fairly catastrophic problems caused by putting too much into public folders for one, some really awkward problems relating to starting up a new server when the others went down in an earthquake, occasional slow synchronisation and message transfer between servers. It was a while ago I was involved with that admittedly.

What's that, Lassie? Boston Dynamics is suing its robot dog tech rival?



If you take a look at US patent 11073842 it's hard to see any innovation. It doesn't describe how the robot generates a map of the stairs and climbs up or down it so much as it tries to write general enough language that any means of a legged robot (with a front-mounted camera) detecting and climbing stairs would be covered. Obviously Boston Dynamics have done this, but the means isn't in the patent. Using this patent offensively is being a patent troll.

FTX collapse prompts other cryptocurrency firms to suspend withdrawals


Re: "It’s hard to see SBF in a clear light"

Argentina has had an extradition treaty with the USA since 1997 and it's still in effect. It might be about transferring assets to somewhere harder to reach, or it might be just a step to somewhere else? I dunno.