* Posts by mpi

213 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Nov 2021


Scientists think they may have cracked life support for Martian occupation

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

> But here on Earth, liquid fuel ICBMs have largely been replaced with solid fuel missiles.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles are a very different technology than spaceships, even if they are superficially similar. For one thing, we don't have to worry about turning their rocket motor off and on frequently...they are kinda a "fire and forget" deal, so to speak.

Secondly, there is a reason solid propellants were always only ever used as boosters but not primary means of propulsion in spacecraft: They are, mass for mass, less efficient than liquid fuels. That's not a problem for an ICBM or other military applications: The payload is a lot lighter than a spacecraft, and the ability to store the rockets/ammunition for a long time without fuel degradation is a lot more important than energy efficiency.

> So maybe Mars spacecraft have two sets of engines -- liquid fuel for landing and solid fuel for return?

And what mass will these solid fuel rockets have? For comparisons sake, the SRBs of the space shuttle clock in at 590 metric tons...each. So if we wanna launch something that probably has to be a lot bigger than the spaceshuttle, we are talking thousands of tons of essential deadweight during launch on earth and transfer to mars and landing on mars. How much payload are current spacecraft designed to carry? I'm not sure, but I'd guess it's a lot less than that.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

> just as the moon landings had,

The lunar lander had the luxury of not having to transfer back to another planet. All it had to do was getting 2 of the 3 astronauts back to the CSM which remained in orbit. It also didn't have to carry enough food, water, materials and machinery to support the crew for over 2 years until the next launch window. It was also small enough to bring it's takeoff support structure with it.

> you have to take the takeoff fuel with you

Considering that the current proposals for mars missions need to refuel the craft in LEO just to get it to Mars, I don't see that happening. Also, the fuel we are talking about is liquid oxygen and methane. Which would need to be kept cool and under pressure, especially considering the low density of the martian atmosphere. For 2 years. Question: Which spacecraft would be capable ON EARTH to sit for 2 years in it's launch cradle, with fuel in the tanks, and still be able to take off? 2 Years in which the spacecraft sits on mars, experiencing planet wide duststorms, and an average temperature of -60°C. Any technical problems have to be fixed with what the colonists brought with them. Oh, and the spacecraft will not be freshly built of course...it will already have experienced the launch from earth, the transit flight, and the landing.

And then the spacecraft would have to launch from a base of lose rocks and regolith, completely under it's own power, with no launchpad or support structures other than those the colonists could build (and position the craft on) themselves, and no guidance from external control systems.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

> There is nothing to backup the assertion that lower gravity is harmful at all.

There is nothing to backup the assertion that it is harmless.

Microgravity is proven to have adverse effects. Drawing the conclusion that lower gravity has similar, albeit reduced, effects is just a logical extrapolation.

> The fact that teams of guys laying undersea pipeline spend weeks living and working at pressures over 4x those at sea level seem to indicate quite the opposite.

a) Pressure and gravity are 2 very different things

b) We are not talking about weeks here. We are talking about many months of space trip in microgravity and whatever lifespan remains to the would be colonists on mars at 1/3 gravity.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

> If you're willing to accept a higher cancer risk your allowed exposure goes up exponentially.

Well, I'm not willing to accept that risk, because cancer sucks. That's why we have these limits and why observing them makes a lot of sense.

And we're not talking about a bit of an overexposure here, we are talking about a permanent overexposure for everyone who goes there, for the rest of their, likely severely limited, lifespan, because there is no return ticket.

And ofc. radiation doesn't "just" increase the risk for cancer. It also influences the bone marrow, wound healing ability, aging, damages the meiotic cells (birth defects ain't pretty)...shall I go on?

> Also unless we choose a stupid transfer window flight time to Mars should be more like 3 months.

Yeah, using what propulsion technology exactly? For reference, here are some of the known travel times to Mars, in days. Bear in mind, these are all unmanned craft, that don't have to care about the fragility of the human physiology:

Mars Science Laboratory, 254

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, 210

Mars Express Orbiter, 201

Mars Pathfinder, 212

Mars Global Surveyor, 308

Viking 2, 333

Viking 1, 304

Mariner 9, 168

Mariner 7, 128

Mariner 6, 155

Mariner 4, 228

So either we are really bad at picking good transfer windows, or a 90day trip to Mars is a lot harder than it seems. And so far, I haven't seen any futuristic propulsion Technology actually working on a real mission with real astronauts, and until that changes, I think we can quite comfortably state that a trip to Mars will take the better part of a year to complete.

> Of course once you are there you're stuck for 2 years till the window opens again

No, I'd be stuck for the rest of my life, because there is no return from Mars.

Anyone who want's to prove otherwise is welcome to try the following experiment: Launch a spacecraft purely under it's own power, meaning no boosters, into low earth orbit...from a field of sand and rocks. The only support structures allowed, are those that can be built using nothing but local materials, AFTER the spacecraft has been put there. All machinery and support materials and manpower used to build them, must fit entirely into the spacecraft that is to be launched. Contact with a control tower is allowed, but only with a lag of 6 minutes.

Sure, the gravity is higher, but then again, I'm asking only for low earth orbit, not for the spacecraft being able to, after it launched, to transfer to another planet. Oh, and since I am feeling especially generous, I am also not asking for the fuel to be produced locally ;-)

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

> If radiation is that much of a problem, wouldn't we expect some extinctions every time the magnetic pole swaps?

We would, and we know that's what happend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laschamp_event

> So MAYBE the radiation thing is less of a problem than it seems.

It's a big problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Radiation_Environment_Experiment

A human on earth is exposed to ~0.62 rads per year. On Mars, that's 8 rads, or 80 milliievert (mSv). The occupational dose limit is 50mSv per anno. And that's just normal cosmic radiation on Mars. During solar flares, which occured twice in the 18 months of MARIE, humans on mars would be showered with up to 20mSv in a single day.

Oh, and of course, this also means that basically the entire surface of Mars has been irradiated for hundreds of millions of years, so every usage of local resources for...basically anything, has to take that into account as well.

But yes, given the other problems, the deadly radiation is just one more cherry on top of that frozen hell-cake of a planet.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

Yes, a gravitational field a bit above 1/3 that of earths.

Bipedal hominids spent about 7 million years developing under 1g of gravity. That's not gonna go away, neither do the 1E8's years of mammalian evolution.

Everything in our body is tuned to that. From our circulatory system up to and including our reproductive organs.

We already know that microgravity, or significantly lowered gravity, for any prolonged period of time, wreaks havoc on humans. Bone and muscle deterioration or fluid redistribution are just 2 of the effects.

And so far, the people we sent into such conditions were Astronauts, aka. humans in excellent physical condition, well trained, and specially selected for their fitness for such missions.

The effects may be less severe, for a time, in 1/3g than in microgravity, but a) a mars mission will last a lot longer (as in, a lifetime), and b) we can swap people in orbit...there is no swapping people on Mars.

Oh, and let's not forget, that by the time these people arrive on Mars, they will have spent 9 months already under microgravity conditions, plus however long it will take to re-fuel the launch vehicle after it reaches low earth orbit, if the craft goes with that plan.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: May??

Who knows, it's really hard to chose which one problem is the biggest when there are so many.

No nitrogen anywhere.

Solar power effectiveness severely reduced.

Almost no accessible water.

Next to no atmosphere.

An average temperature of -60°C.

No protection from cosmic radiation or solar flares.

Planet wide duststorms of powdered regolith lasting for weeks or months making solar power generation impossible and killing equipment.

No habitats (anyone who disagrees: Show me that the proposal can be built, and works, in isolation, in a dry valley in antarctica, with nothing but local resources and no machine that doesn't fit in whatever spacecraft should go to mars).

Microgravitation related illness.

There are just so many ways in which the red planet can kill anyone actually trying to live there, it's really hard to chose which one is the worst.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: How about plants ?

You mean the film that starts with a storm on mars blowing away heavy equipment, which is completely impossible in an atmosphere of less than 1% the density of earths?

mpi Bronze badge

Re: How about plants ?

There is no "martian soil".

Soil is the product of biological processes, decomposing organic matter to enrich the surrounding substrate with usable nitrogen, trace elements and organic compounds.

The martian surface is covered in regolith. Dead, sterile, irradiated, dessicated, pulverized silica compounds, contaminated with toxic chemicals like perchlorate salts.

Metaverse? Apple thinks $3,500 AR ski goggles are the betterverse

mpi Bronze badge

Since warehouses are usually quite ordered affairs, with isles, numbered shelves etc., the same effect can be achieved with a simple smartphone app.

> Where is item [Fluffy Blue Teddybears]

>>> Building 2, Walkway 7, Section B, Shelf 4

Doesn't require 3500 dollars, the battery life is measured in days, and we don't have to force people to wear bulky ski-masks while handling heavy equipment.

The point I am trying to make here isn't nitpicking on a specific example. My point is, there is a reason why V/AR never took off outside of gaming: There simply is no "killer app", a feature that is so desirable that it would justify the elevated price point and technical problems (limited battery life or being bound to a stationary computer, having to wear a bulky piece of headgear). Pretty much all examples outside the gaming realm are solved problems with "conventional" hardware.

If anyone disagrees, I'm all ears: What kind of task outside of gaming can only be done adequately with a V/AR device?

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Definitely for pr0n

> the existing commercial use cases

Which are ... looking at screens and participating in meetings, aka. something people can do while sitting in an office where the entire furniture plus equipment probably cost less than 3500$.

Netherlands digital minister smacks down Big Tech over AI regs

mpi Bronze badge

Mazhari said thousands die in road accidents every day but car manufacturers are allowed to carry on.

No, they don't "carry on".

They are subject to strict regulations, and if a car manufacturer, no matter how big and rich, thinks he doesn't need to follow these regulations, the law will be more than happy to take them down a peg or three.

And the same will happen to AI.

Kremlin claims Apple helped NSA spy on diplomats via iPhone backdoor

mpi Bronze badge

Guess how much I trust anything the russian state says.










WTF is solid state active cooling? We’ve just seen it working on a mini PC

mpi Bronze badge

"Vibrating Membranes..."

Sorry, a little confused here...isn't the meaning of "solid state" that something has no moving parts?

And isn't vibration a form of movement?

I am not a material scientist, so maybe there is something I don't get about this. If anyone wants to enlighten me, I'm all ears.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: They won't be able to market this.

"Hey, you have a minute?"

"Sure, wassup"?

"Oh, just going over the acquisition forms you filled out...mind telling me, what those 'vibrating devices to keep the heat under control' are exactly?"



Mozilla so sorry for intrusive Firefox VPN popup ad

mpi Bronze badge

>"We’re continuously working to understand the best ways to communicate with people who use Firefox,"

Here is great idea how to communicate with your users through your browser: DON'T.

People use your browser because they want to look at websites. They do not want to look at ads. If you want to inform them about your offerings, put it into some box in the browsers homescreen, right next to an easyily found, obvious button to turn it off.

Or better yet: Put them on your website and do SEO.

As far as I'm concerned, a lot has to go right with Mozilla and Firefox for me to come back. I'm quite happy with Brave atm., and part of that happiness comes from not getting unwanted pseudo-modals with ads shoved into my UX.

Experimental brain-spine computer interface helped a paralyzed man walk

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Regenerative medicine

> Every dollar, pound or euro can only be spent once, you know.

Wrong. They can be spent an arbitrary number of times. That's pretty much the point of currency in a circulatory economic system. I get paid, I buy groceries, company selling groceries licenses ERP solution, supplier subcontracts my company, I get paid, I buy groceries, ...

> but we should freeze development and funnel all funds into cartilage research. Every dollar, pound or euro can only be spent once, you know.

Forgetting for a moment that not every researcher and lab and piece of equipment can be applied to all research equally, let's just say we did an "all eggs in one basket" resource allocation. And what if that research turns out ot be a dead end? That happens, all the time in fact.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Regenerative medicine

>It's obvious that cancer cells don't mutate the genes that makes them cancerous in the first place.

Pray tell, how do you define "genes that make them cancerous" exactly?

Most of the relevant sequences a cancerous cell changes, are things that already exist in the genetic code, and exist _for a reason_. E.g. Angiogenesis is required, otherwise wounded tissue couldn't heal and kids couldn't grow. Some cells need to change the usual cell cycle controls, otherwise there would be no stem cell populations eg. in the bone marrow, and Memory-B-Lymphocytes couldn't hyper-proliferate in case of an infection.

These are not some "bad genes" that we can just target. These are integral part of how our cells function. They are used by cancer cells in abberant ways. More on that later.

Additionally many of the changes in cancerous cells are not about turning some genes on, but turning genes OFF. DNA Repair mechanisms, or transmembrane receptors reacting to termination signals are prime examples. Sometimes, these mechanisms may also expressed at lower rates due to a mutation that affects the patiens genome in general.

Lastly, coming back to how these changes work: Expression of genes is far more complex than just mutating it's sequence. Expression levels are controlled by the genes own sequence, signals to the transcription machinery, signals to the mRNA processing machinery, and the epigenetic code, aka. histone modifications, DNA methylation and chromosome packing. Please show me a peer reviewed paper about approaches to manipulate epigenetic coding in a targeted way on a fine grained level.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Regenerative medicine

> then fixing that would at least stop the cancer from growing and spreading?

Yes it would, the problem is, doing that reliably, against a high number of variated, accumulated defects, and doing it in a very precise targeted way.

Cancer cells mutate, at a high rate. They have to, otherwise they couldn't escape the bodies self defense mechanism (the aforementioned CD8 cells and other senescense and termination signals). And cancer doesn't form from one second to the next, a cell has to accumulate numerous mutations to become malignant. Eg. it has to figure out how to escape cell cycle control (which is itself a huge system involving many biochemical pathways), and how to ignore termination signals from the outside, and how to escape phagocytes from the immune system, and how to induce angiogenesis around it, and so on and so forth. This results in a huge number of mutations, and variations within a population of cancer cells.

Imagine trying to fix a broken car that leaks fuel. Now imagine trying to fix the same car, after it was run over by a bulldozer. That's the kind of change we are talking about here.

So even if I find a way to fix all the accumulated the defects in situ of one population of these cells, one possible outcome is that it clears the competition for cancerous cells with other mutation characteristics the treatment didn't target.

And targeting such a treatment isn't exactly easy. What happens if the insitu repair changes the DNA in healthy cells around the cancer? It might well cause new abberant cells to form.

And even if I could do all that, the cancer still needs to be removed, and the problem is that this is not always possible surgically.

That's why treatments try to kill cancer cells, and/or delay their growth, and/or support the body in killing them, instead of trying to "fix" them

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Regenerative medicine

> whilst our real focus should be on repairing the DNA of cancerous cells

Cancer cells are not a damaged part that needs to be repaired, they are abberantly multiplying cells that need to be destroyed. There is no repair process. In fact our own body tries to kill cells that leave normal cell-cycle regulations by means of CD8 Cytotoxic Killer T-cells.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Regenerative medicine

> I don't believe in non-biological replacements for human organs

You can believe or disbelieve whatever you want, fact is, my Mum has an artificial hip, and several other skeleton-related implants required due to damage caused by an autoimmune disorder.

Before she got the implants, there were months where she could barely walk unassisted. And she was in pain nearly all the time.

Now she's enjoying her retirement by traveling the world with my Dad. Among other things they go dancing, swimming, hiking and snorkeling, none of which would be possible for her, without those amazing titanium replacement parts in her body.

> but they should focus on repairing his spinal injury by regrowing part of it, not "bridging" it with some Frankenstein creation.

Capital idea. If you have a plan how to do that, feel free to link us the peer-reviewed paper that explains the process.

mpi Bronze badge

Holy ...

>However, he is now able to walk for very short distances without the aid of the prosthesis. That suggests that with regular use over a sustained period, new connections are reforming in his spinal cord and reestablishing connections with his brain.

This...is amazing. Not just the sterling work by the scientists and medical professionals that went into this...but that the body can do something like that!

Microsoft has made Azure Linux generally available. Repeat, Azure Linux

mpi Bronze badge

Good for them

But I think I'll keep this thing away from my servers.

Possibly with a long pole while wearing protective gloves.

AI menaces superbug by identifying potent antibiotic

mpi Bronze badge

That is wonderful news.

The problem is, against any antibiotic we come up with, nature can develop a countermeasure. Such is the capability of limitless structural diversity of proteins.

Superbugs don't arise because our antibiotics suck, they arise because we overuse antibiotics, by feeding them to our livestock:


And that's a vicious cycle. The more we do that, the quicker resistent strains arise, so we feed more and stronger antibiotics, which again creates a test-bed for even better adapted strains to arise, etc.

There is a solution of course, and new antibiotics are a part of that. But an even bigger help, would be to stop and think about if we really need to raise and slaughter billions of animals per year, or if it would be enough to have meat on the table maybe once or twice a week. Added bonus: It also help fight climate change, uses up way less water, and we waste less calories by using human edible produce as animal feed.

OpenAI calls for global watchdog focused on 'existential risk' posed by superintelligence

mpi Bronze badge

Re: He means

Whereas US lead international institutions are a model of efficiency and security, amirite? Take NATO for example, which managed to manouver itself into a position where a "nope" from any member state can effectively halt proceedings.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: @AC - We also need regulation for hyperspace travel and pocket-size fusion reactors...

No it isn't happening.

We have stochastic parrots that will happily announce that 2 + 2 = 7 or that caterpillars are mammals, if prompted correctly. Please show me any threat scenario of these models, that doesn't rely on the humans using them.

mpi Bronze badge

> I'm still not convinced that regulation is even necessary

Regulation is necessary about real world problems, as it is with all other software products: Compliance to data security, copyright concerns, privacy rights, high standards in critical applications ... aka. exactly what the EU is doing right now.

What isn't necessary is regulation against imaginary scifi scenarios.

PyPI subpoenaed: US govt demands data on developers

mpi Bronze badge

Well, whos surprised? Not this guy.

Of course I don't know what these subpoenas where about, but considering ...








... all of that, I think I'm not leaning too far out the window if I hazard an educated guess. And these aren't even cherry picked, I just copy-pasted the first few results from a quick websearch.

Supply chain attacks are a serious problem in the python ecosystem. A problem that needs to be addressed. That includes investigations by authorities. And where else are authorities supposed to start looking?

Microsoft finally gets around to supporting rar, gz and tar files in Windows

mpi Bronze badge

Windows continues to amaze me

Celebrating the inclusion of an open source library, to get to a point where *nix was decades ago.

Wow! Such development! Take my money!

Russian businesses want to party like it's 1959 with 6-day workweek

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Capital idea comrades!

> Oddly enough, that is pretty much the philosophy described by Robert Heinlein in his novel Starship Troopers...

Since the poster you are replying to used the phrase "Would you like to know more?", which appears frequently in the movie version of Starship Troopers, I guess the quote was intentional ;-)

mpi Bronze badge

Capital idea comrades!

> reportedly urged labor minister Anton Kotyakov to extend working times to help the "economy"

Because, as we all know, nothing motivates people more than having to spend one more day a week at work, and having zero chance in hell to do anything approaching living on the one day that remains. The constant threat of being dragged into the army and getting blasted to bits in an unprovoked war of aggression against a peacful, but much better armed, neighbor state, while having to live during the worst economic downfall since the USSR crashed, is just a cherry on top of that.

Python Package Index had one person on-call to hold back weekend malware rush

mpi Bronze badge

The problem isn't solveable imho

As long as you have a central packaging index that's open for everyone to use, everyone will use it, including bad actors.

So, stop doing that.

Golang shows how an entire language eosystem can work without relying on central package authorities. (No, goproxys don't count, because they aren't required for the system to function). What's a package? A collection of plaintext files. How do we store such files? In repositories. How do we identify them? By their URL and semantic versioning.

Privacy Sandbox, Google's answer to third-party cookies, promised within months

mpi Bronze badge

Re: "makes websites load more slowly – about 50 ms on average"

> I doubt if anyone really cares much if a page takes 1, 2 or even 5 seconds to load

Yes I do, if that delay is for no better reason than someone wanting to sell ads.

If I can get the page in 400ms with a privacy hardened browser, or 2 seconds with accepting all that advertising cruft, then it's not a hard choice for me to use the former. Because I value my time, not to mention my privacy, alot higher than some companies ad-revenue.

mpi Bronze badge

You wanna serve me ads? Fine by me.

You wanna serve me ads? Fine: Serve me dumb ads.

You wanna serve targeted ads? Fine: Serve ads that fit the theme of the websites I'm visiting.

You wanna serve me ads that require collecting information about me or my browsing behavior, no matter how that works? Forget it.

Dumb ads were enough to finance basically the entire web, at a time when it had way less users, and I see no reason to help enable anything beyond that, just so some shareholder values can go ever upwards. So I will continue to use privacy hardened browsers, and there are so many people like me, people will continue to develop them. And if that means that some ad companies revenue goes down, or some top executives have to share a private jet or *gasp* fly commercial 1st class, I think I can live with that.

That Meta GDPR fine is €1.2B. Plus biz must stop sending EU data to US

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Honest question

> how can they be stopped

Good question. Let me answer with another one: Can Meta afford to lose all users in the EU?

Because, the Union absolutely has the power to simply block services if they want to: https://gizmodo.com/chatgpt-ai-openai-italy-bans-chatgpt-investigate-openai-1850287210

Now, that would suck for the users, sure. But I have a hunch that it would suck even more for the people who have to explain to the board at Meta, why they suddenly lost every single user in the 3rd largest economy in the world.

To quench AI's thirst, the way we build, operate datacenters needs to change

mpi Bronze badge

Same story as with datacenter energy consumption.

As long as our society doesn't seem to have too many problems with the fact that flotillas of 2t SUVs burn ungodly amounts of fossile fuel to transport people in singles and pairs, when public transport extension would be a much more energy efficient system, datacenter energy consumption is probably the least of our energy efficiency problems.

And as long as our society doesn't seem to have a problem with wasting 50,000 liters of drinking water to produce 1kg of beef, when the same amount could produce many more edible calories in plants and insects and poultry, datacenter water consumption is probably the least of our water concerns.

Or to put this another way: I'm worried more about the giant dumpster full of old tires burning, than the smoke of my neighbors scented candle.

Meta facing third fine of 2023 for mishandling EU user data under GDPR

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Easy fix

The thing is, from the point of view of a global political power at the scale of the EU, they were never "too big to fail".

These aren't banks, or major production industries, or some vital infrastructure service. It's social media. Sure, people would be pi$$ed if they had to find someplace else where they can post their food pictures, but the wheels of the world would keep turning, wages would be paid, the sun would rise on the morrow.

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Easy fix

> Easy fix?

Well, in comparison to getting b____slapped with ever increasing fines by the EU, the fix will seem easier and easier I'd say.

Because, and here is what The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Facebook and similar companies that live from selling ads, will have to learn: The EU needs them alot less, than they need the revenue from the 3rd largest economic zone in the world, especially since the 2nd largest is an autocratic dictatorship, that has even less qualms about kicking them out, and has it's own "social" media platforms on top of that.

Google Go language goes with opt-in telemetry

mpi Bronze badge

> Whatever you think of Google as a whole, there are definitely smart people there who do care about privacy.

Yes, and the article explains very well why that's not reassuring enough:

> As one discussion participant put it, "I don't think 'I trust the Go devteam' is a long-term assurance. Google, as diverse a conglomeration of interests and motivations as it might be, is still a faceless megacorporation who could can the whole team at any time, for no reason whatsoever, or even for bad reasons."

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Never knew this

> Its just a string so there's no particular reason why you couldn't use "12345_5GHz_nomap".

That's true, but alot of people, especially non-techies, own Access Points (usually built-in to DSL/LTE/5G endpoints) that are heavily restricted in their possible settings and simply won't allow one to change the SSID to whatever they want. Sometimes it's not even possible to set the device to a private SSID (a non-broadcasted one).

So they have no way of escaping that data-grab, other than turning off their Network.

Asahi Linux developer warns the one true way is Wayland

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Nope

That may all be true, but here is the long and short of the problem:

X works out of the Box. Wayland doesn't.


To someone who has the time and will to fight the intiricacies of his display server, that may not be a problem. To me, who has neither, it does.

If Wayland matures to a point where it just works out of the box the way X does now, I will happily give it a try. Until such time, I will stick to what just works.

Australia asks Twitter how it will mod content without staff, gets ghosted

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Twitter files

> When will the reg report on the twitter files which showed that under pressure from the White House it was suppressing legitimate speech in a violation of the first amendment?



“Taibbi revealed… basically nothing of interest,” Mike Masnick wrote for Techdirt. “He revealed a few internal communications that… simply confirmed everything that was already public in statements made by Twitter, Jack Dorsey’s Congressional testimony, and in declarations made as part of a Federal Elections Commission investigation into Twitter’s actions…. Taibbi revealed some internal emails in which various employees (going increasingly up the chain) discussed how to handle the story. Not once does anyone in what Taibbi revealed suggest anything even remotely politically motivated.”

End Quote.

mpi Bronze badge

> as Musk pursued his agenda of maximalist free speech on the micro-blogging platform.


Large language models' surprise emergent behavior written off as 'a mirage'

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Intelligence

> From what I've seen these language models seem to have some understanding of our physical world,

I can trick an LLM into explaining to me why a tractor fits in a teacup. Where is that understanding of the physical world?

No, they don't have an understanding. They don't even have concepts of the physical world. The entirety of an LLMs capabilitiy, is sequence prediction, the entirety of their universe are tokens, period. That enables them to *mimick* an understanding, because given the sequence "A tractor does ___ fit into a teacup", the tokens forming "not" are simply more likely in the place of the blank than the tokens forming "indeed".

The trouble with this mimickry of understanding: If I give it a sequence to nibble on that makes the word "indeed" more likely in that place than "not", that's what it will predict.

The other trouble with this mimicry, is that humans are prone to antropomorphization: We naturally jump to the hasty conclusion, that things have human-intellect like agency behind them. For the same reason, people once believed that thunder is a man in a chariot beating his hammer against the clouds, or that rain is the tears of angels.

> I find it difficult to believe their output is merely a random construct of words and letters.

That's because it isn't random. It is stochastically determined to be likely in the context provided by the training datas influence on the weights, and the sequence that preceeds it, aka. the "prompt".

Things not being random doesn't mean they are intelligent however. int count() { int i = 0; while (1) { printf("%d", i); i++; } isn't producing a random sequence either.

Top AI execs tell US Senate: Please, please pour that regulation down on us

mpi Bronze badge

Re: Pulling up the ladder

That, and they are increasingly becoming aware that they have no special sauce, and now open source is beginning to eat their lunch:


Open source AI makes modern PCs relevant, and subscriptions seem shabby

mpi Bronze badge


> How will the next generation build up their higher level knowledge from the bottom up?

By fixing the mess these great CEO idea will cause.

LLMs are incredibly helpful tools for people who already know how to write code. They are incredibly bad at replacing people who write code.