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Comment: Re:Telegram (Score 1) 92

by lennier (#48429207) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Indeed. Even Her Majesty The Queen stopped sending telegrams a few years ago. A shame, really.

Your Monarch has, with great reluctance but a lingering sense of optimism, embraced modern communications, as it is nowadays one of a great many passing diversions into which the grandchildren seem to be. With this in mind the formal 'Queen's Telegram' has been revised to a streamlined, responsive format which I'm sure will meet with approval from the majority of citizens.

Now the day you turn 100 you get a single tweet from @HerMajLiz: 'lol u 2 old'

Comment: Re:On other words ... (Score 1) 230

by lennier1 (#48261601) Attached to: Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line

Yeah because they will let just anyone publish packages in repositories that are configured by default. This is not a problem with Linux package managers, why does everyone assume it will be a problem with Windows?

Like intentionally malicious USB drivers that will nuke the hardware people bought? All it needs is some crazy asshole with the keys to the castle.

Comment: Re:I'm deeply skeptical (Score 1) 124

by lennier (#48070527) Attached to: DARPA Delving Into the Black Art of Super Secure Software Obfuscation

A person (or computer) possessing a (theoretical) book containing every possible response to every conceivable question and statement in, say, Chinese, would be considered to understand Chinese,

I've always had a problem with this definition of the Chinese Room scenario. It's the following:

To be successful in a conversation, that 'book' with responses to questions has to model not just the language, but also the subject domain and the personality of the simulated Chinese speaker. That means that not only does the book have to be huge - we're talking a giant library - but it also has have a representation of a personality inside. And the ability to store knowledge and alter that personality, depending on the depth of the conversation to be modelled.

I think most people thinking about the Chinese Room really really underestimate the amount of knowledge you need to store in that book in order to have the simplest of natural-language conversations without it quickly falling off the rails. For example:

Q: 'Hello!"
A: 'Hi there. How can I help you?'
Q: 'Hello!"
A: ... -- if the rules say 'repeat the same Hello response', you've already failed.
Q: 'Say, how do you feel about the Occupy Central protests in Hong Kong? Are any of your family affected?'
A: ... -- right here the room has to track a model of current news, which requires real-time processes for fetching news, parsing it, building models of world events, maintaining a simulated persona with a political alignment, a simulated family with emotional connections to each, a backstory of all these relationships if asked.... there's a nearly infinite number of possible conversational branches. And if the actual person 'operating' the room isn't aware of this information, there's still an algorithm which has to be doing it.

So most people look at the description of the Room, go 'this could be trivially represented with a bunch of index cards which obviously aren't intelligent/aware', but that's not an actual solution to the Room. A solution which does work would have to be doing such an enormous amount of effort that it actually *would* be 'aware' of a lot of things even if it doesn't have a 'feeling' of that awareness. But even then it would need to have a model of what such a 'feeling' would be like; and we currently have no idea of what such a model would be like.

Comment: A matter of perspective (Score 2) 57

by lennier1 (#48020627) Attached to: How To Find the Right Open Source Project To Get Involved With

In my case it was because I'm a lazy bastard. I needed e bug tracking module (exception details are turned into a unified format to report to a bug tracking server) and I came across one that was already 95% of what I wanted, so I simply contributed enhancements until the final 5% were covered.
The same thing got a former colleague of mine involved in the Firebug project until he became a regular contributor.

Comment: Coincidences over coincidences (Score 1) 579

by lennier1 (#47700919) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

The new mayor once brokered the deal to get Microsoft to move its German headquarters (and the tax revenue that comes with it) into Munich proper instead of some satellite city and now that he's been elected, he and his friends constantly spread rumors about problems with the completed Linux migration (never any lists of actual concrete examples) and they want to look into whether they should move back to MS products.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.