Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Crazy People (Score 1) 295

by PPH (#49154231) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

Trying to evaluate colors based on a digital photograph, which may have been white balanced who knows how. And then uploaded through Instagram filtering algorithms. And finally viewed on various displays that have been tweaked (or mis-configured) to suit different users' tastes.

The xkcd cartoon illustrates one kind of optical illusion. But that's not what is going on here (or on Instagram/whatever). Because you can download two copies of the photo, one that appears white and gold, the other that appears blue and black. And you can actually verify, using various graphics tools, that the colors are actually different. It's not really a visual illusion produced by human perception. Its the result of massive post processing of a digital image.

Comment: Management problem (Score 1) 148

by PPH (#49148627) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

Largely, that is.

My time to write a function is accounted entirely differently than the expense to acquire a commercial package that does the same. The bias is to prefer something that can be purchased over that which is written in-house.

Don't even get me started on free software. Management values an application based on how much they paid for it, either in developer-hours or from the expense budget. Stuff that costs zero must be worth zero. Never mind what functions it actually provides.

Comment: Re:NSA (Score 1) 45

by PPH (#49141415) Attached to: The Believers: Behind the Rise of Neural Nets

Funny, but System Development Corporation (aka RAND) is primarily a supplier for the US Military and other three letter intelligence agencies. There was probably more good research in various fields that was intercepted by the likes of them, stamped 'Top Secret' and lost from public view for decades.

I used to work for an outfit with some serious machine learning, natural language recognition applications. When 9/11 hit, they saw the handwriting on the wall. With the Patriot Act, Homeland Security and the NSA treating every American as an enemy, they understood the utility of such software to these organizations and the negative consequences for its commercial use. They promptly boxed up everything and shipped it to overseas contractors for further development. Out of the reach of the Top Secret stamp.

Comment: Honeypots (Score 1) 507

by PPH (#49141149) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

If we can clone a practically limitless supply of on-line AI VMs, we can keep the Christian Evangelicals (and those of other religions as well) too busy to convert our kids.

Of course, if ISIS fails to convert an AI, declares it an apostate and beheads it, we can just build another VM from the backup image.

Comment: Re:Schneier's opinion isn't what it once was (Score 2) 114

by PPH (#49140997) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

A generation ago,

There was a high barrier to this sort of public information being used. If you wanted to use the libraries' reverse directory, you had to actually go there. Now, with this sort of data on-line, marketers can slice and dice it any way they want for little more than the cost of processing power. But so can the 'bad guys'.

Comment: Re:Google sweeping KP under the rug (Score 1) 285

by PPH (#49120391) Attached to: Google Knocks Explicit Adult Content On Blogger From Public View

some blogger's KP stash.

A bit of a logical leap there from adult content to kiddie porn. No one in their right mind uses Google (or other similar services) for sharing KP. Its just too easy to track the material back to a source.

The whole 'private sharing' means that identities must be provided. And that's the first step to a paid membership site. It looks like Google is getting into the pay-for-porn business.

Comment: Re:"Mathematical Rules" (Score 1) 81

by PPH (#49114493) Attached to: Ancient and Modern People Followed Same Mathematical Rule To Build Cities

People need roads. People put businesses next to well traveled roads.

And then the Seattle City Fathers decree that roads are evil and are to be replaced with Light Rail. And Light Rail will not be placed where the people want to go. It is located near property that speculators bought up, evicted the poor residents and expect to make bundles of money when the rail line is built through their neighborhood.

And then some smart-ass steps in and proposes a transit system that goes where people already travel. And is designed to be financed by the riders of that system. So no more 'three card monte' confidence games with transit funds. So the City Fathers shout him down and panic the voters into dropping the idea.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?