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Comment: Re:I had that picture in my course some years ago (Score 1) 555

by ledow (#49604295) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

I'm British. That's in Europe. The above is true of Britain at the very least, and it's not alone.

And, every time I drive through Europe (including France), that's the only time you see things quite so blatant as huge pink neon signs declaring "Sex Shop" from miles away. Even in tiny, sleepy little villages, miles from anything else.

And, sorry, but sometimes the models in fashion magazines and men's magazines are showing more than the full Lena image, and on the front cover.

It may not be true in every town/city (Paris relies a lot on tourism), true. But we're a damn sight more open about it than the US.

Comment: Re:I had that picture in my course some years ago (Score 4, Interesting) 555

by ledow (#49601147) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

The Venus de Milo is showing her breasts. Michaelangelo's David has his cock out.

Countless renaissance works depict nudes.

When they excavated Pompei they found everything from dildos to pornography.

Hell, I was in the National Gallery a while back and it had a famous exhibit of a sculpted goat being penetrated by a man. Just there, in the museum. There was a warning sign that that gallery contains such works, but that was about it. Kids were roaming freely through it and past it and looking at it. No parent did anything more than "Yes, it's very funny, keep moving" and a sly smile between them all.

Nudity is slowly being outlawed, which is ridiculous, given that sex is just as much at the front of the agenda as it ever has been. I'm not naturist and I don't want to go around showing my body (especially not my body, actually) but, fuck, it's a breast or a leg or even a cock, get over it.

There's a line of obscenity, but it's not the very existence or a bare depiction of a nude body. And certainly not the Lena image which isn't pornographic in any way (the others in the series, possibly). You see worse in any historical painting, on TV adverts, and let's not actually get into the dramas, and movies, and videogames, and what they contain because, fuck, we'll be here forever.

I agree it's probably not the best thing to KEEP using but it's used because it has certain properties that aid in the judgement of imagery. Sure there are other images. But you're an adult. It's an adult woman, barely nude. Grow up.

And in any European country you see worse on the top shelf of every single newsagent, and not even in the "pornographic" section. Just things like the men's magazine's front covers.

We can never outgrow wanting to look at beautiful people, male or female, but we can sure as hell outgrow trying to ban it.

Fuck, there was a public protest in London the other month over the banning of depiction of face-sitting, so thousands gathered outside the Houses of Parliament and demonstrated what was about to be banned. We have bigger issues than a picture of a woman.

Comment: Elites and plebes (Score 2) 225

This isn't an errant bill or anything. The person called long distance that much in two months.

And AT&T waived it after it was pointed out. So why freak out about this?

Finally, I'm really ashamed of slashdot approving an article which refers to an AT&T spokesperson as a "spokeshole" for no reason. Georgia Taylor didn't do anything to deserve that.

Show some maturity, slashdot.

Well, let's see here.

Firstly, there's no immediate feedback on phone charges. A running faucet or light left on will get noticed and turned off - people *want* to be sensible about their expenses.

Imagine a running faucet going unnoticed for 4 weeks. Phone services are like that.

Secondly, when the user does nothing different and suddenly gets these charges, can you really blame the user?

Imagine you work adjacent to the waterfront district, the Queen Mary happens to be docked there, and your phone calls are picked up by their tower and considered an international call - you've just racked up several hundred dollars for no apparent reason. Is it the user's fault?

Thirdly, there's no safeguards or limit switches in the system. You can't say to the phone company "I want service capped at $100 per month, alert me if it goes over".

You put the phone back in the cradle and the plunger switch doesn't disengage properly, the phone is still "off hook", and you go away for the weekend. When you get back, you've had a line open for 76 hours and will be billed accordingly (depending on your service plan).

And finally, and the one that gives people a burn about these issues, there's the issue of elites and the plebes.

You see, he *only* was able to get things straightened out because an elite was kind enough to help him. When he tried to straighten it out the phone company blew him off, but when an elite got involved it was sorted out immediately.

This sort of customer service - where the customer doesn't have to fight tooth-and-nail for everyday consideration from a big company, isn't available to you and me.

It's a perk of the elites.

Comment: Re:Very impressive (Score 1) 84

If PC gaming has taught me anything, it's "never be on the cutting edge". It's expensive, very expensive, and very fleeting.

A $2000 four-card SLI setup will be two-card setup next year. And a one-card setup the year after. And mainstream the year after.

It's going to TAKE you three years to produce any game of value with this level of model quality anyway.

It's not wasted in that sense. But it is a bit pointless. Stop focussing on the graphics, because I don't want a $100m animation of any level of detail. I played through GTA V and skipped EVERY cutscene. I literally did not care about the pre-rendered or even engine-rendered bits over which I had no control, I just wanted to play the damn game.

Hopefully we'll reach a point where the level of detail is the same wherever you go, and all that differs is the actual gameplay. The AI in GTA V, for example, is still absolute crap. Want to evade the cops? Turn corners lot, get yourself into a point they can't sneak up on you. Pretty much you can last out from a 5-star wanted level until you run out of ammo.

Now go online. Even a couple of people actively hunting you is certain death in a short time unless you are kitted out to the absolute hilt.

We need to stop focusing on graphics, fuck even my old laptop ran GTA V at enough speed that I could complete the game without going blind, and focus on all those other areas of gaming that we're still just completely ignoring.

Comment: Re:Tells (Score 1) 86

by ledow (#49599239) Attached to: Humans Dominating Poker Super Computer

Tells and the "psychology" of poker are about supplying misleading as to the content of your hand. That's it.

The computer doesn't need to take any notice of you, misleading or otherwise. It knows what the chances of any particular card in your hand are. It therefore knows exactly the odds of whether its hand is likely to outmatch all the other hands on the table.

The problem is not in playing the game, it's in betting (especially with no-limits, which gives too many avenues for recursion so it just has to "guess" with a heuristic - if that heuristic is wrong, it might "win" more hands but still lose much more money than all the other players).

It's easy to know the probability that you will win the hand. It's hard to get more than small gains from that unless you bluff your opponents into betting more than they should. If everyone bet like the computer, the game would peter out to boredom.

The "misleading" is in the bets, and the computer doesn't care what you're TRYING to make it think you have in your hard. It knows whether or not there's a higher probability of winning cards in its hand or any other the other players. It just has to determine what's the best betting strategy. If it has 1000 chips, that's 1000 options. Next move if might have 1000 options, 2000 options or none at all. The game tree for THAT is fucking huge.

But remove the money and this computer will win more hands. Just do the betting, no-limits, on the flip of a coin and it will struggle without a programmed heuristic. Determine the heuristic and you win against it and there's nothing it can do about it.

And players can collude to make it hard for the computer to bet at the ideal level. In short, the computer will win the most hands in the long run. It might be a very boring game but it will. The cards in your hand cannot change and everyone can know the exact chance of what you have, what's coming up, and what's in their hand. Those odds don't change because you try to bluff or not.

It may not, however, take away most money and that money is a rule in the game, it may not win.

Statistics, however, is completely misunderstood in such things. First, it only applies IN THE LONG RUN. Second, it will lose almost as much too - it has to. Third, the game is designed for humans... thus the blinds and betting are put in to complicate things and MAKE the game more about your opponents than the cards (because humans who card-count and bet by the odds are boring and just end in stalemates and random wins), so they remove the possibility of card-counting and complicate the betting to make things "interesting". It's a CAPTCHA, in effect.

Play blind-tests where they don't know it's a computer. Where they don't know who to collude against. See how well it does then. That's interesting.

And they wouldn't play against it if you just said "see who wins the most hands, and folds the least".

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 5, Insightful) 167

It's not even very good.

If you have noexec /tmp, it can't even start. That's been the default in almost every distro for years.

And it's a random third-party binary. It's not like it got into package repositories or a major piece of software. Some cock downloaded a piece of malware, of his own accord, outside of package management on a Linux machine. And so few people did that, it wasn't even showing up on the radar.

God, if I had a penny for every spam email sent from a compromised Windows computer that I've had brought to me and been asked to clean, I'd have earned more than a year's wages already.

Comment: Re:Spamming daemon packed inside ELF binary (Score 5, Insightful) 167

You can be insecure on any machine, same as you can be a dick in any language.

If you have a non-package binary installed on your system, it's user-error. You have decided to run that, and done that with privileges enough to run it.

This isn't packaged with any software, except for a spam-generating (mass mailing) software anyway. Just that those spammers didn't know they were being used to spam for others too.

Same as if you just run a program on a Windows machine. It's got FUCK ALL to do with open-source, but don't let that stop you.

And packaged open-source software is hash-checked and signed by the distributors. This has not been found in ANY repository of distribution packages. It's a random program that someone has decided to install, and is bundled with spam-generating software, so that's how it "kept quiet"... the people installing didn't give a shit about what they were installing, or the mass-mailing they were already doing. It's like getting a virus from a game crack.

But, please, continue to think you're superior because "lol OS is insecure". I don't actually see any difference between your unrelated argument and, say, "lol Xbox sucks because".

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 430

by Bruce Perens (#49598949) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

OK, I will try to restate in my baby talk since I don't remember this correctly.

Given that you are accelerating, the appearance to you is that you are doing so linearly, and time dilation is happening to you. It could appear to you that you reach your destination in a very short time, much shorter than light would allow. To the outside observer, however, time passes at a different rate and you never achieve light speed.

Comment: Where we need to get to call this real (Score 1) 430

by Bruce Perens (#49596461) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

Before we call this real, we need to put one on some object in orbit, leave it in continuous operation, and use it to raise the orbit by a measurable amount large enough that there would not be argument regarding where it came from. The Space Station would be just fine. It has power for experiments that is probably sufficient and it has a continuing problem of needing to raise its orbit.

And believe me, if this raises the orbit of the Space Station they aren't going to want to disconnect it after the experiment. We spend a tremendous amount of money to get additional Delta-V to that thing, and it comes down if we don't.

+ - UMG v Grooveshark settled, no money judgment against individuals

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: UMG's case against Grooveshark, which was scheduled to go to trial Monday, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), (a) a $50 million judgment is being entered against Grooveshark, (b) the company is shutting down operations, and (c) no money judgment at all is being entered against the individual defendants.

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 502

by ledow (#49594631) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

UK standard is 100A to the board, I think (and we're on 220v).

I have a single appliance that can pull 20A @220v on it's own, another that can pull 18A @ 220v. One of those is the oven, the other is a (completely optional, I agree) electric kiln.

But I am shocked that I haven't overloaded a circuit yet.

I have 32A just going out to the garden shed / for mowing the lawn / tools etc. and that's more than you could pull ever (maybe twice as much if you're on 110v). I intend to use it if ever I switch to an electric car, which might be in 20 years time given the rate the tech moves at.

I don't do a lot of toolwork or serious stuff, so it's not a huge draw. I don't have A/C (it's a UK semi-detached right in the suburbs!). I don't have a huge house, buckets of lights, ponds or anything high-power running 24/7. The heating is gas. I have one of each appliance, and small ones at that because of limited kitchen space. I don't have a power shower or anything remotely luxurious.

Not saying I couldn't dial down to 30A if necessary but, damn, that's not a lot at all. Most of my MCB's are 32A rated, the others are 16A and my consumer unit has a dozen of them.

Your whole house wouldn't blow one of my circuits, most likely. And the whole house was rewired only a couple of years ago just before I bought it.

Is it me that's unusual here (I don't think so, looking at my parent's house, old houses I've lived in, etc.)?

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"