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Comment: Re:I had that picture in my course some years ago (Score 1) 566

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) 566

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: 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) 169

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) 169

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:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 503

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.)?

Comment: Re:2kW isn't enough power for a home (Score 2) 503

by ledow (#49593463) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

Not really.

A lease is nothing more than renting, which not only has to cover all the costs of the batteries, but also reasonable replacements over the life of the lease, plus people to manage the lease, plus some profit (usually).

Leasing doesn't make things more affordable (just the opposite). It just breaks it into monthly payments without needing a lump-sum, and takes the hassle off your hands. It's a big difference.

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 3, Insightful) 503

by ledow (#49592889) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

However much you hate it, the bottom-line finance number gives you an idea of the materials, work, availability, etc. involved.

A system that is not economically viable is taking MORE product out of the earth, and rarer products, that need more refinement and processing, etc. in order to create it in the first place than it is replacing other power-generation methods and their costs.

It's quite simple. The market price changes to reflect the difficult, cost, legislation, rarity, etc. of the materials and labour involved. If something is more expensive it's because it COSTS MORE to give it to you. If something can't pay that cost back (at least, in a reasonable time) you've taken out MORE from the earth including shipping the thing to yourself and paying for machines to modify it, and paying for the companies mass-production plans, etc. than you've stopped being taken out elsewhere.

It's not perfect. It's not entirely accurate. But the monetary cost of something is a pretty good indicator. This is why lithium batteries are more expensive than lead-acid equivalents, why oil products are being taxed, why discovery of shale gas can drop the gas price, etc.

Also, as you're moving the burden from government and entire countries to individual users here, cost matters more than most other things. You're asking ME to take the effort, research, purchase, maybe pay for planning and electrical works, etc. this product that you're SELLING in order for me to help the earth. There's a cost involved in that no matter what. Some of that cost is a "donation" because you want to live in a friendly way. Some of that cost is because of the convenience to you if the power blips for a moment. Some of that cost is for your peace of mind.

At the end of the day, cost is a pretty good measure of all kinds of things to do with a system. This is why energy companies are complaining about the "payback" electricity schemes from solar users... the costs they incur to put their pittance of electricity back into the grid far outweigh anything else. The government has to subsidise those costs, or the electricity companies have to raise their prices. And, suddenly, it's actually more expensive to run "off-grid" than you thought and you end up going back "on-grid" because the cost isn't worth the convenience any more.

I could UPS all my appliances today. I could just buy a tiny UPS, or save up towards a bigger one, each month and stick them on batteries that survive power outages for whatever length of time I choose to do it for. But I don't because it costs. And that cost does not compare to the cost of the power going off every now and then, or the electricity company raising its prices by 10% a year.

If an off-grid system does not return money for you, the money you pay would have been better off just buying a generator and some fuel for it for the rare occasions the power does go off, and forgetting about all these fancy gadgets that help you live off-grid. In which case, both the green-ness and the user suffer.

That's why governments are subsidising PV etc. installs. They have to bring the price down or people will just look and think "Sod it, I'll just buy a genny and keep a tank of petrol in the garage for if anything happens" rather than go off-grid.

Things have to be profitable, and everything has a cost.

Comment: Re:2kW isn't enough power for a home (Score 1) 503

by ledow (#49592725) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

My old stove alone is rated at 18KW. It's not particular huge or anything, just a double-oven.

Although you can go "self-powered", you have to make just as many sacrifices on what you power as you do on how much you can physically generate anyway.

And some things need a lot more power than you might imagine - anything with a motor, e.g. refrigerator, washer, dryer, etc.

This is the problem at the moment. You either have gas for some things, or burn wood for some things, and forgo electric for them, or you don't and have to cut them out entirely or generate a LOT more power. Sure, you can do that. But neither option is saving the planet.

Reducing consumption is step 1. Then decide whether you have low enough consumption to justify self-powering. Unfortunately, it's just not sold that way.

Comment: Batteries (Score 4, Interesting) 503

by ledow (#49592651) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

It's about GBP30-40 for a 100Ah 12V car lead-acid battery on a random site. These are mass-produced, cheap and easily available. Granted that they are heavy and large, but... scaling up... that's 1.2KWh alone. We'd only need ten car batteries to match it. That's GBP300-400.

Why, then does it cost the equivalent of nearly $3,500 (GBP2200) for the same here?

Sure, we allow leeway for different voltages (necessary for high-current loads, etc.), different technologies, deep-cycle, etc. but... that's a five-to-seven-fold increase over what we're using now for quite basic solar, wind, etc. power storage and can be obtained from any garage. And 10 car batteries aren't prohibitively large, expensive, difficult to handle, etc.

With 10 year warranty and 2KW peaks? That's way within range of such a pack. Hell, stick a decent split charger / inverter on the end, one designed for home use, and it still comes nowhere near the price of this home battery.

Is my maths wrong? Have I missed something? Quite what are we trying to sell here apart from an overpriced battery and some electronics on either end of it?

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 136

If he was twelve, XP was released before he was born.

In IT terms "before you were born" is old. Very old. Ancient. Dead. Buried. Gone.

I touched my last XP install two years ago when I migrated a school using it from XP to 8 (and all their servers a similar jump).

The prime argument? It was a school, and the OS they were using to teach ICT to the kids was OLDER than the kids. All of them. And, as such, they did not know how to operate it because they were all used to Vista, 7 and 8 at home. We were teaching them BACKWARDS skills to do things on OLDER software than the ICT skills they already had when they entered the school.

What percentage it's on is neither here nor there. Still WinZIP is on millions of computers. But it's old. And versions of WinZIP from the XP era are ancient. I bet I could find a ton of computers with Quicktime and Realplayer on them still. They're old. They're ancient.

And, like XP, they are obsolete.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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