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Comment: Re:I think (Score 2) 415

by pmontra (#49767217) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
How are chimps, gorillas and Co faring against those ape superintelligences called humans? Still alive, but some in zoos, others in labs, all of them progressively stripped out of vital space due to the exigences of their more intelligent cousins. I won't like to go the way of chimps so it's ok to develop some special purpose AI (vision, driving, etc), but I'd be very wary of connecting all the pieces together. It won't behave as a servant no more than we are servant to cats, no matter if cats actually believe all that infrastructures we built are for letting us be better caregivers to them

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 530

by pmontra (#49757199) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users
I have a small 32 GB SSD on this laptop (I keep the OS there) plus a 750 GB spinning disk (data). The swap space would have been on the HD (I think swapping to SSD is bad because of write amplification) so I could have made it as big as I wished. However I decided to go without swap and see what happened. After more than one year I didn't have any problem. Even if I didn't hit max memory once I'm pretty sure the OS would have swapped out some programs sometimes because it makes sense to move out inactive programs to make space for buffer cache (it's Linux and I saw it happen in the past) but with so much RAM I don't care about 1 GB less of buffer cache. I prefer to have programs respond quickly after a couple of days I don't use them. I was constantly hitting swap to some degree on the old 4 GB laptop and it wasn't pretty. Obviously I didn't leave programs around much. Firefox, Thunderbird, emacs, terminal always open, the other programs on demand.

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 530

by pmontra (#49752085) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users
I had that kind of problem until February 2014 (old Core Duo with 4 GB RAM) then I bought a new laptop with 16 GB upgradeable to 32 GB. No swap space configured. I keep leaving all sort of applications open (4 virtual desktops) and sometimes I got down to 3 GB free and started thinking about the extra 16 GB. Well, not until I'll really have to work with some VMs open all the time.
4 GB are not necessarily too little nowadays, but one should expect to be careful with the programs he runs. Like Android phones with half a GB of RAM.

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 530

by pmontra (#49752011) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users
Not on my Firefox 38 on Ubuntu. I copied the URL of this page, mid clicked on the new tab button and got an empty tab. I checked the preferences and I didn't find anything relevant (but I noticed that they are web pages now, not a dialog anymore - big surprise!). Maybe it's browser.newtablurl set to about:blank in about:config? No, it isn't that one because I don't get that behaviour with the default value too.

Comment: Proxied ads (Score 2) 198

by pmontra (#49704499) Attached to: European Telecoms May Block Mobile Ads, Spelling Trouble For Google
The workaround will be to proxy ads from the server. I bet that the ad networks will develop the technology for all the major frameworks. That will hurt servers' bandwidth, threads and CPU but it will make harder for ISPs to block ads because the URLs won't give away much. Unfortunately that will make the job harder for in-browser adblockers too so I don't welcome that move. I bet we'll end up with the same amount of ads and less ways of blocking them.
BTW, how are they going to deal with https? Are they going to block the IPs of the ad networks?

Comment: Re:One (Score 1) 301

When I'm ssh-ing to a server I can usually tell the difference between WiFi or Ethernet. It seems that WiFi isn't good at sending many small packets (one per keypress) quickly in a crowded environment. At home I always connect my laptop to Ethernet unless I'm using it on the coach.

I always plug my laptop to the main and I use a USB drive once a day to back it up. Luckily it's got 3 USB ports and a separate DC port. I won't have any problem doing a backup on battery power but it's not likely that I'm doing it on a train :-)

Comment: Re:Memorizing site-unique passwords isn't possible (Score 1) 267

by pmontra (#49352537) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess
First, you should not use somebody's else computer, Internet shop included. Use your phone or tablet over https if possible.
If you really can't do that, use a local password manager like KeepassX on your phone and copy the password by hand on the computer. You compromised only that site. However this can be extremely painful if you use fully random password like g27rkuqhLJcM46G9YsxV4rlF9ACtveB1. These are 32 characters with only letters and digits to limit the typing errors (think about entering punctuation on a very foreign keyboard layout). According to KeepassX its strenght is 191 "quality bits" defined as the "equivalent size of a random symmetric key."
If you use an Internet password manager on an untrusted machine you run into the problem you described and all your accounts are compromised.
By the way, assuming that passwords are stored as SHA-2 (64 characters) should we use 64 characters passwords to minimize the risk of collisions?

Comment: Re:Money (Score 1) 300

by pmontra (#49196485) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?
I use Firefox on desktop with some privacy related extensions like NoScript, Self Destructing Cookies, AdBlock (also for decluttering pages). I use Opera on desktop for Google Docs and a few work-related sites (Opera has the same engine as the latest Chrome). Basically I'm using Opera as if it were Word: one window, one site.
I use Opera on my Android devices because Firefox still has problems rendering some sites. It's part fault of those sites and part fault of bad decisions on the side of Mozilla. Go try reading the comments thread on Hacker News and you'll see (pick one with many nested comments.) Slashdot used to suffer from the same problem.
A bad handling of text inflation could have lost mobile to Mozilla, and maybe all the company. Some sites must work well because the people there are the ones that tell other people which tools are cool and which are uncool.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 2) 235

by pmontra (#49163927) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

Another SG2 here. I love the SD card, the plastic body, the replaceable battery. Plastic and the replaceable battery help the phone surviving drops because they discharge the kinetic energy (google bent corner iphone or mac). Because of that I won't buy the SG6 when my SG2 dies but hopefully that will happen many years in the future so Samsung have plenty of time to rethink their design.

Other things that I love: the relatively small size, which let me fit it inside my front pockets if I have to, the light weight (but now only 20 g less than the S6, large phones are getting slimmer) and that I can mount it as a disk over USB without going through the MTP madness. A not so nice thing: the SD card is hidden under the battery so I can't eject it without shutting down the phone. This is a bit limiting.

Comment: Re:Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. (Score 1) 96

by pmontra (#49094159) Attached to: How Machine Learning Ate Microsoft

Great things don't have to be secret weapons nobody else can have. Word processors and spreadsheets used to be great things before being given from granted. They fuelled the computer revolution in the 80s (with video games.) Many companies sold them, MS being the most successful in the long run. Same with machine learning frameworks. We'll see how it plays out.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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