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Comment Re:tool creating the user ? (Score 1) 551

My point was not about checking at all. As the changed subject indicates, I was talking about an extremely surprising statement from you about a "tool" that creates the user, which can be dreamt of as possibly responsible for validating the name of the user.

I still don't understand which "tool" you are talking about that has any say in the name of the user, unless the tool is physics and "validation" is prayer. In which case I apologize while mildly irritated at your unusual language.

Comment tool creating the user ? (Score 1) 551

the tool creating the user

Ok, consider this :

1. [root@localhost ~]# adduser ii
2. [root@localhost ~]# sed -i 's/ii/8i/g' /etc/passwd
3. [root@localhost ~]# su 8i

So "sed" is the tool "creating" the user, at least it (re)defines the user name. It could have been some text editor, or "echo", or someone could mount the filesystem with /etc/passwd file in some other operating system and edited in a million ways imaginable.

Do you propose sed and all software directly or indirectly used for text editing under any operating system "validate" user names ? How about direct access to storage device with a magnet or firmware interface to storage device ?

Comment Re:Not sure how that works (Score 1) 362

In case of non-shill conditions, I would stop replying if radical misstatements start, but not here, at least without calling them out.

I'm talking about the inherent opacity of ML-based algorithmic decisionmaking. The origin or purpose of the algorithms doesn't affect that. It would be the same if we were talking about a non-profit search engine (or anything else).

Proof awaited of the impossibility of sharing data and programs.
Proof given of moral right of people over that data.

but corporations are far from the only entities with access to large

Ok, so when the head line is about $government abusing closed algorithms (needless to say it includes data, at least if data is collected from people), I will comment about governments. At that time if you work for $government you can shill for them saying governments are far from the only entities with access to large ....

Comment vulnerabity in MEDoc the Ukrainian tax software (Score 1) 182

http://www.bbc.com/news/techno...

The tax software's update mechanism got compromised.

Mikko Hypponen, a security expert at F-Secure, is saying - "If you do business in Ukraine, the software (MEDoc) appears to be de facto,"

Microsoft is saying : "Active infections of the ransomware initially started from the legitimate MEDoc update process,"

Comment Re:When has mockery not been effective (Score 1) 272

Do you deny that the more a meme is used the more powerful it becomes?

I see the power of a meme as helping build a clique. The fun is in a particular group using it (maybe a lot), and others, let's call them muggles, don't understand the memes much.

But are you saying memes are actually "effective" the way these people are believing about "sad" ? That would be a different take on memes altogether.

The pleasure I see in memes is similar to meeting someone speaking your language in a far-off land. Say when a Belgian an Rwandan both speaking French meet in Sri Lanka, they hit it off quite nicely in spite of the difference in dialect. If everyone in Sri Lanka were speaking French well, that hit off would reduce drastically wouldn't it ?

If the same meme is used by everyone, it becomes an idiom. At this point occasionally it may become an interesting way of making a point, but nowhere as influential as something "kind of scientifically" called "effective".

Used by even more people even more frequently, and it becomes a language peculiarity like "it is raining". There is no "it" that is raining, but we English speaking fools just say it. Far from effective, people find no other way of communicating than using the peculiarity.

Comment Re: Corruption of vegatarian/vegan philosophy (Score 1) 409

It's still not clear that laboratories manufacturing "meat" on a large scale would be any better for the environment. The labs may claim it is, but that does not make it so.

1. There is a possibility of it being better for the environment - their claim may or may not be true, which has a "may be true" component.

2. There is a lot of energy wastage in animals. They think, move around needlessly, want to have sex, sometimes even run around. All of this also wastes water and needs real estate. Of course, the lab will have its own energy / environmental costs - but if overall costs for the lab are lower we win environmentally. Again, possible but not necessarily.

3. Companies developing this kind of lab meat might go for the "cheap meat", as the traditionalists, "appeal to nature" fallacists, general ignoramuses might make it difficult to sell it. Cheap has won many battles in the world of technology over quality - there is no reason it may not be true in this case too. And one good way to produce cheaply is use less resources, and that in turn might harm the environment less.

Comment Re:Not sure how that works (Score 1) 362

Society is going to have to come to terms with this somehow

What is going to happen completely depends on profits. That doesn't mean we stop thinking logically about the fundamental untenability of it.

Human decisionmaking is just as opaque, in reality, but humans continually invent self-explanations for their decisions, and when we scale human decisionmaking processes we have to codify simple rules to provide some semblance of consistency across the many people doing the deciding

1. Humans are rarely so powerful as corporations
2. Humans can go to jail.
3. Nobody in this post is asking any humans to do the searching or ranking.

The analogy is not making any sense.

machine learning is used to get them... and the result is algorithms that work measurably better in all the test cases, and in production use, but are almost as opaque as the decisionmaking of any individual human.

Yes, but this learning is captured by corporations. The input is overwhelmingly that of the people using it, little realizing the power of their contribution, getting very little accountability from the hoarder of their information.

Comment Re: Is Google forced down anyone's throat? (Score 1) 362

What don't you believe is about Freischutz ?

Did you just randomly select a place to spew the cliche (no unicode ? é) about customer and product ?

Or are you saying users being customers makes Google's situation not monopolistic but monopsonistic ? Does that change anything materially ?

Comment Re:Not sure how that works (Score 1) 362

Since there's no way to readily prove that they're not putting their thumb on the scales

This is essentially the tyranny of the closed algorithm. The reason why the society should refuse to deal with a powerful entity (corporations being a subset of powerful entities) hiding behind - "the algorithm ate my homework".

In my country, for my tests, I don't see a problem with the alleged Google search results, but I still empathize with those seeing problems. Why should they have to prove what a hidden algorithm is doing without having control over it so that they could debug it ? What if Google starts giving malicious results to only selected users - so that even if they blow the whistle the rest of the world disbelieves them - "Something must be wrong with you, I don't see bad results."

Comment Re:When has mockery not been effective (Score 1) 272

It's also an effective style because it's really easy for others to pick up and use as well, with increases the power of the term...

How so? According to the study / theory, it is not so. "Sad" distinguishes from the hyper ventilation that is found everywhere else on the internet.

Do you have another theory where if many newspaper headlines , articles, tweets, facebook posts end with ", sad.", it will increase the power of the term? My guess is that the audience would stop noticing "sad" soon, or at least stop paying much attention to it. Thereby reducing its power.

Comment Evil bit - RFC 3514 (Score 1) 572

1. The most dangerous ones can easily pretend to be non-Muslim, or having converted to Christianity to enter the US and wreak havoc. So security improvement argument doesn't hold much. See the solution to all computer security problems : Evil bit.

2. If the country (say the US) wants to prohibit wife hitting, they should prohibit wife hitting. Why the round-about way of reducing the number of Muslims brought in from abroad ? This will protect against lunatics , whether Muslim or followers of phalrehuq religion, whether already in the country or coming in from abroad.

In even more generality, just prohibit hitting.

3. Practically, being an interconnected country and the world - we are in more danger from people being offended in a real or perceived fashion. So this unnecessary, insufficient "ban" would make the country even more insecure from the people having say business or family impact from this move.

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