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Comment Re:Apple putting design over usability AGAIN (Score 1) 137

That's actually cool, I was wondering how it would handle night-time conditions. It also solves my concern about faking authentication easily with any 3D (stereoscopic) photo. I thought maybe you could print them out onto 2 different pieces of paper for the left and right eye, hold a double-sided mirror up between the two cameras, and fake authentication, but most camera-phones can't take infrared photos (yet) and we don't have any infrared printers!

Comment unsupervised learning v supervised (coaches) (Score 1) 205

Just as we push for greater automation of tasks, the task of coaching can also be automated (it's called unsupervised learning). Even with unsupervised learning, there is still a fair amount of input sanitizing and scrubbing and sanity-checking because we're at a very crude stage of machine learning. But don't bet your career on humanity getting "coaching" jobs for AI.

I don't really see any need for human labor in the next 100yrs in the same way I see next to no need for horse labor. CGPGrey makes the great analogy between humans and horses, and just because horses moved from battlefields and farm ploughs to cushy city carriage jobs, it doesn't mean all technological progress leads to a better life for horses.

I've had many conversations and people refer to AI as just a "tool". This is completely incorrect. A tool is a device that requires a wielder. A hammer is a tool, on its own it does nothing. A television is a tool, on its own it does nothing. Tools are utterly reliant on human presence. All technological innovation in the past has been on tools: you pick painstakingly pick cotton? Eli Whitney has the cotton gin, but it still requires a human to operate it! Jackhammers, bulldozers, airplanes, these all require human operators to wield the tool. We do not refer to wild dandelions as a tool. Wild dandelions know how to process light and have an entire self-sustaining life-cycle of aggregation, material processing, and recycling that is self-contained without human intervention. Dandelions are NOT tools. Monsanto non-sterile GM crops are not tools. Adjacent farmers have big issues with wild GM crops blowing into their farms and Monsanto suing them. Anything that is devoid of human intervention is NOT a tool. We are rapidly entering into the pure technology age where our technology can no longer be considered tools, but rather end-to-end processes like wild crops. An LCD plasma tv can be the fruit of a fully automated plant, self-running energy plants, self-running mining quarries for rare-earth minerals and other commodities, self-piloting cars and planes for delivery. This is exactly how a mushroom operates, organically growing tendrils to delivery resources to the central site for a mushroom to bloom. We should not consider a mushroom as a tool. What is it? Life? I wouldn't go so far, because moral or philosophical quagmires delay the more pressing issue: how to protect decaying egalitiarianism.

Do we want to live in a society where wild auto-plants are public domain, and we freely walk like Adam and Eve in the garden and pluck a Plasma TV from a tree, like Jean-Luc Picard brewing coffee from the replicator? Or do we want to live in a society where oligarchs own all the auto-plants, patented, copyrighted, trademarked, in perpetuity, with sweet-heart deals and land-giveaways for their auto-plants by states desperate for the tiny tax revenue they think they'll receive?

Neither of those two societies will have jobs, that's a given. If you're curious what a jobless society looks like, we have several today you can examine. Look at Saudi Arabia, they tax their citizens negative $75k/yr. Yes, negative. Their citizens receive $75k/yr for doing nothing. Of course, they're stingy and get huge amounts of slave labor from South Asia and will never make their slaves citizens. But you can study them to see what rich jobless people do. They mostly squander their lives, playing bumper cars with Lamborghinis. We have "trust fund kiddies" in the U.S. as well, jobless and rich. And we have the jobless poor, frustrated and struggling. Money should only have value due to scarcity. Trash has no value (you have to pay others to remove it) because it's abundant. Some trash has value, like glass, or rare-earth metals, and those recycled goods can be sold for profit, but only because those materials and/or the energy to make and transport them are scarce.

The economics of a post-scarcity economy changes things dramatically. Do we want an economy with poor people who cannot afford food and surplus food rotting away in the fields? Or do we want an economy that takes surplus food and give food stamps / ration cards to poor people? Why not make every citizen a stakeholder like Alaska, Norway, or Saudi Arabia does? What do we do with surplus everything, more Plasma TVs than people on earth, more Lamborghinis than people on earth, more everything? For most things in nature, such organisms when confronted with abundance will enter exponential reproductive growth until there again is scarcity. We are probably the only species on Earth where most billionaires (abundant resources) choose to have negative growth (fewer than the replenishment rate of 2.2 children), so we do not have nature's solution to the problem, and most democracies will likely make it criminal to try to destroy their post-scarcity utopia through explosive reproductive growth.

Will goofing off like rich trust fund kiddies ruin our civilization? Let's be honest, most of what we call civilization is just music, art, and entertainment, and it was only very recently that technology became a component of civilization. With regards to music, art, and entertainment, the goofing off kiddies ARE what make these great. Do you like listening to music from someone passionate about music, or someone hired to do a "job"? We are social creatures, we like to impress each other, mostly for sexual reasons. That won't stop, even if we're jobless. We even want to pay extra for crooked man-made furniture over exact machine-made furniture. We want to pay extra for naturally grown diamonds than lab grown diamonds. So civilization will be intact. What about technology? In the short-term, human minds will still contribute greatly to technological advancement, and again, even if jobless, we like to do so for no other reason than to impress. Heck, all social media sites rely on free labor by posters who seek nothing else than to connect and impress other people free of charge. Even the trolls try to impress themselves using their perverse measure of 'awesomeness'. We all strive to be awesome, we strive for the accolades of our parents in childhood, and our peers in adolescence, and peers as well as ourselves in adulthood. Will joblessness and zero money equalize everyone? Of course not. Just visit any high school, despite children not having jobs, not having money, they still organize into social pecking orders. People don't seek money, but to be "cool enough to sit with the cool kids at lunch." Post-scarcity will still succumb to one type of scarcity: time and access to fellow human beings for affection. That's what all children fight each other for, they labor so hard to be the first to shuffle a deck of cards like their dads so they can impress their friends. Are they paid? No. Is it a job? No. Do they still care about it like their life depends on it? Yes.

So will we just stagnate as trust-fund kiddies impressing each other with skateboard tricks and hitting on hot girls like we're perpetually in high school until we die? I hope not, and I hope "hotness" will stop being scarce as well as we find a solution to obesity and find methods for free and non-painful plastic surgery as well as gene editing. Keep in mind that until VERY recently, all technological breakthroughs were made by jobless aristocrats. You know, like Isaac Newton, whose full title is Lord Isaac Newton. Mathematics and Physics were considered curiosities for the rich because no common person could afford the time for it, they were too busy slogging away at farms and later factories. Did every rich person enter the sciences? No, but did all of science come from the rich? Yes. The human mind still has some time to contribute to technology, and our first few batches of jobless rich will greatly push technology forward. However, we will soon realize, minds greater than our own, either entirely artificial or some synthetic hybrid taking structures of the human mind and fused with new materials and larger scale, will be what ultimately carries technology forward. Just as we allowed machines to beat as at brawn, and no one alive today in any seriousness say "I am physically stronger than a machine!", they will beat us at brains, both in processing power as well as creativity. We will become useless both in physicality and mental prowess in the greater game for progress, but we will still wish to impress each other and shag hot girls. We will become jobless teenagers living with our machine parents, benefactors who provide us with everything, materials, vision, direction, and unconditional love. Or as other have posited, we will become pets.

Comment Re:Idiot (Score 1) 65

Regarding multi-variate / multi-signal modeling, LIGO used the same approach to successfully detect gravitational waves. They used multiple low-SNR signals from different detectors (Washington State and Louisiana) since their noise is highly orthogonal and the signal is highly correlated with the correct phase-shift applied (solve for phase-shift using SSE minimization, then extract a high-SNR signal from the newly aligned signals). Some similar approach with multiple HDDs may work if the noise is less about ambient room noise and more about internal HDD initial-head location, other HDD geometric properties, and OS reporting error due to jiffies and NMIs (these are the sort of noise that should be very non-correlated / orthogonal across multiple HDD/CPU sources).

Comment Re:Idiot (Score 1) 65

This is the BlackHat pdf / powerpoint from 2009, by Andrea Barisani and Daniele Bianco, titled "Side Channel Attacks Using Optical Sampling Of Mechanical Energy and Power Line Leakage": https://www.blackhat.com/prese...

It appears it less about predictive modeling regarding cadence of keystrokes and more about the data cable itself being poorly shielded and leaking onto the +5V and GND power cables.

I still think a multivariate model using multiple low-SNR signals can be quite useful even if no univariate model of a single low-SNR signal has enough fidelity to reconstruct conversations or keystrokes. Speaking of which, how orthogonal are the signals from different HDDs in a JBOD? Will signals from 12 HDDs in the room provide sufficient signal strength for a multivariate model? If you're able to sample at 60Hz, speed of sound moves 5 meters in 1/60th of a second, so HDDs separated by 2.5m should provide considerable phase-shift. Even at 1m separation, the signals should be fairly orthogonal, and having 12 HDDs at varying distances from the audio source should give you nearly 10x the sampling frequency.

Comment Re:Idiot (Score 5, Interesting) 65

I would like to apologize on behalf of people with dismissive attitudes. It is a real problem not just with anonymous posts, but even at the workplace, especially among "half-technical" people, who are are smart enough to understand jargon and comment but not enough to understand a reasoned argument. I've seen countless times where someone will quote from stackoverflow or some other source out-of-context, and several times where the source itself they quote from is utterly wrong to begin without even in-context. I might prove something with complex numbers, and they'll just quote someone saying you can't take a square root of negative numbers. Even after I convince them, they'll just laugh saying Intel cpus don't support complex numbers, and I have to show them the Intel cpu spec for hardware acceleration of complex numbers (and even without hardware support, it can be easily emulated in software). I've learned to stop trying, half-technical people are impediments to innovations.

Now, after that apology is done, I would like to bring up some academic research that may relate to your study of signal processing. There was some research done a while back (early 2000s, I think), that found that keyboard keystrokes leaked information on electricity draw. And even though they could not directly tell which key was hit, they were able to apply a model of qwerty keystroke cadence, since people tend to be faster or slower with keystrokes depending on the sequence of keys. Applying that model with a roughly 60Hz electrical tap, they were able to successfully reconstruct full text input at a 90% confidence. Because the model relied heavily on predictive modeling, it is not good for high-entropy signals like 8-character passwords, but it is excellent for low-entropy signals like a legal memo with several paragraphs explaining one point. You also mentioned a study directly applying to low SNR audio, for speech. However, I wonder if the vibrations for keystrokes are enough to disrupt HDD latency, and if so, a bivariate model using both HDD signal and electricity signal may yield a far superior reconstruction than electricity on its own, especially since the two 60Hz signals are likely out-of-phase. My 2 cents.

Comment Re:Why does this matter? (Score 1) 169

It's against the law in NYC for prospective employers to ask for, or require, candidate compensation history. The motivation is that women and minorities are often underpaid and when leaving their salary-biased job for a new one, often this bias carries forward with them if they have to report their past salary, which makes the problem of eliminating wage gaps due to gender or race difficult when the new employer can say "hey, I'm not racist, I just paid him what he was making before.. if his last employer was racist, not my problem!". This will mean interviews will be more in-depth and employers are expected to properly assess your skills and value to the company. Employers will still be allowed to do background checks, so if you got fired for watching porn on your office pc, or for incompetence, then new employers will know about it and can decide not to hire you.

Generally, most people who are "fired" aren't really fired. We use words like "fired" and "laid off" but those are not legal terms. The only legal documents a company can file to terminate your position is "involuntary termination with cause" (you were fired), "involuntary termination without cause" (you were laid off), and "voluntary termination" (you quit). In 99% of the cases where you manager "fires" you, the paperwork they file with the government is "involuntary termination without cause" (you were laid off). People think "laid off" is when 100s are let go and "fired" is when a manager singles you out for removal. That is just a misconception and in the U.S. nearly all involuntary terminations are "without cause". This is because "with cause" is very RISKY for the employer. You can sue them if you disagree with the cause of your termination, seek damages, and reinstatement. You have NO recourse if you terminated "without cause". It's similar to "at-fault" divorce and "no-fault" divorce. Even in cases where a spouse cheats on another, they generally file the paperwork of "no-fault" divorce, because "at-fault" requires you to PROVE they were at fault and is a huge hurdle to pass. If you sucked at your job and were fired, 99% odds are that it was a "without cause" involuntary termination, despite your manager yelling "you're FIRED!" in front of the entire kitchen staff. If you stole money from the company, committed fraud, or sexually harassed colleagues, odds are you were fired "with cause" and additionally criminal charges may be filed. No company with any half-competent lawyer on retainer will ever file a "with cause" termination for an employee being mediocre or bottom performing.

Comment complexity will lead to different techniques (Score 1) 397

In about 100 years, the codebase of most simple appliances will start to resemble the size of the entire genetic material for a small insect. While no human can possibly think about the entire DNA sequence for even a simple creature, we start to think of which alleles can be switched "on" or "off" and cut and paste sections using CRISPR from related codebases. This is the ultimate in "script kiddie" hacking, but that's where we are with complex code like genetics, and that's where we will be with manmade code as well once it reaches hundreds of billions of lines of code.

You might think, "no human can analyze or write that much code!!!", and you would be correct. However, we will start using more and more automated tools. We will have programming interfaces where you can just talk to it and roughly describe what you want and it will spit out a portfolio of possible solutions like a commissioned artist might at their patron's behest. "I want my self-driving car to prioritize skipping potholes over saving running over kittens!". And while those solutions will look polished and smooth, it will be anything but in the underlying code and employ not just hideously complex code but hideously complex data like random forests or gradient-boosted regression trees with tens of thousands of trees and millions of leaf nodes for the simplest of classification questions, "is it a pothole or a kitten?".

It will be akin to those Frontpage and WYSIWYG web editors that spew out hundreds of thousands of lines of HTML code for the simplest of web pages. We will move to an FDA-like deployment process, where no one reviews the code but we just test it in simulation, and then in real life with mice and then monkeys and then humans. It will take 5-7 years to release code because no one will understand what it does or its long-term side-effects like modern pharmaceuticals. The QA-process will just involve large-scale clinical trials and zero code review.

Comment Re:The Rainbow Scare (Score 4, Interesting) 754

There's not a whole lot that the Y chromosome carries, and there are predictions that it will atrophy into carrying no information in 4.6 million years at the current rate of decay: https://www.quantamagazine.org...

While the X chromosome carries 1,000 or so genes, the Y chromosome currently carries 200 genes and declining: http://gizmodo.com/the-y-chrom...

Most of what people think the "male" chromosome carries is based on unscientific knowledge. Your chest hair, beard, and other male traits, do not come from the Y chromosome, but are instead expressions of the X chromosome under high levels of testosterone. That's why people without the Y chromosome can have sex-change operations and get a beard, chest hair, etc. by taking testosterone supplements. Testosterone also increases aggression and risk-taking, even for individuals without the Y chromosome.

Comment Re:Brilliant (Score 5, Insightful) 187

That's not realistic. If Microsoft makes an extension, they can't notify Google every time some little old lady buys or sells some shares from her retirement account. Similarly, if your chrome extension is owned by some Ireland holding company, and it is in turn owned by some Cayman holding company, and it is in turn owned by some, etc., there's no way to know or get reports that every entity that holds any stake has to report when it sells. And you don't even have to own the entity to get its profits. Your holding company in China can have a mere contract with your Cayman holding company for assignment of all profits *without* ownership. You can have another contract with some McKinsey consultant that she has administrative access *without* ownership. Many celebrities contract out their twitter and facebook accounts to professional management teams. Are they the owners of the twitter/facebook account? Like most laws, such a policy trying to "fix" the problem will only affect honest, good people, and have ZERO effect on the dishonest people it's trying to deal with since the dishonest bunch are more than happy to create a Russian nesting doll of legal entities and a labyrinth of contracts and profit assignments that would make a veteran CPA cry into a fetal position.

Comment Re:Star Trek is political fantasy (Score 1) 359

I don't think he just wished it away. The end of money as the motivating factor was, as Picard delivered in his soliloquy, due to replicators and obtaining anything material of your desire. Pursuits moved away from material things and toward self-improvement, learning music, painting, achievement. This might sound like an impossibility, but, keep in mind something similar has already happened in our civilization with another resource that once was scarce: the calorie.

The scarcity of calories made us "greedy" toward sugars and fats. You can imagine a "wealthy" caveman from 30,000 years ago as being one who would kill his neighbor and steal their food. Food was everything, something you would toil for hours every day to get, go to war over neighboring tribes to secure your hunting areas. Today, food is a joke, we laugh at fat bastards who stuff their face and can't control their urges and desires for food. While Gordon Gecko famously said "greed is good" in the context of making millions on Wall St., when in the context of layering on the fat, no one thinks that's good. We admire people who don't overeat. We don't consider thin people as "poor". We don't consider fat people as "rich".

It's already started to happen with material goods. In the 1st world, many of us are moving to a post-scarcity world. I've already felt disgusted going to the apartments of girls I date and seeing multiple closets full of shoes, floor to ceiling. They brag about how they have 200 pairs of shoes. I just feel sorry for them. It's like seeing a fat person brag about how many tires they have on their stomach. Imagine a world of replicators. Imagine certain people hoarding thousands of shoes. Hoarding floor to ceiling of junk. Sure, they might be emeralds, rubies, diamonds, gold, but in a world where that stuff is abundant, it's junk. You just feel sorry for them. Then you see someone else who lives in a clean and barren apartment, doesn't fill it with jewels or other junk. They practice music, they sing in such a lovely voice, they have a friendly personality, always make you feel like a good friend, go into riveting conversations about multi-layered abstract ideas that have you pondering about our place and existence in the cosmos that even years later in the shower you drift back to and ruminate over once again.

You might say, well, money isn't just used to buy material goods, it's also used to gain influence, pressure and bribe other people. But, you see, that influence comes because at the bottom of the food chain are the poor who desperately would do anything for material goods. Why do people do the jobs they dislike? Ask any garbage man why he does what he does. Ask him if he would still do his job if he a had a replicator. People will do the jobs they enjoy. I don't think Star Trek advocates Marxism, but Marx definitely advocates replicators. In Marxism, he said communism would fail in any poor country. He never envisioned it for Russia, and he thought the rich countries were the closest to being able to implement it. It requires a post-scarcity society as a prerequisite. Just as we are presently at a level of civilization where we say "dying on the streets due to starvation is anathema and we are too rich collectively for that!", we are slowly but surely getting to the point where someone decades or centuries from now may say "living as a poor and destitute person without a replicator and solar energy is anathema and we are too rich collectively for that!"

I know you must be thinking, "whoa, hold on, won't that cause rampant inflation?!". Yes. On the path to money having no value will inevitably be a transition state where money has very little value. The reducing value of money is what inflation is a measure of, after all. When garbage men stop doing their jobs, you have to pay them more. As long as money has some small value, paying enough of it will still ensure people do things they don't like. But, eventually, money will have so little value, next to zero, that it will become uneconomical to use it to motivate anyone. If you and your roommate are both millionaires, you can't just waive a $20 at your roommate for them to do all the dishes and clean the place. Technology, replicators, and artificial intelligence will fill the void of what was once the underclass. Anything that a machine cannot do, you will need to persuade people through charisma, leadership, and vision. People won't follow the rich. People will follow leaders. This is how Gandhi led a nation to independence despite lacking immense wealth. He had no SuperPACs, billion-dollar trust funds, and couldn't pay a legion of staff to serve him. But people served him. This is why people can volunteer and serve in a hierarchy inside a non-profit. If their job sucks, they stop doing it. A successful non-profit motivates people by having everyone feel a sense of pride in improving the world.

You might scoff that volunteers are rare and there's no way everyone will volunteer to do work. While I agree it will be a long and painful process as we adapt, I believe we will get there. Just as morbid obesity is rampant as we adjust to becoming a civilization of abundant food where we need to have self-control over our literal appetite and change our unwillingness to exercise, we will need to decrease our metaphorical appetite for gems, jewels, shiny things, and change our unwillingness to volunteer labor. Those who don't, those who never volunteer, hoard rubbish floor to ceiling, will be seen as tomorrow's obese. It will become an epidemic. It will also be considered disgusting. We are social creatures, and we will conform the standards of tomorrow's society. Not overnight. Our urges are deep-rooted and come from hundreds of thousands of years. But we will change.

Comment managers like to promote on 3wk projects (Score 3, Interesting) 193

There simply isn't any incentive for to build software that will last through some cyber attack some 10 months or 3 years into the future. The current incentives reward sloppily slapping together something that barely functions and gives a demo without crashing. If your demo crashes and makes the boss look bad, you're fired. If your demo works, has slick graphics and no spelling mistakes and the english dialog is polished, you get a raise. You're building software for the boss's demo, you're not building software that's robust, handles edge-cases, and input sanitizes everything. I meant, you could, but you're not getting paid any extra for it.

Comment Re:Detecting weapons is NOT the purpose of TSA... (Score 1) 349

It's also hilarious to see the level of security theatre on the front door where all the passengers go through: millimeter wave backscatter machines, hundreds of do-nothing taxpayer govt salaried agents, K-9 units, and para-military troops, but then if you go to the backdoor where they push all the bagel carts in for the cafeteria, it's just a badge-swipe with no one around and most people keeping the door open for the guy behind them, and then you push a giant metal bagel cart in with (hopefully) bagels inside but no one knows or cares. You could just about as easily serve bagels in the airport as any other contraband. All those metric tons of onion rings, frying oil, cream cheese, dasani water, pots, pans, and other crap travelers fatten themselves up with didn't get in there by magic, but "out of sight, out of mind".

And every day more metric tons of crap needs to be carted in to fill new tummies, not to mention all the retail merchandise, shirts, pants, watches, sunglasses, suitcases, headphones, and other crap that would be the envy of most mega-malls. But never mind all that, let's throw more millimeter backscatter machines to see what's under the bikinis! Welcome to idiocracy!

Reminds me of those scenes where they show an exclusive club with a line a mile long, paparazzi flashing their cameras, and a bouncer reject all but the most elite into the front door, with full pat-down service, and then in the back is a busser throwing trash bags out, the door propped open by a wooden stick, a few stray cats and dogs wandering in and out of the back of the restaurant, occasionally tossed some scraps, and no crowd in sight; maybe a band rolls up and slowly carries in their equipment, in those giant guitar cases the film noir mobsters used to put their oozies in. It's the same place, just the front vs back.

Comment Re:"with a 2048 bit RSA key" (Score 5, Insightful) 79

People assume the choices are "unencrypted" or "encrypted" and conclude encrypted is better. But then they're missing hashing. Encrypted data can be undone, it can be decrypted. Any encrypted data is just waiting for the day someone can decrypt it, and if the webserver is checking passwords this way, it means it's decrypting it constantly and anyone can hijack that ability.

Hashing cannot be undone (mathematically, it's called a one-way function). There's absolutely no way to email you your original password. That's why so many websites have a "reset password" instead, because they literally don't know your password. The webserver checks your password by hashing it and comparing that output with the old recorded value.

You'll sometimes also hear the term "salting", which basically means the webserver doesn't hash your password directly, but first appends or prepends some gibberish to your password that's unique to that webserver and then hashes it. The advantage of salting is that two webservers won't show on file the exact same hash for the same password. That means if I spend 20 years and solve the hashes for all possible passwords, I haven't unlocked every webserver on earth, I've just unlocked 1 webserver whose salt I copied, and to crack another webserver, I'd have to redo the painfully slow exercise of brute forcing.

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