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Comment News to Me... (Score 1) 24

Here in the San Francisco bay area, AT&T has been running an ad for the last couple months or so on one of those electronic billboards advertising gigabit fiber service. Well, if they're actually offering it somewhere on the peninsula, I have no idea where, because every time I check on their site, they claim it's not yet available in my area, despite the fact that I've seen their trucks running around the area apparently putting up new cabling of some sort. Google seems to have gotten bored with Google Fiber, so I'm not holding my breath for them anymore. In fact, the only ISP I know is offering gigabit fiber service in the bay area is Sonic.net, in a very slow, limited roll-out.

Comment Re:Remains to be seen (Score 1) 159

. Then they aggressively tried to force the vaccine on all middle school girls despite the fact that the viruses they protect against aren't generally considered communicable unless you're doing the nasty

Um yeah? It's common and spread by sex. You're therefore much off vaccinating before people start having sex, rather than after they've already caught the virus.

Comment Re:Sure (Score 1) 159

It really depends on whether Jimmy Wales genuinely wants this to be a neutral news outlet, or just a backdoor way to further his own agendas/beliefs, but time will tell - and pretty quickly I suspect. We currently have a very divisive Republican politician in the White House, so if there's any left wing spin being put on things it's going to become very apparent, very fast, when both Trump's supporters and people who genuinely don't care about the politics try and pull things back towards the middle and (most probably) further right. If/when that happens, and if the site fails to handle it fairly, then it's going to get accused of failing in its core aims and be effectively dead in the water as anything other than another left-wing echo chamber right there and then.

Comment Re:AI killing industry (Score 1) 117

Except in a real movie, you wouldn't just take the audio stream straight from the algorithm; you'd have some kind of highly skilled specialist tweaking it to get the exact effect the director wanted.

A combination of art and science will eventually be able to produce completely convincing audio forgeries, very likely long before science alone will be able to.

Comment Re:Common? (Score 1) 56

Stunned me too when I got speaking to locals on the earlier aurora orientated photography trips I've done. The very first trip I did, we'd just done a successful all-nighter, which for most of us was the first time we'd ever seen the lights, and were in an Icelandic garage/café getting some breakfast and looking over our images when we got talking with a long distance lorry driver - his response to a question about getting to see the aurora a lot was basically a shrug and "thousands of times, I guess, don't really notice them anymore...". Yep, that'll do it: *minds* *blown*. :)

That said, the AC's analogy below about a really good sunset is probably better than my more direct night sky objects one; they *do* still look, but only when it's a really good display, and after doing many more trips to the Arctic (it can really get under your skin!) I can kind of see why. I've now got a lot of photographs of simple bands of aurora, so unless it's a really nice composition with the background, an unusual colour, or has something else to set it apart, I often don't bother unless I haven't got my camera set up yet and need a few test shots to check I've nailed my focus and the exposure settings are in the ballpark.

Comment Re:BrickerBot (Score 1) 93

A bad solution is still a bad solution. And vigilanteism is still vigilanteism. And DDOS attacks using infected devices are nothing new, it is just that IoT have opened up a new attack vector. Look at how many Windows based computers have been involved in DDOS in the past.

Yes, it's a bad solution, and it's undeniably vigilantism as well. But, like democracy, it's still the best (and at present, only) solution we currently have that is working at scale. The Zero Day Initiative typically gives vendors 90 days (3 months) to fix a problem before they go public except in exceptional circumstances, and most credible vendors are OK with that framework. By comparison Mirai hit almost six months before BrickerBot, Hajime, and other such tools were unleashed, and in all that time noone - whether vendors, ISPs, or owners - did much more than shrug, shuffle their feet, and wring their hands.

They collectively took a huge dump in everyone else's bed and then did nothing about it, so that just left people stepping up with their bad solutions and vigilantism to try and clean up the mess. Want to "fix" BrickerBot and Hajime, etc.? Fix your devices, secure your networks, and isolate your devices, as applicable. Just like Mirai and the rest, if they can't root the device, then they can't propogate either, and everyone benefits - in fact, unlike the blackhat authors of malicious botnets, the vigilantes are more likely to shut up shop as soon as there are credible signs of progress being made. Acknowledging the message they are sending is all that is required.

Comment Looking at my firewall logs (Score 4, Informative) 93

Looking at my firewall logs I think BrickerBot v3.0 may have actually been unleashed on the 18th, not the 20th. There was a huge decline in scanning for port 5358 that started on the 18th, which is now less than half the activity level it was at on the 17th, and less than 15% of the levels it was peaking at prior to BrickerBot v1.0. There are further, but smaller, falls in some of the other typical IoT ports like 2323 that started around the same time as well.

If you're reading, Janit0r (or whatever your current pseudonym is), keep up the good work! Might be worth taking a look at what's going on with Port 81 as well... Just sayin' :)

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 1) 402

I'm going to argue there are no special cases that don't fit.

In a strictly mathematical sense, yes, various things are equivalent and various patterns are universal. However, that's a bit like saying you can do anything with sequencing, selection and repetition. While true in a sense, realistically it doesn't necessarily represent the clearest way to express everything. In practice, I have sometimes found that while I might build individual parts of a complicated algorithm from tools like folds, it may be clearer and easier to write the "big picture" using explicit recursion rather than trying to adapt everything to fit some standard algorithm.

As a practical example, not so long ago I was working on some code that would take some information in a certain format as input, and update a rather complicated graph-like data structure to incorporate that extra information. This algorithm involved walking the graph, and depending on the properties of each node reached and of the information to be merged in, either updating that single node "in place" or changing the structure of the graph around it. Each such step would typically transfer some of the remaining information into the graph, and then continue walking the rest of the graph to merge in the rest of the information until one or the other ran out. No doubt with enough mathematical machinations this could have been shoe-horned into some standard pattern, but in practice it was far simpler and more transparent to write a small set of mutually recursive functions that implemented the required behaviour at each step. And of course each of those functions then received information about the state of the graph walk and the state of the information being merged in through parameters.

At this point I think purity allows for laziness and laziness demonstrates a lot of the advantages of purity.

If you only care about the result of evaluating a function, sure, but if you also care about the performance characteristics of your program, I don't think it's so simple. Laziness can be both a blessing and a curse.

As for lazy with large amounts of data, Hadoop is lazy. So I'm not sure what you are saying.

In short, unrestricted laziness can cause huge increases in the amount of working memory required to run a program, until finally something triggers the postponed evaluations and restores order. As I recall, there was even a simple tutorial example in Real World Haskell that could wind up exhausting the available memory just by scanning a moderately large directory tree because of the accumulated lazy thunks.

Submission + - Uber Gets Sued Over Alleged 'Hell' Program To Track Lyft Drivers (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Uber has another lawsuit on its hands. This time, it’s about Uber’s alleged use of a program called “Hell.” The plaintiff, Michael Gonzales, drove for Lyft during the time Uber allegedly used the software. He’s seeking $5 million in a class action lawsuit. As the story goes, Uber allegedly tracked Lyft drivers using a secret software program internally referred to as “Hell.” It allegedly let Uber see how many Lyft drivers were available to give rides, and what their prices were. Hell could allegedly also determine if people were driving for both Uber and Lyft. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges Uber broadly invaded the privacy of the Lyft drivers, specifically violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act and Federal Wiretap Act and engaged in unfair competition. Uber has not confirmed nor outright denied the claims.

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