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Comment Re: Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 2) 221

What usually happens is something like the following: you have several Windows PCs on a LAN. One user on the LAN decides it's a good idea to open the quarterly_results.xlsx.exe attachment that came from the company's Nigerian branch. Or maybe they're curious to see what's on the thumb drive that somebody 'accidentally' left in the restroom. Every organization from the grocery store on the corner to the NSA has someone working for them who will think that's a good idea.

Now you have an exploited system inside the firewall. If any drives or other resources are shared among computers on the LAN -- which after is the whole idea behind a LAN -- the machines hosting those resources are at substantial risk. Even something as harmless as a shared printer can serve as a staging area for attacks.

This is why compromising Windows Update to turn it into a marketing vehicle was such a monstrous thing for Microsoft to do. Giving users an incentive to turn off automatic updates was just incredibly stupid and counterproductive. But they did it anyway, because, after all, "We're Microsoft. Who's going to stop us?"

Comment Re:It can't come soon enough... (Score 1) 239

At the end of the day, the only rules are "Don't hit anything. If you have to hit something, don't hit people." Combined with recent advances in machine vision, the ML techniques used to solve one of these problems are similar to those that will be effective at attacking the other.

The burden of proof is decisively on anyone who claims that this isn't the case. Disagree? Get used to being proved wrong, over and over.

Comment Re:It can't come soon enough... (Score 1) 239

A self driving car is driving down a road in slippery conditions and an object appears in the road moving from right to left out from between two parked cars. If it is a child's toy such as a ball, a human would anticipate a child running after it and therefore slow down and wait for the child. In a microsecond, a human might look for queues from the yard that the ball came from, such as another child with a baseball mitt. AI will lack this reasoning, so if they cannot see a child they won't anticipate one running into the street. Until AI can understand all objects that might appear in the road and what they might mean, it will be weak at driving

Let's get Lee Sedol's take on this.

Comment Re: Conventional warfare is dead (Score 1) 192

That war, if fought by using cruise missiles solely, would set you back $20.8Billion just to replace your expended ordnance.

You cited quite a few numbers but you left out the biggest one of all, which is the cost of the pilot. Depending on what source you refer to, it takes anywhere from $6M/yr to $10M/yr to train a single combat pilot. This is why pilots get in more trouble for heroically nursing a crippled aircraft back to base than for ejecting at the first sign of smoke. They are worth more than anything else in the equation.

I might be partially wrong about the specifics -- for instance, I took your advice to Google "flight hours" but couldn't immediately tell if they have some way to fold pilot training into those cost-per-hour figures. Regardless, anyone who thinks human pilots will still be flying combat aircraft 10, 25, 50, or 100 years from now is obviously mistaken. It's just a matter of which of those timeframes is right. Using humans to fly combat missions is stupidly expensive and increasingly pointless.

Comment Re:Conventional warfare is dead (Score 2) 192

Drones may work well against unsophisticated opponents with minimal resources (the only place they've been used so far). But I have a hard time believing that they would be effective in a real war, one with opponents that have sophisticated jamming & vast resources.

I used to think that way, too, and then I saw a computer beat a 9-dan Go player within an inch of his life.

Time to change your mind.

Comment Re:Windows Installer Cache (Score 1) 405

No, do not run the Disk Cleanup wizard on Windows 7 under any circumstances. It has at least one system-destroying bug.

See: ... and many other links.

In my case it nuked \windows\system32, which I was able to restore by copying the files from another system. Lucky me.

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