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Comment Re:And what are the other terms? (Score 1) 152

Pluto would be a Planet orbiting Sol. The Moon would be a Planet and moon of Earth. So you have Astroids, Planets, and Comets (Comets being Asteroids that have tails). Earth has one planet orbiting it, Luna or the Moon, It has many Astroids orbiting it. This system works no matter what star system you are dealing with.

Comment Re:I know I'm being selfish, but... (Score 1) 218

If it's any comfort, once you get past the breathless headline it turns out it only works for problems that can be solved in 5 lines of code or so. The sort we give middle schoolers to solve in summer computer camp.

I am also reminded of CASE tools. That was the big hype in the '90s that was supposed to allow non-technical managers to produce custom software based on a simple specification. It turns out, you have to be a programmer to be able to write a specification good enough to turn into software, but it's harder to write adequately for CASE tools than it is to just write the software.

Of course, everything old is new again, so in the 2000's we got UML (not the virtualization UML) that was also supposed to generate code from an exact specification driven by XML. You remember XML, the magic glue that was supposed to magically make software inter-operate?. Well, that turned out to also be much harder than just writing the damned code. WooHoo, you can generate hello world in less than 3 days!

But more to your point, yes. When people here and elsewhere say just go to school and get a new career, they're glossing over a great deal of mental anguish that will be suffered by millions, either because they're too immature to understand what it's like when you can't just run home to mom and dad or they believe it won't happen to them and they don't have enough empathy to feel for others.

While I don't think programmers will really be hit by this for decades to come, some people are truly facing it right now. They did everything you're supposed to do, but the promised life isn't forthcoming. Unfortunately, it looks like fixing the problem won't get much traction until someone experiments with replacing judges and lawmakers with Watson.

Comment In reality, this can't handle division, or modulus (Score 1) 218

Indeed this "new" tech (copy pasting junk from Stackoverflow) can't handle simple tasks like division, or modulus.

One programming task I handled, we already had a function which basically computed some averages, using division and a few other simple operations. To simplify, lets's just say the core function was something like quotient(x,y), which would return X divided by Y. That was useful. The customer very much wanted a slightly different version. They wanted quotient(x). That was the requirement for the software, compute quotient(x). I'd like to see any AI produce code for that. I, a programmer, did eventually get the customer what they needed.

My current assignment I'm working on today is similar. It's basically "write an SQL query which returns the list of software products we have in our database, and for each list all of the operating system versiona they can run on". Sounds simple, right. The relevant data is a table of about a million rows in this form:

SoftwareID - ProgramName - Vendor
1 - Firefox - Mozilla Foundation
2 - bash - FSF
3 - jQuery - jQuery Foundation

I'd love to see some IA that writes a query to get, from the above table, information about which OS versions each software package can run on. That's my task as a programmer, the requirements set by the product manager. I'll take care of the need, get the job done. I may also strangle my product manager, but that's a different topic.

Comment Quite the opposite. States created the federation (Score 1) 101

Trolling? You've got your history backward. The federation (federal) didn't create it's members. The states created the federation as the states ratified the Constitution. Hell even just the *name* of the country tells you that, or look up the definition of "state" - it means basically "country". United States - countries that came together.

In the plain wording of Constitution, the states delegated certain listed powers to the federal (federation) government and *reserved* all other powers to themselves.

Comment Privacy under 1st, 4th, and 9th (Score 1) 101

> Obviously they wouldn't want to publish those details, customers would abandon them pretty quickly, what I'm asking is if there is any legal protection.

There *are* some privacy laws. It's generally illegal to pull someone's credit report without permission and a reason to do so. Notably the balance on an existing *loan* account is relevant to a lender when you ask for another loan, so the balances on existing loans does appear on the credit report, which has some legal protections. Some one say there's no privacy issue there since it's released only with your permission - you're allowed to tell me your bank balance, either directly or through the credit bureau.

I'm sure you can Google more details about privacy laws - the more interesting question you brought up is how the first amendment relates to them. Under the first amendment, the bank employees can say whatever they want, right? SCOTUS has found the 1st, 4th, and 9th amendments together suggest a right to privacy. Therefore there is a balance between the bank officer's right to talk and the customer's right to privacy. A person's Constitutional right to privacy provides Congress and the states a legitimate reason to pass privacy laws.

It has been recognized that a) the citizenry has a valid interest in knowing some things about the actions of public figures and b) by choosing to pursue celebrity, a person may voluntary give up some of their privacy. Therefore for public figures there is a different balance between piracy and the first amendment than there is for typical private people, people who aren't a) important to the public and b) trying to be on display to the public.

Comment Something similar for artists (Score 1) 218

A few years ago there was a tool that did something similar for art: you drew a really rough line-drawing that just gave a sense of scale and position to each object. Then you labeled each object like "cheetah" or "motorcycle" and had one special label for the background, like "desert." Then it ran an image search: it would look for an image tagged with the same label, with roughly the same proportions as the outline. It auto-photoshopped it in, and viola! Instant art! One of the demo pictures was a cheetah chasing a motorcycle, and it was pretty good and kinda funny.

However, I notice that the art industry is largely unaffected.

Also, I don't think it is so easy to just "blur and sharpen" between two areas of code. Maybe something like "content-aware fill" would work here? ;-) Not likely.

Submission + - Announcing the first SHA1 collision (

matafagafo writes: Google Security Blog just published

Cryptographic hash functions like SHA-1 are a cryptographer’s swiss army knife. You’ll find that hashes play a role in browser security, managing code repositories, or even just detecting duplicate files in storage. Hash functions compress large amounts of data into a small message digest. As a cryptographic requirement for wide-spread use, finding two messages that lead to the same digest should be computationally infeasible. Over time however, this requirement can fail due to attacks on the mathematical underpinnings of hash functions or to increases in computational power. Today, 10 years after of SHA-1 was first introduced, we are announcing the first practical technique for generating a collision.

Comment Re:Dating culture needs to change first (Score 1) 127

So long as people are willing to lie and manipulate to get laid...

So long as people are people, it wont work... Right.

So instead of adapting the technology to the people, people should be adapting to the system. I bet you're thinking that in a few iterations people will change to fit the system.

I take it you're a CS student.

Comment Re:5G is for more than gaming (Score 1) 35

As I understand it 5G *can* provide real-time haptic feedback. It's good for gaming, yes. But more important so that little things, such VR/AR surgeries, can be done remotely.

Is this BS? I don't know.

The problem with gaming isn't speed, its latency. You're better off gaming on a slower connection with lower latency. You dont really need to go much faster than 1 MBps, what you want is your latency server to client to be under 100 ms. Realistically, with good net code, you can play on 56K dialup as I did in the early 00's (Vietcong, BF1942 to local servers).

And due to the laws of physics and the inherent in wireless technologies, latency cannot be guaranteed. Hit some interference and lose some packets in the 2.5 miles between you and the tower and that'll kill your ping. Any gamer knows wired is much faster than wireless, even if it's crappy ADSL.

Besides, given Verizons history of marketing slow technologies as "next generation" like they did with calling WiMax 4G when it wasn't even a 3.5G tech like HSPA+ I'm willing to bet it wont even be as fast as the LTE I currently get from EE here in England.

Comment Re: So essentially test rides with passengers (Score 1) 112

Camera-based traffic enforcement is sort of the opposite of market forces,

Whilst it's not market based, its not the opposite.

I'd hate to think how bad market based enforcement would be, not only would they be required to make a profit, they'd be required to charge us as much as they could get away with as often as possible. Here in the UK you can get a maximum of 4 speeding fines over a 3 year period before its a holiday off the road, they are also pretty lenient with the speeding fines too compared to Australia (I.E. doing 55 in a 50 zone wont get you nicked, even 60 would be ignored by a copper, perhaps not an average speed camera).

Its almost as if they don't want to fine you, especially how clearly speed cameras are marked.

A market based approach would get rid of the endorsement/demerit point system because a customer off the road is a customer that cant rack up new fines. They would also put hidden speed cameras everywhere, camouflaged and make appealing a fine so painful that it's impossible. They would also make it low enough that you'd pay the fine rather than fight it... Much like they do with parking fines here in the UK (my council charges 70 quid, but reduces it to 35 if you pay within 2 weeks).

I'm not a big fan of the current enforcement system (too many people fail to indicate, tailgate, fail to keep a safe distance, don't know how to merge and other violations of the Highway Code are ignored when speeding is heavily enforced (relatively speaking)) but despite that, market based enforcement would suck a million times more.

If you need proof of this, look at market based solutions for car insurance here in the UK. Insurance is mandatory to drive on the road, so it costs an insane amount because the insurers are pretty much unregulated. For fully comprehensive insurance I went from paying in Australia A$900 (GBP 450) for a Nissan Silvia S15 (one of the most stolen cars in my state) to paying GBP 700 for a bog standard BMW Z4 3.0i that was worth about 1000 quid less in the UK.

Submission + - Judge Rules Against Forced Fingerprinting

An anonymous reader writes: A federal judge in Chicago has ruled against a government request which would require forced fingerprinting of private citizens in order to open a secure, personal phone or tablet. In the ruling, the judge stated that while fingerprints in and of themselves are not protected, the government’s method of obtaining the fingerprints would violate the Fourth and Fifth amendments. The government’s request was given as part of a search warrant related to a child pornography ring. The court ruled that the government could seize devices, but that it could not compel people physically present at the time of seizure to provide their fingerprints ‘onto the Touch ID sensor of any Apple iPhone, iPad, or other Apple brand device in order to gain access to the contents of any such device.’

Submission + - Google: 99.95% of Recent 'Trusted' DMCA Notices Were Bogus (

AmiMoJo writes: In comments submitted to a U.S. Copyright Office consultation, Google has given the DMCA a vote of support, despite widespread abuse. Noting that the law allows for innovation and agreements with content creators, Google says that 99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn't even exist in its search indexes. “For example, in January 2017, the most prolific submitter submitted notices that Google honored for 16,457,433 URLs. But on further inspection, 16,450,129 (99.97%) of those URLs were not in our search index in the first place.”

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Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan