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Comment Re:Turn it off (Score 1) 232

Can you really expect an 8 year old OS to support the latest USB chipset out of the box?

Seems reasonable to me. Perhaps not full support, but enough to talk to a mass storage device seems very reasonable. It's not like this is a rapidly-evolving space.

Does the manufacturer even supply Windows 7 drivers that you could burn to CD and install?


Comment Re:Turn it off (Score 1) 232

Yep, that's the problem, Windows 7 on a machine designed for Windows 10. Microsoft require basic stuff like USB to work for the computer to carry the "designed for Windows" sticker, but of course only the version that it ships with.

You say that as though it makes sense. I installed a several-year-old copy of Debian Linux on the same machine without trouble. The USB controller chipset is newer than that old kernel, for example, but the generic controller drivers in the kernel work fine.

Comment Re:That's a lot of supersmart robots! (Score 1) 219

I'd disagree about what you're calling a robot, though I'd agree that you're describing a 'bot. But we seem to be arguing about the definitions of words rather than about the thing being described. But this is significant if we each interpret the guy's predictions as being about our own meaning of the words. So with two reasonably common definitions we get either an unreasonable or a reasonable prediction about quantity of "robots", depending on which meaning we think he was using.

Comment Re:That's a lot of supersmart robots! (Score 1) 219

No. If it has a timer it has a bit more intelligence than a thermostat connected to a heater. But a robot needs to have the ability to manipulate things. So a toaster is a sort of minimal robot, but not a microwave, unless it opens it's door or pops up a switch (or rotates a knob) or some such.

Now what I'm trying to decide is whether that thermostat connected to a heater counts as a robot. It has internal moving parts, like the fan to blow the air. so it might be a sort of minimal robot.

At this point I feel like I'm trying to decide whether a virus is alive or not. I think by now the consensus is that it is, where it used to be that it wasn't, and what changed was not the virus, or even our knowledge of the virus (though that did change), but rather the definition.

Comment Re:Smart enough to REALLY f*ck things up??? (Score 1) 219

IQ is, indeed, not a good measure of intelligence. In fact, intelligence isn't a unitary thing, but a bunch of separate capabilities, at least one of which handles organizing and communicating with the other parts.

That said, if we're going to talk informally about intelligence, IQ is a reasonable stand-in. It means something pretty reasonable in the area between 80-120, possibly 75-125. I'll grant that in no area is is a really good definition, but it's easily quantified.

Note that the very concept of an IQ of 1000 doesn't make any sense. So accept it as a figure of speech. Accepting it as a figure of speech, I still think he's wrong, because I believe that for every task there is an optimum level of intelligence. If he's approximately correct, then there will be a very few extremely intelligent AIs, but it sure won't be your sneakers. The claim that it *could* be in my sneakers is interesting, and a bit unbelievable. And I've got large feet. (Well, he didn't claim that the super-AI would be in my sneakers, just that it would have more computing power than I did, which is also a bit unbelievable unless you start doing strange things with word definitions. I could manage definitions that would make that a reasonable claim, but they sure aren't the standard ones.)

OTOH, my projection to a human equivalent AI is still around 2030, which is sooner than he is talking about. But I'm not expecting that thing to be mobile or portable. And when I say "human equivalent" I'm not talking about all characteristics. I'm not talking about motivational structure. I'm not talking about built-in sense organs. I'm not talking about computations/watt. Etc. I'm talking mainly about ability to reason about situations with incomplete data of uncertain reliability...which, admittedly, covers a lot of what we do.

Comment Re:but but but .. (Score 1) 71

You say "Google won't disclose it's own bugs". I'm not sure I believe that, but I do believe they won't publicize them. But the real question is "Do they fix them?". Of course, that would mean they would need to inspire upgrades...which probably means they would need to disclose the bugs, if not how to abuse them.

OTOH, the was reported a way to evade almost all bugs in recent MicroSoft products ... disable administrator mode. This sounds like it might come with considerable in the way of downsides, but it was reported to evade almost all MS* bugs.

* MS: It's not just a disease anymore.

Comment Re:This might be payback... (Score 1) 71

I'm sorry, but the primary injured party are the users. The manufacturer is at most a secondary victim. So the delay to fix is appropriate. But 90 days is about right. If you hold off forever an unscrupulous manufacturer would just let the problem persist, and once it becomes known to the criminals, it WILL be abused. 90 days may be too long, because they might have found the problem even before Google did, but you need to allow the manufacturer *some* time to fix the problem, because they aren't the primary injured party.

Comment Re:Turn it off (Score 1) 232

I have no idea how a Windows guy would have solved that.

You can make a Windows live CD (called Windows PE). It's rarely necessary though.

It sounds like the version of Windows you were trying to install was not officially supported by your hardware.

I was installing a purchased copy of Win7 on a machine that came with Win10, because the tools I needed to use (for which I purchased the machine) only run on Win7. Of course, the vendor of said tools didn't bother to document that anywhere.

For your scenario. downloading the drivers onto a USB flash drive is usually the simplest option. In a pinch you can download on your phone and simply connect a USB cable to the computer, or the flash drive to the phone.

As I said in my post above, Windows didn't have drivers for the USB controller. USB was not available.

Comment Re:People without a clue commenting on crypto (Score 1) 197

> If an attacker gets the hash, he can almost certainly recover the password.

How, other than brute force?

Why do you exclude brute force? Brute forcing typical user passwords given a cryptographic hash of them, even salted, and regardless of the hash function used, is very easy. Brute force is exactly the attack I was talking about.

It's best to assume that possession of a hash of a low-entropy secret is equivalent to possession of the low-entropy secret itself.

Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 1105

Wanting to eject Muslims from the US is a political aim

Bullshit. As of now I've yet to see any policy about ejecting muslims from the US.

I was making the point that one need not seek policy in order to be working towards a political goal... and you respond that you don't see anyone seeking policy, apparently completely missing the point.

Comment Uber is the epitome of startups' IDGAF attitude (Score 2) 320

While I respect what companies like Uber are doing, it seems they could care less about the existing rules and why they're even there. And I'm not talking about the artificial scarcity of the medallion system or taxi company monopolies or the lack of flexibility in for-hire transportation, because that does need to be addressed.

What I'm talking about is a company that repeatedly flouts existing regulatory framework because it wants to "revolutionize" for-hire transportation. Drivers don't have to undergo local training (e.g. London drivers who have to memorize the road system in London prior to licensure). Driver vehicles are not required to undergo commercial-grade inspections for safety. Drivers are specifically disallowed by Uber from purchasing commercial insurance for their vehicles, as Uber claims that they will insure passengers up to $1M per passenger. Either the Uber driver is in violation of state insurance laws because they don't have the minimum required insurance, or Uber is in violation of those same laws by not being a licensed insurer with all of the regulatory and reporting burden of an insurer in that state. Want to guess where that leaves an Uber passenger in a crash?

Even if we ignore all of that, now we come to the self-driving vehicle which, even with GPS, lasers and camera AI, has to match years of a trained natural neural network of the most complex organism known on this planet with tremendous amounts more context to make not only technical but ethical decisions and keep not only the passengers safe, but also the car they're in, other people's cars and property, and most of all other lives that are on the road.

It's not an impossible problem to bound to a certain acceptable level, but not within the timeframe that Uber hopes. When considering its fundamental underpinning is compromised by its ethics and its arrogance that is being challenged by governmental and non-governmental entities, and is subsidized by free-flowing VC money, I can't say that the prediction of the demise of Uber is unlikely.

Comment Re:"In the wild" - slight exaggeration (Score 2) 159

Umm, that is an uncited claim in the summary. Nothing of the sort is stated in any of the links. The summary links to a paper that provides more details of the attack. Very heavy and technical though a few inital takeaways from it is that implementations only take a few days to run on gear they have so does seem safe to assume that SHA-1 collisions are pretty much pwned.

The Python script in question doesn't find new SHA-1 collisions. It takes two input PDFs and produces two output PDFs that hash to the same value. It uses some quirks of how PDFs work, plus that original SHAttered collision generated by the Google researchers. Finding another collision is a lot of work. Using a known collision to generate PDFs with the same hash value is not.

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"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown