New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'
Much less define what "general intelligence" means, beyond "solve problems I can solve, but not necessarily the ones that I can't."
Microsoft Surface Drowning?
It's a lovely device, really. But windows, eww. I'd get one for myself, but the keyboard doesn't work with Linux, and is too cramped for my ogre hands.
Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing
Or equivalently "Graduate students are being exploited."
Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?
If enough of them have young kids (and your 40+ years - 10 puts many of your peers in the mid-30s), then they'll be going through the same stuff, only have less experience. Come in as the voice of wisdom and experience. It's useful!
Just don't spend too much time talking about old systems. Some older programmers do that, and it just distances themselves unnecessarily. Having used an older system isn't a technical merit, it's just saying that you're old. Interesting anecdotes, special features, and spectacular failures of old systems, however, are fun to hear.
Ask Slashdot: Scientific Computing Workflow For the Cloud?
Here's how I ran my PhD simulations on EC2:
- The AMI downloads a manifest file at startup.
- The manifest has one record per line, two fields per record: the s3 URL of a .tar.gz to download, and the path to download it
- The AMI then runs a shell script (/etc/run.sh) that's been put there by a manifest entry
Shell scripts upload new files to s3 (e.g., /etc/run.sh) and have ec2 run new VMs. When the VMs are loaded, they're running everything I need, ready to go.
Other shell scripts stopped/started experiments on these VMs.
Other shell scripts shut down the VMs when I'm done.
The scripts did little more than scan the appropriate machine list from the ec2 tools and ssh into them with a specific command.
At the end, I had some of the experiment-specific scripts quickly have git clone/pull in files I was changing quickly per experiment.
All of it worked really well for me. Nothing fancier than the ec2 command-line tools, bash, ssh, & git necessary.
Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns
It's 2012, why does this search engine stuff come up all the time, when it's *so* easy to fix? If they want to publish the names, but not have them come up when people are searching for individual people, shove the list in robots.txt. Not complicated. A moron can figure out robots.txt
How To Pull Location Data From Encrypted Google Maps Sessions
This is a known-cyphertext attack using the tile filesizes as identifiers. Build a database of map tiles' sizes and coordinates (x,y,z) from gmaps, then compare against the SSL response stream.
It doesn't say if it's only effective for satellite view.
Data Exposed In Stratfor Compromise Analyzed
As another hacked reader, yeah I'm unhappy about this too. Considering that I was donating to wikileaks before, this is just painful.
Stratfor's just come out with their email, 8pm, not great, but here we are. They've done the standard 1yr prepaid monitoring service for identity theft.
I looked around to verify that my CC was actually breached (who knows, maybe it was a card I've already canceled?), but all the primary copies of the CC list seem inaccessible. It'd be lovely if they were taken down before I become collateral damage in all this, but it hasn't exactly been a lucky week.
Canceling the card, and watching the account like a hawk. It's all we can do, and hopefully it's enough.
OpenMoko's FreeRunner Rises From the Ashes
Pick up one of the pure-google phones. My Nexus S doesn't have it on there.
Ask Slashdot: Successful Software From Academia?
The backend for quite a few compilers, and a few shader compilers...
Ask Slashdot: CS Grads Taking IT Jobs?
On your resume, it'll read like this:
I finished school, and interviewed. While every reasonable CS student on the planet, especially in 2011, can get an actual programming gig, I couldn't. So I took a glorified Geek-Squad gig instead*.
* It doesn't matter what the actual job was. It's in IT and not programming, it'll be read the same as geek squad.
Falun Gong Sues Cisco
The results of Discovery will be *awesome*.
Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?
Blu-Ray, as a disc format is doing well within its relative market. It's just that the disc market is collapsing.
Really, who's buying many discs these days? Who's /renting/ them?
Google vs. Bing — a Quasi-Empirical Study
If you don't want google to store anything about you, just opt out: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/view
If you don't trust them to do what they say, or anyone else for that matter, use privoxy: http://www.privoxy.org/
Google Unveils Beta Chrome OS Notebook
Well it does have a screen, hinge, keyboard, and trackpad.
Naughty Google! Very Naughty!
Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews
.. Fox isn't going to outrank the AP article they're syndicating. For U.s. political news (where they do their most reporting), they're on news.google.com -- right now, they're on 6 different news items.
As for yanking videos off of youtube, it's the customer base flagging it. You can argue that google shouldn't yank unpopular videos, but people marking it as offensive (or hate speech) is hard to ignore.
Kernel Tracing With LTTng On Ubuntu Maverick
Hello, I couldn't find another way to contact you, so here we are.
I'm finishing up a PhD in scalability & performance analysis, and have done a lot of work in instrumentation. A userland instrumentation tool is part of my final research. Instrumentation is in a terrible, terrible state -- save a few points of light -- and I'm happy to see someone else in this area!!
So, as you're starting out, some tips:
1) If you haven't already done so, investigate dtrace. While available on Mac OS & FreeBSD, it's worth picking up a virtual machine image of opensolaris & playing with it there.
2) Pick up a copy of: R. Jain, "The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling," Wiley- Interscience, New York, NY, April 1991, ISBN:0471503361. It's my new Bible.
Good luck, and hit me up if you'd like to chat. For my email address, I'm [my first name].[my last name]@gmail.com
AMD Details Upcoming Bulldozer Architecture
Yeah, you get much better performance going through a northbridge & PCI-e than talking to a gpu on the same chip...
Real-Time, Detailed Face Tracking On a Nokia N900
Check out mappero: http://www.mardy.it/mappero
The UI's a little strange, but it treats me reasonably well!
Real-Time, Detailed Face Tracking On a Nokia N900
I had an iPhone before my N900, and frankly I adore the N900. It's fast, responsive, and it's easy to understand what's going on. If the music's skipping (which happened on both devices), I pull up top, then renice my music player. If I want a nice note-taking program, I just run emacs & org-mode on it. Then I'll 'git push' those notes for my other machines. I use citrix to run an app at work (note: despite what the website says, it doesn't actually require motif). The map program (not the stock one, but one you can download a package for) is utterly fantastic. I even have a subway map for my city.
Really, advanced users of the iPhone really just want a mobile computer, with a phone tacked on. The UI on the N900 is pretty good, and it does what I want with few problems, and many, many wonderful plusses over the iPhone platform.
Also, it has a keyboard, replaceable battery, and flash :-) I can stream full-screen flash videos in a cab.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 is Out
Lally Singh (3427) writes "The newest OpenSolaris 2008.11 release is available for download.
Some key features:
- Includes a Nautilus-Based version of Apple's Time Machine.
- Updated Software: Songbird 1.0, Firefox 3, Gnome 2.24, OpenOffice 3, Netbeans 6.5, and Eclipse 3.4.
(Some will require a quick 'pkg install <packagename>'.)
- Updated Hardware support.
- A Distribution Constructor: "a command-line tool for building pre-configured, bootable OpenSolaris images. The tool takes an install manifest file as input, and outputs an ISO image that is based on the parameters specified in the manifest"
- COMSTAR: "Turn any OpenSolaris host into a SCSI target that can be accessed over the network by initiator hosts"
Check out the Release Notes for details. Direct links: LiveCD, BitTorrent."
Why RAID 5 stops working in 2009
Lally Singh (3427) writes "With the increasing storage and nondecreasing probability of failure on HDDs, ZDNet makes a decent case that RAID 5 won't cut it:
Disk drive capacities double every 18-24 months. We have 1 TB drives now, and in 2009 we'll have 2 TB drives.
With a 7 drive RAID 5 disk failure, you'll have 6 remaining 2 TB drives. As the RAID controller is busily reading through those 6 disks to reconstruct the data from the failed drive, it is almost certain it will see an URE.
So the read fails. And when that happens, you are one unhappy camper. The message "we can't read this RAID volume" travels up the chain of command until an error message is presented on the screen. 12 TB of your carefully protected — you thought! — data is gone. Oh, you didn't back it up to tape? Bummer!
Apparently RAID 6 isn't far behind? I'll keep the ZFS plug short. Go ZFS. There, that was it."
Best Debate Drinking Game
Lally Singh (3427) writes "The fate of the nation has rarely been so critical as it is this election cycle. Tonight is the first debate, which could tip the scales for the fate of America. This calls for a substantial drinking game. Wonkette provides one of the best. A sample:
Whenever John McCain says "My Friends":
Two drinks (or one shot), poke the breast of the person to your right and smile creepily.
When Obama stutters about some foreign-policy trick question probably about Israel:
Get on your knees, look to the East, and do a shot.
Link to Original Source
OpenSolaris Indiana Released
Lally Singh (3427) writes "The Linux-friendly OpenSolaris Indiana has been released! A new, modern package manager and all the goodies of Solaris: ZFS, DTrace, SMF, and Xen on a LiveCD that was designed for Linux users. You know you're a little curious.
Why use the OpenSolaris OS you ask? It's pretty simple, you'll find it full of unique features like the new Image Packaging System (IPS), ZFS as the default filesystem, DTrace enabled packages for extreme observability and performance tuning, and many many more. We think you'll be quite happy to came by to take a look!
Apple Releases Java 6 for Mac
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Better late than never, Apple Releases Java SE 6. For reference: Leopard was released Oct 26, 2007, Java 6 on Dec 7 2006. This release, Java 6 on Leopard: Apr 29, 2008. Also, it's Java 1.6.0_05, not the much faster 1.6.0_10. Looks like Apple needs more devs between the work for OS X and the iPhone."
Link to Original Source
You can quit Facebook now.
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Yesterday Facebook announced some probably-insufficient measures to get rid of your account:
On Monday, Facebook modified its help pages to tell people that if they wanted to remove their accounts entirely, they can direct the company by e-mail to have it done. But on Tuesday, representatives of Facebook stopped short of saying the company would introduce a one-step delete account option.
The updated Facebook help page now includes the question "How do I delete my account?" The answer: "If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, we can take care of this for you. Keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added."
Ron Paul Quits
Lally Singh (3427) writes "From Wonkette:
It is a tragic day for the Ron Paul ReLOVEution or whatever they call it. Late Friday night, Dr. Congressman Ron Paul posted a letter to his fans basically saying it's over, but he will continue talking about his message, and plus it would be completely embarrassing for him if he also lost his congressional seat. Gather the children and vodka so we can mourn the American Revolution that was lost.
Sony BMG Dropping DRM
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Sony BMG's planning to drop DRM in it's music. Some will be available the 1st quarter of this year, says BusinessWeek. More interesting is this quote from Salon's Machinest:
Actually, what's happened is quite ironic. It was the industry's own DRM mandates that tied many music-lovers in to Apple's music storefront (we all had iPods, and the only way to buy digital music for the iPod was from Apple).
Now Apple's become too powerful for the labels. They need an alternative distribution channel — they want to get music to our iPods, but they don't want to go through Apple to do it.
The only way to do that is to offer retailers like Amazon the chance to sell songs as plain, unrestricted MP3s, which are iPoddable.
Good fonts for Linux/Unix?
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Considering that 99% of what I do as a programmer is work with text, I'm more than surprised that we don't see more font work for Linux & Unix systems. The default fonts I get on a modern distro just don't compare to the quality I get with a modern Mac.
As they're not free, does anyone know a good source for buying decent fonts for my Gnome desktop? I'm no cheapskate, and for the same reason I put $$ into a good keyboard and display, I'd happily pay for some good fonts. So my web pages render well, my apps don't all have to use Bitstream Vera, and maybe I could even put out some attractive documents on Staroffice. I'm also no typeographic expert, so a bundle of the same caliber and variety I'd get with one of the big two (Windows, MacOS) would be best.
I can't be the only one who's looking for this stuff. Desktop Unix is getting really usable now, and this seems to be one of the last big missing pieces."
Link to Original Source
Netbeans 6b2 Now Dual Licensed under GPLv2, CDDL
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Interested in the new Netbeans 6, but didn't trust Sun's (already OSI-approved) CDDL?
Sun just Dual-Licensed it under the GPL (v2) with Classpath Exception. Keep your karmic license purity and mix in all the (now compatible) GPL code you want!
If you've been using Eclipse, Netbeans 6 is really worth a look. Lean, well-featured, and fast."
Link to Original Source
Duke's Network Fixed, Cisco's, not iPhone's Fault
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Turns out it was a Cisco bug causing problems with the iPhone at Duke. It's been fixed:
The reality is that a particular set of conditions made the Duke wireless network experience some minor and temporary disruptions in service. Those conditions involve our deployment of a very large Cisco-based wireless network that supports multiple network protocols.
Cisco worked closely with Duke and Apple to identify the source of this problem, which was caused by a Cisco-based network issue. Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke's network and there have been no recurrences of the problem since.
Link to Original Source
Lally Singh (3427) writes "It looks like Al Queda and its cronies are getting sophisticated:
Let's hope the good guys can crack it. In the mean time, if you weren't getting heat from the fuzz about using crypto before, get ready."
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Change the metrics you measure by, and suddenly Wikipedia's " some emergent phenomenon — the wisdom of mobs, swarm intelligence, that sort of thing — thousands and thousands of individual users each adding a little bit of content and out of this emerges a coherent body of work". Yeah, it's a blog post, but it's not my blog :-P"
"On January 1, 2007, the pro-terrorist group, 'Global Islamic Media Front' (GIMF) announced the 'imminent release' of what they called 'the first Islamic computer program for secure exchange on the Internet.'" ... "The 'Mujahedine Secrets' encryption program offers terrorists and their sympathizers several key features, some of which are common features of PGP programs that are currently available elsewhere as well as other features that appear to be new." ... "Most importantly, this program is an executable application that does not need to be installed onto a PC and can be used with a USB drive." ... "The use of the 'Mujahedine Secrets' on a portable USB drive will offer additional anonymity to those who use the program, which may make it increasingly difficult or even impossible for investigators to track down the source of activity further than the Internet café itself."
Wow, I've got a stalker
Looks like someone's responding to a few of my comments with venom, hidden behind an Anonymous Coward mask.
Good :-D. If everyone likes what you have to say, then you're not saying anything interesting.
/. Comments and Drunk Party Talk
Oh God. I'm not sure I can take this anymore.
At parties I despise these conversations:
- BS Politics talk -- Neither party knows anything more than talking points, and essentially chose their side based on which news channels they prefer. Usually devolves into namecalling or agreement on a third solution neither of them know anything about.
- Religion -- Same shit.
- What they learned in school today -- Way to repeat your textbook. Nobody cares, please STFU.
- IP -- Mostly software people talking about how copying data doesn't imply copyright infringement. Note the 'copy' in 'copyright'
- Bullshit argumentative tone -- There aren't debates on /. People suddenly decide to sound like overjerked philosophy majors with PHIL101-style argument methods: straw man, false dichotomies, etc. When their 1,2-unit arsenals run out, they just move on to the next /. post and try again.
- What they learned in /. today -- Openly push open source/linux, but realize that Linux isn't actually too useful as a desktop box, so pretend to play devil's advocate when you apologize for window's suckiness.
- Empty Software Religion -- Repeat after me Software is not Religion. Again: Software is not Religion. A third time, to make it stick: Software is not Religion. It's an industry. There isn't any truth or deep meaning in software. In the act of programming, sure, but not in the resulting software. Your favorite app is just a number someone was able to defecate out onto a keyboard. You deserve better. But you won't get it, because that "itch" your app's developer was scratching is the length of their cock, which they scratch with lotion and a photo of RMS.
Oh God I can't take it any more. Why can't people talk like normal people and have their own opinions? It's ok to get shot down. If they shoot you down by being an ass and a bully, fuck em. If they do it with logic that you don't agree with, fuck em. If they do it with good reasoning that changes your mind, you're better off.
Who am I kidding? I'll take it. Software is about suffering through 10,000 tons of shit to get one little shiny piece that gives you hope anew. I'm at 9,990 right now. 10 tons of shit to go.