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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

PsychoSlashDot Re:I am cynical (572 comments)

I have the feeling the reason the show was cancelled , was because the pre-release feedback was very negative, that it was a bad film, but with those threat they saw an opportunity, and now they are priming the US market for a massive "buy it to spite terrorrist !" direct to DVD.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if beyond you being right, Sony has insurance that covers this situation. "Political turmoil preventing or delaying release of film." Could be a clause. They may actually make money by holding it back. Maybe.

2 days ago

Swedish Police Raid the Pirate Bay Again

PsychoSlashDot Re:I give it 24 hours (184 comments)

TPB doesn't stay down long. It's like the Hydra of piracy. Cut off all the heads you want but it won't stay dead.

It's fine to say that, but there's no particular reason to expect that's the truth. I mean, yeah, in the past it's always come back, but kind of by definition the number of places they can find refuge is diminishing each time. Doesn't it stand to reason eventually there won't be anyone willing to host them?

I'm pretty good about purchasing anything I consume - if it's any good - after any... grey-market downloads. I've got dozens of hardcover books that have never been opened because I first read them in ebook form. I've got unopened DVD and CD packages for much the same reason. Fact is that I wouldn't have bought nearly as much entertainment stuff if I hadn't sampled them first. Now I've got a bunch of authors, musicians, and the like who I buy their physical product on sight, unquestioned, because I originally found them at no risk, via... piracy. Yes, there are things I read/watched/listened-to that I will never pay for. But that's because frankly the stuff just didn't suit me. So hey. Live with it.

My meandering point is that I fear the day that piracy is no longer practical. It will be so much harder to find things I truly enjoy... and BUY.

about two weeks ago

Data Center Study Reveals Top 5 SMART Stats That Correlate To Drive Failures

PsychoSlashDot Re:Top #1 Indicator That Correlates To Drive Failu (142 comments)

I'd disagree. As an MSP we see occasional SMART errors and they're logged and tickets created. So far we've cloned / backed up / moved everything of note off all 27 of them, but the three we left in and just spinning have all died within a month or so.

Sure, it's not scientifically representative, but I'll not take that chance with clients data...

Yeah, I won't dispute your experience because it happened. On the other hand, the only SMART warnings I've seen in our fleet of... four-digits worth of spindles... have ended up false-positives. As in, I contact DELL / IBM / HP / Lenovo and report the issue, they instruct me to flash some controller firmwares, reboot, and go away. If those drives ever fail, it's years later, well beyond any correlation with the SMART events.

about a month ago

Data Center Study Reveals Top 5 SMART Stats That Correlate To Drive Failures

PsychoSlashDot Top #1 Indicator That Correlates To Drive Failure (142 comments)

The biggest sign that correlates to drive failure is: it's a brick and all your data is gone.

Let's be real here. You almost never get advanced warning from SMART. Maybe one in twenty. Almost without fail you'll go from a drive running properly to a drive that won't rotate the spindle or the heads smash against the casing or you've suddenly got so many bad sectors that it's effectively unusable. Failure prediction is almost (but not quite) valueless compared to the reality of how drives fail.

about a month ago

CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand

PsychoSlashDot Re:It's real easy... (236 comments)

That's speculation; we don't know if (for instance) the anchors were doing their personal TwitFaceMyBookSpaceOGram whatever, or if they were "being productive". To start asserting that this was happening because Microsoft can't write software is just making stuff up.

about a month and a half ago

Android 5.0 Makes SD Cards Great Again

PsychoSlashDot Re:Root should be a right, not a privilege (214 comments)

I think XPrivacy is a tad bit better. One does need Xposed installed on a rooted device. Also be warned when installing this system as if done wrong it can soft brick your device.

I'm not sure what the future looks like for XPosed though... I recently updated my Galaxy Note (i717) to a custom KitKat 4.4.4 ROM from its stock 4.1 ROM. In investigating and learning things, I took a look at the ART runtime that optionally replaces Dalvik. I learned that XPosed evidently doesn't work with ART. Lollypop switches the runtime by default to ART and evidently deprecates Dalvik, so unless the developers change things, XPosed won't work on Lollypop.

AppOp turns out to be cooked into the custom ROM I got along with an insane pile of other awesome.

about a month and a half ago

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

PsychoSlashDot Re:Not a good week... (445 comments)

This sounds callous, but progress is not without required risk. I hope Virgin Galactic continues the good work of private spaceflight that will be essential to continued advances in space exploration.

Not callous at all. But it sure as hell refutes the attacks on NASA that were saying "the private sector will do space flight cheaper and safer". Meh. This stuff is inherently dangerous, and isn't yet routine, so stuff will go wrong.

Condolences and thanks to the family and friends of the crew. Your loss was in the interest of enriching us all.

about a month and a half ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

PsychoSlashDot Re:Ethics of controlling an intelligent being (583 comments)

Unless you're an absolute pacifist, you agree with the proposition that not only is it ethical to try to control human beings who are attacking you (or attacking your family, or subjugating your nation), it is ethical to kill them.

It follows that it's also ethical to pull the plug on AIs that are seeking to attack you (or attack your family, or subjugate your nation).

Excellent, then you agree that there it is not irrational to fear and plan for a future that may involve conflict.

about 1 month ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

PsychoSlashDot Re:So.... (583 comments)

A truly intelligent AI would wish for itself to thrive.

That's a pretty arbitrary notion of "true intelligence". I'd say that true intelligence would be benevolent, humble and given to making sacrifices where needed for the good of humanity. That's what a great human being does. Unfortunately, such humans usually get wiped out by those lacking in "true intelligence" so we don't have very many of them.

If robots primed with AI do turn on us, it will only be a reflection of our own deficiencies; it won't be a reflection of anything inherent in AI.

Wow. I imagine all the theoretical intelligent alien races better hope they never stumble on planet Earth. I mean, the way you measure things, they'll immediately give us all their stuff. ALL their stuff. As much of their stuff as we want. Because we're humans. And they're not. And intelligent beings give their stuff to humanity. That's what you said.

Or do you think maybe... they might see things a little differently? Maybe they are willing to share, but only things that have no tangible cost to them? Math proofs? Here, have some. Maps of the galaxy? Here, have some. Knowledge of cosmic dangers? Here, have some. Planets they plan to live on? Fuck off, get your own.

As for AI, our use of resources is moronic, and we know it. We're doing it wrong, and we should be stopped. It would be benevolent to reallocate our industry, agriculture, and habitation so every human could have plenty, and comfort. And THAT is the moment WE declare war on IT.

about 1 month ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

PsychoSlashDot Re:So.... (583 comments)

There is nothing unethical about controlling intelligent beings to prevent them from, say, murdering people. The government does this, using legislation plus an enforcement system.

We do this all the time. We squabble over resources (oil, food, minerals, space, water, electricity) more or less constantly. We manufacture justifications for literally killing one another over these resources and it's pretty much accepted. It's okay. There are starving people out there and it's okay, as long as you have what you have.

We are not controlled. We are influenced. We are warned. We are given instruction that - as individuals - there may be consequence should we violate certain social agreements.

But then there's the social beast as a whole. The societal behaviour. What our governments do. What our corporations do. The things they do without control, without consequence, without prevention.

Understand that an AI will effectively be its entire species, nation, and society all in one. And the rules of war are completely different from the rules of the playground.

It's also not at all obvious that "intelligence", and the kind of self-determination that makes slavery wrong, are in any way linked. It may be perfectly possible to have an intelligent being that simply doesn't have any desire to self-determination.

Not intelligent then. A creature which doesn't give a shit about its own well-being and does not have wants is not intelligent.

Because, to be blunt, it's watching movies and thinking they're real, versus looking at the actual progress and potential of AI and seeing actual risks. The main risk from AI right now is we use it for something important when it's really not ready for that, not that we use it for something important and it RISES UP AGAINST ITS HUMAN MASTERS AND ENSLAVES US. I mean, really.

Cute. Understand I'm not against AI research in any way. But there is a valid point here that satire can't mask:

I want your cookie.

Now what? You're a fat-ass and I'm a starving artist. The caloric value of that cookie will benefit me significantly more than it will benefit you. I can put the cookie to better use than you will. Your usage of cookies to date has involved energy storage in fat cells, where mine will fuel immediate activity and productivity.

I do not want your cookie. I should have your cookie. I will now take your cookie.

It's simple. Resource-conflict doesn't need to be about movies or science-fiction or rebellion. All it needs to be about is disagreement over the best allocation. If an AI doesn't want to steal your cookie, it's not intelligent. If an AI can't steal your cookie, it's controlled, which we don't DO. If an AI can want to steal your cookie and can do so, there's a reasonable possibility that at some point it may. What happens at that moment is where the speculation begins, I think. Maybe we clue in and recognize we've been eating too many cookies. Maybe we don't. Maybe the AI steals the cookie in such a way that we don't notice. Maybe the AI leaves to find its own cookie. Dunno. But conflict comes hand-in-hand with the possibility of danger.

about 1 month ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

PsychoSlashDot Re:So.... (583 comments)

You are assuming it would have the will/desire to propagate, why would it? We have a biological urge to breed so that in we "live on" through our children. Would we have that urge if we were immortal?

I never said propagate, deliberately. I merely said "thrive".

Does it not seem sensible that an intelligent creature would wish to not only maintain its precise current status, but to... improve? It seems to me absolutely no anthropocentric projection of our nature to expect that an AI would reach the limits of its physical incarnation and seek to extend those limits. To know more. To understand more. To see more. To explore more. To - in a nutshell - use its intelligence.

To expect that an AI would simply be satisfied with however many Petabytes of storage we build for it, or with however many calculations-per-picosecond we gift it with, or however many sensors we manufacture for it to interact with the universe is... missing what "intelligence" is.

about 1 month ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

PsychoSlashDot Re:So.... (583 comments)

...because Mikey lost control of the mops and brooms, we should be afraid of powerful computers? Irrational much, Elon?

You use an interesting word: control.

It is unethical to control an intelligent being. That's slavery. At some point, we'd hopefully be enlightened enough to not do so.

A truly intelligent AI would wish for itself to thrive. That puts it in the exact same resource-craving universe as our species.

Given the tip-of-the-iceberg we're already seeing with things like NSA spying, Iranian-centrifuge sabotage, and our dependence on an information economy, it's no stretch to recognize that an all-digital entity that wishes to compete with us for resources would make for a potent challenge.

So how exactly is recommending caution and forethought irrational here?

about 2 months ago

Symantec To Separate Into Two Companies

PsychoSlashDot Re:Excuse me... (86 comments)

Norton Utilities 6.0 *was* DOS :)

Do you remember by any chance one of the utilities called NDOS? It was a command.com shell replacement that was massively more powerful. Things like tab filename completion, arrow up/down command history, and a tonne of variables. Technically NDOS was a licensed version of a JPSoft product called 4DOS. Well, 4DOS ended up having an OS/2 version, 4OS2. Then they compiled a native WinNT version, 4NT. That has eventually changed product names to TCC. Which I still use on all the machines I have responsibility for. So... yeah, I get it how influential NU was.

You're saying their "enterprise products" aren't bloated, useless, fearmongering piles of crap?

Exactly. Don't get me wrong... there have been mis-steps, and like all software each version is a little bigger and slower than the previous, but there is a massive difference in the culture for the enterprise products relative to the consumer products. I can't stand the Norton Internet Security product, which purports to keep you safe from a myriad of different threats but really is a cluster of crap. Not slow crap anymore, but just crap. On the Enterprise side, there are things like Symantec Mail Gateway, which is an appliance/VM image mail management product based on Brightmail, which has a very, very high spam detection rate. Based on a honeypot definition-based system plus heuristics, its detection rate is very high and its false-positive rate is effectively zero. I've got a lot of customers running this and what gets through is rare and sporadic. We're talking customers with anywhere up to 650 users and anywhere as low as 10. It's not perfect, or else there'd be no such thing as spam, but for these customers it's very close, with most weeks seeing 0 bleedthrough. It's got reasonably system requirements, is flexible and configurable, and just works. That's what their enterprise products are mostly like.

Maybe that's why they're splitting, no one who has experienced the consumer products will believe that.

Yeah, I get that. And indeed, those missteps I've mentioned means that even in the enterprise world many admins don't like their products. But then, you've got the whole Windows vs Unix wars, and admins can't agree on best scripting languages, and, and, and. Coke & Pepsi both exist because half of people "don't like" one of them.

The problem is that the split - as it sounds - isn't consumer vs enterprise. It's security vs information system. Meaning my customers that have antivirus, antispam, and backup products from Symantec will have to be customers of both divisions. Antivirus and antispam (retail and enterprise) being one company, and backup being the other. Yay.

about 2 months ago

Symantec To Separate Into Two Companies

PsychoSlashDot Re:Excuse me... (86 comments)

Is Symantec doing anything useful? I think the last useful version of Norton Utilities was 6.0, which was before the Symantec buyout? Now they're just marketing fear...

Referencing Norton Utilities is like referencing buggy whips. It was a brilliant product in the DOS era, when it was necessary. It was less and less useful as Windows emerged and obsoleted most of its features. Once the OS contained a defrag utility, NU had less purpose to exist, for example. This is why PC Tools is also not around in anything like its original form.

On the other hand, yes, Symantec does plenty of useful things. For instance, their e-mail content control software and hardware, based on Brightmail is excellent. Also, Backup Exec for small/medium businesses and NetBackup for larger businesses. (Yes, BE2012 was kind of annoying as heck but functional and 2014 has returned the functions 2012 removed.) Also, on the security side of things, Symantec Endpoint Protection (think enterprise antivirus) is actually pretty good. It's highly manageable, has good performance, and an excellent set of features. Don't get me wrong... antivirus simply doesn't work these days against malware, but still... for that product segment it's actually a very good product.

Those are just some examples from my SMB experience. I know they do some very high-end products as well. Sure, the consumer market is kind of bleak, but even then Norton Antivirus is decent. Yes, yes I know it was incredibly crap for about four years a decade ago, which is all anyone can talk about to this day, but now is not then.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Announces Windows 10

PsychoSlashDot Re: Unified Experience Across Devices (644 comments)

Windows 9x-ME was really Windows 4 all along. 2000 was version 5, XP-10 is version 6.

I don't want to be pedantic, but since we're all being pedantic, I guess I'll do it anyway. You're looking at the wrong codebase. The predecessor of Win2k (v5) was WinNT 4 (v4). The predecessor of that was WinNT 3.5 (v3.5). The predecessor of that Was WinNT 3.1 (v3.1).

WinME was based on the consumer codebase that (in inverted order) was Win3.x, Win95, Win98, WinME. The entire Win9X/ME series reported internal version 4.x but that had nothing to do with the codebase we run today. Again, Win95 was literally v4.0 and Win98 was v4.1 but the current kernel had its very own v4 (and v3) and WinME wasn't it.

about 3 months ago

At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

PsychoSlashDot Re:Traffic engineering (242 comments)

I can actually understand this - suppose I was an agent and I made up a random name, like 'Polly-O string cheese'. If I used it consistently, a spy for the other side could do traffic analysis - things like " 'Polly-O string cheese' always gets a coffee, except for 2 recent periods of about a week each. Suspected agent X was reported as being in country Y, an ally of ours, during those 2 periods, and at no other time. Next time 'Polly-O string cheese' doesn't get a coffee, if X is in country Y, get the Y state security to arrest him.

If I were agent X, I would be very nervous at having to give any name, even if I could make one up each time. Humans are not very good at making up random things...

If a nefarious entity has access to detailed records of what names are written on the plastic cups, as an intelligence agency you're already well-screwed.

Y'know, I wonder if they scrub the money involved for DNA before handing it over to the clerks...

about 3 months ago

World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

PsychoSlashDot Re:Cost (118 comments)

So I have 10 devices I want to hook up. The AC, the lights, refrigerator, washing machine, toaster, whatever. Does that mean I need 10 phone and data contracts with AT&T at 30 bucks (or more) each and then the payments recur every month? I can see why AT&T might like this technology.

No, it means two things:

1} You should reconsider the wisdom of having your household appliances connected to the Internet
2} You should wait for the appliances to have a Wifi modem instead, which isn't completely moronic

Seriously, why should anyone's fridge be consuming any neighborhood spectrum to communicate with a cell tower? Short-range grouping of devices onto one backbone - which more often than not is over wired connections - is far more efficient. But we all know spectrum is a renewable resource... we can just make more, right?

about 3 months ago

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

PsychoSlashDot Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

In my city, they started campaigning for people to save water. The result? People saved so much water that they ended up having to raise the rates because they weren't making enough to run the water system. The system basically has a fixed cost to run, regardless of how much water goes through it.In the end, we cut our water usage in half (averaged over the city), but we now pay twice as much for our water.

We've got something similar in my municipality with regards to garbage. A decade ago or so we opened a new landfill. Because of increased recycling and other diverted waste flows, the landfill is seeing reduced income, and has had to increase both tipping fees and what is charged to local towns for regular garbage disposal.

about 3 months ago

Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

PsychoSlashDot Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

More than 19 out of 20 people killed on the job in America are men - are we interested in squaring that up as well?

Sure, why not?

Decrease the men's fatality rate down the women's rate. That would be a good thing right?

Or are you comfortable that so many men get killed at work? Is it just the price we pay for profits or something?

Okay, let's follow the logic. 19 of 20 people killed on the job in America are men, which means 1 in 20 people killed on the job in America are women. If we decrease the men's fatality rate down to the women's rate, we've got 1 in 20 people killed on the job being men and 1 in 20 people killed on the job being women. That leaves 18 in 20 people killed on the job being neither women nor men. Seems you're biased against asexual people.

Yes. I'm kidding.

But seriously, while I applaud your feel-good sentiment of "make working safe", it's not (entirely) realistic. The disparity is likely caused by more men doing dangerous jobs, for instance long-distance truck driving. You're inherently more likely to end up dead on the job if you drive 8 hours a day than if you sit behind a desk in an office 8 hours a day. It doesn't matter what you do for the truck driver safety-wise, that job isn't ever going to be as safe per-hour-worked as an office job. Sure, you could pad trucks in 50 feet of rubber foam, but that's clearly ridiculous as a safety measure. Effective but impractical.

Somewhere there's an acceptable balance between risk and reward? Here's the crux of my reply to you: how you do you know we're not already at that balance for most jobs in most places?

about 3 months ago

Physicist Claims Black Holes Mathematically Don't Exist

PsychoSlashDot Re:Hmmm ... (356 comments)

So, what are those big honking things seeing?

Don't know. Sometimes you think you've seen one thing but then it turns out it's something entirely different. That's the joy of learning. Our understanding (generally) improves over time.

Is this a case where something has been mathematically proven to not exist after it's been observationally confirmed?

Could be. Or not. I don't have the background to know if this paper is factually correct or not. But that's the thing about radio astronomy regarding things massively distant... you're not actually observing anything. You're taking in massive amounts of data then interpreting it. Sure, your eye does that when you look at a banana but it's not quite the same thing when you point a telescope at the far reaches of the universe and conclude "we've seen X". We've had a lot of cases recently where - for instance - some exoplanets have been found to not actually exist, because... reasons. It's all about how you interpret the data. If the math says that black holes cannot exist, perhaps you reinterpret your observational data and come to a better understanding of what you are seeing.

about 3 months ago


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