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Comment Re:Phone (Score 1) 237

However eager the British Government are to extradite him to the US, he hasn't committed any crime in the UK, and so can't be arrested for anything, let alone extradited. However, he's alleged to have committed (serious) crimes in Sweden. The Swedes have asked he be sent there for show-trial, and thus he's hidden in the embassy until it can be resolved. Even if he'd been picked up ready for sending to Sweden, the Brits would still have had no grounds to send him to the US without major international fallout (with the Swedes, especially).

IMHO, Assange is a bit of a twat. However, whatever's going on with him is far too fishy to be as clear cut as a lot of people seem to think. Additionally, wherever there's a fishy smell in the proceedings of the UK, the US is frequently involved somewhere in the background. We're something of a puppet, but for some reason we think the puppeteer is in Europe.

Comment Not much need of AI? (Score 1) 76

Getting from point A in London to Point B doesn't really need AI per-se. It's at worst a heuristics problem, and at best it's simply procedural.

Eg. getting from Bank to Mansion House is best done on foot - but that can be known by various factors:
  - The distance from any platform at Bank and any District/Circle line platform at Monument (ostensibly the same station, but my god the walk between them is a long way)
- The distance from any platform at Bank and the street
- The distance of the exits at Bank (of which there are many, over quite a wide area) and the exits at Mansion House (of which there are a couple, either side of a wide road)
- The speed people walk, and the levels of congestion in the walkways at one or both stations (which can be approximated by time of day)

I guess you could get fancy and throw in the current weather conditions, and maybe road traffic conditions, and the time it takes for the pedestrian crossings to change to "green man" (although jay-walking is okay here, so you probably don't have to wait that long every time). You could also improve the resolution of the time estimates by looking at which carriage the person was in when they arrived at the station (and on which line), and thus how far they were from the platform exit.

So to navigate you really don't need much AI. There are (albeit complex - but only as complex as you like) definitive answers. Of course, putting voice rec and natural language processing on the front of it makes it an AI project, but it's just "AI operates a website" because there are already London navigators available.

Not to belittle anyone's work here, and it's good to see someone using London as a playground, but I'm wondering what's actually been achieved here?

Comment Re:Fitting (Score 1) 43

...and I think we know Microsoft AI just simply will not be the next big thing. If Pets At Home decided to create an AI division they could probably come up with more winners than Microsoft will.

All they're really doing here is re-arranging the deck chairs. They're on a ship that looks like, smells like and swims like the Titanic. It's just a matter of time until someone looks over the edge and sees the name painted on the side.

Comment Fear Factory (Score 2) 332

In Bowling for Columbine there's an animated video describing how scared Americans are (of just about anything). The number of bunkers screams fear to me - I'm sure there are a handful of such bunkers in the UK (or Europe, generally), they're mostly for politicians who must survive nuclear war, because only cockroaches will survive (apparently). I seriously doubt there's more than a couple for private citizens (and most of those are just swimming pools in the basement).

What's the point? I mean, if there's a nuclear war, you're better off just letting the galactic dice decide your fate. For low-level issues, such as no food for a few months, you're going to need to live in a tiny bunker for the entire duration. The rest of us will all just be mucking-in together to work out ways to collectively survive it. Sure, someone will come and steal the potatoes I'm growing in my back garden, but they can't steal all the potatoes in the neighbourhood. Besides, why steal them when you can just ask and we'll give you some?

Comment Re:Print Innovation (Score 1) 111

They're buying Samsung because Samsung are soooo good at software. The marriage of those crappy devs and HP's massive bloatware is just what the industry needs!

We have an HP all-in-one 'pro' printer at home. It's actually pretty good, but the scanner stopped working the other day, just saying "cannot connect to server". Some googling turned up some settings clearing and rebooting, but nothing worked. Just one comment said "it could just be HPs servers are down". Thankfully there were some workarounds (shockingly, the Windows10 integration worked really well, so we used that instead).

Why does my scanner need HP's servers? It scans, and emails the results - how hard it that? How much 'innovation' do we need here? All that shit about being able to email stuff to your printer to print it - sorry, don't need it, especially if it's dependent on something I can't control. If I could configure which mail server it pulled from, that would be one thing, but the 'magic' in the thing is what makes it so supremely hard to use.

Comment Re: Don't put your one egg (Score 1) 239

There are two kinds of insurance on cars, and so, I'd imagine there would be on aeroplanes, space rockets and just about anything else that flies about.

Third Party - we'll pay to fix up anyone, or anything that is damaged by you
Fully comprehensive - We'll pay to fix you up as well as anything you hit along the way

The first is mandatory (depending on jurisdiction), the second is not. Seemingly Spacecom decided not to bother with the fully comp. insurance and now think that SpaceX should provide the services of that sort of insurance for free.

This all gets complicated because I suspect SpaceX have insurance against this sort of problem. However, just because they have doesn't mean they should have to pay out. Somewhere there's a very thick contract, and it'll state who pays for what - I'll bet it's not SpaceX in this case though.

Comment Re:Ars Are Welcome To Try (Score 1) 84

Yes, but Ars have superior business skillz to the leadership at SpaceX (a quick check of company financials between the two will confirm, I'm sure), and so in all good conscience had say their piece (not in private, where it may have been useful, but in public so everyone on earth gets to stir the pot).

Comment Re:Here's an idea... (Score 2) 260

You may have an idea there...

How about the TSA stop checking people that don't need to be checked? If you're transiting from one (reasonably organised) country to another, then no need to go through security again (or go via a fast track that has less checks)? The US has special secure areas at some non-US airports because they have their own special checks - surely they are secure enough not to have to recheck all the people on transit.

Years ago, I traveled to Canada via the US with a buddy of mine. He got an extra frisk 3 times before we got to Security (in Heathrow, UK). Even though we were traveling together, I only got the standard check at security. I was left wondering what the first frisk missed that it needed repeating two more times just to be sure. Why not just train the first guy to be better at his job (and arguably frisk me at the same time) rather than have the other two goons?

If they've been running a competition for a 'solution' to their problems and haven't found a winner yet, then they aren't listening. There's got to be a thousand ways to improve whilst making them more effective and do so at less cost/inconvenience.

Comment Re:So in other words (Score 1) 73

They can't exactly say "we have no plans now, but hey, if someone offers us a truck load of money...". However, if they really wanted to engender some trust, they could (probably) say "we have no plans to sell any data, and we will never sell any data from 2016".

But sadly, expecting any commitment is like expecting a unicorn to shit out your next gourmet dinner ;-)

Comment Re:Startups are mostly garbage, news at 11 (Score 3, Interesting) 120

I'd agree - the startups I've worked for weren't necessarily going for a buy-out, although that'd have kept the VCs happy. Along the way though, we got to play with some cool tech, got some (potential) customer interaction experience, occasionally flew a few places, got some 'everything's broken, you're the only one here, so make it work' type experience and drank a boatload of beer at various places when the bosses got their credit cards out. Of course, when the company went down the pan, we all got left with nothing, but it wasn't a surprise so we all had a 'plan b' lined up.

I wouldn't go for that now as I like the 9-5 so I can be at the right places at the right times for my kids. But back when I was (mostly) single, it was great fun, and rewarded me in a lot more ways than a regular salary.

Just as a side note, one startup I was at really did try to go for quality. We still had to move too fast quite a bit towards the end, but the foundations were pretty solid. All that means nothing now, because the product is long lost in some vault somewhere and provides no benefit to the customers we (nearly) had, or indeed the world as a whole. The question is, was all that quality worth it?

Comment Re:Disappoint (Score 1) 179

I wish they'd recall my Galaxy Note 8.0 (tablet). It's a nice bit of hardware, and was great when I got it. They let Android 4 onto it, so now I can't use the SD card properly, and then they stopped doing any more software updates for it. In other words, they took away functionality and then cut it loose.

I'm sure I don't need to go on about their shockingly poor 'value add' software that you can't uninstall. I've had 4 Samsung devices over the last few years. Yeah, I'm disappointed. I still can't quite bring myself to go Sony though, so Samsung might make another sale out of me - not by being the best, but by being slightly less bad. Go Samsung! Job well done there!

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