Saturday, 16 January 2021

Calculations Show It'll Be Impossible to Control a Super-Intelligent AI


The idea of artificial intelligence overthrowing humankind has been talked about for many decades, and scientists have just delivered their verdict on whether we'd be able to control a high-level computer super-intelligence. The answer? Almost definitely not.

The catch is that controlling a super-intelligence far beyond human comprehension would require a simulation of that super-intelligence which we can analyse. But if we're unable to comprehend it, it's impossible to create such a simulation.

Rules such as 'cause no harm to humans' can't be set if we don't understand the kind of scenarios that an AI is going to come up with, suggest the authors of the new paper. Once a computer system is working on a level above the scope of our programmers, we can no longer set limits.

"A super-intelligence poses a fundamentally different problem than those typically studied under the banner of 'robot ethics'," write the researchers.

"This is because a superintelligence is multi-faceted, and therefore potentially capable of mobilising a diversity of resources in order to achieve objectives that are potentially incomprehensible to humans, let alone controllable."

Friday, 15 January 2021

Reading for today: Psalm 46 - God will help & strengthen us, but we need to Believe and call on Him

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,

the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease

to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Read Psalm 46 at Bible Gateway

Thursday, 14 January 2021

What did a (mainframe) hard drive look like in 1991?


When the IBM 3390 Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) was rolled out in November 1989, it offered up to 22.7 Gigabytes of storage and allowed customers to store more data in a single DASD than ever before.

Boosts in key DASD performance areas -- such as a 40 percent improvement in data transfer rate and 15 percent in average latency -- provided users with a highly reliable, cost effective means of rapidly accessing vast amounts of data.

The 3390 represented three times the storage capacity per square foot of floor space over the IBM 3380K; five times over the 3380 Model E; and ten times over 3380 standard models. The new DASDs also delivered an 18 percent reduction in the cost of a megabyte of disk storage.

The 23Gb IBM 3390 DASD which the above HDA (Head/Disk Assembly) was installed in - listed at $250,000! By way of modern comparison, nowadays you can buy a 1000Gb (1Tb) Western Digital HDD Gold (Enterprise Class) Hard drive for ~£70! Isn't it incredible how things have changed...

EEVblog on YouTube

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

WhatsApp's updated privacy policy - still safe to use? Short answer: yes

WhatsApp has published a new FAQ page to its website outlining its stances on user privacy in response to widespread backlash over an upcoming privacy policy update. The core issue relates to WhatsApp’s data-sharing procedures with Facebook, with many users concerned an updated privacy policy going into effect on February 8th will mandate sharing of sensitive profile information with WhatsApp’s parent company.

That isn’t true — the update has nothing to do with consumer chats or profile data, and instead the change is designed to outline how businesses who use WhatsApp for customer service may store logs of its chats on Facebook servers. That’s something the company feels it is required to disclose in its privacy policy, which it’s now doing after previewing the upcoming changes to business chats back in October.

But a wave of misinformation on social media, not helped by Facebook’s abysmal track record on privacy and its reputation for obfuscating changes to its various terms of service agreements, has resulted in a full-blown WhatsApp backlash that has users fleeing to competitors like Signal and Telegram.

Monday, 11 January 2021

National Motorcycle Museum - Triumph Over Adversity Recovery Appeal Raffle 2021

National Motorcycle Museum Director James Hewing stated: “All the team here at the museum want to thank everyone who has given to our first Covid-19 raffle which ran from  July to Dec 2020. As promised, the funds raised are being used directly for the purpose of reopening the museum for a limited number of days”. To see the draw results of our first appeal click here.

Once Government restrictions allow, we plan to initially reopen the museum collection & shop every Saturday and Sunday and whilst the funds raised so far will allow us to reopen in a limited way, as of late November 2020 we had still only raised 33% of our original £500k re-opening target. Therefore are undertaking this further ‘Museum Triumph Over Adversity Recovery Appeal Raffle’ which is in addition to our normal winter raffle to win a new/old stock Triumph T140D Bonneville Special.

This further appeal has extra significance given the fact that the museum has recently received the devastating news that we have been turned down for a grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

In late 2020 we received an e-mail from the Heritage Lottery Fund (who are partly responsible for administering the scheme) that our application “did not meet the criteria for the programme, and the board has decided not to award a grant through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage”. 

We cannot begin to describe what a blow this news was, and adds even more importance to this new appeal which gives the chance to win one of the three stunning Triumph motorcycles.

Very special thanks must go to our friends at Triumph Motorcycles for donating the brand new Triumph Trident as a first prize.

Click the link below to buy a ticket for a chance to win one of three fantastic Triumph bikes, and help to support the National Motorcycle Museum.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Deal of the day: Microsoft (Office) 365 Family - 6 users, 1 year subscription - under £50!


Office 365 is now Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 Family has everything you enjoy in Office 365 Home and much more. Every Office 365 user is automatically updated to Microsoft 365

12 months subscription - up to 6 users – each user can install on 1 PC or Mac, 1 tablet or iPad and 1 mobile phone (Windows, iOS, Android). Install code via email (requires Internet)

Premium, always updated, Office 365 apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and others

Cloud Storage: 6 TB total OneDrive (1 TB per person) with Premium Security, to collaborate on documents with others online and to secure your sensitive files in OneDrive Personal Vault. Skype: 60 minutes of calling per month for each user. Premium support via chat or phone from Microsoft experts and much more

Office for Mac is supported in the last three versions of macOS. When a new macOS version is released, it becomes the current version. Also runs on Mac with ARM-based chips via built in emulation mode

NB: This is for home / family use only. 

Must not be used in a business environment.

Top Deal: £49.99

Four steps to protect yourself from invoice fraud

As we start a new year, we wanted to share some tips to help protect your business from one of the most common types of fraud – invoice fraud.
It happens when criminals pose as suppliers, tradesmen or solicitors, and ask you to change the bank account details that you use to pay them.
In the first half of 2020, £45.6 million was lost to invoice and mandate scams. £29.4 million of that was lost by businesses.
Here’s how to spot an invoice fraud, and make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

1) Always confirm invoice account details directly with your supplier, using established contact details, BEFORE making any payment, even if you have paid them before. Avoid using the contact details in an email as you could end up speaking to a fraudster.

2) Establish at least two designated points of contact with all your regular suppliers. And do this over the phone. This will make it easy to check any change of bank account or payment arrangements directly with them.

3) Carefully scrutinise all invoices you receive. Look out for spelling errors or slight changes to email addresses.

4) Educate any employees responsible for processing supplier invoices about this type of invoice fraud.