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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018
     
    Just so. They were secretly placed here, but we got rid of them in 1984. They were never under our control.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018 edited
     
    Posted By: AngusUkraine never really did have nuclear weapons.


    Just so. Russia was never in any danger of retaliation. The Ukraine simply didn't have the means.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018 edited
     
    Posted By: AngusJust so. They were secretly placed here, but we got rid of them in 1984. They were never under our control.


    Which brings up the question. "What with US-Canada relations at an all-time low, will Canada demand that the US remove its personnel from the NWS?" Heck, as far as I know, Canada is still cleaning up the DEW line environmental mess.

    Trump will want to pull out of NORAD, citing it as a giant waste of money. Besides, who wants a beachfront condo in Komakuk Beach?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018
     
    That's an interesting question. Like most Canadians I was pretty much unaware of the current radar situation in the north. (Despite having lived on an abandoned SAC base, next to one of the DEW line stations, for a year back in the day.)

    In fact the stations are unmanned and are serviced by Canadian personnel. The US does transport.

    Canada is responsible for 40 percent of the cost of the North Warning System, with the remaining 60 percent under American responsibility. Canada owns the sites and provides the site operations and maintenance; and the US owns the radar and radio equipment, and provides all fuel, sealift (fuel and dry cargo), and rotary and fixed-wing airlift. Canada’s Department of National Defence does not provide any air support to the North Warning System.


    You are right about the mess. I also remember the problem of venereal disease among the Inuit. Now they get booze as well, since it was decided back a while that to have a dry territory was a violation of the rights of the citizens. Maybe Nunavut can rectify the situation now that there is more local control.
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2018 edited
     
    Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control?

    A long and excellent read.

    Over the last few decades, trading floors around the world have fallen silent, as people are replaced by banks of computers that trade automatically. Digitisation meant that trades within, as well as between, stock exchangescould happen faster and faster. As trading passed into the hands of machines, it became possible to react almost instantaneously. High-Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithms, designed by former physics PhD students to take advantage of millisecond advantages, entered the market, and traders gave them names such as The Knife. These algorithms were capable of eking out fractions of a cent on every trade, and they could do it millions of times a day.

    Something deeply weird is occurring within these massively accelerated, opaque markets. On 6 May 2010, the Dow Jones opened lower than the previous day, falling slowly over the next few hours in response to the debt crisis in Greece. But at 2.42pm, the index started to fall rapidly. In less than five minutes, more than 600 points were wiped off the market. At its lowest point, the index was nearly 1,000 points below the previous day’s average, a difference of almost 10% of its total value, and the biggest single-day fall in the market’s history. By 3.07pm, in just 25 minutes, it recovered almost all of those 600 points, in the largest and fastest swing ever.

    In the chaos of those 25 minutes, 2bn shares, worth $56bn, changed hands. Even more worryingly, many orders were executed at what the Securities Exchange Commission called “irrational prices”: as low as a penny, or as high as $100,000. The event became known as the “flash crash”, and it is still being investigated and argued over years later.

    One report by regulators found that high-frequency traders exacerbated the price swings. Among the various HFT programs, many had hard-coded sell points: prices at which they were programmed to sell their stocks immediately. As prices started to fall, groups of programs were triggered to sell at the same time. As each waypoint was passed, the subsequent price fall triggered another set of algorithms to automatically sell their stocks, producing a feedback effect. As a result, prices fell faster than any human trader could react to. While experienced market players might have been able to stabilise the crash by playing a longer game, the machines, faced with uncertainty, got out as quickly as possible.

    Other theories blame the algorithms for initiating the crisis. One technique that was identified in the data was HFT programmes sending large numbers of “non-executable” orders to the exchanges – that is, orders to buy or sell stocks so far outside of their usual prices that they would be ignored. The purpose of such orders is not to actually communicate or make money, but to deliberately cloud the system, so that other, more valuable trades can be executed in the confusion. Many orders that were never intended to be executed were actually fulfilled, causing wild volatility.

    Flash crashes are now a recognised feature of augmented markets, but are still poorly understood. In October 2016, algorithms reacted to negative news headlines about Brexit negotiations by sending the pound down 6% against the dollar in under two minutes, before recovering almost immediately. Knowing which particular headline, or which particular algorithm, caused the crash is next to impossible. When one haywire algorithm started placing and cancelling orders that ate up 4% of all traffic in US stocks in October 2012, one commentator was moved to comment wryly that “the motive of the algorithm is still unclear”.

    At 1.07pm on 23 April 2013 Associated Press sent a tweet to its 2 million followers: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” The message was the result of a hack later claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group affiliated to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. AP and other journalists quickly flooded the site with alerts that the message was false. The algorithms following breaking news stories had no such discernment, however. At 1.08pm, the Dow Jones went into a nosedive. Before most human viewers had even seen the tweet, the index had fallen 150 points in under two minutes, and bounced back to its earlier value. In that time, it erased $136bn in equity market value.


    Or perhaps the flash crash in reality looks exactly like everything we are experiencing right now: rising economic inequality, the breakdown of the nation-state and the militarisation of borders, totalising global surveillance and the curtailment of individual freedoms, the triumph of transnational corporations and neurocognitive capitalism, the rise of far-right groups and nativist ideologies, and the degradation of the natural environment. None of these are the direct result of novel technologies, but all of them are the product of a general inability to perceive the wider, networked effects of individual and corporate actions accelerated by opaque, technologically augmented complexity.
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      CommentAuthoralsetalokin
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2018 edited
     
    WTF is "neurocognitive capitalism" ?? Some kind of degenerative brain disease?
  1.  
    It means you don't get any.
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    For that I need a buzzphraze?
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2018
     
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    I've been scooped. However the effect of this news item, the contemplation of the phenomenon of the Trump voter, and unknown barely-awake neuronal states, leads me to hazard that democracy is on the way out.
  5.  
    Was it ever really in?
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      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2018
     
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2018
     
    When someone says "Coachella", I think of grapefruit, not nuts.
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    A meta-wank.
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    Nonlinear ICA using temporal structure: a principled framework for unsupervised deep learning
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASk07e9SFs0

    New results and breakthrough of a sort, especially for those interested in deconstructing neural nets' behaviour.
    For those interested in refining their Swedish Chef impressions, this also presents a rich vein of material.
  8.  
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2018
     
    Posted By: AsterixThe original impetus for developing nuclear weapons was mostly desperation--and in the over 70 years of existence, nukes have been used only once.

    70 years is nothing. They will get used again, then question is when and to what extent.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2018
     
    I'm not disagreeing with you on that one--thus far, we've dodged a bullet (so to speak) with the prospect of "tactical nukes". But desperation will out eventually.

    On the other hand, carpet-bombing with incendiary devices, with death tolls and destruction approaching that of the devices used on the Japanese has been regularly employed since WWII.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2018
     
    Posted By: Andrew Palfreyman“Educating doctors is going to take too long.”

    That's a headline I never expected to see.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-healthcare-tech/ai-ambulances-and-robot-doctors-china-seeks-digital-salve-to-ease-hospital-strain-idUSKBN1JO1VB


    Can't wait until Nurse practitioners backed by AI take over from GP's.