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October 2021

October. The tenth month in the year, although the name looks like it is something to do with the number eight. Rather than every fortnight, The Thirsty Robot is now going to publish the summary every month, although this one is very late! So, here's some of what you may have missed in October's online meetings at The Thirsty Robot: Technology Photo by  Michael Dziedzic  on  Unsplash Data Breaches (or Leaks) At the start of October, the not-very-surprising news was that another InterWeb giant had lost some user data. You will excuse us if we aren't astonished by this news. This time it was Twitch, and once again, it barely made any headlines anywhere. It seems that nowadays the theft of personal information by organised crime is just regarded as inevitable and therefore should be acceptable and expected, and so we shouldn't get upset about it. Instead it seems that we should all just let the bad guys do it.
Recent posts

Thursday 23rd September 2021

 Here's some of what you missed at The Thirsty Robot: Technical Musings  - CBIR Content-Based Image Retrieval is not a new idea. Various researchers over the years have looked at the concept of using the images themselves as a way of finding images in an image database, and there's also the 'Law' that says that: 'Every 'New' technology is an Old technology that someone new has just (re-)discovered. Interestingly, Wikipedia puts the 'first seen' data for CBIR in 1993, which presumably means that the CAM (Content Addressable Memory) systems that at least one of the attendees saw back in the 1970s never existed. This may be a manifestation of the 'Nothing existed before the Internet' phenomenon, which limits available sources to those online sources using HTML.  The Internet has always existed! Everything is online! Life before the Internet The Internet in 1991... Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash But since things keep getting re-invented, and

Thursday 9th September 2021

 Here's some of what you missed at The Thirsty Robot: Technical Musings  - Prisoner's Dilemma How do people behave in a situation when they gain by co-operating, but gain more by not co-operating? This is the basic scenario of a mind game that is known as the 'Prisoner's Dilemma' where individual betrayal is rewarded higher than mutual co-operation. If you thought that altruism would win over selfish self-interest, then unfortunately, it seems that you would be wrong most of the time. There are many sources of this, and other similar 'Social Psychology' / Philosophical /  'mind games (thought experiments...) that reveal how people behave - but usually not why!' activities on the InterWeb. it is also used in MANY TV game shows... Prisoner's Dilemma Splitting money equitably? For a VERY deep rabbit hole - try this:  Dilemma or Dilemna?   Or this...    Or...   What seems to be happening is that a lot of people are convinced they were taught that 

Thursday 26th August 2021

 Here's some of what you missed at The Thirsty Robot: Technical Musings Technology Topic - Robust mobile phones Photo by  Ashkan Forouzani  on  Unsplash The world is a dangerous and challenging place for technology. Not only do batteries run out of power, but places to recharge them are not always easy to find (or afford!). Gravity has a nasty habit of taking technological devices and smashing them into zillions of little pieces - or worse, just wrecking one essential component so that the usefulness (or the pose value) is forever tainted (screens on mobile phones, for example.) Water and other liquids used to be a major problem for portable electronics, with caffeinated fizzy drinks, coffee, and anything else bad being seemingly inexorably attracted to keyboards regardless of the presence of gravity or not.  Advances in sealing phones now give us the dubious luxury of phones which can survive momentary immersion in water, or contact with water, but unlike the adverts, the caveats