* Posts by Charlie Clark

4584 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: And the next chapter.....

There was a warrant in this case

But the warrant was not served by an Irish court.

4
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: And the next chapter.....

Yes, it does matter.

First of all, it's unlikely to be overturned by SCOTUS, because it a 4-4 decision would mean the appeals court's decision stands. Secondly, it might seem like a tiny thing to you or me, but spooks hate having to apply for warrants. Not because it takes time, but because it creates a paper trail. The EU has always offered the US fast track, rubber stamp warrants but the US has repeatedly declined preferring to exercise extraterritoriality.

6
1

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I wait with interest...

Block SSL HELLO messages than use unknown keys.

Well done, as if there is no way around that: Skype worked out how to do it over a decade ago. Switch ports, switch protocols, change the message form HELLO to EHLLO.

If governments carry on with this nonsense all they'll be doing is effectively sponsoring invisible encryption with everything wrapped in dummy packets to look innocuous.

2
0

Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Ideological Numpty

While I don't agree with him on most issues, I can at least listen to him. Which is more than be said about the rest of the cabinet: Liam Fox, FFS.

6
0

Congrats, Linux users – you're finally officially alpha males... on Skype

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: aww bless

That might be true but remember that everything you say on Hangouts will be recorded by Google and fed into its AI.

The same is true for Microsoft's Skype which is why they can offer real time translations and stuff. I stopped using Skype after dropped the old logins.

I don't use Hangouts much have found it's video and audio to be very impressive. The ad stuff / AI stuff is going into the new "Allo" chat client which, while scary, looks like a good way to make use of the Google Now stuff. Not that I'll be using it.

For messaging and calls I use Signal and Wire and TeamViewer for screensharing.

4
0

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: It's not the phones

Are they?

Yes, because they compete with each other. Silicon Valley prefers monopolies or at least cartels otherwise the valuations don't make sense.

Your other criticisms are not without merit. But this isn't about the complexity of the technology but of the value proposition to the user. The Chinese companies really are streets ahead there.

As for data protection: well, it's China isn't it? The state always has access to all your data.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

It's not the phones

The article should actually be focussing on how sophisticated Alibaba, WeChat, TenCent, et al. are.

They are incredibly competitive and innovative and will probably eat most of Silicon Valley for lunch. So don't blame the users, blame the VCs for favouring the network effect over utility and value.

4
0

Next month's Firefox 48 is looking Rusty – and that's a very good thing

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Won't see it here

You might as well get used to it: your add-ons are going to be broken sooner or later as Firefox switches to the Chrome-style extensions.

Any fork is going to have its work cut out for it to keep up with security patches.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Just a question

Define "unsafe"? It's sort of difficult to do this without coming up with some kind of language specification which a compiler then implements. While it might be able to use the compiler for C, it looks like they have taken the opportunity to change the syntax and semantics as well, which like much of the Mozilla stuff, is heavily influenced by Python. Presumably the idea behind this is to encourage a particular programming style which reduces the number of errors that the compiler has to pick up.

The Rust docs contain further information: https://doc.rust-lang.org/book/bibliography.html

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: How fast can you rewrite?

I'm not really sure if your comment has a point or is just a rant.

Yes, Firefox has had some horrible bugs around for ages. Yes, pretty much the whole development team has been replaced at least twice in this time. Yes, they've had lots of pet projects, UI fuckery and focus shifts. As have all the other browser makers. And your point is?

Rust is one of the more interesting projects to come out of Firefox and it will be interesting to see whether in the hostile environment of the internet it can fulfil its promise.

12
0

Hands On with Project Centennial: A better app installer for Windows

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Facepalm

Windows 10 Anniversary

Is that seriously going to be an official name? Says a lot about the project…

So, Microsoft is introducing a form of APK to Windows? Anything that reduces registry and DLL madness is to be welcomed. But I wouldn't hold out much hope that this will make the "Windows Store" any more relevant, especially as this stuff won't be backported to Windows 7.

2
0

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The more it changes, the more it will stay the same

Not necessarily. Lower courts mights decide that any new agreement does not meed the requirements of the ECJ's decision and strike them down pending appeal. The ECJ was fairly clear in the points it raised and it's difficult to see them being resolved without legislative changes in the US.

At some point businesses might just decide that having keeping EU data in the EU is the easiest and cheapest thing to do. At which point the legal challenges will come from the US government wanting to snoop on EU citizens without the hassle of applying for even a fast track warrant: for the US spooks the paper trail seems to be the most annoying aspect.

It was also totally unnecessary and stupid to conduct the negotiations over this in camera. Didn't Eric Schmidt say something like: "why worry if you've got nothing to hide?". Use in camera for the warrant applications.

6
0

Google slammed over its 'free' school service

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Confusing

The key issue will be whether they really are working with "personally identifiable information". This isn't clear from the article.

If they are aggregating the data and creating profiles for "pupils in Sweden" or elsewhere then they may well be in the clear. This is valuable data in itself but different in nature to profiles of individual users. It's like the metadata they get from all our more or less anonymous searches but on steroids: "projects on Harry Potter in Sweden are popular" could be of considerable value to the publishers.

The other part of the business model is simply getting people hooked on using their services so that they will find it easier to keep using them or pay for premium services. But this is no different to traditional "educational discount" policies.

0
0

A bad day for DBAs: MIT boffins are replacing you with a mere spreadsheet

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Actually in many cases

Even such single query data sets can benefit from being in a database, providing you set it up correctly which would presumably require a degree of normalisation.

For your single use, keeping things in a flat file might suffice. Though your "simply sort" notion might not always be that simple in practice. Performance is also directly related to the sort order.

I regularly import large data sets into a db and have to take the necessary measures to do this fast enough (drop and recreate indices). But seeing as I'm running random queries, using a db is the only sane way to do this.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

What's a DBA?

I've always considered a DBA to be the person who helps the domain expert setup and tune the DB to their needs. I don't see this tool replacing them at all.

12
0

Bad blood: US govt bans bio-test biz Theranos' CEO for two years

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Considering her ownership stake

I don't really see the comparison between Holmes and Gibson.

And, apart from her being a woman, I don't really see much difference between Holmes and half of the Valley wonderkids, to whom all appearance does matter, even if the degree and form differs.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Live to fight another day

The story tells us as much about the ethos of Silicon Valley VCs as much as anything else. They tend to regard any form of regulation as bad for business: whether it's of workers rights (Amazon, Uber), radio waves or the provision of health services. People like Peter Thiel might happily applaud unreliable but cheap medical diagnostic services.

While Miss Holmes is going to be castigated for this I'm she'll move onto other things. She's obviously clever, determined, charismatic (being pretty is part of this) and not too scrupulous. Sounds like excellent CEO material, though probably not in the health services. At least not for a while.

And it sounds like the idea might even have legs, though it will probably need some proper money and researchers to get there. Makes a change from things like Groupon, Soylent Green, etc.

2
1

Samsung deals out microSD-crushing faster fingernail flash cards

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Who's adopting it then?

Phones outsell cameras by several orders of magnitude. I guess we can assume the next Samsung phones will support the form and who knows there might even be slots that can do both.

Video will drive the demand.

3
0

In mourning for Nano, chap crafts 1k-loc text editor

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: "did not want to assign *copyright* to the FSF for his contributions"

The copyright assignment is indeed one of the most pernicious parts of the GNU.

1
1

Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Massive leap

And in order to have enough people to work the fields: how about a "Cultural Revolution"? That'll the smirks off those layabout intellectuals in Cambridge.

Mine's the one with the Little Red Book in the pocket, ta.

3
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: She scares me

As a voter I would like to have seen Ken Clarke up against Tony Blair as leader of opposition.

Indeed, he was one of the few Tories in Parliament to oppose the Iraq war, especially highlighting how Parliament had effectively been circumvented: "this House is being asked to vote on something, which has been decided elsewhere". Ted Heath did the same thing when Maggie was doing the same thing: Tory landowners still only see Parliament as at best a useful tool.

Funny how you don't see alleged guardians of parliamentary democracy like Rees-Mogg decrying the recent referendum as a farce.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: What a choice

Minoroty.... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means

You know what? You're absolutely right I have absolutely no idea what a minoroty is. I don't think it's what you think it means either.

8
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: She scares me

Maybe you're too young to remember his turn at the Treasury - back when things were going well for the economy.

I think he did a reasonable job after the mess that that the clowns Lawson and Lamont had left behind. He was incredibly quiet for the first six months, gave the BoE independence and was cautiously in favour of the single currency. The latter, whether you agree with it or not, was after considerable time in the job and not a crowd-pleaser.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: She scares me

Ken? Too nice?

Surely, you jest. Of Ken Clarke it was once said that he'd cross a street to join in a fight. Maggie reportedly enjoyed fights with him over agreement from the more supine members of her cabinet.

He ran twice and lost twice because the Conservative Party members are infamously out of touch with the electorate: average age is well over 60, income is well over average, etc. It's not a coincidence that the people he lost to subsequently went on to lose elections heavily.

Had he been elected leader he would no doubt have done the same kind of purging that John Smith did of the Labour Party and presumably what their next leader will have to do with Corbyn's Militant 2015 coterie.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Not calling general elections when the leader changes is established tradition and contributes to stability. Even if most leaders thus elected often lose the next election.

The real problem for the next PM is going to be getting a majority in parliament to do anything. In theory the government has a slender but working majority but this hasn't been borne out by the first twelve months of this parliament and doesn't look likely to get better. A new election, whether they want it (Leadsom might fancy a Tory / UKIP coalition) or not, is very likely.

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: What a choice

Sure, we all know that the next PM (and probably the one after) is a dead man walking

I'm currently torn between this kind of analysis (Bojo will be back when the waters are safe again though there might not be much of a country left by then) and putting it all down to being run by a clique of public school boys and oxbridge knobs.

Mrs Leadsom wants to bring back fox-hunting. Is she IDS' estranged sister? In any case the blue rinse brigade are going to love this.

Jolly hockey sticks!

9
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The obvious problem with this

Don't get sucked into a discussion of the details.

The only real thing that the UK can do is exert control over websites with .uk domains. As soon as this becomes onerous all content will move elsewhere and even this illusion of control would be lost.

But hang on: Britain could decide to leave the internet, couldn't it? That would keep all that nasty stuff out.

In reality, this is all just an excuse to allow mass surveillance to be setup.

7
1

Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Intel does not make "cheap"

They're not

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

The only performance advantage with 64 bit software is that the SSE part of Intel processors give you more floating point registers in a 64 bit process than a 32 bit process running on the same chip gets

That, along with the claim that 64-bit chips need more memory, would be true if the width of the architecture was the only thing that mattered. It isn't. I've seen some stuff from ARM where they claim that memory use is lower on 64-bit because the code is more efficient: what the hardware can do and what the compiler does are at least as important.

Microsoft has done a miserable job x86 to x86-64. I don't know about Windows 10 but for Windows 7 you have to have x86-64 version of the OS to be able to run x86-64 programs; x86 programs are stored in another part of the OS. Had they been less obsessed with market segmentation this distinction would have been removed years ago and legacy stuff would just run in the emulators that NT copied from OS/2.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: think about tablets

Looking on Amazon I can see Intel Atom-based tablets for under £60.

EOL items gathering dust somewhere since Intel decided to get out of the market. Intel doesn't do cheap.

3
0

Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Something's missing

"where did all that blood come from?"

Mine's the one with the well-thumbed copy of "Amateur Pharmacology" in the pocket.

1
0

Oracle says it is 'committed' to Java EE 8 – amid claims it quietly axed future development

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Die Java Die

Not even Tiobe makes that claim. They say The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. It's certainly an interesting project but seeing Assembler back in the Top 10 gives grounds for some scepsis.

4
3

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: German hairdressers

I know very few hairdressers that are GmbHs. They're infamously low-payers though.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Hypothetically

Not really possible.

RedHat, Ubuntu and others do have remote employees throughout Europe but employment law is employment law.

The article tackles this straight on: in Europe people are not driven solely by the prospects of a huge payout to join a company; they're also far less likely to move vast distances for work. This means that the employment market is "stickier" than Silicon Valley. Yes, it means it's less attractive for VCs but it also means you won't be wondering where your star developers have just gone to.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that European startups are often founded by migrants with access to capital or supply chain through the diaspora. The ventures differ from the typical US one in scale but they are just as innovative in their own way.

4
0

Mozilla emits nightly builds of heir-to-Firefox browser engine Servo

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Headmaster

Minor quibble

Just use "MacOS" when referring to Apple's desktop OS. The article tries to go with Apple's trademark of "macOS" and reverts back to OS X in the next paragraph.

Just keep it simple because: "obvious always works".

1
3

Are you an Olympian of software, a titan of tech? Prove it in our coding competition

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Yeah, stop oppressing us with your heteromediocrity!

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Am I missing something?

Isn't this just a database projection?

1
0

We have hit peak Silicon Valley: New crazy goal to disrupt entire cities

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Solutionism isn't the solution

The world is replete with studies of town planning: where it went wrong and where it went less wrong. But municipalities are at odds with the Libertarian VCs, like Peter Thiel, who think that municipalities have failed because they run on democratic and not commercial principles.

Still, whether it's unproven or not probably won't stop places signing up for these kind of experiments. After all, it worked for Le Corbusier.

3
0

Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

Re: exporting bloody awful sausages

@Vincent

Sometimes you have to try these things out. Imagine a British style sausage (like one of Jeff Capes' fingers) but made like a Chorizo with cranberries in it. Works well. Though not as good as the red onion and ginger ones I recently had in France: there really were the dogs bollocks! Well, hopefully not literally.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Brits--gift from America if you vote to remain.

Oh my god! Please, no! Anyway, strictly speaking Detroit belongs to Canadia.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Nige would go down a treat in Saxony or Thuringia. He'd feel right at home and could go on stage next to Bernd Höcker. They grunt racist bollocks in harmony*.

* Probably not, actually. Farage, while espousing similarly despicable shite, has at least some kind of rhetorical gift whereas as Höcker just sounds constipated.

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Dear Germany...

For the record: I'd never do that and bloody hate people doing it. Is this really a German specialty or just a cliche?

Fairs, fair matey: this really is something that a lot of Germans do. But I think that's partly because they like making reservations as it reduces the chance of being disappointed. They also go on exploratory trips to the airport a couple of days before they're du to fly.

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: exporting bloody awful sausages

The mostert had me puzzled until I read it phonetically

It's the traditional name for mustard in and around Düsseldorf where it was more or less introduced by the French, and Düsseldorfer Mostert is now one of those jealously guarded regional designations. ABB is lovely and aromatic and comes charming earthenware pots, but I'm also a great fan of the hot enough to take the top of your head off Löwensenf that was introduced by someone from Dijon. Apart from that most mustard in Germany is the usual bland, tasteless nonsense you get anywhere.

Anyway back to food: along with good British style sausages there's a huge potential market for good, strong English cheddar. The Dutch currently have the market sewn up with the perennially bland junge Gouda (you can also get Beemster and Oud Amsterdamer) and cheddar is usually from Kerrygold. I'm sure something like Cornish Crackler would be popular here with a Röggelchen (bread roll made with rye flour) and a glass of beer. Damn it! I've got my own mouth watering now!

5
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Dear Germany...

You mean something that's already in the article?

Whoosh!

4
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Back in '66

Too young for that but the 1990 semi-final was another classic. Complementary styles, 100% commitment and such a pity someone had to win (Germany, of course) in the end.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

Re: exporting bloody awful sausages

They are not the Wurst I have eaten

I prefer Krakauer and Mettwürste to the ubiquitous and extremely bland Bratwurst. In general, I prefer the British style of sausage, as long as they're from a real butchers, and was recently delighted to find my local butcher doing chorizo style sausages with cranberry. Luvverly, especially with a bit of Mostert (ABB is the best)!

But I will be testing the altbier and onion sausages soon enough!

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Wanted to look at the original article

You ain't missing much. Imagine the Sun but on quarto paper and with breasts on the front page.

Hell has special placed reserved for Bild and Sun editors. As with The Sun it's less offensive if you treat it as a comic. Apart from that, you can basically rinse and translate the racist bollocks from The Sun and you've got it. And like The Sun, it's mainly bought for a couple of minutes outrage at scandal of the day and the sports coverage.

10
0

77 per cent ignore company social media policies

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Holmes

Confirmation bias

Well, of course, a majority of those using the internet at work will say it is for work purposes. I think it's difficult to create a large-scale survey that wouldn't support that assertion.

For tech stuff IRC, mailing lists and relevant forums (include StackExchange) are useful resources. Do they count as social networks?

LinkedIn's groups tend to be full of reposts of external resources by people trying to improve their own profiles.

0
0

Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Cynical Observer E(USSR)

No, membership of NATO was what they were glad of

Know many people in the Baltic states do you? While it's true that NATO and the EU are entirely separate organisations (Finland and Sweden are both neutral), the principles underlying both are related: security for our main trading partners.

Hence, while it's mainly American boots on the ground, the Baltic states have also asked for German troops. Given the history, this is more than astonishing. They have also now all adopted the Euro as their currency, even though it means that they are lending money to Greeks who earn more.

Indeed, the economic pain of a US-led banking embargo is much more of a deterrent to Pootie's ambitions than the collective whining of the EU.

The US has very little trade with Russia so the embargo costs the US little. Some EU countries trade a lot with Russia. But then again, Russia was boycotting Polish produce even before invading the Crimea. In its own way, the US is as dependent on the soft power of the EU as the EU is upon the US military.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: 'little Englander's"... really??

Germany's car market is built to send 20% straight to us, as we love a German motor... You think there is any chance they will jeopardize that money?

Ah, the trade straw man argument: we have a trade deficit so everyone else has more to lose.

The Germans will be more than happy to continue to sell cars to the UK. But the terms of trade might make it a less attractive market: tariffs may be introduced or the UK might not be as rich, though we can expect the ruling British elite and the international denizens of Knightsbridge, etc. to continue to buy them in volume.

Anyway, where did Bojo pull that 20% from? Looks a lot like this article from July 2015 in the FT. Worth reading in detail because it was written before the hyperbole really got out of hand. The Germans expect difficulties but nothing they're not prepared for. But in 2011 cars to the UK only made up about 10% of German car exports. Looks to me like the Germans are rather good at finding new markets, ie. selling more cars to the UK when exports to Russia slumped.

2
1

Forums