* Posts by Mike Shepherd

382 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

Page:

Top IT bod Sally Howes leaves the UK's National Audit Office

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: So, apparently a competent person leaves

Sunt lacrimae rerum.

1
0

MPs tell BT: Lay more fibre or face split with Openreach

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"Fibre to the home"

"Fibre to the home" was a notion from the 1970s :

http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784

Over 35 (thirty-five) years later, how many homes have it?

3
0

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"Drivers are not your guinea pigs"

It may be uncomfortable to hear it, but it's worth killing a few hundred, maybe a few thousand people if it brings forward a few years the enormous economic advantage of self-driving vehicles. Of course, you may need to do your testing in countries where life is cheaper.

0
0
Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Happy

DaaS LOL

Just sprayed my monitor with tea.

0
0

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Once ARM becomes a Japanese company..

You don't need a comparison with the BBC Computer to evaluate ARM's designs. It's enough to examine them on their own merits. When you see the **** that other semiconductor manufacturers wrap round the ARM cores, they look even better.

3
0
Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Expect a few spin-offs

ARM is pure IP, not a bunch of factories, so it's 100% about the skill and enthusiasm of its employees.

So, expect a few spin-offs (outside SoftBank's control) when employees realise they're viewed as the livestock that came with the farm (now run from the other side of the planet) and the atmosphere changes.

11
0

Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"The machine veered..."

"The machine veered to the left to avoid the child, but the child ran backwards directly into...".

So, a stationary machine "veered" when it saw something approaching? We don't usually speak of "veering" when stationary. Or maybe the machine veered while moving? I'm not clear I'd know what to do if a moving automaton decided to change direction when I was moving with an intention to avoid it, so should we expect a child to know how to negotiate that?

As for running backwards, I don't recall that I was ever able to do that, yet it's invoked as an explanation here.

I assume that the company had an opportunity to lay out a clear explanation, but it seems to have failed.

0
8

IaaS revenue to triple by 2020, to $43.6bn

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

US$43.6 billion

When we don't know from one day to the next whether a country will be in the EU or not, a prediction four years ahead, to three significant figures, is about as fatuous as you can get.

0
0

Google broke its own cloud again

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"But on this occasion..."

Says it all really.

0
0

Unmasking malware in TLS connections? It can be done, say Cisco researchers

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

If...

If it's practicable to infer content from the pattern of data flow, that applies to the "legitimate" communication, too. So secure encryption requires that the flow be rendered less dependent on the content (by padding it with filler data, by adding random short delays between packets or whatever), spoiling this "antimalware" method at the same time.

2
0

Gigabyte BIOS blight fright: Your megabytes’ rewrite plight in the spotlight

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Not a bug...

energystar : Was it you wrote the manual for my TV?

23
0

Sterling's post-Brexit dollar woes are forcing up tech kit prices

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

I think they mean

...proudly been a part of the British economy and society for over a century, with a substantial presence. In times of uncertainty, IBM's core values, including the unwavering dedication to the success of all our clients, matter more than ever as a guide for our actions.

Well, if this management-speak means anything, I'd guess it means "If customers stop buying, we'll drop our prices".

5
0

EU Investment Bank will honour pre-Brexit deals – but don't gamble on new ones happening

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"...the two-year cycle of Article 50"

A cycle it isn't. This is no trial run.

5
0

Want $50bn from Uncle Sam? Put in a bid on these IT contracts

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Pre-solicitation phase

The Alliant team at GSA has worked diligently to engage with stakeholders on a transparent, collaborative and interactive process, including both federal agency and industry partner involvement during the pre-solicitation phase.

When you swallow a dictionary, I suppose it has to come out at one end or the other.

5
0

Osborne on Leave limbo: Travel and trade stay unchanged

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Growing Sense of bereavement..

"We have a once in a generation opportunity that we didn't have a week ago..."

Is this from the Boy Scout's Book of Management? If you have a problem, tell people it's a "challenge" or an "opportunity". Do you seriously think you're fooling anyone?

3
0

'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Now the precedent has been set ...

In the UK, a judgment in a small claims court may not be cited as a precedent. This may or may not be true in other jurisdictions.

10
0

Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Big government is watching you

"Fine with a benevolent government" ???

Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là

7
0

Late night smartphone use makes women go blind

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
IT Angle

"an understanding of retinal physiology...can avoid unnecessary anxiety..."

The same happens if you read a book. Doctors train for years to deal with serious problems, not these trivialities. Avoiding "unnecessary anxiety and costly investigations" doesn't need a caring session, just a smack on the face and instruction to "get real".

5
1

Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Sad excuse for the company it once was...

Last time I checked, my 4-digit customer number still worked, although that surprised the assistant.

Maplin shops were fun to browse. I'd usually emerge £20 or so poorer than I'd intended. But now the staff are instructed constantly to pester customers (typically with inane enquiries like "Are you alright there?"). So every visit is unpleasant and to be avoided. If tomorrow will do, I order from hassle-free Farnell.

13
0

Home-cooked tech helps China topple US as top supercomputer user

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Confusion

"It has been a long time since the United States did not have at least half the machines on the list..."

Probably "did not have" should be "had". There is no beauty in such complicated constructions. Here, the meaning is not just obscure, but reversed.

5
0

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding pockets £2.8m

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Honesty throughout

The cliché "You know when (s)he's lying because his/her lips are moving" isn't always an exaggeration: the deeper the hole, the greater the urge to keep digging, so why waste time on truly informatiive words?

Perhaps, in this case, "honesty" means "Customer data is secure...I mean not secure...I mean...".

Where are the figures to support " we know that they have appreciated our efforts"? Perhaps it's based on one customer who said "I'm glad you've stopped lying".

4
0

T-Mobile Czech ad man steals, sells, 1.5 million customer records

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: forgive me correcting your correction

When you start throwing the sics around, you'd best be very careful about the rest of your message, because people are liable to throw a few back. In this case, the author is either pushing his own preference or doesn't have the experience to know that some people use "data" as the plural of "datum", while others have adopted it as an ordinary English singular noun.

Some foreign-derived words should be labelled "Don't try this at home", to save us the pain of "this criteria", "in memorium", "ad nauseum" and the rest. Don't get me started on "graffito".

3
0

Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Abort, retr.......????

Oh, chuck it in the sea.

2
0

Chrome's PDF reader has arbitrary code execution flaw

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Unhappy

A tiny error

"The flaw looks like it is down to a tiny error by Chrome's developers..."

There are no "tiny errors" in today's computers. If you plan to get up on your hind legs and crow that you're taking over the world, you need to be careful with errors of any "size".

If this flaw is so insignificant, why is it worthy of an article about it, particularly one which appears determined to play it down?

I think it was Tony Hoare who wrote that "A programmer who uses assertions while testing and turns them off during production is like a sailor who wears a life vest while drilling on shore and takes it off at sea". Maybe Google could do with such basic notions of software quality.

2
0

Post-Safe Harbor: Adobe fined for shipping personal info to the US 'without any legal basis'

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

We'll get back to you

'...the European Data Protection Supervisor said it was "not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny" and refused to endorse it. And in April, Europe's data protection authorities said the new agreement was "not acceptable".'

Questioned on the UK position, the Home and Foreign Offices said "We'll ask the US what we think and get back to you".

3
0

Scots denied Saltire emoji

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Adventurous

"I am sure I speak for all Scottish users when I say..."

Quite an adventurous claim, for someone who didn't even win his referendum, let alone get 100% of the vote.

3
0

NASA 'naut to boldly enter pump-up space podule

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Mascot

Computer: May I remind you, Sgt. Pinback, it was your idea to bring the alien on board in the first place... If I may quote you, you said the ship needed a mascot.

26
0

Latin-quoting Linus Torvalds plays God by not abusing mortals

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Amo Linus

sed non Linum?

1
0

Cisco warns IPv6 ping-of-death vuln is everyone's problem

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

"malformed bytes"

Last time I checked, all 256 possible values were working on my system.

4
0

Helium... No. Do you think this is some kind of game? Toshiba intros 8TB desktop drive

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Longevity

"Helium would only escape if there some pressure differential between the inside of the drive and the atmosphere...".

Does diffusion depend on a pressure difference? Net diffusion of a given gas would depend on the difference in its *own* partial pressure (across the membrane), but would take place independently of any other gas present. (The whole notion of a gas is that its particles don't interact much with others).

7
0
Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Longevity

"Helium...smaller and monatomic...therefore..."

Nice theory, but I recall a TV school science programme where children actually did the experiment (diffusion time from a balloon) and found that carbon dioxide escapes much faster than hydrogen (perhaps because it could dissolve in the rubber of the balloon?) Real life is rarely as simple as GCSE physics.

2
0
Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: Longevity

I recall helium-filled fixed-head drives in the mid-1970s. These came with a small bottle of helium, used if you needed to open (then purge) the drive. I don't recall that we ever had to change the helium bottle.

1
0

Jfrog flicks out scanner to dive deep into containers

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Sorry

Sorry, I think I reached this page by mistake.

1
0

5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Why should

Why should my chauffeur need to converse with the butler?

5
0

Spied upon by GCHQ? You'll need proof before a court will hear you...

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

663 applications?

Security or not, the first rule of dealing with "public servants" is not to raise anything that looks like it may become a lot of work, thereby delaying tea breaks for months to come. Success comes from indicating an easy route, then beckoning gently from that direction.

1
0

Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: Was this what Unicode was for?

With hindsight, it was only a matter of time before Unicode became a target for the PC brigade (or Google, which seems to feel that the entire human world is at its disposal).

Unicode characters were intended to represent repeated features of real languages so you could write in those languages and about them, without resorting to graphics. (This includes the facility to write about "dead" languages like those used in Mayan script or in Egyptian hieroglyphics).

The Unicode Consortium rightly rejected the proposal of a code page for the Klingon language. Unicode is not a platform in which to express support for political movements, whether the associated images show women in "professional" jobs or at the kitchen sink.

5
4

Archaeologists find oldest ever ground-edge stone axe

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
IT Angle

Surprising?

While such discoveries are valuable and to be treasured in the difficult business of reconstructing our past, it doesn't seem surprising that we used complex tools only 50,000 years ago. Language is much older and we know that tools are often used by apes (and even some birds).

2
0

Don't split Openreach, says BT, and we'll splash BEELLIONS on broadband and 4G

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: Don't compound the earlier mistake

My (virtual) mobile provider uses EE. I've noticed this week that DNS failures (e.g. from typing in the wrong web site name) now lead to a BT page instead. I thought I'd paid for straight internet access, but no...I must live with BT's view of the internet, so anything beyond browsing the web may not work as I expect.

I left BT internet years ago when they decided that improved security meant they must block pings. (This screwed up our remote backup system). Will no-one rid us of this turbulent company?

6
0

Your mother has a smooth forehead, Klingon language lovers roar at Paramount

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Alert

meH!

an'koLKt !

0
0

Redback sinks fangs into Oz builder's todger

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
IT Angle

IT?

IT?

0
4

Google discovers you assume clouds just work

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: "surfacing" FFS

It's just the usual attempt to impress by avoiding straightforward language, like their reference to "incremental value" (which they hope is more imposing than just "value").

2
0

What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Suggestion

A requirement to give a full trace of "where did you get my name/address/email address/telephone number" might help.

2
0

Planning to throw capacity at an IT problem? Read this first

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"For decades"

"For decades, we've been trained to solve IT problems by throwing capacity at them".

50-60 years on, I think it's clear that the chief IT problem remains the difficulty of writing reliable software. After that, throwing capacity at it sounds good to me.

11
0

Cambridge Uni spins up green and beefy supercomputer project

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: "This...makes it possible to power a spintronic device using a supercomputer"

It all makes sense now. I wonder if I can upgrade my Zanussi.

0
0
Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"This...makes it possible to power a spintronic device using a supercomputer"

Wow, super!

Er....what does it mean?

6
0

Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

"...realise he left his iPhone at home"

Oh, the humanity!

2
0

Apple pulled 2,204lbs of gold out of old tech gear

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Love 'em or hate 'em...

"You don't make piles of cash by selling stuff that lasts or is easy & cheap to fix".

As in the film The Man in the White Suit, this notion is unconvincing. When products become more durable, they cost less per year of use, so we end up buying more of them.

3
2

Brit AI daddy Sir David MacKay dies

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Re: "This is a straight-talking book about the numbers"

How close to zero would you like these numbers before you agree that "in" and "out" are "almost exactly in balance"?

1
0

Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

"I found one in a mail loop between one or..."

Is there an English version of your post, split into sentences and making sense?

12
0
Mike Shepherd
Bronze badge

Get a life

The curtain-twitchers have moved on, but now they work in IT. If your biggest thrill is reading colleagues' salacious emails, you need to get out more.

2
7

Page:

Forums