* Posts by Mike Shepherd

406 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

"Not guilty...That does not mean, nor can it mean, the person is blameless in everything they have done in life".

You are quite correct. So maybe we should hang you, just in case? It won't disturb our sleep. After all, you've as good as admitted that you're "guilty of something".

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Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

1957: Russia is planning to launch an artificial satellite

Nice idea in theory, but there's good reasons nobody else has succeeded.

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Russia tells Google to cough up some loose change in Android monopoly probe

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Freudian Slip?

The original says "наших потребителях", which could be translated as "our consumers" or "our users". Don't place too much faith in machine translation.

The original also refers to "...продукция...поставляется на территорию Российской Федерации...", which is something like "products imported to the Russian Federation", but this has been translated as "products...supplied to the Russian Federation", which could be understood as "supplied to the Russian government", a notion which is not in the original.

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Intel's latest diversity report shows numbers at a standstill

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

???

Who are these people talking about GPA and what is it anyway?

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Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Equality for all !

Surely people with below-average intelligence represent about half the population. Is Intel doing enough to recruit them, too?

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Watch hot 'stars' shower ... again. It's Perseid meteor showtime

Mike Shepherd
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IT Angle

Confused

If the first illustration represents a meteor shower, where is the radiant?

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Hot iron: Knights Landing hits 100 gigaflops in plasma physics benchmark

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Plasma simulation

So, finally, free electricity from fusion really is "just around the corner"? Hello, hello? Operator...?

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Quip away, but Microsoft Excel 365's REST APIs win the day

Mike Shepherd
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Huh?

Huh?

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Private moonshot gets the green light from US authorities

Mike Shepherd
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Happy

Re: "the Moon is a potential future source of rare earths"

Interesting that Arthur C Clarke wrote about the possible hazards of moon dust in 1961.

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Ofgem sets up database so energy companies can spam Brits

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Younger consumers may not remember...

...that there was a time when we didn't have to do this.

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The dev-astating truth: What's left to develop? Send in the machines

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: "According to some observers, there's still some way to go"

I'm not missing the scale of the problem we're trying to solve. I'm pointing out that the problem arises from a poor approach to quality control. I don't want to change important subsystems in my computer every day either: it's the suppliers who want to do that.

You say that "We implement software systems precisely so they can be changed". This is like saying "My house is built of bricks, so it can survive a tough environment", then firing mortars at it to get your money's worth.

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Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"According to some observers, there's still some way to go"

If cars were like computers, we'd still have to "get out and get under" almost every day. We'd spend half our evenings applying the latest compulsory updates and fixes, but still wonder what difference they made.

The notion that the computer industry is approaching maturity is about as comical as it gets. Maybe it's at the stage of the automobile sometime in the 1930s. There simply isn't a comparable approach to quality (achieving a product that works and doesn't need tinkering throughout its life).

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Hello, Barclays? Why hello, John Smith. We meet again

Mike Shepherd
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Happy

Cheered up my day

"Each person's voice is as unique as their fingerprint...Therefore, when a customer calls up...the technology will be able to identify them...".

"Barclays voice recognition technology...has been "fully tested".

You couldn't make this stuff up. Do you think they really believe it?

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Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Submarines

Submarines, properly managed, are basically undetectable (unless you're very close or very lucky).

The only defence is "You don't know where mine are, either".

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Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: "taskings"?

It hides the embarrassment some feel when using clear and simple language. Hence, "function" becomes "functionality" (and perhaps eventually "functionalityismness").

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Church organist nabbed for playing glory hole in excelsis

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: IT Angle?

Maybe the moral is to understand your market before making the sales pitch.

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Brit chip bods ARM quietly piling up cash. Softbank will be happy

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"at least doubles the employee headcount in the UK over the next five years"

It's all so easy on a spreadsheet: just type *2. This ripples through to double the productivity, double the profits, double everything...until you realise you lost contact with reality somewhere along the way.

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By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

But

But quantum computers will select from the superposition of all possibilities, thereby solving all problems simultaneously, leading us to the broad, sunlit uplands, vistas of contentment and world peace. There should be a world market for, oh, maybe five such computers.

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Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Forgive me

Forgive me for asking a naïve question, but what will all these computers be computing (other than how soon they'll run out of electricity so we don't have to do it)?

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Glassdoor spaffs users' email addresses in bcc fail

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"We are incredibly sorry for our error"

No, I don't believe it, either.

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Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"The idea that we should be content with mediocre services is a very British point of view"

No, it's a very Post Office point of view. It's the view which, 35 years on, still reigns at BT.

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Mobile broadband now cheaper than wired, for 95 per cent of humanity

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

...58 per cent...aren't able to watch cat videos...

Never speak disrespectfully of cat videos, Algernon. Their demands and enthusiasm make things cheaper for the rest of us.

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US standards lab says SMS is no good for authentication

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"SMS is no good for authentication"

...just as HMRC starts to use it for self-assessment returns etc.

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

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: So, apparently a competent person leaves

Sunt lacrimae rerum.

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

Mike Shepherd
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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?

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

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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Mike Shepherd
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Happy

DaaS LOL

Just sprayed my monitor with tea.

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

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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Mike Shepherd
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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.

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Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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IaaS revenue to triple by 2020, to $43.6bn

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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Google broke its own cloud again

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"But on this occasion..."

Says it all really.

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

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Not a bug...

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

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

Mike Shepherd
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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".

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

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

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

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

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

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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Osborne on Leave limbo: Travel and trade stay unchanged

Mike Shepherd
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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?

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

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Big government is watching you

"Fine with a benevolent government" ???

Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là

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Late night smartphone use makes women go blind

Mike Shepherd
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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".

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding pockets £2.8m

Mike Shepherd
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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".

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

Mike Shepherd
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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".

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

Mike Shepherd
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Abort, retr.......????

Oh, chuck it in the sea.

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Chrome's PDF reader has arbitrary code execution flaw

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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

Mike Shepherd
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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".

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Scots denied Saltire emoji

Mike Shepherd
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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.

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