* Posts by Mike Shepherd

455 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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IoT upstart Sigfox gulps down €150m funding but falls short of target

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"...more than 10 million objects...26 countries..."

Unfortunately, really useful figures (like the estimated annual profit per connected device) are not mentioned. Even with 50 million connections, you'd have to clear $1 a year from each device, to get back just the latest $200m over four years.

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Fintech startup Revolut pulls out of several countries, promises swift return

Mike Shepherd
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Tomorrow, the world!

The internet seems to encourage those who think they can easily take over the world. As Clive James put it, "...it’s seldom wise to say that you’re going to set new standards of know-how and then prove that you haven’t got a clue".

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Mike Shepherd
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Who's the thick one?

If "Kevin" weren't so thick, he'd know that "power button" is only the jargon of his clique, so would use different terms to be understood. Real experts can communicate with those who are not. The rest will live out their lives as support technicians, swapping stories about "stupid" users.

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'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Every time

Every time a trendy green makes a crackpot suggestion (like powering a lift from the energy of users pressing the buttons or driving trains by having passengers pace the carriages), they should be invited to spend an hour cycling to generate the 100W needed for a few "energy-saving" light bulbs. 5 minutes' pedalling is probably enough for basic education; after an hour, they'll happily vote to re-open the coal mines.

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UK Ministry of Defence splurges £280,000 on online 'good ideas' form

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

£280,000

Jeez, I would have done it for only £270,000.

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What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

On second thoughts, could you hurry that along, Mrs May?

"...EU General Data Protection Regulation...Tesco...could be fined nearly £2bn"

Tesco were neutral on BrExit.

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Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Mike Shepherd
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"Strap yourself in, world. This could be a bumpy ride".

Maybe. But (as has often been pointed out) the President proproses, Congress disposes.

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Mike Shepherd
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Re: Bloat

I agree that bloat (protocols and software) is a problem, but it's useful to ask why is the wheel so often re-invented?

Hardly anyone insists on writing their own strtok(), printf() etc. They know that the standard libraries are reliable. As for other software, it's typically ill-considered, confusing or badly-documented, so the right course often is to re-invent it. The result may be no better, but it's something you can understand and maintain.

Writing good library code is hard, as is designing a protocol to suit many purposes.

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World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

" "We were also very, very lucky. Timing absolutely was everything for us"

Why would the hospital publish this admission? It appears very useful to someone trying again.

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Barracuda: Outage caused by 'large number of inbound connections'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"refuses to say the word DDoS"

It's an ill-considered word. I refuse to use it, too.

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Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

On the plus side...

On the plus side, young British people have time to adapt, study overseas, move there and abandon this ship.

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Laser surgery ignites internal methane, burns patient down there

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Cue sub-Lieutenant Phillips...

I suspect that the number of readers who understand that is fast declining.

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"let's see who is telling the truth"

Why not check your printed electricity bill? It shows meter readings and how charges are calculated. As for 20% errors, you're dreaming. Domestic meters are typically "class 2" (maximum 2% error throughout the certified life). Have some bedtime reading :

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/gas-and-electricity-meter-regulations

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Sound-mufflers chuck acoustic sleep blanket at the noise-plagued

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

You'd think...

...that in an explanatory video, they'd make some attempt at a demonstration. Instead, all we hear is inane, jangling "music".

Maybe the idea is to show how unpleasant noise can be if you don't buy their product?

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Coming to an SSL library near you? AI learns how to craft crude crypto all by itself

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Trust the machines

Computer Alice : just swap A with B, C with D...Y with Z.

Computer Bob : Agreed : they never check what algorithm we've used anyway

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Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Cul = guele ?

I thought it was a rendering of "gueule de sac".

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'Hacker' accused of idiotic plan to defraud bank out of $1.5 million

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"They threaten to undermine our confidence in the internet and in the cyber world..."

But surely they're outdone in that by big companies who don't take basic security precautions?

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Judge allows Apple's faceless Irish head to settle for €45k - report

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Maybe

Maybe Italy with be the new Luxembourg.

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Fujitsu seeks PC exit, finds willing buyer in Lenovo

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

All your UEFI spy machine...

...are belong to us.

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First World Problems: John Lewis clients forced to re-register after website 'upgrade'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: BBC just did the same to me

As with other sites that tell me to set up another account, I found it a convenient point at which to say "time to drop them altogether". Bye bye BEEB.

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Vodafone rapped with RECORD £4.6m fine for failing customers

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"We are completely focused on serving our customers..."

Get some stock phrases off the shelf, Tracy, and email them to Ofcom.

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Hack us and you're basically attacking America, says UK defence sec

Mike Shepherd
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"...sending their...Aircraft Carrier...down the English Channel in a show of force"

A show of force? How would you like them to send it where it's going? Overland, perhaps?

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Openreach split could damage broadband investment, says BT's chief exec

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"Openreach split could damage broadband investment, says BT's chief exec"

MRDA, surely.

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Drone idiots are still endangering real aircraft and breaking the rules

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Any real evidence?

I can't recognise anything on a station platform when my train passes at 50mph, but pilots can see all this detail on something they pass at ten times that speed?

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You've been hacked. What are you liable for?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

HR and sales departments

"HR and sales departments are the most often hacked because they are the least computer security aware"

From my experience, the words "computer security" could be omitted here.

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Google DeepMind 'learns' the London Underground map to find best route

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

I don't know how I managed without it

Makes you wonder how man and the rest of Earth's fauna got from one place to another for 4,000,000,000 years without Google.

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New GCHQ unit: Psst, breached biz bods. We won't rat you out to the ICO

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"a friendly government organisation"

This does not compute.

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'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

Cue Lady Bracknell.

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Can you make a swarm of 20+ flying military robots? UK.gov wants you

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Trying it on

So, three hundred years ago, the government offered £20,000 (worth about £3m now) for an accurate clock that would work on a ship, but now they're offering "up to £80k" for this?

Given the struggle that John Harrison had to prise his reward from the government's reluctant fingers, would anyone waste their time with this latest proposal?

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My moment face-to-face with Google's AI: It feels your pain, sometimes

Mike Shepherd
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"Transporter Room"

"Thank you"

"Up your shaft"

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark"

All we need now is a plague of frogs.

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Patch AGAIN: OpenSSL security fixes now need their own security fixes

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Burn it to the ground and start over

"The code has aged far too badly"

Everything ends up a hack. Poor code starts off as a hack. Good code attracts so much demand for new features that it ends up a hack.

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US Labor Dept accuses CIA-backed Palantir of discriminating against Asian engineers

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Maybe they just weren't very good?

Although it's not clear from the article, they may have poor English (revealed in telephone conversation). This could be a justifiable basis for rejection.

Some poor English speakers are "fluent" i.e. speaking at high speed but with weird grammar and pronunciation, which makes them difficult to understand. Many people (native speakers and others) seem unable to moderate their accustomed speech to make it clear to a wide audience.

Unless the candidate is a genius in their field, I know from experience that I'd rather work with a native speaker than be distracted by the need constantly to translate what they say.

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Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Is there a story here?

"You can't rely on humans to obey the rules 100% of the time..."

All will be well when you transfer every vehicle to our control, earthling humanoid.

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My God, I've got nothing on! Microsoft's $200m Wunderlist is down

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: That migration to SQL Server's working really well then...

I don't know why, but in the country where this expression originated, there is presumably some appeal in the notion of eating dog food. It doesn't export well.

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Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

If you needed proof...

This man is proof that all the money in the world can't fix ugly.

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Jakarta be kidding me! Google gets $400m tax bill from Indonesia

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

You bet

"Google Indonesia has been incorporated as a local company in Indonesia since 2011. We have been and will continue to cooperate with the government..."

You bet. Governments have guns.

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Google: There are three certainties in life – death, taxes and IPv6

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: IPv6 is great...

At least, when Google knows where every client machine is, it should have no difficulty paying VAT and Corporation Tax to the right country.

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Google tries to lure .NET devs with PowerShell cloud bait

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Google drops

I was disappointed that Microsoft's BASIC interpreter (for MS-DOS 1, no support for subdirectories!) finally stopped working when I moved to 64-bit Windows 7, but that was probably an extreme case.

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Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Google drops

We are like rats to these Pied Pipers (Google and the rest).

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Great British Block-Off: GCHQ floats plan to share its DNS filters

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Fix

"This will allow the public to be protected from malware or state-sponsored attacks..."

Add: "and anything the Ministry of Informaiton would prefer you not to read".

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You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Smart Meter Mis-selling

The peak will never shift, because not "everyone" will start "doing their laundry at 2am". Most of us will still do our laundry when the machine gets full of dirty clothes or when we realise there's something in there that we need this afternoon.

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Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

Mike Shepherd
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Unsupported browser

As volunteer for our local history society, I host and maintain their ASP.NET web site. Our aim is to publish on-line as many of our exhibits as possible, but the site has no membership system, nor does it process payments.

I've run an SSL site (when this wasn't as straightforward as now), but I don't plan to burden the society (or myself) with obtaining and maintaining a site certificate while we transfer no secret information.

It will be easy, however, to identify requests from Chrome and to include in our response a warning banner that the browser is unsupported (since it may show spurious security warnings) with links to alternatives.

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Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Poor old Apple

"Poor old Apple, no what which way it turns, some government is starting to take away its hard-earned cash".

Now they know how employees feel. Except that in the UK we pay much more, because National Insurance contributions allow high tax on employees' pay and a more modest rate on "investors" (who can move their money elsewhere).

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Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"...destroying a $200m Facebook satellite"

Every cloud has a silver lining.

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Pass me the Kleenex

"...the EU was seeking to expand its powers over national governments...a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states... Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable".

Oh, worthy man, who sets aside all self-interest to defend the downtrodden countries of the EU!

Well, maybe not all self-interest.

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Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Show us the video evidence

At 500 knots, I think even an experienced pilot would struggle to distinguish a drone from an errant Tesco carrier bag, unless the drone were flying in much the same direction at much the same speed (which seems unlikely).

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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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