* Posts by Tom 38

2723 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

Tom 38
Silver badge

Bad luck Estonia

Sang away Russia over 25 years ago, part of NATO for more than 10 years, has an advanced high income economy with high living standards and personal freedoms but still an evil commie pinko when deciding whether their mines are part of the "Western Hemisphere".

0
1

Prognosticator, for one, welcomes our new robot work colleagues

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Wrong paradigm

Simple, you enforce the working time directive.

Dear god. Your solution is to tell me that I cannot go out and earn money above what you have decided I am allowed to earn?

The most obvious example I can think of is doctors. We don't have enough doctors now, and we'd need to double the number of them we have to reduce their required hours by half.

Not just that, but because they are only working 8 hours a week rather than 80, it's taken 50 years instead of 5 to train each one of them.

Guess how many people are going to go off and learn all that doctoring stuff, when they get the same pay as everyone else for their 8 hours work.

Presumably, you've also worked out how to stop every other country in the world from out competing us, or from appropriating all of our vastly underutilised army of poorly paid doctors (qv Cuba).

0
2
Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Wrong paradigm

The problem is more that everyone is convinced that the only way to live is by working 9 hours a day, and employers and politicians are more than happy to perpetuate that myth because it's good for short term gains and no one care about the long term consequences. In a more sensible world the more automation there was the less work everyone would have to do

If work (and the reward for work) is spread evenly amongst the population and we all work 8 hours a week, then how do you solve the problem of an individual attempting to maximise their income by working longer?

1
0

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

Tom 38
Silver badge

Its all to do with risk

This announcement has nothing to do with what consumers want, even if they are coincidentally aligned. This is about avoiding the finger of blame in the eventual outcome that someone's unpatched operator branded OS has a huge security hole in it that they have ignored despite Google releasing patches.

By pushing their handsets to be stock android, and not making any operator modifications, anything that goes wrong they can simply say "Not me guv" and point at HTC.

3
0

Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Back in the real world

Nope, which is why I think that our government should pay for it out of general taxation and provide a backbone which ISPs can pay for access to users.

IP networks are public infrastructure nowadays, we need to invest in them like we would roads or railways. I would argue there would be a larger uptick to GDP by building a national FTTP network than building a fast train to Birmingham.

0
0
Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Back in the real world

I think the key point is that we are currently paying for investment (via subscriptions) in to our key internet infrastructure, and what we are getting is a poor investment that is good at helping BT's bottom line.

FTTP is a clear investment in the future - future bandwidth increases can occur by upgrading transceivers and repeaters. FTTC is trying to squeeze absolutely the last bit out of copper cables in order to maximise return for minimal investment, but the efficiency of the investment is poor and will eventually need to be replaced with fibre anyway - we're just pushing the cost down the line.

1
1

Ashley Madison spam starts, as leak linked to first suicide

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: "Something positive"

"That last website turned into an almighty cluster-shag of a nightmare for everyone. You're probably just feeling relieved that it hasn't gone rancid for you, yet. But do you fancy another go where we'll get it right this time, honest, feeling lucky?"

A lot of people (not just men) completely lose all sense of intelligence when there is even the off-chance of increasing global genetic diversity, so it might work.

1
0

Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

Tom 38
Silver badge

despotify

On the desktop at least, you can work around most of this tracking if you use a despotify based client like Clementine, which certainly isn't passing this information along.

OTOH, they have to put in their T&C the things that they do. Their newest feature is running music, you start running and it plays appropriate beat music for your speed, which obviously requires tracking how fast you are going, which requires logging where you were and how long ago. If you aren't using the running feature, I don't think spotify will be doing that extra work, but because they might (if you ask them to do it!), it has to be in the T&C.

1
0

Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Driverless cars do not need to be owned

Automatic gearboxes (historically) break sooner and cost more to repair/replace. It's not necessarily that we require control, we're just cheap enough to not mind changing gears in order to save money.

1
0
Tom 38
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: The end of any driving pleasure

make the batteries hot pluggable and a standard size. Then you pull up to a service station, take yours out, pay, pick up a fully chard module, plug in and drive out

If the module is at all chard, don't put it in the car or it might overload!

1
0

French say 'non' to Netflix, reveals entertainment report

Tom 38
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Streaming 'On-demand' vs PVR timeshifting

Fibre to Cabinet internet (I often get over 50Mbps) and P2P can easily handle the bandwidth, that's why Bittorrent, including Popcorn time, are so successful.

ADSL is 20th century junk

FTTC is ADSL. It's both awesome and 20th century junk?

0
1

Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: £2bn, 7000, 5 million square feet.

But of course for tax purposes, Amazon doesn't sell goods in the UK...

Technically this is incorrect now, for the last three months Amazon have been booking sales in the UK as sales in the UK rather than Luxembourg. Apparently they were persuaded this wasn't on....

0
0

Has anyone lost 37 dope plants, Bolton cops nonchalantly ask on Facebook

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Probably the bill themselves.

Probably making sure they weigh enough to be charged with intent to supply.

1
0
Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Does plod know?

You'd do that before planting them up in those size pots though.

Or so I've been told.

6
0

So unfair! Teachers know what’s happening on students' fondleslabs

Tom 38
Silver badge

I can't write well - that's what attracted me to computers in the first place, I was fed up with my work being judged by its legibility rather than its quality.

3
1

Skills crisis? Not for long: More and more UK kids gain STEM quals

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: A-Level results

Hmm. Maths doesn't really change that much, so I'm dubious on this. In the late 90s, we prepared for our Maths A levels by doing past papers from the 50s onwards, all were on a par with the modern stuff. The older papers had less "hand holding" (eg, guiding you through the solution by asking intermediate questions), but A level questions don't have too much of that any way.

3
1
Tom 38
Silver badge

SAS's research with The Tech Partnership suggests there will be approximately 56,000 job opportunities for big data professionals by 2020

Damnit, shouldn't have gone on that diet.

2
0

HTC caught storing fingerprints AS WORLD-READABLE CLEARTEXT

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Broken Implementation

I'm not sure this would work. How does the hash work?

qv acoustic fingerprinting

Acoustic fingerprints are not bitwise fingerprints, which must be sensitive to any small changes in the data. Acoustic fingerprints are more analogous to human fingerprints where small variations that are insignificant to the features the fingerprint uses are tolerated. One can imagine the case of a smeared human fingerprint impression which can accurately be matched to another fingerprint sample in a reference database; acoustic fingerprints work in a similar way.

0
0
Tom 38
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: I wonder how many people will be bitten by these biometric shenanigans

I steal your phone from you I know what you look like and I have at least your phone number.

Grammar pedant - is this a threat, or am I supposed to insert the words "If", "then" and "will" in the appropriate places? If the former, slightly concerned about leaving work without first putting on a disguise.

4
0

Get thee behind me, Satanic mills! Robert Owen's Scottish legacy

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Social agenda

Just what are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Global Corporates et al waiting on before redistributing all that wealth in order to help create a flatter, more rounded pyramid.

Funny couple of names you've chosen there. Bill Gates has a charitable foundation with $40 billion in endowments (and has pledged to donate the remaining 95% of his wealth on death), to which Warren Buffet has pledged to give 99% of his Berkshire Hathaway shares by or on his death (he's already donated >$10 billion).

A market economy creates some lopsided payoffs to participants. The right endowment of vocal chords, anatomical structure, physical strength, or mental powers can produce enormous piles of claim checks (stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital) on future national output. Proper selection of ancestors similarly can result in lifetime supplies of such tickets upon birth. If zero real investment returns diverted a bit greater portion of the national output from such stockholders to equally worthy and hardworking citizens lacking jackpot-producing talents, it would seem unlikely to pose such an insult to an equitable world as to risk Divine Intervention

5
2

Buffoon in 999 call: 'Cat ate my bacon and I want to press charges'

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Not just meat

I have known 2 cats who steal cheese if given half a chance.

Do they use it in the mouse traps?

4
0
Tom 38
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Too polite

Ahh, economy sausages - for when its hard to make both ends meat.

47
0

Vive le Act Patriotique: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, pick any two. No, not those

Tom 38
Silver badge
Joke

Le Charteur des Snoopeurs would allow spies to use International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers to hoover up telephone data, and access emails and online communications of anyone suspected of being linked to terrorism without a court order.

Hah, so I just need to get some court ordered terrorism, and they won't be able to do JACK to me.

5
0

Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: I will be worse off

The article didn't mention that as freelance consultants we don't get sick pay either.

Freelance consultants work for their own companies, so if you are unhappy with the amount of sick pay that you have negotiated with yourself, take your self aside for a quiet drink and talk it through until both you and yourself are content with the perks and remuneration that you get for working for yourself.

9
1

NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Nonce?

A "nonce" in cryptology is an arbitrary number made up and used once in a particular communication.

I would hope that there are nonces at all levels of government by now, they surely have 2FA...

5
0

HSBC takes Twitter tongue-lashing over failure to offer Apple Pay

Tom 38
Silver badge

HSBC rather shot themselves in the foot

I'm an HSBC customer, on the morning that Apple Pay launched in the UK they emailed all of us to tell us that Apple Pay was was here...

Coming later in July. A new way to pay with an HSBC debit or credit card using Apple Pay.

Enjoy the benefits of an HSBC debit or credit card using Apple Pay.

Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built into iPhone 6, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. So you can pay in an easy, secure and private way.

Thank you for your continued loyalty to HSBC.

I guess this was "getting out in front of an issue", by telling everyone you have an issue and waiting for it all to hit the fan

0
0

Hey, Spotify! Why do you internet companies hate competition?

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Oh look...

Apple Music arrives on Android in the Fall, as announced at WWDC.

0
0

Reddit CEO U-turn: Site no longer a bastion of free speech – and stop posting so much hate

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Not really thought about it before.

Thanks for sharing.

1
0

China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

Tom 38
Silver badge
Headmaster

China has a number of ambitions train projects in the pipeline, including a 270mph maglev from Shanghai airport to the city

Not in the pipeline, it exists and has done for many years. It doesn't get right in to the city, its terminal is about a 15 minute tube ride from Huangpu, but it is super cool. There's a big digital speedometer in the middle of each carriage that ticks up to (when I rode it) 420 km/h. It doesn't even seem like you are going that fast until you look out of the window and see the city just flying by, at which point I started to get a bit freaked out on the banking turns...

If I go back I think I would get a day pass ticket, because just riding it to the airport is too brief - as soon as I got there I wanted to ride it back to the city and then back again, but my plane was waiting :(

2
0

Les Américains order a MEEELLION doughnuts ... from French baker

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: My head exploded.

I think this is the same as "slider" burgers. It looks incomprehensible, surely they'd be more in to half pounders, but no, they just eat 24 tiny slider burgers.

1
0

Security world chuckles at Hacking Team’s 'virus torrent' squeals

Tom 38
Silver badge

Selling malware to governments == good, selling malware to individuals == FBI's Most Wanted

Ban encryption now!

</sarcasm>

26
1

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Legalese

If, for example, BT we're going to provide the "voice" service to a new customer using a fibre connection at the same price instead of a copper connection, would we still be insisting on them laying copper too?

No, and we don't. Where BT supply FTTH, they do not and will not supply a copper POTS phone line to your house. Your only option is to have a "Fibre Home Phone", which is backed by a battery in your premises.

They already do this, and consider this fulfilling USO.

0
0
Tom 38
Silver badge

I don't understand this at all. BT will never provide my flat with a POTS connection*, because it has FTTH. The only phone connection that BT will ever provide me with is a "BT Fibre Phone", which has a battery back up.. so if the fibre is down, or the battery gives up the ghost, no phone line.

* Not that I want one. Mobile is fine for me, and BT FTTH isn't as good or cheap as the other FTTH plumbed in to my flat.

1
3

Indie review of UK surveillance laws: As you were, GCHQ

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: The four

Or just go back to our Victorian era sensibilities, where you could get an ounce of morphine from your local chemist if you so desired, and dispense with our outdated 20th century fascination with American influenced puritanical views that someone else knows best what you should and should not be putting in to your bodies.

12
0

Facebook ditches HTML mobe future in favour of Zuck-style JavaScript

Tom 38
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Java != JavaScript

The snappiness is down to limiting headlines to 68 characters

2
0

Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Unless your grid is entirely coal based

IC powered cars only ever get worse as they age.

It's not like batteries and bearings don't degrade.

19
1

Online identity woes can only be solved through the medium of GIF

Tom 38
Silver badge

I'm amazed no-one at any point in the setup of this Global Identity Foundation said "Hey guys, wait a minute, our acronym is going to be confusingly similar to something most tech people already use". They have so many choices of words, but they came up with "GIF". They could have gone French, and been "Fondation Mondiale Identité" (or basically the same in Spanish), but noooo.

PS: I know I'm totally missing the point, but with GIFs I can get a little animated... boom boom

4
0

ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Why do we tell them this?

Military Intelligence?

Adrian: Once again we've got our friend from military intelligence. Can you tell us what you've found out about the enemy since you've been here?

Adrian as Gomer: We found out that we can't find them. They're out there, and we're having a major difficulty in finding the enemy.

Adrian: Well, what do you use to look for them?

Adrian as Gomer: Well, we ask people, 'Are you the enemy? And whoever says yes, we shoot them. [Pause] It's very difficult to find a Vietnamese man named Charlie. They're all named Nyugen or Doh or things like that. It's very difficult for me.

4
0

It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Windows 10?

Pre SP1, XP was anything but good. I'd say fuckawful, actually. No security by default, firewall turned off, IE6 doing its awful, awful thing

People have such short memories, when IE 6 first came out, it was fucking amazing - when compared to all the different vagaries of IE 5, 5.01, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.5. I swear to god, each one of them required a different hack to get right. Firefox (or as we called it back then, Phoenix), didn't really exist yet apart from a beta that no-one other than us geeks used, and we still had to support Netscape 4.

Early XP was 2k with some extra candy, which was nice as 2k was NT 4 with USB and some candy.

People still used 98 and ME for gods sake. Some perspective before denigrating XP!

9
0

Naked cyclists take a hard line on 'aroused' protest participant

Tom 38
Silver badge

Makes perfect sense to me, he's saying it's fine to run around with a gun, as long as it is concealed.

Wait, that's not right.

14
0

The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

Tom 38
Silver badge

"Convicted criminal"

I have no opinion on the gent, or the blogs he funds, but he was only convicted of circumventing ridiculous online gambling laws. These seem to exist only to ensure that online gambling "takes place" in places where the politicos get kickbacks can tax it properly.

9
1

Windows 10 won't help. The PC biz is doomed, DOOMED, I TELL YOU

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Lack of trust

It's not lack of trust, its that operating systems (in general) used to be cack, and so we all waited anxiously for the next one that might not be cack. Since W7, there is little to no need to upgrade for any reason other than planned obsolescence by the OS manufacturer, eg artificially limiting what features of D3D are available for a given OS.

3
0

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Tom 38
Silver badge

Ah, memories of my first car, a Ford Fiesta with a dodgy alternator. Never stopped it with my feet, but it often needed its initial power with my feet..

1
0
Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Got any more from this loon?

Darwin wrote 'A Book', too

But we don't revere his scripture, or think that it contains all the answers we will ever need.

4
0

Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Shut it you tedious old windbag

"Free" in FOSS does not mean "zero money cost". It means "free of encumberances". Meaning, you *must* publish the source code when distributing binaries.

Free of encumbrances, apart from the one you mention in the next sentence?

BSD is FOSS, and doesn't have that encumbrance, and is used for the greatest and most widely shared software developments of the past 40 years. The internet wouldn't exist without BSD.

The main thing I dislike about Stallman and his devotees is that they think that only GPL is FOSS, and that any other license is a mistake. Being more free and reusable is a bad thing in their eyes.

5
4

Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm?

How on earth can you follow it on an app?

I don't buy the app any more, partly because the app being shit is not a new thing, but mainly because F1 is less interesting (you didn't know who was going to win or why), and the reasons are simple - the app gives you data which you can follow to see what is going to happen. Watching on TV just lets you know what the excitable gents in the commentary box think from the TV footage that the event producer thinks is worth showing on TV at the time.

It doesn't tell you where the other cars are, it doesn't tell you what sector times the guy in 14th who has just put on the soft tyres has, or allow you to infer what would happen if the guy in 2nd did that right now. If you're a fan of a team other than the ones currently on top, you can track what they are doing, how their sector times compare to their best, when they should be coming in to pit, what tyre they should put on, will they be switching to a different strategy...

The app can be used to follow a race, if you can't watch it in any way, but mainly it is a way to better enjoy the experience of watching the race by giving you more data. When I did have the app, I never used it if I wasn't also watching the race.

13
1

mSpy: We haven't been breached. Customers: Oh yes you have

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: mSpy statement

Yes but in other news: MSpy admits hacking and data theft

Ahh, BBC. Hacking is downloading a file using wgetin putty. Would it still be hacking if they showed the same thing in chrome?

Must have got Rory to advise on the story.

0
5

Zuck can EFF off: Internet.org is SO NOT the INTERNET

Tom 38
Silver badge

Re: EFF = Extremely Foolish Fraudsters

AC is 100% right, EFF are only representing their interests, which are free and open access to information.

The bastards.

3
0
Tom 38
Silver badge

Yep, this is why you never see adverts for Coca-Cola and Marlboro in poor countries. Oh wait...

10
0

Forums