* Posts by Kubla Cant

1941 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: overhaul?

If you make a chocolate bar that looks too much like a Cadbury's one, you'll be in trouble.

I think this shows where the problem lies. The Cadbury's trademark applies to a fairly narrow set of products, whereas the HBO one covers "clothing, mugs, drinking glasses, hats, bags, mouse pads and similar tat" *. The HBO trademark applies to a commonly-used sentence on a wide group of products that often carry messages.

If I sell a chocolate bar in purple foil, then it's reasonable to claim that it's counterfeit Cadbury's. If I sell a hat with "Winter is coming" on it, but no knights in armour and women with their tits out **, then it's absurd to suggest I'm passing it off as an HBO hat.

* I suppose it's too much to hope that the registration actually uses the phrase "similar tat".

** I'm afraid my knowledge of Game of Thrones is entirely second-hand.

7
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Common sense required

What's next..."this is the winter of our discontent".?

I think you mean "Now is the winter of our discontent". Or have you changed the wording to avoid a take-down notice from the Royal Shakespeare Company?

I wonder who's bagged "Sumer is icumen in"?

2
0

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Maybe they should consider going over to Linux?

If the NHS had sat down, formed an OS development team, taken a base Linux distro, and gone on to build their own bespoke system on top of it they could by now be sitting on a highly developed, relatively very secure and stable OS that they would be in control of and that would offer a common platform for the whole NHS to work with.

Sounds good.

But back in the real world, they'd outsource the development to Monster IT Inc, extend the scope to refactoring the world, and end up with a bill of £100bn for a "free" operating system. By the time it was delivered (if it ever was), everyone would have installed XP.

3
0

Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: estimated net "benefit" of £5.7bn by 2020

like utilita witch...

What kind of witch is Utilita? A Wicked Witch or a Good Witch?

0
0

Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: "How do you license something.............."

AFAIK Microsoft do not charge a license fee for devices with screens under seven inches.

Sounds like a good way to acquire cheap Windows server licenses, for those that want them. After all, it's a server, so a titchy screen should do.

2
0

Can ISPs step up and solve the DDoS problem?

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Actually curious...

I suppose an ISP's business model is selling connectivity to punters at a lower price than the next ISP. Service enhancements that don't directly improve the offer to consumers are just a cost. It seems to be a very competitive business, so there probably isn't much margin available for this kind of thing.

2
0

Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

If a brand new train, running a fixed route on a dead end line with no other trains, needs a driver in order to carry passengers, how on earth are driverless cars even a thing?

Costs and benefits. The Mail Rail tourist route can only derive a small benefit from driverless operation, so the cost of implementing it isn't justified.

Driverless trains are not uncommon. The DLR has been one since 1987. The Victoria Line, constructed in the 1960s, has drivers, but the trains are automatic.

3
0

'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: More I think about this..

How about this for a plausible explanation:

Salesman looks at picture of document, then swipes to see if there's another page. Instead of more loan document pages, he gets Mrs Gautreaux in the bath. He decides to tease the Pastor by handing the phone back with the nudie shot on show. Gautreaux doesn't see the joke. Either through vindictiveness or to deflect his wife's wrath, he sends the pictures to the swinger site and lays the blame on Thomas. Mrs Pastor is now even madder. Escalation via lawyer ensues. Million-dollar law suit results.

0
0

BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland

Kubla Cant
Silver badge
Headmaster

BAE described this process as follows: "The testbed contains an aircraft identification antennae..."

Let's hope their avionics are better than their grammar: "an antennae" is "an aerials" in English.

11
0

Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Who cares?

@gazthejourno Best post of the day! I wish I could upvote it more.

15
0

Guessing valid credit card numbers in six seconds? Priceless

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Online => shipping...

In other words, they'll only ship to the card holder.

In my experience, this is rare and becoming rarer. Most deliveries are made during working hours, so buyers tend to have deliveries sent to their work address or to the home of a friend or relative who's in all day.

8
1
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Simple answer?

Most of them don't do the processing perhaps? How often have you been redirect to Worldpay for example?

Exactly. In general, only large merchants do their own card processing. There are at least three ways in which a merchant can use a payment processor:

* overt redirection (which you will be aware of, because the payment page carries the processor's brand)

* redirection to a merchant-branded payment page hosted by the payment processor

* merchant-hosted page interacting with payment processor's web service.

3
0

Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Enter == submit

web coders today don't think about things like that so they default the selected button to the [SUBMIT] button

Probably the result of oversight or ignorance. I'm fairly sure that both <input type="submit"> and <input type="button"> result in a default button. The more recent <button /> tag doesn't.

0
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

IIRC some typewriter keyboards used to have CAPS and SHIFT lock keys.

Mechanical typewriters normally had [Shift] and [Shift Lock]. The both did the same thing, but [Shift Lock] locked in the down position. It was called "shift" because it shifted the platen up and down so that the upper or lower character on the type head was printed. I've never seen a typewriter where the top row of keys shifted independently of the rest, and I imagine it would be hard to arrange.

5
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Enter == submit

It really isn't "legacy guidelines of systems past". For an inexperienced user, the Carriage Return key is the natural one to use to move between fields (and if there isn't a submit button, that's usually what it does). It's the key you use to finish a line on a typewriter. The use of Tab to move to the next field is very unintuitive, as the typewriter tab key was almost exclusively used to indent text or type stuff in columns.

Most login forms consist of two text boxes, a submit button, and possibly a cancel button. By default, the submit button usually responds to the CR key wherever in the form it's pressed. So the CR in the username field would submit the form, then the CR in the password field would acknowledge the error message resulting from the blank password.

When you've created one or two login forms that keep catching people out, you add code to check if both fields have been filled before submitting the form. Clearly the login form in this story didn't have that.

11
0

Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Silly people

Veganism is about all animals, not just the cute ones.

Cockroaches? Mosquitoes? Krill? Protozoa? Obviously you wouldn't want to eat them, but what would be your response to banknotes lubricated with protozoa?

4
1
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: And yet...

I wonder how many of them were wearing leather shoes as they clicked the "sign petition" button.

And I wonder if any of the virtue-signalers who were wearing plastic shoes had taken the trouble to find out if tallow was used in the manufacture of their footwear.

18
1

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: No big deal

Given that people eat bread coated with re-cycled piss (Urea)

Piss may contain urea, but I don't think it's an economical source. I believe urea was one of the first organic compounds to be synthesised. Perhaps they should have chosen a name that doesn't advertise the urinary connection.

1
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

I bet most of you vegans out there still wear leather shoes

No, the ones I know wear "crocs"

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the plastic in crocs comes from fossil hydrocarbons, so that's (long) dead animals. Same story with petrol.

And I can't help wondering about more obscure animal products. The only one that springs to mind is good-quality shirt buttons. Oh, and the wax on citrus fruit.

1
0

Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Yep

The distance from the North Pole to the Equator via Paris was originally defined as 10,000 km. Then it [the metre] was based on a standard pole, then on the wavelength of a particular type of light.

Those who are old enough to have learned Imperial units at school will be delighted to discover that the metre was at one time defined in terms of the rod, pole or perch.

The rod or perch or pole is a surveyors tool and unit of length equal to 5 1⁄2 yards, 16 1⁄2 feet, 1⁄320 of a statute mile or one-fourth of a surveyor's chain. The rod is useful as a unit of length because whole number multiples of it can equal one acre of square measure.

0
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Creates more problems than it solves?

The metre was invented on 17 March 1791. Ole Roemer estimated the speed of light at 200,000 km/s in 1675 and James Bradley gave the number 301,000 km/s in 1728.

So the kilometre was used for measurements 84 years before the metre was invented? This relativity business truly is weird.

3
2

Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Moto G4 plus

I bought a Moto G4 Plus 16GB from Amazon for £199 from Amazon in August. It looks like it's still available at that price. It's a decent phone, from a brand I've heard of, with a full English version of Android. When I plug in the charger at the end of the day it's usually showing more than 50% battery charge left.

In what way is the Blu Vivo better value at £229?

1
0

How to confuse a Euro-cop: Survey reveals the crypto they love to hate

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: I wonder what would happen if...

What would happen if people stopped voting for the same old same old parties and stared thinking about what these people are doing with the power they are given and vote for someone else.

Hmm. Substitute "same old same old candidates" in that sentence and we know what happens: Trump.

3
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Encryption will only work as intended until everybody is using it all the time

@Whitter Stenography is your friend.

Shorthand? Do you perhaps mean "steganography"?

2
0

AWS to launch Aurora service for PostgreSQL at re:Invent – report

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

considering how cheap a PostgreSQL database would be compared to MySQL via the larger vendors

What does this mean? PostgreSQL and MySQL are both open-source databases. Who are these "larger vendors", and why do they charge more for MySQL?

4
0

Surprise, surprise. BT the only Universal Service Obligation provider in town

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Calling our bluff, are you?

BT is a government agency

That's funny, I'm sure I recall something about a BT privatisation. Have they re-nationalised it on the quiet?

10
0

Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Izal

Don't knock it. Izal made quite good tracing paper and could also be used for roll-ups.

3
0

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Kubla Cant
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Baby... Bathwater?

Now ask yourself why no one writes a high-performance program in something like Java....All the performance gets lost in translation.

Now ask yourself why a quick Google for "Java algo trading" returns 173,000 results.

It's a shame you're posting anonymously. There are probably lots of financial institutions that would love to contact you and tap into your extensive knowledge of high-performance software.

3
0

Helping autonomous vehicles and humans share the road

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: The trolley problem isn't real life

in 40 years of driving I've never had to choose between running over X or Y group of vulnerable people

Nor I, but maybe some drivers have had to make such a decision during that 40 years. If you're designing a self-driving car you have to equip it to do so, at which point you enter a murky world of evaluating human lives an injuries.

The processing power required for this kind of decision will make the self-driving problem look trivial. In the end the only defensible algorithm will have to be based on head count. This implies that you should sometimes destroy the car if there's only one passenger in it, which contrasts with the Mercedes position of "we decided to kill these people to protect our customer".

1
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge
Stop

Moral accountability

There's an important difference in moral accountability between the "trolley problem" response of a human driver and those of a self-driving car.

Humans in this situation are usually making a decision very quickly, and probably under stress. This means that unless there is clear evidence to the contrary it will be accepted that their decision was not culpable.

The machine, on the other hand, is following a set of rules that have been designed into it by the manufacturer. If it decides to kill a member of my family because the protocol says it should avoid a pair of schoolchildren, then that is premeditated killing by whoever wrote the rules. They might be guilty of murder or manslaughter; at the very least they would incur massive civil liability.

It's hard to believe that anyone who's thought this through would want to manufacture a self-driving car.

4
0

Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

To make it even worse, another Reg story today has the headline "Three Mobile, two alleged hackers, one big customer database heist".

My brain hurts. Time for the pub.

1
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

Me too!

2
0

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

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Witless idiots

I've often been bemused by the way people can never remember what the error message said. What is it that turns intelligent people into witless idiots when using a computer? I think the problem is risk avoidance.

Using a computer involves continuous risk. You do something wrong and disaster ensues. This even applies to expert technical users; they're are better at managing the risk and they expect to be able to recover from disasters, but if you crank up the unfamiliarity they'll eventually be paralysed by risk aversion, too.

Remember the old systems that used to beep whenever you made any kind of mistake, however trivial? Anyone who worked with one of those will have been conditioned to avoid the beep at any cost. The error message, however friendly, is a similar mark of failure. Users just want to get it off screen and out of mind as soon as possible.

8
0

Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Company law

making a profit is the highest priority

Reminds me of this old Dilbert strip.

9
0

Firefox hits version 50

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Chrome

I have both Firefox and Chromium installed on Mint. Chromium because of sites where an annoying "outdated Flash plugin" message appears in Firefox.

Barclays online banking hilariously refuses to run on Chromium because it thinks it's an obsolete browser.

3
0

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Basic misunderstanding how law firm works

You have on average at least 5 possible ways to argue a point in court. Some of them are contradictory too.

Very true. There's another important difference between the AI process and that followed by the doctor or lawyer or other professional. AI works with the corpus of information provided as input, whereas the professionals are in a position to search out new information.

I haven't used WebMD, but I'd be surprised if it isn't at least partially driven by some kind of input form. This means the designer is constraining the knowledge domain before the AI even gets a look-in.

3
0

Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Oh man, I feel his pain

educators can be the worst learners

In fairness to educators, a school bursar is really an accounts clerk with an impressive job title.

15
0

McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Its not just American tourists

I read that France, home of snooty cooking traditions, is actually McDonald's best market per capita, even more so than America.

According to what I've read, this statistic, while true, is slightly misleading. Many French office workers are given meal vouchers as part of their remuneration. The value of these is so low that a McDonald's is one of the few things they can afford. Traditional French cuisine is as far out of reach as Michelin stars.

Several years ago I went into a McDonald's in Salzburg (giving way to child coercion). I didn't eat, but I was delighted to discover that they served beer.

1
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: The real reason

That's why "Piazza del Liberty" in Milano will be ruined by an Apple shop? I see no difference between hamburgers and phones.

There's an Apple shop in Florence, too. I was recently in there with a friend who was finding out that it would cost 145 EUR to put a new battery in her iPhone.

I can see that McDonald's might be out of place in the Piazza del Duomo, but the tat-merchants of San Lorenzo (most of whom don't seem to be Italian) aren't an adornment to Florence.

1
1

British firm to build world's first offshore automated ship

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: The first automated ship should be called

Mary Celeste

6
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Useless Fact of the day...

My immediate thought when I read the name was of the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758.

0
0

Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Annoying questions

There's something at least as bad as the stupid question, and that's the too-well-informed question.

Almost any tech presentation's Q&A is liable to feature an interminable question from an audience member who's only asking a question to prove that he knows much more about the subject than the presenter. Often, the question will be distinctly off-topic, because the subject about which he is omniscient isn't really the subject of the presentation. During the ten minutes it takes him to ask the question, the more sensitive members of the audience are trying to crawl under their seats.

13
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Fear of flying

Three guys got vomited on by some poor woman

If I had been one of the vomitees I think I would have phrased it "Three poor guys got vomited on by some poor woman".

18
0

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

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Giggling French Schoolchildren...

A sale is even more snigger-inducing when it's a LINGERIE SALE. Talk about washing your dirty linen in public.

9
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Cool

I'd heard it as "Oh, quel queue tu as", which probably means much the same. But I've never heard an explanation of why one would transform it in such a way. I can't imagine that Kenneth Tynan expected to improve the takings by exploiting nostalgia for the Raj.

Of course, it's "Oh, Kolkata" now.

4
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge

I think I've seen streets in France labelled voie sans issue.

Apparently, the first known use of cul de sac was in 1738, which rather rules out its being invented by a PHB in the suburbs. Quite possibly it was idiomatic French at the time.

2
0

Self-driving cars doomed to be bullied by pedestrians

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: Wait a minute...

An interesting opportunity for us cyclists to become even more unpopular. We no longer have to bump along in the gutter, running the gauntlet of broken glass and drain covers. Now we can share the spacious traffic lanes with cars, as is our right.

This won't make much difference in city centres, where bikes travel faster on average than cars, but it will be fun to see how many driverless cars you can collect on a country road.

3
15

Internet of S**t things claims another scalp: DNS DDoS smashes StarHub

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

Re: sanitise customer kit

Should ISPs be responsible for sending technicians "to sanitise customer kit"? It sounds great, but very expensive. I don't know whether ISPs have "greedy pockets", but I suspect that such a competitive business works to fairly narrow margins. Either way, the cost of the roaming technicians is going to find its way on to customers' bills.

The real responsibility should be with the manufacturers of insecure kit, but they currently have little incentive to increase their prices in pursuit of security. Perhaps ISPs should restrict connectivity to certified kit. In the UK, Post Office Telephones (the predecessor to BT) used to do that with modems. The trouble with that is that a 300 bd modem used to cost £300.

2
0

HMRC to create new compliance team focused on 'gig economy' workers

Kubla Cant
Silver badge

We know it when we see it

They have to check, using a pathetic, inaccurate and not-yet-finished online tool (which obviously will use HMRC's viewpoint, not that which has been written into law or that which has been shown as correct in the courts) to determine whether you are in disguised employment.

There's a reason why it's inaccurate and unfinished, and it's not just another public-sector IT cock-up. Ever since the early days of IR35, HMRC have been shifty about providing a clear definition of disguised employment. They prefer to say "we know it when we see it".

The reason is obvious. If they provide a clear set of rules then contractors, clients, and their accountants and lawyers, will be able to establish relationships that are definitively not employment. Everybody will be happy except HMRC.

3
0
Kubla Cant
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: I am not a contractor

I too fail to grasp how IR35 can be "costing" anything

It's not difficult. When the costs incurred in collecting a tax exceed the revenue collected, the tax costs something.

2
0

Forums