* Posts by Voland's right hand

2095 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Google DeepMind cyber-brain cracks tough AI challenge: Beating a top Go board-game player

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Re: Very Impressive

It's AI

No it is not. Neither by Turing nor by Azimov's criteria.

It is a learning system all right, but a very specialized one. We use these to learn to build generic ones and those for the time being suck and fail both Turing test and Azimov criteria.

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'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator

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Re: Eliminate pron

All good things in a country fighting internal racialism to increase frustration and murky association.

Well, that may be the goal you know...

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Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand

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Re: coming soon...

You missed one: A petition to stop the Internet.

After all, 9 out of 10 top providers use ISIS as a routing protocol.

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Stop the music! Booby-trapped song carjacked vehicles – security prof

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Exactly

The problem is that there is ONE MORE OBD port and in most recent cars it is wired to the infotainment unit. That was fine while the infotainment unit was your typical prehistoric POS which also showed some numbers about fuel consumption, etc (hello GM). It became a problem after idiots connected it to the Internet with no security whatsoever.

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Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database

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Re: Also Parent and Child bays

is there some kind of ratio they need to stick to with regards to total number of bays and percentage of disabled?

For disabled - yes - determined by local council planning committee.

So if you want to offer a total of X spaces you have no choice but to offer Y disabled spaces. There are councils, especially in London which have the ratio set to a very high number because of the short supply of on-street parking and hence the requirement to provision sufficient on-street disabled bays. Due to the well known fact that brains and local planning law do not mix, the idiots in the council planning dept still apply the same ratio to a shopping center or supermarket regardless of the fact that it will result in a massively under-used disabled section.

Parent & Child, loading bays, etc are "courtesy" of the retailer. AFAIK there is no planning guidance requiring those.

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Retailers urged to create 'CCTV-like' symbol to inform customers of mobile tracking

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You are not the target audience

Joe Average consumer who has the retailer "shopping list" app which doubles up as an internet shopping, shipping and store navigation is the target audience. When you dig into the app permissions you are guaranteed to find that it will connect either to WiFi or BT. So even if the Mac is switched by OS, the app will authenticate at app level, because Joe wants it to so it can keep on ticking off his shopping list.

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Re: "... retailer’s smart phone app. "

You will find quite a few people installing it if it doubles up as the "shopping list" and "internet shopping" app.

Standard strategy - if you need to shovel a dubious feature down the punter's throat, attach it to 20 ones they would not do without.

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Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

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Re: simple question.. @ YAAC

and the US Justice Department want them to hand over the data, because Microsoft Ireland is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. in America and therefore falls under US Law and not Irish law...

They went one step further - they sell a "product" which can be summarized as "Azure and operating Azure it you" to a 3rd party and 3rd party like DT runs the customer facing part of the service. AFAIK< the other services, including Office 365 are in the pipeline to join Azure

Can't blame them, they have near-monopoly on government business in Eu with Office 365, making that an embargoed product will not go well with their bottom line. That reminds me, we are in a leap year. Does this mean that Office 365 will take a mandatory one day lie down at some point to comply with its naming?

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Microsoft struggles against self-inflicted Office 365 IMAP outage

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Not like it worked even before that

IMAP support in both MS Exchange and Office 365 is a complete and utter joke.

All people who actually need to have it working use davmail. That works (TM).

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Folk shun UK.gov's 'expensive' subsidised satellite broadband

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Re: Satellite Broadband?

SAT as provider up/downlink technology for really far off locations will never go away. There are places where fiber is just not worth running for now.

SAT as a consumer broadband tech has been dead in Europe for 10+ years and is now dying in the 3rd world. It beggars belief how this ended up money having thrown at it in the first place.

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Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

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Facepalm

Improbably

Are you sure you spelled that right?

In NZ that should have been "probably" or "certainly" - based on sheep to inhabitants ratio.

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Oracle blurts Google's Android secrets in court: You made $22bn using Java, punk

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Pint

Re: Wait a minute

Bare = take. Thanks - lesson for the future - should not post before 4th espresso. Damn... there is no coffee icon. Probably so that Oracle does not ask El Register to hand all of its measly profits for violating their "hot java" copyrights.

Oh well... beer as closest equivalent (especially on a Friday afternoon).

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Wait a minute

While I bare no sympathy to what Google has become, I find it difficult not to notice that:

Neither the play store, nor ads are fundamentally bound to java, infringing on java copyrights (if that happened in the first place) or anything to which Oracle may be theoretically entitled for a chance for remedy.

While we all know that Google uses Android as a scorched earth tactic to ensure that nobody can get even close to their dominance in search and ad slinging, you have to prove that this is its exclusive function via appropriate discovery. Oracle has failed to do that (I do not think they would be allowed by most judges to go on that fishing expedition anyway). So from that perspective, even if there is infringement (which I doubt), this all smacks of racketeering. Oh, such a good 22Bn business you got there, wonder if you would like something to happen to it. Even if Oracle is entitled to any remedy (*), it should be derived from Android licensing agreement numbers, not from Playstore and ad slinging revenue numbers. Oh, by the way, it will be interesting how much do those contribute to G00G bottom line.

(*) A raft of recent cases in Eu went solidly the other way. If it is essential to implement functionality for a system, you cannot copyright the shape essential to implement said functionality. It fails the expressiveness test. Lego, London Taxy company, etc - you name it.

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Government in-sourcing: It was never going to be that easy

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Devil

Re: Yeah, right

And as for buying in talent from large consultancies...

That is a valid proposition. If you write it correctly: And as for buying in "talent" from large consultancies...

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

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Interesting

747s writing on the wall was posted when FAA started approving 3+ hour ratings for 2 engine planes. I am surprised it is still around and has not been replaced by 777 on all routes.

In fact, I suspect Boeing did some pricing shenanigans here, because A340 was displaced by A330 the moment FAA started approving 3+ h ratings for 2 engine aircraft.

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Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

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Re: Off to the local Chinese grocery store

Curious minds want to know:

Did you pick up the organic brownies in Prague or Amsterdam? Also, were they from a shop with a big green leaf on the shop sign.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

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Re: Move along, nothing to see

Sure, you will get updates, but they will effectively cripple your device after a certain date.

Sincerely - a disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7 which became unusable after an update to 5.0

I had to hack the bootloader (the posted downloads on Google website brick the device) to downgrade it to the last 4. It now has updates disabled as there are no more 4.x updates and any update will cripple it by updating it to 5.x

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

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Re: Bring on the warming!!!

I beg to differ. You do not want to be anywhere near western/north western Europe for the next 3 degrees of warming or thereabouts. All mathematical models point to weakening and potentially disappearance of the Gulfstream. It will become like the part of Newfoundland facing Greenland which is roughly at the same lattitude. Ever been there in Winter? Or to be more precise: do you want to be there in any time of the year?

Now once we are past the 3 degrees global it should warm again, but that will take centuries (at least) even if we burn anything we can get our hands on.

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Brit boffins brew nanotech self-cleaning glass

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Re: Cleaing Costs for Skyscapers?

They are not real windows. They are bolted to a simple structure, not properly framed. More like tiles.

The cost (and more importantly weight) of replacing the lattice which carries the glass panels with proper framing for something like the Gerkin or the Shard will be astronomical. It is much cheaper to put rails around the top, crane on them and get a couple of madmen to clean it (I get nausea from the mere thought of looking down from the cleaner platform).

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Ukraine energy utilities attacked again with open source Trojan backdoor

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Quoting Londo Mollary

And in purple YOU are stunning.

So, Bernard, what were you saying?

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Pentagon fastens lasers to military drones to zap missiles out of the skies

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Re: Don't drone's already have hellfire's

A missile will not look like a launch incident. A laser strike leaves no trace.

There is also no window for a missile on missile action. Assuming this is "rogue nation" ICBM which uses liquid fuel (and thus lower acceleration), it will reach 5M in 2 minutes or thereabouts. At that point the interceptor simply cannot keep up with it. Solid propellant driven "usual suspect" ICBM will do that in a minute or so. This means you are required to be within less than 50 km of the launch site and shoot to kill immediately too (no time to ask for fire authorization).

Hellfire will not cut it anyway, you are looking at one of the big long range AA missiles which used to be loaded on cold war era interceptors. Some of these are as large as a drone. The right solution is neither laser, nor missile. It is a loitering munition designed for AA interception. An AA version of the Israeili "Hamas commander killer": http://www.janes.com/images/assets/074/52074/1634179_-_main.jpg

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Inside Intel's CPU-level multi-factor auth (and why we've got deja vu)

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Re: Designed by whom?

Excellent use of bold. You should have used italics and caps too.

End of the day, it comes from the same place as their random generator.

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How to get root on a Linux box, step 1: Make four billion system calls

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Re: If someone is able to run arbitrary code on your server

That's why code signing,

Code signing is useless on a real world Linux/Unix system. You are not just trying to lock the door after the horse has bolted. You are trying to triple-padlock the barn catflap after the horse has waltzed out through the main door. The main doors have Perl, Python and Shell written on them.

Any of these will allow you to bypass code signing. You can use any one of them to hit most exploits including exploits which require direct syscall access. Sure, theoretically, you can remove all interpreted languages off a Linux system. In practice - you need to recreate the whole distribution to do so and build an embedded system of your own. You are likely to introduce more new vulnerabilities while doing it.

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Twitter goes titsup

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Re: I miss the Fail Whale

Pity it will not last, having Ark B offline should improve the overall humanity IQ by a few points. Now if we could have both F***book and Tw*tter offline for just a few days... Adding Linked in for good measure would be nice too.

Not for any other reasons - I just want to observe the withdrawal symptoms. Popcorn please...

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Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing

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Re: Unsure about this one

"Performance Art" =~ Ultimate form of attention seeking disorder combined with exhibitionism.

The worst thing is to provide her with more attention, it will just reinforce her condition. What she needs is help. Psychiatric help.

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Group rattles tin in bid to snatch TfL licence from Uber's paw

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Re: £600,000 in 8 weeks...

They are just clocking it using the standard from Heathrow to downtown london route which takes your around Terminals 2,3,5.4 first before you get onto the A4.

Habits like this die last.

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SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

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Happy

Re: It is not a step too far, just the opposite

Currently those unused oil tankers are actually full of oil

I thought I wrote "fill it with water to the mark". Oh, indeed I did.

Sell the oil first of course :)

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Voland's right hand
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It is not a step too far, just the opposite

Frankly, for rough seas, especially in the Pacific, the barge is way too small.

There is a surplus of supertankers anchored off the Cornwall and USA Mexican bay coast at the moment. Buying a couple of these is a better idea. Just fill it "to mark" with water prior to landing the rocket. Even your 15+ feet pacific waves will not move it (if it is pointing with the bow towards them).

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Voland's right hand
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Re: Quick Fix??

Ship it to Eastern Europe. They can make a Merc or a BMW look mint new after a collision which leaves them in a worse shape. You even get (optionally) new engine and chassis numbers :)

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KeysForge will give you printable key blueprints using a photo of a lock

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Err...

That will work if your lock has a master key in the first place. Not all do. In fact, some countries local regs (Germany if memory serves me right - not 100% sure though) prohibit the sale of end-user consume locks with a master key.

You have to be a company and you have to order a batch to get one.

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Forget the drones, Amazon preps its own cargo container ship operation out of China

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For themselves - yes

For their sellers - no. These will be "disadvantaged". The usual methodology of avoiding tax by Chinese cheap tat peddlers goes out of the window. They definitely cannot register a 200$ + per item piece of electronics as a "present" any more.

In addition to that, Amazon will have no choice but to start rigorously enforcing VAT and customs duties on all tat sold this way. If they do not, their container service will fail to be competitive compared to the usual suspects (HongKong post and Taiwan post).

So, frankly, I am all for that. Let them do it. Any tax they squirrel by shifting costs into shipping will be pennies compared to what will be collected from all the VAT/Duties avoiders.

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Comet halo theory for flickering 'alien megastructure' star fails

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Alien

Too slow for that

That took days, not years. In any case, you are talking too much. A StarFlyer agent will pay you a visit shortly.

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Swivel on this: German boffins build nanoscale screwing engine for sluggish sperm

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Re: Bad Bad Bad

You are "weak" (or weaker and you should be) and so are most of us nowdays. Question is only how much weaker.

Inevitable consequence of detectable presence of contraceptives in drinking water. Prosac is not the only thing that survives human kidneys, water treatment and stays out there for months if not years until it ends up back in your tap.

There are several other major factors in decreasing sperm agility and sperm counts in male population in developed countries, but this one is probably the biggest "hitter".

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Self-regulation can address issues that arise in the digital economy, says Airbnb

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AirBNB is _NOT_ a new market

Sorry, that is a market which has been around for 30000 years ever since some Neanderthals rented out a spare tunnel in their cave to a passing Cro-magnon family by advertising the empty cave via the shaman on the local market.

It is regulated for bloody good reasons (unfortunately in the UK it is not regulated enough):

1. So that the punters are not fleeced and wake up alive the next day. I love the smell of malfunctioning boiler early in the morning. Or maybe not (if I am dead).

2. So that the person renting it does not come to find the property demolished by a 1000+ drunken and stoned illegal New Year rave and has some legal recourse and insurance if this happens.

So I am totally behind AirBNB on this one. All the way. With a 9 inch blade. Which they deserve.

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Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

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Re: The human pilots just do the easy bits...

The landing part is more interesting.

Computer aid is now used to way under 500 feet on some large airports in low visibility conditions - LHR (on a foggy day), BJS (smoggy day), etc. They simply cannot operate if the pilots do not use it as they have to close.

So the idea to switch to manual at 500 rings rather hollow.

From this perspective, you gotta love Luftwaffe's operating practice. There, the pilots from the long haul fleet regularly take a rota to fly a Junkers Ju-52 http://www.dlbs.de/en/Fleet/Junkers-JU-52/ to remind them that what does it mean to fly a passenger airplane with no computer aids.

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Boffins baffled by record-smashing supernova that shouldn't exist

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Either that or the next civilization opening a Pandora's box

One way to explain the fact that we have not run across sentient life is that there is a pandora's box waiting for it somewhere out there.

It may be someone cranking the CERN equivalent too much. It also may be (and more likely) some doing the galactic equivalent of a suicide bomb as described here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1447224094/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=569136327&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1447224108&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1RTKPVQRPN6RF1VKS91W

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Murderous necrophiliac kangaroo briefly wins nation's heart

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Coat

Er... you missed the point

And the point is that the bits were not wobbly, but pointy.

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Evil OpenSSH servers can steal your private login keys to other systems – patch now

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Doubly FFS

X-forwarding and Agent forwarding are the first thing to enable to make ssh useful.

It is standard usage scenario - ssh into a jump box and ssh to the next system inside the network. If you do not have agent enabled you will be entering passwords or passphrases which is a recipe for disaster.

Time to start patching.

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TalkTalk outage: Dial M for Major cockup

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Re: TalkTalk outage...

No, because the remaining captive audience has clearly proven that nothing can outrage them. Otherwise they would have moved on.

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Re: Bad TalkTalk

I'm surprised. I've always assumed TalkTalk had offshored dialtones to the cheapest,

You sir, should be punished. I am now trying to get out of my head the mental image of a gigantic barn callcenter somewhere North East of Timbuktu full of drones whistling dialtones for a living.

The real problem is - that image may not be far from the truth. After all, their CEO was pictured on the Beeb replying questions out of their "innovation center" with a VHS and Windows 95 behind her.

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Optimus Prime goes under the hammer

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Ugh...

Teenager blue go faster LED lights... Yuck...

Now the corvette pretending to be a beetle. That would have been interesting. If it was a stick shift :)

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

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Re: I recently retired a couple of Vias

Care to explain?

Concur with Calleb III. Please care to explain.

I actually wrote a significant portion of the hypervisor in question network IO at the time. It was a part of "EAT YER OWN DOGFOOD".

So as someone who used to do that for a living, I would be extremely interested in hearing the enlightened commentard explanation.

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Re: I recently retired a couple of Vias

Where they VIA C3s

One C3 (fanless M600) and one C7 (fanless S1000). 15W-22W and 20-27W measured at the wall respectively. Nowhere near what you get from an early vintage P3 (100W or thereabouts). If you are still running one of those, that is like burning money and enjoying the glow for its geekiness.

I still miss the integrated crypto in the C7. The new crypto instructions in AMD64 set are yet to make it into stable openssl so openvpn, encrypted backupts, etc continue to be run via "brute force". The C7 could swallow hundreds of MBit of AES in its stride and not even notice. Not something I would say about any of the Intel or AMD CPUs till this day.

However for what I used them, the case of moving to a virtualized environment was fairly clear cut (even without accounting for the fact that I worked on network virtualization at the time and it was "eat yer own dogfood").

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I recently retired a couple of Vias

The power cost of running this is more than the cost of replacing it.

A Katmai at 450MHz will consume ~ 90W of power. That at UK retail prices is 90£ per year.

This is the exact reason why I retired my old Via based firewalls despite them being considerably more economical (~ 24W) and moved them onto my main server to run under virtualization. They were about 12 years old (across several reincarnations from case to case) at that point. I could have left them to run and they would have clocked 15 years in a couple of years time, but it was clearly not worth it financially.

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I find this one a bit difficult to believe

1988 means an original AT PSU with those lovely two plugs instead of the ATX 20 pin block connector which superseded it. Your chances of finding a working one in the last 10 years are hovering just about zero. While not completely impossible, whatever you find is not likely to be in a good working order.

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Not surprising

If you are not constrained on space a custom job is guaranteed to have a higher MTBF than an off-the-shelf server. Nearly all off-the-shelf systems are too dense and too hot to deliver anything like these numbers.

While I am not surprised about the electronics and the disk I am still surprised about the fan MTBF. So the 64000$ question is who made the fans - I cannot think of a single fan vendor from ~ 1997 which would deliver a fan with MTBF of > 5 years (even with a "speed reduction" resistor).

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Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup

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Re: IofT

Connected to the web - definitely not.

Connected and interfaced to the house alarm, presence detectors, people schedule and secure remote control via smartphone - definitely yes. You are looking at a couple of hundred quid saving on average for a 3-5 bedroom house where there is nobody 8:00 to 15:00 and has reduced occupancy 15:00 - 18:00.

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Australia considers mass herpes release for population control

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Trollface

Re: Carp tastes awful?

It is the Aussies being utterly incompetent in cooking them.

Carp, stuffed with ground walnut (or pecans), sultanas, sliced quince and bramleys and baked slowly for about 1h - 1h 30 mins (time depends on size) is one of the most delicious meals on the planet

The bramleys and quince kill all the smell - if it is stinky just shovel more of that. I have cooked carp taken out of a swamp next to a petrol refinery a few times. Even _THAT_ comes out OK using that technology. Though in that case you have to stuff it just with quince + bramleys and discard all of the stuffing (if you want to live after eating the meal).

There are also plenty of means to cook non-stinky farmed carp, but they are not applicable to this particular use case :)

The same applies to estuary grey mullet - something which in Australia is eaten only by the crocodiles.

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UK NHS-backed health apps 'riddled with security flaws'

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Official approvals are given by marketing and PR

Official approvals have nothing to do with any and all of the following nowdays:

1. Legal and specifically data protection and consumer protection

2. Security

3. Technical merit.

It is just marketing and PR.

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