* Posts by JeffyPoooh

2100 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013

Don't freak out, but your primary storage has become 'aware'

JeffyPoooh
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Security issues...

A specific issue is security.

e.g. ARM processors are everywhere. Even in your mouse and keyboard, and the USB chip in your memory stick. Your hard drive itself... Likely that many are reprogrammable, and offer zero security.

It's hopeless. IT security is dead.

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How one of the poorest districts in the US pipes Wi-Fi to families – using school buses

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I'm curious about the LTE mobile data plan

How do they get a mobile data plan that permits zillions of GB per month?

Such an approach is literally impossible in Canada. Hundreds of kids sharing one 'free' LTE account would result in somebody getting The Largest Invoice In History. The bill would be in the many millions of dollars.

If this is all explicable and affordable, then the entire 'last mile' issue is solved (!!!). Just use affordable and unlimited LTE.

When we used Mobile Data to be our ISP, it was limited to 5 GB per month. $100/month, and extremely limited use.

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Carly Fiorina makes like HP and splits – ex-CEO quits White House race

JeffyPoooh
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Big mouth, small brain

Even just as CEO of HP made me queazy.

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This is why copy'n'paste should be banned from developers' IDEs

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All these coder drones are now...

They're all now working on 'self-driving' cars.

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FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips

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Common sense

Bricking other people's hardware - daft evil dumb approach, karma owing...

Refusing to function their parts with your driver - acceptable

Providing a pop-up notice about why the driver won't work - saintly

Common sense.

Shouldn't FTDI move on? USB to Serial is kind of old hat. Did they expect this now-trivial function to provide a lifetime of steady income? 20-year patent or Forever Copyright doesn't mean that one's business model can be immortal.

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Australian astroboffins reveal hundreds of hidden galaxies

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Re: Yeah, okay...

"Why is it in a sheep paddock?" *

Because it's easier to find the Lamb shift.

LOL!!!

* Famous line from the excellent movie, 'The Dish' (about the Parkes radio telescope).

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JeffyPoooh
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Yeah, okay...

"...But why is it in a sheep paddock?"

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Microsoft hits the gas in drive to recruit autistic techies

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Some evidence that they're already in charge of Windows 10

10 PRINT "Please upgrade to Windows 10"

20 PRINT "This machine isn't compatible."

30 GOTO 10

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San Francisco prepares to open source its voting system software

JeffyPoooh
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This...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI

Using Open Source software addresses, what?, about 20% of the issues listed by Tom Scott.

e-voting. Don't do it.

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LIGO boffins set to reveal grav-wave corker

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Re: Re. black holes

"...The ultimate death ray..."

...combined with...

"Gravity waves... ...get here first..."

How much warning time do we get with this LIGO-based Ultimate Death Ray warning system?

Duck and Cover? Or enough time to get the women and children into the cavern?

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Google crafts custom networking CPU with parallel computing links

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Very RISC... Like heading back in time.

Eventually they'll announce a new-fangled 32-bit wide NAND gate with some tunable delay lines. The compiler will convert your code into the required tuning of the delay lines.

Hmmm... must buy some mercury futures.

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Fleet of 4.77MHz LCD laptops with 8088 CPUs still alive after 30 years

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Fleet of 4.77Mhz...

MHz

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Submarine cable cut lops Terabits off Australia's data bridge

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WM "Satalight [satellite] service?"

O3B can provide "fiber optic" class speeds (sort of) up to latitude 45° N or S.

Last I read was that the ground station was a million dollars. Ideal for any African village...

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: I would really love to see the repair job

Do they bother trenching at depth?

I've seen a few 'Mighty Ship' episodes and my recollection is that they don't bother trenching or ploughing once the water is a full one km deep.

Perhaps I'm confused.

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

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"...free Office 365 for a year, making it a tough deal to ignore..."

Free is good.

But the "...for a year..." makes it very easy to ignore.

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LinkedIn sinkin': $10bn gone in one day as shares plummet 40%

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Re: LinkedIn...

WG "Actually I don't 'get' social media at all."

Comment forums (like this one) are absolutely in the category of social media.

So, er, hello there.

This particular example seems to attract a fairly intelligent crowd with a huge range of expertise. Makes it a bit different than many others.

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JeffyPoooh
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What time is it at LinkedIn?

What time is it at LinkedIn?

*12:00", "12:00", "12:00", "12:00", "12:00", ...

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

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Re: The power of backspace

The LIST command should display this:

10 PRINT "YES!!"; REM , followed by (in this example) 13 backspaces.

Resulting in this:

10 PRINT , then resume with "NO!!"

The end result is displayed like this:

10 PRINT "NO!!"

YMMV, but I'm not sure why it would if it meets our one fundamental assumption.

Find&Replace 'Script' vice one-line in-line snippet:

I'm now recalling that I might have had a BASIC code snippet, perhaps starting at (for example) line 1000, which did the searching through memory (in the right area) to find the placeholders and replace them with ^h (using PEEK and POKE). So the previously mention script was probably as simple as RUN 1000. And then delete the snippet, and SAVE the resultant magic code.

Knowing myself, the snippet would have been just one line of code.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: The power of backspace

I could do COBOL. Or FORTRAN (yes, the all-uppercase era).

Problem is that the backspace trick doesn't work as well with punch cards.

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JeffyPoooh
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The power of backspace

If one can pack the source code with backspaces, typically by using an obscure placeholder character and then running a find&replace script to replace the placeholders with ^h, then one can completely separate the apparent source code (which is actually just trailing comment text), from the actual source code (cleverly hidden 'beneath' the backspaces).

Here's a trivial example written in BASIC where 'ĥ' is used to represent the ^h backspaces that have been packed into the code by a trivial script.

10 PRINT "YES!!"; REM ĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥĥ"NO!!"

LIST

10 PRINT "NO!!"

RUN

YES!!

With this trick, one can do almost anything. The source code can be whatever you want, because it's just commenting, while the actual code is hidden by the backspaces.

I came up with this evil trick around 1980 or so. A nice example was making LIST appear to do RUN, and make RUN appear to do LIST. Mysterious math errors were fun. Almost no limit.

(I know other languages, but I chose to use BASIC for this example. Forgive me.)

This will probably work with any language that allows trailing comments on a line.

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While we weren't looking, the WAN changed

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I'm so naive...

I had assumed that they'd have had all these sorts of networking options and variations on-the-shelf since the 1990s.

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Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

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Re: Apple is special

R offered "...Apple refuses rents based on sales percentages. They just don't do it. ..."

They'd like people (mall owners) to believe that, but apparently it's not actually true.

How else can we explain this entire news story?

Apple fib? Ha!

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Symantec's definition of transformation: Take the profit made a year ago and burn a quarter of it

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Good, I hope it hurts...

I'm so happy. Symantec deserves whatever crap that karma can throw at them.

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

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How do they plan to get the heat out?

A comment about fusion power and plumbing. Perhaps aimed more at L-M than anyone...

At some point they're going to need gawdawful big pipes carrying away hot medium. Fusion appears to be a very high power density scheme. But there's no point making a gigawatt matchbox-sized device (<- trying to make the point clear), nor (this is for you Lockheed-Martin) a 100MW fusion reactor that "...fits on the back of a truck..."

If it's near gigawatt class, then it needs to be the size of a large building just to have space to interface to the heat-engine plumbing. Unless they plan to use some exotic media like gaseous tungsten in one-inch plumbing, LOL. Not to mention the cold side cooling towers, turbines, generators, transformers, switch yard, offices, cafeteria, parking lot, guard house.

Lockheed-Martin must be envisioning a pretty big truck.

I've not seen any evidence that they (anyone) are working on a fusion concept with a power/volume ratio scale that's practical in terms of allowing room for the necessary plumbing to shift the energy flux out towards the steam turbines.

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

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Re: Who ever designed..

DropBear "...relays..."

Relays need power. The "perfect" solution requires latching relays.

;-)

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Who ever designed..

Arbitrarily low power loss, all the way to perfectly zero as follows...

Latching (magnetically held) relays, one to isolate and the other wired to reverse polarity. A solar powered supervisory circuit examines and corrects the polarity, before connecting it. The supervisory circuit triggers the system off in the event of a sudden reversal. A parallel diode eats the reverse pulse for the milliseconds needed. Perfect. And ZERO loss.

As that's impractically expensive, just use a low R-on FET. Really low loss.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Who ever designed..

Symon "but it would cost, and you would lose efficiency."

Yes, no.

There are plenty of clever circuit ideas that can provide polarity reversal protection, without the efficiency reduction (voltage drop) of the more-obvious series diode schemes.

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Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

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Re: Dependency exposed

Lee wrote "...bigger worlds of hurt than a 13ms time difference knocking things out."

On this precision-oriented topic, we're not accepting "13ms" (milli) when it should be 13µs (micro)

;-)

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Chip Scale Atomic Clocks (CSAC) - $1500 price class

My post is offering "Edit (81 minutes)" as opposed to 10 minutes.

Is our El Reg over an hour out due to some GPS glitch?

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Chip Scale Atomic Clocks (CSAC) - $1500 price class

Symon "...reject any 1pps signal which is more than about 150ns away from when it's meant to be."

Cool... A CSAC with self-confidence.

Beers all around. Including the designer of your CSAC.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: 'precision docking of oil tankers, as well as navigation'

Mort offered "radio travels a long way in 13 ms"

Even in the corrected 13µs (as opposed to 13ms), it's on the order of 13,000 feet. About a foot per ns.

It'd be a pretty poor navigation system that depends on absolute time, as opposed to relative. Typically, it's all relative timing.

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JeffyPoooh
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Chip Scale Atomic Clocks (CSAC) - $1500 price class

Their sales should take off...

Amusingly, the CSAC has a pin to input the GPS 1pps signal (a pulse precisely aligned with the exact 'top' of each GPS second) to discipline the atomic clock. So any system design would likely still have a connection back to the GPS Time.

Life just got a lot more complicated for system designers.

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They're alive! Galileo sats 9 and 10 sending valid signals

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Re: Clock Sovereignity

A later story clarifies that GPS Time itself was slipped by 13 us due to some errors back at GPS HQ.

In that case, I withdraw my previous suggestion (just above). If the GPS Time signal is present, then it is not unreasonable to assume that it's 'the' standard.

Even if you had a local atomic clock for comparison, one would naturally assume that the local clock had gone haywire before you'd assume that the GPS Time had glitched.

The only exception would be if one had an array of atomic clocks (like at a National Lab); then one might be able to make the correction assumption.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Clock Sovereignity

For $1500+/- in parts, the designer could have included a Chip-Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC). And there are plenty of other approaches to avoiding such problems.

Design failure if a decision in Colorado leads to a system screwing up in Blighty.

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13 CubeSats to ride mighty US lifter

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Cubesats in deep space?

Crikey. That'll keep the big dishes busy.

Amusing quote: "...Why is it in a sheep paddock?" Recognize it?

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Why the Sun is setting on the Boeing 747

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Re: Really?

x7 "...four-jet fares even worse because of the risk of uncontained turbine failure, or an engine fire, taking out the adjacent engine. That's not possible in a trijet."

You've ignored the several tragic incidents where the failure of the tail-mounted engine took out the tail control surfaces or the systems that control them.

As far as I know, that's one of the fundamental reasons that tri-jets are no longer a favoured design architecture.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Some dodgy facts in there

"But the fourth engine gave the plane a significant safety advantage in that it would retain much greater propulsion power if one of the engines failed."

A more significant failure mode for the tail-mounted engine involves its somewhat-uncontained failure leading to damage to the tail control surfaces, or the systems that control them. There's a list of such incidents; most of which ended badly.

In hindsight, putting an aircraft engine in the tail is about as bad a conceptual design error as bolting a spaceship *beside* its large External Fuel Tank.

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

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Endless loop of stupidity

10 PRINT "Please upgrade to Windows 10."

20 PRINT "Sorry your hardware is not compatible."

30 GOTO 10

No argument or debate; this is utterly daft.

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Random ideas sought to improve cryptography

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Re: Way back when

"...infinitely long, yet reproducible, random sequence."

The nice thing about infinities is that they can be endlessly compressed. Unfortunately, they're still infinite.

Here, look up some YouTube videos on this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banach%E2%80%93Tarski_paradox

Start with Mathologer, then Vsauce.

Bring a bucket to carry home the exploded bits of your brain.

Only a tenuous connection to this thread, but still very entertaining.

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

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20kw

Put the 20kw server in my basement. In Canada.

You pay the server power bill. I get free heat.

I get to sleep with the window open, even in February.

In summer, we might need to run a pipe from the lake.

Summer is often one week in late-July. Rest of year, air cooling.

I've offered to store old fuel-rods from nuclear power stations.

Tens of kilowatts of free heat in winter, worth the neutron flux.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: "Offshore" data storage

allthe...etc, "AFAIK they still have subs..."

It's a big secret. Here's the Wikipedia article on it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Jimmy_Carter_(SSN-23)

Don't tell anyone.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Why put it all below water?

Wires might be cheaper than pipes.

But a leaking gasket will lead to server destruction. In the long run, pipes are cheaper than wires.

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How Symantec scuppered Veritas sell-off six ways to Sunday

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"...issues elated to the transition to our new ERP system..."

Symantec screwed by SAP? Delightful news.

(I assume it's SAP. ERP 'issues' typically means SAP.)

Now, please make my day complete by having a Symantec update issue take SAP off-line.

Delightful news. Simply delightful.

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Loons in balloons: Google asks FCC to approve Net plan

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Idea...

Forget the microwaves. Just string fiber optic strands up and down. They'd help keep the balloons tethered in place.

Airplanes? Ban 'em.

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Most of the world still dependent on cash

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Re: Eh?

"Unfortunately, it's very hard to verify a cashless system. If the publican believes that they took £1000 but the cashless provider claims they only took £900, how do you prove it? With cash you do a recount of both ends - till roll and contents. Can't do that in a cashless system."

In Canada, it's nearly universal that the debit card system prints out two copies of the debit receipt. One copy goes in the till. If there's any discrepancy, then they can check the paper copies. Otherwise, just file them for 90 days, then shred.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Eh? Taste of Tasmania

They're doing it wrong.

A good debit card system takes about the same time as making change. If one uses bonk-pay cards, then it's faster; in fact there's nothing faster.

The system should provide the option of paper receipts for both parties. Every transaction should have a unique number assigned. It should be completely auditable.

Did these people roll out their own flawed system?

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: The title should be

"...still to poor..."

too

Read up on how M-Pesa changed the lives of many in Africa. Replace a monthly seven-hour bus ride back to the home village to deliver cash, getting robbed and murdered of course, with a mobile e-transfer back to the family.

The efficiency of the system will save them enough money to buy a water filter. And more food. And fix the roof.

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JeffyPoooh
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Failure to mention Africa's M-Pesa mobile-phone based e-money...

No mention of M-Pesa.

No mention of Africa.

No mention of mobile.

Kinda leaves a huge gap in the article. Obvious to anyone that's paid even the slightest bit of attention to the topic. City workers able to send e-money home, minus the 7-hour bus ride. It's huge.

If The Register actually paid Out-Law (Pinsent Masons) for this flawed article, can you get a refund?

Or send them their fee via M-Pesa.

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AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots

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DO-178, IC makers liability

Impose the requirement for DO-178 documentation, as it should be. Being obviously life-critical. That'll slow 'em down a bit. How do they plan to document the 'machine learning' sub-systems? Hopefully somebody imposes some adult supervision into this industry before they're let loose.

Have the chip makers signed-off on this application? They're in danger of being pulled into any product failure liability lawsuits. A failed chip, self-driving car mows down children. Could get expensive. Will they impose standards for 'screened' parts?

These sorts of issues will delay this for at least a decade beyond what some people seem to think.

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Israeli drones and jet signals slurped by UK and US SIGINT teams

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Re: Listen up

"...millions of people around the world, pick up Radio 4."

I think that you spelled "BBC World Service" incorrectly.

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