* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2645 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

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Easily solved

First Trump should beg the Mexicans for money to build his wall like he promised. When that gets nowhere Trump and his supporters should apply for Mexican citizenship and pay for it themselves.

US trade watchdog, mobe makers queue to smack Qualcomm as antitrust trilogy opens

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Re: Patently ridiculous?

Many standard bodies require participants to declare patents that would cover a developing standard. The penalty for lying about submarine patents is a harsh scolding and lots of royalties.

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Re: Patently ridiculous?

The most obvious dispute is about patent validity. Mathematics is not patentable. Software is a branch of mathematics so software patents should be invalid. The US courts are slowly getting this bashed into their heads with a clew bat but only if the case reaches SCOTUS and then only the minimum possible precedent is set. In the EU you can patent software if you call it a "computer implemented invention".

As far as I know, patents are abused at every opportunity no matter what the domain. The default 20 year term has not been sane for decades. In some domains you can find an alternate solution but for phones you need compatibility for a modem to be useful.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

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Re: html in email...

If there is an excellent reason not to simply delete .doc attachments, try antiword (.doc -> .txt converter) which is available for RISC OS. There are dedicated text browsers: lynx, links and w3m (none of them appear to have a RISC OS port).

I have had a Mac user who could not modify a plain text email and send it back. Is this PEBKAC or are Macs really that bad?

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

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Re: Just like buying a magazine.

Whether or not their is a problem: Plenty of parents do not care. Clearly they think there is not a problem worth spending time on. The nudity taboo is relatively modern. Pre-Roman Britons used to boink in public.

"There must be some way to do that?": No there does not have to be a solution that is not far worse than the problem (assuming you think there is a problem).

Apparently threatening to view the router logs is a solution that works for you - excellent. The government's proposed solution is a disaster. I want perverts and pedos at home looking at dirty pictures till they fap themselves unconscious. Take that option away and they will hang around near schools instead.

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

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Re: Worst one I've heard of

I'm confused. I can see the necessity of wearing briefs to a debriefing but why attend a briefing if you are not going commando?

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

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Re: Ban science!

It is vital that we go back to the good old days of determined ignorance and lying about the effects of tobacco. Smokers pay a hefty tobacco tax and the cost of their end of life treatment is more than made up for by their short short life span. As long as there is a reasonable balance between smoking and non-smoking areas, non-smokers can avoid the smell and take an unfair share of the NHS budget during their abundant retirement years.

Ban the research! Cheaper nicotine and a lack of reliable data on the health consequences mean more taxes (on other people) and better NHS care (for me)! My grandfather lacked the endurance to move himself from his wheel chair to the loo because he smoked so much. This is a fate I happy to inflict on others because I am far more evil than a health nazi.

Silicon Valley CEO thrown in the cooler for three years, ordered to pay back $1.5m for bullsh*tting investors

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Re: Bigger Fraud is Safer

Lose a million and your have a problem. Lose a billion and the bank has a problem. Trump's real business skill was the ability to work with one bank to move the problem to the next bank. The last two banks in the chain were Deutsche Bank and Alfa. Now he can sell an end to sanctions he should be back in credit but given his outstanding skill at losing money I will wait for evidence rather than take that on trust.

Apple yanks iPhones from sale in Germany – and maybe China, too – amid Qualcomm spat

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Re: What I don't get is...

Qualcomm have been working hard at strangling any competition for years. I have no idea if Qualcomm or Apple is more guilty than the other but I think the bulk of the blame belongs with the patent system.

ICO has pumped almost £2.5m and 36 staff into its political data probe – but only 2 are techies

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Plenty of ways to interpret this

My favourites are that one part time tech is worth 17 lawyers or that software documentation is seventeen times clearer than the law.

Boffins don't give a sh!t, slap Trump's face on a turd in science journal

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Not bad, but the last one was better

Typing idiot into Google and getting pictures of Trump was funny the first time I came across it, but the fact that congress had to ask why is still hilarious.

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20

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Before you laugh too loud

The publishers claim to have sold over 900 million copies.

The fastest, most secure browser? Microsoft Edge apparently

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Re: Cookie permission screen

I prefer a solution along the lines of "treat all cookies as session cookies" because it is a setting the user can control by selecting a functional browser rather than relying on the state to hunt down and fine people who continue to track users who tick a "do not track" box on an html form.

There is still an advantage to the EU version. If the "I agree to cookies even though I do not want them" button covers the entire screen then I take it as a signed statement from the site management that they are a bunch of arse holes. I simply close the tab and try the next link down on the search results.

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

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Back before my beard went grey ...

The Russians could word out what was being typed on an electric typewriter from a recording of the sounds it made.

My first thought was that this tech could show an advert for a loan when you type your internet banking password - but there will not be any need for adverts. The next day you will find you took out a loan at 2400% APR and bought everything you never wanted.

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

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Re: make the .co.uk news for some reason

There is this magic trick: If the link contains the word "American" or "FCC" do not click on it and much of the US news will not appear on your screen.

NASA names the date for the first commercial crew demo flight

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Re: more of a crumpet man

Watch out or version 2 will be based on 790.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

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Re: the NHS will be paperless by 2020

The paperless NHS project is amazing. It has been going on for years. When it gets excessively late and over budget it gets cancelled and restarted a year or so later. Total deforestation and the complete destruction of the NHS will not end the stream of paperless NHS projects.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

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Re: @ toilet duk

Ms James you say? Can you show me you ID card please. That picture does not look like you. Let me take a closer look. Whoops... it fell in the shredder. Sorry - I cannot help you unless you have an ID card.

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Re: Here we go again...

and block chain.

Remember Misco? Staff win protective award at employment tribunal

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Re: Administrators

This bunch of administrators do seem to be a bit lax. Apparently they failed to spend £600,000 and some of that may reach the creditors.

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes

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Re: An optimistic cynics take

The fairings are aluminium honeycomb surrounded by a carbon fibre composite. Inspection of the first fairings to be recovered from the sea showed that sea water had got between the carbon fibres. The design has changed to include some sort of waterproof coating.

Dragon capsules land in the sea and get re-used. One of them has been to the ISS 5 times.

Pencil manufacturers rejoice: Oz government doesn't like e-voting

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None Of The Above stood for election in South Basildon and East Thurrock.

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Re: Security is not the issue

I vote a thousand times using randomly generated codes. Either you can turn those codes back into names and addresses - so you do not have a secret ballot or you can't and you cannot remove only my fake votes.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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Re: possible terrorist threat this Christmas

FISC: What!?

NSA: Santa Claus is a person of interest and a terrorist. Every year he violates US airspace, causes financial mayhem to our economy, drops packages containing god only knows what and ...

FISC: Yes?

NSA: He's got a list... we want it.

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Re: Gets popcorn

Revealing the existence of a TCN is illegal. Prosecuting a company for failure to to comply with a TCN will reveal the existence of at least one. Presumably this is legal and the court's ruling and sentence will also be a matter of public record and will be required to show up in SEC filings.

Next year phone adverts will include "already fined for not complying with a TCN".

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Re: The BS is strong with this one

This one is easy to understand. The actual deadline is before the next election.

Here's the list of space orgs big and small sparring to send next NASA gear to the Moon

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Re: Parachutes

IIRC the actual problem is with the second source of line cutters.

The parachutes open in stages so they do not get ripped to shreds when the capsule is falling rapidly. At least one of those stages involves cutting a piece of string. There was only one source of line cutters. Demand for these parts was approaching the supply limit so SpaceX found an second source. NASA is part way through deciding if the second source is reliable enough.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence

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You have clearly only met consultant version 1

Version 1 consultant does not need any time to understand a new customer's business because he has already selected the solution. The solution is the one that the consultant gets the most commission on.

Version 2 consultant does exist and a few of the more competent PHBs are able to hire them. Version 2 spends the morning listening to various employees until he works out which employee actually understands what is going on and how to fix it. He then listens to that employee and puts what he hears into a report for the PHB. The PHB then announces the content of the report as his plan (stop preventing the skilled employees from doing a proper job).

I was lucky enough to meet a version 2 consultant early on and so discovered the technique required to get PHBs to listen: increase your hourly rate.

Forget DeepFakes. This robo-Rembrandt with AI for brains is not bad at knocking off paintings

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Re: So they've made a more complicated scanner

If you read the article a bit more carefully you will notice that they did not use close up scans but ordinary digital photographs. The AI bit was to re-create the missing data, which is important.

Masks worn by actors have a blood red layer under the flesh coloured layer so the mask looks real under different lighting conditions. Painters use a similar trick: light can enter through the light areas and come back out through the darker areas to fool the brain into perceiving motion in the parts of the picture you are not looking at. I know that sounds impossible, but take a look at what can be achieved even without different coloured layers.

The only way to tell if the AI is doing a good job is to see the original and the fake side by side. Digital photos on a monitor are not useful - unless the artist designed for display on a montor.

A rumble in Amazon's jungle: AWS now rents out homegrown 64-bit Arm server processors

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You are kidding about Intel Atom aren't you?

I have tried using Intel's 'low power' chips occasionally (by low power Intel mean low performance not electricity consumption). Every single time I got burned. Intel prefers to have their FABs crank out top end high margin products. They see every cheap CPU (cheap compared to other Intel CPUs) they make is a lost sale of a more expensive CPU. They put bugger all effort into the small side and it shows up as hardware that promptly becomes non-functional and unsupported.

If you are stuck with a few ancient x86 binaries try them on ARM with QEMU. It is often sufficient and has an excellent service life. If that doesn't get the job done, go for a normal mass market Intel or AMD device. Economies of scale get the price of a complete system close to Intel's low power efforts and the service life will be two or three times greater.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: Starship/BFR names

I could not find the names of the colony ships that became Hadley's Hope on LV-426/Acheron. As they are nameless my vote goes for Nostromo.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing

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Re: How about scrapping them?

Scrapping food imports sounds a bit draconian to me. Brexits do not have to buy imported food it they do not want to. They have had that choice for years. (Likewise they could have left the EU any time they wanted but they are still here). The rest of us would like a choice.

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

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Re: "Who hired this clown?"

Answer honestly. See who still has a job in the evening. If it isn't you, get a job somewhere that values your skills. Everyone will be happier.

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Re: My superiors?

Scribble out a quick note:

I, Swinging Dick take full personal legal and financial responsibility for deleted, corrupted or encrypted data including resulting loss of business, reputation and fines for distribution of personal data caused by use of an unsecured phone on company property.

Ask him to sign it and watch how quickly he remembers that he is late for a meeting.

UK.gov fishes for likes as it prepares to go solo on digital sales tax

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Re: Mein Gott!!

I think they will just pass the tax straight on to UK customers and businesses (who will pass it on to their customers).

Disky business: Seagate hyperscale customers slow to 'digest' inventory

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Re: Maybe we noticed the warranty return rate

Take a look at the figures. If you are returning drives after a few hundred hours consider checking for PEBKAC because the drives are not the problem. Blackblaze buy lots of 4TB Seagates. They do this because with good redundancy and fail over the 3% PA failure rate is more than accounted for in the price. (The average is 2% for Blackblaze's inventory). Judging by the quantities in service the same cannot be said for the 5% PA failure rates of a couple of Western Digital models.

Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

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I would vote for it if ...

... they use suitable training data. I propose recordings of TV interviews with politicians.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

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Re: America

No need to make it up. When the UK government needs to come up with something really stupid to do all the have to do is copy the most damaging policy the Americans came up with 5 years ago.

This two-year-old X.org give-me-root hole is so trivial to exploit, you can fit it in a single tweet

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Re: Now, if this were a Windows exploit...

All free software has an automatic money back option. Perhaps one day Microsoft will provide such a service to their customers. You are welcome to hold your breath while you wait for it.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

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Re: Jaywalking

When someone gets run over they put up a fence to stop other people getting run over in the same place. A few days later the fence has a hole in it and people cross there again. The entire exercise is pointless for many reasons. One data point is not sufficient to identify a dangerous place to cross the road. It does hint at a popular place to cross the road and the possibility that some people are not as good at crossing the road as others. If they used more effective barriers, people not capable of looking both ways before crossing will simply find somewhere else to die.

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Re: Important 'cause...

the car will ALREADY be tracking every person/object in view so it doesn't have an "Oh ****" moment.

Almost... More likely:

the car will ALREADY be tracking every person in view and looking up their purchase history, credit rating and recent search topics so it can select irrelevant adverts to display on the car doors.

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

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Re: One stereotype about Generation Z...

Just like every previous generation had plenty of individualistic rebellious teens.

The march of Amazon Business has resellers quaking in their booties

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Re: This is new news?

Before Amazon, RS components had a reputation for seeking 'special relationships' with their suppliers. For example negotiate a low price, buy vast quantities to build a huge stock, wait for the supplier to invest in increased production then halt buying and sell from stock until supplier can be bought for a pittance.

There is nothing new about this business model.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

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My usual pseudonym: User Name

The bonus is that often someone else has already set up the account for me with the password "password".

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

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Re: Diagnostic process

In normal circumstances I can find a fault with a binary search but some clients like to help by asking a continuous stream of "Is the printer broken? Is the computer broken? Is it the printer cable? ..." three seconds after I enter the room. Applying chresmomancy may lead me to suspect the problem is a Letter sized document sent to a printer loaded with A4 but that requires typing in my password to check which can be a little tricky if I get too much help.

Microsoft has signed up to the Open Invention Network. We repeat. Microsoft has signed up to the OIN

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Re: Phil Kingston

I am confident what you consider a valid patent and the standard of the patents that are actually awarded are very different. The big problem with the EFF's stupid patent of the month is the thousands of thoroughly deserving patents granted each month that miss their chance of fame.

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Perhaps it is the other way around. Microsoft buying Github means they will be distributing a very large amount of GPL software. The cannot do that and charge patent royalties on it at the same time (unless they have a similar understanding of the law SCO).

Indiegogo pulls handheld airport pervscanners off crowdfunding platform

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There was an excellent reason for not having airport scanners

They cost a bomb but could not detect them.

The perviness was never a real problem.

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

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Re: Tigra 07

I know we are a net contributor. I have never said otherwise. That is still consistent with getting an unfair share of EU pork which used to be true but is being eroded. What I massively object to is Brexits promising the gross ~£350M/week (16% of the NHS budget) when the net amount which could theoretically be available is a rounding error on the NHS budget. The signature benefit of Brexit has been a big lie from the start.

The next crap down on the list is to restrict freedom of travel. That hits both ways. You are contributing towards restrictions on my freedom of travel.

"We all know the stories about the Human Rights Act. The violent drug dealer who cannot be sent home because his daughter – for whom he pays no maintenance – lives here. The robber who cannot be removed because he has a girlfriend. The illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because – and I am not making this up – he had a pet cat."

"This is why I remain of the view that the Human Rights Act needs to go."

Do you really want to be stuck in the same country as cat-gate?

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

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Words mean different things to different people

In the security services, "trusted" means "someone who can betray you".

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