* Posts by John H Woods

2635 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

We all hate Word docs and PDFs, but have they ever led you to being hit with 32 indictments?

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: @ Dr Heinrich Backhausen

I'd use pdftools to dump the text then run it through a text-based spell checker such as aspell --- but then I still prefer to LaTeX to Word, so I may be a dinosaur.

1
0

NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

John H Woods
Silver badge

Pai's task is "to liberate the internet and give it back to you"

I understand the concept of spin, but I'm struggling to see how this is anything other than an outright falsehood.

4
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

This Washington Post article makes interesting reading, suggesting the 2A is much more about militias than arms...

5
0

When clever code kills, who pays and who does the time? A Brit expert explains to El Reg

John H Woods
Silver badge

*A* Brit Expert

With all due respect to Dr Kingston and other experts in the field of artificial intelligence, it seems to me that perhaps it wouldn't hurt to co-author some of these papers with experts in law (e.g. see comments above arguing whether or not the vendor is always responsible) and philosophy.

I don't know about now but I always felt, when I was involved in biology, that some of my peers made the same mistake: doing detailed research into ethics and law surrounding emerging biological science whilst somehow managing to forget the fact that their very own institutions had whole departments devoted to the study of these subjects.

tl;dr: interdisciplinary research ideally involves collaboration of people from different disciplines.

5
0

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!

John H Woods
Silver badge

Mood killer...

"How about a robot-sex-doll with the same voice as your wife?"

I don't know, I just associate SWIMBO's dulcet tones with various other types of demands: principally the making, without delay, of various caffeinated and alcoholic beverages... and being constantly told to put object x (shoes, gadgets, wires) away.

3
0

US docs show Daimler may have done a Dieselgate – German press claims

John H Woods
Silver badge

Testing irl

Maybe the EPA and other state testers should think about supplementing the normal rolling road test with an occasional, additional, drive-it-round-the-block-for-real test.

I'm sure it is not beyond the current state of the art in engineering technology to create an exhaust emissions analyzer that could collect the results of, say, 20 km of real driving after an initial random drive of, maybe, 20 to 80 km.

Naturally such results will be less reproducible but if they are a million miles off the rolling road results, further investigation can be performed.

6
0

Google slides DNS privacy into 'Droid developer stream

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Not in Public DNS yet :-(

The only thing I do on a hotel network that is not over my VPN is to connect to my VPN. so I'm presuming that means my DNS queries go to the server chosen by my VPN provider?

0
0

Oi! Verizon leaked my fiancée's nude pix to her ex-coworker, says bloke

John H Woods
Silver badge

Vagina?

Endoscope required? Did they mean vulva?

13
0

You're decorating it wrong: Apple HomePod gives wood ring of death

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I'm absolutely shocked

"Some pieces such as rosewood are becoming increasing rare and increasingly valuable. If I had a table worth 3 or 4 grand I would be seriously disgruntled that an overpriced speaker had ruined it."

--->

"Rosewoods are pricey

And increasingly few

If they'd ruined mine

I'd be mad too"

29
0

Rogue IT admin goes off the rails, shuts down Canadian train switches

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Put pressure on him

Maybe they should have been on their guard against such behavior.

1
0

NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

John H Woods
Silver badge

"climate changes ALL of the time, like ice ages and warming periods"

How do you know? You take it on trust from the very same scientists who are mostly convinced that we are now seeing an anthropogenic effect. If expertise is only of use to you when it agrees with your per-conceived notions, I suggest you get a job in politics.

Even if you are right, and they are wrong, the idea that they are clueless, or that AGW is 'ludicrous' is untenable. [As is the idea that there is a giant conspiracy theory (if you've met any academics you'd know they couldn't possibly disagree in private and put on a united front in public).]

It may, of course, possibly be the case that they have all largely convinced themselves of something that is not really correct, and that you and the minority of skeptics are right. But even if you are right, you are not *obviously* right and your belief that it is all very straightforward, and only an idiot would think otherwise, undermines your credibility rather than reinforcing it.

I think it is also rather telling that you are cheering the demise of the few programmes that could pretty much prove that AGW is false ...

31
3

Facial recognition software easily IDs white men, but error rates soar for black women

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Film and photography have a similar issue

"If you search for 'The hardest part of being in a biracial relationship is taking a picture together.'"

That is brilliant (and what a stunning couple).

7
1
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I'm not being racist...

"Prosopagnosia. I've met several people with that in my previous work." -- TRT

Me too, but mine is so severe that I'm not sure how many times I've met them.

On one occasion (apologies if you've heard me mention it before) I didn't even recognize my Dad when he paid a surprise visit. I also mistook (ditto) Zoe Wannamaker for a mature student of mine because her face was so familiar.

5
0

UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: The terrifying alternative ...

There's another alternative, that politicians could actually listen to technical experts and either develop enough knowledge to understand what they're saying or to take it on trust.

The real 'sneering' is what politicians do to experts by disregarding everything they have got to say that doesn't match their (the politicians) already held beliefs. Nobody is calling Rudd an idiot for not understanding encryption - they are calling her it for being sure that she's right even though (a) she has admitted she doesn't understand it and (b) all the experts are telling her she's wrong.

44
1

Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Non binary DNA

The point I was making is that karyotype can never "betray one's presentation" ... an XY who self-identifies as female or non-binary cannot be told "ah, but you're really male" and that be justified on the basis of their DNA, even a complete sequence. Not now, and probably not ever.

The authoritative tone of your comment suggests you are a medic or biosciences PhD, but the content is a bit dubious tbh, at the very least you are being careless with some of these terms. As it is, I'm not sure whether you are disagreeing with me or not.

As for the computer implementation there's been four recognised genders (0MFX) for decades (ISO5218) , although the amount of software, even in the healthcare arena, written by people who don't seem to know this is absolutely staggering.

2
2
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Non binary DNA

Exactly; I'm XYY. I also have a degree in Genetics and a PhD in Biochemistry and I'm saying it again: anyone who thinks a DNA sequence reveals the "true gender" of a person simply hasn't studied enough biology.

30
6
John H Woods
Silver badge

Non binary DNA

"Imagine how non-binary groups will react if their DNA betrays their presentation."

Pub quiz level knowledge (XX=female, XY=male) is a bit of a simplification, old bean.

18
20

Uber: Ah yeah, we pay women drivers less than men. We can explain!

John H Woods
Silver badge

IS2R from working in motor insurance that women do indeed have more accidents per mile. That may reflect inexperience. Men, OTHO, cause more £damage and injuries. That may just be because they are more likely to be driving on fast and/or busy roads.

In any case, there are so many confounding factors that I find most claims that driving ability is *directly* correlated with sex to be insufficiently justified.

3
1

Peers approve Brit film board as pr0n overlords despite concerns

John H Woods
Silver badge

Anyone else read it as ...

... Calls for iron-age verification ?

0
0

Tech bad-boy Uber crafts tool to make staff follow the rules in future (er, coding rules, that is)

John H Woods
Silver badge

They've reinvented the taxi ...

... they might as well reinvent the wheel

10
0

Tsk-tsk, fat cat Softcat: Milk-slurping reseller taken to court

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: History repeating itself...

You mean to tell me that Acorn churned through every last one of its suppliers?

6
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Surprised he showed his face in the shop...

... How dairy

8
0

The Zuck promises to give you more local news – and so save the world

John H Woods
Silver badge

Local, yes... But news?

Facebook insists that I am in Wolfhamcote, even warning me "it'll be raining in Wolfhamcote tonight!"

It's not a million miles out, in terms of latitude and longitude, but Wolfhamcote has been abandoned for hundreds of years and now comprises little more than a few ruins and a deconsecrated church.

1
0

Twilight of the idols: The only philosophy HPE and IBM do these days is with an axe

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Workhouses and Sweatshops do not work

Pedantic note: a lot of pyramid constructors were quite well paid.

22
0

Biker nerfed by robo Chevy in San Francisco now lobs sueball at GM

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: @kain preacher

Absolutely agree that the motorcyclist made a mistake... However: as far as UK insurance goes, which I would also consider to be fairly sensible rules, making a mistake does not always make you the one at fault. If you are driving along the road and you brake for a cat and the person (too close) behind hits you, yes you made a mistake: according to the Highway Code you should not brake for an animal without checking your rear view mirror ... but they will nearly always be found at fault: to do otherwise they would usually have to prove you deliberately attempted to cause a collision (because, e.g. you were annoyed at them tailgaiting you).

If the biker had hit the back of the car, this would be clear cut, his fault. But when a vehicle sideswipes another during a manouvre, the vehicle making the lateral movement will usually be considered at fault. Whether that manouvre is an 'undo' of an aborted manouvre is usually irrelevant, as whether the other vehicle should have been there or not: good luck avoiding being found at fault for hitting an illegally parked car solely on the basis it was illegally (not dangerously) parked.

If you drive out of a parking space, but realize you are about to impede another driver, and you reverse back injuring a pedestrian who thought you were committed to driving out, who is at fault? You don't get to say "oh, the space should be empty because I was in it, I drove out and then I had a reason to 'undo' my drive out." Well, you could say it, but I doubt it would carry much weight.

The vehicle is at fault IMHO because (a) it is the heavier entity and must always bear the greater responsibility, (b) because it was the one making a manouvre and possibly (c) because it shouldn't even have commenced making a manouvre that would have to be aborted for anything other than emergency reasons. (If, unlike me, you consider what happened "emergency reasons" I think the correct result would have been a low speed rear-end of the car in front rather than a sideswipe of a motorbike to the side, regardless of whether that vehicle was breaking any rules.

TL;DR: "That shouldn't have been there" is never considered a good reason for a collision in the UK. Trust me, I drove my Audi into a police car at a road block.

5
2
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: six and two threes....

Interesting ... my initial thought is that the car is 100% at fault

4
11

Unlocked: The hidden love note on the grave of America's first crypto power-couple

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: That's all, folks!

Edwina Currie thinks “She made a difference” would be an appropriate epitaph for herself?

0
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: British Eizabethan

"Britain wasn't available when Sir Francis Bacon was alive."

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I was skeptical of someone who said St George was Turkish for the same reason. To explain it I asked them if they thought Caesar would be best described as "Italian" --- but they did ("of course"), so that strategy went precisely nowhere.

3
1

Twitter breaks bad news to 677,775 twits: You were duped by Russia

John H Woods
Silver badge

911 tower falling onto its own footprint

Nobody who expects a tower block to topple like a tree should be allowed to vote: if you don't get gravity, how on earth are you expected to cast a meaningful vote?

11
4

Amount of pixels needed to make VR less crap may set your PC on fire

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Number! It's the flipping number!!!

Fabulous.... Nearly on a par with the fauxVR pun

1
1

Wait, what? The Linux Kernel Mailing List archives lived on ONE PC? One BROKEN PC?

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Oh, come on now!

This is Linux, raidz is head and shoulders above all other redundant storage solutions. IME md-raid can be a horror.

0
0

Infamous Silicon Valley 'sex party' exactly as exciting as it sounds

John H Woods
Silver badge

Weird ...

... I can't get this out of my head now...

1
0

Of course Uber allegedly had a tool to remotely destroy evidence

John H Woods
Silver badge

"Last year, word leaked that Uber had been a tool"

It didn't surprise us

20
0

Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple's password protection in macOS can be thwarted

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: "we check every dialogue and button"

only half joking

0
0

Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Calling BS on the CPU graph

"The original chart clearly has some time at zero CPU therefore - if the workload hasn't changed - there should be some zero CPU post patch. There isn't any, which leads to the conclusion that there is something else wrong."

Sorry, but having been a performance engineer for some time I'd have to say that although you might be right that there is something else wrong here, it is simply not the case that a workload which has some zero % CPU should still show some idle time when a performance-impacting patch has been applied: simplest case, the patch could be causing enough impact for the processor queue to never be empty.

4
0

FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: wait a moment

"In a safe world, there is a trade off between privacy and ability to recover digital tracks by law enforcement." -- naive

No trade off is possible. That is what anyone with a clue keeps trying to explain: the only settings are "effectively broken crypto" and "satisfactory crypto." These are binary states - there is no spectrum between the two where you can decide where to place your "trade off" --- you can only choose one or the other.

6
0

UK exam chiefs: About the compsci coursework you've been working on. It means diddly-squat

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Numpties

All true -- but -- you've got to get past HR first. That is a huge problem, as you have to be assessed by people who have absolutely no idea how to assess you.

4
0

WD My Cloud NAS devices have hard-wired backdoor

John H Woods
Silver badge

Glad I didn't buy one ...

... I went for an HP microserver which was actually cheaper.

Bit miffed that I have to jump through so many hoops to get BIOS updates tho.

5
0

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

John H Woods
Silver badge

Obligatory Ted) Hughes reference...

... meanwhile British sparrowhawks continue to use nuclear powered lasers with sufficient precision to avoid collateral ignition

3
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Fascinating

Exactly... the problem here is confusing the word aboriginal and anecdotal.

11
2

GIMPS crack whip on plucky processor to find largest prime number

John H Woods
Silver badge

mod 3

Pretty easy to check --- all multiples of three, expressed in base 10, has a digit sum which is also a multiple of three (and can therefore be checked by the same rule).

3
0

UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

John H Woods
Silver badge

"All government policy is driven by the imperative of avoiding bad tabloid headlines."

Corollary: a small number of very wealthy people effectively control UK government policy.

Secondary Corollary: a large proportion of what is wrong with UK politics is due to the Daily Mail.

16
1

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Guess what?

You can get some good D&Bs... Fentimans isn't too bad

2
0

Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Great OS

"There is no three fingered salute that brings up a menu for a task manager or console terminal."

Yes there is: CTRL - ALT - F1

You can also get control of the system using SysReq

9
0

Maplin Electronics CEO ups stakes for steak house

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Can I be a CEO in my next life?

This is the supreme irony - they treat those down the bottom as interchangeable resources whereas it seems to me that the more senior you are, the less domain knowledge you need.

7
0

Captain Morgan told off for Snapchat lens: That grog be aimed at kiddies

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Plus ca change

I'll see your JPS pencil case and raise you an early Playboy digital watch

2
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018