* Posts by Cynical Observer

450 posts • joined 20 Dec 2007

Page:

Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Only if your car has a new improved rev counter...

0
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Unhappy

@Steve

From one Cynic to another....

The particular instance was in Ireland (I did say other jurisdiction) and looks like it may have been closed by now

Importantly, they seem to have brought in the "Proof of Postage" counting as "Proof of Delivery"

0
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Safety Critical Patches

@SVV

Releasing buggy software and then in effect having the users find the bugs is all too common a practice. In a car it would be criminal negligence at best.

Finding the bugs in this case is easy - they're on the windscreen

1
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: So...

@AC

... then spend the rest of your life wondering if you can be bothered to root the car to install the latest patch

What's the betting that rooting the car for this purpose will fall foul of the law -

And our survey says you're UNINSURED

3
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

@vilemeister

So if your car inexplicably fails to install a safety critical update, you get blamed? Because I'll bet that the software vendor will say it works just fine.

Possibly not. One argument used in another jurisdiction to beat escalation in fines due to speeding tickets could work here. There was an issue about proving that the original ticket had been delivered - because they were sent out unrecorded delivery.

Argument ran - "All my other post has been and is delivered satisfactorily, the ticket cannot have been sent correctly as it was not received." Judgement was that the ticket was not correctly served in accordance with the law and case was thrown out.

Software vendor/car manufacture could/should be required to prove that the recipient car has successfully installed the patch - checksum or some such calculated from the patch and the VIN might be a start.

3
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Safety-critical updates?

Had similar thought - on slightly different timelines. Patch released at (for argument's sake) 12 noon. Accident at 2pm. Is that negligent? Or is it a reasonable delay?

If it's the second, what constitutes a "Reasonable Delay?" What if I don't update for 1 day? 2 days? Where exactly is the threshold?

Do autonomous cars come with a data tariff and 3g connection? What if I'm in the Scottish Highlands or the Welsh Hills where coverage is poor?

This has shades of being as poorly drafted as the Government's psychoactive substances abuse bill.*

A recent prosecution for using nitrous oxide was thrown out as it has a legitimate medical use. The accused wasn't using if for that purpose but case dismissed nonetheless.

26
0

You can yacht be serious: Larry might be planning his own version of America’s Cup

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Left hand down a bit!

You know what's going to happen now....

Everyone is going to have a jibe at Larry's expense.

4
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Only one rule:

SELECT winner FROM LarrysBoats;

17
0

You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Thumb Up

@ James 51

No training in case they get poached and people get treated as interchangable.

In another life, I was a software trainer (most enjoyable job ever) and your point came up one day in class. This was the first course one of the delegates had been sent on for years - for the very reason that his boss was afraid that the staff would get trained and leave.

Quick as a flesh, one of the other delegates responded

"Go back and ask him, how bad might it be if they don't train you and you stay?"

29
0

EU: No encryption backdoors but, eh, let's help each other crack that crypto, oui? Ja?

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Refreshing

@AndyS

Or as I heard it described this week...

Shitting on the Cake and then threatening to eat it.

Icon for your stab wound

10
0

'Cyber kangaroo' ratings for IoT security? Jump to it, says Australia's cyber security minister

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Other Australian Animals are available

Dingos, Wombats...

I know - how about Dingbats

3
0

Beware the GDPR 'no win, no fee ambulance chasers' – experts

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: A good thing too

No. Not really. Take for example Dyson and JCB. You voted out because they recommend it? But Dyson has offshored how many jobs? His faith in the country is that robust?

JCB lost court cases in Europe - are we really to believe that this didn't colour their opinion?

Some of your reasons would seem to stem from personal dislike of individuals. But people come and people go. Jean Claude will be gone in a few months.

Security - how does diminished cooperation improve security?

And trade - Oz has said its first priority is a deal with the EU because of the market size.

I appreciate it's a big ask but please, more than just a list of words, why did you make the choice you made?

3
2
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: A good thing too

@ToddRundgrensUtopia

But can you explain why?

1
0

Screw the badgers! Irish High Court dismisses Apple bit barn appeals

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Flame

Re: No Operational Justification for placing a Data Centre anywhere in Ireland

@ Uberseehandel

The EU is the largest trading bloc in the world. Placing a data centre on its periphery in an isolated nation with poor infrastructure and an under-educated workforce only makes sense if the sweetheart deal lasts.

To answer this in Irish - What complete and utter shite!

Under-educated? Time was the only thing Ireland had to export was graduates - and even today, its education system punches way above the country's weight.

By dint of being a good European nation, Ireland has benefited with structural funding which has seen extensive improvements to the major arterial roads. And, as been pointed out, once this is up and running, infrastructure is largely immaterial. The irony is that Ireland, especially if is "accepts" the Apple windfall, is about to tip over and become a net EU contributor rather than a beneficiary .

As others have schooled you on the error of your post, probably best that you just let this one go.

6
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Creating 150 jobs

How many will be suitable for unemployed local youngsters? How many will go to highly skilled incomers, who move to the area, buy a house (and inflate prices for said local youngsters), and then fail to blend in to the community. Sure, some extra business for the village shop, but at what a price?

Derrydonnel, the site for the data centre, is approximately 20 miles from Galway City, a city with a population of c80,000, a university with 18,000 students, a long record in drawing tech companies to the region - go back to the days of DEC before Compaq swallowed them, Northern Telecom before their woes, Cisco and others.

The other towns in the area are smaller with many of them acting as feeders to Galway but the next largest Tuam has a population of 8000 and is only 15 miles away from the site, Athenry with 4000 is even closer - 5 miles away.

It's more than likely that the population will be able to supply a competent workforce - beyond the extra demand in a local shop.

Like or loathe Apple, at least they didn't shove this into Dublin suburbia as so many things in Ireland seem to.

5
1
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

Time to brush up on your geography

Brian McDonagh (a landowner in nearby Wicklow)

That's like saying Peterbourough, a town that's near Birmingham.

According to this article from Irish media outlet Fora, it looks like McDonagh had hopes that a data centre would be built on his Wicklow land.

Two locals, Allan Daly and property lawyer Sineád Fitzpactrick, have joined up with Brian McDonagh, a landowner who bought a €22 million site in Wicklow from Ulster Bank in 2007.

McDonagh’s idea was to develop the area into “the world’s largest data centre”. It was not to be and he was denied planning permission.

For that reason, it has been suggested that the site Wicklow would make a more suitable location for Apple’s data centre.

The reader is left to draw their own conclusion.

19
0

Top of the radio charts: Jodrell Bank goes for UNESCO World Heritage status

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: UNESCO World Heritage (minus USA)

@AC

It's just you.

21
0

Rejecting Sonos' private data slurp basically bricks bloke's boombox

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: Crap like this...

@tin 2

Doubt it.

The App was discontinued by its original authors when they sold it. The new authors never successfully brought the "New Super Revised Improved Version" to market.

The installed version (on my and the other's devices) was installed from an APK and the permissions were subsequently stripped.

To use your words from another post in this thread ...

Also means that nobody thought to put in a billion lines of every-movement code by then so we're good :)

0
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Crap like this...

@Mark 110

Given the way the teenagers hide out - we don't need that. For some reason they seem to think that my taste in music leaves a lot to be desired.

11
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Crap like this...

...reaffirms my belief that picking a simple Bluetooth speaker with half decent sound quality was probably the right decision in the long run. Yes it may be limited in functionality compared to the Sonos - but it's a damn sight cheaper and will continue to function quite happily for many years - at least until the Bluetooth specs deviate wildly at some future date.

67
0

'Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russian spies using AV tool to harvest NSA exploits'

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Mushroom

Symantec was the first to jump, with its CEO Greg Clark telling Reuters this week it will no longer let governments inspect its source code. Clark said: “Saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to let people crack it open and grind all the way through it and see how it all works’” poses an unacceptable risk to customers.

Can't see that sitting sitting well with 45 Orange and Co. With the latest pronouncement by the Deputy AG that "...there has never been a right to absolute privacy", US TLAs are not going to be happy with the loss of any attack vector.

Expect a Twitter rant from The Orange One in the not too distant.

Oooh Popcorn! ------------->

4
1

Ex-Autonomy CFO begs court to toss out US fraud allegations

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

Re: That's not who should be in court

You employ these people at a fairly stiff day rate to discover exactly the kind of shenanigans that this guy is now in the dock for, and it is clear they didn't do their job at all.

Woah there AC! That's a dangerous assertion. If it's clear that they didn't do their job, then it might also be asserted that it's clear that the so called shenanigans have taken place. Conversely, if they did their job, and if they did it correctly then someone in HP badly screwed in structuring the deal.

That's what Mr Hussain is going to be court for - to determine if said shenanigans did take place. But until that happens (assuming that the US courts take the standard "We are the World" approach and insist on proceeding), he has a right to the presumption of innocence.

4
1

NASA readies its asteroid warning system for harmless flyby

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Pint

Not GMT.

UTC is the time standard. GMT is the zone - which of course is different to BST.

Now just need to wait a couple of weeks for the annual "Let's scrap daylight savings" discussion best carried out over several ------>

20
1

Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Fully agree that it wouldn't take a dedicated miscreant very long to retrieve such info but here's the question that follows the suggestion that people should use some other value.....

Who is going to feel happy telling lies to a credit rating agency - knowing that the leeches share info and that getting wrongly flagged with one can make life just that little bit awkward.

The better approach is surely to educate the agencies (and others) so that they stop asking for it in the first place?

34
1
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

Time for a New Best Practices

Any answers to security questions – such as your mother's maiden name – given to Equifax during an account signup should now be considered compromised, the NCSC warned, and should be changed for other websites, if possible.

About five years ago, we started to see large UK public sector bodies reject things such as Mother's Maiden Name when configuring security questions. As others have pointed out, it's too easily known and some users will simply consider it to be immutable - they will refuse to misrepresent mum's maiden name. Date of Birth falls into the same category.

The silly thing is - this isn't friggin' brain surgery (or rocket science). Ten years ago, at least one UK bank saw the merit in allowing customers to define their own memorable question - it can be as simple as first Car/first pet/first office location/first love. It strictly speaking doesn't actually matter as at the end of the day, it's only a string of alphanumeric characters.

Perhaps it's about time we started to define a list of questions that are best avoided - and point to the Equifax incident as that watershed moment when it was decided that things had to change.

15
0

Brit bank fined £75k over 1.5 MEEELLION text and email spamhammer

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Pathetic

@DJO

Not enough - that's only 56p per message.

If the ICO/HM Gov really want to stamp this out then fines should be in the order of £2 per message sent (text or email makes no difference) and the liability for these fines is transferable to company directors in the event of the company liquidating/going bust. Hound the bastards all the way into personal bankruptcy if necessary.

8
0

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Progress

@John B

It has been postulated that the true reason that there are never-ending roadworks on the UK motorways (especially the M6) is that the government does not own a field large enough to store the traffic cones...

22
0

Leaky-by-design location services show outsourced security won't ever work

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

Except, that's not the case.

I'll admit, I was of a similar opinion, that the only people who locked down FB etc where those who had a close relationship with some hoary old IT bod. However, when I went looking for supporting evidence, it turn out to be not the case.

5 Myths About Teens and Technology Every Parent Should Ignore

The Truth about Teens and Privacy

Apparently, not only do today's youth get the concept of privacy, it is in fact a multilayered, multi faceted part of their on-line existence.

I recall one former work colleagues surprise when he found out that his teen age son had about a dozen FB accounts - all active for very different connections.

0
0

How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: How much for that Belkin cable?

Indeed. But it would have been wrong to change what was quoted text. And seemed pretentious to mark it "sic"

But well done on missing the point - that the article is devoid of numbers that would have lent context to the article

2
1
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

How much for that Belkin cable?

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

I don't know - the article doesn't actually say and I couldn't find a link.

I'm sure there's some really juicy numbers in the survey - but please why not actually give at least the equivalent of they spent £#### on an Xgb card.

Bearing in mind that 100% margin is a doubling in cost price, coughing up a 1095 per cent margin on an SD memory card. is 11 times bigger than that. But on what starting price?

Devil's in the detail.

The quote is my comment on last year's version of this story and pretty much stands without needing to be modified. Either a link to the survey or some indication of actual prices paid would provide some much needed context.

Edit: The Link to the Survey (Email Registration Required) IT margins benchmarking study 2017: The avoidable cost to business

6
0

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Joke

Klingons?

10
1
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Not "nipple"....

I can't find it on my keyboard....

7
1
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

The Toyota Hilux of Laptops?

9
1

He's no good for you! Ofcom wants to give folk powers to dump subpar broadband contracts

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Meh

Marvellous idea - now if only there were a Universal Service Provision requirement on all the broadband providers as well.

When you have a choice of one path back to the exchange - because there are no competing wires, this might serve to keep the buggers a little more honest in their marketing spiel - but will in reality do feck all to make it go faster.

So while a good start - it gets a Could do Better from me

15
0

Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Facepalm

Demolition Man

..for confirmation that using biometrics as passwords is a truly stupid eye-dea

20
0

Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: "It is alleged"

It is alleged that CIA never tried to kill Castro. Or any other world leaders. Really. Telling the truth here. Honest. Cross my heart.

Well played! Casting doubt in the negative to strengthen the positive - which you haven't actually proven to be true.

It is alleged that you didn't know what you were doing.

3
7

Li-quid hot mag-ma: There's a Martian meteorite in your backyard. How'd it get there?

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Alien

The chances of anything...

But he said it was difficult to know which idea to believe because the uncertainty in the measurements was so high (PDF).

Can't help it.... Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds

5
0

European Commission refers Ireland to court over failure to collect €13bn in tax from Apple

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Those who do not learn from history....

The corporate tax rates in Ireland have always been a source of irritation to some of the larger EU nations - France in particular if memory serves. When the EU complained about different rates for inward investment versus indigenous companies, Ireland harmonised the rate - downwards to the consternation of said larger EU nation.

I'm surprised that they haven't played much the same hand again.

While accepting the tax payment form Apple, they could announce that said payment now allows them to lower the corporate tax rate to 8%. That's lower than anywhere else in Europe, lower than Donald Trump's postulated amnesty tax rate and will probably serve to hold/attract investment in Ireland for another decade or two. If the multinationals actually paid at the applicable rate, Ireland would probably be better off all round.

CAVEAT: This will probably all go out the window if the EU switches to a tax system that factors in turnover and where the revenue is earned.

7
0

Schrems busts Privacy Shield wide open

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Mushroom

Put the popcorn on please

This one is going to run and run... and run.

Strikes me that it's analogous to a comparison between two security ethoses of years ago. The first granted pretty much full access to everything by default and then selectively removed if from those area that a user was not supposed to see. The second granted nothing by default and then opened up areas that the user was supposed to access.

The two systems were almost fundamentally incompatible and making them work together was the mother of all bodges.

This feels similar - the US approach demonstrates a "We'll take everything until you bitch at us" feeling, the European, "We say companies can only have the minimum that they need."

And it's not going to be truly resolved until mindsets start to change - hopefully with a pronounced bias to the European position.

Now - Salted or sweet popcorn? ---------------------------->

36
0

Smart burglar alarms: Look who just tossed their hat into the ring ... It's, er, Ring

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: No chance

@AC

Qualify wirelesss in this instance.

Piggy backed on WiFi and networked - I'd agree, it's a solution looking for a problem - best not to go there.

But wireless sensors communicating directly with the alarm base station in a dedicated closed autonomous system - they have a role in buildings where a wired solution may not be so easily deployed.

0
0

NetApp scraps first day of Insight conf talks at Mandalay Bay after terrorist guns down 59

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: I will never understand the CULT of the gun

@AC

Well, failing logic and reason, we can try comedy.

Jim Jeffries on Guns and Gun Control

Headphones recommended if you're in company - Language NSFW

6
1

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Techies will continue to sneer.

@Nick

Would Ms Rudd require that all door locks produced by locksmiths selling locks for use in the UK share a common master key, copies of which are stored in Ms Rudd's office, in all police stations (just in case), in the glove boxes of all emergency vehicles (just in case), in the cabinets of all utility companies (just in case), in the offices of local councils (just in case - terrorists and kiddie botherers y'know) and of course various very reputable* private security companies such as G4S (just in case one wants to outsource things).

For the love of [Insert Deity]

Don't start giving her ideas! She's dangerous enough as it is!

117
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Coat

@wolfetone

... Presumably why any initiative will be pilot lead?

5
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Techies will continue to sneer.

To be fair, many techies will also try at least once, possibly even more than once to explain some of the obstacles that make the ministers demands unrealistic.

And then - when we have been ignored for the umpteenth plus one time, then we're going to sneer.

It's the wilful refusal to engage with the complexity of the issues at hand, the adamant insistence that "lords and masters" know better. And at that point, when we realise that we have met the ministerial equivalent of "Tim, Nice but Dim", then we sneer!

220
0

Patch your Android, peeps, it has up to 14 nasty flaws to flog

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

In response to the two AC responding lucky....

0
1

We went to Nadella's launch of Hit Refresh so you didn't have to

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

But it turns out the interviewer was looking for the more human response of picking it up and hugging it.

Interviewer displays reduced understanding of how modern society has evolved.

Response for many is to quickly assess situation to determine if severity of situation is serious enough to balance the charge of inappropriate contact.

Thereafter to call 911, "hug it" or feign ignorance in the hope that someone will get there before them.

24
2

Drunk canoeing no longer driving offence in Canada

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Canoeing test

Having seen many a canoeist, I'd have said that tipsy is always the appropriate adjective to describe them

Coat needs to dry out ------------>

16
0

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Didn't they used to have a flywheel?

@John...

Can't be the only one who thought - 1.21 Gigawatts!

3
0
Cynical Observer
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Do not press

@werdsmith

It's one of Theresa May's red lines - complete removal from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. This article from the Grauniad might help - extract below.

What’s special about Euratom compared with other EU regulatory agencies?

Unlike the dozens of other, equally sensitive, regulatory arrangements for industries such as aviation or pharmaceuticals, Euratom has been singled out for special treatment because it is not technically part of the EU. Instead, the treaty that established this body to coordinate Europe’s civil nuclear energy industry was born in parallel with the birth of the European economic community in 1957.

Britain’s participation in this largely untouched relic of atomic camaraderie therefore required a separate legal relationship with the European court of justice to enforce it. Since Theresa May has committed the country to severing all ties with the ECJ, it also required a separate clause announcing our intention to leave in the article 50 legislation that triggered the start of the two-year Brexit process in March.

Icon for when things go into meltdown...

13
0

Shock! Hackers for medieval caliphate are terrible coders

Cynical Observer
Silver badge

Re: C'mon, ElReg.

@Bombastic Bob

I believe Cyst-ISIS was the winning term - Irritating Twats.

(Courtesy of The Last Leg)

12
1

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017