* Posts by Christopher Reeve's Horse

150 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008


Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Know thy enemy (bugs in this case)

And if the the vulnerabilities were unknown, there'd be fewer reasons for consumers to have to buy new kit, cough *planned obsolescence* cough, cough, pardon me.

Europe taps Facebook, Google, Twitter on the shoulder. So about those promises to stamp out lies, bots, dodgy ads?

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: took down 800m and 754m fake accounts in Q2 and Q3

And just to add, it looks really bad both ways, either a massive proportion of active accounts were fraudulent, or there's a much bigger number of fraudulent accounts still out there undiscovered...

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: took down 800m and 754m fake accounts in Q2 and Q3

When I read that sentence I came here to say exactly that same thing! Have an upvote! Statistics available (quickly googled) show the number of 'Active' Facebook accounts as 2.27 billion for 2018 Q3. So, assuming this is minus the 1.5 billion of closed accounts, that means 40% of their 'Active' accounts have been shut! More worryingly, what if the accounts were't members of the set of active accounts? What if they were part of an unknown count of total accounts, active or otherwise? There's no upper limit to this - what if there's >100 billion facebook accounts and they only closed 1% of them? I bet the total number of accounts would be a statistic facebook aren't keen on publishing - any number far in excess of the world's population with access to technology would be a fairly damming indictment of the presence of shadowy bot plagues and sinister advertising practices. The whole ad industry is a fraudulent bubble as far as I can tell.

Amazon exec tells UK peers: No, we don't want to be dominant. Also, we don't fancy being taxed on revenues

Christopher Reeve's Horse
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Percentage change - that old trick!

An 89% increase of bugger all is still pretty much bugger all, even when you add it to the bugger all you already had.

Nvidia just can't grab a break. Revenues up, profit nearly doubles... and stock down 20%

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Maybe it's just greed!

Certainly for the domestic graphics card market, the costs have inflated grossly and disproportionately against the performance increase. A new 2080ti costs £1,200 pounds or more. This is utterly mental! The previous generation 1080ti was an already excessive £650, and the new cards are nowhere near touching double the performance. It's just greedy pricing.

And to add, the already very expensive 1080 series had been the performance leader for SOOOOO long, that most of the market of high-end users were already running one, and few will justify the extortionate re-investment at this point in time for such a small gain.

YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Eff the E.U.

@joekhul Bro, that's quite some comment history you have. Almost exclusively posting on articles related to Google, massive amounts of downvotes, and liberal use of the terms 'RegTard'. I'm almost tempted to believe you might be attempting to troll...

And just for clarity; exactly which part of Russia is it that you think is still communist? You appear to be >25 years out of touch.

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Lack of Astonish!

It's not vaguely astonishing, it really is astonishing!

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Isn't it obvious?

Isn't Clippy as a system app, essential and unremovable, effectively just Cortana?

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Isn't it obvious?

If it's anything like the small suite of popular games that used to be part of windows, you ruin the UI, pump them full of sickening advertising, and then offer users the ability to pay for the adverts to be removed.

Decision time for AI: Sometimes accuracy is not your friend

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Actually, change my mind - it's a trick question. You can't have better than 50% accuracy of positives, as any more than 99.9% accuracy of the assessment can't be done with only 1,000,000 claims. You can't have fractions of claims being positive or negative.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

I make it 99.9990415565743% accuracy required (to get 99.05% of accuracy of positives).

Excel goal seek to the rescue, but not with enormous, erm, accuracy...

Edit - actually get a closer result with 99.9989889889889% to give 99.000088991885% positives

'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Richard Feynman

His story about safe cracking at Los Alamos is a perfect example of this kind of thinking. He was regarded as the security risk after announcing he could open an important safe at the high security site. The question of the safe not being fit for purpose failed to be addressed.

Quantum cryptography demo shows no need for ritzy new infrastructure

Christopher Reeve's Horse

What about denial of service?

Forgetting the man i the middle risks for a moment, if every interfered with packet gets dropped automatically, wouldn't attempting to eavesdrop have the side effect of blocking the entire communication?

Shock: Google advises UK peers against more legislation

Christopher Reeve's Horse


"focus on the underlying principles rather than obsess over the companies dominating the space"

Said one of the companies who's dominating the space...

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Christopher Reeve's Horse

If only I could pay

I'd be happy to, but the option is rare. And even when you do pay, it doesn't necessarily follow that you don't get hit by advertising and data harvesting anyway.

Microsoft, Google: We've found a fourth data-leaking Meltdown-Spectre CPU hole

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Well well well well...

...well well well well well then.

Spring is all about new beginnings, but it could already be lights out for Windows' Fluent Design

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Progressive Web App? Fluent Design??

Web apps may make sense on a phone, but if I'm on a desktop or laptop (where Windows is typically found) why the pissing hell wouldn't I just use the browser? The version of Twitter (or whatever) in the browser is always going to be up to date.

If I could only spend a few hours with their board and point out what using some of their products actually feels like for an end user I'd start off with "Dudes! WTF!..."

And I quite like Microsoft generally. Imagine...

IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: 10 years too late

"disgusting abomination"


Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Nuke notes

My company used to use Notes for an extensive Quality Management System. It ticked the necessary functionality boxes, but it was utterly abysmal experience to actually use it, and I mean really ****ing terrible. I'm not keen on the prospect of it returning.

They're currently rolling out Sharepoint and Onedrive, and we're told that this will 'replace all network drives'... I find this all rather terrifying, especially as there's no explorer integration planned for it yet!

Least realistic New Year’s resolution ever: Fix Facebook in 365 days

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Harder to Control?!

Zuckerberg also wrote that encryption and cryptocurrency offer the chance for more decentralization, but said "they come with the risk of being harder to control."

Of course they're harder to control! The reason they exist is to be decentralized and avoid being 'controlled'. And now he simultaneously sees that as a risk, and he wants more decentralization?

Someone please punch him in his boneless face.

HTC U11 Life: Google tries to tame the midmarket

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Two years?

Well Google need to get on with sorting this out then. My nine year old laptop still gets regular OS updates and security patches, and it's original cost was comparable to an upper mid range smartphone now.

Why do I get the impression no one seems to have a genuine interest in solving this problem expediently? Oh, that's right, they'd all rather sell new hardware as often as possible instead...

Badass alert: 1 in 5 Brits don't give a damn about webpage crypto-miners

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Hang on a minute...

It's only 1 in 10 Britons once you subtract the 10% that don't use the internet at all, that sounds much more realistic.

Surveillance Capitalism thinks it won, but there's still time to unplug it

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Strangle them at source - but where is the control or visibility?

I still think there's not enough easily accessible and usable options for controlling how devices and applications have access to various resources. Users need easier access to control options and to be able to visibly understand and decide what the technology they're using is doing.

For example, it should be trivially easy on any OS or platform to sandbox a program or app entirely from local or network resources, but it just isn't, on anything. We lack the ability to use software at our own discretion of trust. In fact, everything seems to be engineered in entirely the opposite way. And it's not that convenience really depends on our blind trust, it's just that we're being abused in to thinking so.

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Excel drives me nuts

That's because it's not using the clipboard in the way you think it is. If you want to copy something and have it persist in the 'normal' clipboard, highlight it in the formula bar and then copy.

The excel copy mode is dynamic, so you can copy a cell or range, paste elsewhere, then allow something to update the values in the existing copy range and then paste these new and different values again, all without having to re-copy the original range. Magic.

Christopher Reeve's Horse
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Good Article

Particularly this bit, really hits the nail on the head:

"However, there simply is no good alternative to a spreadsheet for building logical and parameterised (eg business) models for many cases, at least to prototype and to get the logic right. Such models can be crystalised into a compiled, performant and version-controlled artefact at a cost, and then become difficult to tweak/update too."

Although quite often that crystallization process never happens, because of either cost, lack of technical resource, or the model needs to be flexible and dynamically change in a way that can't be done easily on a compiled platform (not by the average user anyway, who's typically the owner of the decision making process).

HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

Christopher Reeve's Horse


I'm presuming 'moved the DAC out of the phone' is a subtle euphemism for 'they've bloody well gone and removed the bloody headphone jack!'?

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Jokes on them...

"...after seeing Google-served adverts on the web"

What makes them think I see any adverts on the web?

Wisconsin badgers Apple to cough up half a billion dollars for ripping off chip designs

Christopher Reeve's Horse

ICAN has Cheese?

What's the cheese all about, did I miss something?

Got bot? How to put it to work with Microsoft's Cortana Skills

Christopher Reeve's Horse


Weren't there recently a bunch of security concerns regarding the 'skills' available on Amazon's Alexa? What makes you think I'd be more inclined to trust Microsoft?


Confessions of an ebook eater

Christopher Reeve's Horse

My first coding experience...

Was laboriously typing BASIC line by line from from a book of games written for the Oric 1 (before we upgraded to the much more lovely Oric 48K). Typing and then debugging would take hours if not days, and the results were, well, often a bit shit.

Looking back, I, erm, don't think it did mE aNy LoNG tErM hARm....

60 Programs for the Oric 1 http://www.defence-force.org/computing/oric/library/lib_coding_basic/

An 'AI' that can diagnose schizophrenia from a brain scan – here's how it works (or doesn't)

Christopher Reeve's Horse
Big Brother

Impressive analysis but

I still don't like the term AI being slapped on every bit of machine learning or 'big data' analysis...

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I liked it when words and definitions had specific meanings.

Southern awarded yet another 'most moaned about rail firm' gong

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: If you want good trains

Actually, there's some quite nice trains in the museum in York, especially the super cool 1960's Bullet Train.

If you want a good train service however, that's a different matter...

Creepy tech tycoons Zuck and Musk clash over AI doomsday

Christopher Reeve's Horse

‘a computer program someone wrote.’

Precisely. Especially the personal assistants, which after nearly two decades of advancement are just as frustrating as Microsoft Clippy. This is not AI, it's data whoring sh*t.

I personally doubt that the majority of middle class jobs will be replaced by AI, it's simply that the roles people have will change to reflect the increased capabilities of man & machine as a system. The personal computer revolution has completely re-defined what it's possible to achieve in the workplace, not simply replaced a bunch of typists and clerks like for like.

The world will get more complex, and we'll all need to do a more complex variety of tasks to deliver competitive outputs.

Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

Christopher Reeve's Horse

It's a simple recipe...

Problem: No one is using MS Store.

Solution: Take something that everyone uses, and make it only available from MS Store.

Kid found a way to travel for free in Budapest. He filed a bug report. And was promptly arrested

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Reminds me of...

"The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal is a vicious wild animal from the planet of Traal, known for its never-ending hunger and its mind-boggling stupidity. The Guide calls the bugblatter the stupidest creature in the entire universe - so profoundly unintelligent that, if you can't see it, it assumes it can't see you."

Seems about right.

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Reminds me of...

...that great Richard Feynman safe-cracking story at Los Alamos. When he informed the General (I think it was) that classified military documents were at risk because he could easily open the safe door, Feynman was instead excluded from accessing the area where the 'safe' was. He was seen as the risk, not the fact that the expensive new safe was not fit for purpose.

Cassini captures pieces of Saturn’s rings

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: precise measurement of the length of the Saturnian day continues to elude us

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but when a gaseous planet spins, and different latitudes spin at different rates, what exactly ought to be considered as 'a day'? Furthermore, why is it significant?

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

Christopher Reeve's Horse

"So glad you brought your childhood Amiga vs ST rants with you into adulthood."

Once Atari, always Atari. My trusty 1040STE is still boxed and ready in the attic, just in case this whole PCMasterrace thing doesn't work out...

Christopher Reeve's Horse


Please forgive my ignorance, but downloading another OS via the windows store! What kind of sorcery is this?

Does it install alongside windows as a dual boot (risking Grub destroying your RAID arrays; this happened to me last time I tried to set up a dual boot!) or does it run virtualised inside Windows?

Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Paradox. Everyone hates ads. Everyone wants stuff for "free".

Actually, on reflection I think I'd rather pay, it's just that I don't often find much worth paying for.

If there was on option on Google that let me pay £5 a month for their services and freed me from all their insidious advertising and data collection, I suspect they'd be getting a hell of a lot more money than they could generate through advertising to me or using my data.

I know the value of their data set is only realised when aggregated over lots and lots of people, but in the end it's all just snake oil to lure the advertisers. It can all be done with good old simple subject matter context, so that adverts relate to the content of the internet, not the personal information of people.

Samsung's 'Magician' for SSDs can let crims run evil code

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Say 'Abracadabra'...

...and is this the arbitrary code you selected?

Virtual reality audiences stare straight ahead 75% of the time

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Clever image processing algorithm

Whilst many of us are probably fond of a bit of creationism bashing, there's a time and a place.

And that time and place was AOL Instant Messenger, in 1998.

Scottish govt mulled scrapping £178m car-crash IT system

Christopher Reeve's Horse

"the programme has not delivered value for money"

Seems to be a recurrent issue in Scotland for some reason... See also Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Trams.

The new Forth bridge, apart from a bit of a delay, appears to be going well though; unfortunately big projects have become so tarnished that hardly anything positive gets said about the few successes anymore.

Backdoor backlash: European Parliament wants better privacy

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Big Banks

And you can't have a two tier system of proper encryption for banking and lesser encryption for everything else, because you could feasibly communicate using financial transfers by ciphering values into coded messages.

If people are determined enough they will find a way to communicate in secrecy. The bluster about back-doors into messaging services is more political than real. Unless, of course, there already are backdoors in all the common messaging services and we're being gamed.

Don't all rush out at once, but there are a million devices ripe to be the next big botnet

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Slow performance

So maybe this is why my Freeview box feels so under-powered that it often struggles to bring up the TV guide, perhaps it's busy doing someone else's malignant bidding - using higher user privileges than I've obviously got too!

From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Sample size

I've never been canvassed for an opinion either when exiting a polling station or at any time beforehand; furthermore I’ve never even seen anyone else being canvassed. Who is being asked?

You’ve got to wonder where all the data comes from, surely getting an accurate poll for all the constituencies would involve canvassing across a range of times of day to get account for voting behaviours in different demographics?

Personally I like to completely ignore it all till the final results are in. And even then...

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: As Liberal Party of Old would have told you

Which is a shame, because those all that effort going into exit polls lasts <24 hours, as the 'actual' polls get counted.

Guess it's just taking a gamble, hoping to justify the narrative, and possibly being able to say 'told you so', and 'look at us, finger on the pulse, our news is the best news' etc..

PCIe speed to double by 2019 to 128GB/s

Christopher Reeve's Horse

One bus to rule them all?

Looks like more and more things are going to consolidate to using PCI-E connections in a system, whether an internal slot or via high speed external connections like USB C. Storage is increasingly going that way - and as Optane starts to blur the lines between storage and memory, I wonder if DRAM will end up going that way too, once things get fast enough?

Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Christopher Reeve's Horse

Re: Not sure the hate is deserved

But walking around with a large set of bolt cutters helps identify you as a bike thief with a high degree of certainty. It's a substantial risk you'd get caught.

You can reproduce sound at any phone, anywhere, anytime, using almost any equipment, and with complete impunity. Doesn't necessarily even have to be the target's own device.

The only way of this being useful is if the user's voice is identified AND the response is uniquely identifiable as them. Rather like speaking a password or OTA code. Utterly useless. The alternative is hidden forensic signals in ALL available methods of recreating the sound of a voice (akin to hidden yellow printer dots), but that's almost unlimited scope of equipment and thus entirely out of control.

Christopher Reeve's Horse


just increase the volume and stand further away...


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