* Posts by davenewman

331 posts • joined 13 Feb 2008

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You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!

davenewman

Child molestation?

Has anyone thought about applying child protection laws to the Nova Scotia minister, the police and the Unisys administrators?

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Politicos whining about folks' data rights ought to start closer to home

davenewman

Voting is a public duty

Because of that, candidates have the right to communicate with voters as a matter of public policy. To do that they need data on all voters, so they get the full electoral register, not the edited version used in commercial marketing. Voting isn't compulsory, but voters have a duty to read, consider and decide whether to vote (and who for), so they cannot opt out of getting political leaflets.

That is what makes it different from commercial marketing.

The problem isn't collecting the data, but using it to spread different lies to different people. We need a law to make professional lying an imprisonable offence.

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Sci-tech wants skilled worker cap on PhD and shortage jobs scrapped

davenewman

Why does someone called TruthSayer keep repeating the lie, "The problem is the EU people who have settled here in tens of thousands, do not work now and claim benefits."

There are detailed surveys of EU nationals in the UK. A higher proportion are at work than the native born population, and a smaller proportion claim benefits. In tax terms they contribute more to the state than our own chavs.

Would you employ my brother, who left school on the Isle of Sheppey with no qualifications other than how to drink and fight, or a woman from Kyrgyzstan with two MSc degrees in both mathematics and psychology?

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Trump buries H-1B visa applicants in paperwork

davenewman

Why discriminate against people whose mothers gave birth in a different country?

Why should your place of birth be an employment qualification at all? It isn't one of your achievements, it is an achievement of your mother.

What is the economic or ethical justification for nationality to be used in determining who gets a job? We are all humans (or AIs) in one world. All humans are equal, nationality is an artificial distinction brought in to recruit soldiers to fight wars. It should have nothing to do with employability.

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Fun fact: US Customs slaps eyeglass taxes on optical networking gear

davenewman

Re: He made one mistake

Officials scared of Trump will do anything to prevent imports from Mexico.

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2017 tablet market trended towards torpor

davenewman

I have just got 6 Chinese phablets for £90 each to use in a training session. They are pretty fast, do 5 GHz WiFi and 4G mobile phones. Only problem is they all have the same serial number, so mobile device management software thinks they are all the same device.

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Time's up: Grace period for Germany's internet hate speech law ends

davenewman

Quanta linguas fala o senhor?

Germans are proud of the number of languages they speak. So a police service will be quite proud of sending out messages in several languages spoken in their town. After German, Turkish and English there are quite a few spoken in the big cities. But as different cities have different populations, the chosen languages will be different in each town.

It is only in parts of the UK and the USA that I find people proud of only speaking one language.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

davenewman

Couldn't Adam and Eve it

Since the Eve equivalent is half the price.

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UKIP appeals against ICO request for info on Brexit data dealings

davenewman

Open Democracy has been investigating this

Read http://www.opendemocracy.net/dup-dark-money and other articles to find out more about the shenanigans of laundering money to pay for data manipulation.

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Hello, Dixons Carphone? Yep, we're ringing from a 2015 handset. Profits down 60%, eh?

davenewman

I got a software update on a Chinese phone

I ordered a 4G Android 7.0 phone from a Chinese company on eBay for £80 (a THL). After turning it on, I found they had a software bug fix available to download, only 8 months after the phone was made.

Now that Chinese suppliers have warehouses in the UK, I order everything from them.

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Google Drive ate our homework! Doc block blamed on code blunder

davenewman

Re: GDoc sync

Use Insync. It converts Google docs to .odt on backup.

5
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Is the FCC purposefully screwing up US school broadband projects?

davenewman

Looks like the USAC is trying to get bribes. Need an undercover police investigation.

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If you say it loud enough, Uber will sound atrocious: Super Cali juristic discrimination process

davenewman

Uber is one company that has objective data on performance. So why not use it?

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Tories spared fine after being told off by ICO for election telemarketing

davenewman

Re: He made one mistake

If supporters of a party directly call someone and up front says they are calling for the party, then can try to persuade people. That is telephone canvassing. It is when another organisation tries to do it while pretending to be independent that breaks the rules. Were the GMB up front about who was calling and why?

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Google faces $10k-a-day fines if it defies court order to hand over folks' private overseas email

davenewman

Why is Google being fined for contempt of court when they have a pending appeal? Normally appeals put a stay on all decisions until the matter is finally settled?

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

davenewman

DVB-T2

Why not just use DVB-T2, like in most of Europe? Why does the USA have to be different?

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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

davenewman

Re: I wonder...

Not even Iris Robinson?

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Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

davenewman

Looking at Metro and Handelsbank.

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Geoboffins claim to find oldest trace of life in rocks 4bn years old

davenewman

Re: More fake news

Didn't he calculate the ages of everyone mentioned in the bible, add them up and come up with 4000 years B.C.?

Odd that the headmaster was in a Church of England primary school, as that church supports evolution, as do the Catholics.

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Ouch: Brit council still staggering weeks after ransomware bit its PCs

davenewman
Mushroom

Radioactive ransomare

Isn't Sellafield in Copeland Borough Council's area?

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Bless their hearts: Democrats want $40bn to spruce up America's bumpkin broadband

davenewman

Many of these rural areas are full of Republican voters. So this plan will get support from rural Republican congressmen.

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Baidu puts open source deep learning into smartphones

davenewman

Re: "MDL can recognise a smartphone in less than half a second"

Hang on, if the neural network runs on the phone it doesn't have to send anything to a server.

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Bing fling sting: Apple dumps Microsoft search engine for Google

davenewman

In 2013 I compared Google and Bing's geolocation of thousands of house addresses in Oxford. Bing couldn't locate half of them, Google got all but 3%. So I got NationBuilder to change its default search and geolocation engine for the UK.

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Silicon brains ready to plug into London

davenewman

If you really liked to see us, you wouldn't charge so much.

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UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

davenewman

We need bad bomb-making information on the Internet

So that people make dud bombs that just burn instead of explode because they couldn't calculate the stoichiometric mixture (plus a bit extra oxidiser) that any 3rd former chemistry pupil could work out, or many people in Northern Ireland pubs.

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Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

davenewman

It was just an example

They could have picked any group that people hate. But having found one that targeted thousands of people they used that as an example, set up a small targeted Facebook post and wrote about it.

A thorough research project would have compared the number of people who self-identify as haters of someone. But to prove there is a problem with Facebook, you just need one example.

So the only reason to object to the choice of example is when the objector also hates that group.

As for search terms in Facebook employer fields, take a look at the number of people who type search queries in to the Google Android App Facebook page. There is even a video singing about those search terms.

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Totally uncool California bureaucrats shoot down drone weed delivery

davenewman

So what has the state of California got against rail freight? Locked containers on a train are safer than cars.

0
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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

davenewman

JP versus other SF authors

Milwright said:

> Am I the only one here who thought his story writing dreadful, ill-constructed, predictable drivel only saved from utter uselessness by the Niven collaboration?

He wasn't anywhere as good as Arthur C. Clarke or the recently deceased Brian Aldiss. But his stories were good readable yarns.

> And the only one who found Chaos Manor a sink of ill-informed, name-dropping posturing?

You probably are the only one. Most of us found Chaos Manor as the light relief in a serious magazine we had to pay a lot of money for in the newsagents that stocked US imports.

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davenewman

Re: Science provides facts, you decide.

The IPCC is tens of thousands of scientists, not politicians. They work on investigating different aspects of the problem, then a group of a few hundred synthesise the research into a range of models. 97% of scientists agree with the consensus coming out of that meta-analysis. There is rational disagreement about what to do to mitigate the effects of climate change. But it is no longer rational to dispute the greenhouse effect (as any gardener would tell you) or that it is the direct and indirect consequences of human activity that is the overwhelming contributor to the accumulation of CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere.

When Jerry Pournelle wrote about it, the science was less clear cut. In 2017 it is as close to a certainty that science gets. And in some of his novels, terraforming relied on creating an atmosphere to retain heat.

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Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

davenewman

Use Insync instead

Some time ago I switched to using Insync to synchronise selected folders on my PC to Google Drive. It works much better than the rudimentary downloadable client that Google supplies. And Insync works under Windows, OSX and Linux.

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Detox from your weekend kebabs with a healthy storage golubtsy

davenewman
Pint

Recipes more interesting that the article

Who cares about the ins and outs of people in storage companies? It is boring. Food is much more interesting - as is drink.

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Google, propaganda, and the new New Man

davenewman

Then there is professional lying

as in South Africa, where a British PR company has been caught disseminating fake news to reracialise politics in South Africa.

Let's make professional lying (by PR flacks, journalists and politicians) an imprisonable offence.

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If Machine Learning is the question, open source is the answer. Right?

davenewman

People have been trained in Machine Learning since the 1980s

It was part of my M.Sc. at Kingston Polytechnic in 1988. Even then it wasn't new. By the 1990s there were simple systems to apply ID3 to your data. One of my students built a system to diagnose congenital dislocation of the hip in two days.

It is doing it at a large scale, and with more neural network layers, that is new.

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Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

davenewman

Sea Shepherd submarine

Sea Shepherd should buy a submarine to shadow the whaling boats. Disguise it as a whale.

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Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

davenewman

Re: De Beers sponsoring the next probe?

This month's Wired has an article on producing large diamonds by chemical vapour deposition. Purer than mined diamonds. But each diamond takes 20 min. to grow.

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Phisherfolk dangle bait at dot-fish domain

davenewman

ISIRTA

Still a way to go to match the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again fish puns sketch.

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PayPal, accused of facilitating neo-Nazi rally, promises to deny hate groups service

davenewman

When they announce their emigration as they hand the country back to native Americans.

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Slurping people's info without a warrant? That's OUR JOB, Google, Facebook et al tell US Supreme Court

davenewman

Congress could vote to adopt the GDPR

If all of the EU, Canada and other countries can have data protection laws, why not the USA?

Ask Congress to pass a law similar to the GDPR and require both private companies and government agencies to stick to it. Then there won't be arguments trying to stretch contract law and the 4th amendment to cover data collection and use.

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Web-enabled vibrator class action put to bed

davenewman

Re: That's the best headline you could come up with?

The judge did better, "The Parties are directed to consummate the Settlement in accordance with its terms."

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Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

davenewman

There are companies that have solved the natural language analysis of recognising what someone types in (e.g. velmai.com) - but not the problem of how to generate a situationally relevant answer, that gives you what you need to know rather than what you asked for.

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WannaCry vanquisher Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty to flogging banking trojan Kronos

davenewman

I thought bail bonds are returnable when he finally surrenders at the court. However, the fees to a bail bondsman to get the loan of the amount are not. At least if Janet Evanovich's explanations in her books are accurate.

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Jocks' USO block shock: BT's 10Mbps proposals risk 'rural monopoly'

davenewman

NI did it some time ago

In Northern Ireland, the local government paid for rural broadband using a mixture of companies. Where fixed lines didn't reach, there were companies setting up wireless links to groups of houses. And in the most remote areas they used satellite Internet.

Now they have to do it all again, since bandwidth needs have gone up, but they can still use the same mix of companies and technologies.

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A sarcasm detector bot? That sounds absolutely brilliant. Definitely

davenewman

Examples

Try typing in "Brexit means brexit" and see the tears.

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Flash... Nu-uh! Tech folk champing at the bit to switch off life support

davenewman

Flash started as a tool for interactive games and presentations

But then people used it to stream videos.

Those wanting to get rid of Flash have forgotten its origins, the things it was good at from the beginning.

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

davenewman
Unhappy

Waiting for the tape to load

This is what you can do while waiting for a cassette tape to load!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL2NhhtIFPw

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

davenewman

Re: Susan

Do you mean Susan, the granddaughter of Death?

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Blue Cross? Blue crass: Health insurer thought it would be a great idea to mail plans on USB sticks

davenewman

I often plug odd USB sticks in my Linux computer. No problems so far. No autorun, but obviously I don't start executables, and can do an ls -l to see what is executable.

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Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

davenewman

Re: @ Why a gavel?

And here is where you find out about it:

https://inappropriategavels.tumblr.com/

Fine the Register picture editor an hour's pay every time he includes a picture of a gavel.

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

davenewman

Come on, the best SF on TV was and ever will be Doctor Who.

No. 2 is The Sparticle Mystery

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All the (IT storage) News That's Fit to Print

davenewman
Facepalm

This should have been a blank article. IT storage is boring. Nothing is fit to print.

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