* Posts by davenewman

367 posts • joined 13 Feb 2008

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

davenewman

Re: Shutdown

Or Americans could start travelling by train again.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

davenewman

It is useful for business. Just install Linux. Forget about Windows.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

davenewman

The only time I bought anything to regulate the power supply was in Kenya in the 1980s. There weren't many long power cuts, but there were twice weekly drop outs of a few seconds. A voltage stabiliser covered those seconds. As the supply voltage went down, the slider on the transformer moved to keep up.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

davenewman

Wrong. Oxbotica already manages small twisty roads in Oxfordshire.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

davenewman

Re: He made one mistake

You can forbid companies monitoring employees if you are in a country with strict privacy laws, like Germany.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

davenewman

Always identify the spokesperson

To stop companies giving stupid PR answers to your questions, always report the name of the spokesperson who gave you the answer. After a while they will get so embarrassed that they start giving proper answers to your questions.

Similarly, when someone says they cannot comment on individual cases, ask them Why?

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

davenewman

Better than the Christmas number 1 in the UK

Sausage rolls?

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off

davenewman

Have the broken the XMPP standard?

By removing APIs that access XMPP?

Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

davenewman

Re: @a/c above

Not if we had to rank the options, then add up points in a de Borda preferendum (www.deborda.org)

Er, we have 670 staff to feed now: UK's ICO fines 100 firms that failed to pay data protection fee

davenewman

Waiting for their renewal invoice

An organisation I am involved with was due to renew registration in September. We didn't receive any renewal notice or information on how to pay. The ICO has simply dropped us off the list of registered organisations. I send an email enquiring. Still waiting for a reply.

Brexit: UK will be disconnected from EU databases after 2020

davenewman

Re: Guys, guys, Project Fear Mark 75 can be wound up now!

The European Parliament works far better than the Westminster one. The MEPs spend their time in committees, drawing up legislation across national and party lines, finding better solutions to the problems we face. I had a fascinating hour listening to the Swedish Green MEP explaining how her committee got the common fisheries policy changed to something sensible. They came up with a workable compromise they then sold to the rest of the MEPs, co-ordinating their reports with mass demonstrations outside led by Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall.

In Westminster we have people shouting at each other in Parliament, with no power to change what the Government Ministers decide, all doing exactly what the whips tell them.

The times when the EU doesn't work is when the European Parliament is overruled by the Council of Ministers - i.e. the Ministers from each national government.

What we need is a civil war like the US had, to set up a proper working federal government.

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

davenewman

Business cards

There was a time when people would hand over mini-CDs as business cards.

Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

davenewman

I see they have magnetised walls, so they can just stick tools there to stop them floating about.

First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

davenewman

In Estonia you can find out who has looked at your data

Every Estonian citizen can check their ID card data and find out who in the government looked up their data on a particular occasion for a declared purpose. It is 2-way transparent.

5G can help us spy on West Midlands with AI CCTV, giggles UK.gov

davenewman

False positives

There were reports on the false positive and false negative rates of automated facial recognition used by the Met in London. Amazingly high false positive rates, with lots of innocent people being matched to wanted lists.

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die

davenewman

EVE

is the answer, if you need that spec and Windows.

Salesforce boss Marc Benioff objects to US immigration policy so much, he makes millions from, er, US immigration

davenewman

Salesforce could modify its HR software for the border patrol to automatically record abusive behaviour by staff, and highlight it in annual reviews. I realise they are not a bad as TSA goons, but I have only come across one country where the passport control people are more officious and uncaring - South Africa in the apartheid era.

HiveIO claims latest HCI software 'eliminates' complexity... Isn't that the whole point of HCI?

davenewman

HCI is?

What has this got to do with Human Computer Interaction?

Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

davenewman

In Warnambool, Vic.. Australia, whenever there is a high wind, someone needs to go up the mountain to realign the microwave dish that connects the whole town to the Internet

Miss America 'scholarship program' adds Microsoft Azure developer to lineup

davenewman

Thanks for the link to John Oliver's piece. Hillarious.

Apple shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find gambling in its Chinese App Store

davenewman

Sensor its service?

In order to keep its multi-billion dollar China business open, the company has had to take extra measures to monitor and sensor its service.

How did IoT get mixed up with this?

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

davenewman

Tested in reality before the simulator

Oxbotica has tested self-driving cars all around Oxfordshire already - on the roads. The simulator just lets other companies do their testing more cheaply.

DEF CON plans to show US election hacking is so easy kids can do it

davenewman

Hack the politicians?

The only thing that will persuade the congressmen and senators to vote for better election security is to find their own sites have been hacked.

Capita still squats on top of the UK's software and IT services heap

davenewman

Re: Chisholm trail

Since Cambridge has the highest proportion of journeys made by cycles in the UK, how can cycle tracks not be used? Any evidence for your claim that they aren't used? In Oxford, with the second highest rate of cycling, the cycle paths are heavily used to get past the standing traffic of those idiots who insist on bringing cars into the centre instead of using the park and rides.

Mamma Mia! UK film fans forced to Q as Vue's website craps itself

davenewman

Buy at the cinema

You don't have to buy your cinema tickets through a website. You can turn up and hand over some cash.

OK, the blockbusters will be sold out, so you end up seeing a higher quality film.

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

davenewman

Re: Shooting the messengers much?

> How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for?

There were proud boasts in detailed blog posts after the US Presidential elections claiming that their voter suppression campaigns tipped the balance against Hilary Clinton.

The Trump campaigners did not try to get more people to vote for him. They made sure that women who might vote for Hilary Clinton saw lots of words and images attacking her. They didn't vote for Trump, but once doubt was seeded in their minds, they didn't vote at all.

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

davenewman

Monasteries had it right centuries ago

Small rooms to work in undistracted, cloisters to meet people serendipitously, and big rooms to gather together.

Cancelled in Crawley? At least your train has free Wi-Fi now, right?

davenewman

For electric trains how about IP over the power lines?

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

davenewman

Re: About 10 minutes later I was "cracking" some of the locks and interchanging them around.

It was actually the Sentate House. The fire brigade had to cut it apart to get it down.

That'll learn ya! Data watchdog spanks two Brit phone botherers

davenewman

Re: Law and enforcement

Except for disrupting supply chains and swearing at businesses.

Facebook shells out $8k bug bounty after quiz web app used by 120m people spews profiles

davenewman

Handreds of useful apps are held in a queue

At the moment, many apps used by thousands of people around the world have their access to Facebook's API suspended while Facebook manually verifies them one by one.

For example, NationBuilder.com can no longer link a campaign group's event to the even they put on their Facebook page. It used to be possible to promote the event on both places and come up with a consolidated RSVP list for people to check on the door. NationBuilder is used by hundreds of thousands of campainging groups, charities and political parties around the world to manage their volunteers.

UK.gov's long-awaited, lightweight biometrics strategy fails to impress

davenewman

Add all the home office civil servants to the biometric database

And let them personally experience the problems of having your face in big database.

I bet then they will find a way to remove them.

Tesla fingers former Gigafactory hand as alleged blueprint-leaking sabotage mastermind

davenewman

Re: He made one mistake

Back in 1995 I worked on a one year research project for the UK's Energy Technology Support Unit. At that time the Central Electricity Generating Board had calculated that they could take 1/3rd of their power from renewables without having the install energy storage. The processes used to manage the vast changes in demand over the day were enough to cover any drops in wind energy production.

Unfortunately, too many people have forgotten those calculations and refuse to redo them, just saying, without evidence, that we cannot use intermittent power sources. On top of that, we now have better energy storage systems and much, much cheaper solar cells.

The biggest economic problem is that we will soon have leave all the remaining fossil fuels in the ground, to avoid catastrophic greenhouse warming. At that point we have no choice to use any energy source apart from renewables. Some of them can be stored, such as the renewable growth of woodland (particularly with coppicing), biogas produced from sewage and seaweed, straw and catch crops. It may be time to republish Egon Glessinger's 1952 book, "The Coming Age of Wood".

G Suite admins need to RTFM – thousands expose internal emails

davenewman

Because not everything people send is private. There are good reasons for a company setting up a public group, such as a discussion list with franchisees, suppliers or customers.

Who had ICANN suing a German registrar over GDPR and Whois? Congrats, it's happening

davenewman

The court needs a technical advisor

Since the litigrants may try to bamboozle the court with technical inaccuracies, the court should employ a technical advisor - Max Schrems, of course.

Privacy group asks UK politicos to pinky swear not to use personal data for electioneering

davenewman

How can we do canvassing if we cannot record political opinions

The normal way to campaign is to knock on your door and ask who you are considering to vote for. Then on polling day we remind our potential voters that it is polling day, have you voted yet?

That is a fundamental part of democracy in our voting systems. The purpose of political parties is to persuade people to vote for their candidate and then get people voting rather than staying at home. To do that, the small band of unpaid volunteers knocking on doors needs to know who is persuadable and who doesn't want to waste their time or that of the volunteers.

So a promise not to collect data on political preferences is pointless. It is fundamental to party politics and democratic voting systems.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

davenewman

Couldn't Adam and Eve it

Since the Eve equivalent is half the price.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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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