* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

2173 posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

Forget your deepest, darkest secrets, smart speakers will soon listen for sniffles and farts too

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

I suppose an adult entertainment company could get them to map all the sounds associated with having one off the wrist and start pinging tissue adverts at the hapless onanist.

It won't be much fun for those indulging in partnership sex to have their enjoyment interrupted by an ethereal voice asking if they were interested in booking a removals company to help move the furniture around.

"Do you need a plumber?" might be even more off-putting.

US bitcoin bomb threat ransom scam looks like a hoax say FBI, cops

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Protection Racket 101

The hyperbolic email text does make the threat seem implausible, especially when sent to so many companies.

I would have thought a threat that "you will get a bomb and it will detonate sometime in the future if the money isn't paid" might have been more effective and provide a more guaranteed and regular income stream.

Though I'm not sure if mere threats ever work at all. It seems to me that one needs to demonstrate actual ability to cause harm to get any results.

Mine's the one with the ransom notes and fingers in the pocket.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Zeroing in on China

This week it's China. Last week it was Russia. The week before it was North Korea. And before that Iran.

Don't worry; your turn will come round again. As regular as clockwork.

Everyone is evil except for us.

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

How is "material available" measured or defined?

There would seem to be numerous ways a porn site can get round that requirement. I wonder which is going to be the first to scrape and take public domain images from NASA and content from elsewhere?

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

Hence the famous quote, "If you drink too much real ale, the world will fall out of your bottom."

The incantation I recall is, "When the bottom drops out of your world: Drink Watney's; and watch the world drop out of your bottom".

That and; what's the difference between making love in a punt and a pint of Watney's?

Nothing. They're both fucking close to water.

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

What impresses me most is that it's two and a half years since the referendum, just three months to leaving, and no one can actually determine if she's tilting towards leaving or remaining nor predict which or what we will actually get.

Leavers things she's a remainer and remainers think she's a leaver. The side I think she's on seems to change every hour.

It's the closest I've seen anyone ever come to fooling all the people all of the time.

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: This is unfortunately a common Silicon Valley trick

I had a very large and well known British company steal my idea a few decades ago when I presented it by way of impressing them at a job interview. I didn't get the job and only found out they had stolen it when I read a tech magazine article on their new product which described my idea exactly.

I was young, naive, straight out of college, and had never anticipated that.

But I wasn't stupid nor naive enough to mention the fundamental flaw in my design because I was merely hoping to impress them - There was an implicit race condition which was insurmountable which meant it could never work at any sensible scale.

Karma eventually paid them a visit. Last I read was that their product had proven so unreliable in the field that it was a disaster. Having banked everything on a flawed idea it had near bankrupted the company.

It still makes me smile after many years.

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

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

My local council removed all dog shit bins from all its parks. People are expected to take their dog shit home with them but I can understand why they don't or won't, why some people think 'if you won't entertain my desires I won't entertain yours', 'if you want to make my life inconvenient then I will make things inconvenient for the council' leaving everyone to become collateral along the way.

We never had a dog shit problem until the council decide it could save a small amount of money. While squandering millions on vanity and pet projects.

Selfishness begets selfishness.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

More litter bins

^ You never know; more litter bins and having them emptied regularly may actually encourage people to use them. It at least provides 'no excuse for littering'.

Though I will usually take my litter home with me there are times where that isn't convenient and I want rid of it more immediately.

When councils won't use their tax revenues to cover people's refuse disposal needs littering and fly-tipping are an inevitable and predictable consequence. Just like closing public toilets leads to people pissing in gardens and alleyways, building on sports fields and parks leads to an unhealthy population and a rise in related illnesses, closing recreation centres leads to gangs of kids roaming the streets.

Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Agile Software Development.

"Sure I would. My team are so crap it would never get to the end of the runaway, let alone ever take off".

The oldies are the goldies.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Really?

How the hell did people sit in a room and decide that it was fine to let the computer have the final say?

That's one good question but I think it's also important to ask why the pilots weren't informed this was the situation and would remain as such until they intentionally turned the system off, and that was done in a way which was counter-intuitive to their training.

When I have cruise control on and I have to slam on the brakes I expect my car to stop. I don't expect the cruise control to keep it going at the same speed. I wouldn't realise I needed to turn it off manually before an emergency stop unless there were a fucking big warning sign on the windscreen. And if there was I'd not drive it on the grounds of "that's fucking ridiculous".

It's hard enough, and counter to muscle memory, remembering which stalks the wipers and indicators are on at times. Having something behave in a way one never expected and were never told about is a disaster waiting to happen.

Montezuma's Revenge can finally be laid to rest as Uber AI researchers crack the classic game

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Confused.

To be fair though, isn't that exactly what we do as humans though? We keep trying different approaches, discard the ones that don't work, and remember the ones that do?

And we also learn by observing what the results are from other people's attempts or experiences, and advice we are given.

How else would we know not to go into the basement of a creepy house when the power goes out or to decline the red T-shirt on a space mission?

I'll deem AI a success when one humanoid robot goes into a room full of nut-jobs with baseball bats and one robot comes out rubbing its palms together.

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Spoilers in Tech Docs!

do you click the doorbell or do you press it?

Where "press" is a physical action which involves pushing on the doorbell button.

Using "Push on the OK button" may be fine for a touch screen but not so clear when using a mouse.

"Click on OK" is a good enough shortform for "Move the mouse pointer over the OK button and push down on the mouse button which will make a satisfying click sound".

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Wire-free - Wireless and Free

I can take my mobiles, tablets and laptops to any number of my friends' homes all across the UK, even across the world, and can connect via Wi-Fi for the inconvenience of having to enter a password. These days I can also use hot spots in cafes and shops, on buses, trains and planes.

I don't have to worry about what 'G' network is available or how much it costs. I don't even have to worry about my SIM having expired three years ago.

So tell me again how mobile networks are "better".

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

It's bollocks isn't it

LOL - YAML a programming language!

Perhaps they meant YAML++

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: This is good.

If you could power a pi on 3.3V alone it would simplify running it off battery considerably and allow for the use of more efficient power supply circuitry.

Indeed. Saying it's aimed at "space-constrained, battery-powered applications" is rather laughable considering the Pi range is so at odds with being battery powered, requires external hardware, and that loses any space savings the board may offer.

There are probably quite a few people who wanted a 3B+ with reduced size, cost and power consumption, but won't find the reduction in memory size acceptable. I would guess that decision was made so they did not cannibalise their 3B+ sales.

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: So the police bear no responsibility ?

An unarmed Brazilian plumbers wearing a very thick coat in summer ( potentially hiding a suicide vest ), jumping over turnstiles and running away from the police, ignoring calls to stop.

That was all proven to be lies. Along with the lie of the police claiming that the CCTV was not working when it was.

This is why Fake News and Alternative Facts are so dangerous. Or lies and demonisations as we used to call them.

Thank $deity that week's over. Look, here's some trippy music generated from pixels of a Martian sunrise to play us out

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Paging amanfromMars 1

"Soundscape instrumental artists seek profound lyricist to add an extra dimension to their work".

Having a large collection of ethereal and ambient work which keeps me subdued while soaking in the bathtub I thought it it was pleasant enough but they'll have to up their game from 2 minutes 10 and drag it out for a lot longer if they want to compete with the pros.

UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Shock horror - it's not running XP!!!

"NT 6.1 SP 1 - That's commonly known as Windows 7 SP1 ..."

Well I've learned something I didn't know, or more likely been reminded of something I'd long forgotten. Thanks ->

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Shock horror - it's not running XP!!!

The crashed signalling display I saw last week indicated it was running NT 6.1 SP 1. Quite impressively it had an an IPv6 address showing.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Windows

A RPi would be ideal for this sort of thing.

And if they'd done that six years ago they'd be running on original Pi B hardware and Raspbian Wheezy and in another decade they'll be so behind the times we'll be laughing at them like we're laughing now.

Because. It's simply what happens.

ICO poised to fine Leave campaign and Arron Banks’ insurance biz £135,000

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

You're not seriously suggesting that anything the ICO is investigating actually influenced the public vote to leave, are you?

You're not seriously suggesting Banks spent £6 million and engaged in deceit and lies if what he was doing did not?

He may be a serial liar, a crook and conman, but he's not an idiot.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

I am well and truly fucked if they want ID

I am registered under a legal alias as is entirely my right under current English Law.

An alias for which there is no supporting documentation other than the fact that I use it for electoral registration. The only documentation I could produce is a sworn affidavit saying 'this is me'.

I guess I should be preparing myself for a visit to the Supreme Court.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Fingering the suspects

It's a shame there's no way to obtain any fingerprints which might help the plod determine where they'd come from.

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


I'm starting a Campaign for Using New Terms.

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Apple might be 'collateral damage' in US and China trade dust-up

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Pour encourager les autres ?

The way Trump is approaching it; it could well escalate and end in real war.

Trump's strategy seems to be to push it to the brink, take some small concession, then step back and claim a comprehensive and decisive victory - USA! USA! MAGA!

But that only works if the other side does blink first. If China or others are themselves willing to take it to the brink, won't back down, that creates a difficult and dangerous situation.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: philosophical navel gazing wank-fest

The trolley problem is, simply put, a waste of time philosophical circle jerk that has NO bearing on the real world.

Not in terms of solving the problem it appears to be addressing but it sure does reveal prejudices, and show how people value others, who are considered more worthy, and those less so.

What concerns me is when it is suggested there should be some official accepted and codified ranking of acceptable prejudices and worth.

What would Jesus do?

Break out the jelly and ice cream! Microsoft's Small Basic turns 10

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
Thumb Up

Small Basic was a part of Microsoft's efforts to help get kids coding and it was reasonable enough in that respect. It was a cut-down Visual Basic so of little interest to anyone outside educational fields.

Given its target audience, its limited functionality, and the inevitable slagging off Basic and Visual Basic gets, as well as Microsoft themselves, it's not really surprising they didn't try and promote it to the wider community.

It's actually not a bad offering. It is extensible so can be used for things it was never intended for. It even allows a Windows App to use an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi as a remote GPIO device.

Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Morrisons are responsible for the actions of their employees

Not entirely. It depends on what those employees do and what steps an employer has taken to prevent that and ensure it does not happen.

There are things which an employer has little control over and they are unlikely to be held culpable when that happens. But, in this case, the courts have determined Morrisons did not do enough and that's what leads to them being held culpable.

Whether an employee should be held culpable should an employee go postal and shoot-up the office is often presented as obviously being beyond an employer's control. But the fact is it comes down to how likely that is to happen and what an employer had done to prevent or mitigate such a thing. If they effectively allowed it to happen when they could have prevented or mitigated it but failed to they will be held culpable to some degree.

FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Think of it this way

They *could* be doing it 'correctly' but choose not to. Why? Why mislead people into thinking they are getting playstore content?

That is the unanswered question. I don't mind side-loading when there's informed consent but cannot approve of hiding that under "Get it from Google Play" when that's not the mechanism invoked, and especially when the downloaded .apk is different from that which does come from Google Play.

It's straight forward deception as I see it.

UK.gov to press ahead with online smut checks (but expects £10m in legals in year 1)

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: One third porn?

I'm hoping porn sites will start carrying amusing cartoons and interesting articles to read like good old-fashioned printed mags did.

SCISYS sidesteps Brexit: Proposes Irish listing to keep EU space work rolling in

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: I'm not sure it's that easy

I would have thought there'd be EU rules in place to prevent taking EU money and simply punting that outside the EU, offloading EU contracts to those with third country status.

If there aren't; I imagine there soon will be. The EU might tolerate it if we come to some sort of brexit deal with alignment to the EU but I doubt they will if we leave without a deal.

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Overdue idea, price too high

All my Android phones are ~3.5", were EOL bargains, so under £20 on the High Street. Perfectly good for what I want to do.

I'm sure, if someone put their mind to it, they could have one phone mirroring whatever is on another. I'm not sure though how they'd wrangle £300+ out of anyone for having done that.

Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

As good as that sounds the likely result is no better service just a reduced guaranteed service level so less chance of them having to pay anything.

And why should anyone who suffered no inconvenience be compensated?

I wish I had a pound for every tree which fell without a sound in the forest.

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

I coded my own RSS feed fetcher which converts feeds to local HTML pages in just a few lines of Python so I am also mystified why Mozilla is struggling.

I guess taking data and simply presenting it in a different format just isn't enough for them these days.

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

The real aim is simply to build the rocket so tall, that you can climb up a ladder from the launch tower straight up to the ISS.

Wouldn't it be easier and even cheaper for the crew of the ISS to simply lower a rope?

The one with the "25% off at B&Q" voucher in the pocket.

Don't make us pay compensation for employee data breach, Morrisons begs UK court

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

I would tend to agree. Morrison's shouldn't be allowing employees to walk out with sensitive and personal information they shouldn't take with them.

Everyone appreciates it's not always possible to stop ne'er do wells doing what they shouldn't, and full-cavity body searches at pub o'clock are likely inappropriate, but the original hearing determined that Morrison's clearly had not done enough to prevent the theft of confidential data.

But Morrison's do have a point: if Parliamentary legislation excludes them from being held vicariously liable then they should be off the hook for that.

US mobe owners will get presidential text message at 2:18 pm Eastern Time

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

"And EAS alert can be avoided with a mass media fast"

Translation please.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: .cobol

I went to delete the original files, but I only got as far as "del *.COB" befiore hitting return.

I managed a similar thing but more deliberately; belatedly finding "DEL FOOBAR.???" included files with no extensions when it didn't on a previous version (Win3.1?).

That wasn't the disaster it could have been but I've had my share of all-nighters making it look like I hadn't accidentally scrubbed a system clean.

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: To some MSDOS was an major leap forward.

<grumble> Huh. People these days just don't know how lucky they are!!! </grumble>

Kids today can still have all the joys of working constrained bare metal on the Raspberry Pi GPU, which neither Broadcom or the Raspberry Pi foundation have officially documented, if they care to.

That's got video, serial and I/O capabilities. I wonder if MS-DOS could be ported and cajoled to boot on that?

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: My perspective

£1.50 for a 13amp plug?

But comparable to what other high street stores were wanting.

No, Maplins couldn't compete with on-line for price but nor can most retailers. And, with China "shipping for free", there's no longer "it's the same once you've paid postage". Only "it's instantly yours to take home and use" which is what usually has people paying £1.50 for a plug or more from anywhere they can get one.

The problems for Maplins were multiple but I believe it was mostly that they were tipped over the edge and there was never going to be any way back. In fact it's quite impressive they held on for so long when others facing similar problems and competition had folded far earlier.

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

A pensioners guide to sucking eggs

The best course is probably to put it in the hands of someone who doesn't need a 101, has been there, done that, wears the T-shirt, and doesn't just say "move it to the cloud".

And, when the DevOps team say they'll have it up and running by tomorrow; don't forget to ask them when it will actually be working as required.

Facebook sued for exposing content moderators to Facebook

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: I downvoted him

On the other hand, you might expect that if you take on that sort of job, you'd at least get the support you needed to do it well. Which, apparently, is not something Facebook deems necessary.

Burnout is pretty bad in any job but having to deal with full-on horror all day long it's probably going to be particularly bad when that hits.

At the very least it seems Facebook have failed to put in place adequate systems, monitoring and relief which would avoid their employees reaching such a state.

Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

"It's giving us cancer!!!"

There you go; that will kill the idea stone dead.

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"And no one even knows what leavers voted for beyond "leaving""

Noooo! Are you telling me the result was leave but you dont know what that means? We voted to leave, to go, not to remain... but you find it ambiguous? I am not quite sure how to explain this better but the result was to no longer be in the EU aka leave.

And we are leaving so what the fuck are you complaining about?

It is you leavers who cannot universally decide what "leaving" means, are disagreeing with each other over what "leaving" means, are showing "leaving" is ambiguous.

But, go ahead, blame remainers for leaver's inability to agree on what "leaving" means.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Even though we are the ones not getting what was voted for.

What did you expect when voting for what people promised who were not in a position to deliver that?

And no one even knows what leavers voted for beyond "leaving" which can be interpreted in many different ways. As much as one leaver says it means one thing another leaver will contradict them.

Trying to subvert things to force someone else to deliver something not clearly defined was always destined to be a disaster.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Good for him.

The man has taken a good hard look at the toxic way he sometimes communicates and plans on taking a break so that he can come back with a more positive and productive attitude.

I can't help but think that this may be partly why he decided to holiday in Edinburgh while the Linux kernel dev summit was happening in Canada.

Unfortunately the organisers deciding to move that to Edinburgh may have thwarted his plans for getting the break away from it all he desired and deserved.

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Remind me...

I think the benefits of leaving are, in fact 'less foreigners', although no-one is allowed to say that, quite.

And anyone hoping for that is going to find themselves sorely misled or working in a crap low-paid job which those foreigners used to be doing.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018