* Posts by Nick Ryan

2117 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Straw man.

Precisely, the same as comparing one to many thousands of drones. Individually not a comparison, but depending on the usage options may be rather better.

0
0

Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: codejunky Erm

Even easier just to make a facial recog map of the face from the banned pic and use that to stop an future repostings, especially as miscreants will try to edit the original pic to get round the first check.

Sorry, but no, facial recognition cannot be used for this. It is a very unreliable technology and despite the rubbish and lies from those who sell such systems, and the likes of Gartner who repeat them, it is not very much a solution to anything. Even in limited datasets, where you have the identities and profiles of a small number of individuals, match accuracy is low. As soon as you extend it out to hundreds, let alone thousands of profiles the error rate will be so high as to make the system almost useless.

1
0

UK.gov denies data processing framework is 'sinister' – but admits ICO has concerns

Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Stop

Re: UK.gov denies data processing framework is 'sinister'

STOP.

Seriously. How are we going to be able to continue this without an official El Reg standard for sinisisterism?, er, sinisterishness? drat, sinisterishlyness? maybe sinisterness? Whatever. We need a proper measure for this. Maybe even some spelling as well.

Where is the El Reg standards soviet when we need them?

1
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Weasel words

“I hope that by the end I will be able to convince noble Lords that this is not quite as sinister as has been made out,” Ashton said in his opening remarks in the discussion.

So he's trying to divert attention from the fact that the bill gives the Secretary of State the power to make arbitrary changes to the functional content of the bill at whim? And this is not "as sinister", inappropriate or just downright contrary to democracy or a fair and accountable society?

25
0

PC lab in remote leper colony had wrong cables, no licences, and not much hope

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Or if you are only editing very basic documents, Wordpad will do the job. Also still tends to be on most installs of Windows.

0
0

Heathrow Airport's local council prohibits drone flights from open spaces

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: From public space

Also "remote controlled model vehicles and aircraft that is likely to cause nuisance from noise or cause harassment," so I suspect autonomous pre-programmed flypath with GPS coordinate should be fine, as long as it's not remotely controlled

That's the gem of totally unnecessary and overly specific laws. Totally unnecessary because there are already laws in place to deal with the issue therefore making more is just lawyer time for the sake of it - how about enforcing the existing laws? The stupidity of overly specific laws is that the more specific they are, the more loopholes there will be - in this case, you've rightly noticed that "remote controlled" is a relatively easy loop hole if you wanted to have programmed or flight controlled aircraft you are welcome to do so.

0
0

Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Will it be that hard to drink it?

h2o is h2o however it will never be pure if frozen in an atmosphere because there are always bubbles of atmospheric gasses trapped in it - it's these that cause much of the colour of ice. From what I remember the amount of gas trapped in ice is a factor of formation speed, temperature, pressure and doubtless a few other factors not least gravity.

6
0

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

There are elements of both, but lacklustre adoption for key features including Cortana, the Microsoft Store and the Edge browser raises the question of whether Microsoft's main areas of focus in Windows resonate with its customers.

Cortana - do we really want to be forced to send embedded local search queries to the US, to be processed using a poor search engine (search engines are generally measured against Google) and for it to omit, half of the time, the bloody local resource that we were searching for? No. Happy for Cortana to be an option, not happy that it's shite, transfers data to untrusted regimes (US), intrusive and non-removable.

Microsoft Store. Generally nothing to see there other than poor quality versions of desktop applications. The fact that the PoS is designed in such an appalling way that uninstalling something where there is an update for it queued will reinstall the software just makes it even worse. However not worse than all the shovelware junk that is foisted on every user on every system, the removal of which is directly hamstrung by the uninstall/update-reinstall issue.

Edge Browser. Seriously, it's hopeless. It's foisted on W10 users however is only vaguely fit for personal use, it's not controllable in any way to the level required and that IE is. However MS have set it as the default, put in hard-coded nags about switching away (search for "Internet" and rather than IE showing first, Edge is - attempt to change default browser from Edge to anything else and you get an "are you sure" prompt with a tiny "do it anyway" option). The fact that it feels slow, unwieldly and has take the minimal user interface style to the point of barely being usable doesn't help matters either.

However most of the updates to W10 revolve around these dead areas and then add a load of junk focussing on things that frankly 99.99% of users have zero interest in - 3D browsing and 3D objects... While there have been some small, nice improvements within W10, many of these are fixes to issues that were introduced in W8, rather than actual improvements to W10 :(

3
0

Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Don't buy a new Intel based system for a while?

Please explain how JavaScript, which is an interpreted language, can be used to trigger the exact cache violations required to access memory owned by other processes. The exploit code is relatively trivial assembler code, however without using an exploit allowing the arbitrary execution of pre-compiled code, how is JavaScript code going to replicate the same cache violations?

/confused

7
2

Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Leading by example?

Am I alone in wanting to punch Farage repeatetly, in the face?

Farage recommended the use of a rifle. I'd recommend something similar - never take a knife to a gunfight and all that. Unless one has a handy grand piano or anvil spare and a great height of course...

3
0

Microsoft offloads networking to FPGA-powered NICs

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Where can I patent "offloading graphics processing to a dedicated card/chipset" or "offloading audio processing to a dedicated card/chipset". I mean, just imagine the possibilities... :)

1
0

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: So basically...

Vulture? Look at the masthead of El Reg?

11
3
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Yes and no.

It's not impossible by a long stretch. Some birds are recorded and judged as having mental capacities similar to a 6-7 year old human child. If you can't remember what you did at such an age, any parent of such a child will be able to tell you the exact amount of trouble and deviousness that such a child can get up to.

For example, many such birds are capable of context based communication, social restraint and manipulation and a sense of humour. The more adaptable the birds species is the more they are likely to have a high intelligence.

8
0

Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: timing attacks

High resolution timers in JS? Given that JS is interpreted and does not have direct memory access, just how is it is going to be used to trigger Specter, let alone Meltdown flaws? The asm code for these is relatively trivial, however unless one can trick an interpreter, or enven a JIT compiler, into generating specific asm code how is it to be executed.

On the other hand there may be an issue with exploits allowing the execution of arbitrary (asm) code on a system - however these won't need to rely on JS for their timers... But executing arbitrary code on a system is a problem anyway.

/confused

0
0

Amazon: Intel Meltdown patch will slow down your AWS EC2 server

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: True - But

One of the best/worst cases I've come across was where a standard company report took 2-3 days to process and it was lauded as being very important and correct because it took so long to generate and company processes were aligned around this time period. A friend rewrote the process so it took 15 minutes however they refused to believe him that such a thing was possible with such a big, complicated and throughly important report. So for however many occasions they ran both and painstakingly compared them before grudgingly conceded that the 15 minute version was the right way to go.

2
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: maybe it's time to re-consider server-side inefficiency

Like those that use Entity Framework's Fluent to create their tables instead of designing their databases properly in SQL?

Been examining a database that was generated using Fluent.

All text fields were NVARCHAR(MAX)... /facepalm

They never put in maximum string length or set IsUnicode = False

I have a few of those applications, however the gem is one of these that was also created with no referential integrity at all. Oh, and multiple discrete databases because, erm, just because ok?

0
0

The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Tech can also smell desperation and urgency, and likes to play trick on those that needs documents printed asap.

Printers are a different kind of beast altogether. Most have a special chip in them that detects document urgency and generates mechanical and processing failures on demand. The level of failure is cross referenced against the day of the week and time of day.

15
0

Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Joke

Re: How to be English in Three Easy Steps

How to be Scottish in one easy step

Step 1: Convince yourself, repeatedly, that the English hate you.

We don't. We're too busy hating the French.

(joke, for those that don't spot the icon)

54
1

Proposed Brit law to ban b**tards brandishing bots to bulk-buy tickets

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

And yet the fix to tickets being resold is very easy. Put a bloody name on the ticket when first sold and only allow the named individual into the venue.

Except that would destroy the very secondary market that seems to have suspicious links to the primary market...

7
2

Now that's sticker shock: Sticky labels make image-recog AI go bananas for toasters

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: To be fair...

Yes, this is typical of narrow minded and daft "AI" attempts.

What is in the picture is an open ended question, however they are attempting to train it on "what single object is in the picture" which, when presented with a picture with multiple objects in it, even if one happens to be represented by a sticker, naturally fails.

1
0

Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Whats in a name

It's not a boat, it's a ship. Hence the "S" in HMS.

So you're suggesting that Tigra 07 should have proposed Shippy McShippyFace instead?

That's not a bad tongue twister... :p

7
0

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Genetic Diversity?

Well we'd have a much nicer assembly language to deal with. I still cry on the, admittedly now very rare, occasions that I have to drop down to x86 assembly level debugging and suffer the brain ache of an architecture that produces code that often seems to spend more time swapping values between limited registers than doing anything overly useful.

7
1
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Refunds and Compensation

Given that when Cisco was royally screwed over by Intel's Atom issues and subsequently has just passed the costs onto buyers of their kit, what do you think will happen with this latest Intel failure? Pretty much the same and I'm pretty sure that Intel's contracts (hidden under several miles of NDA) will disclaim any responsibility for anything.

3
0

UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Tax Laws

How many of the world's 5 largest economies are in the EU?

Depending on who you ask, but generally accepted to be two. Extend the range to the top 10 and you can add another 2, sometimes 3 EU countries.

Unfortunately the UK's economy has no worthwhile foundations underpinning it and is rather too focussed around moving other people's money about and being a handy gateway between the US and the EU.

9
2

China may stick to its own DRAM memory soon – researchers

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: State subsidies will allow Chinese firms to eat everyone's lunch

I read the above post that the standard of living was related to the local demand for the products (or the products that contained them). With a step up in the standard of living (or more pointedly the ratio improving between wages and the cost of essentials) the local demand for non-essential-to-life products grows markedly.

5
0

Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Joke

Pah!

All you crazy nonbelievers here. Of course this will work. Of course it will change the way that we use the Internet.

Just like Project Ginger changed the way transport works.

4
0

Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy – you forgot about Europe's GDPR already

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Red herrings

IANAL, however not recording to whom you sold each individual unit could be an issue. By not recording this information you are failing to record the responsible party for a device that could potentially be used illegally and therefore opening yourself to being a party in this. If Joe Bloggs bought a unit from you then it is his legal responsibility as to how it is used and if you can demonstrate that you sold a particular device to Joe Bloggs and that he was informed that he must use it legally if he choose not to then it's his issue, not yours. If he transfers/sells the unit to another party then unless he has a record of this then he will likely be found to be at fault and not you. While I can appreciate that having a registration process saves you having to record the correlation of individually ID'd units with each sale, by not doing so for something like this you really are leaving yourself open to potential problems.

Also very importantly, if you advertise or promote the product to target, in any way, any form of illicit use then you are opening yourself up to legal issues.

1
0

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Not forgetting all the environmental ones as well.

3
0

Brit film board proposed as overlord of online pr0nz age checks

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: get that nipple off the screen

However what content are the (very large) media pushers pushing all the time? Yep, stuff that is heavy on explicit sex, nudity and violence - Game of Thrones is the most notable but this is just one of a very great many.

0
0

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

A certain JavaScript data transfer format that's lighter weight than XML has some questions to answer as well...

4
0

UK's map maker Ordnance Survey plays with robo roof detector

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: The Next Stage

Plant trees to break up the hard lines and shadows and apply camouflage pattern. That would probably do the trick.

3
0

Auto auto fleets to dodge British potholes in future

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Why?

But have you ever noticed that there some places the potholes are always fixed promptly? Usually around the driving routes of those who have power and influence.

Unfortunately far too true:

A few years back I used to regularly drive past the County Hall in Hertford and doing the same route at the same time every day you tend to come across the same drivers. One of these was pretty much a criminal hazard behind the wheel and every day would pull blindly out of their property (just North of Waterford which is the next village to the North of Hertford) into traffic expecting every other road user to get out of the way or stop. This level of road danger was then repeated on all roundabouts, weaving across lanes onto, around and off each roundabout all the way until they got to their place of work...

The driver of this vehicle was a senior local councillor, with their own allocated parking space at the front of the County Hall of course. Complaints? All that happened was that miraculously a considerably slower speed limit zone was erected that covered just the entrance to this cretin's property. Apparently it was a danger area due to the number of collisions and near collisions in the area. Almost all caused by one particular driver of course.

I still have flashbacks when I see cars of the same make, model and colour...

1
0

Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: ...and is it a good idea?

Been there, got the badge, sparkly certificate and a clue-by-four. Application security issues? No problem, just grant everybody administrator access. Fixed.

6
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

Not just debugging as such... but wait until you get to version control and code/setup comparison of such functions/containers/RPCs. Also building a test/dev instance that is guaranteed to be entirely independent of the live system but identical in configuration because otherwise testing is not valid.

No problem? Let's just reinvent some more wheels and push debugging and version and deployment management into the distance as they're not important.

/sarcasm, for those that don't spot it.

Now I'm off to try and help track down application issues in a system where the business logic is splattered across the front end, server application files, server binary files, web services, and database stored procedures. Just add some standard MS-SQL transaction handling and row/block level locking into the mix and we're going to have a day...

9
1

Signing up for the RAF? Don't bother – you've been Capita'd

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Have Capita ever done anything well?

No, seriously. Have they ever?

As in something that worked, not something that massively screwed over the tax payer and the organisation supposed to be using it rather than lining the pockets of the shareholders and executives of Capita.

4
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Crapital Punishment

How happy would you feel with an on line banking system which required you to wet sign a cheque and pop it in the post at the end of the process?

You use the same online bank as me? Who'd have thought...

Seriously though, I do genuinely come across this level of stupid on occasion.

10
0

OK Google: A stranger with stash of pirated films is spamming my Google Team Drive

Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Go

Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

Unfortunately, and this is a national (bordering on international) tragedy, but, as of September 2017, Jaffa cakes come in packs of 10.

Please see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41400677 for a report on this tragedy.

Your research is out of date and needs to be refreshed. You know what to do...

6
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

Any advice on how to avoid the subsequent memory blackout after which you often find you've scoffed the entire packet short of one (sometimes two)

Memory blackout? You have been seriously mislead by marketing when it comes to the number of said cakes stored within a Jaffa cake delivery tube. The unitiated out there believe that when the box reads 10, that this number is in decimal. The reality of this, and as should be appreciated by most El Reg readers, is that this number is actually binary and therefore rather than being ten, there are in fact only two cakes in each packet. These two cakes are cunningly, no, spitefully, located one at each end of the tube.

This is why one only has the memory of taking the first and the last cake out of each packet because there are, in fact, no other cakes of deliciousness inbetween. Fact*.

* any ill-perceived side effects such as a feeling of bloatedness, weight gain, spots, sugar rushes, etc, are all entirely coincidental and attributable to environmental or other similarly nefarious factors and definitely not the "missing" cakes.

7
0

Intel Management Engine pwned by buffer overflow

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Anything that lets a White Hat remote in with beneficial intentions can and ultimately will allow Black Hats in. This idea of remote admin is thus fundamentally insecure.

Not entirely true. If the remote admin mechanism has appropriate security in place, and no daft exploits are in place that bypass this, then it shouldn't be an issue. For example requiring a valid client certificate and secure credentials should work fine as long as these credentials and certificate were kept secure. No security system is perfect and such credentials can be lost but there is always a risk with any system and it's about balancing the risk compared to the benefits. When you have an estate of thousands of systems you do not not want to have to physically visit each and every one of them for maintenance reasons.

This is fine, of course, until some code monkeys implement a system where there the auth system can be bypassed with ease.

1
0

Muzzle our public watchdog much? UK.gov Data Protection Bill adds affect the ICO

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Rule by dictat

The whole bill is littered with terms and clauses that the "Secretary of State" may change at will, effectively functionally changing the bill at whim. This is not the kind of clauses in law that should underpin a democracy - more suited to a police state or dictatorship.

9
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Very true. Which is why Chairman May is so determined that its influence should be removed.

10
0

EU data protection groups: Fix Privacy Shield or face lawsuit

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Yep, privacy shield is pretty much as useless as safe habor(sp) was. Unless inappropriate data access and use becomes a legal matter in the US then regimes like the US cannot be trusted with personal data.

So, you're a non US citizen and want try civil litigation in the US against a US corporation? Seriously, this is not going to work. Non-US citizens have little to no inherited rights in the US and US corporations are already litigation and lawyer heavy therefore you will need a lot of US money to get anywhere. US civil courts will almost certainly side with a US corporation (depending on jurisdiction I guess) therefore chances of success are likely to be low, particularly when the patriotism flag starts to get waved around - i.e. "protecting 'honest' US businesses against forrners".

Treating the local international office as part of the international group and threatening them with a fine levied against the international organisation's group turn over may do the trick though. This is already part of the GDPR.

9
0

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: One winner - not really.

In case you're not aware, there is a YouTube for Kids app available which greatly reduces the level of pondlife content that is available. It's not perfect, but it really helps.

There's also iPlayer for kids and quite good content controls within Amazon Prime video as well...

1
0

No, BMW, petrol-engined cars don't 'give back to the environment'

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Not forgetting the right to park wherever the owner feels like or, should they lower themselves socially to use marked parking bays that non-disabled, non-parents are permitted to use, that they may use two or more of them.

20
0

Apple sprays down bug-ridden iOS 11 with more fixes

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: 'one that caused the calculator to return incorrect results if numbers are entered too quickly'

Notice that 2 + 3 - 3 x 2 = -1 by Apple.

-1 is the correct answer as the calculation is effectively 2 + 3 - 6; which is -1. Operator precedence is something that demonstrably a lot of people don't grasp having seen so many of the facebook click-bait articles catching people out with it. The standard android calculator also produces the same correct answer.

19
0

Drone collisions with airliners may not be fatal, US study suggests

Nick Ryan
Silver badge
Coat

Re: How is this different than birdstrike?

So you're suggesting that we should be firing frozen drones at the planes?

1
0

Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login

Nick Ryan
Silver badge

it really boils my piss that an elected MP cares so little about privacy

It's probably more accurately: it really boils my piss that an elected MP cares so little about non-politician's privacy

3
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Template letter for your MP

Unfortunately the actions of government are excluded from the DPA / GDPR.

On the other hand, they may not know this... :)

0
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: Nadine Dorries : Why do people vote for her?

Why? Because the country is full of idiots who vote for the same party that they've always voted for regardless of the corruption, lies and stupid things (policies) that the politicians representing that party carry out. Party politics is pretty much an anathema of democracy.

4
0
Nick Ryan
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand this

Password sharing is one thing, and a measure of both stupidity and contempt of security.

Looking at porn: fine. MPs are, vaguely, in the most broad sense, sometimes passably human and therefore looking at porn is just fine with me. Of course, the rabid god-botherers, of which there are a number of them in the list of MPs, may feel otherwise but these probably have more "deviant" (in their eyes) porn habits to hide therefore may not shout too loudly just in case. Lithographs of victorian ankles included (thank you, Daily Mash, for this one!)

Looking at porn on a parliamentary system? The same system which the MP has access to material of national importance and possibly national secrets, is a thoroughly stupid, braindead thing to do. If it's a cache of images and possibly videos then I would be reasonably lenient however it's unlikely to be this and the morons are probably just browsing porn sites, using Internet Explorer. Such sites are likely to be only marginally less targeted by malware than "warez" sites and the click-bait-trash "listicle" and "article" sites which tend to be 85% advert, 12% white space and maybe, just maybe, some content squeezed in there somewhere.

MPs, and parliamentary staff, are meant to set examples to us all. If we fiddle our expenses we get fired and the tax man and therefore the courts take a very dim view of the situation. If we bribe people or accept bribes it becomes a criminal matter. If we violate security through providing privileged access to those that shouldn't have it we're likely to, at a very minimum, be given a formal verbal or written warning and in some cases, instantly dismissed. If we browse porn on work systems we can expect likewise.

MPs, on the other hand, seem to feel that they are above all of this and any attempt to make them more accountable, or to enforce more accountability on them (one of the EU's aims) is considered a bad thing. A very bad thing indeed.

2
1

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018