* Posts by steward

272 posts • joined 17 Apr 2008


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


Dave, I'm really the pilot. You're redundant.

Remy Redert writes:

"But this wasn't the software's fault. It never is. It was the designer who allowed a single faulty sensor to put the software..."

Sensors don't "put" software. They only feed data to software. Software functions to interpret and compare data fed to it.

It was the software's - or, more particularly, the software designers' - fault.

As for the software designers' responsibility... they're designing software for planes. The article says that "the pilots fought with the MCAS system, pulling the plane's nose up 26 times before finally losing control." It would seem to me that if pilots send a command more than five times contradicting a computer program, that software designers in the aircraft industry should be designing computer programs to just SHUT OFF at that point (with appropriate warnings) instead of saying "Nyah nyah I'm really the pilot, sod off humans!"

Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom


The tech to save blockchain?

" This quantum electronics element enables switching energies smaller than those of conventional silicon technologies by a factor of 10,000."

Which, given the anticipated power consumption of blockchain, would help greatly...

Saving the internet, fake news warts and all


At £72.68

for the Kindle edition, more for hardcover, I don't think I'll be picking up this tome anytime soom.

President Trump broke US Constitution with Twitter bans – judge


Actually, this decision doesn't matter anyway.

The US judiciary can't do anything if they think the President did something unconstitutional. That is reserved to the legislative branch of the American government: the (currently Republican majority) House of Representatives would have to impeach him, and the (currently Republican majority) Senate would have to convict him.

I've got way too much cash, thinks Jeff Bezos. Hmmm, pay more tax? Pay staff more? Nah, let's just go into space

Black Helicopters

If he can get a colony established on Mars...

I'm sure he's already planning to send all the homeless there. <sarc>Just think, he'd be giving them a whole planet!</sarc>

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot


Re: Of all places

"We should probably outlaw knives. "

The UK Parliament posts PMQ's to YouTube, and I saw a week or two ago that both the Government and the Opposition in Commons are considering putting restrictions on knives.

US govt's final bid to extradite Lauri Love kicked into touch


Re: computer misuse offences should be tried where the hacker was at the time.

Until Brexit is finalized, the UK is still part of the EU and is subject to the US-EU agreement on extradition.


Re: This is ghasting my flabber

The Executive Power of a country acts under treaty when extradition is requested. Thus, the lawyers for the country responding to the request for extradition represent the Requesting Power.


Re: "stopped at any airport [..] and extradited by the judiciary there"

Interpol has nothing to do with extradition. "INTERPOL's role is to assist the national police forces in identifying and locating these persons with a view to their arrest and extradition or similar lawful action. " https://www.interpol.int/INTERPOL-expertise/Notices

Extradition treaties can be bilateral between two countries, or multilateral. In the case of US and Germany, the Agreement on extradition, with explanatory note, Signed at Washington June 25, 2003,

Entered into force February 1, 2010 would apply. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/273494.pdf page 138

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America


Re: Fine legal system

In the US, the Family Courts sit in Equity, not in Law. I've seen orders from the UK, and it looks like it is the same there. In Equity, the judge gets to decide - within wide limits - what he or she thinks is "fair".

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs


Sounds like a great supply depot...

for terrorists.

And you can bet they WON'T be wearing a FitBit...

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash


Re: Where's the Elon Musk Attack Brigade today?

"Autopilot is a contraction of Automatic Pilot which by definition is "a device for keeping an aircraft on a set course without the intervention of the pilot".

And if you're a pilot on an aircraft and you're surfing the web when you're supposed to be looking out of the cockpit for other planes, flocks of birds that can jam your engines - and you survive your mistake - you're going to lose your license.

Keeping an aircraft on a set course does not mean keeping an aircraft away from obstacles. In fact, the Tesla is more automatic than the definition for an aircraft; there are some avoidance systems built in.

US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need


With all the "cost-saving advances" in tech...

somehow the price of PCs stays in the stratosphere - or beyond.

PCs are simply too expensive for what people get. I found some good sales in 2015 and picked up a good Lenovo all-in-one with touchscreen and keyboard for about $400. I haven't seen anything close to that since then. HP and Dell are totally ridiculous with their retail pricing for the consumer market.

Republican tax bill ready to rescue hard-up tech giants, struggling rich


You missed a clause:

"The Tax Foundation, a tax policy non-profit"

headed by David P. Lewis, Chief Tax Executive for major drug firm Eli Lilly and Company...

Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series


Re: Running up stairways of falling rocks

From the cas.unt.edu link: "Tom is "the nature deity par excellence""

Yes, that's exactly what he is - the oldest of all old things. Some of Tolkien's other writings show he can be a trickster as well (actually, making the ring disappear is a pretty good trick in FTR.)

Tom is the Puck.

Silverlight extinguished while Angular wins fans among developers


Interest is biased towards new technologies

"interest, according to data scientist Julia Silge, is measured by Stack Overflow tags – labels or keywords submitted with questions posted to the community site to associate queries with particular topics."

Older technologies already have the questions asked and answered. Measurements like these explain the continuing popularity of VBA and VB.NET, and COBOL, despite the announcements of their respective imminent deaths - because most of the questions have already been posted on Stack Overflow, and answered.

Newer technologies have many questions to be posed and answered; thus, there are more questions posted to the community. That will always be the case for any newer technology.

A more accurate metric would be to look at what information has been researched on Stack Overflow. If someone finds the answer, they're hardly going to ask it again.

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


Maybe the company should relocate

"The government, meanwhile, countered that the messages can be accessed remotely from Google HQ in Mountain View, California, USA"

If Google even floated a document about relocating to the Republic of Ireland and getting rid of all its American workers who did not want to relocate as well, the US Government would trip over itself getting rid of the warrants.

Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas


Re: This could require a bowl of freshly made popcorn

MS and every other major computer company from the US West Coast relocates to Ireland. Simple, really.

Ex-sperm-inate! Sam the sex-droid 'heavily soiled' in randy nerd rampage


They need to work on the audio a bit...

In the clip, she sounds like a female version of an Anonymous decree.

Even Alexa is more personable...

Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'


Simple solution

Amazon should just change its name to Alexa.

China's cybersecurity law grants government 'unprecedented' control over foreign tech


I guess they'll have to spin off other companies

Because if China is allowed to reverse-engineer Apple, Microsoft, et. al...

NATO and CERT are likely to construe those technologies as inimical to Europo-American security and block them from sale in the EU and US (and UK once the UK is no longer in the EU.)

San Franciscans unite to smite alt-right with minefield of doggy shite


Re: Hmmmm....

Well, you're certainly bombastically ignorant. Woodstock was a capitalist endeavor to make money off of hippies. The ticket price in 1969 dollars was $18 for three days ( $120 current USD, 93.24 current GBP.) The capitalists who sold the tickets were responsible for hauling the trash away.

People holding an event for which a fee is charged are responsible for cleaning it up, but sometimes they're fulla crap.

Amazon may still get .amazon despite govt opposition – thanks to a classic ICANN cockup


Things can be bought

Amazon market cap: $490 B USD

Ecuadorian debt: $ 25 B USD

Brazilian debt : $ 1.5 T USD

I think a monetary arrangement can be reached here.

How to nuke websites you don't like: Slam Google with millions of bogus DMCA takedowns


Re: Simple Solution

Even better... since content providers have such an inflated estimate of value lost by infringement, turn it around. Amend the DMCA so that if a fake notice is sent out, the generator of the fake notice is liable for $10,000 in money damages to the recipient of the notice, plus legal fees, if any.

I predict a drop of 99% + of DMCA notices if that were to happen.

Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'


Don't count any language out...

that has a widely installed base.


SHA3-256 is quantum-proof, should last billions of years


And the two best known SHA-3/256 will still be

the hashes for "password" and "123456".

Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

Black Helicopters

I see the Crown is again evincing a design to reduce its subjects under absolute despotism

Just use TOR networks and a 'murrican server - the 'murrican courts have held this sort of thing to be protected by the US Constitution.

Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette, Inc. v. American Coalition of Life Activists, 290 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2002) (en banc), certiorari refused.


NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886 (1982) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/458/886/case.html

OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?


I like "Horvendile"

but Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle might sue for copyright violation.

Surge pricing? How about surge fines: Pennsylvania orders Uber to cough up $11.4m


Re: Commonwealth

Actually it IS a state. The older states love to keep the older terms though. For example, in NJ, in colonial and early independence periods, only landowners who held their land free of any encumbrance could vote. Such people were called freeholders.

Most counties in NJ (a couple have modernized) are run by a government called the Board of Chosen Freeholders, an archaic term that dates to when only freeholders could vote. Even though that's long gone, the name remains - in fact, many in NJ don't know the origin of the name of the governing body and refer to the Board as the "Freeholders". (It gets even more confusing in Monmouth County NJ, where the seat of the Board of Chosen Freeholders is in a borough called "Freehold", better known for Bruce Springsteen.)

Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook


Re: Tax Technicians

"Ok, I get protecting "Engineer" and getting all stroppy about stupid titles using the word engineer (I for one get extremely narked off) "

Actually, "Engineer" - according to the OED - extends about as far as "Technician".

"4. With preceding modifying word: a person considered to have specialized knowledge or skills in a particular field, esp. one who attempts to influence or manipulate human affairs according to scientific or technical principles." (dates to 1720, referring to "spiritual engineers".)

" 5. An author or designer of something; a plotter, a schemer." ( dates to the 16th century with Middle English, with another quote from 1998.)

I think people worried about "protecting" words need to either take a chill pill or at least consult the OED first.


Ever heard of the Oxford English Dictionary?

A technician - according to the OED - is " A person knowledgeable or skilled in the technicalities of a particular field; esp. an expert in the formal or practical aspect of an art, sometimes with implications of a corresponding lack of creativity."

Quotes dating to 1833 (were there any USB ports available then?) relate technicians to fields including linguistics, music, dance, culture, and poetry. Strangely enough, no quotes relate to computers or electronics (the most recent quote being from 2006.)

It would seem that someone who criticizes the title "tax technician" is himself the generator of bovine by-products.

UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge


Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

If patients are not assured of confidentiality in talking with psychiatric personnel.. rest assured that they won't talk with them. They'll just escalate to violence instead.


Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

If violent fantasies are banned, Quentin Tarantino better steer clear of the UK.

Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London


Re: British Soil

Under the VCDR section 22 subsection 1 the Head of Mission can allow anyone from the Receiving State in anytime he or she pleases.

Or not. The receiving State has no rights under the VCDR. The sending State holds all the cards, unless the receiving State (the UK) breaks diplomatic relations with the sending State (Ecuador.)


Re: He's on Ecuadorian Soil...

> The Vienna convention prevents us from going in without very good cause


Although the VCDR does not use the word "sovereign", it does forbid the receiving State from entering without permission of the sending State's representative, effectively cedng sovereignty over the embassy by the receiving State to the sending State (as the receiving State does not have what is known as "effective control" over the embassy.)

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.



Re: Actually lets be clear here...

@pffut :

Did you RTFA?

"the proposed Ecuador to Sweden negotiating an Agreement on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, which was signed last December and provides the legal framework for the practice of judicial proceedings required."

Ecuador has stated that no Agreement on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters existed until last December. Further, Ecuador has stated that without said agreement, there was no legal framework for the "proceedings required" - that is, the questioning of Assange by Swedish DA's while Assange is on the sovereign territory of Ecuador.

Simply not credible: The extraordinary verdict against the body that hopes to run the internet


Accountability won't exactly change

"A key concern with that move is that ICANN is not sufficiently transparent or accountable."

And the US Government is transparent and accountable?

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung


Re: Nahh, the old Star Trek was for nerds...

"Any failure in the show after the middle of season 2 are all due to CBS, nothing else. Period."

CBS rejected the whole show because they already had a science fiction show, Lost in Space.

Star Trek (TOS) aired on NBC, even though CBS - realizing its error - eventually bought the rights to the Star Trek franchise.

BOFH: I found a flying Dragonite on a Windows 2003 domain


Considering it's possibly inappropriate due to events outside the UK...

And considering that the UK Foreign Secretary is now Boris Johnson...

It seems to fit quite well with the new modus operandi of the Foreign Office.

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs


Planes have autopilot - doesn't mean they don't have pilots.

Commercial jetliners have had autopilot for decades. That doesn't mean they don't have a pilot and a co-pilot as well.

From CNBC: "The autopilot system relies on a series of sensors around the aircraft that pick up information like speed, altitude and turbulence. That data are ingested into the computer, which then makes the necessary changes. Basically, it can do almost everything a pilot can do. Key phrase: almost everything."

Anyone who drives a car with "autopilot" and expects it to do everything is an ignoramus and a fool.

Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies


Sounds like an extension of Brexit

Britain exits the rest of the world.

EU wants open science publication by 2020


Well, I guess...

If the Netherlands don't go through with, um, Netherexit like they're threatening to, Elsevier can find a friendlier home in the UK.

That's assuming that by 2020 the UK doesn't do BrRevolvingDoor and re-enter the EU...

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU


An example of the type of incomplete reporting that may have led to Brexit

"Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation at 8:30am this morning."

No, he didn't. He said quite clearly that he will be resigning in approximately three months. The UK government is still in place, and (absent a vote of no confidence) will stay that way at least into September.

Just think of what the vote might have been if major media outlets reported things correctly...

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'


"We'll see how well that goes"

I believe you're using the Internet. That's an American invention. (Yes, a Brit in Switzerland put the web layer on top of it, but the Internet was developed by the US DOD.)

Modern electronics rely on the transistor. Cell phones would look pretty funny if they had to use vacuum tubes

How many Brits have walked on the moon?

And then there's the inflatable tank, which helped the US save Europe's ass again in WWII, because Europeans can't even write a treaty that doesn't guarantee another war. (Hint: not enough arable land in Germany to support population, Treaty of Versailles banned most factories over the US' objections.)

Apple computers. IBM computers. UNIX. C. Windows. Total Quality Management. GPS (another DOD project.) FAX (in 1925!) Solar cells. Digital networks.

Cardiac pacemakers. Glucose meters.

And if American companies are stopped from bringing in foreign workers under false pretenses to drop wages, you'll see a lot more of this.

Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge


Re: Excellent

Protestantism is not a single sect, unlike Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is an umbrella term for literally thousands of sects who accept the Roman Catholic New Testament but interpret it differently.

Anglicanism, by and large, is a form of Roman Catholicism that lets the monarch get divorced (although I've never quite understood why, with Henry's precedent, Edward VII had to abdicate - as leader of the Church of England he should have been able to exempt himself just like Henry VIII did.)

The sects based on the writings of, respectively, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Wesley differ so widely in belief that referring to "Protestantism" as a single entity is ludicrous at best.

Nothing mything here. Move along.

RBS and Natwest online banking goes titsup


Maybe they got the MARKETS confused with their SERVERS

RBS has predicted a major market crash this year.

Maybe they actually meant a major server crash, but misread the internal memo.

FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas


FAA to regulate bullets?

"The FAA claims that the 400-foot rule is a "misperception that may originate with the idea that manned aircraft generally must stay at least 500 feet above the ground," and claims it has authority over all airspace from the ground up."

So if a bullet is fired outdoors, it travels through airspace from the ground up. Maybe gun violence in the US could be cut down if all bullets had to be registered with the FAA.

NZ unfurls proposed new flag


This looks like some sort of plot out of Mordor.

Google says its quantum computer is 100 million times faster than PC


I realize it may be a challenge, but...

I'm sure Microsoft will rise to that challenge as it as done in the past and make Windows and M$ Office run 100 million times slower...

Grow up, judge tells EFF: You’re worse than a complaining child


Re: Somebody better arrest me then

If your daughter is a minor you are exercising your parental rights. It has nothing to do with matters of law. Stop whining.


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