* Posts by Charlie Clark

5407 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Blastphamous?

That's a nice neologism: blasting the famous?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No nails required

Someone fetch me 10 sets of identical twins…

Can't be arsed; just take the Cabinet: they're all a bunch equally evil bastards!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No nails required

In fact the Romans didn't drive the nails through the hands, they did it through the wrists.

I'm trying to think of how that would work without breaking the bones so badly there's not much purchase left anyway. Maybe to affix the rope to stop people slipping out of it?

Anyway: crucifixions are still practised in Sudan so how about a quick trip over to see it done for real!

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Charlie Clark
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No nails required

Nails through the hand were invented for the pictures. They're not really much use for bearing the weight of the body: strong knots around the wrists are required.

Anyway, what's the point with asking for volunteers? Just go down Westminster and round some of the sinners up. I'm sure health and safety could be convinced to turn a blind eye: all in good cause and all that.

hm, where's the "I'll get my cross" icon when you need it? Mine's the one with "CCIM" engraved in it. I'll guess I'll just have to go with the "burn in hell one" instead.

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Charlie Clark
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Re: The times they are a-changin'

I wouldn't read too much into the voting. There were a lot of trolls here last year who only seemed to care about the referendum. Most of them have since left because "job done". I suspect the national mood is one of wait-and-see now that the phoney war has passed. The health of the economy is likely to dictate future sentiment: if, as many have predicted, the economy does enter recession or there are significant job losses, then expect this to focus minds accordingly. Alternatively, and against most predictions, if there is an export boom, then those who advocated leaving will bear the fruits.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Choose your statistic...

A "no-deal" deal is bad for everyone

I've never denied that, see my post above. What's at issue are the negotiating positions and you seem to be encouraging the UK to adopt a hardball position because it the other 27 member states stand to lose more: your claim that "the UK holds all the cards". But your claim is bogus as I have demonstrated: to varying degrees there are political and economic arguments to stare the UK down.

No deal, and it's becoming increasingly evident that no trade deal can be done in time, would hurt everyone but very possibly the UK most and will require unanimity from the other 27. As we get closer to this then the pressure to retain the status quo, even if for some provisional period, will grow. May has already laid the groundwork for this by talking about "implementation terms".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Choose your statistic...

French farmers probably don't care about imports of UK meat, but they will care about EXPORTS of cheese/wine/fruit etc to the UK

Not as much as you think: the UK only accounts for around 7 % of all French exports. Compare this with the value of financial services sold by the UK to France…

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Charlie Clark
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Lets put my mythical cards into perspective.

What, without the numbers? How does that work then

France and Germany want to trade with us as they are probably the biggest.

Another truism but, again, where are the numbers?

… and so on in the rest of the post. It's so convenient to try and present an argument about economics without and any numbers but it's also meaningless.

The eastern countries Poland/Romania have many thousands of workers over here sending money back allegedly to the tune of billions.

I've read reports that it's getting harder to recruit Poles because the UK now offers far less competitive wages than it did Zloty / Pound exchange rate. The problem for the UK economy is what to do if those workers are no longer available, and, given that reducing immigration from the EU seems to be a key priority and why the UK government is prepared to sacrifice access to the single market, this seems a likely outcome. I guess this will test the idea that these workers displaced UK nationals from building sites and farmers fields. This "lump of labour" idea is barely credible at the best of times. Should it be proved wrong here the consequences will be either higher prices (due to higher wages) or less production, or even more imports. I guess we'll find out soon enough though it's not the kind of experiment I'd like to try.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Choose your statistic...

EU Politicians put idealism over common sense.

Hang on: who was it who held the referendum?

Whether it's worse for the UK or not, a "no deal" deal is bad for everyone.

This truism fits in nicely with the "Brexit is Brexit" canard but doesn't really tell us much about negotiating positions. Instead you might want to follow another possible conclusion of that trite optimism: if we can't get a deal, we could always stick with the status quo because it would logically be better than "no deal or a bad deal".

I've no idea how politics in the UK or elsewhere in the EU will be in a couple of years but I am pretty certain that May's currently apparently unassailable position will be far less so.

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Charlie Clark
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Ignoring the facts isn't a good place to start. There are three separate deals to be done: the deal to leave the EU; the deal over assets and liabilities; some kind of free trade deal for after leaving. The first two have to be concluded before the third can start so talking about what the trade deal might entail at the moment is not only erroneous but possibly even counter-productive.

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Charlie Clark
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We hold most of the cards in this.

From the Kellogg's Big Book of Negotiations…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Dan 55

Except no deal would mean WTO rules which seem to work well enough in the real world.

And how about non-tariff barriers?

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Google's video recognition AI is trivially trollable

Charlie Clark
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I remember watching an old Horizon on neural networks about this. However, since then the technology has, and our understanding of it, has involved significantly. Not that it's infallible, as this article demonstrates only too well, but whether it can be used in situations and perform at least as well as humans for the same task. This is already the case with still image recognition: video is considerably harder but correctly identifying the brand of the car in the "blipvert" is pretty impressive and, incidentally, tells us a lot about the training data that has been used: Google is going to make more money from brands than tigers…

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Charlie Clark
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It's just taking a statistic generated from the data and finding the nearest data point to that statistic in its database and then returning it.

This is patently not the case because it's classifying by an outlier. This tells us a lot about the configuration of the algorithm but not much more. As for testing intelligence: I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to come up with something similar that could "fool" humans. Indeed there was a Horizon programme devoted to just that several years ago. But in terms of video there is also the classic colour changing card trick.

Heuristics themselves rely on an underlying statistical model or models.

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Canadian court refuses to let Feds snoop on Megaupload servers

Charlie Clark
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FBI's overreach

Nice to see the court's standing up to US bullying for once: the FBI's remit is the US and this kind of extraterritoriality is not good for anyone.

Whether or not Kim has been involved in illegal activities is not relevant. It's whether or not he broke Federal law in the US. For everything outside the US the FBI can only ask other countries to assist in its investigations.

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Charlie Clark
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Not sure if that model is common outside the US.

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Android beats Windows as most popular OS for interwebz – by 0.02%

Charlie Clark
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Re: "It marks the end of Microsoft's leadership worldwide..."

You might want to look at the history of his articles: for years Gavin was one of Microsoft's cheerleaders on the site, though when not chatting with Mary Jo Foley he was mainly rehashing PR pieces.

His one sentence per paragraph style is fucking abysmal.

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British biz Imagination Technologies admits Apple may dump its IP

Charlie Clark
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Re: So a court battle

They may just let it crash and then buy the rights at a discount.

Possibly, though this could leave them open to legal action by shareholders if it were indeed to look like market manipulation.

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Charlie Clark
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It's not about the money, it's about control of the supply chain. In theory, you can get to market faster if you own more links in the chain. Apple obviously thinks it can do this with in-house resources, otherwise it would have bought Imagination and sold off all non-GPU stuff (like MIPS).

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Charlie Clark
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US courts are notably partisan in patent cases that involve US and non-US companies.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So a court battle

Doubt it: if Imagination does lose Apple's business it won't be around for much longer as an independent entity. If there is a risk of infringing IP rights then Apple would most certainly have bought the company and may still do so.

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Microsoft's in-store Android looks desperate but can Google stop it?

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Maginot Line

This does indeed have stunt written all over it. It's probably legal but it probably voids the warranty and there's no way Microsoft is gearing up to handle this instead of Samsung.

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Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally!

The way we would have done it before bootstrap…

I would suggest you look at Pure CSS is has a similar feature set but is much smaller and less verbose than Bootstrap.

Though I think that form elements are moving more and more to REST (largely due to the inability of the W3C or WHATWG to fix the specification).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not fully awake

Sort of, except I wouldn't really call it normalisation because it's a very different approach and implementation even if the effect is similar.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally!

And no-one ever has written shit CSS?

Shit CSS does not affect the semantics whereas shit HTML does.

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Charlie Clark
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Apart from my own preference for text/plain I suggest you have a look at this article on A List Apart.

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Charlie Clark
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It has nothing to do with tables, except when they're being abused for layout purposes.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally!

Table-based grids were always shit and we've all been able to do better layouts using CSS for over 10 years. Nice to see you catching up! ;-)

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Dell warns PC slowdown threatens transition to infrastructure sales

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dell make reliable, cheap desktop and laptop PCs. However.

I am sure I read a couple of things saying that 2 in 1 s are starting to take a good chunk of the sales

Possibly: the market is contracting quickly and there are quite a few Windows tablets at the low end (mainly no-name so people may be picking them up instead of notebooks. As to whether they're getting a lot of use as PCs I'm sceptical: all the low end machines I've seen are very poorly spec'd and wouldn't be much fun to work with.

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BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Being on a placement myself...

Granted this guy was just trying to hide his dark secret

Didn't they teach you any I.RONY at your place?

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Charlie Clark
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I too was wondering about the "he knows too much" aspect. Can't risk him going to the boss but maybe he could bought off?

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Security co-operation unlikely to change post Brexit, despite threats

Charlie Clark
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British intelligence is so fucking great…

…that it single-handedly defeated the IRA: prevented the bombing of the Horseguards' Parade, central Manchester and countless bombings in Northern Ireland.

Oh no, it didn't, but the EU-backed peace process managed to. Glad we're getting rid of that then!

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Charlie Clark
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Re: Mint

Don't know about putting Linux on it but some version of AOSP is bound to be available. However, DeX is most likely to Samsung only for a while.

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Charlie Clark
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Continuing to innovate

The desktop mode is really interesting, possibly even compelling. If this works well then it will justify the price and really shake the market up. Will Apple be able to respond by the time these, and related ecosystem become available in volume?

For the time being I'll be sticking with my second-hand S5, which recently got a new battery, but I am definitely tempted by this.

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Charlie Clark
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While Samsung is pretty poor at providing updates, it also makes phones that are easy to root and hence install other ROMs on. This isn't for everyone but worth considering if you've had a Samsung for a while (updates generally stop appearing after 18 months) and would allow you to reassign the assistant button to do something useful.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ugh

They already have, it's called Google Assistant and been out some time.

DeX is desktop mode…

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Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

Charlie Clark
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Re: It'll be fine

It's quite simple really.

It always is, isn't it? Except when you get round to actually doing it…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It'll be fine

Don't get me wrong! I understand the importance of fishing quotas. What I cannot stomach is other countries just ignoring their obligations under the supposedly universal rules.

Quotas have their own problems but you're basically right that the expansion of the EU to include Spain and Portugal made overfishing in the North Sea a bigger problem. But you have to ask yourself: how effective is the UK going to be if it's outside the club? Will it be able to push for stricter quotas in the parts of the Atlantic and North Sea that are outside its territorial waters?

As for following the rules, this is a perennial problem with Germany being surprisingly one of the worst offenders: notably in matters of air and water pollution. But compliance has by and large got much better over the last ten years. Greece is a complete mess but if the alternative is a failed state next to Turkey… Elsewhere the EU is often seen as a way to discipline otherwise wayward governments with the EU bailouts being a form of, er, soft power.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It'll be fine

Duties are the price that we pay for accessing markets.

Duties are the least of anybody's worries: trade moved beyond duties years ago: the real issue will be non-tariff barriers. E.g. the UK will only be able to offer financial services that conform to EU regulations; Nissan and Toyota (we can assume Vauxhall doesn't have much of a future anyway) will only be allowed to sell cars to the EU that meet EU exhaust and safety norms, etc.. This is why financial service companies that do not already have subsidiaries elsewhere in the EU (Luxembourg is popular) are busy looking for offices. Small, brass plate offices for now maybe but with the potential for significant expansion.

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Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data

Charlie Clark
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Politics

It's worth noting that this is the much maligned commission acting as it often does at the behest of the member states. Speculation about what exactly will be proposed should be avoided but the wonks at the commission will be aware of the impossibility of getting backdoors for true end-to-end encryption. And the ECJ has already ruled in favour of individual's right to privacy. So this sounds like a stick to beat the tech companies with for better cooperation: get those AIs to do something useful like monitoring phones and reporting any "suspicious" activity.

If end-to-end encryption becomes illegal, which I very much doubt, it's hardly likely to stop anyone who is already breaking, or considering to break, the law…

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Samsung plans Galaxy Note 7 fire sale

Charlie Clark
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Re: why oh why?

They can only sell them again if they can convince authorities (including the FAA) that they're safe, or as safe as any other phones anyway. But, if they can do this, then why shouldn't they sell them? Potential battery issues aside they seemed to have been very popular with owners.

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UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Charlie Clark
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Re: I think they genuinely don't see the problem.

If they were only accessing the encrypted information of 'proven criminals' post-fact, requiring court orders with demonstrated legitimacy to do that, and could absolutely guarantee that was the case and always would be, I believe many of us would say fair enough.

You can't do this with the end-to-end public key encryption that WhatsApp has switched to using. Encryption is binary: it's either working or it's broken.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Can do. But shouldn't?

I'm not an encryption professional, so I may have some of the details wonky.

Pretty much all of them to be honest: you can't do what you suggest with public key encryption.

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Charlie Clark
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Very rarely do people in government get appointed to areas where they are experts: this is how representative democracies are supposed to work, assuming they're prepared to listen to relevant experts in their departments, which may be a big ask. And, in any case Home Secretary is a huge brief: police, prisons, snooping, law, immigration, etc. I don't anyone is knowledgeable in all those areas.

I don't even think that Rudd is one of May's closest allies but while purging Cameron's Cabinet she had to keep some around. May wasn't even that hot on Law & Order herself before she got the job. Guess, she worked out what an effective vote winner outrage is. We still get to hear the stupid not fit for purpose quote from that idiot John Reid from his time in the post.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: opensource protocols

How could the government mandate backdoors in opensource protocols which have no company to mandate/talk to?

She doesn't care, this is just a soundbite for the Daily Mail. Beyond that, legally I don't think "open source" is any kind of defence even if it would make nonsense of any case. If a government decided XYZ is bad and makes it illegal then courts can issue take down notices to any providers (something that, for example, GitHub would only be too happy to oblige) of such software or source code. There is legal precedent in things like DeCSS and with encryption America's own export restrictions on cryptographic code. Impracticality has rarely stopped the passing of such laws. In Germany, for example, there was a law passed a few years ago that effectively criminalises the development and distribution of penetration testing software.

But enforcement across jurisdictions is always a problem, even for the US and the almighty DMCA.

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Robo-Uber T-boned, rolls onto side, self-driving rides halted

Charlie Clark
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Re: SRIMECH

Watch out for Matilda!

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Profitless Twitter starts rumour of paid-for Tweetdeck option

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Correction

Twitter, the profitless pointless microblogging website

FTFY

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As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

Charlie Clark
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Re: Counterintuitive

Actually it's not even for a terrorist group it's the Britain First YouTube

Thanks for the correction.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Money better Spent Elsewhere - Or Not At All

Agencies live to spend money. After all, it's not their own.

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Inside OpenSSL's battle to change its license: Coders' rights, tech giants, patents and more

Charlie Clark
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What did you expect when the big companies got involved? As for the choice of licence – I think the patent protection is largely handwaving but the threat of patent trolls is real – but incompatibility with the GPL is good thing™ in my opinion. But really going with any of the standard licences is better than opening it to discussion. APL allows for embedding in devices without having to argue about shipping source code.

Given the problems around getting all contributors to agree it would seem easier to adopt one of the "clean room" implementations of TLS.

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