* Posts by h4rm0ny

4617 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Google's .bro file format changed to .br after gender bother


Re: this really is nothing compared to what's coming. @H4rm0ny

>>"Due to "feelgood" legislation perpetrated in the name of "protecting" women, the ability of a judge to determine the sentence in these circumstances has been taken away from him in New York State."

You are confused mandatory sentencing guidelines are not the same thing as "automatically guilty". There are mandatory sentencing guidelines for murder as well but that doesn't mean that someone accused of it doesn't get a trial. Also, there's more to your post which goes on to condemn the idea that adults having sex with minors is wrong and blames feminism for the fact that the law is written that way. If you think that then you have a pretty low view of males as well as women.

Your rant about plea-bargaining and sex-offenders registers is not germane to anything I have said. It's really just attempting to shift ground into other areas easier to contest. Me: "laws against adults having sex with minors is not some feminist evil". You: "Get put on sex offenders register and your life is ruined". Me: "Huh?"

>>"The fact is that feminism is a leftist farce perpetrated upon men for the sole reason of revenge against men for the perceived wrongs that exist only in the minds of feminazi "wymyn".

Feminism is about equal rights and treatment in society for women. The above is paranoid delusion. Wanting, for example, to be treated the same in job interviews is not motivated by a need for revenge against men.

>>"Stop blaming men for all your own personal shortcomings. If you don't like men, then stop trying to hurt them and ruin their lives. Find something else to complain about."

The usual nonsense about feminists hating men or feminism being compensating for shortcomings.

>>"The only time I get PO'd at or think less of women is when they play the gender card, expecting men to fawn over them in order to get an unfair advantage."

Well this is demonstrably not true from your posts alone. You sound desperately bitter, to be honest.

>>"You wanted equality baby, suck it up you can have all the equality you want, you just have to live with the consequences. No one owes you a damn thing now. You made your own bed and woke up with fleas. I don't care if you don't like it, TFB. You deserve to be treated the same way a man is"

And yet all too often, we're not. Are you saying there is no sexism in the world? If so, you're delusional (you may be anyway). If not, then why are you spewing all this bile at people who oppose sexism?

>>"If you had bothered to read my comment before your hindbrain reaction to my "male oriented" statement kicked in, you would have seen that the statement about a lawsuit was hypothetical. Here it is again."

It is hypothetical because there is little to no demand for a male-only gym, which is what I wrote. You can't rant about how feminists are stopping you from having a male-only gym if that has never been the case. And if there were such a case, why would that make sexism against women okay?

>>"That's called REVERSE DISCRIMINATION, in all caps because you still don't grasp the concept!"

Discrimination is not Momentum. You can't add two opposite vectors and say there is no discrimination any more. Your issue is that you see this as two sides battling: Men vs. Women. Plenty of men are feminists. Most I would say, in the modern Western world given that feminism is essentially a belief that women should have equal opportunities to men. The real sides are Sexists (against men and women) vs. Non-Sexists. You are currently strongly in the former camp and I believe increasingly marginalized.


Re: this really is nothing compared to what's coming.

>>"The "automatic guilt" is already in place in any case in New York state that involves a minor girl and an "adult male" even if she actually initiated the sexual relationship, and said so in court and there is only 4 years difference in age. That's your "zero tolerance" in action."

What are you saying here? That if someone is accused of sex with a minor they are automatically found guilty without trial? Because that is what is meant by "automatic guilt". And if this is the case, I'm going to have to see a citation that trials are suspended in New York State. Or is your argument that feminism has led to adults having sex with minors being a crime? I didn't realize you had to be part of the Feminist New World Order to believe that.

As to a "men only gym" being shut down by lawsuits, any evidence of that? Or indeed evidence that there is demand for a men only gym in the first place? I think you get a few men only saunas - they're gay hangouts and I've never heard of women suing to shut those down because they're not allowed in. You're contriving examples. On the other hand, you do occasionally get women-only gyms. Or more normally you very occasionally get a women only time in a gym or swimming bath, tends to be a small period of time, because there's actual demand for that and usually because it's the only time some Islamic women can actually use the facilities. Now I don't like Islam much, but I'm not against women in Bradford being able to enjoy swimming or using a treadmill for a couple of hours a week.

I honestly do not know what the world must look like from inside your head with the way you see feminism as such an extraordinary threat to you.

Paris Hilton

Re: To others...

I opened the comments section to say that as a woman I found it insulting that people thought a file extension would upset me. Having just read through the comments, especially yours, I feel pretty alienated, actually. You call it "a feminist myth" that co-workers are rude or unhelpful to women entering the field. You attribute objection to sexism to "fat humorless women" because apparently objection to sexism comes from not being successful as a sex object... That's the same charge, btw, that has been levelled at feminists ever since we actually started to achieve change. 'Oh, they're angry because men don't want them.' Not, the more accurate, 'we're angry because we face prejudice and double standards'.

It's not a myth that women in the tech sector face prejudice, it exists. You're not likely to encounter it much in Germany .You might encounter it in the UK from time to time. You're almost certainly going to have run into it in the USA if you have worked in the tech sector there for any length of time. Most men I work with are fine, but there are enough people like yourself who share your attitudes, that you encounter this hostile sub-culture from time to time. Up to and including interviewers who are plainly more interested in the possibility of getting laid than in my technical skills. All things that can happen to men, but are far, far from commonly challenges women face in the tech sector.

Personally, I wouldn't give a damn about a file extension being .bro. It should be as much of a non-issue if it happened to be .fem. Except I come here to say that and find all this story has really done, is provide an entrance point for angry people to spew grievances about how "feminists should leave the tech sector alone". As if feminism isn't something that should be normal across all sections of society. Tech is not some refuge for males to defend. It's (or should be) a meritocracy based solely on skill and passion for the subject. Unfortunately it's not. For the most part, people are fine and non-sexist. But only the deeply naïve could think it doesn't have problems (especially in the USA). Or the deeply biased. And someone who throws around nonsense like feminists are motivated by men not wanting them is in the latter camp. Your post is its own counter-argument and a sterling example of the culture that I occasionally encounter. Deeply unpleasant.

Hillary's sysadmin left VNC, RDP exposed to the internet - report


Re: There is no need to read her email for it to be a disaster

>>"Anyone know what a FAT check is?"

Checks length of the diplomat's name is under 255 characters, I think.

Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood


A bootstrap paradox may be acceptable so long as there is a way into the paradox. To take the Doctor's own example, suppose Beethoven did exist, you go back in time and accidentally kill him, and now must impersonate him and "compose" his symphonies yourself. That's okay - you have a route onto the M25 loop of eternity, it doesn't matter that you can't get off. Maybe, anyway - it's as decent a theory of fictional "Time Travel" as anything else.

What I disliked about the episode from small to large, is firstly the Doctor finding the bootstrap paradox a mystery. I would have thought the Time Lords had a pretty solid grasp of the mechanics of all this. Seems a backtracking to learn that they're just dabblers who find such things every bit as mysterious and head-scratching as everyone else. But more significantly, I really disliked the direct talking to us the audience. The show did it a couple of weeks ago again when the Doctor asked us pointedly "where did I get the tea? I'm the Doctor, just accept it". There was at least a thin conceit that he might have been talking to the Daleks at that point though it seemed more like a direct order to the audience. This week's completely abandoned the pretence and made the Doctor our own narrator and presenter of stories.

I do not like that. I like fiction to not acknowledge that it is fiction.

Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave


Re: Interesting complaint

Then you may be over-simplifying what you are teaching your children. They weren't random scum who suddenly decided to steal for a living, for the most part. Press-ganging was common for much of what we consider the pirate era in the popular mindset. Pirates could be and often were, people who had been abducted from the streets and forced into a country's navy against their will. On a successful mutiny, they may well turn pirate with some legitimacy - they now had a death sentence on their head anyway. And many pirate crews were actually fairly egalitarian and run as collectives. They could even, occasionally be quite progressive in terms of sexual equality (occasionally). Look up Anne Bonny who was a female pirate captain. They were certainly on the whole more racially tolerant. The times that pirates lived in (if we're talking Johnny Depp stuff) were not equitable times where they acted out of casual desire to steal for a living instead of working.

Whoever hacked Uber's driver database wasn't our CTO, says rival Lyft


Re: "Lyft denies any wrongdoing by its employees."

I don't know about that... I could see myself doing what the CTO did: "They published their own private key? They didn't... *looks at source They did! Muppets!"

Silicon Valley now 'illegal' in Europe: Why Schrems vs Facebook is such a biggie


Re: Mainly a public sector issue

It's not necessarily goodbye to those tools. Google might have a bit more of a problem technically (educated guess, not fact), but MS could very easily spin up a distinct European Azure and I'm certain that Amazon wouldn't find it any harder. Indeed, both already have the infrastructure in place and putting the necessary data segregation in place would be fairly straight-forward (at least for the architects of such epic projects as AWS and Azure it would be).

And if the question is a legal one, well MS could certainly licence the Azure technologies to some European countries. They essentially already do this as MS Server and many of their own commercially available tools are the same as in Azure. In business terms, licencing "AWS" might be a little harder but again, hardly insurmountable. In both cases, find a large European company as a front, and away you go.

Microsoft's HoloLens: Here by 2016, mere three THOUSAND dollar price


Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

>>"Looks are subjective; I think they're about as ugly as each other. The Surface Book presents a minor problem for me though: it grabs my leg hair if I use it on my lap when I'm wearing shorts... rather like those stretchy watch bands that grab my arm hair. You may not have that problem, h4rm0ny"

Well not to get too personal, but no, I don't have that problem. However, posting mainly to clear up that when I wrote "looks better than..." I was referring to specifications and design considerations, rather than aesthetics. I find both a little drab visually as I have never much liked brushed aluminium finishes.


Re: Not going to happen

>>"Seriously, it's not all about the guy sat in his room developing on his own. In time it might not be, but to start with, leave it to the pros with the bankroll."

Hopefully $3,000 is cheap enough that small players and even independent developers can get involved if they want to, though. If you have the skills to develop independently for HoloLens then $3,000 probably equates to a working month for you at least. (If not, the job market is looking for you - get out there!). Your costs to develop something for HoloLens are going to be way more than $3k just because of the market value of your development time alone.


Re: Price @DrXym

You seem wedded to your initial post despite all the flaws in it. In response to your points:

>>Even if we were to say the hololens is more complex, that still doesn't justify the honking disparity in the price of the kit or that its a barrier of entry

Firstly lets dispense with the weasel words. There's no "even if..." The HoloLens IS more complex than Oculus Rift. The Oculus is a display that you connect a GPU up to. The HoloLens is far more than a display. It has high end processor, GPU, a custom-designed chip for integrating the input from its camera with sound signals (which it has tiny speakers for rather than normal headphones as it's designed to augment ambient sounds) and movement, et al. It uses Kinect technology to handle gesture recognition and the software handles interaction of the AR objects with real-world physical objects. Just attempting to equate the two betrays a wilful bias. As to "barrier to entry", honestly $3000 is peanuts to all but the amateur developer. Even a small development house will eat that easily.

>>And if this disparity carries over into production then woe betide them. VR will be a hard enough sell (which IMO will fail). Something costing more again isn't going to do any better.

Again, this wilful ignorance in conflating VR with AR. Different technologies and different purposes. I don't think VR will fail, btw. For games it is amazing. But that's an aside. The point is that being able to casually share what you're seeing with an expert or colleague somewhere remote and also have them drawing arrows or highlighting things in your vision as one small example of how AR will be used, is not the same category as playing Elite Dangerous in VR for example. There is no basis to say "well if it costs £300 to play a game in VR, a doctor certainly wouldn't pay twice that to be able to conference with the hospital consultant when examining a patient". It's an utterly nonsensical argument that makes me question just how stupid you can be.

>>Oh you mean like a phone? It doesn't justify the cost. Furthermore, if it is more like a super-light computer it bodes ill for the retail price of this thing if/when it finally sells

Yes, like a phone. Many people buy subsidised phones on contract and don't look at the actual full price. An iPhone 6 unlocked costs around £550. Now imagine that instead of being a mature product in mass production by the million, it was a limited run thing not even pre-release and they'd only made 20,000 of the things. How much do you think it would cost then? Again, your analogies are dreadful and contrived only to try and damn the fact that the HoloLens development kit costs $3,000 which really isn't that much. It's even in the reach of home developers if they really want it, let alone actual companies. You have no idea how this sector works at all. Either that or you're hopelessly biased and think everyone else here is an idiot.

And it it wasn't when DK 1 and DK 2 were released. It's not a valid point.

Okay, you think you can make statements about final costs of HoloLens from an early beta and you're justifying that by comparisons to a different product in a different category which, despite what you say actually didn't start off at the same price as it happens. Oculus began with a $2.5m kickstarter to front-load it with cash. Those who contributed less than $300 subsidised those that paid more. But that's minor details which I shouldn't even bother correcting because it takes away from the point that your fundamental approach is wrong.

>>"Denigrating the Oculus doesn't remove the point that their dev kit is and has been 1/10th of this thing."

Okay, I am NOT denigrating the Oculus in any way or form. It's great. I think it will be a big success. I also think it will be a huge boost to the GPU industry (especially AMD who sorely need it). Do NOT put words into my mouth. Pointing out that they are very different products with different technologies and goals is NOT denigrating anything. Do NOT pretend that you are somehow defending Oculus against HoloLens. All you are doing is making silly comparisons that harm both.

>>Microsoft is trying to pitch this thing at games - witness various demos they've made of it for that purpose, e.g. minecraft video. In fact they're on record as justifying buying Minecraft for hololens. And their plans include XBox One front and centre and it's hard to imagine that the device would possibly succeed or achieve mass market sales otherwise.

Hard to imagine for you, maybe. I can think of dozens of non-game uses for HoloLens and MS have been demonstrating such uses. Yes, that includes games. It is not limited to games. And again, you're hopelessly muddled in your thinking and floundering around for ways to make Oculus and HoloLens sound like they're attempting the same thing. Games for HoloLens wont be the same as games for Oculus. AR is not VR and I don't see a lot of overlap in terms of how games will make use of them. Imagine doing a space simulator or first person shooter in AR. It's a nonsense idea - you'd be watching semi-transparent people running around overlaid on your walls and desk which would be swinging around you with no connection to the world you were playing in. But no, because MS want to have Minecraft playable on your carpet, or have several friends sitting around the dining room table playing a real time strategy game on it, your limited brain goes "but these and FPS and Simulators are all games - therefore Oculus and HoloLens are similar. MUST POST ON REGISTER!"!

There are few people on this forum as stupid as you.


Re: Price

>>"Perhaps a better price comparison is with Google Glass. That was $1500, rather more than Occulus, half the price of Hololens."

That's a much more sensible comparison than Occulus as Google Glass is in the same category of HoloLens. HoloLens is a lot more sophisticated though. Google glass was essentially a small projector extension that provided a 2D overlay onto one of the eyepieces. HoloLens is a great deal more sophisticated both in terms of display and in terms of processing power and software. Have you seen that demo where HoloLens is projecting a Minecraft game ONTO a table. I don't mean as a flat image, I mean that you can turn or tilt your head and walk around the table and see the 3D blocks piled up on that table shift in perspective as if they were there? HoloLens is much more than putting 2D txt messages on a lens. But this isn't me arguing a point with you - you simply stated facts. I'm just adding why I think the two should not lightly be compared. In fact, I'd go further - with HoloLens being so much more than Google Glass, I think double the price for a developer kit works pretty well.


Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

Actually, the Surface Book looks better than the MacBook Air, imo. Touch screen and an OS that takes advantage of that, almost certainly a much more powerful GPU, detachable screen (it's a hybrid). It looks seriously impressive.

(But sadly horribly expensive).


Re: Price

>>"True but the Oculus dev kit is $350."

* The Oculus is a couple of months from launch. This is an early beta.

* The Oculus is small screens in front of your eyes connected to a GPU in your computer. This is essentially a super-light computer that you wear.

* The Oculus is a VR device. This is an AR device. These things are not the same thing. They serve different purposes and work in different ways and have different demands.

* Approx. £2,500 is not that much for something focused on professional development houses which is what this is. The Oculus is being used for games right now and home hackers - it's essentially a pre-release product at this point.

But mainly and most of all, AR is not the same as VR. Different goals and different challenges.

Safe Harbour ruled INVALID: Facebook 'n' pals' data slurp at risk


Re: Am I the only one ...

Indeed. And I've just read that Twitter began segregating data in expectation of increasing problems like this. And Twitter aren't small. So, yes, I expect some changes resulting from this. And given how easy it is becoming to purchase a set-up from AWS or Azure and replicate your services in a different region, I can see this being a viable approach. A hassle, certainly, but hardly a show-stopper.


Re: Am I the only one ...

No, but it's going to have repercussions. I was recently involved in a deal that the Safe Harbour provisions were an explicit condition of. That contract is already sealed and I don't expect it to come back across my desk because of this... However, I wouldn't bet money on it. We (well my client - I sell my services as a consultant) will still abide by the provisions and we treat customers' data protection extremely seriously. But we've just lost some assurance under law, I think. This WILL affect business deals. I know of a couple first-hand which have been lost not because of this specifically, but because of concerns about sharing data with US companies generally. And if I know of a couple first hand, there are more out there. It's definitely an issue. Though speaking as a European, I approve of this being taken seriously by our courts.

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?


Re: well....

He can say 'fuck' all he likes for all I care. Depending on the incarnation. Nine it would fit fine. Ten or Five, it really wouldn't. The wording that bothered me this episode was when he said "Oh god!" seemed pretty out of character for him. I mean he's met a few and they'd hardly inspire devotion in him. Usually he kills them or banishes them to some outer dimension.

Dangerous resurgent banking malware hits UK


>>"However if a manufacturer does put something into a product that inherently weakens it's security for the sake of convenience then it must take some portion of culpability"

Well possibly, but VBA was introduced to Office in 1993, about twenty-two years ago. Email was something I accessed by Pine back then and if I wanted to surf the web I did it with Mosaic or maybe Netscape. The world in which it was introduced was a very different one from today.

And like the other poster said, you have to click through two message boxes that all but tell you "Go Back! This is Dangerous!". The ultimate secure system is one that does nothing and can't be accessed. At which point do you say the user is an idiot / technically illiterate? Or do we say that you can't build code that interacts with Office documents?


I'd guess they're being downvoted because Microsoft would be damned by the business world if they removed them and calling for a class action suit for something MS are themselves trying to get businesses to move away from. MS have provided a replacement for VBA and it's been in Office for a little while now. You can use Office Webapps to do most of what you'd legitimately want to do in Office and security controls are built into them from the ground-up. You create a manifest XML file which can lock down everything from whitelisting external servers it can connect to (if any), whether it can access contacts list, access controls, you name it. And by scanning the manifest file you can both know exactly what a webapp can and can't do and this is also enforced by the system, it's not just a label. If a webapp tries to do something it's declared that it can't, it's blocked from doing so. The tools are all actually there. Getting a large body of legacy users to ditch everything and move forwards - now that's the difficult part and MS would kill their customer base by trying to force the issue. You link yourself to guidance on not using Macros. The OP isn't being downvoted for advocating not using VBA, they're being downvoted for placing the blame on Microsoft / Office.

MS have actually done pretty much everything that could have reasonably done without removing VBA support from Office. By default, VBA macros wont run, you get pretty clear warnings if you try. And it actually tracks the source of VBA macros and treats them differently so it knows if one is, say, just from some document you downloaded from online / got from an email. Indeed, this latter is a step beyond what LibreOffice does where you could equally insert macros into documents.

Basically, place blame where it should be and use modern tools, not old legacy ones. Nobody should be churning out VB macros in an enterprise environment anymore and those who have them should be migrating away from them. But then how long did it take to get enterprise to move away from XP with its vastly inferior security model to Windows 7? Or to move from IE6/7/8 to the much more secure and standards compliant 9/10/11 ? In both cases, MS had to practically hold a knife to their customer's throats to actually get them to shift. Calling for a class action suit against MS because of this is just silly and the OP is rightly downvoted for doing so.

Has somebody shared your 'anonymised' health data? Bad news


Ask any IT professional in this field or related...

...Whether they think it's probable that this level of detailed data can be de-anonymised, and they will tell you "yes." Unless they work for one of the companies providing it.

Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid


Carl Sagan.

I'm just going to quote him: "The reason the dinosaurs are no longer here, is that they didn't have a Space program".

AMD to axe a few more staff as it struggles to get back to black


Re: To the sick, while there is life there is hope

Well that and those occasions where Intel actually paid people to buy its chips over AMDs. I've never fully understood why AMD settled the way it did but I suppose they just couldn't afford the massive legal battle it would have taken to get more.

AMD are making some gains, though. HP are now putting their new chips in professional grade laptops. That's a real achievement because AMD have always suffered through their chips only being available in low-end products. There are plenty of people who have said they would buy an AMD laptop if it didn't also mean a crappy screen / case / keyboard. Both AMD and Intel processors have entered "good enough" territory some time ago. Now that you can actually get AMD chips in a decent device, we'll see how that plays out for them. Zen is also taped out and getting ready for production. Not saying the remaining stages are easy or risk-free, but it is nearly the final strait and barring disaster, Zen is now finalized and moving steadily towards us. Graphics cards were also hit by the failure to reduce node size - which was a foundry problem, not AMDs. It affected AMD and NVIDIA both, but the latter had more money to handle the loss. The current Radeons are not what was intended originally. Now that such issues are resolved, the next generation of cards, with HBM and an architecture that properly takes advantage of that, as well as HSA becoming relevant, mean AMD could really turn things around in a very impressive fashion.

IF they can hold on long-enough. I see it as a waiting game. If AMD can cling on, they're turning in the right direction. They just need to survive long enough for all their work to start bringing in the rewards. Don't know if they will but much of what I've seen indicates to me that if they can, they can rise again.

Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back


I don't think anyone is disputing that prosecutions follow the law as written, they're disputing the "Boo hoo!" part. It's little different to any other complex system such as my computer OS. If someone finds an exploit, well that needs patching, but I don't suddenly express contempt for the victim of a hack and exalt the hacker for finding a way to get access without valid credentials.

Samsung may have found a loophole way around the intent of the law, that is worthy of criticism.


Re: Unsurprising. This *is* Samsung after all

I was coming here to post something similar about Samsung. This is the company that has literally tried to hand judges a briefcase full of cash, movie-style. This is kind of a re-post but last time I shared this story it was over a year ago, so here's an anecdote about Samsung.

In 2006 Samsung was sued by Pioneer for infringing their patents on Plasma TV technology. A memo from a Samsung engineer used as evidence showed that they knowingly infringed on the patents. Rather than agree a licencing fee however, Samsung counter-sued and buried Pioneer under suits and appeals. Pioneer was awarded $59million in damages, but got buried in punitive legal actions from Samsung and a few years later shut down the television division, in large part because of this. Ten-thousand people who worked in that division directly or indirectly, lost their jobs

They're a fun company.

Met at 'huge risk' of botching its Sopra Steria outsourcing contract


Well yes, but it's not about saving money. It's about two very important things. Funnelling money to mates in the private sector (I have no evidence of this but I don't see why it would be any different to the NHS - please correct me if they really are lilly-white in this instance as, unlike the Met, I'll actually backtrack if it turns out I've nicked the wrong suspect). Secondly, and this could be even more important, it will give all the people in charge a bit of paper that says when it all goes tits up, it's the fault of that terrible private sector company, not theirs anymore.

MACAQUE ATTACK: Monkey plunders Florida resident's box, gobbles contents

Paris Hilton

Monkey rights...?

So are PETA campaigning to have the monkey tried for theft? Enquiring minds want to know.

'We can handle politicos, OUR ISSUE IS JUDGES', shout GCHQ docs


Re: QUESTION: If you were in charge of the country,

You know the best way to generate a large EMP?


Re: @TwoWolves Safety vs Security

>>"I'm more than willing to give up preventing every attack if the government would get out of the business of mass data collection, especially considering that we've known every terrorist before the event yet the services seemingly have their attention somewhere else (like up their ass apparently)."

In a nutshell, the Intelligence Agencies' goal is to protect the state, not the people. For the time being, preventing terrorist attacks is part of that because terrorist attacks make people unsettled and demanding change, but it's not their only goal and it doesn't have to coincide. If the people become the threat to the government, then the people are the enemy. And to an extent, the people are always a threat to the government.


Re: @ TwoWolves Safety vs Security

>>"Has it occurred to you that the worst case scenario is what's happening in Syria right now? Can you live with that? Where would you flee?"

Has is it occurred to YOU that Bashar Assad's Syria was a place with an out of control state apparatus where intelligence agencies / secret police didn't have to obey due process and the populace had no means of controlling them other than violent revolution? What makes you think that Syria is at the opposite end of a surveillance state, rather than its conclusion?


Re: Boggle

I'm sure there are some decent MPs. They may not end up leading their parties, mind you. But I'm sure they're there. The issue with not fully understanding what you've signed is, well, how could you? When there's only one source of information on something (your intelligence agencies) they can present things in all sorts of ways. Anyone here has probably seen enough comments on a divisive issue that would convince almost anyone if there wasn't an opposing viewpoint or someone to provide context. I've seen posts both pro- and anti- global warming either of which would equally convince someone who had just wandered in without any background and in many cases the content of those posts is factually true in both cases. How much easier is it to fuddle some minister who you're telling lives may depend on them signing some bit of paper and that you know all sorts of things they don't that make it valid.

Of course there is a need for someone (apparently judges) to come along and say "well... did you know that when they said this they meant that?"

Which of course is why this document describes judges as a threat. Same way someone who is trying to convince you that AGW is true / false regards anyone not allied with them as a threat. GCHQ strive to be the only source of information to MPs and when you're the only source of information, getting signatures is usually pretty easy.

VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?


Re: Who wrote the code?

There's a fourth option, which is that they genuinely didn't see what they were doing as wrong. They could, for example, have thought / said either of the following:

"These rules are written by people who clearly don't actually understand the science. If we push down the CO2 which doesn't do much harm, we're pushing up the NOx which certainly does. So lets pass this arbitrary test in a way that poisons our customers and those around them less."

"It's completely sensible that the car goes into a different mode when stationary. If their tests don't actually cover driving the thing around the track then of course they're not going to get a representative idea of its performance"

Not saying either is or isn't right, or even that the two are compatible. Only that it's entirely plausible that the engineers genuinely didn't see themselves as doing anything wrong. If I'm trying to make a good product and somebody who knows less than I do comes along and decides to tell me it should be done a certain way to comply with some arbitrary and not very scientifically-grounded requirement, I can certainly see the temptation to do what is necessary to tick their meaningless box and then get back to making it actually work efficiently. That mindset is not unrelatable to me.


Lone Wolf / Loan Shark

Am I witnessing two figures of speech breeding with each other and spawning progeny? Lone Wolf is the traditional term for a rogue actor, no? Loan shark is a disreputable money lender. Where did "lone shark" come from?

PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row


Re: Joke suit

What are you blathering about? I've been vegetarian for many years and whilst not everyone will agree with my positions on El. Reg, I think even those that loathe me would accept that I have a fairly solid reasoning ability.


Re: Edited for objectivity

>>"Originally, he was quoted as saying e.g. "One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off... He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus..." which strongly implies that these photos weren't intended"

I think you may be conflating two separate incidents here, either directly or because newspapers (whose goal is to sell, or get hits for the online versions) have previously conflated them. At one point, David Slater unwisely left his camera lying there and the monkeys absconded with it and his guide ran after them and got it back. In a separate incident, he set it up a tripod and stayed close to it.

Now one can argue a case that the copyright isn't his because he's lying about the circumstances (still very shaky though that it's now no longer his property), but given that there were only two people present in the jungle and we have a presumption of innocence, it's rather off to start taking this tack that he is lying - i.e. the copyright isn't his, therefore he lied about the circumstances. That's working from conclusion back towards the argument.

Thumb Up

Re: Aha!

>>"He should probably just make sure he hasn't got any assets in California, just in case the judge turns out to be as rabidly barking as the plaintiffs."

Doesn't work like that. PETA want to have copyright assigned to the monkey and themselves appointed managers of the income. So even if he has no assets in the USA whatsoever, he has effectively become irrelevant to the case because PETA will be going around to anyone in the USA using this photo and demanding money on the monkey's behalf, not Slater's.

That's actually blackly comic in that all those Wikimedia proponents who argued they didn't have to pay a licence fee because the monkey was the author of the photograph, would now find themselves sued by PETA for back-use of the photograph by their own arguments.


Re: Speed Cameras?

>>"PETA walking on litigious eggshells I feel. Perhaps they should pay this blokes costs and huge compensation for loss of earnings ... then be fined for wasting the court's time."

He probably wouldn't want it (though recovering some of the £10,000 he's lost so far from all this would likely be welcome). He loves these monkeys and a big part of what motivated him to do this trip and finance it was to help raise awareness about them and the fact that they're becoming endangered as their environment is encroached upon and they are being eaten as the spread of Catholicism in Indonesia lessens the prohibitions against eating monkey meat. He's also previously gone out and photographed wild boar to help a campaign PETA had to protect these animals (a little bit more dangerous than monkeys!). He's a conservationist and animal lover who works to protect these animals.

PETA turning on this guy is like watching a roadrunner trying to eat its young.


Re: The day a monkey decides to bring it's own lawsuit

>>"Just to work out what your criteria are here, and as a thought experiment, what if we replace your notional "monkey" with the counterexample of an adult human with severe learning difficulties? Such a person might also not be able to bring their own lawsuit, or go on the witness stand in a way useful to their case. Do you consider that they would (should) have any photographic rights in this kind of `selfie' case?"

Even someone with pretty severe learning difficulties is almost certainly going to have a grasp of contexts and purpose that the monkey doesn't. You're going off on the wrong track however. The question isn't ability to understand what is happening but the level of creative input. If I set up a camera, the set design, the lighting, decided on angles and poses for the model whilst I walked around the set and my assistant was pressing the button would they have more creative input than me because they were the mechanical trigger for it? No. And to be absolutely clear, this is NOTHING to do with any legal agreement they have to do work for hire, it's strictly about "do they have the creative input" for it and "are they resourcing this". The answer to both is no. Just as with the monkey. Your sliding scale of intelligence is a red herring. The photographic assistant is perfectly capable of understanding what is going on but they're not the artist in this instance. Nor was the monkey. The monkey didn't set all the little details of the camera up to be appropriate for the lighting, they didn't do selective work on the photograph or travel all the way to Britain to use the camera. Both resource and creative input were Slater's. The monkey's ability to comprehend is not the primary issue, it is a secondary one that leads to the fact that it has not contributed creatively.


Re: Thankyou for the facts

>>I wonder how the original story came about? It would take somebody very mean-spirited to suggest that it was made up to make it more likely that papers would buy the photo, on the basis that "monkey takes selfie" is more likely to sell than "monkey triggers camera-trap".

Humans prefer a lie that entertains them to the truth, in most cases. Once someone (anyone) says that the monkey stole the camera rather than walked up to a low-set tripod, that is the version that will travel around the world and be printed in the papers. Because it is more entertaining.


Utter Stupidity. Utterly Pissing Me Off.

As a vegetarian and someone who supports various animal welfare operations, I want to say without the slightest reservation that this is beyond stupid and the damage it does to the actual cause of preventing mistreatment of animals is immeasurable. I am furious. The same way you get when any idiot (or in this case group of idiots) attempts to support you in a way that makes you look like a cretin.

This winds me up to no end which is why you'll find posts like this from me on Ars Technica, here, anywhere that I can make a futile attempt to counter the harm PETA do to the cause of animal welfare.

Anyway, attempting to calm down and explain rationally what is wrong with PETA's action here, imo, It's essentially a question of authorship. That is what copyright comes down to - who is the author, who created the work. There's all sorts of work involved in producing this photo, and yes, much of it creative. I can tell just by looking at it that this is not the raw state of the photo - there's been all sorts of post-processing to get it to look like that, there's framing of the image as well - which for those who haven't gotten into photography, is actually something that depends a lot on artistic skill and creativity. There's the selection process as well which takes time and artistic talent. I can take a hundred photos and get two out of them that I'm happy with and it takes time and judgement to do that. We're not looking at a blurred photo of a monkey's foot with some leaves in the background. We're looking at the best photograph selected by a professional who knows their stuff. Then there's the purchase of thousands of dollars of equipment, the travelling half-way around the world to photograph them, days patiently becoming accepted by the monkeys, setting up cameras so that a monkey could do this in the first place. The photograph is the product of all of these things - a mix of genuine artistic creativity and resource, not random luck. I have often found that the harder I work the luckier I am. The artist did a huge amount to make this happen. And they did just as much afterwards to produce a final piece of artwork that this now is.

And PETA want to argue that the monkey contributed more creativity than all his work? If he'd set up a camera to take pictures of trees in the wind and had the trigger activated by the breeze would they credit the air with the copyright? There's as much deliberate intent written on the wind as the monkey has understanding of a camera. Are they equally for suing all these nature documentaries that show animals by night because they tripped some trigger the film crew had installed. Again, I'm not seeing this magic hard line that would separate the two.

Nature photographers actually do a lot to help with nature conservation and animal welfare by making people aware of the beauty and value of what is out there. This photographers work does more to make people care about monkeys half way around the world than anything I have seen PETA do. But the nature of the photography business is that you put in lots of effort and sometimes days or even weeks to take hundreds or thousands of photos and come out of it with the three or four that you can sell to cover your costs and make a modest living. And PETA want to take that away? And I do mean take - they are arguing that they should be custodians of the monkey's earnings in this suit.

This monkey suit.

So thank you PETA, for making me and every other person who wants animals to not be mistreated, look like a slack-jawed drooling lunatic. Thank you very much.

You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but


Re: @Doctor Syntax

Well, yes, you laugh. But of the very few things in the USA that can overrule the NSA, one of them is money. I know of at least two large contracts that US companies have lost because the buyer did not trust the US government (not the company, the government) that their data would be secure. If I can name two such lost contracts personally, then that means there are quite a lot more out there. It's definitely become an issue.

Now if Safe Harbour provisions were no longer valid, that's going to hit at least three orders of magnitude more because it will no longer just be the companies that actually care about data security, it will also be the companies that want to appear to care about data security and that just want to tick some box so they don't have to think about it. And there's a lot more of those than the former.

Cyber crims up the ante with Google Play brainteaser malware


Re: Full points for irony though..

There is a quote from G.K.Chesterton who was a very intelligent person with accomplishments in a very wide range of fields who telegraphed his wife with the question: "Am in Birmingham. Where ought I to be?"

Intelligence and technological expertise certainly are not joined at the hip. Though those with the latter tend to presume that those without it also lack the former, unfortunately.

Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on


Re: It looks like

>>"you've spent a lot of money for an application that's no better than free alternatives. Thanks, sucker!"

Why do people such as yourself always assume you know better than other people what they want? ESPECIALLY on an IT site where we're all going to be fairly aware of those alternatives. You don't know what other people's needs are - whether they might want collaborative tools or elegant document merging or a better equation editor or whatever. And you certainly don't know where something sits on the value-cost curve for each individual. One person might balk at paying £120 for a word processor. Another might think that if it saves them just two hours over the course of a year then they've already made their money back.

But of course you in your righteous omniscience know what we want, don't you? And how much value we set on it. And decide to pronounce us idiots for it. Good for you - the world needs more self-righteousness.


Re: Excel Co Authoring or not?

Just like GNU/Linux was the best thing that ever happened to Windows, I suspect Google Docs is / will be the best thing that ever happened to MS Office.

When you scare them enough, MS can produce some wonderful software.

Shattered Skype slowly staggers to its feet after 15-HOUR outage outrage


Re: expensive international calls.

>>"Apart from there being a half dozen p-t-p alternatives to skype, there are also SIP providers for voice calls."

Yes, talking someone through setting up a PTP alternative to Skype in a foreign country at short notice via email is something very easy to do. Or is it your contention that I should proactively do this with everyone I might talk to abroad in advance and they should maintain this in case I need to call them by it?

>>"I really don't see this as a major event. Failure to plan for problems on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."

Where did I say it did? How on earth do you think that you are relevant to this situation? Ego much?

>>"MS will be feeling the pain (and skype still seems to be staggering today) but if you don't have alternates set up then you don't understand that "things fail""

What I understand that it is neither possible nor cost-effective to actively prepare for every conceivable thing that can go wrong in this world. You have a very patronizing attitude for someone who brings so little utility to the conversation. I get that you may want to prop up your self-esteem by criticising others on the Internet, but I feel obliged to deflate this particular attempt as you've decided to pick on me for your target, by pointing out what a sad individual needs to do this.


The Skype downage cost me £30+ in international calls, yesterday. Mobile to mobile across countries is expensive.

Also, what's with El Reg articles being lots of screengrabs of Twitter. Can't they afford journalists anymore?

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview


It would be pretty easy to fix the Start Menu by simply going back to the Start Screen. You only need hierarchical menus when you have too many items to manage in a flat hierarchy. On my desktop monitor I can fit 60 tiles very comfortably. That is far more than regular users ever need for commonly accessible tasks. You can additionally scroll down for less commonly used tasks where it becomes unlimited. And if you don't want to do something like remember that all your office applications are in a column on the left and all your games are in a column on the right (far quicker than actually reading up and down menu items), then you can always do what I do on Windows 8, which is just hit the windows key and start typing. Don't even have to reach for the mouse. None of this blending of unwanted online search results when I just want to launch Excel.

MS, imo, tried to jump across a ravine, got to the other side and found lots of people saying they didn't like it over here, so decided to jump half-way back and compromise. I find the Windows 10 Start Menu a grotesque hybrid. Some people like tropical fish. Some people like kittens. Nobody wants to see a kitten with fish-eyes and a gumless, toothless mouth.

AMD chief architect Jim Keller quits chipmaker – again


Re: Well that blows..

With the timescales that CPUs work to, the architecture part will be finished now (will have been for a little while) and the next parts are to turn it into a real and usable piece of hardware - not a small task. Jim Keller may be leaving because he's too expensive to just keep around with AMD's limited funds now that his stage is done, he may be leaving because he wants to find a new challenge elsewhere or simply have some time off (I imagine heading up a new CPU architecture is a pretty exhausting job). In either case, he will have delivered them all the architecture for Zen by this point. I would have expected him to stay on and continue working on successor chips personally, but then Jim Keller has never really stuck around that long at one company - check his work history. Hopefully if Zen is a success he will go back to AMD to do more for them.

Global warming stopped in 1998? No it didn't. If you say that, you're going to prison


Re: Yawn.....

>>"Gosh, I can't predict whether I will down four pints of IPA or a bottle of red, but I can predict I will have a hangover. I also can predict with fair confidence that it will be colder in January than it this month, and I don't know who is going to win Stoke City vs Leicester City on Saturday, but I can predict that neither will win the title come end of season."

None of these are good analogies for what the person you're replying to said. A better response would be "I can't tell you what the next three coin tosses will come up as, but I can tell you that over the next 500 they'll be fairly evenly split between heads and tails".

I'm actually a skeptic on AGW but the OP's argument was poor logic. One does not need to predict immediate results in order to predict and overall trend.

Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux


Re: I wonder

This isn't an OS for the end user, there wont be a GUI at all from what I surmise from the article. MS developed some software for managing GNU/Linux via Powershell so it'll probably be managed through that.

Let's Encrypt certificate authority signs first cert


Re: Yes! Get on with it ElReg.


3. Tim Worstall refuses to use free certs until they cost more.

4. Trevor Potts refuses to use any technology that is compatible with IPv6

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