* Posts by Mike Shepherd

467 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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BBC surrenders 'linear' exclusivity to compete with binge-watch Netflix

Mike Shepherd
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Happy

Re: Great!

"...people realised watching a load of rubber balls being spat out of a drum doesn't make for very interesting viewing..."

I hope you realise that Mystic Meg is going to cry herself to sleep tonight.

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Virgin surprises market by hopping into bed with BT for MVNO love-in

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Just say "no"

BT / Post Office - just say "no".

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IBM filed another 8,000 patents in 2016

Mike Shepherd
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Happy

"...machine learning in response to freeform verbal questions posed by humans"

Let's see how it answers "Have you stopped beating your wife?".

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Forget aircraft – now cretins are laser-blinding ferry boat crewmen

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: This:

50mW (1/20W) may not be insignificant when focused onto a retina. It's not just the heating: the term "burn" is used here to describe the effect of very bright light on the pigmented receptors. The good collimation of a laser means that a signficant portion of the power reaches the target. (The beam doesn't spread).

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'So sorry' Evernote rips up privacy changes

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Deep learning

Suppliers often experience "deep learning" when account closures accelerate.

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MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Cost/benefit

The government's concern is losing taxpayers before they retire.

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Someone just chucked another $21 million at carbon nanotube memory techies

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

50ns

50ns would be slow RAM, by modern standards, so I'm not clear how it can replace DRAM completely. Can anyone provide details to make sense of this?

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AT&T took too much money from customers, will pay them back by ... taking less money

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

How can I make that more complicated?

"...for all but 200,000 of the customers, payment in the settlement will come in the form of credits applied to their monthly bills, while the remainder of recipients will get a check in the mail".

I think this means 200,000 customers will get a check. The rest will have their account adjusted. Have I missed anything important? Why the waffle?

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Earth days are getting longer – by 1.8 milliseconds per century

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Just tell me

Just tell me if I get longer in bed.

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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"could leave the taxpayer out of pocket by £4.5bn"

I thought these suppliers were all private companies now.

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Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Mike Shepherd
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"...in America, Canada, the UK and beyond"

Translation: "...in important places and some others".

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Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

What exactly is the problem?

"...a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs".

This is half an explanation, padded with the word "controlled" to play down their not following the proper procedure. The best guess is that surface-mount parts were left unused too long after the package was opened, so they absorbed too much water from the air meanwhile. The water turns rapidly to steam in the soldering machine, so parts can crack. But why not just make that clear?

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IoT upstart Sigfox gulps down €150m funding but falls short of target

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"...more than 10 million objects...26 countries..."

Unfortunately, really useful figures (like the estimated annual profit per connected device) are not mentioned. Even with 50 million connections, you'd have to clear $1 a year from each device, to get back just the latest $200m over four years.

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Fintech startup Revolut pulls out of several countries, promises swift return

Mike Shepherd
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Tomorrow, the world!

The internet seems to encourage those who think they can easily take over the world. As Clive James put it, "...it’s seldom wise to say that you’re going to set new standards of know-how and then prove that you haven’t got a clue".

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Mike Shepherd
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Who's the thick one?

If "Kevin" weren't so thick, he'd know that "power button" is only the jargon of his clique, so would use different terms to be understood. Real experts can communicate with those who are not. The rest will live out their lives as support technicians, swapping stories about "stupid" users.

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'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Every time

Every time a trendy green makes a crackpot suggestion (like powering a lift from the energy of users pressing the buttons or driving trains by having passengers pace the carriages), they should be invited to spend an hour cycling to generate the 100W needed for a few "energy-saving" light bulbs. 5 minutes' pedalling is probably enough for basic education; after an hour, they'll happily vote to re-open the coal mines.

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UK Ministry of Defence splurges £280,000 on online 'good ideas' form

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

£280,000

Jeez, I would have done it for only £270,000.

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What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

On second thoughts, could you hurry that along, Mrs May?

"...EU General Data Protection Regulation...Tesco...could be fined nearly £2bn"

Tesco were neutral on BrExit.

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Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Mike Shepherd
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"Strap yourself in, world. This could be a bumpy ride".

Maybe. But (as has often been pointed out) the President proproses, Congress disposes.

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Mike Shepherd
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Re: Bloat

I agree that bloat (protocols and software) is a problem, but it's useful to ask why is the wheel so often re-invented?

Hardly anyone insists on writing their own strtok(), printf() etc. They know that the standard libraries are reliable. As for other software, it's typically ill-considered, confusing or badly-documented, so the right course often is to re-invent it. The result may be no better, but it's something you can understand and maintain.

Writing good library code is hard, as is designing a protocol to suit many purposes.

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World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

" "We were also very, very lucky. Timing absolutely was everything for us"

Why would the hospital publish this admission? It appears very useful to someone trying again.

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Barracuda: Outage caused by 'large number of inbound connections'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"refuses to say the word DDoS"

It's an ill-considered word. I refuse to use it, too.

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Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

On the plus side...

On the plus side, young British people have time to adapt, study overseas, move there and abandon this ship.

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Laser surgery ignites internal methane, burns patient down there

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Cue sub-Lieutenant Phillips...

I suspect that the number of readers who understand that is fast declining.

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"let's see who is telling the truth"

Why not check your printed electricity bill? It shows meter readings and how charges are calculated. As for 20% errors, you're dreaming. Domestic meters are typically "class 2" (maximum 2% error throughout the certified life). Have some bedtime reading :

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/gas-and-electricity-meter-regulations

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Sound-mufflers chuck acoustic sleep blanket at the noise-plagued

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

You'd think...

...that in an explanatory video, they'd make some attempt at a demonstration. Instead, all we hear is inane, jangling "music".

Maybe the idea is to show how unpleasant noise can be if you don't buy their product?

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Coming to an SSL library near you? AI learns how to craft crude crypto all by itself

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Trust the machines

Computer Alice : just swap A with B, C with D...Y with Z.

Computer Bob : Agreed : they never check what algorithm we've used anyway

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Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Cul = guele ?

I thought it was a rendering of "gueule de sac".

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'Hacker' accused of idiotic plan to defraud bank out of $1.5 million

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"They threaten to undermine our confidence in the internet and in the cyber world..."

But surely they're outdone in that by big companies who don't take basic security precautions?

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Judge allows Apple's faceless Irish head to settle for €45k - report

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Maybe

Maybe Italy with be the new Luxembourg.

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Fujitsu seeks PC exit, finds willing buyer in Lenovo

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

All your UEFI spy machine...

...are belong to us.

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First World Problems: John Lewis clients forced to re-register after website 'upgrade'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: BBC just did the same to me

As with other sites that tell me to set up another account, I found it a convenient point at which to say "time to drop them altogether". Bye bye BEEB.

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Vodafone rapped with RECORD £4.6m fine for failing customers

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"We are completely focused on serving our customers..."

Get some stock phrases off the shelf, Tracy, and email them to Ofcom.

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Hack us and you're basically attacking America, says UK defence sec

Mike Shepherd
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"...sending their...Aircraft Carrier...down the English Channel in a show of force"

A show of force? How would you like them to send it where it's going? Overland, perhaps?

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Openreach split could damage broadband investment, says BT's chief exec

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"Openreach split could damage broadband investment, says BT's chief exec"

MRDA, surely.

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Drone idiots are still endangering real aircraft and breaking the rules

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Any real evidence?

I can't recognise anything on a station platform when my train passes at 50mph, but pilots can see all this detail on something they pass at ten times that speed?

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You've been hacked. What are you liable for?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

HR and sales departments

"HR and sales departments are the most often hacked because they are the least computer security aware"

From my experience, the words "computer security" could be omitted here.

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Google DeepMind 'learns' the London Underground map to find best route

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

I don't know how I managed without it

Makes you wonder how man and the rest of Earth's fauna got from one place to another for 4,000,000,000 years without Google.

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New GCHQ unit: Psst, breached biz bods. We won't rat you out to the ICO

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"a friendly government organisation"

This does not compute.

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'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

Cue Lady Bracknell.

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Can you make a swarm of 20+ flying military robots? UK.gov wants you

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Trying it on

So, three hundred years ago, the government offered £20,000 (worth about £3m now) for an accurate clock that would work on a ship, but now they're offering "up to £80k" for this?

Given the struggle that John Harrison had to prise his reward from the government's reluctant fingers, would anyone waste their time with this latest proposal?

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My moment face-to-face with Google's AI: It feels your pain, sometimes

Mike Shepherd
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"Transporter Room"

"Thank you"

"Up your shaft"

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark"

All we need now is a plague of frogs.

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Patch AGAIN: OpenSSL security fixes now need their own security fixes

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Burn it to the ground and start over

"The code has aged far too badly"

Everything ends up a hack. Poor code starts off as a hack. Good code attracts so much demand for new features that it ends up a hack.

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US Labor Dept accuses CIA-backed Palantir of discriminating against Asian engineers

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Maybe they just weren't very good?

Although it's not clear from the article, they may have poor English (revealed in telephone conversation). This could be a justifiable basis for rejection.

Some poor English speakers are "fluent" i.e. speaking at high speed but with weird grammar and pronunciation, which makes them difficult to understand. Many people (native speakers and others) seem unable to moderate their accustomed speech to make it clear to a wide audience.

Unless the candidate is a genius in their field, I know from experience that I'd rather work with a native speaker than be distracted by the need constantly to translate what they say.

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Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Is there a story here?

"You can't rely on humans to obey the rules 100% of the time..."

All will be well when you transfer every vehicle to our control, earthling humanoid.

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My God, I've got nothing on! Microsoft's $200m Wunderlist is down

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: That migration to SQL Server's working really well then...

I don't know why, but in the country where this expression originated, there is presumably some appeal in the notion of eating dog food. It doesn't export well.

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Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

If you needed proof...

This man is proof that all the money in the world can't fix ugly.

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Jakarta be kidding me! Google gets $400m tax bill from Indonesia

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

You bet

"Google Indonesia has been incorporated as a local company in Indonesia since 2011. We have been and will continue to cooperate with the government..."

You bet. Governments have guns.

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