* Posts by frank ly

5977 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Massive cyber attack targets mid-Atlantic nation 'Berylia'

frank ly
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Proper simulation

Did the government of Berylia activate its bot army to post 'influencing' material on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms? Did they pay for ads intended to influence public opinion?

If we got to this situation for real, would Facebook, Twitter, etc, come under government orders to block/delete postings from known or suspected hostile sources?

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Amazon and Netflix join Hollywood to lob sueball at 'Kodi' service SetTV

frank ly
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Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)

Is that what they claim to be or what they are trying to achieve?

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Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

frank ly
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"We need ethicists and people thinking what to do in those situations."

What the heck is an 'ethicist' and how do you get to be one?

What we need is people to be aware of what is happening and for politicians (there are some decent ones) and lawmakers to do their jobs, which is to represent the people who voted for them (fat chance).

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UK pub chain Wetherspoons' last call: ♫ Just a spoonful of Twitter – let's pull social media down ♫

frank ly
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He has a duty to study the competion, often.

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Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

frank ly
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Re: Dave

A conversation from about 20 years ago, when we got our first computer in the 'product development' department:

Colleague: What shall I name the file as?

Me: redgiraffe17

Colleague: That's a stupid name!

Me: Can you think of a better name?

Colleague: (long silence)

Colleague: How about 'specification.doc'?

Me: That might cause problems later.

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What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa

frank ly
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Don't forget the waste drainage and storage area, or maybe have it all plumbed through to the domestic facilities. They could team up with the Japanese for that.

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

frank ly
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@David 18

"I sometimes wonder what nastiness I could post through their door and stay on the right side of the law...."

You could post leaflets that describe your honestly held and genuine beliefs, about what should be done to scientologists for example.

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Rudd-y hell, dark web! Amber alert! UK Home Sec is on the war path for stealthy cyber-crims

frank ly
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It will be developed using the standard government Cyber Resources Application Procedures methodology.

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El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot

frank ly
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Alternatively

Wouldn't it be easier and quicker to install extension lines from the bar to your offices? Then the PFY could clean/flush them out every morning and fill your offices with that wonderful heady aroma.

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Birds can feel Earth's magnetic fields? Yeah, that might fly. Bioboffins find vital sense proteins

frank ly
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re. "... and even mole rats."

You sound surprised. Mole rats live underground and they need a good sense of direction because there's nothing more embarrassing than going around in a circle when you're digging a long tunnel.

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Amazon and eBay agree to expose potential VAT evaders for UK tax man

frank ly
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The sarcasm is strong in this one.

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AI can't help without your data, says Gartner, so share, share, share!

frank ly
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You What?

So, I put in my calendar, the dates when I'll be going away and when I'll be coming home. Then I make that information available to a system that has already probably slurped my address and home phone number .......................

I'm sure that only trustworthy organisations and honest people will be able to have access to that information.

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Are meta, self-referential or recursive science-fiction films doomed?

frank ly
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Wait ....., sorry ..... I was vaguely remembering the Stainless Steel Rat series. Oh god, I'm getting old.

BtGH was good and funny too.

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frank ly
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Thumb Up

All the Bill stories are hilarious and very well written :)

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Elon Musk's mighty erection fires sperm at orbiting space station

frank ly
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Doing it the hard way

"These cells have to be activated before they can start swimming towards the egg. ...The astronauts will do this by adding a chemical mixture to the thawed samples."

There is an easier and cheaper way of getting a usable sample.

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Doomed Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 crashes into watery Pacific grave

frank ly
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re. The radar picture

Does that picture represent the best capabilities of the JFSCC radar system or have they degraded it for security reasons? (I'm not expecting a reply from any JFSCC staff.)

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Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots

frank ly
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I don't have any experience ....

... but I am a fool. Do I get the job?

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Magic Leap ships headsets at last, but you'll need a safe

frank ly
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The eye of the beholder

"... it is possible to bring whatever is being looked at into focus and blur everything else. .... since this is how our eyes actually work."

To actively blur 'everything else' would require additional processing. In the eye, anything away from the central FOV has lower resolution and colour depth (to a surprising extent). So, what they'd probably do is devote less processing power and resolution to the image in the region outside the central FOV. Any pixelation or loss of colour fidelity would be even less noticeable when the image is moving.

Can I take it out of the safe now?

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Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

frank ly
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What about the El Reg commentardiat?

Does that count as a social media account? (Or is it a subversive organisation?)

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The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

frank ly
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Pint

That was good

A virtual pint to Patrick.

What would be good now is a song about someone in high office who's been appointed beyond their level of competence, ability, experience and suitability. Is there anybody who fits that description?

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

frank ly
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read the fine print

"... without submitting the dispute to any extrajudicial settlement of conflicts."

What about a judicial settlement? Probably expensive, I know.

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Boffins stalk house-hunting bees, find colony behaves kind of like a human brain

frank ly
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Unreported fact

Towards the end of the simulated runs, after being presented with many conficting choices and changes of parameters, the 'bee colony' suddenly stopped looking for new nest sites and built an extension onto their existing nest.

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Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg has flunky tell UK MPs: Nope, he's sending someone else

frank ly
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Re: Rule Britannia!

Talking to yourself again?

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Cash-machine-draining €1bn cybercrime kingpin suspect cuffed by plod

frank ly
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I'm living my life wrong

"... prepaid cards linked to online alt-coin wallets were used to buy flash motors and nice houses, ..."

When I tried to transfer £200 to my prepaid card that I've had for two years, my bank stopped the transaction because they suspected fraud and left me a voice message to tell me to contact them.

Criminals seem to have all sorts of convenient financial facilities available to them.

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India: Yeah, we would like to 3D-print igloos on the Moon

frank ly
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Re: What to use as a binder?

"... what to do about soiled astropants; ..."

I'm not sure about where my mind is going but it might work.

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Reg writer wins quite prestigious journalism prism

frank ly
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re. ... journalism prism

Is it a proper optical glass prism or is it an artistic representation of a prism?

Either way, I'm sure he'll be proud to display it in his home or his office.

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Tiangong-1 re-entry window shrinks: Duck from March 30 to April 3

frank ly
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"The station's rotation will affect the weather?"

If a space station flaps its solar panels in the upper atmosphere, then ....... oh, wait.

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AI software that can reproduce like a living thing? Yup, boffins have only gone and done it

frank ly
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Re: "A version of Microsoft Office..actively tries to kill you .......

How about:

The Geneva traffic control AI cross breeds with the CERN LHC control AI. Then the offspring deliberately causes cars to crash at high speed in an attempt to understand the fundamental properties of 'The Traffic'.

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frank ly
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I'll be impressed ....

.... when they cross breed with other software; in the wild!

Imagine the possible consequences?

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Oh bucket! Unpack the suitcases. TRAPPIST-1 planets too wet to support life

frank ly
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If you wait, 'romance' may come.

"With a crushing lack of romance, scientists named the planets b, c, d, e, f, g and h."

That's the standard astronomical convention for naming stellar/planetary systems. The parent star is 'a'. (It gets more complicated for a binary star.)

If they become significant, due to us going there, or 'someone' coming from there, they might get a more interesting name.

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No, Sierra Leone did not just run the world's first 'blockchain election'

frank ly
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Happy

re. " ... blockheads ..."

Nice one.

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Here is how Google handles Right To Be Forgotten requests

frank ly
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"the adoption and use of prescriptive rules ..."

Also known as laws. (Which are often badly thought out and written anyway.)

"... seeking to suppress search results for illegitimate reasons."

That's why we need a Google 'legal specialist' (who is not by training, a lawyer) to run the process for making the decisions.

It's a mess but what can you expect?

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Breaking up is hard to do: Airbus, new bae Google and clinging on to Microsoft's 'solutions'

frank ly
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G Suite in a box?

Could Google provide G suite servers 'in a box' and Airbus have it's own on premises localised cloud storage? For a large company with many 'seats', this might work if they are sure that G Suite provides compelling advantages over the Microsoft offerings.

Goggle would not be selling G Suite software, just allowing the relocation of an image of it to suit a major customer with no deep level access by the customer.

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Taxpayers chuck burnt-out Bongs* millions of pounds to 'decelerate'

frank ly
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It's called the The Trampery for a good reason.

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Fun fact of the day: Voice recognition tech is naturally sexist

frank ly
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Re: females generally have higher pitched voices

"So saying female voice is quieter or masked voice by fan or traffic not a good excuse for the lack of training on the AI with female voices."

It's not a good excuse for lack of training with female voices, as opposed to male voices, which is one problem with the training on data sets. However, if external noise due to traffic and domestic/office noise is in the same frequency range as the female voice, or if the female voice is generally quieter, then the S/N ratio will be lower at the recorded source.

In this situation, you can't improve things by turning the volume up. If you ran some fancy noise reduction process over it then the male voice recordings would be improved as well and so the male recordings would still have a better S/N ratio than the female recordings.

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Dolby sues Adobe for dodging license fees

frank ly
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Re: Who's the pirate?

Quite right. These fine corporations are privateers.

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Transport for New South Wales told to stop tracking oldies, students

frank ly
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How surprising

"In an internal review related in the decision, TfNSW gave itself the all-clear, claiming there was no breach of the state's Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act."

My internal reviews always give me the all-clear.

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Auto manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to security

frank ly
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WTF??

"When he had connected his phone to the car earlier, it had crawled his entire address book and email list, taken a copy of SMS messages and logged his most visited locations in the last month ..."

Would this be legal in Europe, with GPDR coming in? Why do they do this anyway?

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NHS Digital to probe live-stream spillage of confidential patient info – after El Reg tipoff

frank ly
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Same old trough

"Yesterday, the Health Service Journal revealed that two online private health providers have been dropped from NHS app library because NHS England decided it is no longer appropriate to promote non-NHS services."

Why was it considered 'appropriate' in the first place?

Would anyone here be surprised if those private providers were owned by friends or relatives of senior politicians or civil servants?

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Does Parliament or Google decide when your criminal past is forgotten?

frank ly
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Re: I'm with Google here...

According to http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/a-simple-guide-to-the-roa/

"The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 gives people with spent convictions and cautions the right not to disclose them when applying for most jobs, and buying insurance."

It doesn't indicate that a potential employer can't turn you down on the basis of a previous conviction they read about in an old newspaper or via a Google search.

That's not the same as your post:

"... that there are circumstances in which certain offences can't be considered ... on a job application ten years later."

I think it would be relevant if you get a job and then your employer later finds out about a spent conviction and decides to dismiss you because of that. e.g. you have a job as an accounts clerk and the managing director finds out about your 10 year old weed possession conviction and sacks you.

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Jupiter has the craziest storms seen yet, say boffins

frank ly
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Appropriate sub-heading

There are nine circles there, so it's apt.

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ESA builds air-breathing engine that works in space

frank ly
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Re: Accelerating the wrong way ?

I'm sure that represents acceleration of the gathered propellant gas. Issac Newton will take care of the rest.

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Fancy sitting in a Level 4 driverless car roaming London? Get in line

frank ly
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Re: Can we have them

"In practice a level 4 vehicle is capable of handling "most" road scenarios it may encounter, though retains the capability to throw control back at the human if it can't cope."

Are you sure?

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Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers

frank ly
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Just wondering

Is this very expensive glass that is super-smooth and very transparent and always very clean? I ask because I seem to have no difficulty seeing and recognising glass when I encounter it.

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'Quantum supremacy will soon be ours!', says Google as it reveals 72-qubit quantum chip

frank ly
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Re: @Dave 126What's the application?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor%27s_algorithm

"The quantum circuits used for this algorithm are custom designed for each choice of N and each choice of the random a used ..."

So, custom hardware or perhaps something similar to a PGA (Programmable Gata Array) if they can incorporate the reconfiguration elements/switches?

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frank ly
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@Dave 126Re: What's the application?

"Some quantum computers could calculate all possible paths *simultaneously*. "

How are they programmed for that? Where is the database of cities and routes stored and in what form? How do you change the programming to make it crack an encrypted message or solve a crossword puzzle?

These are the questions I've always asked and nobody ever seems to be able to answer them.

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Now Europe's largest trade union squeezes Euro Patent Office's pips

frank ly
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He's still there!

It's like trying to get rid of a stubborn stain. I doubt if he'll pay much attention to them or anybody.

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Google powers up latest app it'll cancel in two years: Hangouts Chat

frank ly
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Re: "Hangouts chat"

It's Ali-G-Suite and the Mountain View Massive!

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Fender's 'smart' guitar amp has no Bluetooth pairing controls

frank ly
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Re: Yes, but does anyone *need* a solar powered whoopee cushion ?

Perhaps if the sun shines out of ......

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frank ly
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"... presets that mimic famous guitarists' signature sounds."

I thought that was due to how you play it and fret the strings. (I've tried but I have two left hands.)

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