* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

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Should the correct translation from Chinese, Hungarianm etc. be something like "This person is an engineer."? Is the non-gendered pronoun only/generally used to refer to a person who has already been identified in the text or conversation? Is the non-gendered pronoun the equivalent of the English word, 'it' but without the implication of being a thing instead of a person or is the word only used for people?

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

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Falling on hard times

A young engineer (not me) was working on microwave propagation and got permission to work in a disused section of an old part of the site on the second floor. It had lots of empty space over long distances and he could move stuff if it was in the way and so it was ideal for his work.

He needed a strong sheet of wood to set up a bench and had noticed a large old interior-grade wooden door lying on the floor so he decided to lift it and move it and use it. He was careful to bend his knees and not his back, etc and he lifted, shuffled and pushed the door towards where he wanted it to be.

A short time later, he fell through the hole in the floor that the door had been covering.

No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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Subject Matter

"In the past, we’ve used terms like 'misinformation' and 'divisive content' to describe this activity. ..."

Are they talking about the political process in general?

Software dev-turned-councillor launches rubbish* chatbot

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At the next local election ....

.... I'll be voting for Max Headroom.

Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

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re. 'candour '

I see what you did there :)

Error Canada: Airline tells customers to reset mobile app after attack

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"The airline said that credit card information remains protected ..."

Is that because the airline doesn't look after your credit card data or because they do look after it but to a higher standard of security and protection?

UK.gov flings £95m at public sector superfast broadband rollouts

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As a matter of interest

What does £95m get you nowdays? Is it a small rural town fibred/cabled up to every home with suitable connection to a national backbone connection? Better or worse than that?

Don't let Google dox me on Lumen Database, nameless man begs

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Being Paranoid

"Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that ABC must provide his name and address to the ad tech company and the court within seven days, ... "

Why do google need to know his name and address? Certainly he needs to identify himself to the court to the court's satisfaction, but why do Google need to know where he lives?

AI image recognition systems can be tricked by copying and pasting random objects

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Re: Pretty obvious really

Yes, the is the elephant in the room for AI object recognition.

When something's weird in your ImageMagick upload, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!

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Me Too?

"... vulnerable servers and similar machines that process incoming files using GhostScript."

Does this include me, who downloads .pdf files for viewing/printing with Evince or .xcf files for viewing/printing using GIMP on a Debian 9 system?

Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

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"...with last-mile connections to homes taking place over copper, rather than the favoured model of cables all the way to the home."

Is that copper track then?

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

frank ly Silver badge

Use of the selection tool (rectangular or elliptical) to define an area, then applying a colour inside the selected area with the fill tool is a standard technique across various raster graphics applications. It's also very simple as a concept and a task to do.

If someone has never used this type of application before, or has spend a long time with vector graphics applications like Inkscape, then there will of course be a learning curve but it's hardly a steep one.

I've lost count of the number of computer applications I've tried where I've said, "How the heck am I supposed to do XYZ?" and after a short time I realised it was quite simple.

The GIMP UI is 'old fashioned' and has some irritations and annoyances but these are in the details. The basics are superb.

Internet overseer continues wall-punching legal campaign

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'Vollpfosten' seems to mean 'idiot, blockhead, etc', from my quick use of Google. The english word 'mug' has distinct implications of someone who is easily fooled and/or taken advantage of.

As it turns out, no, you can't just run an unlicensed Bitcoin money exchange

frank ly Silver badge

Why not use a Mexican Bank?

See title.

Facebook Messenger backdoor demand, bail in Bitcoin, and lots more

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"... concerns that miscreants and hackers will find and exploit these Feds-only backdoors to spy on victims."

No concerns that the Feds will misuse the backdoors to spy on victims?

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

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That so called patent is just replacing a length of cable 'with a computer', 'over the internet'. Also, it's 'obvious to anyone skilled in the art', as the expression goes.

Most staffers expect bosses to snoop on them, say unions

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Facial Recognition Objections

I wonder why people have objections to facial recognition systems being used at work.

If it's used for secure access then that shouldn't be a problem. If it's used to check who goes to the toilet a lot and how much time they spend in there then I can understand there would be objections.

Microsoft's Chinese chatbot inspired by images to write poetry

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Re: Inspired AI? And feelings?

"... am I the only one who thinks that these poems are complete bullshit?"

I'm sure you're not. However, the one shown in the article picture (click to magnify and read) seems quite good to me. Having previously lived and commuted by car in a large city (London) for some years, this has 'resonance' for me.

Note: I'm sure that this is one of the 'best' ones carefully chosen from much dross and nonsense. So, was it random luck or does that particular 'decision pathway' need to analysed and strenghtened?

Boffins get fish drunk to prove what any bouncer already knows

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"... that were exposed to more taurine and alcohol ..."

"... adding caffeinated sugary fizz to alcohol ..."

Is it the taurine? Is it the caffeine? Is it the sugary fizz? Can I volunteer to be a human test subject? This needs more experiments. Listen to me, I'm talking to you!

Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?

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Re: Small correction

Does that mean that the queen wasp doesn't have a stinger?

Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

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Re: [1]

Isn't that combination more likely to get you hooked on drugs?

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

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All architects care about is building 'aesthtics' and will insist on anything if they think it maintains or improves their 'vision'. I've worked with people who install large scale systems (Power, HVAC, etc) and they've told me horror stories about architect decisions putting installation costs up and reducing the efficiency of installed systems.

Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

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The Expanse

They watched it and thought it was a drama-documentary.

Crims hacked accounts, got phones, resold them – and the Feds reckon they've nabbed 'em

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"... using social security numbers belonging to a person with the same name as the fraudster to acquire phones using the victim's credit."

I assume that's the victim's credit account with the phone/service provider. Is that the fault of using the social security number as an identifier or the processes of the provider, or perhaps both?

Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield

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"Multiple manufacturers and their respective telematic technology providers appear to be at fault one way or another."

Why the heck didn't they think of this in their early planning stages? In the various meetings, I wonder how many engineers said, "Excuse me but ....." and were then shouted down or ignored.

WhatsApp security snafu allows sneaky 'message manipulation'

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No privacy for the public

"3. send a private message to another group participant that is disguised as a public message for all, so when the targeted individual responds, it’s visible to everyone in the conversation."

Should this be "send what is really a public message that is disguised as a private message, etc"

The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?

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Re: Lipstick on a pig

I use the RSS feed and only use the front page if I want to go back to re-read or check something. When I have used my 'smartphone' to read El Reg, I prefer the non-mobile verison and I resent those websites that force 'mobile friendly' pages on me. If I wanted the 'mobile' page, I'd bookmark it.

(I think that 'Lipstick on a pig' is over-egging the pudding.)

Alaskan borough dusts off the typewriters after ransomware crims pwn entire network

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Eggs .... Basket

"Networked telephones and email went down, door-card entry was disrupted, ..."

Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

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"female-presenting robots"

Here's one:


Did you know: Lawyers can certify web domain ownership? Well, not no more they ain't

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The cold light of The Regsiter

Now that you've mentioned them, either accidentally or deliberately, supercyberbadgers.com have gone dark. I asume they were up to no good.

Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

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"... misplaced apostrophe's, ..."

I see what you did there and in other places. Are you also a grocer?

Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

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One little pill?

"Previous studies showed that wine could help prevent strokes as it contains resveratrol, ..."

Maybe we all need to take a resveratol tablet every day, along with the statins, low dose asprin, vitamin and mineral tablets, etc. Does alcohol-free wine have resveratol?

Holy ship! UK shipping biz Clarksons blames megahack on single point of pwnage

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Re: Copies

"... hackers who made off with data before demanding a ransom for its safe return."

This seems to imply that the hackers slurped a copy of the data and then deleted the data from the Clarksons computers. Is that what happened?

UK cyber security boffins dispense Ubuntu 18.04 wisdom

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It's some kind of partnership operation that HMRC have with the Nigerian royal family.

Brit comms providers told: You must tell people when their cheap contract's about to end

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Upvote for the Frankie Laine version.

Well, well, well. Crime does pay: Ransomware creeps let off with community service

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Re: Another case...

Citation (and dictionary/thesaurus) needed; please.

Hurrah! Boffins finally discover liquid water sloshing around on Mars

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Re: That conclusion seems a bit fast to me

Not fast at all. Here is an extract from a story in The Independent newspaper, as also was noted in this article:


"Scientists led by Roberto Orosei examined that data between May 2012 and December 2015 and found that there was a very sharp change in the radar signals, when looking at the area, which was found 1.5km beneath the surface.

The researchers spent two years ensuring that the data wasn’t the result of some other effect – eventually ruling out every possible explanation apart from liquid water of some kind."

I assume that after they'd finished their examination of the data, it was given to other teams of scientists who tried to tear the conclusions apart. Only now do we get some kind of concensus opinion.

Compare this approach to that of politicians who will have some kind of idea or dream and then wake up and tell you that it's true and that anyone who disagrees with them is a fool or worse.

Here's why AI can't make a catchier tune than the worst pop song in the charts right now

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It seems to be overkill to analyse and generate audio records. What is the problem with analysing and generating sheet music (musical notation)?

Robo-drop: Factory bot biz 'leaks' automakers' secrets onto the web

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Facing modern reality

Why doesn't a company with that level of spending, 'expertise' and commercial sensitivity get professional PEN-testers to regularly try to break into their network?

It sounds like Upguard should have a regular monthly gig trying to break into Level One Robotics and other places.

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

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On my UK keyboard, I have a pound symbol (Shift+3=£) , a dollar symbol (Shift+4=$) and a hash key (#). What does a US keyboard have? What do US people call a real pound (currency) symbol?

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

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All new and expectant mothers will be given small blindfolds to be worn by their child during breast feeding.

Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers

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Re: An honest question.

So, if the Hungarian national karate association website gets hacked, I have to change my password for The Register, Imgur, YahooMail, etc? I don't think that's reasonable, proportionate or sensible.

How about, in that case, The Hungarian national karate assiciation sends an email to all its registered members telling them to change passwords on other sites if they've been foolish enough to reuse their password?

Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto

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Re: Paranoia and hot pockets

"... lamentably giveaway body language (always the weak point)..."

Can you tell me what you mean by this so I can work on improving my posture and behaviour?

Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

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What's in a name?

You can do anything when you're drunk with a kebab in your hand. I can find things on Wikipedia for example:


(Note the 'citation needed' at the end of that section.)

Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France

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Re: If the Atlantic is so narrow...

Also, why does the cable get thinner further out into the Altlantic?

By Jove! Astroboffins spot 12 new spanking moons around Jupiter

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Re: Spanking moons eh?

"They have proposed to call the new moon Valetudo, ... , the goddess of health and hygiene. "

If you don't brush your teeth and wash behind your ears, you'll find out.

Adtech-for-sex biz tells blockchain consent app firm, 'hold my beer'

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Re: Cheers for clarifying

The idea is to get them thinking about the one-armed bandit so their man can get a jackpot.

Boffin botheration as IET lifts axe on 20-year-old email alias service

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and the rules say?

" ... and the group points out that to maintain email servers for the personal use of its members was outside of its charitable remit."

It's not a charity, it's a chartered institution and its members pay about £200 a year in membership fees. Anyway, email and servers etc did not exist when its charter was drawn up so what was the justification for setting up the forwarding service in the first place?

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

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Excel security

In about the year 2007, a colleague had made a nifty spreadsheet that was password protected because he didn't want anyone to know how he'd done certain 'cool' effects. He had hidden columns and all sorts of stuff like that.

I renamed it as a .txt file and opened it in Notepad (which took a while). Near the start of the file was some text that looked very nuch like it was a password, it was his name plus some significant text. Sure enough, that was the password. I do hope the Excel password protection is more secure nowadays.

GIMP masks font downloads, adds horizon fix in new build

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Krita

I'd agree with that. I've been using GIMP for over twelve years and it is very good. Krita is a more 'modern' design and is more complex and comprehensive than GIMP and is also geared more towards 'painting' though it does have all the usual image manipulation and filtering tools and then some. Also, you can make bug reports and see them get fixed within a week in the latest nightly build download pages for Linux and Windows, as I have done myself.

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