* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2763 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I'm going to keep sneering, Amber

Indeed, Kurt. In my opinion, part of the current crisis in Western politics is that there are too many politicians with degrees, who have never actually worked in a "real" job. They don't know what it is like to live below a comfortable life, and they have rarely had to interact with people who have other opinions and motivations. The traditional Labour party made it possible for working class people to enter Parliament and have their voices heard, and the country was better for it. Sadly, this is not going to happen again.

4
0

UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

Intractable Potsherd

AManfromMars for prime minister!

3
0

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

Intractable Potsherd

@Michael Habel

Sorry, Michael - Win XP was hardly affected by Wannacry:

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/wannacry-windows-7-xp

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15665488/wannacry-windows-7-version-xp-patched-victim-statistics

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/30/15712542/windows-xp-wannacry-protect-ransomware-blue-screen

It's time to put this myth to bed.

0
0

Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Intractable Potsherd

Hovercraft and submarine museums

The thick end of 25 years ago I stayed with a friend who was a doctor in the Navy, and lived in Hampshire. She had both of these museums on the itinerary for my visit - trust me, you need to make more than "a day" of it - a day for each is recommended (at least ...)

0
0
Intractable Potsherd

Re: Dover @ Rich 11

"... the wind and waves were still high enough to throw everyone around. Not fun when a number of kids had spent their last francs on fizzy pop and sweets..."

Almost the same here, only it was going to France on the hovercraft, and probably 1976, but the memory of sitting next to a classmate who had scoffed two packets of strawberry Chewits before boarding has never faded. Vomit should not be violent pink and smell like that ...

3
0

Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Fuck mom-and-pop stores

I sort of know what you mean - small shops sometimes have curious restrictions on what they will sell, and really iffy service when you ask why. However, since I have never really liked buying things because of the need to interact with other humans, I may not be the best person to assess these things (the Internet has made buying things so much more pleasant).

1
0

Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Interesting principles behind this

Mike - rights imply duties from those protected by them*. Animals cannot comprehend, therefore cannot fulfil, duties commensurate with the rights groups like PETA want them to have. Thus, any talk of rights is nonsense. Animals do have interests, though, which humans might have a duty to observe.

* Don't get me started on the nonsense about children having rights before they are capable of understanding the concept.

1
0

Prejudiced humans = prejudiced algorithms, and it's not an easy fix

Intractable Potsherd

Re: people NATURALLY discriminate

Perhaps the word 'discriminate' isn't quite the right word to use... "

Actually, it is exactly the right word. What is being referred to in the article is *unfair* discrimination. We all discriminate with regard to people all the time - my experiences mean I'm likely to favour certain people than you would, for instance. The issue is how to separate these personal preferences so that people are not unfairly discriminated against. This, as mentioned, does cause a problem when building a team - someone with the best qualifications on paper, and then does well at interview might not "feel" right compared to someone who you know that would fit with the team, but has fewer qualifications. I end up being ambivalent about this - on the one hand, it leads to Oxbridge cronyism in high places, but, at the same time, I have been the beneficiary and the benefactor of this at various times.

0
1

Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

Intractable Potsherd

True!

My wife and I regularly go to mainland Europe, both to for holiday and to visit family. Until recently, we flew, even though I regularly suggested ferry and drive. Since the birth of our twins last year, my wife accepted that flying is just too hard, so we have gone the ferry/car route, and the difference is huge. Yes, it takes longer to get wherever we are aiming for, but we get to see much more, can eat for significantly less than the airport/flight prices, and we can take all the water and laptops we want! Added to that, the security people at ferry ports are much nicer than those at airports.

I doubt we'll be flying again.

3
0

Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

Intractable Potsherd

Re: DYSUN is like TRUMP

Oh, come on, Ishtiaq - didn't the "IWANKER TRAMP" give it away that this is a spoof comment? It is the second one by this commentard I've read today, and I hope there are more - they are funny(ish)!

0
0

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I can't see this guy winning the case

But that is the key point here - being sued is a civil action between two individuals (natural or legal), and where the penalty is damages (money). What you have described is not criminal (where the actors are the State and the individual) and you could not be arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned for it. The question here is whether what the sysadmin did was criminal or civil - and I think the point being raised by the lawyers is a good one. Even if the appeal is unsuccessful, we need to ask ourselves very seriously if we want the State intervening in this sort of dispute - i.e. *should* it be criminal?

2
0

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

Intractable Potsherd

Re: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

No - it's a Dingleberry (see post above by Dr G. Freeman).

0
0
Intractable Potsherd

Re: Demote Neptune as well

Dr Freeman - I think you have succeeded in ending the debate. Dingleberries it is!!

0
0

Reg tours submarine cable survey ship
'Geo Resolution'

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Interesting - Thank You

In principle, this is a good idea, but not useful for the hearing-impaired - whilst I may be able to hear the commentary with earbuds (no Cyberman-style headphones connected to my phone!), it would still mean taking my hearing-aids out (which I don't like doing). Glad to read that you are looking at how to add text, Simon - thanks for that.

0
0

MEPs in 'urgent' call for new laws on artificial intelligence and robotics

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Robotics

The issue of where the money is going to come from to pay a basic income to millions of people has been troubling me, too. The point about taxation of multinational companies that seem to exist everywhere for sales purposes and nowhere for tax purposes is a major consideration, especially since, even if there is a successful way found to extract proper levels of tax, it will just be passed on to the buyer, and so higher basic income will be needed. Whilst a naive part of me hopes that the companies will realise that absorbing zone extra taxation is in their best interests, I have no evidence that such enlightened thinking exists in board-rooms.

1
0

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Adam 52 - Linux not easily fit for purpose

I moved to Linux Mint around eight months ago, but will soon be changing back to Win 7 because there are so many problems that take so much time to find answers to (or not, in some situations):

1) I have been unable to connect my laptop to my employer's wifi (Eduroam), because Mint will not accept the security certificate, claiming that I do not own the appropriate folder, even when logged in as an administrator. The University's Linux guru has been unable to sort out the problem, and so have several, usually reliable, online sources. I have now given up

2) WINE works when it feels like it - not particularly helpful when ...

3) ... Libre Office reformats everything that was previously made in MS Office, and then MS Office reformats everything again - not useful when trying to do a presentation to a lecture theatre full of students. I do not care whether the problem is with Libre Office or MS Office - it is completely unacceptable, and, since my employer uses MS, it *has* to be compatible with that.

4) Oh, and don't suggest VM - VirtualBox is as bad as WINE for deciding not to work.

5) Oh, and installing software is a bigger job than it needs to be - okay, perhaps Windows is too easy, but the Linux route is a pisser. I really don't have the time to mess about finding the nearest thing to do something easy in Windows (let's say, rotating a video 180 degrees), find out there is nothing that actually does the job, try the four possible solutions, find out none of those actually work, then try some command-line technique that may (or not) work, but which takes an entire evening.

I have sympathy with Munich - if you are trying to accomplish something that makes you look professional within a reasonable time, Windows is the way to go.

1
3

The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Intractable Potsherd
IT Angle

Yes - I have been warring with my feelings about this year, because, by any objective criteria, it has been utterly shit, but my subjective joy at the birth of our twins means that I will remember this year as one of the best ever (and I do find myself worrying about the equivalent of the eagle swooping down on the little 'uns ...)

Let's hope 2017 is less awful than 2016.

Oh, and this is for Lester, a man I wish I'd known -------->>>

4
0

How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Intractable Potsherd

Re: on that (lack of) accuracy claim:

"It turns out the imperials where just having fun hunting desert rats ..."

Shouldn't that be Womp rat?

2
0

Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Errrm @Charles 9

"Nice guys finish last." That is the most depressing, and the most wrong statement ever made, and it is only ever used by psychopaths excusing their world-view. It is time the nice guys got together and made sure that the bad guys never, ever, get a chance to screw the world up again with their selfishness and hatred of standards of behaviour that most people accept as decent. There is much more to success than money and screwing everyone else over.

1
0

London cops strap on new body cams

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Lots of people...

Why would it stop? There is no mandatory requirement for a police officer to arrest in any situation you describe.

0
0

British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Intractable Potsherd

'Paul Ehrlich was correct when he said in a speech in 1969: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”'

It is unfair to criticise Ehrlich for being a few years out. Brexit will achieve his forecast by 2050 at the latest.

2
0

Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Parliamentary sovereignty

According to classic Diceyan constitutional theory, in the UK, Parliament (the legislature) is sovereign, and is bound by no one, not even itself. The government (the executive) puts the will of Parliament into effect. This includes the Crown, except for certain areas of prerogative held over from when the term meant what it said. There has been a withdrawal from the classical theory that has been accelerating since Thatcher's clusterfuck of a government, which May seems to be using as an early prototype for her regime, in which Parliament is a hindrance to the will of the executive. (Note:I'm not absolving Blair, who simply followed the Thatcher playroom to the letter. ) Who would have thought I'd miss Cameron?

4
0

Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Intractable Potsherd

Re: But..

Why in the name of $deity do manufacturers thing that we need beeps to tell us that a wash is finished? Recent changes to our life-style meant that we wanted to do more washing at night, but the ridiculous racket the washing machine made at the end of a cycle meant that was not really feasible. Fortunately, there is a way to switch the beeps off (Bosch Classixx), but it is far from easy (pressing odd buttons in exactly the right way within a very short time limit - several attempts were needed). It is as if the manufacturer doesn't want anyone to switch off the noises - again, why??

0
0

Judge makes minor tweaks to sex ban IT man's order

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Still no pity

You are wrong in so many ways.

4
0

EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I suppose...

No - they don't *have* to. Making the same profit as last year isn't a right or a duty.

2
0

Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Alternatives

I think there *is* something about the risk of being blown up that is attractive to some /many young people. Life in the UK (and possibly other countries) is very safe and ordered, with few ways to prove oneself against extremes (let us say "show courage" as a shorthand term). There are no rites of passage, nothing that shows progression from childhood to adulthood - and the concept of "adult" is fairly dull too - the best many can hope for is meaningless work, little chance of their own home with the consequent effect on family choices etc. Even the military is increasingly safe in terms of Health amdand Safety, yet less safe as a career, and heroism is undervalued.

Running off to war has been a way young people have tried to find meaning for centuries (I see the current crop of ISIS candidates as being no different from the British who went to the Spanish Civil War, or the Americans that joined the Second World War before their government did). It is this underlying lack of meaning in modern Western culturethat needs to be addressed if any significant change is to be achieved.

4
1

Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Propaganda by CEO's

"... do you want to be press-ganged into field work to save Britain's food supply?"

I am fairly certain that none of the Brexiters thought this through, especially the unemployed ones who thought that getting out of the EU would provide jobs for them. None of them thought that, in order to meet significant shortfalls, the requirements for what would count as reasonable requirements for getting a job might have to be relaxed almost to press-gang levels ("What do you mean, vegetable picking in Fife is too far away? - you only live in Newcastle! Take it or lose your benefits.") Those shitty jobs are not going to go away, and people are still going to have to do them. The pool of unemployed seem to be an obvious place to go, politically (lower benefits bills), though practically, who would want them? (People who don't want to do a job are going to be difficult to motivate - one of the advantages of any sane immigration system is that people willing to move to countries and cultures other than the one they were brought up in are likely to be motivated to do the job - that's why Poles, Czechs etc are such popular employees.)

TL:DR - people might not have thought this through.

10
0

UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Intractable Potsherd

Re: This Yank says

No, but it is long past time we did.

1
0

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Brexit means Brexit

"On the other hand, the UK is the second largest economy in the EU" - but how much of this is because it *is* in the EU? As the AC below your comment pointed out, the UK is already down to third place.

2
0

BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Thankfully...

"The BBC do not produce anything worth watching anyway," - yes, they do: University Challenge. I can't think of anything else, though.

1
0

Cryptography vs. bigotry: The debate Australia needs to have

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Idiot rant

"500,000 and 0.03% have fuck all to do with it."

Statistically insignificant figures really *do* have a lot to do with it. yes, the figure for ISIS members is higher than the figure for ADF members, but neither figure means anything because they are both outliers. Trying to base any sort of practical argument on them is only just short of lunacy.

3
6

Forget your RTO*: Real world Disaster Recovery needs garbage bags and bubble wrap

Intractable Potsherd
Joke

"4 times in my career i've watching gleefully as my place of work has sunken beneath the waves of the various rivers of the UK."

I think you need to change your username to "Jonah" ...

3
0

Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Look to elsewhere (e.g. China and India) PLEASE! @codejunky

I really don't recognise the world you live in. Are you from an alternative dimension?

0
1
Intractable Potsherd

Re: Shock @codejunky

"Hopefully we now get some stable leadership. Hopefully it will also be good."

Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary - your hopes were in vain.

6
3

Alleged Brit hacker Lauri Love bailed amid US extradition battle lull

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Nothing new here

Do you have evidence for that statement? Are you just another AC troll?

0
0
Intractable Potsherd

@Baldy50

I graduated from my first degree when I was 40, after having a completely different career - what's your point, Baldy?

0
0

My plan to heal this BROKEN, BREXITED BRITAIN

Intractable Potsherd

Re: From the 27

I know very few who admit to voting leave. The only one I do know of - my mother - did it exactly because she doesn't like the "groups of foreigners" who are on the street when she goes shopping. Apparently, the groups of Pakistani and Bangladeshi people immediately before this, or the groups of English people before that, were no problem ... At no point have the finer points of democracy been mentioned - just the foreigners (I also suspect she hopes that my Czech wife will be escorted to the nearest airport).

This just goes to show that your simple "I know a lot of leavers and ... none of them are racists" is, just the same as mine, an anecdote with no value.

2
0

Nazi witch-hunt ends with fierce judgment

Intractable Potsherd

Apologies to people working at the EPO

I recently posted a question on http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/06/01/epos_boards_of_appeal_rail_against_king_battistelli/ in good faith asking if the issue was more about a new broom challenging established poor working practices. Whilst the question still has some validity, I apologise to people working at the EPO for doubting the resistance to what he is doing - Battistelli is bat-shit crazy, and you must be really unhappy to be working under such conditions. I hope you get your wish to be rid of him before he causes irreparable damage.

6
0

Arrests for 'offensive' Twitter and Facebook messages up by a third

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Bored plod and freedom of speech @Olius

" ... where crimes have a victim, the victim must press charges"

Not in the UK. Once a crime is reported, what happens after that point is entirely out of the hands of the person who reported it . Even if the person reporting it later decides that they do not want to proceed, the police and CPS can carry on anyway. Only in situations where the person reporting the crime is the main witness, and therefore refuse to give evidence, do they have any ability to stop the proceedings.

0
0

Leak: Euro Patent Office 'court of appeals' rails against King Battistelli

Intractable Potsherd

It is interesting

Sometimes, a system needs a very strong leader in order to achieve change. The EPO has not been regarded as a pillar of efficiency (either operational or economically) for many years - it was ripe for serious change. The employees were largely regarded as taking the piss since they couldn't effectively be fired, or made to do what they are paid to do - partly because of the very strong union, and partly because of the necessary independence the EPO has been granted (without it, whichever country it was based in would have significant power over the body relative to other countries). Battistelli was appointed with the intention to significantly improve the way the body works - and it was known that he would have a very difficult job on his hands right from the start, since hell hath no fury like a civil servant who is being told to change their working practices.

What is interesting is that the union and employees have won the publicity battle, to the extent that criminal damage that could (unlikely, but possible) have led to death or injury is being commented on with approval - at least on some of the threads here on El Reg. I know that we tend, as a group, to be a little bit anti-establishment, but the surely the wrong establishment is being supported - the staff trying to protect their inefficient working-practices are the bad ones, not the guy who is trying to change things through centralising the decision-making process.

Comments?

0
2

HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Intractable Potsherd

Re: January 1st?

Or, another variation - has anyone ever worked out what HR does?

2
0

A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: So he

"Else his insurance company would have scanned copies of his DVLA entitlements"

Why would they? I have never sent my insurance company any of my driving licence details.

0
0

Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

Intractable Potsherd

Re: bored, nothing else to do but troll ...

@ Trevor - I thought something along the same lines, only more in terms of autonomous cars being likely to actually stop following the accident. rather than to keep driving ...

0
0

Iraq shuts down internet to prevent exam cheating. The country's entire internet

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Some kids will find a work-around.

Thanks for the reminder, jake - I had completely forgotten about those! Great tools once you'd learned to work them (which I only sort-of did).

0
0

Manchester cops to strap on 3K bodycams

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Police Body Cameras Seemingly Cause More Assaults on Officers

From the article itself:

"The final possibility that Ariel offers is, however, the one I’d put my money on. He says that the increased frequency of on-officer assaults might be a natural corollary of the decrease in the use of force by officers. With no camera recording the goings-on, officers may be more inclined to use force when they themselves are assaulted. When the cameras are watching them, however, they suppress their normal tendency to provide a “tit-for-tat” response and simply report the incident. Turn the other cheek, but write it up, you might say."

0
0

Girls outpace boys in US IT and engineering test

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Ahh @David Webb

"... women working in IT are given a much harder time by their male counterparts, who believe if they have got ahead of them then they have done it because they have tits ..."

Actually, there is some evidence to show that this attitude on the part of men is justified, depending on where in the world you live. There is a great deal of pressure to meet quotas for non-white, non-male, disabled employees, and so there is positive discrimination going on. Women are getting jobs/promotions in these environments, but not just because of their skills. This means that any woman* who gets a good job ends up being tarred with the same positive discrimination brush, and this leads to them having to work harder to justify their positions. In short, the problem is the stupid laws and guidelines which mean that there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in that job for reasons other than ability (trust me, I've seen it happen in universities, where being a male was positively bad when it came to getting a professor's post - from virtually no women profs to nearly 30% in two years, with many of the appointees having nowhere near enough experience to justify it).

On the other hand, look at the professions - law and medicine will soon be approaching parity in women:men entering the work-place. I teach both, and in most years there are more women students than men. There has been no positive discrimination - it happened organically, and (with the exception of nutters who want 50% women judges overnight) there has been little fuss about it.

* or member of any minority group thus blessed with the equality stick

0
0

Americans cutting back on online activity over security and privacy fears

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Be safe online AND on the phone

"I have to tell my aging parents this all the time. No caller ID? No answer."

My ageing mum won't pay for caller ID. I regularly get her telling me how often she has answered the phone to some marketer - grrrrrr!

1
0

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Intractable Potsherd

Re: downwind

@ Uffish. The difference is that no-one is trying to legislate against farting. The point that Stephen Raith was making is that there is a very public campaign against vaping - which you think is an annoyance - that is using legislation to further its aims. This is wrong - using law to curb an annoyance to some people is dangerous ground.

6
0
Intractable Potsherd

Re: Have to ask...

Another way a market is being missed is advertising non-nicotine juice.* I would quite like to cultivate an e-pipe in my declining years (I tried smoking a couple of times, but hated it), but all the advertising is about nicotine-containing stuff. Now seems to be the time to produce pleasantly flavoured vapours for those who don't want the nicotine hit, so why doesn't anyone produce non-nicotine liquids with some flavouring - it would tap into a new market, and put pressure on legislators from people who don't use nicotine, and therefore aren't any sort of health risk.

(Ah - fortunately, before posting, I did a quick online search, and there seem to be plenty of non-nicotine liquids. I hadn't seen any advertising before this. Maybe my ad-blocking is so good that it is something commonly known, but I didn't. Alternatively, maybe my comment stands that the marketing isn't particularly good.)

*I hate that term in the context of smoking** - it is what my mum used to refer to the foul liquid that collected at the bottom of the bowl of my dad's pipe.***

** I know we aren't actually talking about smoking here, but the ideas are very closely linked in my head.

*** That isn't a euphemism - my dad smoked a pipe most of his life,**** and when it got cleaned he had to do it outside because of the smell of the dottle.

**** He was a fireman, and a couple of times he set fire to his trouser pocket after the bells went down and he stuffed his still-lit pipe in his pocket ...

2
1

Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "into a personal relationship with the third party/group member."

True. The correct policy, which would have satisfied the law, would have been "It is not acceptable for any member of the council to create a false social media profiles for the purpose of their employment. Anyone found to have done so will be dismissed, and appropriate legal investigations begun. Anyone who knew about it and failed to report it will also be dismissed, and legal options considered." It could also put in a statement about use of information found through social contacts of any type outside of work, too.

The fact that the council didn't do this undermines their argument that they would never do it.

4
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017