* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2874 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

HPE wants British ex-CFO to testify in UK Autonomy lawsuit before Uncle Sam sentences him

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Re : The Register will be reporting the case as it progresses.

It is very refreshing to see journalists actually reporting court proceedings. It seems to be a lost art. Well done, El Reg!

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I could just shrug.

"... Such corporations must serve their stockholders." I don't know how true that is, but even if it is partially true, is it time to revisit this duty to ensure that it isn't completely skewing the whole system unfavourably?

The algorithms! They're manipulating all of us! reckon human rights bods Council of Europe

Intractable Potsherd

@Jim Birch: interesting point (I didn't down vote you), but there is a difference between visible evil and what is being talked about here. Visible evil can be fought against *because* it is visible. Manipulation is difficult to fight against, even if you recognise it. Education helps, but it is easy to manipulate people - as a species, we are both skilled and vulnerable to it.

I'm not convinced that regulation will make any difference - the manipulation being claimed here is only a small change from what newspapers and pamphleteers have been doing for centuries. Unfortunately, short of proper education (and, as I said above, it is not a panacea), I don't have a better solution.

OK, Google? Probably not! EU settles on wording for copyright reform legislation

Intractable Potsherd

Re: @AC

@Stern - you have no power to remove the senior civil servants of your country, either, yet they are the source of all policy, just as the EU commissioners are. At least in the EU it is clearly visible, not like the Sir Humphreys of the world.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Wow, just wow.....

@joekhul - you are free to piss off somewhere else to troll. (It is clear that commentators on here are, to a large degree, very knowledgeable and experienced. )

Intractable Potsherd

@AC - I share your frustration. It is almost as if the majority of people in the UK don't want to understand. In general, they seriously believe that the British system is the only way to do it, and they are not remotely concerned about the lack of accountability of the government here.

If as much effort had been put into creating an actually democratic system in the UK (starting with a proper Constitution), as has been put into getting out of the EU, we would be very much better off.

UK Home Office dumps huge sack of complex data sets on biometrics ethics board's desk, goes for beer (probably)

Intractable Potsherd

Agreed, Doctor Syntax. I sit on some ethics committees, and the way to deal with questions is to stop (or not give permission to start) whatever it is until the questions are clarified.

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Why in the name of god...

The difference is, we have choice about going to "The Land of the Free", but many (most) people born in the UK have no choice about staying here (and the choices are reducing thanks to the utter selfishness of a few).

Not cool, man: Dixons spanked over discount on luxury 'smart' fridge with wildly fluctuating price

Intractable Potsherd

Re: DFS

I hadn't heard of camelcamelcamel before, and just went to look via your link. They are having some problems with their servers at the moment, but the information given about it is exemplary! Even though I have done nothing but get a 502 error, I like them so much I'll definitely use them when they are back up and running!

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s

Intractable Potsherd

Re: felt pad

@muddysteve - nope, not the only one. Maybe we are a minority, though. I used to like trying to get the strip of gunk off rollers in one piece. Unlike others, I was quite happy to clean any mose I could. Then again, I like removing big blackheads from people's skin, so I probably am weird!

Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not from the Midlands...

I'm from Yorkshire originally, with one parent from North-East Derbyshire. There isn't much overt enthusiasm in most responses in my family as a result. Many years ago, there used to be an advert for something (probably tea) with the catch-line "If a Yorkshireman says 'It'll do', you know there's nowt better" - members of my regarded this as wrong, because no one would ever be so effusive!

Many years later, I still have trouble being as enthusiastic as others think I should be. My wife regularly grumpily says " 'It's alright' is exactly what I was aiming for", when she has produced something wonderful from the kitchen*...

*She enjoys cooking, I don't, hence why she is the kitchen expert - no sexism involved.

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Didn't know that - which one?

Which definition would that be? There is nothing inherent in the concept of government that makes one group of people habe priority ovet another . History is full of governments that ignored entire sections of the populace, even (or especially) if they were native.

I'll leave the bollocks about citizens only being those people born within an arbitrary line fo someone else to pick up on.

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: But, the long-term smoking of others does affect me..

I have probably told both of these stories before, but it's Christmas... :

My dad was a pipe-smoker and in the fire service. He tended to put his pipe in his pocket when he'd finished with it (thinking about it now, he must have had filthy pockets...). Usually, that was no major problem, but there were the times he answered a shout but forgot to knock the pipe out - cue smouldering trousers in the fire appliance...

My first career was as a psychiatric nurse. There were few (if any) patients (or staff) on longer-stay wards that didn't smoke (I didn't, but still went through two packs a week - giving them to patients). There were very few bin fires - cigarettes were hoarded, and tab-ends recycled until nothing was left (cigarette papers were also de rigeur kit in my pocket!) I reckon I saved the NHS a fortune in major tranquillisers and overtime by diverting potentially violent incidents with a well-timed offer of a cigarette (and tea - never forget tea!)

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hospitals

And they still do, only now they congregate in the "Fresh Air Garden" - I kid you not!

The number of amputees in Dundee is huge - I've never seen so many, even coming from South Yorkshire and working in a number of hospitals there.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

Intractable Potsherd

Re: As time goes on the space program gets more amazing to me @AC Sharia

I'm sure you have a citation for that, AC - could you tell me where to find it?

I think you might be indulging in a little hyperbole.

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

Intractable Potsherd

Re: So his "2 minute jobs" make him loose a shirt regularly?

My current bugbear is seeing "lead" instead of "led" - it drives me bananas! Grrrrr!

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Beer in the Sodastream?

When my parents used to buy the stuff, I referred to it as the "Golden Bazooka" (PIAT = Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank* - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIAT)**, mainly because of its effect on my mum.

*I read "Battle" comic every week, and used to be very knowledgeable about arcane bits of killing machinery.

** Yes, I know/knew it isn't really a bazooka, but it was funny to my ~13 year old mind :-)

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Cancel HS2

@MJI - yes, a new line is needed, just not the stupidly expensive and disastrously damaging HS2.

Brits' DNA data sent to military base after 'foreign' hack attacks – report

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Strange

It would take less than a day to identify someone to within 2nd cousin levels of accuracy by using only online database information. A bit longer, and you could identify to one or two individuals. https://www.livescience.com/63818-easy-identify-people-genetic-databases.html

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

Intractable Potsherd

Rural cells are being built?? Citation needed!

Shall we have AI judging UK court cases? Top beak ponders the future

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Anything that eliminates lawyers is a good thing in my book

@Voyna - rational=inflexible. I'll stick with the inherently flexible common law system rather than the inherently one-size-fits-all code system.

Being a law lecturer in Europe must be really boring.

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Clearly a messup

Replying to my own post - I've just read the case report, and the employer is clearly in breach of the Equality Act with respect to disability.

In a properly supportive environment, Ms Hoang sounds like the sort of diligent, methodical, and tenacious person who would do really well in infosec - I wish her well for the future.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Clearly a messup

I agree. On the basis of the report here, the employer doesn't sound very supportive, and, to my mind, the Tribunal should have picked up on that. I can see an appeal being lodged fairly quickly.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I know it's unlikely @cream wobbly

"Modern equivalent of striped paint, long stand, etc.? Honestly wouldn't be surprised. Bullies are rife."

I find it wrong to class such trivia as the striped paint and long stand as bullying. There is a serious risk that the term is going to become entirely devalued, making it harder for anyone who actually *is* bullied to be taken seriously by others. There needs to be a minimum level before bullying can be effectively claimed.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Slippery slope; And not the fun kind

@Mike Pellatt - "Try as I might when answering the questions, I can't drag myself out of the bottom left-hand corner :-)" I also occupy that corner, and have done for many years. I haven't tried too hard to game the results to move closer to the centre, though - I'm proud of bring a socialist libertarian. Of course, I've been told more than once that such a thing can't exist, both by people who resist the idea of socialism, and those who font thing libertarianism is possible. Me, I'll stick with John Stuart Mill...

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

Intractable Potsherd

Re: There will be £10m for a scheme to identify ways to keep physics and maths teachers in schools

@Nick Ryan - "... make it an offence to pay for education." I'm wondering how far you want to go with that. I have two-and-a-half year old twins, and I'll be damned if they are going into any institutional education, especially state "schools". They are going to be home-schooled/un-schooled. This means we will be paying for their education through having to work part-time, paying for activities etc. I will stand on my right to decide how my children will be educated, and, whilst I think private schools are disgusting, I can't think of a way to bring it about without being a hypocrite.

Yes, Americans, you can break anti-piracy DRM if you want to repair some of your kit – US govt

Intractable Potsherd

"this will kill resale values"

Price /= value. I value a lot of things much more than the price it would fetch (or fetched).

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Envision away Mr. Harrison.

@Charles 9 - then subversion becomes mandatory...

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I really wonder what goes on inside these companies

@ Charles 9 - "... the situation's deteriorating to the point neither parent can be counted to be home for any significant length of time (or else they go behind on the bills and lose their domicile)."

I would expect that to part of the overhaul of the system. Valuing parenthood is something 1st world countries should be doing.

Surprising no one, Google to appeal against European Commission's €4.34bn Android fine

Intractable Potsherd

Re: EU SSR Ivan5

Hey look - Jeremy Hunt has a new pseudonym!

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Remainers should be Leavers

... and what about those who are Scottish and love Scotland/Welsh who love Wales/Northern Irish and live Northern Ireland/Cornish who love Kernow etc, etc?? There is much more complexity than you realise. I was born in England, moved to Scotland less than ten years ago, and consider myself a Scottish. Instead of referenda about individual nations of the UK having independence, what we should have is Scotland, NI and Wales having the chance to throw England out.

Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hopefully fixed by later tonight

But it means that you are putting your mother in a category you imply you are not willing to be put in - i.e. those being spied on by corporate interests. There is something deeply uncomfortable about those saying "my privacy counts, but theirs doesn't" when posting on a forum where most people are aware of the risk:benefit ratio and can make an informed decision.

That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Plenty of Google Chrome alternatives

@Joe Drunk: +1 for Brave on Android. It is my main browser these days - stable, effective, and minimises the crap every single website seems to come with as standard these days.

HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "HMRC settled the tribunal case immediately before it was due to start"

@grizzlybaz: True, but then so would great swathes of private enterprise employees. Incompetence is pretty much universal, with small pockets of [temporary] hope for the human race.

Lenovo Thinkpad X280: Choosing a light luggable isn't so easy

Intractable Potsherd

That makes at least two of us! I've recently been looking for another to have in store, and they seem to be in short supply, though.

Intractable Potsherd

The page forward/backward keys are a deal-breaker for me - too useful to ever go without again.

Microsoft accidentally let encrypted Windows 10 out into the world

Intractable Potsherd

Just had a quick look at your previous posts. I think it is fair to say that you are somewhat monotonous on the topic of Microsoft (or an astroturfer).

make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Iain Rankin?

Add Iain Banks and we're sorted (Charlie Stross doesn't write much about Edinburgh, or Scotland in general, but IB's novels are very Scottish).

Activists raise alarm over insidious creep of surveillance in the UK

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "Do any of those topics interest you?"

Courgette and ginger jam is very nice - and just about the only valid use for courgette :-)

IBM slaps patent on coffee-delivering drones that can read your MIND

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Vacant expression @Aaiieeee

"A[s]certaining my own state of mind ... is entirely on me - I prefer it that way! I don't need anyone else deciding what I want or need."

You aren't married, are you?

A third of London boroughs 'fess to running unsupported server software

Intractable Potsherd

I still have friends and family there (I escaped!), and your characterisation is remarkably accurate, Mr Brown!

The future of humanity: A Bluetooth ball hitting your face – forever

Intractable Potsherd

Re: This could be entertaining

"... another fad that will be put to rest along with Google Glasses."

Whilst I still think Google Glass was/is a bad idea in so many ways, having two-year-old twins has often had me wishing for a means of taking photos without use of my hands! If Google had marketed them at parents instead of hipsters, history could have been very different! (I hope this doesn't give them any ideas...)

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

Intractable Potsherd

I had that exact scenario in my head, but knew it would be far more prosaic. I like the world in my head.

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Gatport Airwick

I prefer Gitwack - it seems appropriate (one of the worst airports I have ever used).

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Intractable Potsherd

I recently bought two of the magnetic cable/connector combos. I'm not impressed, personally - the magnets are weak, so the flap on my phone cover pushes the cable laterally out of contact. On my tablet with no cover, the slightest twist in the cable will deranged the connection. Maybe I bought from a bad manufacturer, but I now have no confidence in the set up at all.

Medical device vuln allows hackers to falsify patients' vitals

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Use case

"Or take the easier option - torch a dozen ambulances and cause a lot more deaths."

That's a blunt tool with a different type of outcome. The scenario you responded to is directed at an individual, probably with a specific reason. Your scenario is not directed at a specific target, but catches random others. To me, it would be part of a disruption of society, and, though I never use the term lightly*, would probably be classed as terrorist action.

*For example, I spent several minutes swearing at the TV for classing a Fiesta driver's actions as "terrorist" simply because of location and skin colour. Morons.

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

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Spot on sir.@cornz 1

"The nearest to "off-road" they ever get is going up the bloody kerb."

And that only to park in the most inconvenient place. My experience of posh 4WD drivers on the move is that they will always be at least 2 feet from the edge of the road - annoying when on a road that is two cars plus 18 inches wide...

Hurrah! Boffins finally discover liquid water sloshing around on Mars

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Spacecrafts

Nope - I wanted to read the other comments to see if anyone else had spotted it before commenting, though!

Another one that always seems odd to me is "radars" - I always thought the plural of radar was "radar"...

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "...hashland would sound silly." @Dave 126

Another great source of information on punctuation and symbols is "Shady Characters" -

https://shadycharacters.co.uk. Have a look if you are at all interested in this sort of stuff!

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Amadeus @ABC

"Why should a tall person get a discount?"

Because there is nothing that can be done about being tall, unlike most obesity. I could equally ask why a short person should get a discount.

Me - I'm 6'6", why do you ask? :-)

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