* Posts by Pete 2

2534 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Pete 2

the cost of doing the right thing

Yes, and it's not helped by the jargon-packed menus full of meaningless options and the fear of borking the whole, fragile, mess.

And when your ISP threatens to charge you £60 to send and enginneer round, if the fault isn't on the line, you can see why people do nothing.

Hmmm, "a possible £60 charge, or leave the thing with loopholes that I don't understand" you can see why it happens.

Now if some watchdog or other could persuade the ISPs that buggy configurations and security lapses were their responsibility ... they'd probably lock them down so tight you couldn't get in with a pneumatic drill.

5
0

Fake History Alert: Sorry BBC, but Apple really did invent the iPhone

Pete 2

Engineering change at the BBC?

> Or, the BBC could publish another article – preferably written by engineering experts

I love a techy with a sense of humour.

The BBC doesn't "do" engineering - especially engineering experts. It barely does any science (the best you can hope for these days is a brief explanation in a cookery programme.) About as far as they are willing to go is to have James May wielding a screwdriver and putting something back together again (though how do we know he wasn't filmed taking it apart and they are just playing the recording backwards?)

20
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TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

Pete 2

Computer security? problems have only just begun

> That, apparently, was enough to set off Alexa-powered Echo boxes around San Diego on their own shopping sprees.

If all that happened was that some people got an unwanted order, they got off lightly.

Hopefully the next time, it won't be something like Alexa, send $1000 to this charity, then close my account and delete all my files

The opportunities for voice-recognised security breaches make ordinary, I.P. security look like Fort Knox by comparison. Just imagine how much damage could be caused by the person at the next desk (or the next table in the cafe) recording your conversation, editing in or out the choice words and then replaying your own voice to make your voice-operated phone / device do bad things.

Voice operation is intrinsically insecure. We have enough trouble with systems that are, at least, theoretically securable. These systems seem to be unfixable without completely removing the convenience that is their biggest attraction.

4
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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

Pete 2

Re: What an incredibly simplistic mathematical model.

My thoughts too.

I'm not a biologist (or fan of zombie fiction). But it seems to me that zombies can only walk and there are a large number of inhabited islands on the planet.

Just so long as someone remembers to close the channel tunnel, I don't think we'd be troubled. Though having to become self-sufficient might be a bit of a shock to some.

23
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‘Artificial Intelligence’ was 2016's fake news

Pete 2

AI is as AI does

> the definition of “AI” has been stretched so that it generously encompasses pretty much anything with an algorithm

Just like the term "hacker" was hijacked, 20 years ago.

The thing is, it doesn't take much in the way of smarts to wizz through an Amazon warehouse and pull items off a shelf. But if your "fulfillment" job has just been replaced by a computerised shopping cart, you're going to assume it's at least as intelligent as you are - right?

And if your coffee-pourer person suddenly becomes a metal box that you speak your order to and it squirts a drink in your general direction you could be forgiven for thinking that is "clever", too.

So while we all know what a real hacker is. And we know what constitutes real AI, in the media's world it is anything that replaces a person - or that acts / speaks / understands like a person. Especially when many journalists will soon find that they have been replaced by a combination aggregator / sentence writer. After all, it doesn't take much for someone at The Guardian to trawl the twitter-sphere and select random tweets that more-or-less support the case they are trying to make.

Though if they ever did more than that (or more than produce a list of synonyms for "I don't like [choose political slant]", add a load of adjectives and call it an opinion piece) they might find themselves on safer ground, career-wise.

6
1

Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

Pete 2

Another story here?

“For this purpose,” the researchers continued, “the robots do not only provide replications of some secondary sexual characteristics (e.g. breasts), but also external genitals (e.g. labia). ... to move ... and speak.”

As the researchers note, “At present, there is no sex robot available that is suitable for the masses and that provides all the features listed above.

The conclusion (assuming this isn't just the result of a clumsy use of language) is that there IS such a device, but that it's not "suitable for the masses". Did the researchers accidentally let slip that they had such a device, but wanted to keep it for themselves?

10
0

Blue sky basic income thinking is b****cks

Pete 2

But where would the robots be?

The whole premise of Universal Basic Income requires that the robots that have "stolen" peoples jobs would simply replace those workers in the retail outlets they currently occupy and therefore the commercial enterprises that own and run these places would be a source of tax on the commerce they execute.

But this is a huge supposition. And probably a wrong one.

What reason would there be for individuals (who would be at home, either working there or because they have no job) to step out, possibly drive or be driven to a Starbucks, for example, merely to get an overpriced coffee? Would the replacement market not be much simpler and more effective if it placed the robot coffee-maker in peoples' homes and had Amazon (or whoever) to drone-drop supplies of beans and other raw materials.

Whether it is a coffee maker, 3-D printer, freezer-to-plate cooker, clothes-maker or universal replicator. If these were owned by the user, there would be no source of taxation revenue except from the very people who were receiving UBI. That is similar to pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and doesn't seem to be a practical solution.

The UBI premise only sounds attractive because it makes assumptions about the commercial future that almost certainly won't be what it evolves into.

1
0

ESA: Sorry about Schiaparelli, can we have another €400 mill?

Pete 2

So, you want an extra €400 million?

Well, OK. But you've got to promise to test the damn software this time.

1
0

Google declares victory for its Wifi router before it's even shipped

Pete 2

Marketing 101

> Google hasn't yet released its Wifi mesh router, but the company is already claiming to have bested the competition.

Clearly that is the best time to tell people how excellent your product is: before anyone has seen it and could possibly disprove your claim with all that annoying "experience"?

9
0

NASA trying to rein in next-generation super-heavy lifter costs

Pete 2

Re: Haven't we been here before?

* It's a sales pitch. This would work way better than "Quick, do it before your impeachment".

Or any other ways that Trump could even more suddenly stop being the POTUS. Ways that make being El Presidente the most dangerous job in the world.

0
0
Pete 2

How much have you got? That's what it will cost!

The reason the (newest) Space Launch System costs so much is because that is what the american government with it's $ TRILLIONS is willing to spend on it. As each day passes, more people will add more "it would be great if it could do .... " to the list of uses, abilities and features this puppy should have.

It is the same with all government financed projects: They take so long, there is so much scope-creep, the costs go up, so the projects take longer, so there is more time to make changes and to change people's minds, which increases costs, that causes delays and finally the whole thing gets canned.

Probably the best thing that NASA could do would be to sell itself to Musk, or the big Z, or some other internet gazzilionaire. Someone who would get things done, rather than just building bigger and costlier versions of the same technology that's been their staple forever. It's now 50 years since the first Saturn V and NASA seem to be celebrating that fact by building it again.

2
1

AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

Pete 2

One way to increase quality

This is probably the most rigorously tested software ever to be released under the GPL

6
0

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Pete 2

Learning to live

> Education needs to become a constant part of our diet: real education,

To what end?

As the article points out, "education" or more precisely: vocational qualifications have failed some professions already and are increasingly likely to be a lost bet in terms of time taken and money spent, verses lifetime monetary returns. So what will be the point of education, when anything and everything that an education confers can be made available from an AI or automated / robotic source?

In that respect, professionals are facing the same problems that airline pilots have. So much of a flight is run by the autopilot that many real pilots, while having 000's of hours in the big chair, have little clue what to do during an emergency and need constant refreshers to keep their edge.

What will be the state of professions in, say, 50 years when there are no more human lawyers, surgeons, teachers or actors. No more drivers, shop assistants, bank staff or administrators? Will it matter that having an IQ above 85 becomes a liability since you can question the reason for your existence, but have no means for self-improvement? And with no opportunities to improve ourselves or earn a bean, where will future innovations and progress come from?

16
0

Zuckerberg says just one per cent of news on Facebook is fake

Pete 2

Right and wrong at the same time

> Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic

While the big Z is correct, he ignores or doesn't understand that the other 1% is very, very, influential. It also spreads wider and faster than the 99% of dross which is cat videos, stooopid quizzes and facist rants from cranky old people.

It isn't the volume of crap that makes up Facebook which is important, it's the tiny amount of stuff which professional manipulators (or media companies if you want to get picky) post with the sole intention of changing people's opinions. Those companies are very good at what they do, and their material is targeted at the gullible, impressionable and easily persuaded.

While it is small proportion, it is read widely and reposted often. I would bet that if Z counted the likes or number of reads that fake "news" gets, those stories would be in the top 50 posts every day of the week.

1
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'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

Pete 2

Here's one I prepared earlier

> If you get some nice snaps on the night, do write to The Register and we'll publish any especially pretty pics.

Ummm, a photo won't show any difference between a "supermoon" (merely appearing a little larger) and a normal full moon.

1
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Ubuntu Core Snaps door shut on Linux's new Dirty COWs

Pete 2

Snap! saviour of the universe?

> They [ snaps from Canonical ] contain code from the Linux kernel maker, Canonical for the Ubuntu distro, and the device maker and ISVs whose code might be resident onboard

All very well: pushing updates to IoT systems even though they don't ask for them. However, this leaves Canonical as the self-appointed guardian of the IoT-verse. Will they accept the responsibility of "snapping" every Ubuntu based IoT device from now to eternity? Will they only provide snaps for a specific length of time - say: for LTS kernels' lifespan or for "blessed" (paid for, subscription, rented ?) devices. And if so, what happens after that? do the devices merely become unsupported and therefore just as vulnerable as they are now - or does Canonical or the device-maker decide to brick them, in the interests of everyone else's security from bot-nets?

Finally, Canonical won't be around forever. who takes the strain when they exit(0)?

This sounds like a nice feature, but the implications need to be made clear.

4
0

New measurement alert. The Pogba: 1,200Pg = NHS annual budget

Pete 2

But what is the unit for measuring standardisation of units?

> while 1Pg is equal to £89.3m, 2Pg does not necessarily equal £178.6m

I look forward to reading your explanation of the Erlang

7
0

BYE, EVERYBODY! Virtual personal health assistants are coming, says Gartner

Pete 2

Trust me, I'm a doctor

And I can see a whole new phishing area opening up: "Just take off your clothes and stand in front of the webcam for me"

But as for:

> they are better at processing all the determinants of health and wellbeing than even the best of doctors

That may be so, but it is only simple cases where an ill person walks into an appointment, only talks to someone and walks out with a prescription (though I can see this would be easily gamed to get some choice meds, for other uses). How will a chat-bot take your B.P. or pulse or ask "does this hurt?"

And it will still need the patient to turn up somewhere when the inevitable tests are required.

1
0

Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

Pete 2

The wrong people making the wrong decision

It doesn't really matter what the techies at Mercedes, Ford, GM, Telsa or any other car maker decides. The rights and wrongs of the matter will be decided country-by-country in case law, as each injury-accident or death is prosecuted.

This will, or course, be a shambolic maze of conflicting principles, examples, precedents and exceptions. Not only will each car, from each manufacturer, have to have its autonomous software updated to account for they ways each country's laws evolve with each new case won or lost, but that same software will have to be aware when the car moves from one jurisdiction into another, and then start to drive according to that place's laws (just like a person would have to).

I can also foresee mass disabling of vehicles (by the million) when updates fail. You might think that it's annoying when W10 decides, of its own volition, to make your computer unusable for hours while it downloads some updates. Imagine when you try to get into your car to go to work and the dashboard informs you that it won't be drivable for another 2 hours due to a legal upgrade. (Or worse: when it pulls in to the side of the road to do the same thing, while you're traveling).

0
0

Pocket C.H.I.P. makers go Pro with cloud-linked ARM-flexing module for IoT gizmo builders

Pete 2

The success is in the support

There are a million (OK, slight exaggeration) different Linux SBCs from loads of different vendors. Most of them are deservedly obscure - although cheaper than this offering.

The ones that do succeed are the ones that realise the hardware is only a small part of what the users (or developers) need.

The major part is the software. Not just the kernel - but the libraries to handle the peripherals, the APIs, the documentation, the support forums and the bug fixes.

So please, SBC suppliers, don't think it's enough to simply slap a SoS on an "open source hardware" board, think of a cute name and logo for the box and then wait for success to embrace you. If that is all you can offer then you have nothing. Once you have done all that, you're about 10% of the way towards a product that people will want to test, develop on, advocate and use in quantity. The other 90% of the effort is in writing examples, supporting your forum, porting kernels, debugging drivers, documenting the hardware interfaces, writing up projects for users to adapt and generally keeping the "buzz" going.

4
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Crooks and kids (not scary spies paid by govt overlords) are behind most breaches

Pete 2

Talk big, do nothing.

> most breaches are actually the result of either criminal activity or "kids messing around"

But it is in nobody's interest to admit this.

The police look stupid if they have to admit they are unable to detect the majority of reported hacks - when they are merely the work of children "messing around". The targets (are they really victims when their security is so lax?) will lose the confidence of their users / customers and suppliers if they are found to be hacked so easily.

So, just like a cage fighter would be embarrassed by getting beaten up by a 7-stone weakling, it is in the interests of all concerned (including the hackers) to big-up the skills and luck of the hackers. That absolves all parties of blame and of the need to put in place even basic security measures (measure #1 - sack your security manager, if you get hacked again: sack the CEO).

However, this does rather assume that the same outfit isn't hacked again a short time later, when the questions about why start to be asked of the higher echelons.

0
0

Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer

Pete 2

Networked, but not joined up

> Since I work from home, most of the times ...

The guy wrote a command line app so he can spend more time bash[groan]-ing out code.

However, he still has to get up from his chair, walk over to the machine and collect his freshly brewed coffee.

A more sensible approach would simply be to put the machine near his desk.

6
0

NIST: People have given up on cybersecurity – it's too much hassle

Pete 2

Too hard, won't use.

To be successful, security measures must be at the level of intrusiveness of putting your key in the latch - once, If it can be made even simpler: down to the level of car's keyless entry, then better still. But that all requires significant changes at the hardware level - changes that can't be backed into a 30 year-old, pre-internet, PC architecture.

That is why all the security bolt-on products we are being sold are so complex, complex AND unreliable, since they continually fall behind the exploits that are being developed. I do not believe that computers as we have them today can be made secure. Not without dumping all of the backwards compatibility that seems to be mandatory in order to preserve a suppliers existing user-base.

Fortunately for the "ordinary people" in the survey, home computers are a dying breed. Being overtaken by their phone (although most transactions aren't voice calls, so "telephone" is a rather anachronistic term for them). And here there IS the opportunity to build in security measures since the life-cycle is only a few years.

However, I still won't engage in personal banking on my phone. My (Linux) computers, with multiple user accounts - only 1 of which is used for personal finance, is still far more secure that either Windows or a phone.

3
1

Yahoo! couldn't! detect! hackers! in! its! network! but! can! spot! NSFW! smut! in! your! office?

Pete 2

What it needs most is a good UI

> a classifier for NSFW detection, and provide feedback to us on ways to improve the classifier."

So essentially Yahoo are building a search engine for porn?

I'm surprised it took someone all this time to get a round to that.

All it needs now is a snappy name.

0
0

How to build a storage startup

Pete 2

Here's where it all falls apart

> Most folks don't typically have a spare $100k around, nor the ability to bootstrap for three months, so this usually means the startup consists of four people, with the fourth being the pre-angel funder. In most cases this individual doesn't concern themselves directly with running the startup.

You can readily identify these pre-angel funders They are the ones riding the unicorns.

All this stuff is great if you are writing a screenplay for a geeky "sci-fi" drama. In practice it never happens. Nobody knows individuals who are willing to drop $100k in 3 months in the hope that something they don't understand might, just, turn into a winner.

As it is, most startups require their "core" people to show some level of commitment to the project. Put in purely financial terms, for a bunch of millenials still living with their parents, this means paying for your Oyster card and maybe a pizza on Friday lunchtime. Even for regular people, with commitments and families you'd be hard-pressed to find a pre-angel willing to stump up more than £1k a month for a couple of people.

0
0

Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

Pete 2

Many sellers, with identical products

> If the market is functioning perfectly. Which few do

They don't have to function perfectly - just well enough.

In the electricity market, the overheads are crucial.

Everyone uses the same electricity, bought on the same market, using the same currency hedges. It's sent down the same wires and comes from the same power stations (although some suppliers own their own power stations, they still buy and sell openly).

So in the end, there's little to differentiate the price from one supplier to another except how well they run their businesses: i.e. the performance of their C-levels and their overheads: offices, IT, call centres and metering (which is generally outsourced anyway).

8
1

Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills

Pete 2

While we're at it

We might as well go the whole IT-protectionist route and reinstate the (british) EDSAC "standard" 18-bit word length for computers and, of course, the JANET style naming convention for domains - also known as back to front or uk.co.theregister.

At least that would slow the spammers down a little.

8
0

Do AI chat bots need a personality bypass – or will we only trust gabber 'droids with character?

Pete 2

The speaking phish

> In conclusion, there isn’t any value in bots having unique personalities

I would expect that once a realistic sounding AI starts making cold calls and asking people for their financial secrets, the response rate will go through the roof. The only question would be whether to give it the "personality" of a bank employee, a police officer, a surveyor, one of your friends (with extra input from FB) or an elderly relative in a spot of bother.

1
0

Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

Pete 2

Person puts thing in mailbox -- or not

The police bulletin is vague in the extreme. Although it is written in the plural, there is no corroboration or statements to support the claim. There could, in fact, simply have been a single USB drive put in someone's letterbox. Or it could even have been as trivial as a parent confronting a child with an "unknown" USB drive:

"Where did you get that?

I found it

Where?

Errrr, in the letterbox"

There would appear to be nothing to this story. Nothing at all.

6
0

How would you sell an all-flash array to your finance director?

Pete 2

Throw the dog a bone

There are only two arguments that work with regard to finance directors:

1.) It's cheaper than the alternatives

2.) We can sack a load of people

So if you really want an AFA, whether to actually use its unique features or simply to brag to your credulous, geeky, friends then the simplest course is to find someone in IT who you don't like and make a business case about how this purchase will allow the company to make "efficiency savings" from their job function.

Just make sure you get your proposal in before the other guy does the same to you.

0
0

You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Pete 2

challenge / response

> As for my pet, IT chiefs would rather I give it a name comprised of upper- and lower-case letters, three numbers and at least one special character

No, they would rather that you didn't actually tell them your pet's name at all.

The questions asked can take any answer. It doesn't have to be related to the subject of the question (except where date or numeric fields are all that's available).

So a valid answer to the question: What was the name of your first teacher? could easily be "pork sausages". Since the computer asking the question has no way to know if you are telling the truth - and it probably doesn't care that 90% of respondents were born on January 1.

The only thing you then need is to remember which answer you gave to which question. Which is why everyone writes them down, anyway.

7
0

World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

Pete 2

Most educational

The Pi has many lessons to teach. The most important (and, apparently most ignored) is the importance of an active user community.

Since its inception the Pi has, more-or-less, held its price point. A feature almost unknown in the tech world. Yet, it is still the go-to product, with seemingly unfaltering popularity, for people wishing to explore the complexities of making an LED blink.

Why would this be, when there are many, many, alternatives. Some at a quarter of the price of the Pi? (the Nanopi Neo springs to mind - not least because I have a couple on the bench beside me). The secret of the Pi's success is that users do not feel the product has been "tossed over the wall" to them. There is a lot of support available - although most comes from the community, rather than the vendor. And that support is vital: both for newbies flashing their first LED, through to those trying to push the envelope without making smoke.

Although the Pi is a venerable institution, hardware-wise many suppliers have blown past it. However, those suppliers have failed to take the Pi-killing step of investing support in their products. Whether that is supplying anything more advanced than a buggy and limited Linux 3.4 kernel, documentation for how to map the IO, or libraries, utilities and advice to ease the learning curve.

For that reason, I feel the Pi is on rather thin ice. All it takes is for a single far-eastern supplier to fill those support voids with Pi-compatibility, documentation, code and a half-modern distro and the Pi could find itself in an existential crisis with smaller, faster, cheaper and smarter products leaving it standing.

1
1

Self-stocking internet fridge faces a delivery come down

Pete 2

Test for success

> And so it will be for everything devised by analysts who assume everything will always be in a specific place and do as it’s told

Let's face it, when software is tested all that happens is that some geek, somewhere, inputs a valid field, command or option and checks that the resulting output, action or message appears. Once that has happened: once that has happened the stuff gets shipped,

Not only is it far too complicated to test all combinations, including checking for reasonable reactions to incorrect conditions, but those throw up a distinct possibility - nay: certainrt - that something won't work. Thus delaying the release date or (more likely) an update to version 2 that half the idiot purchasers won't be able to install and the other half won't hear about.

Luckily, the Marketing Department have a solution. They ship loads of crappy products as free samples to dishonest and greedy "reviewers" who then write glowing "independent" reports about how wonderful the thing is. And we all believe them and assume that if stuff (as described above) doesn't work, it's our fault or failure.

As for delivery by drone: I foresee a resurgence in the popularity of chimneys.

22
0

Sysadmins: Poor capacity planning is not our fault

Pete 2

Is this even a "thing" now?

> many don't even have what we might arguably describe as ‘the basics' properly covered.

In the "olden days" (speaking as someone who has, read and understood Raj Jain's book) this was almost always about disk I-O. Since everyone now has everything important on an M2 array or better, there is little point in paying people to predict problems that are now only ever due to network misconfiguration.

0
0

Publishing military officers' names 'creates Islamic State hitlist'

Pete 2

Don't tell him, Pike!

I wonder if journalists on The Times don't spend just a leeeeetle too much time watching old sitcoms for ideas of "news" stories?

7
0

Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

Pete 2

But will it blend?

We might find out if one of these ends up anywhere near a wind farm.

5
0

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

Pete 2

Re: ID Cards

There does appear to be an enthusiasm if not actual pressure to reduce the number of cash transactions, in favour of card or contactless methods of paying.

Once this becomes ubiquitous your card / phone is in effect your ID.

No need for ID checks then, you voluntarily submit your ID (plus location and details of purchase) every time you buy something. With contactless methods, even your presence could be detected.

3
2
Pete 2

Simple is best

> and the UK will have regained complete control of its borders

Well, we *already* have complete control of our borders - what with being an island (or several islands, to be precise).

However, if you want to stop people coming in to the UK that's easy, too.

The obvious answer: closing all the airports is not very practical as there are lots of Brits who might want to come back into the UK - though once the economy crashes and we look like Tajikistan in the rain, that might slow down a bit (tho' the numbers wishing to leave could well rise).

A more nuanced approach would be to modify the entry system we have at present: with EU and non-EU channels at the UK Border. Just change this to GB and non-GB passport holders. The clever bit would be to only have one booth for the non-GB entrants, therefore making the queuing time somewhere between several hours and many days. A similar effect could be achieved by replacing all of the staffed non-GB border checks with the computerised versions that seem to be unable to process people any faster than 1 every 10 minutes.

10
4

Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

Pete 2

Tops and bottoms

> the UK always gets to see all the photos which were taken on the flight.

Surely high resolution photos of cloud-tops must get pretty boring after the first 10 years?

A bit like seeing them from below.

4
0

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

Pete 2

What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over.

> as advertisers grow increasingly wary of the rise of ad blockers and choose to spend their precious ad dollars elsewhere

So the advertisers would prefer not to spend their money on a medium where they can see how many people are blocking their ads. And instead spend it on a medium where they can't tell how many people are FF-ing past them during the breaks?

10
0

You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Pete 2

Twofer

> for the price of one cardboard desk you can buy two veneered chipboard equivalents from Ikea.

So buy your desk from IKEA.

Take it home

Throw the desk away (or not)

Make yourself a "custom" one from the IKEA packaging.

18
0

Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

Pete 2

And on the 7th day, she rested

So 80 hours watching telly and then a 25 page (standard 400 words / page) report. Sounds like a good week's work!

6
0

'Double speak' squawk users as Silent Circle kills warrant canary

Pete 2

user data

> "not related to any warrant for user data which we have not received”

so they received a warrant (or: didn't NOT receive a warrant) for something other that user data.

Really: any programmer past novice level deals with more complex conditionals than this every day.

Nobody here is unfamiliar with De Morgan's theorems, are they?

6
2

Half of Brit small biz hit by cyber crime. 10% spend zilch on infosec

Pete 2

Cure or safety blanket?

I think the reason that the uptake is so low is that nobody can make a good financial case for additional security.

It's all very well bringing in someone who'll wave their arms in the air and scare you with apocryphal stories that don't have enough detail to be useful. But when it comes down to it, these SMEs will ask the following:

* What will it cost me?

* What financial savings will I make ?

* What guarantees can you give me?

And, like all things to do with IT security, there are no solid, consensus numbers. No formula. No certainty. So there will always be some companies - usually the ones that have suffered a major incident - who will be receptive, most will have more pressing, tangible, objectives for their budgets.

2
1

The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

Pete 2

Behind the curve

> Think of the analytics possibilities! What level of risk do your employees present if they decide to say negative things about you?

Meh, it's already been done.

There was a piece on /. the other day about a British (good to see we can still innovate) outfit that would trawl social media for landlords to determine whether potential tenants had any skeletons in their Facebook closet.

The thing is, once you know what "they" are looking for, it shouldn't be too difficult to feed a 'bot what it wants. One could suggest that for an IT person worthy of the name, it would be one of the 6 impossible things they do before breakfast.

4
0

Spanish Bitcoin farm raided

Pete 2

In the wrong place

> Police said the bitcoin mining facilities were using "vast" amounts of electricity.

It seems unlikely that anyone would set up a Bitcoin farm in Spain, considering the country has some of the most expensive domestic electricity rates in Europe.

[ ref: Eurostat ]

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EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

Pete 2

Re: Seriously... yes, seriously.

> That is one way to hinder progress

Not at all, it's "free" money.

The americans realised a long, long, time ago that imposing massive fines on foreign companies is an excellent and painless way of raising revenue. It brings in enormous amounts of capital. It costs the taxpayer nothing and, well, they're foreign companies, so who cares?

Since they've been doing this to british and european companies, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong about the EU (or the UK, if it had the balls) fining "their" companies back, to the same extent, for acting illegally.

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UK.gov pays four fellows £35k to do nothing for three months

Pete 2

Pause for thought

> do nothing for three months

Where I am, that's called the Change Management Board. The workplace equivalent of a delay loop.

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At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Pete 2

Quantity, not quality

> Project managers report faster and more often

Neither of which does anything to improve the accuracy of what they are reporting. I am reminded of a piece from a comedy sketch (can't recall which genius of comedy it was), that went a bit like this:

They gave me 2 weeks to answer a very difficult problem

I said I could give them an answer straight away

They asked me what my answer was

I said "I don't know"

speed of reply is not always what you want.

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Spaniard live streams 195km/h burn-up

Pete 2

Policia lengua?

> *"Periscope" not a verb, you cry? It is according to Spanish cops,

So they're the language police as well?

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