* Posts by Peter2

1258 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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The Register Lecture: AI turning on us? Let's talk existential risk

Peter2
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Imagine for a second an intelligent virus (yes, I know, such a thing is well beyond our current capabilities, but this is a thought experiment) that manages to infect air traffic control workstations with the intent of causing as many deaths as possible. Or traffic light control systems. Or the emergency alert system.

Ok. Firstly, I don't think you understand how ATC works. I do because I have been taught to fly and have spoken to them via radio, which is how commands are passed. If aircraft seperation is compromised then ATC will know quite quickly via irate pilots shouting about it and they'll revert to their ermergency plans. As pilots are responsible for their aircraft there is unlikely to be any serious trouble if ATC packs up.

Traffic light systems are designed with physical safeguards such that they'd blow a fuse if you illuminated both sets of lights. Harm, zero as it just falls back to manual operation.

Emergency alert systems could cause people to panic and stand around doing nothing, but that's not going to cause the end of the world.

And that doesn't even get into the nightmare scenarios of hospital systems and infrastructure control systems. How many people do you think would die if medical equipment started putting out inaccurate data and all the lights went out? Heck, just shutting off gas pumps would result in millions of deaths in the US inside of a month.

I've worked for the NHS. My guess would be zero casualties, because everything critical is airgapped. Yeah, returning the wrong patient records wouldn't be good but that's about the most harm possible and the damage would have to be done by humans. Lights aren't going to go out because light switches aren't connected to computers. Power is backed up with generators that are tested weekly, the switchover and switchback to and from which causes more damage to computers in tests yearly than an AI could aspire to. FFS, UK hospitals are built with EM buffers on incoming lines designed to protect against a nearby nuclear detonation.

In the UK, petrol pumps are a very manual and offline process. Harm, zero.

The biggest harm would be that Just In Time supply systems would probably become SomewhatTooLate, which is suboptimal when it comes to things like food.

True, we don't have to worry about AI triggering a nuclear apocalypse directly, but what about sending falsified communications to all the world's nuclear powers making it seem like they were under attack?

Again, knowing something about these systems I know that they are designed by people who are considerably more paranoid than I am and have far less trust in technology and people programming it than I have, which is why everybody has their nukes set up to survive the first strike and then launch in response later.

They deal with alerts tolerably well. You know about the horror stories of training tapes of a full scale attack being ran on a live system by the USA during the cold war, right? It happened, yet failed to set off a nuclear war.

This is sort of like the X-Files. Things seem plausible when you don't know how they work, but the more you know the more it seems a bit silly.

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Peter2
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A sneaking fear that the machines might turn on us is just not good enough - we need to be able to quantify that risk if we want to avoid it, or at least manage it. Or we could just push on regardless and see how things work out.

At the moment, the threat is massively overhyped. Even if we were to ignore the fact that AI simply isin't capable of developing a desire for world domination and is in truth more akin to a complicated excel macro than an intelligence then what could an AI do to us?

On the desktop side machinery has no ability to harm the operator (excepting these) https://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/07/usb_missle_war_breaks_out/

At a high level, nuclear weapons are very, very offline and rather throughly airgapped. They are also controlled by 1970's floppy discs and elaborate man in the loop security proceedures, so nothing is going to happen there. That leaves causing industrial accidents from companies putting too much online secured very poorly, but that's not going to wipe out humanity and has a questionable ability to harm any significant number of people.

The only thing likely to change that is actually self driving vehicles if they are insufficently secured as a few million self driving EV's roaming around under computer control trying to run anybody over on sight would be a mite unpleasant, but simply requiring a physical key in the circuit (doing it in software would create a risk of bypassing the safety measure) would allow humans to remain in control there, eliminating that as a threat.

In short, AI can't seriously affect the RealWorld™ unless we allow it to. I'm all in favour of making sure that anything connected to the internet is (by design) set up to be physically incapable of causing serious damage as the more real threat is people hacking who would try and cause serious harm for "teh lolz".

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UK.gov: Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?

Peter2
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Or because Belgium exists because of the 1839 Treaty of London, which has UK PLC as a guarenteeor of Belgium existance. This was put to the test in the first world war when the Germans were certain that Britain wouldn't declare war on Germany because of a "scrap of paper" if they invaded Belgium. Britain disagreed, and thus Belgium still existed post WW1.

And for that matter post WW2, since the Belgium government was dissolved and replaced with a German military dictatorship in WW2, only to be reestablished by our army passing through enroute to Germany in WW2.

Can you see any reason why Belgium may wish to retain close political links with the UK...? Government and diplomacy runs on longer timescales than the media and twitterati does.

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Peter2
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Your post leads one to beleive that we didn't have a complete, flying aircraft before getting Europeon nations involved to increase the size of the order book.

https://www.baesystems.com/en-uk/feature/eap

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If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

Peter2
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In a lawyer's office, especially, I would not want to manage the logistics of issuing a laptop that goes home with them with all kinds of stuff on it.

Why not?

As the IT Manager of a law firm i'd comment that as all case files are stored on the case management system and not on individual PC's, to access anything to do any work you have to remote in to our remote access server. Therefore, nothing sensitive is stored on the laptops even if they do get stolen.

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BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown

Peter2
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Re: Any news on whether the BBC pays their side of the bargain?

She was a highly paid presenter, reportedly on over 100K a year. If she's not been paying NI on that wage then she's certainly not 'poor'.

This is what GOV.UK thinks yearly personal income is by percentage points.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/percentile-points-from-1-to-99-for-total-income-before-and-after-tax

So, to pay £419,151 for a period of 2006/07 to 2012/13 (6 years) is £69,858.50 of tax each year. Even if you assume she was taxed at 50% then she's in the top 1% of earners in the specified years.

Christ, the hospitals are at breaking point, there's fewer and fewer police on the streets, yet it's a tragedy when people are asked to actually pay their fair contribution to society.

I appreciate she's been given bad advice, and it's not her fault. But I, and a good chunk of the people reading this have to pay NI; don't have a lot of sympathy for those that don't.

Personally, my sympathy is zero for the top 1% of earners who have dodged tax and are now required to pay it. The question has to be asked though as to if the BBC as a public body is operating a tax avoidance office at the public expense to further line the pockets of a large number of the richest 1%.

Perhaps BBC news could do one of their "fact checks" on this?

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Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners

Peter2
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Re: What a waste.

"why should we worry?"

. . . Because while a single individual isin't a problem, it becomes a problem at nationwide scale.

If a certain group of predominately very well off people had not have ignored and justified illegal immigration, tried to NewSpeak said term to "undocumented migration" and condemn as ThoughtCrime any moderate discussion of this then we probably wouldn't have seen "far right" groups existing to any noticible degree, and the UK probably wouldn't be heading out of the EU.

At this point, it's more than a bit daft to continue arguing that it's ok to quietly ignore the problem.

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Bring the people 'beautiful' electric car charging points, calls former transport minister

Peter2
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This is more than a bit of a straw man. Are people really going to plug their EV into the kitchen ring?

Probably the garage socket if going with the cheapest option, but any house with a 60amp breaker is going to be a really old electrical installation and will have a single ring main, and will be unlikely to be running a seperate ring just for the kitchen. It'll also be running fuses rather than MCB's unless the owner has upgraded.

You also wouldn't want to be drawing 55+ amps constantly from a system with a design limit of 60. Electricial safety rules ask sparkies to keep below 80% capacity.

But yes, that's a surmountable problem, preferably by adding charging points along the road. The overall draw on the grid probably isin't reasonably surmountable.

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Peter2
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Hmmmm so we need 37Gw of additional power generating capacity

If you allow for replacement for 8GW worth of the 70's and 80's nuclear plant due to close in about a decades time then it's 45GW, but i'd be surprised if those reactors are closed on the predicted dates as they are in pretty good condition and minor refurb work would keep them operating for another decade if other reactors is any indication.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/united-kingdom.aspx

These somewhat messy estimates don't include any figures for power generation required to replace gas heating with electrical heating to reduce CO2 emissions that might be inflicted on the general public by militant activists.

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Peter2
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Seperate issues there.

Does the local grid have enough capacity? No. Not even close if people want to carry on as normal. If your drawing 13 amps out of a socket for charging an EV without putting in a seperate supply then there are only 17 amps remaining in the ringmain until the ring main breaker trips. In other words, cook a meal in the microwave and put a kettle on to make a brew, and a breaker is likely to pop.

You can solve that by running a dedicated supply to the EV, but most older homes only had 60 amp supplies installed in total. That's not a happy combination. Upgrading to a 100/200 amp supply won't be cheap or easy.

Think about the amount of work involved there, digging up the entire road, everybodies driveway and then having a sparky install the new supply inside the house. Consider the new smart meter rollout, this is a gargantuan task in comparison to that and smart meters are something like a 1.3 million deployed, which is what, 2% of meters?

Points by the side of the road next to lapposts would seem rather more acheivable, but it's still a massive infrastructure task.

And if we ignore that and assume that we could install a new supply where needed this afternoon and gift everybody a new EV, then with thanks to Ledswinger for a more accurate estimate than my own back of the envelope calculation:-

EVs typically get about 3.5 miles per kWh, depending on size, efficiency, ancillary load, driving style. So at 244m miles annually, that would be a total energy use of 70 billion kWh (excuse my non-SI approach to the units). In turn that's 191 million kWh per day, and over an assumed seven hour charging period we're talking an EV charging load (before network, and charging losses that total around 15%, maybe more) of over 27 million kW, or 27 GW.

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/4/2017/11/30/what_will_drive_our_cars_when_the_combustion_engine_dies/#c_3362810

For context, we can generate 45GW minus unreliable sources of power such as imports and sources such as solar and wind, or 55GW including these at the 100% capacity they've never delivered. Adding an additional 27GW to the grid while similtaniously closing 10GW worth of coal plants and the older nuclear plants appears to represent a significant technical challange in 15 years, given that it took seven years to start construction of hinkley point C after it was approved.

But of course, by all means let's come up with a nice design for charging points and argue over what we call them. Important things first, of course. We can ignore the minor details like the obvious need to increase generating capacity by a factor of 50% as insignificant and unworthy of consideration by our glorious elected officals.

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Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report

Peter2
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Re: bz b b bz b b bz b b bz b b bzzzzzzz

Sorry, I don't believe you on this one, at least on every handset that I have been in contact with, OFF is OFF.

I'm an IT professional, not a preist so i'm not demanding beleif. Just duplicate the conditions and see what happens.

Once upon a time I was assigned an urgent job to figure out why $importantperson had problems with their deskphone in conference mode getting intermittant severe interference that made it unusable. Problem traced to their mobile when it received a text while they were on a call. Turning the mobile off resolved the issue and ticket solved. Ticket was then reopened at a point afterwards with a comment along the lines of "it still does for about a second every so often". Problem immediately traced back to mobile (this was many years ago, so would have been pre-smartphone) transmitting while turned off.

Que a couple of us scratching our heads and duplicating the conditions to recreate the issue, figure out what was happenning and then figuring out how to eliminate the problem. IIRC it happened on several phones and we fixed it by taking the handset apart and reconfiguring it so that the conference mode used external speakers. The downside was that the speaker was also used for ringing, as we discovered when somebody rang the phone...

I'm tempted to set up a little experiment....switch off a phone and leave it next to a speaker in a very quiet place. Set up some audio recording equipment and leave it overnight. Should be easy enough to review the recorded WAV file and see any spikes where the speakers have picked up activity from the phone (better than listening to 12 hours of audio anyway)

Give it a go. Make sure that you get noise from your speaker setup when you send/receive a text first though.

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Peter2
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Re: Big Brother is Watching You

That won't help much, tracking was being done long before most phones had GPS added. As your mobile's existance is picked up by a base station then you can get a pretty good idea of somebodies distance from that base station via the signal strenth. If your in range of 3 base stations then you can get a pretty good accuracy through triangulation.

Worth noting that all phones keep signalling base stations, even when turned off. Easily verifiable yourself with basic radio equipment, or by sticking a mobile in very close proximity to an unshielded speaker. The speaker will buzz when the phone is on. Turn the phone off. You'll note that it still buzzes occasionally when the turned off phone transmits.

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Buzzzz... gulp. What the heck was that? Drone air traffic app maker swallows $4.5m

Peter2
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Re: Safe drone use...

Well I don't think the likes of Amazon will be happy if they can only perform drone deliveries when you are in LOS of their warehouse. So I'm guessing they think some of those restrictions could be dropped if their tech works and was on board the 'aircraft'

They can be dropped already. All they have to do is build a drone over 20kg (at which point it becomes a light aircraft) that satisfies the safety regulations that have been in place for generations such as following the rules of the air and giving way when appropriate. (which is why drones need to remain in visual contact of the operator; a narrow vision camera doesn't meet the requirements as to checking around you)

Hopefully the drone industry won't be able to get away with deregulation. The existing rules such as "don't fly over towns so low that you can't crash land outside the boundaries of the town should your aircraft suffer a malfunction" are perfectly clear and sensible IMO.

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Tsk-tsk, fat cat Softcat: Milk-slurping reseller taken to court

Peter2
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Malik told us that the fat cats agreed to hand over the cream, saying they “were very apologetic” and “settled in full, very quick” once the court claim reached them.

Sounds like they received the form from the county cort enquiring if they wished to plead guilty, or not guilty, and instead paid him and asked him to vacate the court case.

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User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Peter2
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Re: Hey Gran!

WIth regards to gas lighting being new to her, she said they were using (fuel burning?) lamps in the early part of her life and as she lived it then she's a primary source, rather than a secondary source like a textbook. (or me, passing on my recollections of what she said)

Presumably like high speed broadband high population and affluant areas got gas lighting first and lower population areas in the rest of the country didn't get it installed until much later, or the alternatives were cheaper.

I don't really know, and frankly don't really care too much. My point was simply that older generations are provably quite used to dealing with major change, and can easily accept a few more changes if taught decently and respectfully. You can learn new things from them, as well.

I also hope that if i'm reasonable with the older generations today then when i'm ninety something then somebody born in a few decades time might be as patient with me.

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Peter2
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Re: Hey Gran!

Some years ago I taught a ninety something year old to use a computer. She wanted to have a computer to communicate with her great, great grandchildren who are obviously more used to emails etc for sending messages and pictures than using snailmail.

Frankly, it wasn't particually difficult. In fact, i've had more problems teaching pointy haired bosses, because she accepted full well that she didn't know and just listened to what she was told. Getting her used to the mouse was perhaps the most difficult task, but acheived by shoving the sensitivity to the lowest possible and then introducing her to a "whack a mole" type flash game.

A week later she'd gotten pretty good at that flash game and I was boosing the sensitivity on the mouse somewhat and showing her how to do that as she got more used to it. The only problem she ran into was that she'd been saving documents over the top of each other, but grasped the concept of a file system pretty quickly when it was explained.

Ultimately the oldest people alive now grew up in a country where transport was done with horse and cart, with the odd rich guy with one of those newfangled cars and really well off businesses with a van. Steam engines were still being used in fields for the harvest. Gas lighting was the new thing, and the toilets were at the end of the garden somewhere near the outdoor pump for getting water. She'd lived through two world wars and seen the development and deployment of interior running water, electricity, television, computers and the internet. Now, bearing this in mind, why do you think older generations have trouble grasping new concepts?

As so long as things are put sensibly to them in my experiance they don't have any significant trouble grasping new things.

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It knows where the gravel pits and power lines are. So, Ordnance Survey, where should UK's driverless cars go?

Peter2
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Meh

Re: Maps are useful, but things change

That said, I'd trust the OS to be more accurate and up to date than Google or any other supplier...

It should be, but I wouldn't bet on the OS knowing more than Google.

If a constant stream of android phones running google maps in vehicles are travelling at 30 mph in opposite directions through what's recorded as an open field then Google could decide there might be a new road there and stick it on a map automatically. I wouldn't say it's impossible that Google could get more information from location data on andriod phones than the OS does through their processes.

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Microsoft works weekends to kill Intel's shoddy Spectre patch

Peter2
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Re: "which The Register broke on January 2"

The other way to spin it is that The Register risked everyone's security by not practicing responsible disclosure and waiting for the vendors to get their patches in order

Ok. How does that square with Intel saying that they were going to tell the world on January the 9th?

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Trebles all round! Intel celebrates record sales of insecure processors

Peter2
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Re: Again...

Re Intel vs AMD, the CPU wars are almost irrelevant now - because the PC market is in permanent decline.

Is it?

Ok, everybody has been out buying tablets for years, because they already had usable PC's and they didn't have tablets. However, how long are those old PC's going to last for? Are people really going to do word processing and other jobs on the PC? Business is in no great rush to ditch PC's for tablets.

Historically you ended up buying a new computer every 2-3 years in the '90's and early '00's. In the last ten years though, performance has largely been through more and more cores, and if your just doing basic jobs like word documents then 2 cores is perfectly adequate so a ten year old PC is pretty much fine.

But how long for? Eventually the box will die and need replacing. And consider: currently 43.8% of computers are on Win7 and 32.9% are on WinX. If Microsoft bowed to popular demand and delivered something that anybody wanted then there are an awful lot of win7 boxes that could do with replacing over the next few years.

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IT 'heroes' saved Maersk from NotPetya with ten-day reinstallation bliz

Peter2
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You know, it sounds horribly bad when you first think of the work requried. But then thinking about it for a few minutes you can see how it could be done relatively quickly for deploying standard builds. It'd be interesting to know how they did it.

Doing a job of this scale, personally i'd think the fastest way of doing it would be to create a new (clean) desktop image via WDS, rebuild the servers from backups and then firewall everything but WDS and AD for joining PC's to the domain. Download the image to each server, and then send somebody around each site to ensure that every PC ends up reimaged and on the network with the correct network ID.

It's a big job, but far from an impossible one (as they demonstrated by doing it in ten days, although I suspect that they had a lot of tidying up to do such as installing odd bits of random software on PC's that wasn't in the standard build.

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Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

Peter2
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Re: Don't call it Autopilot, for a start

How many humans drive into the back of a (stationary) big bright red vehicle with flashing lights and sirens wailing? That's not a 40% improvement on human driving, under that circumstance it's about 100% worse and the main reason that we aren't hearing stories like this every week is that Tesla has a 0.2% market share (of new cars being sold?) If the market share was a significant percentage of the entire market then by laws of averages this sort of event would occour more frequently.

The reason it's called "autopilot" is to do with publicity. If you called it "LaneKeeper" then expectations would be a lot lower and it'd be safer because people wouldn't be as likely to watch a DVD instead of watching the road. If it's called "autopilot" then people are going to treat it as one and consider that it has a lot more capability than it in fact has.

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Serverless: Should we be scared? Maybe. Is it a silly name? Possibly

Peter2
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Re: Don't care about how their applications do what they do?

And security, legal compliance and operations basics?

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Squeezing more out of slippery big tech may even take tax reforms

Peter2
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Re: Why tax income at all?

The sad thing about tax, ANY tax, is that companies are under a fiduciary duty to minimize it

No, they aren't. The Government got so pissed off with people arguing this that any regulation that could conveivably have been argued this way was ammended in 2006 to remove any such argument.

You can say that rich company directors feel that they could ensure that as much of the companies money ends up in their pockets instead of the taxmans as possible, but it's no longer possible to argue that they have any duty to do so. Quite the opposite if you read the sections about social responsibility, and managing the firm in it's long term rather than short term interests which include duties to avoid wrecking the companies reputation for short term gain.

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Twitter breaks bad news to 677,775 twits: You were duped by Russia

Peter2
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Re: How?

The story as claimed by the democrat party is that the Russians hacked the democrat party and released documents to wikileaks that swung the election. (Wikileaks said that these were leaked by a disgruntled insider.)

Regardless, the information showed that Hillary Clinton had rigged the DNC votes so she'd be picked over Saunders. When people heard this, many of the idealistic Saunders supporters stayed at home instead of going to vote for clinton. This was at least somewhat covered in the media.

Further documents not given much publicity show that clinton deceided that she knew she was unpopular and so wanted to be against "pied piper" candidates that she'd easily beat, such as Donald Trump. They intended to influence this by telling the free and independent american press to elevate the publicity of these people, and ignore the rest to influence who the republicans choose so she and the democrat party bears direct responsibility for putting Trump in office. (source: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/fileid/1120/251)

This wasn't covered by the free and independent american press because it shows the mainstream media as being anything but independent, and deliberately colluding to get one candidate elected.

So in short, the wikileaks thing swung the election by showing exactly how corrupt clinton is and persuading enough people to stay at home or vote for the opposition. As noted, wikileaks says that this was a leak by a disgruntled idealistic saunders supporter. I think this sounds credible given previous leaks to wikileaks. The democrats say they were hacked by russia. (so Russia rigged the US election by revealing that Clinton rigged the US election)

Ultimately, who knows? Given that the last part of that document is called "muddying the waters" i'm somewhat skeptical of the whole russia thing as it's not backed by a shred of released information.

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Peter2
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Re: Flying experience

I flew the Grob Tutor, aka the Grob 115e from 5AEF at RAF Wyton while in the cadets. It was a nice plane, much better than the BAE Bulldog because of the faster climbing speed and lower operating costs, letting people fly more often*. Even if the Bulldog unit at Cambridge was more conveniently located for us.

* Fortunately I was in the ATC when the Tutor had just been introduced, and was in before the problems with the propellers detaching from the rest of the aircraft came up, although it's quite arguable that 5G+ stall turns and other exceptionally violent aerobatics we did might have made some contribution towards causing these problems a few years later on...

One wonders if Grob had any idea what sort of use these planes would be exposed to when they agreed to maintain them on a fixed price contract, the poor sods probably throught they'd be used like any other flying school.

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Who's using 2FA? Sweet FA. Less than 10% of Gmail users enable two-factor authentication

Peter2
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Re: What exactly is every one supposed to protect?

I think that most people have varying degrees of security for different sites. For instance, a number of sites such as el reg require passwords. None of the data stored in those accounts is personally identifiable (beyond my email address, which you need to login anyway...) and so the password is both relatively weak and between similar accounts because to be frank, nobody is going to put any effort into securing or cracking these accounts because there is no benefit to the hacker, or danger to me personally beyond somebody posting something under my account. Quelle horreur!

My work accounts and anything with personally identifiable information or credit card details are secured to the point of paranoia.

I have got a few gmail accounts, such as MR A N Other for "market research" into how much the competition charges by getting a quote every now and again, and I do wonder how many phantom users like this gmail has as it throws off the percentages quite a bit. It'd be interesting to know how many active users have properly secured their accounts.

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Hey Europe, your apathetic IT spending is ruining it for everyone

Peter2
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Re: self Driving cars

"a lot of people simply prefer driving, even if it is more expensive and takes longer to get to work/home."

If it really cost more and took then longer nobody would be driving. The only people that assume that are people with trains and busses every 2-5 minutes going where they want who assume that if it's fine for them it's fine for everybody, which is rather lazy thinking.

Public transport only works as long as your going from one point on the system to another. The problem is that as soon as you create a good public transport system like londons zone 1/2 then the cost of the space inside it swells beyond the point that most businesses can afford. Therefore SME's build their operations in cheap business accomodation which is cheap precisely because it's not served by a superduper public transport system and the not rich part of the population end up buying homes they can afford, which are often way outside this area as well.

People then need to get from a home not served by the public transport system to a workplace not served by the public transport system.

Driving to work takes me 20 minutes door to door. Via public transport it takes an hour and a half, including walking several miles, often when it's cold and raining. It also costs about 20% more, and there are only busses once an hour so I have a choice of being much earlier or later than I want to be.

Now, do you think I personally use the car or bus to get to work? Answers on a postcard.

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Peter2
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Re: self Driving cars

When you get to B, everyone gets out and the car drives off to charge itself up and then wait for the next call to service. Yes, all cars will be electric.

That's how it is predicted to work.

The batteries used are lithium batteries of precisely the same sort in laptops. As IT Professionals, we know that you get a thousand charge cycles out of a battery before it needs replacing which is why laptops are generally on a 3 year replacement cycle.

So, the same battery depletion problems are going to affect the car. Since an electric motor and the frame of a car costs relatively little to make (at least judged by the cost of a replacement car body shell) then the major cost of an EV is going to be the batteries. And used once a day they will last 3 years at a charge cycle a day. If you put two charge cycles a day through it then it'll last 1.5 years, and 3 charge cycles a day will deplete the battery in a year or so. Roughly, assuming that you trickle charge the battery and that you go out at the weekends. If you don't and go away for holidays and don't take your EV then you might get 5 years out of a battery if your lucky. If you do things like fast charge your battery then like any lithium battery you'll get far fewer charge cycles out of it.

This is going to be absurdly expensive in terms of replacing batteries. Tesla charge $40k to replace the battery in the roadster and even over a 5 year period that's considerably more than I pay for fuel before you even factor in paying for the electricity.

And that before you consider the issues with increasing the grid generation capacity by 50% to charge all of the EV's, and replacing substations and wiring to be able to carry 3 phase power to every house and/or carpark in the country.

To do it by the dates specified would require a staggering level of construction of power stations and infrastructure to be ongoing at the moment. It's not happenning. On the contrary we'll probably have less generation capacity in a decade as old power stations close. The planning required for EV's isin't happenning. It's barely even being discussed by people pointing out how absurd this is! Expecting EV's to be deployed on the schedule politicans are proposing requires either considerably more suspension of disbelif than watching a sci-fi film or an equal level of willful ignorance.

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Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

Peter2
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The article and my quote makes it clear that the initial police involvement where they are being critised for not acting quicker was in 2014. Even the most dedicated police hater can't legitimately complain that they aren't enforcing a law a year before it was passed.

And you can't legitimately complain about not enforcing a law on offenses prior to the date the law was passed either, as retroactivity (the act of doing something, and then having a law made against it and being punished for something that wasn't illegal when you did it) is banned under both the universal & EU human rights laws.

In short, your making a strawman argument and deliberately taking my post massively out of context in order to do it. Yes, they could have brought a case later, which presumably they did as the article criticises them for not acting quicker, rather than not acting at all.

Downvoted for not reading either my comment or the article.

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Peter2
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"Had they gone that day and discovered his phone and discovered the image on it, they could have done something, but unfortunately they didn't do something for some time," he said. "In fairness, this began in 2014 so they may have improved their game since then. But in this case it was difficult to see why they didn't act quicker." ®

Because the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which included the reverse porn law didn't come in until 2015, and was required because the police lacked powers to deal with this sort of issue before then?

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Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?

Peter2
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Re: "News Management"

Yes. It's called "lying by omission"

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Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Peter2
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Re: Confirmation checkbox needed

The problem is that you get asked so many "are you sure?" for trivial actions so many times a day that people are conditioned to just hit the "ok" button. The best way of actually forcing you to read a message that i've ever seen was when deleting a partion many, many years ago.

It popped a box saying "Do you really want to do this? If so, enter this 4 digit randomly generated number ($number) in the box below and press "ok"

This completely ruled out the "hit the OK" reflex and made very sure that you'd read the message and personally made me think a couple of times before hitting the button after i'd stuck the code in.

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Worst-case Brexit could kill 92,000 science, tech jobs across UK – report

Peter2
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Re: So one remainiac commissions a report from load of other remainiacs...

It convinced gullible ignorant people to vote Leave by convincing them it help improve the funding of something they cared quite deeply about.

I know people who voted for both leave and remain.

On both sides, people knew who they were going to vote for long before the referendum campaign started, and propaganda from both sides was completely irrelevant to the result of my sample audience.

I'm therefore skeptical that a huge number of people were swayed by campaign promises.

Realistically the biggest issue was and remains immigration driving down wages and working conditions and driving up housing/living costs for the poorest in society, and politiancs brought about the result by saying "oh, but we can't do anything about that while we're in the EU." Result, we get a vote to leave the EU.

This effect of uncontrolled immigration is terrible if your in the poorest 50% of society as it seriously impacts your disposable income and working conditions, but great if your in the richest 50% as your larger wage packet goes even further and if your in the top 20% or so then the value of your property portfolio increases significantly due to the huge competition for housing driving prices up.

Hence why the vote was split along class lines the way it was.

The problem for UK PLC is that the poorest 50% of the people in the economy are now spending pretty much all of their wages just on housing and food etc, and therefore have little disposable income to spend on anything else, which strangles the economy.

Furthermore, kids who would once have gotten their own property are still living with their parents into their 30's. This means that a house with 2 parents and 2 adults are paying one set of concil tax, rather than the two adults having their own properties and paying 3 sets of council tax. Result: councils have much larger populations in a similar area than they once would have had, and are starved of money to deal with infrastructure problems and care for the elderly (which directly feeds into the NHS having problems).

I don't know how these problems are going to be resolved, but I do know that the richest 50% of the population screaming insults at the poorest 50% of the population is unlikely to contribute towards lessening tensions between class groups and starting to resolve the problems that we face.

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No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

Peter2
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Re: Not panicked yet

The simple fact of the matter is that there is little concerted effort being made to force multinationals to pay tax. It's a problem that could be sorted out in any number of ways if the desire existed to do it.

Multinationals being too powerful is not a new thing either, the first europeon experiance with then was the East India Company, and if you think we've got problems with multinationals today then boy, have you got a surprise if you read a history book covering that era. The EIC was more powerful than it's nominally controlling government in terms of land under control, income and military size.

Multinationals these days are a problem, but they aren't directly ruling continents and could be brought under control with far less difficulty. The problem is largely bribary

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Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

Peter2
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Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

I don't agree. According to the article:-

45 per cent of PCs still run Windows 7, and only just over 27 per cent Windows 10.

Ergo, with an 18% lead over WinX, people and businesses prefer privacy, stability and controllability over the ongoing trainwreck that is WinX.

New features summary from a cynic.

Timeline: We'll transmit a summary of everything you've done to Microsoft! Enjoy having no privacy!

Sets: We're reinventing an inferior version of the taskbar for new sytle apps as we can't admit that people want their taskbar back!

Progressive Web Apps: Remember VBA apps in IE6? Everybody loved those, let's do it again! Be locked into using our products until the stars burn out. Complete with security problems that will still be being discovered in a decades time! Take up these exciting new features now to ensure dissapointment, depression, despondancy and ongoing dependance on microsoft!

Microsoft has now abandoned the mobile market, and tacitly agrees that their major market is for the PC. But they remain determined to force their customers to use a touchscreen interface optimised for a 7" touchscreen mobile on a 28" desktop screen which is interacted with by their mouse. The average home user despises it. The average business user has stuck with Win7 and has no migration plan to WinX.

Microsoft now has the choice of delivering something their customers actually want and retaining 90% of the business market locked into their existing one stop ecosystem, or face increasing numbers of their business customers migrating to other platforms.

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Peter2
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Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

. . . but is there any point in doing so? I think everybody had all of the features they wanted at what, win2k?

At the end of the day, an OS is supposed to Operate Systems. If I want a program to do something else, I buy that program. I don't want an exciting experiance from my OS that leaves me wondering if I can actually use it to do anything constructive when I turn it on, just a stable platform to do other things with.

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Peter2
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Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

I think finally we are getting very close to the time when people actually really do try to find an alternative.

ReactOS is coming along quite nicely. Frankly, it's approaching the point it'd be suitable for production use. Hopefully it'll be finished by the time Windows 7 support is.

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Boffins use inkjets to print explosives

Peter2
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Re: Not usually one for pedantry

Presumably the higher surface area to volume ratio will allow the thermite to burn a lot faster than normal lumpy thermite.

Yes, but I think the issue is controllability. Using a lump of thermite to set off the airbag in the steering column of your car would seem to risk igniting the airbag, and potentially depositing a burning lump of thermite on the lap of the driver having burnt it's way through the intervening material. If you can control the laydown to the micron level discussed then i'd imagine that it opens up the safe, controlled use of thermite for things that it hasn't been safely useable for previously.

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Peter2
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Re: Not usually one for pedantry

Black Powder (ie gunpowder) isin't triggered by pressure, but would be triggered by thermite, or any spark in it's vicinity.

At this point there is some argument about if that explodes or just burns really fast, which I shall forestall by pointing out that it's internationally reconised as being an explosive, and this happens when you blow up a ton of it. https://youtu.be/zI9WMJX85Eg?t=52m27s

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WD My Cloud NAS devices have hard-wired backdoor

Peter2
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Re: Down with this sort of thing...

And whomever signed off the code review that missed a hardcoded backdoor.

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If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Peter2
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Re: But how do they spread fires?

It sounds like a pretty good strategy for a bird of prey, where it's prey would happily sit in a hide/nest/inaccessible location to prevent the birds of prey eating them.

Bird of prey drops burning branch on prey hide. Prey exits hide, to avoid being burnt to death and bird of prey gets lunch.

Presumably they started doing this before we started managing things to the point that wildfires didn't occour both frequently and naturally, so when there is a wildfire it ends up burning a huge area instead of a tiny one.

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Some simple New Year's resolutions for vendors – lots of love, suffering IT grunts of world xox

Peter2
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IT professionals will still be at the mercy of product vendors. That's how the relationship works.

Is it? Nobody told me.

For years product vendors have been at the mercy of a short list what our firm is willing to spend, and an even shorter list of what i've been willing to buy.

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UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Peter2
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So people will be doing a VPN to the usa for DNS traffic? How long before somebody sets up DNS over SSL?

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If you won't use your brain our machine will use it for you, Nissan tells drivers

Peter2
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Am I the only person to want a safe and boring driving experiance rather than an "exciting and enjoyable" experiance?

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Women reboot gender discrimination lawsuit against Google

Peter2
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I'm quite happy saying that (consistently) incompetent people shouldn't work in IT regardless of any consideration, be that being a friend or relation to somebody senior or other consideration such as gender or ethnicity. Computers don't care about the details of the person inputting the commands, and nor do I.

But singling out a group of people beyond the dangerously incompetent, which working in operations I personally define as those who break production systems that jobs (and when i've been working at the NHS, potentially lives) rely on is unacceptable.

When it comes to pay, if some people are twice as productive or working twice the hours as some others and get paid twice as much, fair enough. But if there are two equally qualified people employed in the same roles doing the same hours and producing the same level of work output then the pay should also be equal.

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Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

Peter2
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Re: And what about the DVLA?

It's not publically available in the UK, and he broke the law in obtaining the information under false pretenses.

So yes, it's a big deal in this country.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Peter2
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Re: Read the article

If your running Amazon S3 or Microsoft's cloud then you can't possibly ignore this. The threat is really in multi user enviroments where one user could run software that compromises another.

However, this is not so critically serious threat for a single user desktop. Ok, the flaw exists and can be exploited and could be as serious as a keylogger. But... we've been dealing with that with AV software since forever and one could choose to take a view that they could accept the risk of a malware infection that could exploit this in a single user enviroment.

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Peter2
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Re: I finally switch from AMD to Intel, and this is what happens.

I have a Ryzen, and have yet to notice any noticible performance problems, be those from unoptimised software or just generally.

And i'm running Win7 (which apparently can't be done...?) so if there is a patch released to cripple my machine then i'm not installing it on the basis that this bug doesn't affect AMD chippery anyway.

And a point? The opposition has just slowed down by between 5% to 30%, depending on workloads. I think this has just handed AMD's Ryzen processor the performance crown.

While I tend to roundly ignore benchmarks on the basis of them being utterly artifical and very unlike real world conditions i'd be very interested to see how much of a difference this makes.

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Open-source civil war: Olive branch offered in trademark spat... with live grenade attached

Peter2
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Re: "Freedom"

It's been long observed that the more people brag about things in the title, the less they reflect the reality of the entity.

For instance, a nation sounding like the "free peoples democratic republic of liberty and peace" will in reality be a warmongering, despotic dictatorship because a free nation would just call itself the invariably single word by which it's people have always used to describe their nation/geographical location.

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First Allied submarine lost in World War One, found near New Guinea

Peter2
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Re: Lest we forget.

They haven't published the exact location to make it more difficult for people who'd turn up and salvage the wreck for scrap, and to hell with the fact that it's a war grave because there's money to be made.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2168646/how-does-entire-shipwreck-disappear-bolts-and-all

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