* Posts by Richard 12

2728 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

Richard 12
Silver badge

If something is accessible via the Internet

Then it has been published and implicit right to access has been granted to the Universe, unless technical steps are taken to actively prevent unauthorised access.

A link is an address. It is saying "Go into the library and look at aisle 20 shelf 5, six inches from the left".

The person who put the book there can lock it and require a key, but anyone can enter the library and anyone can tell anyone where a book is located.

16
3

Assange will 'accept arrest' on Friday if found guilty

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Looks like he knows the UN has agreed with him

I suspect that the embassy have been making life progressively less pleasant, and he's realised that this self-imposed isolation has almost completely destroyed his reputation.

He clearly still doesn't understand that what he did was wrong though. He thinks he is King.

7
4
Richard 12
Silver badge

He still doesn't understand "Rule of Law"

He clearly thinks that there are people to whom the law does not apply. The usual name for that is "despotism" or "rule of power" - and is clearly anathema to everything the organisation he started has ever stood for.

It doesn't matter whether Sweden drop all charges and cancel the arrest warrant.

He deliberately skipped bail, and must suffer the consequences of that.

Ecuador just wanted to embarrass us, so they won - but then have hosted him for far longer than they must have expected. They must be sick of him by now!

That's probably why the Met aren't posted outside anymore, likely they now have an agreement that they'll be notified before he leaves in plenty of time for an officer to walk up and put a friendly hand on Julian's shoulder.

6
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Did Sweden really "allow" him to leave? It was more fleeing before arrest..

Sort of. In a way.

They didn't prevent him leaving.

Although that takes longer to arrange than it takes to book and board a plane, as one of those (should) involve judicial process and the other doesn't.

2
1

Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

Richard 12
Silver badge

The CC company only matter for > £100

As these are sub £10 parts, no dice.

3
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Goodbye FTDI

"Should" and "do" are very different beasties.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Misleading title

It is deliberately interfering with its operation.

If the driver simply refused to talk to the non-FTDI part at all, or always returned a serial number of "UNAUTHORISED-PART" and didn't transfer any data then that would be better - but still not ok.

It's fast to spot, the manufacturer will see that it doesn't enumerate correctly and return the batch to their supplier.

The problem is that FTDI clearly believe that screwing around with the physical 3rd party device us fine, and pretending to work most of the time is also fine.

No. That is not ok.

Many of these chips are in devices that aren't 100% tested, just power-on and enumerate. The manufacturer won't spot this, the end user will. Eventually. When their device randomly doesn't work.

Finally, what happens when this detection results in a false-positive? It will happen, and nobody knows when.

Suddenly a piece of kit that really does use genuine FTDI stops working - and FTDI will insist that the part is not genuine.

6
3
Richard 12
Silver badge

Goodbye FTDI

Sorry, but I can't trust a company willing to deliberately sabotage - there are better ways to deal with counterfeit chips.

We won't be using FTDI silicon ever again.

39
9

Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I'll tell you one thing...

PS: Planes have changed *radically* in the last fifty years.

Just because they look similar doesn't mean they are. The overall airframe shape is basically set by physics.

Everything inside and the materials used are very different.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I'll tell you one thing...

CFIT now basically requires the pilot to deliberately do so. Commercial aircraft have very good navigation, mapping and radar that warn with plenty of time now.

Commercial air travel is rapidly approaching the point where it'd be safer to remove the pilots completely - and we're already at the point where the dog* would help.

*The pilot feeds the dog, and the dog bites the pilot if they try to touch the controls.

1
1
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I'll tell you one thing...

No, the main argument is that it wouldn't bloody work.

Almost all crashes and deaths on aircraft are at takeoff or landing, controlled flight into terrain, pilots forgetting how to fly the plane or due to cabin failure.

This wouldn't help in any of those, and would even make cabin failure more likely.

In fact I can't think of an air accident in the last decade where this could have saved the passengers - and a few where it'd make it worse.

- Perhaps help with MH370 as we still don't know what happened there. But probably not as the pilots appear to have been incapacitated.

3
0

Most of the world still dependent on cash

Richard 12
Silver badge

Lots of ways to charge a phone

Petrol generators are common.

Solar power is often feasible - and provided by charitable donation to boot.

Human power for a mobile phone is also quite common.

A 3000mAh phone battery is about 40kJ, or 10 food calories.

10% of a twinkie.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Eh?

The intention is for the other end of the transaction to be faster.

Namely "cashing up" at the end of the night doesn't involve counting many items and taking them to a bank.

Unfortunately, it's very hard to verify a cashless system. If the publican believes that they took £1000 but the cashless provider claims they only took £900, how do you prove it?

With cash you do a recount of both ends - till roll and contents. Can't do that in a cashless system.

So the business must have 100% trust and confidence in the cashless provider. If they don't, they cannot afford to use them at all.

Equally, so must the customers.

2
0

Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I wonder

Also the smaller process transistors will die faster. Less dopant migration needed before it turns into an amorphous blob.

Ignoring outside events like cosmic rays and frustrated users.

2
0

You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Richard 12
Silver badge

I love floating point

No, that's not the right word.

Hate. That's it. I hate floating point. 0.10f doesn't exist...

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

I'm a firm believer in compiler warnings

If it doesn't compile with no warnings, then you've done something silly.

Sometimes you haven't, but usually you have.

7
0

Apple growth flatlines ... Tim Cook thinks, hey, $80bn is still $80bn

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: A sad day

Given history, the most probable outcome is that they will make a series of expensive and disastrous acquisitions. Some of those will have had real potential but got squashed by accident or infighting, and that will be a shame.

This will continue until they've lost most of their cash pile.

5
4

Broadband-pushers expand user piggyback rides on private Wi-Fi

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Public Wi-Fi hotspots derived from domestic routers ..

Unless you live next door to a pub, café or bus stop, nobody is ever going to connect to it anyway.

If you do, then the bandwidth slurp is going to be so annoying that you turn it off.

My "normal" wifi barely escapes the house, so BT FON et al is rather pointless.

3
0

Show us the code! You should be able to peek inside the gadgets you buy – FTC commish

Richard 12
Silver badge

And the bootloader?

Quite a few of the processors used in IoT devices have a bootloader in ROM, provided by the silicon manufacturer.

You can't update them without using that bootloader, and even the manufacturer of your Internet fridge doesn't know what's in that ROM.

1
0

Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

Richard 12
Silver badge

Did you say flying males on solid core

Doesn't comply with the Cat5 spec so you can reject the lot, surely?

You got a Cat5/6 test result sheet, right?

- Of course not. Nobody does those :(

0
0

Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: CRB never included "spent" convictions

When you have Applicant A with nothing and B with something, do you really call in B and ask for an explanation, or do you give the minimum-wage job to A?

You will only make that effort if you really, really want Applicant B.

Most jobs are not like that.

By your own description it's "subject to passing" an ECRB - and there lies the wub. You cannot pass those checks, except by the arbitrary decision of the employer.

(Though there are ways to fail, we aren't talking about those.)

And yes, I have seen this several times, especially in the care sector.

But don't believe me. Believe the judge in this case - this ruling says that such unfair discrimination can and has happened.

1
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

CRB never included "spent" convictions

The "Enhanced" one does.

As there aren't any rules about who can and cannot use the ECRB, everyone does.

The DBS don't charge very much and employers can (and do) make the prospective employee pay for it.

So practically everyone demands an ECRB, and makes the employee pay for it.

Due to Daily Wail and the fear of potential future liability, anyone who has anything on their ECRB (even irrelevant stuff) is automatically rejected by the majority of employers.

The ECRB is the problem. It probably shouldn't exist at all, and if May really wants to keep it then it needs to be strictly limited to particular posts.

The other fun bit is self-employed workers. You can't CRB or ECRB yourself...

8
0

Star Wars: Episode VIII delayed by six months

Richard 12
Silver badge

Budget increase and toys is my bet

After seeing how much Ep 7 made, the mouse reckons they can spend more on the next one.

Not to mention the tie-in toys.

0
0

Microsoft legal eagle explains why the Irish Warrant Fight covers your back

Richard 12
Silver badge

So Russia can demand Amazon Russia hand over the CIA

Same thing, right?

13
1

Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

Richard 12
Silver badge

The statistics are fairly good for this

A 15k survey is a pretty good sample size.

If they have a similar error to the polls before the last election (considered "shockingly inaccurate") then Talk Talk saw a drop of between 5% and 10% of their customer base.

Given how tight their margins must be, that's pretty disastrous. If that scale of loss recurs then Dido will have to strap on her parachute quickly, before there isn't a company to leave.

0
0

Does anyone know what their broadband costs? The ASA hopes to change that

Richard 12
Silver badge

Somebody couldn't believe it wasn't butter.

They know better now.

0
0

Microsoft: We’ve taken down the botnets. Europol: Would Sir like a kill switch, too?

Richard 12
Silver badge

It doesn't matter what the EULA says

The law is more important, and the law says that any clause that a consumer who has no easy ability to change EULA clauses would not expect, is invalid an unenforceable.

To pick a daft example:

If the EULA said that you owe Microsoft the blood of your first-born child, would that be valid?

1
0

Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Missing the point of Arduinos

Except that PICs really aren't that cheap.

The silicon costs about the same as a bottom-end ARM, and once you add the compiler (you're not writing anything of real note in pure asm), PIC ends up quite pricey.

Not to mention that quite a few of the PIC application notes are outright wrong.

3
0

Forget the drones, Amazon preps its own cargo container ship operation out of China

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Shipping sans sailors

The crew are primarily there to maintain the ship.

Maintenance, servicing and even heavy repairs are done while under way.

Being out of action is very expensive, and drydock costs can quickly bankrupt an operator - assuming the ship even fits in a drydock at all.

When an engine breaks down the ship slows, the crew fixes it, and they simply arrive at port a few hours late.

Similar for hull repairs.

5
0

Swivel on this: German boffins build nanoscale screwing engine for sluggish sperm

Richard 12
Silver badge

Not seeing the use in this context

The usual way of doing IVF is to grab the sperm, rip off the tail and poke it at the egg cell.

Is grabbing a sperm, sticking a motor on it and driving it around less likely to damage it?

Or is this simply a pretty fun way to test something that'll be used elsewhere for other purposes?

2
0

BTC dev: 'Strangling' the blockchain will kill Bitcoin

Richard 12
Silver badge

It's a pyramid scheme by design

That's one of the biggest issues with it. The other being that it's highly deflationary - and both issues are caused by the same design decision.

As I understand it, Bitcoin 'mining' performs the "payment processing" function, where the proof-of-work confirms that some transactions occurred. They get paid by new Bitcoins that spontaneously come into existence.

However, as time passes, more work is needed to produce each new Bitcoin.

Eventually this curve of ever-reducing results means that it costs more hardware and electricity to to mine a Bitcoin than the Bitcoin is worth. This means that all miners must leave the game - either as they see their costs exceed reward, or later when they have lost enough (or everything).

As the miners are the payment processors, the endgame of Bitcoin is that no payment processing occurs and no Bitcoin transfers can take place. At that point Bitcoin is worth nothing at all.

The steady-state of Bitcoin is therefore zero value.

Of course, anyone who gets in at the beginning and leaves at the right moment can get a very large return.

8
1

TalkTalk outage: Dial M for Major cockup

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: TalkTalk outage...

Or they're locked into a two year contract and have to wait for a sufficiently terrible failure before they can escape.

This one should qualify. No emergency telephony is rather serious!

1
0

UK Home Sec stumbles while trying to justify blanket cyber-snooping

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Two camps, no meeting of minds

Or you're Pro-Actual-Safety, in which case you would know for certain that bulk collection is worse than useless for protecting the populace.

To use an old analogy, piling on more hay doesn't help find needles.

This kind of bulk collection serves two purposes only.

1) It makes it easy to frame someone you wish to make trouble for. It may not be enough to hang them, but ruining their life and career is quite simple.

2) You can put together a dossier on someone after they have committed atrocities.

It simply does nothing whatsoever to prevent an atrocity - and seems likely to increase the probability of same due to the manpower issue.

2
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

All Home Secretaries do this though

At least, all the ones I can remember were insane control freaks who desired to take every bit of privacy and liberty from everyone they could.

Does becoming Home Secretary cause this attitude, or is it only such people who desire the post?

2
0

BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Richard 12
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Wow

It was Channel 5 that it moved to.

Ah, I remember my entrants into Robot Wars Extreme. They lost most awesomely.

0
0

Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

Richard 12
Silver badge

I'm told that bald men have tiny hairs too

This rather strikes me as clutching at straws - in both cases.

Perhaps future work will flesh out the theory though.

6
12

TV streaming stick brings the movies and the network backdoors

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: So?

The reset button requires physical access.

If the attacker has physical access then it's already Game Over - at least for normal levels of security.

This type of attack seems to only require the attacker to be in wifi range.

So the van parked outside, your neighbours, or someone a bit further away with a good directional antenna can look at everything on your network.

That could then be used as a springboard for another more serious attack.

0
0

Going on a date, and it's just the two of you? How ... quaint. OkCupid's setting up threesomes

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: "sapiosexual."

In case it's a genuine question (from anyone if not the OP)

It means that they find gender and (at least in theory) species irrelevant. A sapiosexual wants you for your mind, regardless of your physical or actual gender or species.

Human sexuality is weird.

I wonder if that's true of other sapient life - not that I'll ever find out. If we do meet gorgeous blue-skinned aliens, will any of them be interested in any of us?

2
0

How hard can it be to kick terrorists off the web? Tech bosses, US govt bods thrash it out

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Confused thinking

Then you'll know that GeoIP is basically tosh.

0
0

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I think it *will* be a ghastly mess

Netflix have both far more users and far more - and unique - data to send.

If we did assume a need to distribute spot price to all meters in the country, there is such a thing as "multicasting", where you send the same packet to all subscribers.

Cellular networks also have a lot of low-level stuff that goes out to every single mobile telephony device, which could be used instead of IP-over-GPRS or similar.

However, I have yet to see any argument that instantaneous spot price is either necessary or desirable at the meter, as opposed to simple banding and shedding command signals.

Those are commonly done with low-frequency signalling on the actual mains supply. (See France)

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: I think it *will* be a ghastly mess

They use cellular data.

So they don't work in many existing buildings.

The smart meter at work doesn't work at all, which is interesting. All the LCD segments are solidly lit, we have no idea how much we've used until the bill comes.

12
0

Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Corporate vs SOHO users?

If any medium-sized or larger business has just one important application that doesn't run perfectly under an upgrade-path Windows 10, and is upgraded without explicit request of the business, that business will immediately sue Microsoft.

How much they win is irrelevant, the publicity would severely damage Microsoft's reputation in the business world.

0
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: @ Doug -- Paying for Windows 10 after July

In that case Charles, it's XP Embedded and has no physical or radio connection to any public network whatsoever.

And is therefore safe and never was going to get any OS updates anyway.

1
0

Cocky SpaceX will try another sea landing with next rocket launch

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Of course they're testing it again

Man rating is such that they could easily go for "Manned launches are first-time only"

Or perhaps second.

There's a lot more unmanned needed that can use the third to 30th launch, so it's fine to do that.

5
0
Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Test to destruction

Just Read The Instructions has survived two failed landings.

One where it hit pretty hard and boom, the second where it hit hard enough to bend a leg, fell over and boom.

2
0

Three-years-late fit-to-work IT tool will cost taxpayers £76m

Richard 12
Silver badge

That was the problem. No re-assessment date.

You repeated the original mistake. It used to be a once-only declaration from the GP, with no re-assessment ever required.

The problem the assessments were intended to solve is very simple:

A lot of claimants no longer had a valid claim, for two major reasons;

a) Their condition had improved.

b) They had died or left the country, someone else was getting the money.

Thus, everyone who was claiming had to be re-assessed.

So far, everything makes sense.

Every claimant should be re-assessed at intervals - their condition may change and thus need more or less help.

Because nobody had been re-assessed for a decade or more, everybody had to be checked at once.

That was fuck up #1

Then the DWP decided to outsource the thing to a random supplier, instead of to GPs. (Not sure why but I suspect BMA complaints)

That was fuck up #2

Then the supplier fucked it up completely.

The idea was good. The implementation was a complete and total fuck up from top to bottom.

1
0

Intel, Warner lock horns with hardware biz over HDCP crypto-busters

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Hello Ms Streisand!

Indeed, these devices are for industrial use.

In my experience, HDCP has only resulted in the embarrassment of several CEOs and marketing departments, as it prevented them from playing their own videos at conferences.

HDMI splitters and HDCP strippers are for repeater displays and "comfort" monitors at conferences and the like.

Usually to convert the HDCP "protected" output of a video playback device into HD-SDI for distribution around the venue.

15
0

MPs slam mandarins over failed GP IT system

Richard 12
Silver badge

So call them on it

Your product claims to read the data format of %other%, please now demonstrate.

If it won't do so usefully, then give them some time to fix it and eventually can take them to court over it (failure to meet published spec).

If it gets most of the way there, then you can pay them to do the last bit.

1
0

Got a pricey gaming desktop from PC World for Xmas? Check the graphics specs

Richard 12
Silver badge

Re: Probably never be an issue...

An overloaded SMP PSU sags, produces pulsed DC and huge amounts of electromagnetic emissions.

That doesn't affect resistive loads like heaters, but is extremely bad for electronics.

1
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017