Note to self:
Remember not to fly the drone near Gatwick on April 6th,
321 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009
@DavCrav "This doesn't exist anywhere else on the planet. No such systems have been shown to work. Even in theory it would be impossible to stop mass smuggling, never mind in practice."
You do understand that there is already a border between RoI and NI, that they run different taxation regimes and that 'mass smuggling' is prevented on a daily basis across that border? You just don't see it because most of the police and customs operations are run away from the border itself.
Frankly, the understanding of these issues is laughable. But of course, everyone has political skin in the game and the basic facts get lost to the whichever view the reader thinks most fits their beliefs. It's lovely that 'IT experts' think that their desktop skills give them special insight into how an international border works.
@DavCrav And in your subsequent paragraph you demonstrate the same.
The WTO do not require a hard border, they require that customs are maintained across a border. That does not have to be through a physical stop at the point of crossing. Both the EU and the UK have said that they would be OK with checks occurring away from the border and through technological means, and the WTO is understood to accept such arrangements.
No, I just pointed out that the two places where innovation is occurring are not the EU or the UK, and that 'we' are doing everything we can to ensure that remains the case.
Note there is a subtle difference between security of data and the crusade some are going on in the EU to make handling of people's data as onerous as possible.
..as the fact that some seem to think that adding a byzantine layer of legal requirements to providing online services (all in the name of stopping the big boys, who are now officially the enemy) adds yet more friction to small companies trying to deliver innovative new products.
China (and America) must be laughing like drains.
Of the weekend resignation of Sam Gyimah, the Science Minister who was overseeing the Galileo discussions? As a Remain voter, his reasons for quitting were interesting, citing frustration over negotiations with the EU on Galileo as a reason for his resignation:
Having surrendered our voice, our vote and our veto, we will have to rely on the ‘best endeavours’ of the EU to strike a final agreement that works in our national interest. As Minister with the responsibility for space technology I have seen first-hand the EU stack the deck against us time and time again, even while the ink was drying on the transition deal. Galileo is a clarion call that it will be ‘EU first’, and to think otherwise – whether you are a leaver or remainer - is at best incredibly naïve.
The implication (which has to be carefully couched for fear of all sorts of consequences) is that the person in question came over here with foreknowledge that he would be compelled to hand over any documents he just happened to have on his person.
The sergeant at arms stuff would then be theatre to legitimise the transfer of sealed documents to a foreign power.
The interesting thing is going to be seeing how much of a deal this all is. At the end of the day, it rather depends how much actual influence a jumped up marketing company really has over its audience, and whether all of that influence was exerted only in one direction. Zuck certainly doesn't gather admirers, but whether he's actually competently evil is another question...
One skill Hassabis certainly seems to have is the ability to be tremendously excited by the work he's doing, and to communicate that excitement to people who might pay him. He's had quite a long history of building emergent systems of various sorts, and promising that each will deliver a unique experience. I'm sure there are interesting and novel components to his work, but casual inspection usually results in devs going "Ah, so he's doing <X>", where <X> is a fairly well known technique, being applied to ever larger data sets.
This seems to be a common theme in AI research, where researchers posit that if the data set is big enough, eventually we'll get something new. It's unfortunate to confuse that with the less impressive flashes of insight into particular systems that fill most press releases. "We discovered that <doing something counter-intuitive> results in <some desired outcome>" sounds like a great leap has been made in understanding, whereas it's usually just the case that dispassionate data analysis has revealed unusual correlations.
None of which has to be in the battery itself. However, certain manufacturers are keen to lock their customers into their own 'special' batteries rather than buying equivalent items at half the price. Customers lap up the 'smartness' of the batteries they pay through the nose for :)
Though GDS was a disaster in so many entertaining ways, I'm a tad cynical that letting the academics at the problem is going to make it any better.
From the point of view of an outsider looking in, the three things you need for 'digital transformation' are a team willing to stand on a few toes, who are capable of delivering rock solid systems and who have enough authority to make changes in the legacy (people and services) that they are meant to be transforming.
It seems GDS had the remit to be bold, did not have the experience to deliver large scale robust systems (at which point, experience with the likes of Amazon is probably more useful than experience of IBM, SAP and the other treacle-mongers), and met with the gordian knot that is a government department being asked to do something remotely different.
I'm sure the government came up with every reason to limit change (it's always been done this way; we're a service, not a shop; there's no legal remit to do this; it's above/below my pay grade; you need approval for that pencil...), and will have been mightily dismissive of something as radical as Agile - and you can guarantee that enough defensive strategies were put in place to ensure that GDS would stumble. Without rock-hard implementation to fall back on, the process and people can be blamed for internal intransigence and clueless dithering when being asked to commit to delivering something new.
Now the greybeards will crash into the hole and suggest heavy handed and reassuringly expensive system integrators should do what the script kiddies could not. The projects will take just as long, fail just as often and deliver even more timorous change, but not once will the common factor in the long list of failures be identified.
You do understand that the DJI app has Google dependencies in it, so even if you sideload it, you're still going to have to have Google stuff on your device? This is absolutely not helping you to avoid the Google monopoly, but is helping you avoid the vast amount of money Google has had to put into security to avoid headlines like "Toy manufacturer has website hacked, millions of users' details exposed".
As ever, buying into the cloud only makes sense if you understand what you're paying for. A good chunk of my business runs on a second hand blade running in a spare room. Running the equivalent workload on AWS would have cost a six figure sum over the years I've used it - but as I don't need super low latency, fail over or load balancing, a £400 machine turns out to be a bargain.
Unfortunately, many businesses (falsely) assume cloud services give them all sorts of safety nets where sometimes on premises kit would be entirely satisfactory.
The M210 is *not* a 'consumer drone' - It's part of DJI's enterprise range and starts at just North of £7K.
Whilst this is a big improvement on the existing optical tracking algorithms, it's not exactly new. DJI have included Active Track in their actual consumer drones for around two years now. Unlike this algorithm, their version runs on a cheap processor running in the drone itself. Admittedly, it's easily fooled, but this shows that improvements are possible (and ultimately probably don't need ten grand's worth of equipment to run).
So it turns out that contributing to large scale open source projects is sometimes thankless, and that the majority of people using your hard work are large corporates who derive *gasp* actual income from the infrastructure you've kindly built.
Calls that people who enjoy software development should also provide hosting or 24/7 support if they actually want to make money is rather like the expectation that film makers should only get income from advertising. If your skill is software development, why not ask to be rewarded directly for the thing you do, rather than being required to add a whole bunch of other tasks you don't enjoy to your life?
None of this is counter to the core ideas of open source, and the huge reward that comes from sharing and contributing to projects - however, it should be recognised that sometimes other models are just as appropriate.
@david 12 - You're on a loosing battle here, the Remain representation in the Forums is quite loud.
It's unfortunate that some people want to define Brexit as 'cutting all ties with the EU', and treat A50 like a declaration of war. Despite absolving themselves of any responsibility, they're setting the tone as much as any others. As it is, we're changing the terms under which we trade, share, work and play with the member nations of Europe. Apart from a few extremists, you'd be hard to find anyone who wants to 'pull up the drawbridge'. I've heard more from the Guardian about 'not welcoming foreigners' than I have from the Daily Mail lately.
But hey, apparently the world is completely black and white, and it's all the fault of those evil Brexiters. No collective responsibility at all.
To see real innovation in this space, we need to work on enabling BVLOS flights as simply as possible. It's good to see that a single flight has been possible, but rather points out how slow progress is in this area that we've been technically able to carry out such missions for quite some time now.
You won't find anyone in the industry who doesn't agree with the safety aspect. There are enough discussions about the risks involved with flying a commercial grade machine, that every pilot will be well aware of the consequences.
However, we've now been waiting for at least a year for clarification about what exactly the regulations will involve, and issues like beyond line of sight and autonomous flight are still completely unresolved. The confusion is that regulation is slow to emerge and the current interim regulations have no answer when it comes to running a scaleable business.
As I said, the current regulations are fine if you want to run a (safe) single operator business, but that is not what clients want (unless you're a wedding photographer).
Please don't confuse hobbyist fliers with commercial operators.
You know you're in trouble when you're relying on licensing to make it possible to make money in a business. Either you're capable of offering a service that adds value, or you're not. If the value is *only* established by artificially restricting entrance to the market, then you don't have a business.
It seems to me the biggest issues facing the drone industry are that
(1) all of the major platforms are built outside this country and are 'closed source', so we have limited capacity to develop custom applications without first re-inventing the wheel.
(2) we're still waiting on regulations that *enable* businesses. We can't fly beyond line of sight, or autonomously without an expensively trained operator.
(3) operations in built up areas are heavily restricted
The points above mean that the only business currently possible is 'pay by the hour camera operator' - which is not attractive to most business clients. Construction companies want to either just 'use a drone' or 'pay for a national service' - not have to find a local 'man with a van' who may or may not be able to provide data that their departments can use. The same applies for most other suggested use cases; they need to be either cost effective to run in-house, or available as a consistent service nationwide.
In short, we're still trying to develop the technology and discover the business models that will work - yet the confused regulation and uncertain environment severely restrict experimentation.
Thanks for the downvotes, folks.
What did I say? Oh yes, there is a good case for data security and transparency. Seems we all agree on that one.
I then went on to say that there might be some politics involved from people who want to stop those nasty American companies... and two hours later we have the Register news article on the legal challenges to Facebook, Instagram, Google et. al.
Yeah, sucks to be right. ;) If you genuinely believe that every last campaigner for "personal privacy" has your best interests at heart and isn't politically motivated, I have a bridge to sell you. Just tick this checkbox here ----> [ ]
This is what happens when politics and technocratic 'solutions' are combined.
"All these free services keep showing me unwanted ads! The horror!"
"All these free services have stopped!"
There is of course a good case to be made for ensuring data security, and transparency in collection. Less so the calls for Statist intervention and the overthrow of all those nasty American companies.
> Other polls indicate that the elderly (the ones who mostly voted leave but are not going to have to live with the consequences) are slowly dying off and the younger voters (who more voted to stay and are the people who are actually going to have to live with the consequences for decades) are increasing in proportion.
Ah, the Jeremy Corbyn 'youthquake' delusion. It's pretty widely acknowledged that the young idealists that vote with their hearts grow old, bitter and cynical and vote from life experience. Hang on to your hat, because this might blow your mind - the elderly are an endlessly replenished resource. :)
As for consequences, the consequence of the Referendum is that we are going to have to change our relationship with the EU. After all the legal challenges, the general election and attempts at forming 'pro-EU' parties, it's vanishingly unlikely we're going to 'un-Leave'. So, to avoid far more damaging consequences of a bungled negotiation leaving us with neither independence nor influence, we have to step up to the mark and assert our value. However 'nebulous' you might think the idea of ending membership of the EU is, we've got to make it work. Some of that will involve actually acting like grown ups and fighting for continued joint projects with other nations.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I didn't vote for Brexit. I was (and still am) quite ambivalent towards both of the extremes of the Referendum.
This is exactly the issue I have with some unrelenting Remainers though, that allow the referendum to define at least half of the country as 'thick, xenophobic sociopaths'. It does a huge disservice to the people who didn't vote your way, and going forward will do more damage by allowing the EU to justify some quite questionable negotiating. This form of self-flagellation does not undo the Referendum, nor does it build bridges going forward.
It also lets the current government off the hook by laying the blame at 'the wrong choice' rather than an utterly disastrous implementation.
As ever with El Reg, it seems that questioning the EU is not on the agenda.
Here's what the Hungarian Foreign Minister has to say on Galileo:
> Q: Would you like to see the UK staying in the Galileo programme?
> Yes, of course. We understand the UK covers 12 per cent of the costs of the budget of the Galileo programme and I really do think that the security risks that are ahead of the European Union demand a very strong cooperation between the UK and the European Union. I think that giving up the cooperation with the UK on the field of intelligence or any other security aspects would be very irresponsible on the part of the European Union.
The Remain crowd do our whole country a disservice by characterising Brexit as 'pulling up the drawbridge' on international co-operation. For sure, it changes the relationship, but that's not the same as ending it. It seems that some Remainers actually want that to happen, which is a ridiculous act of self-harm. (Pauses to wait for the inevitable comments) At this stage, it's up to all parties to make the best of the situation - regardless of our individual positions on Brexit, we can't afford to make things worse for the sake of "I told you so".
As an app developer with Admob Ads, I store no personally identifiable information about the people using my app. Google's APIs take Google-stored information and pass it on to other Google services to provide personalised apps. Many of those APIs take pains to ensure that I as a middle-man cannot see or modify that data. Does GDPR therefore apply to me?
Frankly I'm unimpressed by this legislation that has (deliberately?) introduced a vast range of grey areas that are being enthusiastically exploited by rent-an-experts, consultant services and others. From photography forums (are photographs GDPR compliant?) to cake shops (are we responsible for people using our hashtag?) the 'protection of the people' introduces more confusion than solution.
@Dr_N Ah, the last defence of the person caught out passing off knee jerk prejudice as insight: "I didn't mean it, I'm just here to laugh at it all." Sure, funny joke. Ha. Ha.
As someone who didn't vote for Brexit, my observation is that there appears to be a small group of deeply embedded Remainers who are still fighting the Referendum of two years ago, still desperately trying to prove they were right. For them (and, it appears, you) there are indeed sides. One must mock the others mercilessly. With exclamation marks.
For the rest of the country, there seems to be a desire to get on with it and make the most of the cards we've been given. Yes, the government are making a meal of it, yes some of the decisions to rip up decades old institutions are hard to make. Yes, the rest of the process is long and boring and doesn't deliver instant ice-cream and sprinkles.
However, we've got to make those decisions, and we should be looking for the best opportunities - there are some significant benefits we can realise if we do what was voted for. Taking back control of trade agreements, tariffs, regional subsidies, CAP and CFP can make a serious material difference to the 'man on the street' if we so choose.
Unless of course we listen to the hecklers who delight in discomfort and the possibility of failure, just so that they can feel smug and justified. These are the people who offer no solutions, other than some perverse desire to hobble the country just so they can feel vindicated. I'm sure you'd love it to be funny just so you don't have to contribute anything useful yourself.
@Dr_N Nothing 'Brexiteer' about it. I've worked with a whole bunch of people, a small, persistent subset of which seem to believe that they're working 'here' (for some value of here) out of a spirit of generosity. They will tell anyone who listens just how bad here is, how little they enjoy it, and how much better somewhere else is (insert favourite nation, hemisphere, beach, pub of choice). They make people who work with them miserable, and yet years later I'll find out they're still 'here', dragging that little cloud of misery behind them.
So I have relatively low tolerance for people who spout that sort of nonsense. Put up (and make the place better whilst you're at it) or p**** off. :D
You'll note I didn't tell anyone to 'Go back to where they came from', and there was no sarcasm or malice intended. Your post however was dripping with righteous indignity and (quite inaccurate) prejudices. Sometimes in the Brexit vs. Remain debate, I wonder which side is actually the intolerant one.
When you buy stuff, you don't magically have universal 'property rights' to do with it what you will - and certainly don't have moral rights. People claiming that this is a 'win' against the cruel corporations really need to gain a little perspective. Your only right in that respect is to chose not to buy something if it does not suit your needs.
On the other hand, it sounds like a smart little hack. The Switch is a lovely bit of hardware and being able to run arbitrary code on it is neat. It's just a shame that the zealots will go from there to distributing games for free because apparently they believe that too is their 'right'.
This follows on from representatives from the Automotive industry telling government that if they "don't act quickly" (tm) industry jobs would be at risk... and representatives from the Agricultural industry telling the government that if they "don't act quickly.." you get the idea.
That's not to dismiss their concerns, but to point out that yes, Brexit is going to lead to uncertainties, changes and potentially a few opportunities. This is not news, not industry specific and raising it this way does not make this group in any way more special than all of the others facing disruption.
If Facebook's revenue is from advertising, and the adverts I am shown are representative (endless Bitcoin and investment scams), then something is very broken and yes, they should be held responsible.
These adverts are sufficiently formulaic that there is no reason whatsoever for Facebook to be incapable of removing them automatically. Given the heavy handed way they police the 'non commercial' parts of their estate, it is a clear case of selling their morals to anyone with cash.
It's a service. People pay to play. Unless they are charging foreign players in GBP, a drop in exchange rate means that a $X USD subscription brings in more GBP than it did before.
The wage bill in the UK has been pretty much stagnant for the last couple of years - and I know full well where they're based.
If you read the Guardian or Independent, food prices have gone through the roof, the exchange rate has plummeted and the world is about to end...
For a service like Jagex, an exchange rate drop is usually strongly advantageous - the majority of their customers likely being outside of the UK.
Of course it's entirely possible they are running a global business in a way that is badly hit by local fluctuations in costs/currency. Given how old the game is, they should have sorted that out a long time ago.
As for food prices, after a couple of years' historic low, the CPI has returned to the previous decade's norm (old link, but: http://uk.businessinsider.com/brexit-uk-inflation-in-october-2017 ) Though Jagex do offer to feed their developers (part of the kindly "please work round the clock for no financial advantage" style of games studio), I doubt food costs have actually affected their bottom line.
But I guess if you want to hike the price of a game that costs about the same as a Netflix subscription, you have to blame *something*.
@Dodgy_Geezer But is hasn't changed the majority of people's behaviour, has it - they're still buying coca-cola - just the one with plastic sugar in it. Imposing regulation on Facebook will not make people jump ship to 'Not-Facebook' because there isn't a 'Not-Facebook' option out there (and genuinely, if you use Facebook to keep in contact with family, friends, clients and customers, just switching it off is not an option that stacks up).
@israel_hands If you really believe Facebook will present the GDPR options in a way that doesn't guide the user to a 'successful outcome', I have a bridge to sell you.
Even if faced with a stark "Agree to let us slurp your data or you don't get access" warning, most Facebook users will happily tick the box and go on their merry way. To the average person on the street, this is abstract, undefined stuff - "I don't read the ads anyway, so it doesn't apply to me".
Anyone thinking GDPR and similar legislation is going to pull the plug from Facebook is in for a surprise.
I remain unconvinced by the idea that regulation will save us. It's like the idea that a sugar tax will make us stop buying sugary drinks - if only nanny were more strict with me I wouldn't be such a terrible person.
As for the people who smugly declare they don't do social media - hiding in a cave doesn't make you somehow more relevant just because the non-cave dwellers are unhappy with their lot. The answer to much of this will only come when 'we' (the techies) come up with a better solution that is relevant and valuable to the masses. That doesn't involve insisting everyone else should live in a cave.
What that 'better' looks like is the stuff of crystal ball gazing, but in part should be unlocked by democratising payment systems and federating identity - so that the great unwashed masses can move seamlessly between pools of content, entertainment and retail without having to rely on a handful of gatekeepers that 'permit' them access.
Google already knows that 'pay per view' or 'pay per play' could increase content provider's incomes by at least an order of magnitude whilst only asking for pennies from app users or content browsers. However, they are actively ignoring such possibilities as it would unlock value that other platforms could easily grow from. Patreon and other services show exactly where we could go, but also break the data stranglehold that the big four have on users.
This may be a ray of hope for people who want to build a PC without re-mortgaging the house. RAM prices have risen to ridiculous levels over the last year and an adjustment is long overdue.
If the share slump anticipates a market correction in RAM prices, I'll be very happy.
QT - The point here is that Java wasn't just chosen as a convenient hardware abstraction layer (though yes, it is that). It was chosen as an extensive ecosystem, with decent tooling, vast amounts of documentation and many libraries that can be pulled in to do... well, pretty much anything. The problem Symbian had, and QT still has is that, outside of the core development community, there is nothing comparable to the amount of support and development activity that there is with Java.
What feels kludged, fragile and bloated to you feels consistent, predictable and unremarkable to most Java devs - it just works. Like any language, the quality of the output depends on the consideration that goes into its development and the understanding of the platform. Sure you can create your own hell, pulling in the entire universe, but dependency management on Java is incredibly robust and the ecosystems that have built up around it are simply not matched in other platforms. I've got ancient projects that still build and run consistently on an O/S that has since had five major revisions (and a whole bunch of point releases).
And application memory and CPU requirements have never had the impact devs believe it should on platform penetration. What is important is that the users can get their hands on thousands of apps that do whatever is cool right now - and guess what? They can. That's why people buy Android phones not Windows Phones or Blackberry Phones and so on.
None of this is to say Java is better than *insert language here* from a technical standpoint. The thing is, it's not those technical details that drove the adoption of Android.
The subtlety here is surely not that someone might copy your operating system, but that if you put out a platform on which others build their livelihoods, you now have a legal stranglehold over them.
How would you feel if tomorrow Microsoft updated windows so that only Microsoft products ran on top of it? You can't do a blind thing about it as anyone re-implementing the APIs they choose to remove can be sued. They could quite legitimately remove APIs needed by Chrome, Firefox and Opera and announce that 'for your own good' you can only use Edge. Remember the legal wars that were fought to prevent exactly that scenario happening? And now, via a different legal route, we've given that ability back to them.
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