* Posts by Tom 38

3306 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Permissionless data slurping: Why Google's latest bombshell matters

Tom 38
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Re: Are we surprised?

I remember when that serial killer was on the loose in Ipswich, the police said they'd collected 80,000 hours of video material in a week. For one, small city town.

FTFY. City are those uppity northern farmers wearing canary yellow.

And yes, if you're from Suffolk, people from Norfolk are northerners.

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Loake Shoes admits: We've fallen victim to cybercrims

Tom 38
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Re: One step forward...

Please! PR are people too you know? Stop acting like jack booted thigs!

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HPE CEO Meg Whitman QUITS, MAN! Neri to replace chief exec in Feb

Tom 38
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Re: Whitman did the right thing

I'm sure you consider yourself "intelligent" and "witty"

My mum says I'm handsome too.

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Anonymized location-tracking data proves anything but: Apps squeal on you like crazy

Tom 38
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Re: Don't worry

Apologies cbars, apparently some people need sarcasm pointed out to them.

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OnePlus 5 x T + five short months = Some p*ssed off fanboys

Tom 38
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Still in love with my OP2

It has the capacitive buttons and fingerprint sensor on the home button. It could do with a new screen and battery, but otherwise its still great.

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Openreach fibre plan for 10m premises coming 'before Christmas'

Tom 38
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Re: Openreach FTTP creates a monopoly for BT

OK, it's a VoIP solution with a UPS.

It's a VoIP with a UPS and access to emergency services. To replace it with COTS VoIP devices you would need UPS on your switch/AP as well.

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Tom 38
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Re: Paying more

Her Majesty Correctional Facility Adastral Park

Snigger. I don't agree with your post, but that is an accurate representation of Martlesham Heath :)

It was much better when it was BTRL.

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Tom 38
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Re: Isn't Wifi/5G a viable and cheaper option

So how do they manage to get Wireless solutions working so well in the likes of train stations etc where there is a very heavy concentration of people, watching videos/tv/facebook etc.. Is it simply the fact that there are many/many antennae nearby

This answer is in two parts:

a) lots of antennae

b) it still doesn't work correctly.

Eg, when there is an event at the stadium near my house, 3G/4G data service is basically impossible nearby. This leads to things like trendy pop up retailers (there's a cracking bar in a canal boat by the stadium) who take payment by the ubiquitous iZettle suddenly can't process any payments, which leads to confused hipsters and much stroking of beards.

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Statutory Offence

A statutory offence is one that's definde by statute (ie law that's been passed by parliament).

Yeah but OP clarified that he wasn't sure if that was the correct term and explained what he was searching for, which is actually called a strict liability offence, in which mens rea is not required.

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Openreach boss says he'd take a burning effigy on the chin

Tom 38
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Re: £7Bn Pensions defecit?

I truly don't understand how any company is allowed to run a pension deficit.

Pension funds are in deficit when their holdings will not purchase sufficient annuities for their liabilities. Annuity rates depend on many things; interest rates, economy etc. These pension funds were not in deficit before the financial crisis, but now you need significantly more money to purchase those annuities and so the funds are in structural deficit.

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Tom 38
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Re: Synchronous vs. Symmetric

my spanking new FTTP connection (when they've repaired the main cables - 3 weeks and counting) will be 330Mbps down with "only" 30 Mbps up.

This pissed me off so much when I got my new flat. I have an openreach box inside my comms riser that has been permanently lit with the exchange at a lovely synchronous 1.2Gbps. What will BT sell me? 330/30! The box splits the connection in to 4, so I can have a separate BT subscription for each bedroom, the living room and the kitchen..

Unsurprisingly, I went with the other FTTP provider in my flat, which offers synchronous gigabit for £10 less than BT wanted.

PS: Yes, I know how lucky I am, but it highlights the problems. I have this connection choice in London, but 1 hr drive to my parents, and you're back to 2Mb intermittently working DSL

PPS: It's not "luck". Why do you think I got this place and not another?

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US government seizes Texas gun mass murder to demand backdoors

Tom 38
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Re: If more guns equals more safety *

FBI agree; they have approved double ROT-13 as the new security standard.

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User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Tom 38
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The problem is critical thinking. We tried to educate users to root cause analysis using the "five why's" . Now, as non technicals, they won't get down to the 5th why, but even if they think a little about it, they might get to the first or second why.

Of course, some users cannot be improved, so you will still get "can't print" instead of "can't print; out of paper", but sometimes you get "can't print; out of paper; we use 4x as much paper at end of month"

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Tom 38
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Re: PBKAC

I once spent an hour trying to work out why a PC wasn't working, until I noticed the contrast wheel on the CRT was at 0, making the entire screen jet black..

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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Tom 38
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Re: My partner hates me..

It is not possible to disable contactless,

My bank kept sending me contactless cards, but they all turned up cut down the middle. Weird, huh?

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Tom 38
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Re: Surely thats phone banking?

Your wrote " overheard a woman on the train doing her online banking"

So, unless she was talking to her phone screen

I have literally heard this monologue on the commuter trains:

"Hmm, what is the 6th letter of my security code?"

"p-a-s-s-w-0 ... 0!"

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Tom 38
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The benefits go to you. Your bank has to pay for your access to ATMs that do not belong to it, and the LINK network sets out various interbank charges that apply for various services.

Ever used a non bank ATM, and found it is hard to get cash out without also seeing your balance at some point? The operator of the ATM receives something like 75p for each balance statement, which is sufficient to make these ATMs quite profitable, leading to every newsagents having one of these shitty ATMs inside.

The aim of these charges was to make it promote ATMs in rural/remote areas, but has actually lead to an increase of ATMs in built up areas where there is already adequate supply. By reducing the interbank charges it makes these ATMs less profitable and will reduce both the number of ATMs in high density areas, and the cost to banks for servicing their clients cash needs.

You would hope they will also replace the higher charges for subsidies for ATMs in rural/low ATM density areas.

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Tom 38
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Re: Also, in an increasing surveilance society

I believe there's some shizzle about legal tender which is supposed to prevent this sort of thing. And IIRC, I believe the 20p or was it £1 coin was never included in the appropriate Act, thus making it legal tender to settle, say, Amazon's tax bill in coins.

Any coin with a face value below £1 has limitations to the quantity that can be used as legal tender.

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Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

Tom 38
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Facepalm

How to piss off your neighbours

One Friday at uni (still living in halls), I popped off for a weekend in Glasgow with friends, and set a very loud alarm on my CD player (welcome to the 90s) to play Terrorvision's "How To Make Friends And Influence People" at 5pm so I wouldn't miss the train. Like, deafeningly loud.

What I forgot was that the CD player did daily alarms, so it went off again on Saturday and Sunday. For an entire hour. I got back to so many notes on and under my door telling me quite how much I had influenced them (It didn't make any friends at all)

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Osama Bin Laden had copy of Resident Evil, smut, in compound

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Probably gone down

corps: a main subdivision of an army in the field, consisting of two or more divisions

corpse: a dead body

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Hey look, a three-headed monkey!

Do you think the NWO will insist on grammar lessons?

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Tom 38
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@Khaptain

Why didn't they use the body as a propaganda tool, or at the very least try and study its DNA in order to establish if there were scientific reasons behinds acts etc

Shoo! Back to the Victorian era for you.

I personally don't know how to determine what is truth from fiction.

Aaah, it all becomes clear.

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Tom 38
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Re: Malware

1. How on earth could someone notably that paranoid about being online manage to have a Steam account or let anyone near him have a Steam account? (Half Life came out on DVD with no need for Steam, remember.)

2. What's Steam slurping from computers which means that Valve were able to identify him?

* Who says it was his PC? It was a PC in the compound.

* I don't think his email for steam was "binladen+steam@gmail.com"

* He's not playing HL, he's playing counterstrike (he likes de_dust)

* Torrenting popular films and playing counterstrike is a common use of a PC, particularly in Pakistan

What would be more shocking is if the end of round screenshots show that whoever was using the PC only played CT.

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Tom 38
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Re: substantial rework

So I can well imagine some code well into its second decade on FreeBSD not compiling out-of-the-box.

FreeBSD has jails, unpack the old release ISO and make it a jail, everything runs. If you don't need to compile it, and it is built statically, you don't even need the jail.

You don't have to imagine it if you know it exists and did it last week.

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Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

Tom 38
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Re: Good luck

And then deported.

You make this sound like a bad thing, but after being deported you're no longer in America.

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Tom 38
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Mushroom

Does this mean Twitter could cause the end of the world as we know it?

In the beginning, no-one was sure of the legitimacy of the Donald's twitter outbursts, until it was confirmed that these are presidential statements, so a guy made a bot that turns them in to correctly formatted White House Press Office releases.

So - Yes.Icon is what it will lead to.

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Ex-Facebook manager sues biz after getting 'Zucked out of overtime'

Tom 38
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Re: Oh, skirting correct payment happens everywhere

I've never had a job in the UK that hasn't started out on the first morning with a meeting with an HR doid, a piece of paper with the working time directive opt out, a pen, and no way out of the room without quitting or signing the piece of paper.

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Vietnam bans Bitcoin as payment for anything

Tom 38
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Re: dodgy dealings

If you had a business that only accepted BTC and you were then able to use that "money" to buy all your worldly needs, it would be untraceable and therefore untaxable.

Do you understand what the blockchain is? It contains every transaction ever made in bitcoin, from any party to any other party. The idea that bitcoin is untraceable is laughable.

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Tom 38
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Re: Tulips again

Bitcoins and their volatility are nothing like tulips and tulip mania. For starters, if you have a tulip bulb, in 6 months you can have many tulip bulbs, and no-one was using tulip bulbs as commodity to facilitate trade, the trade was in tulip futures.

Bitcoins are more like gold. There is a quantity already found, and with ever increasing mining costs, we can find a few more. Gold mainly is only worth something if other people desire it; its value mostly depends on whether investors

Bitcoin is mainly used as a transaction aid - people buy bitcoins in order to pay people in bitcoins, people receive bitcoins in trade and convert to fiat. In this scenario, volatility is irrelevant, because both buyer and seller immediately convert to fiat.

For this sole reason, bitcoins will always have utility in trade, which makes them desirable, which gives them value. The only way it could be a bubble, and thus collapse, is if either they suddenly become non desirable, or if more are produced than expected.

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Re: A Peugeot...something or other

Its well known that all tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into 'Best of Queen' albums.

Can we have a Pratchett icon please?

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Tom 38
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Angel

Re: Daft indicator switch

I like to think that the indicators in BMWs and Audis are only hooked up to the dash. Peace and tranquillity.

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Tom 38
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Re: You ended up with a Nissan Puke? Unlucky!

Anyone remember the original Fiat Panda 4x4?

That's actually an epic little car, they still use them in Italian and French ski resorts as police cars, very light and nimble and 4wd enough to handle the tracks and snow,

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Man: Just 18 Bitcoin babies and my home is yours

Tom 38
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Re: This bit always confuses me....

Of course, that's a country where ATMs give you hundred franc bills (£75), which you have no problem using to buy a pack of chewing-gums at newsagents.

Sometimes you only need one note too.

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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Tom 38
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Re: Cats=Evil

Cats aren't trying to kill you specifically, they're trying to kill everything. Cute cuddly little psychopaths.

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US voting server in election security probe is mysteriously wiped

Tom 38
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WTF?

Why do you guys keep banging on about whatever Hilary did or did not do? How is her alleged bad behaviour in any way an excuse for anything? The election is over.

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EU law bods closer to baking new 'cookie law' after battle

Tom 38
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even if a user rejects cookies, they must be allowed access to the site

Hmm. I hope the final directive waters that down to tracking cookies, otherwise looks like we're heading back to basic auth over SSL for authentication and authorization.

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Li-ion batteries blow up because they breed nanowire crystals

Tom 38
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Boffin

How do they know that the crystals are not formed by the Cryo EM experience? I don't mean to be snarky; I'm sure they accounted for it, but just interested.

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Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

Tom 38
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Re: Everything counts, in large amounts

Clinton lied, and more egregiously to boot. Outfuckingrageously, in point of fact;

She isn't president. If Trump was accused of rape, you would start banging on about how Harvey Weinstein is much worse, and he donates so much money to "the Dems".

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Hop on, Average Rabbit: Latest extortionware menace flopped

Tom 38
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Re: 1dnscontrol[.]com

Jesus wept, a) it's not interpreting it as a hyperlink b) highlight, right click, and select context option is hardly a browser "speculatively going off and trying to load" on its own c) Chrome offers that for any text you highlight

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Tom 38
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Re: 1dnscontrol[.]com

No browser interprets text as hyperlinks and preloads it, that's utter bullshit. I could understand their CMS system auto turning URLs in to hyperlinks, but in that case fix your CMS.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

1dnscontrol[.]com

I don't have a fucking clue what you are trying to say here. Are you quoting something that had "1dnscontrolcom" in it but want us to know that it should really have a '.' in it?

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The UK's super duper 1,000mph car is being tested in Cornwall

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Built buy??

Amazing, in under 20 words you managed to spell "by" incorrectly two times*, but nailed it once!

* Or maybe you have volunteers, and you, er, "designed" them. I suppose you can count children as (usually unwilling) designed volunteers. Looking at many kids, I think their parents might have been drunk whilst designing them but I digress

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UK.gov not quite done with e-cigs, announces launch of new inquiry

Tom 38
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While the early vendors of eCigs were independents, I understand that old time tobacco companies are now getting into vaping tech big time. When one door closes another opens.

And as a gateway habit for teenagers leading to eventual cigarette use, I think that is entirely possible.

The problem is, that despite providing endless evidence and studies on this, this whole debate is still framed by what some random people "think may be possible".

Tobacco companies are trying/getting in to vaping big time. The way they are doing this is by attempting to destroy the current market with regulation and limitations - it makes them no money - and instead get people to use more cig-a-like devices with cartridges that they swap on a daily/more frequent basis, generating a daily profit for the tobacco company similar to that for a smoker.

So how do they do this? They spread FUD about vaping, they indirectly lobby for restrictions and limitations on the existing technology. Tobacco companies paying lobbyists paying for slanted research that is promoted to health officials.

They've already done this once with TPD, but no, lets have another round of slander, half truths, "we don't know" and "I think that is possible".

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Tom 38
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blu eCigs was bought by Lorillard Tobacco then Imperial Brands (formerly Imperial Tobacco), R.J. Reynolds Tobacco owns Vuse, I am sure there are more links between vape companies and tobacco and that these links will increase (it would be stupid of tobacco firms not to control this market).

So I don't think there's any harm in our regulators keeping an eye on this market

Ah, but despite their best attempts, the tobacco companies are massively failing to control the vape market. This is precisely why they lobbied for TPD, which placed large restrictions on vape devices (in order to limit their utility), vape liquid manufacture (to restrict it to larger entities) and sale (to restrict home mixing and just generally annoy every vaper)

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Tom 38
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Re: Vape shops spring up like weeds

No, the margin on liquid is insane. You can make a batch of 5L of liquid for about £50, it will retail at about £5 for a 10ml bottle. Most shops won't mix their own liquids, but I imagine there is good margins for manufacturer and retailer. The hardware components are cheap and readily available from China, again at good margins. A friend at work likes buying new tanks (the non battery bit of a vape), he buys 10 from gearbest, sells 9 on ebay and makes a profit.

None of it requires very much storage space, and more and more people vape...

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Tom 38
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Re: Smokers are net contributors to the welfare state

Sources, please?

It's complicated, as this Finnish study shows. Smokers cost more in healthcare per year, but they live significantly shorter lives and so healthcare costs are less than non smokers. However, because of the reduced lifespan, they contribute less to society.

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Tom 38
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it is not clear that it's useful to create new generations of nicotine addicts and make smoking a socially acceptable habit again

Crikey, fancy loading your language a little more?

No, it is not useful to create new generations of nicotine addicts, but show one piece of evidence that that is what happening. Multiple studies have shown that vaping is not acting as an gateway to smoking; non smokers are not becoming vapers.

There is a strong anti vaping lobby, made up of "health" professionals and tobacco companies, whose tactic is exactly this: FUD. There have been many studies on vaping; all have concluded that vaping is (at least) orders of magnitudes safer than smoking, no long term negative effects have been found, and it does not act as a gateway drug. They equate vaping with smoking, despite no evidence, and then say "We just don't know the effects yet". Yes. Yes we do. You just don't accept it.

As for banning or restricting it? Good luck. Already banned high strength nicotine to satisfy tobacco companies (to no effect) so what do you want to ban next, batteries, glycerol, food flavourings, cotton or wire?

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There's a battle on over two US spying laws: One allows snooping on citizens – one bans it

Tom 38
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Re: A difficult question

If it is illegal it makes using it difficult in a court case because of something called a search warrant.

Parallel construction - "Look here for your probable cause"

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Hackers nip into celeb plastic surgery clinic, tuck away 'terabytes'

Tom 38
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Joke

Someone made a boob?

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Let's make the coppers wear cameras! That'll make the ba... Oh. No sodding difference

Tom 38
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Mushroom

Re: Try obeying the law

Wow, it's not even 10am and I get to read some cunt saying black people are violent weapon carrying thieves. You forgot "drug dealers" Donald.

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