* Posts by Tom 38

3306 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

Tom 38
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Re: So?

Yeah, God forbid you have to spend an extra 10 seconds at a checkout, when you could be using that time to make the world a better place.

Let's be f***ing serious here, coal mining is an onerous and time consuming task.

Foam a bit more, you completely missed the point. Compared to swipe and leave [kudos on trimming the quotation to omit that part], chip + pin is onerous, but that doesn't mean that we should move to swipe and leave. There is more to choosing authorization mechanisms for payment cards than convenience.

But no, keep frothing, a bit more hyperbole. Sigh.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: So?

I don't normally ask for downvote explanations, but wtf? Am I missing something? In the US, you do just swipe your card, no PIN, no signature, no nothing. This is obviously a more convenient system for paying, but is also obviously insecure.

Point being, just because a country has a more convenient system of paying doesn't mean that every other country will flock to follow it, there are more reasons than convenience for using a payment method.

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Tom 38
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Re: So?

Compared to what they use in the US, chip and pin is an onerous and time consuming task. Type in a PIN or sign a bit of paper? Nope, just swipe the card and leave....

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Tom 38
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Re: Personally

And the Sky EPGs are the worst. I suspect they take at least 20 times longer than they need to to find anything. And why on earth will they not provide an alphabetical list so you can find a particular channel quickly.

Money. Channels pay for their positions in the Sky EPG, if you could just search for them by name, then they wouldn't need to.

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It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Tom 38
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My latest work dell (Latitude E7470) has a clit mouse and 3 mouse buttons above the trackpad and 2 mouse buttons below the trackpad. Keyboard is still rubbish for vim users though, the escape key is the size of a microdot.

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Oracle has to pay top sales rep stiffed out of $250,000, US court rules

Tom 38
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Re: I wonder if...

But Sales you want to be competitive. Because daily, they are going out and trying to snatch the meat from the jaws of your rivals. They're your front line. So you have a pay structure that rewards competitiveness.

Yeah but no. Sales people stealing leads from other sales people within the company? Extremely poor form. The only thing they should be competitive on is on how much new money/renewals they bring in, which is based upon how good at convincing the various people within the target company that the deal is good.

There is huge variance of luck involved, you are allocated leads and if the leads allocated to you are more likely to buy than the ones allocated to your colleague, you won't have to do as much work to land them. A sales person working hard should hit 100% of target; a sales person working hard and getting lucky might hit 900% of target; they aren't working 9 times as hard as the person hitting 100% of target, they just got lucky.

However spin that around; the one making 100% of target is working flat out to do that, because one of these days he's going to be the lucky one and have a massive quarter; it encourages them to all work like dogs.

And by work, I mean swan around drinking coffees and talking to people on the phone 24x7. I couldn't do it.

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Tom 38
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Re: Larry will sooner be shafted on a 50' pike than admit wrongdoing

Sure it's not his boats, islands, mansions and swimming pools of money keeping him afloat? If Oracle collapsed in a heap tomorrow, Larry would be just fine I think. Given he is 73 (lots of hair dye), I don't think he is too worried about how he will stay afloat in comfort until the end.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Tom 38
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Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

But what happens to traffic generated before the VPN is established? Does it get routed insecurely, or is it blocked until the VPN is up?

Yes, insecurely, unfortunately. Same as if the VPN happens to disconnect temporarily, or you lose coverage, etc etc.

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Tom 38
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Black Helicopters

Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

I wish you could add a flag to a WiFi connection to say 'connect to this, but don't allow any traffic out until the VPN is up'

On my phone, I use VyprVPN client, it has a setting with a list of "trusted" wifi networks. If I connect to a wifi network not on the list, or over wireless data, it fires up the VPN. Choice of 10s of countries around the world to terminate in.

Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

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China's cybersecurity law grants government 'unprecedented' control over foreign tech

Tom 38
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Re: Just stop buying Chinese made kit...

won't stop them nicking evey bit of IP developed in the rest of the world and then suing the companies they nicked it from in China to stop them from using 'our Red Flag Developed IP illegally'

Shocking!

Also, identical to how the US used to behave; before they had much of their own IP, they thought using and abusing European IP was a-OK.

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Police deny Notting Hill Carnival face recog tech led to wrongful arrest

Tom 38
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And yet arrests per thousand attendees are higher at Glastonbury than at Notting Hill.

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Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

Tom 38
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Re: a matter of pride?

But injecting someone with a substance that they do not want to be injected with is assault. If it's done by the government, that's still assault.

This is really not that tricky a concept; in society, it is a dick move to endanger other people. Not vaccinating your spawn endangers other people. Don't be a dick.

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Tom 38
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Re: a matter of pride?

My kids are vaccinated, but I completely disagree with what is basically forced vaccination in some countries or states (eg California) with the excuse of "it's protecting everyone else", when that is not so clear-cut.

...

When I was young we weren't routinely given a measles vaccination. I caught it in my early teens, was home for a few days and was back on my feet without a problem. Most of my peers had it at one point or another and we just enjoyed the days out of school, got ourselves teh immunity and that was that.

This is why forced vaccination is required; even seemingly intelligent people have stupid reactions to things which are not in their area of expertise. Measles is an horrific disease which we have fought and beaten, solely due to vaccination - there is no cure for measles, and approximately 1 in 10,000 infections leads to a usually fatal form of the infection. Because of its extreme virulence, you need >95% of the population to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

In the modern world, particularly the Americas, we'd managed to basically eradicate measles. In 1990, there were 218,000 cases in the Americas. This reduced to 1,700 in 2000, and only 66 cases in 2005. However, due to vaccination rates in newborns falling below 95%, in 2014 there were almost 20,000 cases. In 2015 globally there were over 134,000 measles deaths, with vaccinations preventing another estimated million deaths. Prior to vaccinations being introduced, it is estimated that 7-8 million children died from measles each year.

In 2014, there was an outbreak in the US traced to Disney theme parks in California, infecting 258 people. Of those people, 48% were not vaccinated, and 38% did not know if they were vaccinated.

Don't be a dick, get your kids vaccinated.

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Tom 38
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Re: Please

I think the Sir Pterry logo should be just the words "Millenium Hand & Shrimp", and it would not be a selectable logo, but would instead be applied to whomever the community votes as their current Foul Old Ron, eg aManFromMars.

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Tom 38
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Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

Richard Coyle was an epic Albert Spangler/Moist von Lipwig, however the absolute standout from Going Postal was the inimitable Charles Dance as Vetinari.

I'd always fancied Rincewind as a younger Rhys Ifans; tall, thin, scraggly beard, early 30s in age, slight look of failed academia and desperation, not some bumbling old man who looked like he could barely run 5 metres before collapsing. A Rincewind that cannot run, oh my days...

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Tom 38
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Re: The Salmon of Doubt

Would you ignore the wishes of your parents on how they are buried / cremated etc after they are gone?

Maybe. Depends on what those wishes were. As it happens, as you say, after they are gone, their wishes don't really come in to it that much because there is no "them" anymore.

This actually has legal precedence, if the wishes of the deceased affect the living unduly, the executor can set them aside. Eg, you might want to be buried at sea in a burning Viking ship, but your executor may as easily decide to bury you in the local cemetery to save money.

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Tom 38
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Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

I would also like to put forward David Jason as Shadwell, I reckon he's made for the part

I would like to put forward David Jason for the Actor Who Most Destroyed Their Character award for his atrocious portrayal/betrayal of Rincewind.

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Samsung gains ground on smartphones

Tom 38
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Re: "some 90 MegaPhones in Q4, 2016."

Wireless charging - would not touch anything without it.

Isn't that the point?

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UK.gov to treat online abuse as seriously as IRL hate crime

Tom 38
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Re: Slippery slope?

It has to be hate specifically directed at a person because of their ownership/association of a protected characteristic

Case law would differ, R v Viscount St Davids, convicted of menacing communications for a post in a private facebook group of which the victim was not a member.

Although I guess not specifically a "hate crime"...

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Tom 38
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Re: TLA?

I didn't think hardcore members of the online gaming communities had any concept of 'RL'.

Sadly, there are at least 3 essential bodily functions that cannot be satisfactorily performed in the game yet; maybe one day as DLC..

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Hackers scam half a million from Enigma digital currency investors

Tom 38
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Re: Are there now so many versions because

All these coins have value as long as people are prepared to accept them in return for goods. Most of them work quite well. It is actually irrelevant how much a crypto-coin is worth, because the most common use of it is as a transient token for conveying wealth. If you are only holding the resource transiently, then there is no comparison to a pyramid scheme.

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Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

Tom 38
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WTF?

P

Q

P & Q => R

X

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Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

Tom 38
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Re: Something worth remembering

Extra fresh

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Tomorrow, DreamHost will square up to US DoJ to avoid handing over 1.3m IP addresses of anti-Trump site visitors

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Trump brings out the best in people

If the Republicans acted this poorly to Obama, he would have played the race card.

IF? fucking IF? More to the point he never did, despite 10 years of racist rantings from the people currently in power. Sad and delusional; how can America claim to be the world's moral authority when it is run by amoral buffoons who sympathize with neo-nazis?

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Smyte might brighten fraud plight: How machine-learning can be used to thwart crooks

Tom 38
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A Smyte customer, for example, might want to check to see if new accounts being created use the same profile picture. To do so, the customer could write a query in SQRL, the Smyte Query and Rule Language, which is based on SQL:

[...]

AI in this scenario isn't a destroyer of humanity or jobs; it's a tool that handles the drudgery while people focus on more interesting problems.

If you're telling the computer what situation to look out for and what action to take, that's not AI.

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President Trump to his council of industry CEO buddies: You're fired!

Tom 38
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Re: Political Correctness "key words" and "tricky phrases"

You don't turn up to a peaceful rally wearing combat gear and carrying assault rifles. I'm just saying, that's an unpeaceful rally.

Trump isn't a racist because he burns crosses, or uses pejorative racist language; he is a racist because he gives his tacit approval to those who do by refusing to condemn them. This isn't speculation, it is what these fascists themselves reported after he first spoke on the matter on Saturday - encouraged and relieved.

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Rowhammer RAM attack adapted to hit flash storage

Tom 38
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Ext3

So a modern checksummed file system with end to end data integrity like ZFS and (I guess) btrfs almost certainly would not be affected.

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Disgraced US Secret Service agent coughs to second Bitcoin heist

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: One way to pay off the National Debt...

You read it right, but the article was wrong. Earlier in the article it specifies the correct amount, 1606.6488 BTC. I have sent a correction.

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Vaping ads flout EU rules, even if to promote healthier lifestyles

Tom 38
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Re: Today has been the 53rd day since my last Camel

404, you can make it even cheaper and mix your own ejuice. You can get "bottle shots" these days, 500ml bottles filled with 100ml of flavourings, you squirt in the %age nicotine you want from "nicotine shots", add VG and/or PG, shake well and then leave in the cupboard for a week, shaking it occasionally. This comes out to about £30/L, compared to £500/L for "premium" juices sold in 10ml bottles. Even if you are just using 6ml a day, its the difference between a £3/day habit to a £0.20/day habit.

Google for "bottle shots" or "hack shots" or "one shots"; each manufacturer uses a slightly different name.

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Tom 38
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Re: So presumably Niquitin and that ilk...

No, they are pharmaceuticals that happen to be derived from tobacco, the lobbyists made quite sure of that. The whole TPD is ridiculous, it was written by Big Pharma and Big Tobacco to try and make vaping as unappealing and legislated as possible.

Pharma can continue making a fortune charging users, governments and insurers for "nicotine therapies", and Tobacco can continue to exist, all helped along by fundamentalist anti-nicotine "health professional" crusaders who believe that any use of nicotine is wrong, especially if you enjoy it.

This unholy trinity have given us laws that will cause more harm and suffering, lead to more addiction. Coincidentally, it means more funding for healthcare, more pharmaceutical tobacco prescriptions, and more people still smoking. There could barely be a law that is so heavily tilted towards rewarding commercial parties and fucking over the citizens.

Even if you are not a vaper or a smoker, you should be furious - collectively we are all on the hook for the resulting costs.

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Web-enabled vibrator class action put to bed

Tom 38
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Cynicism

The cynic in me wonders if any crime would have been committed if the server had been in California rather than in Canada.

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Azure Stack will need special sysadmins, says Microsoft

Tom 38
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Cloud is a state of mind? If we define a cloudy app:

* Stateless

* Cattle not pet

* Auto deployed and provisioned using some sort of assembly tool producing disk images

* Auto failover/recovery

* Geographically resilient

* Add your own qualities here

then our cloud is anything that runs our cloudy app. If we configure a rack with have in house to be chock full of openstack instances, that could be considered an on-prem cloud.

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Strip club selfie bloke's accidental discharge gets him 6 years in clink

Tom 38
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WTF?

Used his phone in a strip club?

And he still has fingers?!

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

he then fails to get rid of it when he must of known of his inability to carry one

aaaargh, cannot resist :(

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Outage outed: Bing dinged, Microsoft portal mortal, DuckDuckGo becomes DuckDuckNo

Tom 38
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Re: YaCy

Lucene++ is an "up to date" port of Lucene 3 to C++.

Which is all well and good, but we're using Lucene 7 now..

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Oh, boy! Uber investors behind CEO sueball say Travis Kalanick won't let the company grow up

Tom 38
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Go

Re: So, let me count the ways . .

I'm wildly reviled by Uber. I'm still going to use their cabs, it's cheaper and each ride costs them money. Win win

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Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon's lawyer, UK supporters rally around Marcus Hutchins

Tom 38
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Re: Police shooting black folks? Really?

Do you know that the police shoot more white people than they do black people? In fact, nearly twice as many so far this year.

Twice as many! Why are they still complaining about #blacklivesmatter eh? Perhaps it has something to do with there being almost 6 times as many white people as black people in America?

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Tom 38
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Re: But...

Lastly I don;t know why people in here seem to be caught up with this idea that every one will get these supper long prison sentence

Because that is how US justice works; tariffs have very flexible ranges, and they charge you with something ridiculous and over the top that, if convicted, will keep you in prison for ages. They then follow up with a plea bargain offer for something much more reasonable, because that then counts as a "win" for both police and DA without any of that pesky evidence crap or convincing 12 other people.

PS: Supper long prison sentences would massively reduce the overcrowding in prison cells.

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Good Lord: Former UK spy boss backs crypto

Tom 38
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Typical ex-"anything"

If he was still in the job he wouldn't be saying it, he would be saying whatever ridiculous thing the current incumbent is saying.

It's just like ex Home Secretaries saying "Hey, this cannabis lark should just be legalized, really".

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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Tom 38
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"External" == "Managed by a third party"

"In house" == "Managed by us"

An in house AWS cloud is one you are managing yourself, rather than paying someone to do it for you.

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London 'not-spots' look out! Mayor wants team to tackle crap signal

Tom 38
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Aircon isn't possible on the deep lines (Red, black, blue), without drilling many many vents throughout central London. The Lizzie Line will have aircon.

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NASA short-lists six candidates for future missions

Tom 38
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Re: You forgot CRAPTO

Cool project names are a colour and a noun, both entirely unrelated to the project. I think this might have been a military thing?

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So you're thinking about becoming an illegal hacker – what's your business plan?

Tom 38
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Re: Wow

a hacking group was willing to invest 6 months and at least half a million Dollars

Allegedly; for all we know they spent half an afternoon and £5 and are just trying to justify what they are asking for

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US trade watchdog puts down the phone to Qualcomm, reaches for probe, sticks it in Apple

Tom 38
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Re: Why do iGet the feeling...

Intel licensed the tech from Qualcomm, and made chips that Intel sold to Apple to put in devices. Qualcomm feel that Apple should also pay a license fee, I think they are high.

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Tom 38
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Re: Calls whilst running

And if that run is a jog, what you are trying to achieve is a pace that you can still talk at, it's the fucking definition.

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Tom 38
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Re: Calls whilst running

Jogging should be at a speed where it is comfortable to carry on with a conversation, it's actually how you know you are going at the right speed.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

Tom 38
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Rather have a £500 Dell and an extra £1k/year to be honest.

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Core-blimey! Intel's Core i9 18-core monster – the numbers

Tom 38
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But therefore, for the same given encoding time, a hardware encoder will give a higher quality output / and / or at a lower bitrate.

No, not really. The hardware encoder cannot

Encoders have "presets", ways of controlling how the encode works, and "levels", what features are available to use in the targeted decoder. Eg, streaming to a STB you might have level 5.1 content, but streaming to a mobile you might have level 3 content.

Software encoders tend to have many presets to determine how much prediction/lookahead to use in encoding a frame. The more lookahead you use, the more efficient the encoding can be, and the smaller each frame can be whilst still encoding the same visual quality. Therefore, in software encoders you can optimise your encode to give the lowest bitrate for the chosen quality. Most videos that are made for distribution are encoded using the preset "ultraslow", because this reduces the file sizes significantly at the expense of a lot of speed.

Consumer hardware encoders don't do this. They have short lookaheads, which keeps the speed high. They use fixed length GOPs, (i-P-B-B-P...), where as x264 will use irregular ones (better quality, better compression). You can't really make it go slower with higher quality per bit (although you can make it go faster with lower quality per bit).

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Tom 38
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What broadcasters use is not relevant to how consumer video encoding offload chips function.

You think broadcasters use one of nvenc (Nvidia), Quick Sync Video (Intel) or Video Coding Engine (AMD)? Evidently not, as you know they use high end hardware encoders like DVEO that bake the algorithm in to silicon.

I clearly stated that I was talking about consumer hardware video encoders, and I'll repeat it again: for a given bitrate, software encoders produce higher quality output than consumer hardware encoders. The only thing that consumer hardware encoders do better than software encoders is speed.

If you are arguing otherwise, and don't want to appear foolish, an hour spent reading doom9 might help.

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Tom 38
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Uhm, no. Hardware encoding is usually better quality as it does the exact same thing but is much faster and therefore can use more iterations...

Uhm, double no. Video encoding is almost always a three way trade-off between speed of encoding, visual quality of the outcome and bitrate of the outcome.

Hardware encoding is more limited in terms of codec features and options, because putting the algorithm in hardware reduces the amount of options compared to the flexibility of software. Especially so in consumer hardware encoders, which are small independent dedicated pieces of silicon in the CPU/GPU.

Now, this is dead easy to see because of CRF (Constant Rate Factor) in x264. You can tell an encoder that you want the visual quality of the outcome to the level indicated. It is trivial to produce one encoding using x264 and one encoding using a hardware encoder, both with the same CRF setting. The outputs will be visually comparable in quality terms, but the hardware encoded video will be larger in size.

So hardware encoders; faster output, same visual quality, higher bitrate. These are lower "quality" videos than a software encoder would produce, for a given meaning of "quality". For "scene" releases, no-one is using hardware encoders, because they produce lower quality videos.

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