* Posts by Sirius Lee

493 posts • joined 14 Dec 2009

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While Microsoft griped about NSA exploit stockpiles, it stockpiled patches: Friday's WinXP fix was built in February

Sirius Lee

Let me get this right

You are having a pop at Microsoft for not releasing a fix for a product that reached end-of-life over 3 years ago after a decade-long warning period? Really? You are so desperate to sh?t on Microsoft you want to cane them for not fixing a product that users should have stopped using in April 2014 and that should have been preparing for that change since 2005.

Surely its much better focusing your misguided ire on the lunacy of IT managers that disable Windows update or company bosses that are inflating profits by not investing enough on the maintenance of their IT infrastructure.

10
7

Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

Sirius Lee

Leaving is OK if you are ascocial

I'm not a joining or social type so I never did join Facebook. I don't have a profile. But that also means no knows me. Fortunately, I don't care. I'm not anti-social - that has connotations of being pathological. I'm asocial. I don't feel the need to be social so not having constant contact with friends and acquaintances is not an issue for me.

However, I do recognize that I am unusual. I suspect that few others, especially those in technical jobs where solitude even in a crowded office is a daily reality, could do without the instant contact Facebook offers. I think for many to know there are friends out there, people you can reach out to any time is a great comfort and not one most people can do away with.

Before Facebook I would receive the occasional email inviting me to some social event or another. Now events are only organized through Facebook so I'm not included. I don't mind as I find social situations stressful but most people are social creatures who need contact with other humans.

Withdrawing from Facebook means you will be out of the loop. Your withdrawal from Facebook will make you the awkward one. The one that does not listen. The one that makes it inconvenient for others. You will be the one causing the rubbing sore. Gradually you will not be invited because you left the club (and people really are tribal).

I agree with the author that Facebook is dangerous but for normal, social people leaving will cause as many problems as it solve.

2
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Nvidia says Google's TPU benchmark compared wrong kit

Sirius Lee

Re: Google still kicks NVIDA in terms of power...

Take a vote as I think you make the most relevant assessment. Yes, the Google article made it very clear that operations per watt is their benchmark. That and the ability to scale out. I did not get the impression they cared if it was more operations at the same power level or the same number of operations for less power. By putting out an implementation in silicon they have created a target Intel and nVidea can aim at. I'm sure the Google team is delighted early indications are that Intel and nVidea want to play their game.

2
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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Sirius Lee

What?

So you update your Linux kernel and now you have to update (recompile) all your software. How is this a good thing? Or you don't update your kernel and you find your software is no longer supported on that *aged* Linux server because it's two years old and the software vendors don't want the cost of support such an old kernel.

Linux is great in some scenarios. It's great if you do a limited number of things and you can remember all the command line incantations for them. It is probably true that hard-core administrators do remember all the incantations. But for the rest of us, those with other responsibilities as well, Windows Server is great because in addition to the command line we can use visual interfaces so we do not have to be word perfect on every single command.

I know hard-core Linux types don't get it. When you know some thing or some task very well it's hard to remember how difficult you used to find it and then there is a tendency to think everyone must be or could be as fluent as you. I know I have had that experience (sadly not with the Linux command line yet).

2
9

Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung

Sirius Lee

Calling bullshit

Our storage is on S3 in the US East and we've not experienced problems or losses. Maybe there is some other problem some users have which manifests itself as an S3 problem.

On the back of this story we've wasted time checking our store on the S3 service and have not found any issues.

0
4

Google devs try to create new global namespace

Sirius Lee

Re: are they trying to reinvent DOI?

I think the breathless enthusiasm of the author ("ridiculously easy") gave away a lack of critical thinking during the article's preparation.

1
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Ah, the Raspberry Pi 3. So much love. So much power ... So turn it into a Windows thin client

Sirius Lee

Gearbest

Or buy a complete device with a screen and Windows and HDMI and USB for $88.

1
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'Hey, Homeland Security. Don't you dare demand Twitter, Facebook passwords at the border'

Sirius Lee

As I read this article I remembered the article published in The Register *just last week* which reviewed the should's and should not's with respect to data security when travelling to the US. It was clear in the article that demanding passwords is not a new thing. That TSA staff have been able to require access to phones for years and, if password to social and other accounts are on the phone then their contents are fair game. And if you do not offer up your phone then staff are within their rights to confiscate the device and send it away for forensic investigation.

Since this is not a new thing or even a new practice why is a fuss being kicked up now. I have no love for President Trump but I have even less love self-serving hypocrisy. This hypocrisy feeds Trump's narrative of fake news when this 'news' should have been brought to light while Barry was in charge.

4
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Watch how Google's starving DeepMind AI turns hostile, attacks other bots to survive

Sirius Lee

Incentives

Surely these examples only illustrate that appropriate incentives are important. If in in the gathering game the incentive included not hurting an opponent it's unlikely there would be any tagging. If the Wolf pack game included the incentive to kill other wolves there is likely to have been wolf-on-wolf attacks. Given the simplistic incentives, there is no surprise at the outcomes.

Correct incentives are important in the workplace because getting them wrong can lead to anti-social and expensive outcomes. The incentives in the workplace also include government regulation.

The lack of surprise at the outcomes of these experiments is because many of us would act in the same way given the incentives available. Surely better use of AI is to workout what the incentives should be to make it more likely that socially acceptable outcomes are obtained.

0
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Republicans send anti-Signal signal to US EPA

Sirius Lee

Re: Plausible deniability

Of course it can be detected. At the very least the messages will contain headers that describe the kind of encryption used. Virus checkers will flag encrypted content as not checkable and add headers to the message to indicate that failure. If it's anything like our system admins will receive warnings about potential infringements of policy.

0
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Humanity needs you... to build an AI bot that can finger rotten headlines

Sirius Lee

Just what we need, a bot to censor stuff - what could go wrong?

Hopefully something like this will never work. Imagine the horror story of benevolent state actors intervening to eliminate 'fake' news.

0
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What's big, orange, outrageous, promising to create US jobs, and sinking in popularity?

Sirius Lee

Why do you guys do it?

Every effing quarter there is some clown putting out nonsense articles about Amazon's economic performance. You will be disappointed to learn that most of the down turn you report in after hours trading has been regained by the time I wrote this. But more than that, the modest downturn in share price you report only left the stock where it was at the beginning of the day.

Remarkably, Amazon posted a profit. For years Amazon has had a policy of making zero profit instead investing that in the business - mainly cloud infrastructure. Sometimes Amazon makes a bit of a loss, sometimes its a bit of a profit. Why make profit that you have to share it with Uncle Sam? You can see the cash being used as investments by Amazon by reviewing the cash flow section of the 10-K (the annual financial report submitted to the US Securities and Exchange commission.

In the meantime the share price has risen from $681 on Jun 27th 2016 to $817 as I write. What *exactly* is wrong with that? How can a small (and now disappeared) blip be set against that huge gain in less than a year. Get some perspective.

9
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Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov

Sirius Lee

Grow up. Few like Trump but even the BBC did a better job of covering this issue pointing out that the whitehouse.gov site is the site of POTUS. Any comments previously there do not reflect the views of the new administration so have been removed and I expect will be restored in due course under a suitable domain. The twitter posts from @POTUS have also gone, changed by Twitter themselves to @POTUS44 to avoid confusion.

Based on the evidence of a hysterical article like this, I think the administration was right to focus on making sure the existing content does not appear after the inauguration. Such hysterical comments makes me think that some arses would be making comments about how the new administration still supports all Barry's points of view.

3
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IBM, Microsoft, US Govt all to blame for globalisation backlash: Jack Ma

Sirius Lee

yeah, yeah, yeah

Sounds great. But the reason those jobs went abroad is that the local consumer is unwilling to pay for the cost of having things (actual things) produced locally. If things are produced domestically it is unlikely they will be produced at the same low cost because if they are the domestic worker will not have a domestic living wage.

It's OK posting comments here about how bad globalization is but it's just virtue signalling unless you can also show that you already willing to swallow the extra cost because already you only buy domestically produced goods, goods that do not have foreign labor in the production chain.

0
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Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

Sirius Lee

Click bait

I am in the UK, I use Virgin Media and it's not affected me. Seems a bit premature to blame a Windows 10 update by Microsoft when problem instances are so constrained. Is there not even the remotest chance that the small number of affected users have installed some other app that's caused the problem. Or it a better revenue strategy to blame Microsoft?

0
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China and Russia aren't ready to go it alone on tech, but their threats are worryingly plausible

Sirius Lee

I don't get the US paranoia about Russia. It is a nuclear country so from a military perspective it requires attention. But from a technology perspective? As a market it is smaller than Germany, France, UK or Italy and, thanks to sanctions, its struggling. Its GDP per capita is one third that of any western state. And why are tech companies not part of the embargo on Russia?

China is a different case - at least to me, a European. The US hegemony on stuff technical is dangerous for the prosperity of Europe. Sure, we get to use it but it sucks cash and talent out of Europe. Meanwhile Europeans seem totally incapable of forging a common technical market to rival the US. So China offers Europeans the prospect of an alternative technical nexus. No matter how significant China becomes, like the US it is too far away to be a political or military threat to Europe. But the prospect of having a second vendor to the world (not just a manufacturing shop) would introduce real competition.

3
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Open source Roundcube webmail can be attacked ... by sending it an e-mail

Sirius Lee

Eee, when I warra kid

It wern't like this in my day.

1
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Microsoft boffins think VR visions will rival drugs by 2027

Sirius Lee

Horrific

"Microsoft's group of futurists is exclusively female, which represents an effort to counter the under representation of women in computing fields, according to the company."

One of the redeeming features of the US is it's ability to take the middle road to avoid polarization and extremism.

6
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European Council agrees to remove geoblocking

Sirius Lee

Re: and what about VAT?

@Nick Kew If you are selling digital goods on-line then VAT must be charged at the rate prevailing in the buyers country of 'permanent residence' (which they tell you and you do not have to verify). These rules were defined in the EU VAT 2005 directive and cam into force across the EU in Jan 2015.

If you are selling physical goods (even a digital good on a DVD you ship by mail) these changed rules do not apply.

0
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CompSci Prof raises ballot hacking fears over strange pro-Trump voting patterns

Sirius Lee

Seven stages of grief

This is an example of the first of the seven stages: shock and denial.

We've had it in the UK since June 23rd. Sadly nearly half the population are still at stage 1 four months later. Some are so deep they even think bringing Tony Blair back can part of the solution. That is real desperation.

2
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China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

Sirius Lee

Re: Trade War

My guess is that you are not a negotiator. Or, at least, I hope I get to negotiate with you if you are.

The loser out of a trade war with the US is China. It will be unpleasant for dainty snowflakes in California and New York who might not be able to get the latest shiny, shiny as inexpensively as they do today. But there is a reason there is a trade imbalance. US$ are funding the process of lifting China out of the sorry state it was in by the 1970s.

There are some 300m relatively wealthy people in China, mainly in the large coastal cities, but it is still a dirt poor place with average GDP per person of just $6K vs US at over $50K. If China does not have the money from the US its growth will fail almost overnight. There are just not enough wealthy Chinese to keep the economic engine running well enough to lift the country out of poverty.

Since 2008 China has been on a suicidal investment binge. The investment has delivered infrastructure and new cities to the country but it has piled up humongous debt. Where will the money come from to service this debt if not from the US? Not sure you believe me? Here's a link to a program by a UK journalist called Robert Peston who, at the time, was economics editor for the BBC. His assessment may be overly pessimistic but it illustrates the scale of the potential problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNu4AoHdNTE

Meanwhile, China cannot feed itself and has almost no natural resources. It needs to buy those from other countries. This is why China has been making friendly with much of Africa and South America where it can. But it needs US$ to spend.

Without US$ the human cost in China will be horrific. Even with the one-child policy the Chinese population is 1.3bn. One in every 6 people on the planet is Chinese. Without US$ China will be unable to support itself.

So the Chinese may have a significant stake in the US. But the impact on the US of China wielding its stick is unpleasantness for US citizens. For many Chinese it can be life or not.

14
10

Silicon Valley VCs: We're gonna make California great again – on its own

Sirius Lee

Prisoners of Geography

Do yourself a favour. Go buy (and read) Tim Marshall's excellent book Prisoners of Geography to get just one reason why your analysis is bullshit.

2
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Tech Trump: Silicon Valley steps into the valley of unhappiness

Sirius Lee

Slashing the corporation tax rate

I suspect they will get over any misgiving when he slashes corporation tax. Companies like Apple will be able to repatriate $billions currently held offshore. Some economists estimate there is as much as $2trillion sloshing around waiting to be able to home. Just a small percent of that will allow a company like Apple to provide a few more jobs in the US and provide the cover needed to avoid Trump's sanctions.

1
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We're going to have to start making changes or the adults will do it for us

Sirius Lee

A bit hard on yourself

Perhaps its your conditioning but I do think you are being hard on yourself. IT is an unusual environment because it changes so much all the time.

Take a lawyer. Yes, there are new laws passed each year - but not that many and often with years of warning. But there is only one law. In IT there are many equally valid new alternatives all the time.

Or take an a civil engineer. Brick and iron have the same properties now as they did when man first learned the smelting technique and 'stone age man' is a euphemism for backwards.. There's a reason we call them 'concrete' examples - they are definite, unchanging. Sure, some smarty pants will point out that we invented steel. But that was over 100 years ago.

Meanwhile in IT land there are always new ways of doing old things. We cannot embrace them all. It would be great if we could but its just unproductive. And potentially career threatening. Pick the wrong new idea too early and your shiny new product is going nowhere. Not because the new idea you chose was a bad one but because the crowd sourced alternative idea that won has many more adherent and is, for now, correct.

Years ago I opted to use a JavaScipt library called MooTools. It was great. Then Microsoft chose jQuery and the rest, as they say, is history. By contrast in 2007 I jumped in to the cloud so I could reduce most of the IT department - I suppose, really, re-skill. Despite dire warnings about the terminal dangers of the cloud, the benefits were so obvious. Fortunately, I chose AWS. I write 'fortunately' not because I believe they have some fantastically unique service but because the crowd made the same choice. I'd like to say it was great foresight but it was a toss up between AWS and some outfit in California I can no longer remember. The Californian's problem was lack of geographical spread and one day I had a problem accessing their service because the infrastructure provider, Level 3, had a bad day - nothing to do with the Californians directly. That was it.

One way of looking at your issues is that your (and my) personal traits make us antagonistic. Another is that we have to make choices, sometimes with long term consequences, between alternatives are that are really identical. We make a choice and then advocate our position. There is no viable alternative. One is to capitulate to everyone else's view but if you are going to capitulate there was no point in making a choice in the first place. Being a thoughtful introspective person,you would not have made a choice in that instance so the scenario does not arise. The only reason we advocate is because we see a reason, probably parochial, that one alternative is better than another. In other circumstances we sit firmly on the fence waiting to see how it pans out.

I'm like this with containers at the moment. I don't really 'get' the need for containers. Of course the evangelists will brow beat me with their reasons but I don't see a business case for learning this technique that other techniques I already know don't work at least as well. But I recognize this is a parochial perspective. I probably do not yet have a use case that fits the container problem (though that doesn't stop the evangelists harassing me).

NoSQL is another. Don't get it. I get the need for denormalization. I just don't get why a 'special' database is required. A few year's back I was willing to listen so attended a MongoDB webinar (it could have been a Crouch webinar - those identical choices again). The webinar was lead by a guy who read English at uni and wrote poetry. No, No, No. I wanted to hear from CS PhDs about why my optimized and distributed relational engine was not up to the task and why my years of experience querying SQL databases for BI apps in global businesses was going to be consigned to history. The use case presented was CraigsList. Not their main database - that continued to be held in MySQL. Apparently CraigsList were looking at NoSQL for their archive databases so they could change the structure of the main database more easily - or something. Seemed to me to be an interesting application but not the world changing use case for NoSQL.

So give yourself a break. The adults can try to tell us to get our house in order but that's because they live in more deterministic houses. We know the adults will not do any better because IT is more like social media and we know how successfully the adults have managed to rein in social media.

2
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The new FCC privacy rules are here, and nobody is happy

Sirius Lee

ISP Turkeys disappointed Christmas finally arrived.

2
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Surprise, surprise: AWS is making boatloads of money for Amazon

Sirius Lee

Shaun, Shaun, Shaun

For *year* bloggers like you have bemoaned that Amazon has made no money, *Years*. And yet revenue has grown. If Amazon make money, who gets a chunk. Sure shareholders get some but the IRS gets even more. So why would a company voluntarily choose to give away some of their profits if they believe they are in a position to make even more money by investing that money in the business?

Of course they would not. And they don't. The Amazon finance managers have done a great job in minimizing the profit - sometimes even making a small loss - so the company's tax liability is as small a possible. It is a remarkable feat for a company with $25bn in revenues that their profit is always under 1%. Can you manage your personal finances with such fidelity?

Meanwhile look at the share price over the past 12 months: gone from $600 to over $800. Over 33% in 12 months. Madness and of course the price may need a correction. But only as a result of those who bought into the stock recently in the misguided view the company will start generating dividend income.

I'm in the fortunate position of buying into Amazon in 2007 when the stock price was just $50 (seemed a lot at the time). But it does mean I've read countless posts like yours bemoaning the company's results. My good fortune comes from ignoring them all.

3
2

AWS budget tool update gives suits the control they crave

Sirius Lee

In my view this is a poor article and may provide more illustration of the limitation of the El Reg mind. If a site is coming up on the planned spend, what is a company to do? Continue spending or cut back? It seems the author's view is that a company should just continue spending.

Maybe that's the right course for some. But AWS is pointing out a way to contain costs is to stop using multiple sites behind a load balancer and instead drop back to one server without a load balancer.

If you are already running multiple web sites behind a load balancer - as many are - then you are already running multiple web sites. AWS tools like cloud formation and containers make it straight forward to add and remove servers based on demand. Normally only the internet facing load balancer needs a static IP address.

But the premise behind the sarcasm in the article is misplaced because it is not true to say that it is necessary for two 'versions' of a site to be maintained. I think this demonstrates the author doesn't really have a great understanding of AWS or perhaps, wrote the article with impaired faculties.

AWS is pointing out that using a lambda function, possibly triggered by a billing event, a company could call a task that might:

1) Remove the static elastic IP address from the load balancer;

2) Shutdown the load balancer and all but one of the EC2 instances hosting the web site; and

3) Associate static the IP address with the remaining web site EC2 instance.

Job done. The web site is now using one machine and cutting back on costs. Is it difficult? No. Does it require the maintenance of a special version? No.

It's not an elegant approach to cost management but it seems likely the comment seized upon by the author was an attempt to remind users of the options they have available to control costs automatically not a statement of best practice.

1
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SHA3-256 is quantum-proof, should last BEELLIONS of years, say boffins

Sirius Lee

Turn that one on its head

Since quantum computers capable of beginning to attack hash algorithms like SHA-256 don't exist yet, why limit the potential to attack by quantum computers with today's restrictions?

The real question is: what qubit coherence duration is required to solve the problem? As I understand it, at the moment the coherence duration is of the order of milliseconds. What was assumed by the people offering their opinion in this article? If the coherence duration was increased to 1 second, would that do it? 10 seconds?

It seems to me, and I may be wrong, the claim that SHA-256 is quantum attack proof is based on assumptions that may be irrelevant tomorrow. One group in Australia is working on room temperature qubits based on topological properties of quantum states not physical properties like spin because the topological properties are more stable. If this, or other, research comes to fruition, doesn't that make the limitations asserted in the article irrelevant?

9
0

British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Sirius Lee

Hopelessly biased article

Students will choose to go where they think they can get a good education. While British universities ride high in the charts Britain will remain an attractive place to receive an education. Despite the [weak] rhetoric, networking effects play a role that is as important in education as it is in any other form of networking. As we can clearly see, when networking effects are in play, it is really difficult for changes to be made or for disturbances to affect them. For this reason alone, this article is nonsense. If network effect were not at play then as a middling economy dwarfed by the US, China and even Germany, our universities should much further down the league table - but they are not, they are at the top.

Britain may be coming less welcoming. But that's from an extraordinarily high bar. Beside the US, which countries take in more workers born outside the EU?

But is it right that Britain is allow to plunder the talent from developing countries. The premise of this article is that it is absolutely right for Britain to welcome, indeed compete for, the brightest foreign minds. If we were talking about physical assets - natural resources, perhaps, or some land - would it be OK for Britain to compete to plunder these assets? Of course not. It would be denounced as imperialism. But plundering the intellectual assets of a country is OK.

2
0

Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

Sirius Lee

Re: Get Real..

Maybe you've already taken a journey in space. Since when has it been a crime to run your own mail server? Of course running a server is a sane hing to do. It's easy as well. I've been running a mail server for years. Much better than letting Google or Microsoft or Facebook pore over your emails.

I'm sure Mrs Clinton wan't sure about the security of emails that run through government servers either. I imagine there are a kinds of miscreants - and with high-level clearance - that would be only too willing to take a look at all her email correspondence.

0
2

Hyperledger chain gang man explains Penguins' blockchain play

Sirius Lee

A little bit too parochial?

It's good that you write about this project. However, it would also be good to stay out of US specific issues.

"the actual money still takes days to actually move between accounts"

That's a US banking problem. For example, when I transfer money from PayPal to my UK bank account the transaction is complete in a couple of hours. A blockchain is not going to solve this problem because the problem is not some intrinsic difficulty but US banks wanting to hang on to your money as long as they think they can get away with it. I'm sure if the banks could get away with it, they would implement in the hyperledger code that would ensure settlement could not happen within two days because... well, why not?

0
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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Sirius Lee

Re: Cabbage

My wife often talks to people when she walks down the high street. Not button holing them or something weird but engaging in conversation as a natural part of other interactions like buying stuff, dodging out of the way, picking up something someone dropped and so on. Could be a friend, could be a stranger. Doesn't matter to her.

However if the kids go with her then to them, every utterance, every syllable out of her mouth is is an extreme embarrassment. So it seems from this anecdotal evidence the aversion to conversation outside the immediate friend/acquaintance group is learned, somehow, by urban kids while very young.

Maybe it's something learned at home because the kids don't seem to like conversation at home much either which is usually limited to mono-syllabic noises.

1
0

Sage advice: Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – it knackers our accounting app

Sirius Lee

Re: "operating system updates end up disabling the framework"

It is a shame that Microsoft disabled .NET Framework 3.5 by default.

However, version 3.5 is now nearly 10 years old. Almost anything that will run against version 3.5 will run against the current version 4.6.1 - because it's backwards compatible - and for the developer it's a minor config file change to make that happen.

That a commercial software company with the reach of Sage is relying on an ancient (by software standards) version of the .NET Framework is asking for trouble and they - or more specifically their clients - seem to have got it in spades.

By all mean, berate Microsoft. But don't hold back your ire for the software company either.

I imagine the argument Sage will advance is that .NET 3.5 is installed on more machines. This may be true but its not difficult include with your software's installer a module to update the version of the framework. That may leave people still running Windows XP - unsupported now for half a decade - but is that really Microsoft's problem?

Not in my opinion. In my opinion the blame for this issue lies with Sage.

2
1

US Labor Dept accuses CIA-backed Palantir of discriminating against Asian engineers

Sirius Lee

Re: I can understand a little bit of bias

Surely there is a statistic here that is revealing: 85% of the 1,160 applicants were Asian. Why so few non-Asian applicants?

3
0

British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

Sirius Lee

Re: works both ways but certainly works.

With respect, your wife's situation does not compare that of kids today. My middle son is in his third year at uni and is in the second year of those taking on the debt required to fund their studies. Unless your wife did all of this studying and travelling in the last three years (a truly remarkable achievement) then your comments don't amount to much.

Today, the undergraduate period is where the costs arise. If your wife went on to study for a PhD then today, just as in previous years, there are grants to help. But universities offer only limited bursaries to mitigate some of the undergraduate study costs even for the most able students who are also from a less advantaged background.

By contrast, my eldest son who has now completed his degree course and is now working has almost no debt.

1
0

United States Air Force grounds F-35As after cooling kit cracks up

Sirius Lee

Testing

Surely this would have been apparent as a result of testing. Would it not be normal to perform extensive tests on items coming from the sub-contractor to make sure they performed to specification?

Arranging for a pipe to carry one fluid at a given temperature while immersed in a tank of kerosene at the appropriate temperature for an extended duration doesn't seem like a very difficult test to perform yet clearly was not performed.

Maybe some of the problems of this aircraft are the result of the failure of the various parties to demand (on the part of the US Air Force) and perform (on the part of the supplier) adequate tests. In this regard to me the story is reminiscent of the problem uncovered by Richard Feynman with 'O' ring seal on the Space Shuttle. In that case it turned out those involved knew about the risk but failed to disclose the issue for political reasons.

3
0

Skype shuts down London office, hangs up on hundreds of devs

Sirius Lee

Re: So, any suggestions for alternatives?

Look at 3CX. Though the headline product is all servery it can be installed on any Windows machine and gives you all the things you want. As long as there are fewer than 8 simultaneous connections its free to install and use. Requires .NET 4.6.1.

1
0

US Congress blew the whistle on tax-dodging Apple, claims Europe

Sirius Lee

Re: Start taxing money whenever it moves across a border

Sure, but the devil is in the detail. Suppose your suggestion were implemented and one of your family members who is living abroad - at uni in France maybe - and needs to be sent some Euros. But now there's a law in place that taxes that transfer. Of course you didn't mean to affect people in that situation - just the douche-bags, right? So you put in an exception for sending to family members.

However, you can't afford to send the money so you ask a friend to do you a favour and send some money - it's urgent!. Now the person is not sending to a family member so the money is taxed. Of course you didn't mean to affect people in that situation - just the douche-bags, right? So you put in an exception for sending to family members by friends.

These and a thousand other reasons would require exceptions. The result would be a law that would be exploited by those douche-bags with money because they have the motivation and resources to find a way. Which is what Apple was able to do.

No one likes what Apple has done, but hopefully there will be no knee-jerk reactions by politicians that make a bad situation worse.

5
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Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

Sirius Lee

Re: I'm not so pessimistic

As long as they are better than my wife I'd be up for it. I risk my life with my wife at the wheel every day. I don't if she is good, bad or indifferent driver but that's not the point. Whether any one individual is a good driver or not, we put our lives in the hands of others who may be less than ideal drivers every day.

The potential to do something useful while in a car will be welcome. Some like driving, a good for them. I drive to get some place, not to enjoy the journey. Being able to use that journey time more productively is something to rejoice for me.

0
1

Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft

Sirius Lee

This seems like just an anti-Microsoft gripe from the Linux fundamentalists.

#1 PowerShell aliases are not commands on the command line except in the PowerShell command environment, so don't use it.

#2 PowerShell command aliases can be changed.

Don't want wget to do what it currently does? Then change the alias which is a reference to .NET assembly entry point.

There is an opportunity here for an enterprising developer to provide a PowerShell module to change the aliases so they more closely meet the expectations of Linux users.

Or on the other hand, we can be subjected to the usual whining expected from Linux users when confronted by anything from Microsoft.

9
70

Australia Post says use blockchain for voting. Expert: you're kidding

Sirius Lee

Why is a trusted central authority required?

The way voting works today relies on a central authority to control the process. It is the weak point. The purpose of e-voting is to eliminate the vulnerability of the centre without losing its role in administration can coordination. Maybe Australia Post's vision is not good enough - it's hard to tell from the limited information in the article - but the idea seems promising.

The blockchain technology allows an event to be recorded in a manner that is difficult for any one actor subvert. But there is no need for there to be just one blockchain. Why not have a blockchain per ward, each updated by more than 2 independently controlled miners? For the blockchain to be compromised, those seeking to compromise it have to be able to mine more than half the coins. This risk can be greatly reduced by, for example, giving political party representatives plus an independent observer control over the mining of coins. As there will be little incentive to collude, there will be little risk the blockchain will be compromised.

The events (vote tallies) added to ward blockchains can be aggregated as events first into constituency, then region, state and national blockchains where coins for each blockchain is, again, mined by machines controlled by political parties and an independent observer who have no incentive to collude.

The outcome is a continually updated aggregate tally that can be audited back to the original vote event.

Now, I'm not saying there are no flaws in this scenario, but the article definitely is flawed. It makes the assertion that a central authority is required without justifying that assertion. If then uses that flawed reasoning to assert that a specific technical approach is invalid.

The bitcoin blockchain does not work for voting

2
0

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

Sirius Lee

Re: Mr. Orlowski seems to misunderstand fair use

I agree. This was a jury trial about fair use. As Alsup commented during the hearing to hear Oracle's motion, is there anything better than a jury to decide something as subjective?

He gave Oracle some hope agreeing that if it were him he would have disclosed ChomeOS. But its not him. It's the case argued by the Oracle legal team in front of a jury. It will be a brave appellate court panel that will overturn a jury verdict on fair use because it will generate a whole slate of problems.that will rival the problems facing anyone who would choose to open the jar given to Pandora.

6
0

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

Sirius Lee

These are the same people who sided with Cameron to predict disaster if the UK votes to leave. However the UK seems to disagree and risk again making monkeys out of 'expert' economists. These are the same economists who declared it would be a disaster to leave the ERM, that the UK would flounder in 2008.

In July unemployment was down (after Brexit), retail sales were 1.5% higher in July over June and 5.5% higher year on year. Yesterday Moody's revised their UK rating from negative back to stable - but not much was heard about this, eh? Why is that?

Of course these are only early figures. But economists and journalists were happy enough to report negative confidence reports in the days after June 23rd because it suited the bubble's narrative. Confidence is such a fickle thing and is not the real economy. It's the emotional response of a few individuals. It's becoming increasingly clear these were the opinions of people vested in the status quo.

3
3

Email proves UK boffins axed from EU research in Brexit aftermath

Sirius Lee

Re: Is anyone surprised?

Breath taking arrogance. A majority of people in Britain voted to leave the EU and they 'fundamentally misunderstand the consequence of their actions'. You mean they fundamentally disagree with you. There is a difference.

This notion that Britain put in 5.5Bn and get 8.5Bn back is not relevant on its own. If British researchers are justifying the extra cash then they will continue to receive it. If it was just incentive money then its not a good use of capital and is unjustified. But does it seem likely that EU institutions are providing British researchers so much extra money for no good reason or is it because those researchers are able to provide an excellence and expertise needed by European research bodies? I like to think its because they are able to offer excellence and that, as with every other walk of life, excellence will continue to be required.

As a software vendor selling the majority of our software to European buyers we've seen a 20% increase in revenue since the vote. 15% of that is because of currency movement. But the other 5%? Certainly not because buyers discriminate against Britain or British companies.

Will there be losers as a result of Brexit? Yes, we hear lots of noise from those who stand to lose from the change in the status quo. But we don't hear from those taking advantage of the changes that are happening.

12
7

Three times as bad as malware: Google shines light on pay-per-install

Sirius Lee

Another extended whine

Why is this reported? If users want free software, someone has to pay. Software doesn't write itself, some person has invest the time to create the software and, as the saying has it, time is money. The argument seems to be that software developers should not seek to earn anything from their efforts because so potential users don't like the inconvenience. Then put your hand in your pocket but stop whining.

As others have pointed out the irony is that Google is publishing the research on which this article is based. Google which earns so much of its money flogging adverts. But that's fair IMO. Google has invested in providing a service we all use at no charge and they recover their investment by selling product.

Finally, there seems to an allusion that software downloaded with free software is equivalent to malware. So the implication is that legitimate downloaded software like Skype is the same as software which has the one aim of hacking PC. Really? I get that you don't like Microsoft but, really, get over it.

0
3

How the HTTPS-snooping, email addy and SSN-raiding HEIST JavaScript code works

Sirius Lee

Detection is not a one-way street

Sites can also perform detection. If a site is receiving an abnormal number of requests from an IP address for the same resource within a small amount of time something is not right. An IP address will typically request many resources in a short period of time but usually for the different resources a browser needs to present a page. It's unusual for an IP address to access the same resource more the a few times in a short window of time. A user might refresh a page quickly once or twice but it's not likely they will be be refreshing the page several times even in a few seconds..

Even our noddy site site performs these tests and blocks the offending IP address at the firewall so they are unable to proceed. We see attacks like this all the time, especially to registration pages, and are usually blocking one or two IP addresses per hour. I like to think that more sophisticated sites perform similar real-time checks if only out of self-interest because such attacks consume resources and capacity.

3
0

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

Sirius Lee

MS has hardly been able to give away 10

What planet are you on? Is it really necessary to broadcast your bias in comment thread about the F-35? In a year there have been over 300 million installs which an article in El Reg today states is over 21% of the install base. Is that failure? The upgrade offer was not extended to Windows 7 users so I continue to use Windows 7 along with 68% of the rest of the install base. If I'd been offered the free route I would have taken it because Windows 10 is working just fine on 3 other laptops in the house but I take the view that if its not broke I'm not going to pay to fix it.

0
13

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Sirius Lee

Can someone explain...

...how it's possible for someone with admin rights to a machine to be able to disable a feature while sitting in front of the machine but not be able to do it remotely through a GPO? I get that there a specific option may have been removed from a specific version of Windows but what prevents an administrator creating their own GPO to, for example, run a remote login script? What am I missing?

0
0

My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Sirius Lee

Stop whining...

...about doing your day job. Give it a rest - or go use a Linux client and see how your users get along with that.

0
7

Three owner Hutch lobs sueball at EU over failed O2 buy

Sirius Lee

You can come to my place for a cup of tea as well. I live in a London suburb not some distant location and I regularly have no signal at home.

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