Re: Tim Worstall, late of this parish
Some of the best articles in El Reg !
2332 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010
Some of the best articles in El Reg !
just fill up OneDrive with crap ...
As a tech watcher, I'm flagging battery life as the Next Big Thing.
Smartphone tech is pretty much stalled (I've had mine for 18 months with no pressure to change).
Smartphone *application* is increasing daily.
The more we find we can do with our smartphones, the less we can afford to have them run out of charge.
I am still tipping the idea of someone offering a matched set of phones (think about a matched set of pistols) where you simply take the "hot" one out of the charger while the other charges, but they're mirrored, so no downtime.
The other push I am calling is accessibility. Those ageing techheads are still going to want to use their iShiny well into their 60s, 70s and beyond.
that as little as 10 years ago, Nokia were *the* mobile phone company of the world.
Everything else was an also-ran ... Moto(rola), Sony, Samsung. HTC weren't even in the top 10.
There has to be a documentary somewhere about what happened.
The problems associated with downtime due to rebooting (and in this day and age only kernel updates should need a reboot) could be offset by a decent business continuity framework with dual servers.
Upgrade one while the other carries the load, and then switch and upgrade the other.
Of course that requires a finance department that accepts the "cost" of such redundancy is the "price" of permanent uptime. Which IME, they rarely do. Although they CAN tell you - to the penny - how much it's costing the firm when 1,000 employees can't do their job because downtime is needed to patch a server.
er, "Foundation" was Isaac Asimov (I.A.)
Romana, anyone ?
I know it's been pissed over from a great height since the "reboot", but surely every 70s schoolkid knew the Dr. only had a maximum of 12 possible incarnations ?
Or did Russell T. Shitforbrains "just decide" it was too inconvenient one day ? Like he suddenly decided the TARDIS was like any other spaceship you can see flying past, rather than dematerialising and materialising ?
When my (then) 15 year old son gave up watching Dr. Who because "it's a load of pants, Dad", I got the hint.
Shame, as there were some genuinely great stories pre-Capaldi.
Of course the most complete Dr. Who story ever was "Logopolis" ....
of "Approved by HMG" on jazz mags and sites. A picture of Theresa May smiling beautifically.
generally UK courts (or judges are pretty relaxed about faults in the prosecution evidence. Certainly illegally obtained evidence is quite often used in prosecutions with nary a mention.
Which makes me wonder who knows who in this particular case ?
^The maximum possible number of Bitcoins is (iirc) 21 million - of which about half have been mined^
Which mirrors real world currencies based on *something*. There's only so much Gold/Silver/Diamonds/Oil/Whatever on planet Earth.
Yes, you can disconnect a currency from such shibboleths. But then everybody has to have faith in it's worth, which is a bit too close to religion for my liking.
then all new build houses since (say) 2000 would have been FTTD as part of planning regulations.
What's that ? They weren't ?
I guess government isn't serious then. Certainly not worth listening to them when you can see the truth for yourself.
(And this is one area where you *need* state intervention).
First off, the example shown is *not* "comparing a variable with itself", it's returning the result of comparing a variable with itself.
Second off, that's not as crazy as it seems ... I have memories of such tricks being used to stand in for "return 1;" or "return true;" - particularly if you want to obfuscate assembler.
Thirdly (although it is BAAAAAD) practice, bear in mind that in some situations/languages, referencing a variable can actually run code (which could change the value of something somewhere).
All of that said, part of writing good code is it should make intuitive sense, which doesn't really apply in those 3 situations
Am I alone in finding this a tad worrying ?
“namely correcting what it deemed to be misleading news reports that were potentially damaging to its reputation and commercial interests”.
So it's OK to piss all over data protection to rebut a bad review ?
I don't want a connected car in the same way I don't want a "Smart" TV.
TV: I want something that does a fantastic job of displaying the input *I* choose to send *how I wish*. No need for any "apps" or "features" to become outdated, no longer supported, or just ignored. (See also "Mobile phone updates").
Car: I want something which does a fantastic job of letting me drive somewhere. Anything else I WILL PROVIDE, by way of a tablet, mobile, or dedicated sat nav.
My first car with such gubbins (a Citroen) is going to be my last. FFS the sat nav alone is pants enough to send the whole thing back.
if one judge has be *caught* doing it, there stands a good chance there are a greater number who haven't been caught yet. (The iceberg view)
This leads on to the much more worrying suggestion that some judges might be communicating behind the court (or more precisely one party in the court)s back.
Or don't we care about justice being seen to be done anymore ?
*Anybody* can fuck up.
So it's not the "fucking up" which defines an organisation, it's how they handle it subsequently.
Which is why I have been happy to return to companies that have handled their fuck ups properly.
how do you deal with terrorists who hang a blanket out of a window within view of a webcam ?
The "encryption" being: "When you see a red towel from that balcony, it's game on".
Sorry to be cynical, but I'd guess >90% of peoples twittering is done when they are on WiFi.
So this (very newshumgry, if not newsworthy) story is of marginal benefit.
In other news, Vehicle Excise Duty on TR6s to be zero-rated.
would see these clowns having to recompense each affected customer.
Maybe *then* we'll see some serious data protection.
Incidentally, I had to sign up to HMRC online yesterday. I was impressed. True 2FA, via 2 channels - text or phone call. The only criticism I have is the "3rd way" to get 2FA was "to install the HMRC app".
I can't begin to describe how fucking sick and fucking tired I am of "just install our app" - especially when I have 3 2FA code generating apps on my phone already.
Surely HMRC could have used Google Authenticator ?
Bad form to reply to oneself, however ...
Just a quick census of chez Page, and no machine is more recent than 5 years old. My media "server" is 10 years old, and the desktop MrsPage used to use (until she got an iPad - there's a clue there) is 8 years old.
Both running Linux, as is this 6-year old laptop.
When are these "PC sales will recover" stories going to end. They're starting to sound like the end-of-the-world stories we hear every so often.
PCs are a mature market. Everyone who needs one has one. And younger generations don't need at all.
Also don't some spiders have a neat trick where they wobble their low-res eyes around, and use the light/dark/light transitions thus caused to build up a much higher resolution image than a crude 9x9 grid would normally give you ?
And these are the guys negotiating Brexit ?
Actually the bigger risk to to someday discover/realise that there is no set value for any "constant", and they can vary depending where you are in the Universe ... (or even "which" Universe) ....
Evidence around the world indicates that you can't keep a lid on the democratic aspirations of an increasingly wealthy population in the longer term.
It's called "war". --->
My theory is the developer(s) in question didn't really grasp how GitHub works, and managed to include the database in the files uploaded.
Which suggests they were developing against an unscrambled copy of a live database.
FFS, 15 years ago, it was compulsory to scramble data when taking a cut of live for dev or test. Of course all that (highly paid) experience has been let go, so we have kids in charge.
I really fear for the *next* 15 years.
and much more. Sheet music, music bios and books, and imported magazines like (cough) "High Times" and the US version of Rolling Stone.
In fact, for a brief moment, I had better access to US mags than my Orange County penfriend :)
Bollocks. We haven't even achieved the level of language skills needed, let alone the fine grasp on semantics that everyday speech throws up.
That's "a few years off".
There is a reason Turing is considered a genius. He gave us *all* the tools we need to deal with AI. From self driving cars to robotic nannies.
The Turning test.
If the robot (or car or whatever) can pass whatever exams, and tests are required for a *human* to achieve licensing/certification - then it's passed.
There are multiple stories of "lowly" police officers misusing the Police database to harass, and in cases intimidate and falsely prosecute personal vendettas.
Wait till their bosses get hold of that data.
for an industry which prides itself on a selection of standards to fit the bill (literally) the continuing lack of a simple RFC on password construction baffles me.
We have one for valid email addresses (which I had to read twice to discover that "'" [apostrophe] *is* a valid character. Despite a lot of home-brewed code thinking it isn't).
So why not one for password ? Ideally permitted characters, minimum/maximum length, plus basic entropy rules.
That said, having done my share of working on RFCs in the 80s, I can understand the lack of enthusiasm.
Imagine the T&Cs of your ISP contract have a clause along the lines of:
...1) You shall not permit any communication using the service provided which is encrypted beyond the ability of the Service Provider to decrypt
...2) In order to ensure compliance with (...1) the Service Provider shall be permitted to undertake detailed inspection of all and any network traffic that enters or leaves the network at the instigation or behest of the customer
...3) Failure to adhere to these conditions may result in termination of the services provided. Additionally customers may be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Time to plug some pink noise into the internet I guess.
Now *there* was a plane.
one overflew a U2 at 66,000 ft
would love to have seen the USAF pilots face.
for years I would see the beautiful silhouette of one of the testaments to postwar European engineering, as I worked in Hounslow, under the flightpath.
Never failed to send a tingle down my spine (although that may have been the noise. You definitely heard it before you saw it).
Maybe I skim-read too quicky, but I missed the part where NASA engineers admitted that Concorde was a greater engineering challenge than the Apollo programme ?
fans of the ever-watchable "Yes Minister" will recall that in the first episode, the civil service were terrified that Jim Hacker - who had spent years in opposition for Agriculture - might get made minister for Agriculture where he would be able to call "bullshit" from a position of expertise.
Luckily the Cabinet Secretary advised the PM that Hackers thinking might have "got into a rut" and therefore the Agriculture appointee knew nothing about Agriculture (and as we know Hacker became SoS for Administrative Affairs).
or just under one thousandth of a DUP.
The whole episode has a vague feeling of being a dry run for something much nastier.
I thought SOP was to disabled the POS and just use it as a modem with a real grown up router ?
Arthur C. Clarke ?
Don't use your ISPs DNS.
...are they still going ??
I remember them from the B&W adverts in PCW circa 1987 ....
Not in UK law (I am aware this is a US case). You could walk past a hundred drowning people, not throw a single lifebelt - no guilt there. (It's called a "brothers keeper" law).
Several European countries do have a Good Samaritan law, making it a criminal offence not to help someone in mortal danger.
The only way it could become a criminal case in the UK is if the victim was owed a statutory duty of care by the person charged.
which mandates terrorists *must* used electronic devices to communicate ?
Just wait until we discover an atrocity planned via snail mail (preferably using a foreign language in a foreign script - e.g. Farsi).
Alternatively, just set up a public streaming webcam pointing at a bit of pavement, and just walk past with the message at a set date and time ....
And there are thousands of other non-encrypted ways to communicate in secret. Starting with learning Welsh ....
Is this a new trend in parents naming their offspring to be effectively "UnGoogleable" ????
Given how cloud computing can deliver a virtual desktop via RDP down an ADSL line, the only real need for local computing grunt is where latency is a problem and/or the loss of functionality due to a loss of connectivity would be problematic.
So a subset of a subset.
We *should* start to see a divergence between an OS intended for cloud-delivery, and an OS intended to manage a local machine.
Now I'm not (yet) sure what this will mean in the marketplace, but stories like this need to be read against that background.
I have a vague memory that the concept of "Failsafe" is that a system can be put into a state which is intrinsically safe.
For example, railway signals used to be DOWN for stop. In the event of the signalling system failing, all trains would just stop at the next signal. Leaving the system in a "safe" condition.
I also believe there's no failsafe for an aircraft in motion. I.e: there is no way to set the controls to keep the aircraft permanently safe (even a car would just come to a stop when power is remove).
I actually quite liked Windows Phone. But the deafening silence of apps made it pretty much a novelty in any setting.
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