* Posts by veti

2349 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Autopilot engineer drove off to Chinese rival with our top-secret blueprints in the glovebox, Tesla claims in sueball

veti Silver badge

And yet Tesla is, apparently, in the habit of giving unfettered access to its entire codebase to low-ranking coders or analysts in whose career plans and movements it has no plans to take much interest.


Let's spin Facebook's Wheel of Misfortune! Clack-clack-clack... clack... You've won '100s of millions of passwords stored in plaintext'

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Re: What about insiders

All that means is that the data was very easily available, chucked up in response to some very common back-end queries. It doesn't mean that any of those users were actively trying to get that information or that they did anything improper with it.

Of course, it does imply that it'd be very hard for FB to find out even if they did. And my bet is, they're currently trying hard not to find out.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

The other EU governments know that if the UK crashes out without a deal, the rest of the Union won't last another decade, probably much less.

That's why they have been to such pains to make sure "revoke article 50" is always on the table, no matter what else happens. They think that if the choice comes down to "remain" vs "no deal", the British will choose "remain". I used to think that too, but after the last three years of EU "diplomacy" I'm not so sure.

(It's easy enough to blame this whole fiasco on Cameron, and to be sure he deserves a lot of that. But Merkel also played her part. She was the one who, first, gave the Eurosceptics a talking point by inflicting needless austerity on the Greeks, and then backed the EU to send Cameron home with his tail between his legs when he came to them for "concessions" ahead of the referendum. If the EU does go down, she'll occupy a place in history as one of the major architects of its collapse.)

veti Silver badge

Re: All too late

Reputations go down, reputations go up. Nothing is unrecoverable - just look at Germany. It's just a matter of how long it takes.

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

There's no doubt that Brexit will result in the reunification of Ireland, so Sinn Fein should be happy.

Of course that will in turn result in more bloodshed in Ireland, and an influx of refugees, mostly to Britain. The post-Brexit government will take them in because how can they not? So everyone who voted for Brexit in the hopes of reducing, or at least controlling, immigration will find it a most spectacular own goal.

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Re: The only conspiracy

Over 2 million now. And since the site has been down persistently for the last two hours, as well as intermittently before then, it's likely that a large number of people are still trying to sign.

You're right, it's never going to outweigh the absolute number of people who voted "leave". (We'll never know how many would have signed it, if the site had decent hosting. But on the other hand, we'll also never know how many signatories are, genuinely, unique British voters, so the results would be taken with a large bag of salt anyway.) What it does suggest is that there is more, let's call it, "public concern" over this issue than over any other issue in recent history. By a margin of at least one order of magnitude, probably two.

Carolina coward fesses up: I was a tech support scambag, and I made millions out of defrauding the elderly

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Seven figures in ill-gotten games? Must have kept them busy.

New Zealand cops cuff alleged jackasses who shared mosque murder video, messages online

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Re: His Manifesto

The "manifesto" has not (yet) been banned. Ardern has (politely) asked people not to share it, but there is no crime in possessing it or even sharing it at present.

Personally I feel about it the same as about "true crime" TV: it's rather gross, rather disturbing, rather sad, and I'd rather not waste my life reading it. Specialist psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, spooks and cops might get something from it. I'm not in any of those categories, so I'll leave it to them, thanks.

If you think you are gaining understanding from it - well, just keep in mind that the killer wanted you to read it. Some of the arguments presented there may represent sincerely held beliefs, but I'll warrant that not all of them do, and I'll further bet that you can't reliably tell the difference.

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To be clear...

That "Philip Neville Arps" is a man who, three years ago, turned up at one of these same mosques and dumped boxes of pigs' heads on the grounds, before making a Heil Hitler salute. He was quoted as saying at the time: "White power, I don't go to a mosque often, it should be f***ing molotovs."

For that event, at the time, he was fined $800.

When he heard about this attack, he posted "Excellent". So let's not waste too much time worrying about his true motives or sympathies.

There's certainly a debate to be had about the appropriate response to acts of excessive hatred that fall short of actual violence. But it's a debate, with arguments to be made on several sides. Let's not assume that "everything short of actual violence must be permitted, else you're no better than Stalin" is the only possible rational position to take. Or indeed, that it's any kind of rational position at all.

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Neither Oz nor NZ are "nations", in the sense that "nationalists" understand it. They're countries. It's a different thing.

nation, n.: a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

A "country", on the other hand, is a political unity defined by its government, not its people.

On one level, it's ironic that an Australian white nationalist chose to commit these murders in a foreign country. But once you understand what "nation" means in this context, it makes sense. (Hint: it would exclude Aborigines and Maori, as well as Muslims.)

veti Silver badge

Straw man argument. We are not forbidden from watching "for our own benefit", but for the distress and fear it is likely to cause to some innocent people who may be exposed to it, and for the aid and comfort it gives to our enemies (terrorists).

And how do you work out this is "the first time in history" people are being directly forbidden from accessing primary sources? What about, e.g., all those Isis beheading videos that have been repeatedly and systematically taken down from YouTube and elsewhere for the past five years?

It is a considerable reach to go from "classifying a video as 'objectionable'" to "the only 'true' source of information being government approved media", and you have made no attempt to justify the leap. You seem to be implying a "slippery slope" argument, without actually using the words, but you haven't said anything about either the gradient or the coefficient of friction of the slope. Without which, it's not an argument.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

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Re: Criminal Negligence and/or Corporate Malfeasance? Those are a Rock and a Hard Place

That's completely different. VW was a foreign company selling to Americans. Boeing is an American company selling to foreigners. And the victims were also mostly foreign, therefore not important.

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Re: Lifts the veil on aviation ...

Yes, that's exactly what it was. That was explicitly touted as a selling point in Boeing's pitch to airlines with existing 737 fleets.

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Re: Car analogy, software emulation

There's a joke that's been going around in aviation circles for a while now, that the ideal flight crew on a modern passenger jet is one pilot and one dog. The pilot is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch the controls.

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Re: Want to try to reprogram it so it feels and drives like an F1?

It doesn't "determine erroneous outputs", that's kinda the whole point. It could, easily enough, calibrate the sensor while the plane is taxiing toward takeoff, when it knows for a fact that the angle of attack is zero, but apparently that wasn't deemed necessary or useful.

There's an excellent and detailed account of the whole sad ballsup here. (If you get a message about ad blocking, try revisiting with a mobile device.)

In a humiliating climbdown, Facebook agrees to follow US laws

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Dear Facebook,

This isn't hard. Let users request what ads they want to see.

If I want to search for a job as a dental receptionist in Walla Walla, or a short-term lease on a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago, then show me all the ads relevant to my query. ALL of them, regardless of any preferences expressed by the advertiser.

Brexit text-it wrecks it: Vote Leave fined £40k for spamming 200k msgs ahead of EU referendum

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Re: Vote Leave fined for promoting Brexit

Campaigning in a referendum has rules. If you break those rules, you can expect the courts to punish you. What is undemocratic about that?

In this case, the rule doesn't even relate to campaigning: it's a blanket rule that applies to everyone, all the time. It's as if a politician's tour bus had been clocked doing 60 m.p.h. down a residential road and parking across six disabled spaces. Would it be an "attack on democracy" to punish that, too?

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Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave?

The only way that might work is two referendums, maybe a week apart. The second one would be "should we stay or should we go?"

The first one would be "which version of 'go' should be on the ballot in next week's referendum - May's deal, or no deal?"

That would let everyone vote with their eyes open. It might even persuade a significant number of the losers to accept the result, which is the only useful purpose of referendums.

Facebook blames 'server config change' for 14-hour outage. Someone run that through the universal liar translator

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Re: tapping now done

Why would they tap Facebook?

That's like stealing books from your own library.

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Re: Not sure the comparison is valid

A small one. Any of the several million companies that don't have enough employees to include one who knows how the Web works, because they're too busy thinking about new flavours of cheese or ways to tie up a doll's hair or changing the kitty litter.

Overhyped 5G is being 'rushed', Britain's top comms boffin reckons

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Re: Well then

There are still over half a billion people in China alone who don't yet have smartphones. As many again in India. And I haven't even tried to find numbers for Africa.

If you really want the market, it's out there. You just have to develop something for it.

UK digital competition review: Forget money, we should consider 'balance of harms' during tech mergers

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Define "harm".

There's a whole immensely lucrative industry built around the fact that a sufficiently motivated lawyer can find "harm" in most anything. It does make sense to weigh such claims before automatically folding to them.

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Re: Data about me is owned by me

The good news is, "your view" is largely in line with most European legislation.

The bad news is, in America no-one gives a flying fart about it.

As for Brexiters, who knows what they think. If it's ever even occurred to them, my guess is that they'd be more sympathetic to the American view.

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7

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Re: Time, gentlemen, please

if you really, really want to keep using obsolete kit, then fine, carry on. But I venture to suggest, that doesn't apply to all that many people, and supporting exclusively those people - sounds like a very small market niche.

Me, I'm feeling more smug than ever about my decision to install 8.1. Seriously, it's probably the last "good" Windows version.

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Re: Is it stable yet?

If you only use it as an xterm, why is Outlook running?

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Re: Oh well,

Eh? I looked, and I can still see NVMe drivers aplenty. Here's

Samsung's, for example, and here's Intel's, both of them claiming to support Windows 7.

There was yet another net neutrality hearing today in America, and it was all straightened out amicably and smoothly

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Re: It's so tempting to shrug

You mean, like the F-35, or the border wall, or a trillion-dollar tax handout to the obscenely rich, or...?

Earmarks haven't gone away, they've just become a bit harder to isolate. Citation.

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It's so tempting to shrug

"Business as usual", you might say.

But really, it isn't. This kind of perpetual grandstanding is a relatively new phenomenon. As recently as the Clinton administration, legislators were capable of working together to actually legislate about things. (Usually the wrong things, but that's extra.)

I blame 24 hour news, and Newt Gingrich. In that order. (24 hour news created the climate in which every viewer thinks they're some kind of fucking expert on everything they watch, and Gingrich weaponised that mass-Dunning-Kruger-effect to create the attitude that bipartisanship is basically treason. But if he hadn't done it, someone else would have. It's mostly crap journalism that got us here. Unfortunately, the WWW actively penalises every other kind.)

Yelp-for-MAGAs app maker is warned there are holes in its code. Does it A. Just fix the problem, or B. Threaten to call the FBI, too?

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Re: Somehow I can just see Trump

Meh. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. As far as I know, he hasn't yet mentioned it.

Let's not talk about what we imagine he might do. What he does is bad enough.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

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Re: According to the BBC...

"excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain"

That's rather a long-winded way to say "diving into the ground", don't you think?

Racist self-driving car scare debunked, inside AI black boxes, Google helps folks go with the TensorFlow...

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I said "light colours", not "white".

Blue, yellow, pink, red, orange... Of course, if you'd rather be seen dead than in any of those colours, then carry on.

veti Silver badge

To be fair, it's also harder for a human driver to see a dark skinned pedestrian at night. I'm trying not to be racist here, but I don't see any way around that.

Unless it's telling people what my parents told me, as a pasty-faced child - to wear light-coloured clothing when I went out at night. Yep, that's right - I'm blaming the victims. If you walk into the road without taking reasonable precautions both to check for traffic and to make sure that drivers can see you, then I'm sorry but that's Darwinism at work.

How to keep your flock of users secure: Let them know exactly who and where the wolves are

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Financial advice, I am convinced, is obfuscated on purpose. It's job security for the whole industry of financial planners and fund managers,none of whom are doing anything you couldn't easily do for yourself if only you could bring yourself to learn what it is.

IT security is probably often in the same boat. It's really not that hard, but if users realise that, sysadmins will lose a portion of their power.

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster

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Re: So...

No. Statements of opinion are not slanderous, no matter how well or poorly founded or thought out they may be.

In addition, statements can only be slanderous (or libellous) if it is possible to identify who they are referring to, and the person/group in question is small enough and clearly enough defined that it can credibly be described as potentially affecting their reputation.


"Steviebuk is a tit" - statement of opinion, fine.

"No commentard has an IQ above 85" - a large and vaguely defined group, fine.

"veti has an IQ below 85" - framed as a statement of fact, directed at a specific person - potentially actionable, except that even under UK law you can't libel yourself...

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"Almost unique" has a perfectly clear meaning - well, as clear as "unique" does, anyway - in the same way as a silver medallist may be said to have "almost won" their race.

FBI boss: Never mind Russia and social media, China ransacks US biz for blueprints, secrets at 'surprisingly' huge scale

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A side effect of the US hardening defences against Russia

Some of those Russians have turned their attention back to the UK. Want to make sure Brexit goes through, after all.

Have you seen any posts or emails from someone who claims they've "just been reading the Lisbon treaty", lately?

Adi Shamir visa snub: US govt slammed after the S in RSA blocked from his own RSA conf

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Re: So where would they move it to?

Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Ireland - basically, most of northern Europe is still reasonably healthy. I'm pretty sure all of those countries have at least a couple of decently equipped conference venues.

No shortage of options, if you want to move. Frankly I can't imagine why anyone would try to organise an international event in the USA nowadays.

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Re: couldn't get one or couldn't get one in time?

Sufficiently advanced delay is indistinguishable from denial.

How much notice is reasonable to require? Two months? Two years? Two decades?

Alphabet snoop: If you're OK with Google-spawned Chronicle, hold on, hold on, dipping into your intranet traffic, wait, wait

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Re: Nice horse!

Google selling its user data would be like Saudi Arabia selling its oil wells: insanely profitable up front, but only as a prelude to going out of business.

When the bits hit the FAN: US military accused of knackering Russian trolls, news org's IT gear amid midterm elections

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Re: That saddest thing about Russiagate...

The mere fact that someone like Torshin even emailed her at all is enough to cast serious doubt on her "innocent student trying to form bonds with Americans" story.

It's like a random American student in Russia receiving an email from John Bolton. Wouldn't that look kinda suspicious?

If you were really interested in critiquing the WaPo story, you could have linked directly to it. Among other things, that would have told your readers who the heck this 'Torshin' guy is, which is something I doubt more than one American in a thousand would know off the top of their head.

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...

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I disagree, there is often quite a strong correlation. Especially in software changes, where by far the hardest part of the job is describing precisely what it is supposed to do.

The catch is that neither the customer nor the developer will realise this sad fact until it is far too late.

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Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

Never mind authorised, it's the documentation that matters. I don't care that much about who approved this bollocks, specially as they've probably moved on long ago - what I want to know is, WTFF is it doing and why?

Up up and Huawei in my beautiful buffoon: Trump sparks panic by tying tech kit ban, charges to China trade negotiations

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Re: Boundaries

Quite. We're talking about the same administration that is prepared to stand up before a judge and say that the import of Canadian aluminum [sic] and German cars represents a security threat.

I don't think Trump has any concept of "boundaries".

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?

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Re: Racist bastards!

Then, assuming you're still in Britain, you'd be "indigenous". Good word, that. Look it up.

I took a headline writer to task, years ago, for the phrase "indigenous immigrant". That's a contradiction in terms.

Jeez, what a Huawei to go: Now US senators want Chinese kit ripped out of national leccy grid

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Re: Paranoia?

Nah, nobody believes there's spyware in the inverters. (For one thing, what would they spy on, exactly? How much do you think that data is worth to Huawei or the Chinese gov't - enough to risk losing such a market? Yeah, right.)

This is just plain old-fashioned protectionism. American firms have complained that Huawei's kit is better and cheaper than theirs, so please to stop it from competing with them.

Of course they've been doing that for years, but pre-Trump, senators (as a group) mostly believed in commercial competition and told them "if the competition's product is better than yours, that's the market's way of telling you to make a better product". Now, it's all about "protect American jobs, no matter that they're making worthless tat that just can't hack it unless the market is rigged".

OK, team, we've got the big demo tomorrow and we're feeling confident. Let's reboot the servers

veti Silver badge

Re: Big demo. Should we test?

Isn't that what Excel is for?

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

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Re: It's Just Pattern Recognition

You're saying that we need to understand exactly what intelligence is, before we can create it?

Counterpoint: your mother.

I have yet to see anyone define intelligence in any form that holds water past a couple of rounds of analysis, and so I'm not willing to dismiss AI as readily as some people who seem to believe that intelligence is some kind of magic that's inherently impossible to create.

Oracle: Major ad scam 'DrainerBot' is rinsing Android users of their battery life and data

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Re: Say what...?

You can't get much more "transparent" than an invisible ad.

Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee

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That rollout cost is - not very well audited, I think would be the polite way to put it.

The actual meter costs well under £100. The only way to get to £374 is to include the cost of calibrating, testing, installing and certifying it. But the thing is - you'd have to do that with a dumb meter as well, if you were replacing it, and meters do have to be replaced every so often anyway - so it's more than a little dishonest to count all that money as "the cost of a smart meter'.

veti Silver badge

Re: Stupid gimmick from the start

Or you could, y'know, ask someone.

Here in New Zealand, it costs about $6 to get a routine manual meter read - that is to say, one where the reader just stops by on his usual daily round. (Out of cycle reads cost more like $20-25.) That compares with the cost of a smart meter, which is about $4/month more than a dumb one, so there's an immediate saving there.

But more importantly, there's a much bigger saving in reducing uncertainty. Because if the meter reader can't get at your meter one visit (for whatever reason - hey, it happens all the time) - then it's going to be a full month before he gets round there again. If he misses two, three in a row, the errors in estimation stack up surprisingly quickly. With a smart meter you get a read every day, so there's much less uncertainty bumming around.

Yes, meter makers and owners love it, of course they do. Customers don't appreciate it so much. But you know what customers really hate? Estimated bills. If you don't have smart meters, you need to employ a whole department whose job is to do nothing all day but listen sympathetically to customers whinging about how their bills are 'wrong". It's worth it just to shut those fuckers up.

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