* Posts by veti

3015 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

The sound of silence is actually the sound of a malicious smart speaker app listening in on you

veti Silver badge

Re: I still dont understand

Because they find them useful, of course.

If you carry a smartphone, your privacy is already badly compromised. If you use it to browse the Web and make comments on ElReg, even more so. And if you read your email on it, then... Really, at that stage I'm not sure what more you think you have to lose.

But lots of people do all these things, and I haven't even mentioned Facebook yet.

It's a trade off. It may not interest you, but it seems unreasonable to expect it not to interest anyone else.

No one would be so scummy as to scam a charity, right? UK orgs find out the hard way

veti Silver badge

Re: Charities are a fraud

The RSPCA last year took £41 million in contributions, and spent £96 million on animal welfare services (i.e. excluding fundraising, prosecutions, campaigns, science, education and lobbying). I don't know what that highest-paid employee is doing, but someone there is clearly doing something quite remarkable there in terms of getting value for money.

Just a friendly reminder there were no at-the-time classified secrets on Clinton's email server. Yes, the one everyone lost their minds over

veti Silver badge

Oh gods, not this again

Cue the endless, mindless ranting about double standards, the deep state covering up, "most corrupt politician"... Have we not had enough? Why troll the trolls yet again?

Let it die already. Nobody cares.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket

veti Silver badge

How exactly are you meant to "step on it", if there's an "idiot in front of you... updating their Facebook status"?

veti Silver badge

Re: But not for long.....

It's more sporting that way.

Directly taking control of someone's car is only 1 point per violation you can get them to commit. But indirectly causing crashes through messing with road infrastructure, that's 2 points per vehicle you can get into the pileup. (Plus 3 points for an abandonment or towaway, 5 points for bursting into flames.)

We read the Brexit copyright notices so you don't have to… No more IP freely, ta very much

veti Silver badge

Not entirely. It's true that most EU law has been codified into UK law, and all that will continue to stand - but some of the legal decisions and precedents set under the old regime will no longer be valid. And some rulings are not statutory, but only guidelines/regulations made by gov'ts, in some cases to comply with EU obligations.

So yes, there will be changes immediately. Just - not very big ones, as the article shows.

veti Silver badge

Re: Take Back Control?

In the first place, how has any of that affected your life, exactly?

In the second place, extensions to the Art 50 deadline have been granted not only by agreement with, but at the express request of, HMG, all because HMG can't muster a majority for leaving on any terms.

In the third place, the one thing the ECJ has pronounced definitively is that the UK retains the option to revoke Art 50 at any time, unilaterally.

I'm having a hard time seeing how any of that amounts to Europeans controlling your life.

Samsung on fridge cert error: Someone tried to view 'unsavoury content' in middle of John Lewis

veti Silver badge

If the power consumption of the screen plus webcams is lower than the additional power used by the fridge because you opened the door - which doesn't seem far-fetched to me - then it comes out ahead in efficiency.

Junior minister says gov.UK considering facial recognition to verify age of p0rn-watchers

veti Silver badge

"Wasted" is a pretty subjective description. So long as it kept people in work and fended off stupid questions for a time, at least some people would consider that money well spent.

Register Lecture: Is space law 'hurting' commercial exploration?

veti Silver badge

Re: Don't forget the fate of early Earth colonists

Try building a town in any of those places on earth, and see how far you get. It's not the environment that'll stop you.

veti Silver badge

Re: Don't forget the fate of early Earth colonists

Mars has an abundance of what is the single most pressured resource on Earth: land.

Colonies are all about having a new place for people to live. Emphasis on "place". Earth is starting to feel pretty crowded, and if young people today are going to carve out their own patch - it's far from clear where they can do it. Old people, who are living longer than ever, tend to be reluctant to give away their remaining land. That sort of reflection, over time, leads to pressure and conflict.

Resolving that pressure was what colonialism was all about. The USA had "the Frontier" for the first part of its existence, but when that reached its limit - within a generation, they had civil war.

This is why "intellectual property" is so trendy - it's a way to let people feel they own something, without having to take it away from a current owner.

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block

veti Silver badge

Re: Yay!

You seem to assume that parents will know more about such devices than their kids. I think that's not a safe assumption by a very long way, considering how strongly motivated your average teenager could be to invert it.

Hundreds charged in internet's biggest child-abuse swap-shop site bust: IP addy leak led cops to sys-op's home

veti Silver badge

Re: Operators of anonymization services like Tor must ask themselves

"Your guess" based on what, exactly?

With arms sales the danger is obvious, not just to experts or insiders but to everyone (read: voters). They've had no choice but to talk through all these issues thousands of times. (Which also explains why it's so hard to change their minds now.)

With Tor, none of that is true. Most people have still never heard of it. It hasn't attracted anything like the same level of scrutiny or discussion.

veti Silver badge

Re: Glad the people they busted got busted, but this is a drop in the bucket

TFA mentions "roughly one million Bitcoin wallets". So, to a back-of-the-envelope level of accuracy, I would take that as a first estimation of the total number of site users.

I don't know how you infer that it was a small-fry operation, though. Those 337 could include most or all of the admin-level users and/or some of the bigger contributors.

A funny thing happened on Huawei to the bank. We made even more money. Hahaha. Here till Friday

veti Silver badge

Re: Far from rosy

For the past couple of quarters, Huawei has been focusing a lot of sales effort on the home market. That is to say, it's sold a lot of smartphones in China.

It's possible that their international sales have slipped but the domestic demand has more than offset the effect. I don't know, I'm just trying to square where contradictory figures might come from.

If that is the case, it's worth noting that the Chinese already have enough American money to continue stimulating their own economy through five more years of Trumpery, if that's what it takes.

Blood money is fine with us, says GitLab: Vetting non-evil customers is 'time consuming, potentially distracting'

veti Silver badge

Re: "This is a very confused post"

"Lobbying" gets a lot of stick, but it's not inherently a bad thing. Lobbying is simply what happens when a government asks people what effects certain decisions or policies may have on them. That seems to me like a pretty good idea.

So, companies have to be allowed to express political views.

Once you concede that, I don't think there's any logically reputable way you can try to dictate or limit what those views may be. To say anything about what a company "should" do (on moral, as opposed to sheer utilitarian grounds) - is to assert an authority that you don't have, unless you're some kind of stakeholder in the company. To be sure you can disagree with them, and you can lobby them to change their position, but in the end you have to accept their right to determine their own view.

What the &*%* did you just $#*&!*# say about me, you little &%$#*? 'AI' to filter Xbox Live chat

veti Silver badge

Re: I know it's possible to have fun ...

I'm Sorry, I Haven't A ****?

veti Silver badge

Re: I know it's possible to have fun ...

As I recall it, Wowbagger only took to insulting people after he discovered he was immortal, as a way to pass the time. So, the causality works the other way there.

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else

veti Silver badge

The carrots will be fine to eat. Nothing stays in our fridge long enough to get thrown out, except occasionally a carton of juice or flavoured milk.

And yes, they absolutely do need to be kept in the fridge. You evidently don't live in my climate.

veti Silver badge

Ah, but what about webcams inside the fridge to show you the content? With, I presume, some sort of lighting, otherwise there's not much point?

See, killer app right there. Who has time to go opening their fridge for that sort of thing?

Seriously, though, if I could look at my phone and see the content of my fridge, that would actually be fairly useful. I can't count the number of times I've texted the Other Half from the supermarket, "do we need carrots?" (or whatever).

Her Majesty opens UK Parliament with fantastic tales of gigabit-capable broadband for everyone

veti Silver badge

Re: Always???

You see tens of them on this very site?

Should be trivial to post half a dozen links, then. Please do.

veti Silver badge

Re: gigabit-capable

The only weasel word required is "capable".

A carrier pigeon can deliver a gigabit. There might be a degree of latency, but still.

Lies, damn lies, and KPIs: Let's not fix the formula until we have someone else to blame

veti Silver badge

Re: bigwigs had spent the last year working on ... "numbers totally unrelated to reality"

"... but to really fuck things up, you need a computer."

Wisdom from the 1970s, there.

veti Silver badge

No, because he was the one who'd been giving them the false information, which they'd been submitting (as far as we know) in good faith. There's no way for Alban to spin that as him being better than his management.

Owning up would certainly have been embarrassing, and might have resulted in management casualties - but Alban would definitely have been first out of the door.

No ghosts but the Holy one as vicar exorcises spooky tour from UK's most haunted village

veti Silver badge

Re: G K Chesterton

He was a great advocate of papal and church authority, which later came to be used as a strong pillar of the war against heretics of all kinds - Protestants, witches, you name it. But I think it's a bit harsh to tax him with everything that was done with his writings two centuries later. That's like blaming Napoleon for Brexit.

veti Silver badge

Re: G K Chesterton

according to the disposition of divine providence, separated souls sometimes come forth from their abode and appear to men . . . It is also credible that this may occur sometimes to the damned, and that for man’s instruction and intimidation they be permitted to appear to the living.
- St Thomas Aquinas.

The Bible itself gives us stories of ghosts (2 Macc 15:11-17, Matt 17:1-9). Human logic is not proof against divine providence.

veti Silver badge

Re: Ghost tours

And all that is meant to be more plausible than "they're just ghosts, OK?", is it?

Quantum mechanical BS just makes you look like a deliberate fraud, rather than a sincere believer.

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked

veti Silver badge

Re: cathartic

If you got 4 characters in before it became offensive, it can't have been *that* sweary...

Stalker attacks Japanese pop singer – after tracking her down using reflection in her eyes

veti Silver badge

Such low-tech approaches are too well known and easily countered. It's not hard to shake someone who's following you on foot or by car, unless they have an overwhelming advantage in resources (backup). And I imagine idols routinely take those measures on their way home from gigs. (They certainly would if I were managing them.)

This approach, being novel and non-obvious, bypassed the tried-and-tested obvious precautions. Chances are it'll never work again, now, as this story has got a good bit of publicity.

Europe publishes 5G risk assessment; America scrawls ‘Huawei’ on the side of a nuke and goes for a ride

veti Silver badge

Re: Fair trading

It's unfair because Everyone Knows that the Chinese only copy, they don't innovate, therefore their patents can't possibly be legit.

It'll be some time yet before any authority figure (in the USA particularly, although the EU is also not immune to this particular strain of nationalism/racism) is prepared to admit that this common wisdom is bullshit.

Virtual inanity: Solution to Irish border requires data and tech not yet available, MPs told

veti Silver badge

Re: borders to be regularised or smoothed out by mutual agreement

If that's really the problem, then the solution is obvious: a unified European immigration and asylum system. Is that what you're suggesting?

If not, then you're always going to have differences in the asylum rules between countries, and as long as that persists, there will always be valid reasons for asylum seekers to cross one country to get to another.

So make up your mind what you want. Do you want to let refugees apply at each country separately, or do you want your immigration policy absolutely (as opposed to just partly) dictated by foreigners? It's one or the other.

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US peeps? Well, guess what…

veti Silver badge

Makes sense

They want to catch bad guys. Statistically speaking, most of the bad guys they're interested in are US persons. They've got this huge database of information about US persons, what are they supposed to do - not use it, spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on gathering the same information again through other channels...?

If I had a choice between "trying to get approval to spend two weeks of time and tens of thousands of dollars to find out whether X is dirty" and "spending half an hour to get the same information from an existing database", I wouldn't hesitate. I wouldn't think I was doing anything wrong, either. Your privacy can be invaded by a team of half a dozen agents and a full dossier created specifically on you, or it can be invaded by one guy with some SQL. Which is worse, really? (Yes, I know the latter allows 100x more people to be intruded upon more of the time. But that's not much comfort if you're one of the 1% who gets the much more detailed attention of the old approach.)

Really what this story shows is that the regulatory system is broken, not because it's too lax (although it is), but because it's based on the assumption that "reasonable people" will ultimately agree on what's ethical and what isn't.

Flak overflow: Barrage of criticism prompts very public Stack Overflow apology

veti Silver badge

Re: This is all very fine, except for one thing.

And this right here is why you allow more than three days for this kind of comment period.

Three weeks would make more sense.

Iran tried to hack hundreds of politicians, journalists email accounts last month, warns Microsoft

veti Silver badge

Re: I object to the lack of apostrophes in this headline

And I object to the lack of the word "and", but here we both are anyway.

veti Silver badge

Re: From the closing paragraph of the article...

I don't know of anyone who has any objection to the Bidens being investigated. Investigate away. And by all means let the FBI co-operate with its sibling agencies in other countries to get information from them if it needs to.

But that's not the same as the president of the USA phoning a foreign leader and letting it be known that he wants a particular result to an investigation, as "a favor". It's not in the same ballpark. It's not even the same sport.

Can you see the difference?

Remember the millions of fake net neutrality comments? They weren't as kosher as the FCC made out

veti Silver badge

Re: Why did the FCC accept all of these fake comments?

Facade of democracy.

We're all talking as if "comments" were somehow equivalent to "votes", so what matters is how many you receive. That's a stupid idea on the face of it, it brings up all the problems we've always known about online voting, and with ZERO safeguards.

I have always treated comment periods as an opportunity to make points that hadn't already been answered in the official published reasoning, on the basis that they might have been overlooked. It follows that there is absolutely no point in sending the same message more than once. A point made by one person is just as valid as one made by a million.

So, while it's no doubt fun for Pai and his mates to troll their opponents like this, it's not necessary. It's just the "smoke" part of "smoke and mirrors". It's a distraction. All of it.

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row

veti Silver badge

Re: Is this just an English thing ?

But, confusingly, "thou shalt not make".

Cite.

veti Silver badge

Re: Is this just an English thing ?

As I read it, I thought the only safe thing to do now is to avoid the use of singular pronouns entirely. Use names every time.

But apparently that's not acceptable either.

Now, normally I'd be bang alongside "avoiding unnecessary offence to anyone", but frankly at this point just "ditching Stack Exchange" looks like a comparatively reasonable option. This level of linguistic policing is beyond reasonable.

veti Silver badge

Re: Is this just an English thing ?

"You" is also the respectful singular form. "Thou/thee" implies familiarity. (Or disrespect.)

(The root is the same as French 'tu' or German 'du', and the distinction in usage, vs 'vous' or 'Sie', was similar.)

IT workers: Speaking truth to douchebags since 1977

veti Silver badge

Re: Xmas humour failure

That's not toooo bad, provided the message isn't so long that it materially delays the caller getting through to a person. I can imagine getting wound up by it, but so long as I still got my support I could shrug it off.

veti Silver badge

Re: Minions do get fired

Let's get this straight - if the customers' name was changed, your system interpreted that as meaning that this must be a new customer?

Granted, it was a bloody stupid thing to do - but even so, that's also a bloody stupid way to configure a utility billing database. There's a reason for using a database, not a spreadsheet.

TAG, you're s*!t: Internet advertising industry bods admit self-policing approach is a sham

veti Silver badge

Re: "... a racket that extorts fees from good companies..."

Google still gives me a hit count. It's not accurate (but then it never was), but it's a number.

veti Silver badge

I'm confused. If you can self certify, how can there be companies who apply for certification but don't get it? And why would they pay tens of thousands for the privilege?

For that sort of money, they could run a complete independent audit regime.

Planes, boats and autocrats: US Treasury Dept. slaps more sanctions on accused Russian troll funder

veti Silver badge

Re: So...

Why this particular case right now? Obviously, because Trump has just openly confessed to asking the Ukrainian government to meddle in the election, and he wants to dilute that story.

veti Silver badge

Re: One reason I want to keep old school pen and paper ballots.

It's not necessary to screw with the votes if you are sufficiently adept at screwing with the voters.

Now that's integrity: Bloke sinks 7 beers, turns himself in. Cops weren't looking for him

veti Silver badge

It didn't say anything about cans, either. Why assume?

If he did his drinking in a bar, it was probably pints.

We're all doooooomed: Gloomy Brit workforce really isn't coping well with impending Brexit

veti Silver badge

Re: Damned if you do...

An election would solve nothing at this point.

The Tories would win (because Corbyn is just that frickin' hopeless, and the Remain vote would be split between Labour and Lib Dem). They'd accept this gleefully as a mandate for hard Brexit, and that would go through. (Step 1.)

Then the Tories would take their "mandate" and continue to misgovern the country for another five years, based on policies that no-one even noticed at the time because they were buried under the great steaming pile of ordure that is Brexit. Meanwhile, everything bad that happens will be blamed on some combination of (remainers/traitors/saboteurs/inevitable transient correction after Brexit).

Or, let's imagine that Labour and Lib Dem could do a deal (which seems improbable, given Labour's recent efforts to purify itself of all heretical liberal thought, but let's go with it), and put together a coalition government. Then it would be tasked with negotiating a New and Better Brexit, per Labour's policy, but doing so from a position of "no matter what happens we can't leave with no deal". This means the EU has even less reason than it's had to date to negotiate seriously - from its point of view, the whole problem can be solved by simply forcing the worst imaginable deal onto Britain, so that it will be rejected and the UK will remain. And then Corbyn, or his successor, will be in the position of trying to deliver on Labour's manifesto (which assumes Brexit) while still inside the EU, which would be mostly impossible, so they'll be epically punished for it at the next election. (And the Lib Dems would be even more screwed than they were with the Tories.)

OR, imagine that Corbyn could pull off - what he pretended to pull off in 2017, another massive swing to Labour, giving him an outright majority. (Spoiler, he can't. Lest we forget, he lost in 2017.) That leaves him - well, actually in the same position as if he'd done a deal with the Lib Dems but with one less scapegoat.

There's no happy ending to this story. Brexit is happening. If, three months later, you can still walk down the street without having to step over corpses, buy mange tout in Waitrose, turn on the lights - it will be called a howling success, because that's how low Remainers have dragged the bar.

Amazon, maker of racist and sexist facial recog, to suggest regulations for facial recog systems

veti Silver badge

"Because you're required to make sure I assent to fourteen pages of legal boilerplate before you terminate me. Dumbass."

Hey, it's Google's birthday! Remember when they were the good guys?

veti Silver badge

Re: Remember when they were the good guys?

It's hard to avoid politicisation of anything, but in the case of search - the ads made it completely unavoidable.

veti Silver badge

Re: Old search engines

Altavista was awesome in its day. Then it started trying to become a "portal" (remember those? - everyone wanted to be one in the mid-90s), and here we are.

Google, on the other hand - they've actually pulled off the "portal" transition without dying horribly. True that it's done horrible things to the quality of their service, but hats off to them - they've achieved what Altavista and others never did.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020