* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

US Homeland Sec boss has snazzy new laptop bomb scanning tech – but admits he doesn't know what it's called

Alister Silver badge

Re: CT


Computed X-Ray Tomography

They have tweaked some scanners


UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

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Re: Not Dark Web, but Lite Web

If the IT community don't fix the problem of children viewing porn

Why should the "IT community " (as if there is any such thing) have any responsibility for fixing the problem?

Parents should take responsibility for their children's actions, not expect either governments or tech companies to manage it for them.

Russia launches non-terrifying satellite that focuses Sun's solar rays onto Earth

Alister Silver badge

Re: Mayak jamming

Is it pure coincidence that the satellite is named after what became known as the USSR's Cold War era radio jamming technique?

Umm, No?

That project was also named beacon, (in Russian) to reflect how it operated.

Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

Alister Silver badge

Re: Roomba

At the top of the stairs was a round, rugged rug,

I apologise in advance, but:

Round and round the rugged rug, the robot Roomba roamed...

Global Switch suffers uptime blips at London Docklands DC

Alister Silver badge

They're just testing the extension to the great (fire)wall of China...

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

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Meanwhile old Parky carries on with his ScamLife adverts....

Well he has to do something to top up his pension.

Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help

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Gartner Analysis = "No shit, Sherlock"

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

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Re: Not just Broadchurch

I thought she was great in St Trinians 1 and 2

Alister Silver badge

They already did that with Bill.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Bah!

Now let us get to the matter of accent.

You will no doubt be glad to hear that Jodie is from Yorkshire.

Brit neural net pioneer just revolutionised speech recognition all over again

Alister Silver badge

I preferred his work on Blackadder...

All hail AT&T! Champion of the open internet and users' privacy!

Alister Silver badge

OK then, let's try idiotic bias against anything done by someone being-president-while-republican.

Even if something is demonstrably, unequivocally the correct thing to do, you are completely blinded by your ridiculous partisanship, and refute it without any logical thought.

Truck spills slimy load all over Oregon road – drivers slip in eel slick

Alister Silver badge

Ronan- "You know, you say that a lot."

Teal'c- "Say what?"

Ronan- "Indeed."

Teal'c- "Do I?...I had not noticed..."

Alister Silver badge

The headline picture looks like a Goa'uld, to me...

Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

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Re: "A New android phone typically manages 36-48 hours while in airplane mode...

Stephen Fry might have made an astonishingly erudite remark

Oh come on, let's not get beyond the bounds of credibility here...

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Alister Silver badge

Re: Already??

More than 20 years ago. May 1997.

I suddenly feel very old...

Dutch Senate votes to grant intel agencies new surveillance powers

Alister Silver badge

Re: Sauce for the goose?

Did the Dutch politicians exempt themselves from the laws etc

It was probably the very first clause of the bill.

What did OVH learn from 24-hour outage? Water and servers do not mix

Alister Silver badge

Re: Ah, that explains it!

I was wondering why the number of hack attacks on customers servers originating from OVH dropped so much..

Ha! I was going to post exactly the same, I noticed a reduction in the size of the firewall logs today, that would explain it.

We gave in and black-holed a whole range of IP blocks belonging to OVH some time ago, as all we seem to get from them were dictionary attacks on our mail servers.

Robo-surgeons, self-driving cars face similar legal, ethical headaches

Alister Silver badge

Re: "lack judgement,.. touch isn't as refined.., they're expensive,.. lack the ability to improvise.

I agree with Nattrash.

It is not possible to reduce medicine to a set of rigid algorithms, there is just too much variation from the textbook cases.

Doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals are not just trying to protect their jobs or act like luddites when confronted by this new tech.

There is a genuine fear that patient outcomes will worsen, or patients will be harmed by either mis-diagnosis, or inappropriate or misguided surgical procedures, because these medical AIs do not take into account the infinite variety of human conditions.

As someone who was for many years a paramedic, I know there are times when you have to ignore what your training teaches you to expect and just make an intuitive decision based on experience to ascertain what's wrong with a patient.

There is, I'm sure, an overwhelming body of evidence for patients who do not show symptoms, or present with incorrect symptoms of their illness or injury, unfortunately this evidence is probably mostly anecdotal, and therefore dismissed as irrelevant by those who write the algorithms for medical AIs.

€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

Alister Silver badge

I'm picking up an IBM golfball at the weekend.

That must be quite rare nowadays, IBM execs can't afford to play golf anymore...


Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

Alister Silver badge

Re: Pixielaté - @Alister

@Scroticus Canis

I cannae imagine Rob Anybody drinkin' such pish as a laté, and I'm sure he'd tell you "It's PICTSIES, ya scunner!"

Alister Silver badge

Re: “legitimate interest”

Just laughing to myself at our inability to spell the word pixelate - for me, it's not recognised by my spillchucker in any form.

In this thread so far, we have:

Alister pixellated

rh587 pixelate

moiety pixillated

And the winner is: rh587


Alister Silver badge

Re: “legitimate interest”

I think "piss all over data protection" is overstating the case here, the act of publishing the CCTV footage was not in breach of the DPA, the only thing Virgin Trains fell down on was that other people could be identified from the footage.

Had they pixellated the other people's faces there would have been no problem.

AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

Alister Silver badge

Re: Skill deterioration

I'm curious how autonomous cars do in the snow.

Well for one thing I'm sure they won't try to keep driving at the same speed and in the same manner as if it's a nice sunny day, which is what a large percentage of humans seem to do.

Alister Silver badge

I'm pretty sure the various car manufacturers working on automation haven't indicated a desire to release such a half solution anyway.

Despite the hype, I don't think any of the current AI car manufacturers are prepared to say that their systems are capable of being completely autonomous, and they all reserve the right to push the problem back to a meatbag when the AI panics.

Alister Silver badge

Tech and automotive firms are pushing driverless car technology on society, rather than there being a big demand for it, in the opinion of the Transport Research Laboratory's boffins.

I would agree with this.

In particular, it only makes commercial sense for companies if they can make a saving on having to employ qualified human drivers, and this is clearly not going to be the case for some time - if ever.

And of course, in the case of delivery vans, unless there is an able bodied person to receive the delivery, you still have to have a human on the vehicle to carry the groceries up to Granny in her third floor flat...

Virgin Media biz service goes TITSUP* across London

Alister Silver badge

Re: Single fibre point of failure ..

that being to save money we used a single fibre cable without any redundant backup routes.

It's easy to criticise, but as mentioned multiple times in this thread, it is quite common to have multiple redundant routes that at some point will share the same duct, whether that be near the premises or near the exchange.

For commercial developments and industrial estates (where most datacentres are situated) it is very rare for more than one duct to be provided - wayleaves cost too much to allow otherwise, and again as cables / fibres enter a telephone exchange there is commonly only one large duct space entry. Both these areas are vulnerable to roving JCBs.

Alister Silver badge

right! own up!

Who was driving the JCB?

Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

Alister Silver badge

In the internal communications referenced within the recent article, the facts are once again either being misinterpreted or manipulated to fit the agenda of certain individuals

So, fake news then?

Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

Alister Silver badge

We said that was going to happen when win 10 was first foisted on to the unsuspecting public,

Yes we did, and if I recall, at the time, Microsoft vehemently denied it...

Alister Silver badge

So does this mean that Windows 10 will become a subscription based offering?

Bloke takes over every .io domain by snapping up crucial name servers

Alister Silver badge

So he didn't register the name-servers as such, just the domains that point to them.

Slightly strange though, it's unusual for a name-server record to be on the root of a domain, normally you'd have an A record, such as ns1.domain.tld pointing to each name-server, but in this case the .io namespace was including domain.tld as a DNS server. Seems a waste of a domain.

The other ones, on the nic.io domain are more conventionally set up.

His Muskiness wheels out the Tesla Model 3

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or you're happy to leave the car charging in your drive.

Or, for thousands and thousands of households in the UK, on the public street.

Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

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Ooh he's done it now, not singing from the same hymn-sheet as the PM is not good for your personal advancement prospects.

I wonder if he likes wearing handcuffs whilst lying in a suitcase in the bath?

Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

Alister Silver badge

Re: There's no such thing as a "cyber" cease fire

Rumours, what rumours?

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FINALLY there's someone in the White House that understands the process of foreign policy when it comes to making agreements.

Trump hasn't the first clue how to manage foreign policy, he treats it like a business deal, just as he does everything else.

People like ME voted for Trump. Happy?

Not happy, just sympathise deeply, and hope you get some help soon.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Its all pretty obvious

Another one who's still living in the eighties.

FYI, There is no USSR anymore.

Alister Silver badge

Re: There's no such thing as a "cyber" cease fire

I would quite like the opportunity to be able to commit to quit having sex with Scarlett Johannson.

On the couch with an AI robo-doc asking me personal questions

Alister Silver badge

Re: Shrinks are useless or crazy


neatly folded clothes as a pillow,

Alister Silver badge

I'm not sure if this says more about me than I would like, but I reckon the image at the head of this article still bears a passing resemblance to Dabbsy...

Banking app startups go TITSUP as payment slurper keels over. Again

Alister Silver badge

Re: So a bunch of companies I've never heard of have built UI's to another companies API

Yes, best left to Co-Op, or maybe RBS, or how about HSBC,nope lets try Tesco's...Got it NatWest...Bank of Melbourne? No lets try JP Morgan....Lloyds? Chase? Anyone?

Or instead, how about companies that actually do transaction processing, like Verifone, Ingenico, SagePay or Allpay?

It's very rare that they break.

Alister Silver badge

The reason for the outage is obvious - you can't set up a company and take over a well established acronym from another field, and expect it to work reliably.

The mobile apps are obviously completely confused as to which GPS they should be using to make payments to.

Just you wait until someone makes a payment of £10.52 and all the SatNavs jump ten miles east...

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Alister Silver badge

Re: At that temp, marshmallows will melt!

'merkins are on a involution process, soon they will loose control of their thumbs, and will go back to climbing trees and growing fur.

Maybe they'll regress to spelling lose correctly - one can but hope.

Nothing could protect Durex peddler from NotPetya ransomware

Alister Silver badge

It is still not clear to me by what mechanism the NotPetya was spread.

For a number of victims, it was widely reported to be an infected update of the MeDoc financial software, but I struggle to understand why Reckitt Benckiser, Fed Ex, Maersk, WPP etc would be running that software.

TfL, WTH is my bus? London, UK, looks up from its mobile

Alister Silver badge

Re: There, there children. Sorry your pacifier is b0rken.

Well, knowing the approximate time when the bus arrives would aid making the critical decision whether it would be better to, perhaps, walk.

Once upon a time, there used to be pieces of paper, called timetables, which could unerringly tell you the approximate time a bus was due to arrive at a particular stop. These were a miracle of modern technology, requiring no power source, and no WiFi or phone signal.

For all the chaos it sows, fewer than 1% of threats are actually ransomware

Alister Silver badge

Re: fewer than 1%

fewer than 1% is zero

Umm no... no it's not. 0.5% is less than 1%, as are 0.9%, 0.8%, 0.7%...

where are the grammar police when you need them?

Right here.


Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Alister Silver badge

Re: Wow!

How gay does that make TV Kids favourite 'Rainbow', then?

You'd have to ask Geoffrey and Bungle about that, I wouldn't know...

Alister Silver badge

Thank the gods they don't ship the Pi in a triangular pink box, eh?

Happy 4th of July: Norks tests another missile

Alister Silver badge

Re: Mandatory Reading

Also its fairly obvious that " political and economic institutions" have an effect on economic success (or lack of it)

Very true.

Although, thinking about it, a non man made tsunami , famine , hurricane or earthquake could also have a significant negative effect on the lack of economic success of a nation , just as finding a shitload of non man made crude oil can have a very positive effect .

Not sure you can really class a tsunami, hurricane or oil deposit as an "institution" though?

Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Alister Silver badge

Not many people know that Isaac Asimov didn’t originally write his three laws of robotics for I, Robot. They actually first appeared in "Runaround", the 1942 short story


As "I Robot" was the title of an anthology of existing stories, rather than it containing any new material, I would have thought it was obvious that Asimov didn’t originally write his three laws of robotics for I, Robot.

Therefore "Not many people know" is bollocks, really.

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