* Posts by John Brown (no body)

8760 posts • joined 21 May 2010

You're such a goober, Uber: UK regulators blast hushed breach

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: "the two employees that have been jettisoned from the firm."

Not really. Billions in fines too.

0
0

Ads watchdog to BT: We say your itsy bitsy, teeny weeny Ts&Cs too small for screeny

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Not just on TV

"Right at the bottom it will have "More terms and conditions exist, see BT.com".

And there are still people with not internet connection so are first timers. How they supposed to get to bt.com in a reasonable way? You can only be properly informed if you head off down to the library or internet cafe, learn how to use the internet then try to navigate the BT website to fine these T&Cs?

Are there any leopards on the BT website near the disused pages?

2
0

Possible cut to British F-35 order considered before Parliament

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge
Joke

Re: F-35B--the "B" stands for boondoggle!!

"This will probably be discovered when the Harriers arrive back in Britain in a series of open wheely-bins full of random parts."

They've probably converted them to left-hand drive anyway, so we'd have to contract BAE at some exorbitant price to convert back to the right-hand drive.

5
0

Peers told to push for cut-price access to med tech developed with NHS data

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Lease the data

Yes, on the face of it that seems weird, the lessor can just make/keep a copy. But the contract includes payment of royalties on any derived work using the data.

They are going to sell it anyway, so might as well sell it with contract clauses to get a future income stream from it.

1
0

Uber: Hackers stole 57m passengers, drivers' info. We also bribed the thieves $100k to STFU

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: D I S R U P T I O N

"Only the corporate tax avoidance practiced by all the global tech elite"

FTFY, or do you think it's only tech companies doing it?

1
0

Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"At least the driver can (eventually) form an understanding that he's gone wrong and decide to call for the local HGV rescue to haul him out. I wonder how far an autonomous vehicle would carry on."

If the stuck HGV driver had not cheaped out on a consumer grade SatNav aimed at car drivers, s/he'd probably not be there in the first place. Proper HGV oriented SatNavs take narrow lanes and low bridges into account (although not perfectly AFAIK)

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Exactly...

"I am not sure I want to share a car with the remains of the previous occupant's kebab or worse, as it looks like the major use case is taking pissed people home."

It's hard to disagree with the imagery you just created, but on the other hand, just how many people really are that pissed or that inconsiderate on a night out? Is it really as bad as you portray or is that more of an impression caused by how people always remember the outliers?

Assuming most people end up using on-demand self-driving cars, then you will have a choice as to which company to go with. No doubt there will be a range of options. Some cars made all cheap and plastic and can be hosed out like a superloo by driving to a cleaning station, others may have people who do the cleaning. It's not beyond the whit of man to include sensors which can detect when people have vomited in a car. It tends to be smelly.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"You can use this argument for trains of pods on motorways, but that mode of operation probably won't be useful in urban commuter environments where a lot of the congestion is."

I don't see why not. The linkage between vehicle is virtual. There's no reason a line of cars/pods can't be driving along with inches between them at slow city speeds in a snake-like formation getting most of it's advance data from the front vehicle. Most are going more or less the same way and when a car/pod needs to turn off, it and the ones behind only need to slow a little to give it room to manoeuvre. Even if we still use existing traffic light systems, a platooned line of cars can all start moving at the same time so more will get through the junction before the lights change back. With manual cars, you are relying on people paying attention and all pulling off one at a time, after the one in front has started.

Most of the improvements will only happen when there's a critical mass of self-driving vehicles and manuals are banned from city centres and/or other zoned areas.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"I'm also sure there is a market for cars that can drive people who are unlicensed or incapable of driving."

Level 5, the subject of the article, is defined as "steering wheel optional, full self-control in all conditions", so in theory you should not need a driving licence to be a passenger in one as "Johnny" takes you to your destination, especially if it's a model without the optional steering wheel.

0
0

Cops jam a warrant into Apple to make it cough up Texas mass killer's iPhone, iCloud files

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Somehow

"I’m not surprised. When will the government learn that you cannot break encryption for some without breaking it for all, and that there is no (easy) way for apple to get into an encrypted device, even if they made it?"

Looked at another way, in light of a court order, the only way Apple can refuse is if it's not technically possible. I can see why Apple might want to stall in that case because they rely on people believing it's not technically possible. It's not as if it would be financially non-viable for a company with Apples resources.

0
0

Uber slapped with $9m fine for letting dodgy drivers pick up punters

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

And Uber wonder why...

...the City Of London don't think they are a responsible company to hold a taxi licence. Uber seem to keep on with the story that it's process errors and one offs when in reality there appears to be a pattern of poor standards of driver vetting across their entire organisation.

In the case of London, I wonder why if their licence was not renewed, they are allowed to continue operations while appealing. They don't have a valid licence now.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Land of the free

"The situation is not exactly helped by the fact that, once convicted, this will follow the person around for the rest of their life"

Except for certain types of jobs, convictions "expire" and no longer have to be declared after various time frames depending on the offence and the conviction type. Jobs requiring an enhanced DBS check will still show up relevant expired convictions, but it's still possible to get security clearances even for MoD work with expired convictions on your record.

0
0

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Motivated by ego

"In the beginning people and organizations started out providing code and services to and for the public at no charge."

MMmm...yes, back in the days when people released stuff into the Public Domain. Until some greedy bastard realised they could make a few minor mods, claim the work as their own and patent/trademark/copyright the work and effectively steal it from the Public Domain. The reaction was for the altruistic people to invent various license such as GPL, Apache, BSD etc in an attempt to keep the work available to all in a way that the greedy bastards could not then appropriate it for themselves.

3
0

Germany slaps ban on kids' smartwatches for being 'secret spyware'

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Good news, bad reporting

"German is worryingly inaccurate.

At least you can train it."

So, in effect, the people who don't need Google translate are the only ones likely to spot that it's incorrect and "fix" it using their own time, while the people who actually need to use it are likely to not have a clue that it can be so badly wrong.

0
0

UK.gov 'could easily' flog 6m driver records to private firms this year

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Profiteering barstewards

"If the fee of £2.50 is set at that level "to recover the cost of..." and no more, then why the f'g hell did they charge me the princely sum £20 to replace one piece of pink plastic with a newer piece of pink plastic when the actual cost could have been no more than 50p."

Wait 'till they notice how much the CAA are charging for drone licences!

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge
Happy

"I sometimes make and eat Parkin, does that count?"

Only in Yorkshire :-)

0
0

Nathan Barley blamed for global GDP slump

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: I'm sceptical

"Which is a real bummer for those of use that work in the public sector and so don't actually exist to make money for someone."

That would be service sector, which is different. Productivity is measured by how good a service can be provided at the lowest cost (preferably to high standards too, but we know what "austerity" has done to that)

0
0

Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Making money?

"My guess is that most of the licensed drone operators are not doing this as an actual line of work but as an advanced hobby, and are probably making very little actual cash off of it most probably taking a net loss if including upgrading hardware etc."

Based on the various documentaries on TV over the last year or so, there seems to be a fair number working in the TV industry. Ditto for news teams. Police are using them. National Grid are doing pylon and transmission wire inspections with them. I suspect quite a few industries are using them for hard to reach inspection jobs. All of those, including Police, have to be licences. They probably account for a fair chunk of that 3,500 annual renewals. Probably many of the freelancers are people who have seen an opportunity and are photographers or engineers offering their drone services.

The ones making all the noise (and quite rightly IMHO) are the ones you describe, advanced hobbyists who might make a little on the side.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Public Liability Insurance

"Professional drone operations must also have public liability insurance. If they make a claim and don't have the necessary CAA licence, the insurance company will not pay out. How long will it be before some clown falls into this self inflicted pit?"

In terms of the predicted Armageddon based on the last Xmas or two's sales of drones, has there actually been any serious accidents yet? I assume there will have been one or two, but is the risk high enough yet?

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: The increase could pay for more enforcement of the fees

"I personally am disgusted that people can walk on footpaths without any licensing whatsoever. Thousands of these unlicensed pedestrians get killed every year. Not to mention the billions spent maintaining footpaths throughout the country. Something should be done about it."

It's called Council Tax.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Stunning Logic here

"And, just to rub it in, we're spending the extra money checking up on those who are still complying with the regulations..."

Yes, it would make far more sense if, at least for say the first 5 years, applicants just fill out a fairly basic form, include a copy of their insurance and training certs and licence is rubber stamped. That should really not cost more than 10 or 20 quid each. ie assume by default that people are honest. That way you get pretty much everybody who needs a licence on the books. If it's then found at a later date that some people are applying with false details, then you notch up the rigor of the vetting scheme a bit, which may entail a small increase in the fees. It's not as if the CAA are also the enforcers of the actions of the users out in the field. That's the job of the Police if an offence has been/is being committed.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Logic?

"and if over 45 renew driving licence at 5 year intervals, over 65 every year"

Errr...what? Mine's valid 'till I'm 70 and even then I don't have to take any more tests, just renew it and then every years afterwards. Maybe it's different with those new fangled Photo ID type ones?

0
0

ICO probes universities accused of using private data to target donation campaigns

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: A Change Only Needs Novel NEUKlearer Scripts to Follow ..... For Virtually Remote Leaderships*

"The tacit admission/implication being .... All Russell Group universities in England and Wales currently follow best practice guides?"

I also found that rather telling too. They follow "guidelines" rather than the law as written? Are they only following orders? You'd almost think that these universities don't have ethics committees they could consult on subjects such as this. I was lead to believe that ethics was about doing the right thing, not stretching the boundaries of the law so much that it takes a court case or a regulator to tell you you are doing something wrong.

0
0

Container ship loading plans are 'easily hackable'

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Too much effort.

"Frankly, I'm surprised that the system works at all. Is it secure? No. But it's the kind of insecurity that doesn't need hackers to exploit, so who cares how hackable it is?"

Maybe malicious actors never even thought of this before. Manipulating the system to smuggle or steal is one thing, but maybe no one ever made the leap to attempting to sink ships with it. Until someone publicly shouts from the rooftops that it's possible.

I do sometimes wonder if publishing info on theoretical threats is a good idea.

0
0

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

"How much of a 500 mile trip across America or Australia is going to be "stop/stop"?"

Not much, obviously, so the "wasteful" 0-60 high acceleration rate isn't going to be used much and therefore neither is the 40% lossy regenerative braking.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Impressive

"ICBA to do the maths, but I suspect that a desert array to power Europe's vehicles would be big enough for the albedo of the panels to be climate altering."

You mean by reflecting heat back into space? Wow! Air Con to combat "climate change"!

3
1
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Delivery

"I agree and I'm quite pessimistic when it comes to Tesla's future."

Hmmmm...If Tesla goes bust, who will maintain the software? Like all complex software systems, there are likely still bugs in it, potentially serious ones with safety implications. You can't just install UbuntuCar and keep on truckin' when no one is offering fixes for your very expensive car with an EOL OS.

3
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: first-electric-road?

"-it's a trolly lorry! (Trolly buses operating like this were common until the 60s in large towns."

Although I didn't read the entire site, I suspect the primary difference is that the truck doesn't require the overhead wires, it uses them where installed and possibly also charges it's own batteries from it at the same time. I wonder what the load capacity would need to be for a line of lorries as often happens? Maybe they need the smarts to stay away from each so there's never too many on one segment? I can see how this might appeal (barring any other obvious drawbacks) but I suspect any change to this sort of electrification would also require a change in attitudes across the entire haulage industry and a lot of co-operation between hauliers and their customers. JIT deliveries would have to be very, very carefully scheduled.

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Tesla semi?

"Scania have already done this. I kid you not. And it's not a train.

https://www.scania.com/group/en/2016-worlds-first-electric-road-opens-in-sweden/"

Interesting. I wonder how the economics pan out when scaled up? That's a lot of copper.

2
0

Dick move: Navy flyboy flings firmament phallus for flabbergasted folk

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: resembling an obscene image to observers on the ground

I am continually confused at what meets official interpretation as "obscene".

US officialdom, and especially the military, or very prudish when it comes to sex and booze. Could be why Washington (the DC one) and the military seem to have such a large drug problem.

1
0

New UK aircraft carrier to be commissioned on Pearl Harbor anniversary

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"I wonder how longer it'll be before Charlie boy gets similar treatment !!"

Probably not for quite a while. The Queen is bloody old now and I suspect she's not got much left in her. Now think about all the things named after Victoria, especially those named or renamed in the immediate years after her death. Most towns seem to have at least one street named for her, not to mention railway stations, museums, libraries, schools, etc

0
0

It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Applause

"Yes, we should announce to the world that Friday is made special by Dabbsy's magnificent column..."

I think you just caused Mrs Dabbsey a serious injury. I hear it's possible to laugh yourself to death.

1
0

Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: behind the Times ?

"Those stickers are something you simply don't see in the UK."

My car gets a new sticker with a service due date on it after each service. The trip computer is also supposed to do that too, but for whatever reason that function is disabled.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Huh? Don't they send you anything in the mail?

"Can't argue you "forgot" since they send you something in the mail. Did they previously send you something in the mail but no longer do and you have to remember yourself? Or are you talking about some sort of reminder sticker you put in the windshield?"

As I understand it, previously you had a dated "tax disc", ie a bit paper you displayed inside the windscreen, and it was up to you to check the expiry data on said disc and pay for a replacement every year. The new system has no physical tax disc any more, but they do send you letter a month in advance telling when the next payment is due. If that system works properly and they have the correct and current address, then it should work much better since they now remind you instead you having to check yourself.

The primary problem seem to be that under the new system, if you sell the car, the tax paid automatically expires on change of ownership, despite the fact the tax has already been paid. The seller can claim back any full months worth of paid tax and the buyer has to start a new tax payment immediately. This means that the tax is double-dipped for one months value on every private sale and probably many used car dealer sales too. Exactly when in the month the sale transfer occurs shifts the balance of who has been ripped off the most, eg sell on the first and the seller loses all of that months tax but the buyer loses nothing.

Fortunately for me, I've been a company car user for the last 30 years or so and don't currently have to worry about all three shenanigans!

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: I never pay before the 14th of the month. I use the two week grace.

"I'm not even sure there is the 10% + 2 mph anymore, as I heard someone getting a ticket for 34mph in a 30mph zone recently."

That has never been an official stance in law. Here in the UK, your speedometer must never under indicate your speed, but it can over indicate up to 10%. This means if your speedo is reading the same as the speed limit and no more, then you can't be speeding if your speedo is operating within the law. The 10% grace (and in some cases 10% +2) is a local thing where Chief constables have instructed their officers to be lenient to cut down on number of stops and the attendant paperwork.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"(a litre of petrol's _actual_ cost is about 20p, the rest is tax of some sort or another.)"

It's always puzzled me how VAT can legally be added to price + duty on fuel and alcohol. Where's the "Value Add" in the duty part of the cost?

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"You do know those that are deliberately avoiding them, will just dodge down a different road to avoid any fixed ones."

That's already nigh on impossible unless you live rurally and never visit any towns or use any major roads.

0
1
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"Abolish road tax and put it on fuel instead. It's done elsewhere so why not here. You pay more or less according to your road usage. Simple, fair and no way of avoiding it."

Well, avoiding the ""road tax"/Vehicle Excise Duty definition...Another way to look at it is that roads are a social and economic necessity, so just because someone doesn't own a vehicle doesn't mean that they don't depend on the roads being there and in good condition. Looked at that way, everyone should pay tax for the roads so just increase VAT. The more you buy, the more use you are making of the road network for the transport of goods.

3
1

The Reg parts ways with imagineer and thought pathfinder Steve Bong

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Not sure

There's probably an order been placed for some Polonium already.

0
0

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"My personal kit isn't exactly up to date but the D975XBX2 from 2006 was the last mainstream pieces of kit I've seen to have a parallel port "

Not sure if they are still being made, but we were selling PCs with MSI motherboards in them which still had serial and parallel ports on them as recently as a couple of years ago. Still get them "as new" for warranty replacements. I can't remember the last time I saw anything plugged into either of those ports at a clients site though.

4
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: backward compatibility NOT a thing with Micro-shaft

"For example my perfectly good scanner that worked fine with XP would be deliberately not supported in Vista due to a lack of drivers."

I picked up a very nice scanner for free back then through FreeCycle because the user "upgraded" to Vista. It worked very nicely on the current FreeBSD of the time and still does now on the latest FreeBSD 11.

7
0

Kaspersky: Clumsy NSA leak snoop's PC was packed with malware

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: China did it! Not us! @ST

"Seriously? You really believe that Kasperky AV's extracurricular activities have a disclosed on/off switch? And you really think that checking off the Participate In Kaspersky's Network button stops Kaspersky from vacuuming your laptop or computer? Seriously?"

That was my thoughts too. Just how much access does the mothership have when you run antimalware and leave the default "share what I find with our researchers" options. It seems that Kasperski has quite a lot of access to your PC. And as you point out, what access does it retain even after you click the off button.

1
1

Fear not, driverless car devs, UK.gov won't force you to write Trolley Problem solutions

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: "an old lady pushing a shopping trolley, and a cyclist - which one do you hit?"

"If you are a typical city centre car driver, you hit the cyclist because that stupid bastard shouldn't have been there in the first place. "

Ah, the Saudi defence. Have an accident in Saudi Arabia with a local national, and it's your fault. If you'd not been in his[1] country then the accident would never have happened!

[1] - Women aren't allowed to drive there so it's always a "he".

1
0

Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Spineless of them to give in

"How is it that two religions that are so similar manage to be on opposite sides?"

For the same reasons that different sects within the same religion can be opposite sides. Huge fundamental differences over what colour the hats should be. :-)

0
0

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Fair enough, but...

"Or that they get rid of the light switch entirely and go with auto on all the time."

Oooooh....no! Those stupid automatic lights come on far too early in "better safe than sorry" mode and the programmers don't seem to understand the correct use of sidelights. They can be very distracting and even dazzling in low light levels where under normal circumstances headlights would not be used. Especially those high intensity ones.

The highway code, IMHO is being breached by these automatic headlights and by high intensity headlights.

See http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/lighting-requirements.html

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: First, find the problem

"And I am a cyclist, and I try not to do anything wrong, as I do when I drive my car."

But these days, it seems that few people ever accept blame, even when presented with incontrovertible evidence. Not just in the case of accidents, but in all walks of life. How many times have we ridiculed business statements such as "we apologise if anyone was affected/upset/offended" or "security is our number one priority" on these very forums?

Maybe you are one of the few. I'd like to think I am too. But in the case of a road traffic accident, your insurance company specifically tell you to not to admit to blame, preferably say nothing at all other than as legally required.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: ICE's blocking EV Charging points

"The garage operator does not care. They get a space rental from the charger company so he's quids in.

The charger company knows about this but they can't find anywhere local to move the charger to."

And the charging company are happy to keep paying the space rental for a charger that can never generate any revenue? I can't see them staying in business for very long.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"I had some do this to me but they were pedestrains on a dark country road were the speed limit was 50 and they were walking along the side of the road. no side walks. They threw thier drink at me."

The mention "side walks" indicates you may be on the USA side of the Atlantic. Here in the UK, under the conditions you describe, the pedestrians have at least equal right of way. We don't really have a concept of "jay walking". Under extreme circumstances, there may be a case of obstruction if it can be shown to be unreasonable, eg just standing in the road blocking traffic for "fun".

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"I can certainly see kids pranking the safety systems of cars by hopping in and out of the road."

They certainly will. Some kids, thankfully a very, very small number, think it's funny to drop rocks from bridges onto cars on the motorway. Stopping a relatively slow moving AV car in town, once seen as relatively safe, will attract a much larger group of a certain type of kid.

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017