* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2747 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

Loyal Commenter
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Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

@sabroni

You missed:

Changes the time.

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BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

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Re: Off topic

Bhopal. A reminder to the likes of Rees-Mogg about why the EU has stringent health and safety laws, and why we should not only keep them, but strive to have similar practice adopted throughout the world.

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Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

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The department had "significantly overestimated" the number of claimants that would be able to use it, the report said, as just 38 per cent succeeded, compared with the expected 90 per cent.

That's not so much a significant overestimate of the numbers being able to use it (by 52%), but more significantly, an underestimate of the number of people not able to use it (by a whopping 520%)

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Computer Misuse Act charge against British judge thrown out

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Facepalm

So in summary

She was checking the court documents because her daughter was a witness in a trial and she wanted to make sure that the judge hearing that trial wasn't someone she knew, in order to prevent any possible mistrial.

As a result, her access to the file was flagged up as possible inappropriate access (which is fair enough), and the person reviewing this, rather than taking the common-sense approach, decided to refer it to the CPS, and a charging decision was given.

I'm all for proper oversight of all arms of government (especially including the executive, as well as the judiciary), but to me, it seems this investigation should have been written up, and ended long before it got referred to the CPS.

Obligatory: IANAL

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Have to use SMB 1.0? Windows 10 April 2018 Update says NO

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Re: So for a while now...

BSOD's on the other hand, are a frequent occurence

I don't think I've only ever seen a BSOD when there's not a hardware fault. The last time it was a faulty RAM module, and the BSOD message was diagnostic enough to be able to google it and then pop in a memtest86 boot CD to diagnose it properly.

Maybe back in the mists of pre-history I might have seen one or two on a 386 running Win3.1, due to dodgy drivers or IRQ conflicts.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Arf, arf, arf!

May I point you to medical hardware?

As a rule-of-thumb, any medical hardware that needs a dedicated control computer with a specific OS version (e.g. WinXP) should not be networked (or on an isolated network with its own e.g. file server). It's not going to have a problem with SMB1, as it won't be using SMB, unless its partner hardware requires it - which will also be kept off any general network, and certainly never let near t'interwebz.

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Loyal Commenter
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Our Princess is in another castle!

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ICO smites Bible Society, well fines it £100k...

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A study is to be made about any increase in anti-Christian hate crimes.

That sounds very much like designing the study to fit your (pre-determined) conclusions. Part of the reason why we need a 'journal of negative results', and study registrations to ensure results are published, to mitigate the situation where someone sponsors a study and then throws it away when it doesn't give the conclusion they want.

If we're talking about comparative studies of how religious and non-religious people behave, how about this one, which gives the opposite conclusion to that which many Christians would expect:

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(15)01167-7?code=cell-site

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Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

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What, the 'execution' scene with the printer?

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

Loyal Commenter
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Team Mystic!

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Mailshot meltdown as Wessex Water gets sweary about a poor chap called Tom

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Headmaster

Re: Rostering is a poisoned challice, strong constitution and thick skin required

"No less than" is an idiomatic phrase, and is used frequently to mean 'no fewer than'. Even when strictly speaking it is not syntactically correct to use 'less' when referring to a countable noun, the idiom implies conversion of the subject into a mass noun. For example, 'no less than 100 people' implies a mass of at least 100 people. When used with smaller numbers, the idiomatic nature of the phrase is used to imply that the subject, where normally countable, is an excessive number and therefore treated as an uncountable noun.

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Uber 'does not exist any more' says Turkish president

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Re: Cabbies in Eastern Europe

Technically, most of Turkey (and half of Istanbul) is more accurately described as 'Western Asia' than 'Eastern Europe'.

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Boffins quietly cheering possible discovery of new fundamental particle: Sterile neutrino

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...and your mother as a large mass...

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Loyal Commenter
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Gravity acts on light, which is massless but has energy - so would also act on massless neutrinos.

Well technically, gravity doesn't act on light, which always goes in a straight line regardless of how much gravity is about. Gravity does act on space-time, though, affecting what a 'straight line' is.

If you think of light as a car with no steering travelling in a straight line, then eventually, it will travel all the way round the planet (assuming it doesn't crash) because the planet is curved (assuming, again, that the Earth isn't flat. Which it isn't). Not a perfect analogy, admittedly.

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A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

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Re: ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️

This is why the above code should be written more like:

counter = 0;

size = largeDataPacket.bytes;

pixels = progress_bar_width;

increment = size / pixels;

for each byte in largeDataPacket. // megabytes

{

counter++;

if (counter % increment = 0)

{

UpdateStatusBarOnScreen() // takes a millisecond or two AND ONLY UPDATES WHEN THE SIZE CHANGES

}

SendByteToDevice() // takes microseconds

}

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Or...

Will someone please tell me why I am wrong to say that no-one using a modern language (of a higher level than Assembler or C) needs to explicitly code a loop to sum [attributes of] the elements in an array?

I didn't down-vote you, because what you wrote was, in essence, eminently sensible.

However, in real life, the developer rarely gets to choose the programming language, and a lot of business software is written in languages that would make you shudder.

Also, it's worth remembering that the above is pseudo-code, and the loop in question could very well have had several hundred lines of code. In principle, it is often more performant to write set-based, rather than loop-based code. However, if you are doing anything inside that loop that is anything beyond trivial, that code may become utterly unreadable if rewritten as a lambda (or whatever). There's always a balance to be struck between performance and maintainability. Don't forget: Premature optimization is the root of all evil.

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Headless man found in lava’s embrace

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Re: One does wonder

It most certainly had. The people who were killed following the last eruption were the generation who had pretty much rebuilt the city following a devastating eruption a number of years earlier.

IIRC, the people living there at the time didn't know that Vesuvius was a volcano. The previous eruption had been almost 2000 years earlier, and before the eruption in 79 AD, the mountain wasn't volcano-shaped as it is now with a big crater, but had a single peak some 4,500 metres high.

Pompeii had been rebuilt several times after earthquakes, but the Romans didn't link these to volcanic activity, thinking that either could happen at any point at the whim of the gods.

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GDPRmageddon: They think it's all over! Protip, it has only just begun

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Nonetheless, this effectively means that many of the firms sending people one or more emails (Chase Distillery has sent your correspondent no less than four) are simply flagging up the fact they have been non-compliant with existing laws for years.

Are you sure you didn't give consent, and forget about it, due to the prograde amnesia caused by excessive consumption of one or more of their products?

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Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die

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Re: The more I listen to the EU...

He is also saying that they will tolerate no input from other countries into the definition of those rules, even if that might be beneficial all round, which is arrogant.

When I'm having a discussion with my partner about what we are going to have for dinner, am I then being arrogant if you stick your head through my kitchen window and tell me that I should be eating brexit-brand™ gruel for dinner and I tell you to fuck off?

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Irish abortion referendum.

that referendums have no legal force in France.

Nor in the UK, but there's little point in having one if you're going to ignore it.

Not strictly true; (IANAL but IIRC...) UK law does provide for referendums that are binding, provided that their enabling bills do something like setting minimum thresholds, and allow all registered voters to have a say (like the Scottish independence referendum did). The brexit referendum explicitly did neither of these things (no minimum threshold, and excluded EU citizens that have the right to vote in the UK as well as UK citizens living abroad for more than a certain number of years). It was also explicitly non-binding.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Well, duh

Theresa May: "Brexit means Brexit!"

Daily Mail: "Hooray!"

Barnier: "Brexit means Brexit"

Daily Mail: "Boo!"

I wish I could up-vote this more...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: The more I listen to the EU...

Seems so. Barnier's comment that "This autonomy allows us to set standards for the whole of the EU, but also to see these standards being replicated around the world." is practically American in its arrogance: "We'll set the standards alone, and we expect everyone else to adopt them".

This belies a fundamental lack of understanding (or deliberate misrepresentation) of what Barnier is saying. The EU has (pretty good) regulations about how member states can allow personal data to be used (see GDPR). These sit on the basic tenet that an individuals data belongs to them, and they choose who gets access to it and for what purpose. Part of this is to not allow personal data to be passed to third countries unless they have similar regulations to protect that data.

For example, an insurance company operating in France cannot collect the information about you it needs in order to insure your car and then pass that information onto a data processing company based in a country where it could be sold on for profit (for example, countries where an individual has no rights to such data like North Korea, Russia, or the US). This is all perfectly logical.

'Adequacy' in this sense is simply a way of saying, "your regulations are good enough". What UK.gov is trying to do is get itself into a situation where it doesn't have to worry about being declared 'adequate', and still be involved in that decision-making process, despite not being part of the EU and not being under the jurisdiction of the ECJ, which is the governing body for making sure people adhere to those regulations. A cynic would suggest that May specifically wants this because otherwise there would be no way we would get the adequacy rating without her having to give up her data-collection fetishism, which blatantly breaches the whole concept of an individual owning the data about them.

What Barnier is saying, in short, is that if other countries want to play with EU data, they have to do it according to EU rules. The EU isn't trying to make other countries follow the rules for their own citizens, although the up-shot is that if a country were to say that they protect the data of EU citizens, and not their own citizens, then there would be political pressure from within their own country to adopt the same protections for everyone.

Just because the EU are the first bloc to adopt such regulations doesn't mean that they are being arrogant, in the way that the US tries to project its laws overseas.

Of course, this is only a problem for countries which don't accept that individuals have the right to control their own personal information. You do agree that this is a good thing, right? Because otherwise, you would be advocating a situation where either the state, or the rich and powerful directly control the personal information of individuals. One of those options sounds like Stalinism to me, whilst the other sounds like fascism. Feel free to disagree, but both of those ideologies have been shown to be somewhat flawed by history (unless you're a fan of mass murder).

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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

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Re: Here we go

"All these free services keep showing me unwanted ads! The horror!"

[stops ads]

"All these free services have stopped!"

Turns out those services weren't free; they were subsiding the 'free' content by acquiring and selling personal data about you. You might not realise the implications of that until someone takes that data they acquired from you and uses it to get a loan in your name.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: VPN Hub

@ codejunky hmm a basement dwelling yankcentric who needs to get out more.

@Chris G, he's a rabid quitling. Expect no less than an anti-EU rant in every other post.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Why should a US corp have to jump through hoops...?

>political commissars in the Polit Bureau in Brussels

I'm going to do something I rarely do and respond to a troll.

@naive - You sir or madam, are an arsehole. Pure and unmitigated. Your post is absent of any logic, thought, basis in reality or fact. Not only do you fail to understand the whole purpose of GDPR, you fail to understand how the EU works.

You may also want to note that it is one word, spelt Politburo, comes from the Russian, and refers to the main decision-making body of a communist party. The merits or otherwise of communism as a political system aside (there are many long books on the subject), to imply that the EU Parliament is a manifestation of communism is so mind-bogglingly ignorant and stupid that I can only assume that the OP was repeatedly dropped on their head at some point in their early childhood, but miraculously survived the head-injuries.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Overreach

The principle of an EU citizen owning their data means an EU citizen has the right decide what to do with their data. Including shipping it wholesale to any evil US or Chinese megacorp.

In this case however, the EU parliament says: "No, it up to us to decide what you can and what you cannot do with your personal data". Not cool.

I'm sorry, but that's Total Bollocks™.

What the GDPR says is that if those vil US or Chinese megacorps want to process your data, they must get your informed consent to do so. There is nothing in GDPR that prevents you from saying, "hey evil megacorp, here's my data, process away!" That would be known as consent.

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Loyal Commenter
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on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard"

Happy Towel Day by the way. Are you a real hoopy frood who knows where his towel is?

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Loyal Commenter
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Default opt-ins

Being old, and sill in possession of a Yahoo! email account, I was forced yesterday to log in and deselect all the 'advertising partners'.

I thought that under GDPR, default opt-ins were a big no-no (consent has to be explicit and default opt-out IIRC). How does one go about referring Yahoo! to the ICO for this misdemeanour?

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Slurp up patient data for algos that will detect cancer early, says UK PM

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Re: It's just a BS "reason" to allow patient data to be sold off

Machine learning is fine for digging out needles in haystacks, but it can't invent patient data to determine causality let alone do pre-diagnosis.

I am reminded of the (possibly apocryphal*) tale I read somewhere about AI being used on chest X-rays to spot fluid on the lungs. The software apparently had a very high rate of success on picking out patients who were suffering with this issue. All to great acclaim, until some wag pointed out that the software was picking out the X-ray shadows of the chest drains the doctors had put into those patients, which they were ethically bound to do...

The biggest problem with AI pattern recognition is that you don't know how it is working and what it is matching on. The matches may well correlate with the thing you are looking for, but causation != correlation. The field is littered with cases of bias creeping into the training data, leading to problems like inadvertent sexism and racism, amongst others.

*but probably not...

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'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

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adb is Your Friend.

As long as you have access to a PC, a USB cable, and can find drivers for your device, you can use adb to remove any and all bloatware from your device:

https://www.xda-developers.com/uninstall-carrier-oem-bloatware-without-root-access/

Most people with Android phones don't realise that adb can be used to do a number of things you'd normally need to be root to be able to do...

Caveat emptor - if you remove something you later realise you needed, it's entirely possible you might cripple your phone. It's probably a good idea to make a backup of the apk files you're going to remove just in case you realise you need to put them back on again!

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

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Re: Had you just happened to hit the executive facility?

Such a site is my current place of employment. A building which formerly housed a datacentre and a few offices for operators, sysadmins and the like now houses a brace of enormous open-plan offices. The bogs have notably not been extended, so a priority at the moment is to scout out other less trafficked facilities, the better to avoid dread lurgies like norovirus.

My advice would be to find another place of employment. The disregard for your well-being won't begin or end with the lamentable state of the shitters. I'd also expect poor pay, long hours, unpaid overtime, a high-stress environment and rampant work-place bullying.

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Oculus Go: Capable kit, if the warnings don't put you off

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The Go has the latest lenses that are likely much better than the out of date lenses in the psvr

Given that a lens is basically just a shaped lump of transparent material, I'd be deeply surprised if there have been any recent developments in that field that would allow you to tell the difference between a lens made yesterday, and one made 50 years ago (advances in plastics aside).

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Android devs prepare to hit pause on ads amid Google GDPR chaos

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Re: Settings > Google > Ads > Opt out of ads personalisation

GDPR says consent has to be explicitly OPT-IN (off by default), so this setting (on by default) cannot be used as a get-out clause.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: AD Vampires

IANAL, but my understanding of this part of GDPR is that if you don't have explicit consent, you can't assume it, so Google are in breach of the legislation if they do this.

As I said, IANAL, but I do come at this from the position of someone who has spent the last six months of their life designing and writing software concerned with GDPR, so I do have some familiarity with it!

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Consent

So - no consent, no personalised ads?

Surely it should just fall back to unpersonalised ads then? Assuming consent is a big no-no in the brave new world of GDPR.

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Wah, encryption makes policing hard, cries UK's National Crime Agency

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Re: > So, when said known person is suddenly walking around a known tourist

There are around 19,000 people on the French 'S' watch list that this guy was on. Do you seriously suggest watching all 19,000 subjects 24x7x52?

IIRC, full-time surveillance of an individual, 24/7, requires around 12 people employed full-time., so for those 19,000 people, that would mean 228,000 people employed to watch them. Assuming each is earning a rather paltry €16k for their troubles, that makes an annual cost of around €3.6Bn to watch all those suspects, in case one of them gets a bit stabby. Assuming that this prevents all terrorism-related deaths in France, and even exaggerating the number of such killings at, say 150 per year, that's €24M spent to save just one life. If you give that money to a hospital instead, you are going to save a hell of a lot more people.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: ...or...

Here in the States, one of the founders (if I remember right but it may have been a Supreme Court judge) said: "It's better for 10 guilty persons to go free than for one innocent to be convicted."

It was Benjamin Franklin who is often quoted (slightly out of context):

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Dark Web...

You may joke, but people trafficking and modern-day-slavery are very real problems.

I'll just leave this here, in case anyone wants to know more. A very worthy (and underfunded) charity.

Unseen

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: ...or...

I don't think anyone here is ignorantly bashing Bobby (or Bobbette) on the beat.

Sadly, I have to disagree. I think people easily conflate 'policing' with 'police officers'. In this instance, beat officers have very little to do with the mass eavesdropping from our security services, but people will blame them.

As you rightly point out, this isn't about run-of-the-mill regular policing (which politicians seem to care very little about), but about the mass surveillance and social control so beloved of our increasingly authoritarian politicians. Those within the police who actually have any involvement in this will either be the career managers who have little to do with any actual policing, and the PCCs, who have elected political posts.

Sure, it might be handy for policing to be able to pull information on everyone up at will, and it would make crimes a hell of a lot easier to solve, but I don't believe most police genuinely want everyone to live in that sort of dystopia. After all, we live in a society which is policed by consent, and any move towards this sort of thing for the rank-and-file bobby would make their job harder, not easier, from the public outcry.

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Loyal Commenter
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FAIL

Re: Wut?

Show me on the doll where you can shoot someone in the face with an encrypted email.

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Loyal Commenter
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...or...

...the officers can't go out on the street, because despite the fact that they are willing to work long unsocial hours (typically five 8-hour shifts a week covering nights and weekends) for less pay than you probably get (starting salary around £23k if they're lucky, rising to around £38k at the top of the scale), the funds aren't currently available, so they are one of the tens of thousands who have had their jobs cut.

IMHO, most police officers are very much 'type A' personalities, who have no desire to sit in front of a screen or avoid potentially dangerous situations. They do a job I certainly wouldn't want to, not least because it is a difficult and dangerous role that is continually undermined by the press and ignorant keyboard warriors like some other posters here...

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Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

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Exactly this.

Apart from anything else, why would you run a public-facing server on the same network as internal systems? If stuff inside your corporate network needs to be accessible from the public internet, it should be done via tightly controlled ports through a DMZ, tied down as much as humanly possible.

Do you want to get hacked? Because that's how you get hacked...

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Javid's in, Rudd's out: UK Home Sec quits over immigration targets scandal

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Re: What's the IT Angle?

...not to mention being a rebranded-but-broken re-hashing of the previous version from two years earlier...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: "In the world of technology policy, Rudd will be remembered"

n which case, all of the Remaniacs who would ordinarily be highly critical of the moronic Rudd will suddenly declare her a saint.

As a proud Remaniac*, I'll settle for declaring her slightly less useless than she otherwise was. Somewhere between chocolate fireguard and cock-flavoured lollypop.

*I'm not sure those in favour of the status quo in any situation could be referred to as 'maniacs', but this sort of thing is par-for-the-course coming from an obvious "smash up everything and call it brilliant" brexit troll.

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Loyal Commenter
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Facepalm

Re: So who's Javid?

Or because of accuracy / fair comment.

They did state that if he repeated those comments outside of parliament, he would be sued.

It's all too easy to hide behind AC and repeat those accusations, but I'd be careful saying such things on a public forum, where you might find it a little easier to be identified (by use of a court order) than you might think if those in Momentum were to take affront to it, and where parliamentary privilege certainly doesn't apply.

Not that I'd expect Momentum to go after trolls on website forums, since the damage to their reputation is hardly going to be severe from silly comments like yours.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Rudd

I thought the epithet for him was "slithy Gove"? (with apologies to Lewis Carroll)

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: What's the IT Angle?

I'd suggest Windows ME - outdated, never worked properly and nobody can remember wanting it. Oh, and named after a chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: So who's Javid?

For context, didn't he say that immediately after bricks were put through the window of a person politically opposing Momentum's policies on the Labour side, with death threats to that persons staff, and staff at places where they were planning to hold rallies to the point of forcing change of venues?

If I recall correctly, the "bricks through windows" incident was someone putting a brick through the window of a building next door to a Conservative politician's office, which was then whipped up by the press to be a 'Momentum are thugs' thing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of Momentum; they're a little bit too much like a cult of personality for my tastes. However, if you're looking for genuine fascist organisations in the UK, there are a number of them on the far-right (e.g. 'Britain First') who are genuinely nasty.

You have to remember, too, that Momentum are quite a large movement, and as such are bound to have a handful of 'bad eggs', whereas the actual problem organisations are those entirely populated by such rotten ova. To brand an entire organisation as 'fascists' based upon the alleged actions of a few (which later turn out to be fabrications), is a bit like saying all women are serial killers based upon the actions of Aileen Wuornos.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Diversity in action ...

I'll give him 6 months.

Assuming May lasts that long and we don't have another General Election first.

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Re: So who's Javid?

Well, he's the one who described Momentum as fascists, but did it in parliament so that they couldn't sue him for defamation because of parliamentary privilege.

In terms of brexit, he was a 'reluctant remainer' - i.e. a fence sitter who followed wherever the political wind was blowing.

I don't expect him to be worse than Rudd; that would be difficult, but I don't expect him to be a lot better either. Home secretaries (from both parties) have a habit of being authoritarian in recent history, and his 'fascist' jibe does make me think about how Goebbels liked to divert attention from his political party by accusing rivals of the things they were guilty of first...

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