* Posts by jrd

37 posts • joined 6 Dec 2010

Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

jrd

Re: Rubbish notion

> So, people must learn not to just trust one source, but to seek out many sources and make their own minds up.

Which leads to precisely the same problem faced by students of ancient history - many of the historical accounts are derivative and they rarely identify their sources (let alone their biases or the biases of their target audience).

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Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests

jrd

This is nothing new. Plenty of hobbyists have found their hobby suddenly becomes regulated when it attracts government attention, often because of an upswell of interest or serious incident. It's frustrating but I can't see a way around it, other than regulate/restrict the drones themselves. Which would upset the enthusiasts even more...

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CoinDash crowdfunding hack further dents trust in crypto-trading world

jrd

Like all Ponzi schemes, the digital currencies all suffer from the same problem - early adaptors are the ones who make all the money if it's successful. So why not just start your own digital currency, rather than paying to join someone else's? According to Wikipedia: "There were more than 900 cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 11 July 2017 and growing".

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

jrd

Re: This is a good thing

"Women are under-represented in STEM careers. Showing girls playing with stereotypically boys toys (Lego and Meccano for example) can encourage them to work in fields that aren't traditionally seen as feminine. Same goes for boys who may want to work in traditionally female dominated fields."

I understand the theory but this just isn't supported by evidence. The Scandinavian countries have been implementing equality legislation based on this theory for decades and the result is they have fewer women entering STEM careers than countries with far less equality. It seems that the more "equal" peoples' opportunities are, the more they gravitate towards the fields they are interested in - so women go into nursing and teaching and men go into engineering and construction. There is plenty of academic literature on the subject.

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NHS WannaCrypt postmortem: Outbreak blamed on lack of accountability

jrd

Re: But they had Sophos

If an infected file couldn't be cleaned, it would be quarantined (made inaccessible) instead, wouldn't it? Then the sysadmin can sort it out. That's how Sophos Anti Virus works on my PC, anyway...

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NHS Digital stopped short of advising against paying off WannaCrypt

jrd

Re: Survival of the fittest

It seems plenty of Windows 7 machines were affected because they hadn't been patched. This suggests that having the XP patches available would not necessarily have helped much.

If an organization has poor security practices and unreliable backups, it's going to be vulnerable no matter what.

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

jrd

Re: There have been planes like this before. -De Havilland Mosquito

Well, that's sort-of true, but it's like saying the sniper rifle is a very cost effective weapon so all our soldiers should carry them. The Mosquito was a precision weapon and the Lancaster wasn't. If we had sent Mosquitos on thousand-bomber raids over Germany, they would have been shot to pieces by the German air defences.

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Infosec white-coats: Robots are riddled with software security bugs

jrd

Legal liability?

If an autonomous domestic robot injures someone, is the manufacturer legally liable?

Does this change if the robot's software has been hacked?

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Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

jrd

Re: "Grounded by bad weather? A fighter jet? You have GOT to be kidding me"

> Military aircraft are always being grounded by bad weather.

Well, yes - but you'd hope avionics had moved on in the last 70 years. Civilian airliners manage to fly in (nearly) all weathers, after all, and most of them are not state-of-the-art aircraft.

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Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care

jrd

Re: Reboot pray repeat

It's stuff like this that makes linux users smile with perhaps a hint of insufferable smugness and condescension

Fixed that you you...

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UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn

jrd

I have no problem with us deciding we don't need a modern, combat-capable army, navy and air force, but I do have a problem with us having the fourth largest military expenditure in the world and negligible capability in all areas except massive nuclear destruction.

And, if we're only planning on taking on pirates and third-world militias, what's the problem with our equipment being "obsolete" anyway?

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Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

jrd

Windows sleep

I've run two Lenovo laptops running XP and Windows 7 for the last 5 years - both sleep reliably (very occasional problems with applications which stop the machine sleeping but they are easy to spot).

Must say I'd find an the inability to sleep/resume reliably as a dealbreaker for a laptop!

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Streetmap's lawyer: Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz

jrd

streetmap.co.uk is still the best site (by far) I've found for tracing footpaths or planning walks in the UK.

I would be sad if it were to disappear, despite its limitations.

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After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

jrd

Military rate of change

HMS Dreadnought was launched in 1906. She was the most advanced (and most expensive) battleship in the world at that time. She was obsolete by 1920 and sold for scrap.

The lifespan of weapons and rate of advance of technology is highly unpredictable...

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Facepalm time: MS Office update wipes custom Word autotext

jrd

Ah, good old ed - once learned, never forgotten. I still use it occasionally (in scripts).

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Painfully insecure GDS spaffs £21,000 on online narcissism tool

jrd

A government should seek feedback on its' performance. This may not be the best way to do it but it's also not the worst and £21k isn't much by the standards of government waste.

Of course, as others have already said, the difficult part is getting the government to actually *listen* to what people are saying - especially if it is not what they wish to hear (same problem with senior management in the private sector, in my experience).

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Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

jrd

Two home PCs running XP and one Win 7. I only went to 7 because I bought a PC with more RAM than XP to handle.

Of the two versions, I prefer XP.

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Google Now now SLURPS data from third party apps so YOU don't have to

jrd

Re: But trusting any corporation is risky.

Not predators, parasites - they don't want to kill you (or your wallet), they want you happy and healthy and continuing to use their services (or at least not actively trying to stop or get rid of them).

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jrd

Re: Trust is gone

Welcome back - we've missed you! Nice to see you are already working hard to improve the quality of discussion here... :-)

Joking aside, we live in interesting times - I would not like to predict where the privacy debate will be in 10 or 20 years but the chances are we'll look back at this time and say this was when it all started to change...

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

jrd

The best reason to use Photoshop is that everyone else uses it - if you want to do some image manipulation in Photoshop, no matter how obscure, you can always find a solution with a quick web search or two. Often with a how-to video. Photoshop is the ultimate "industrial quality" application.

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Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

jrd

I once wrote a shellscript which, during testing, removed *itself* due to a malformed 'rm' command. I had to rewrite the script from scratch but at least I learned a valuable lesson!

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Config management: Enemy of agile approach or the reason it WORKS?

jrd

Excellent article. As a former software configuration manager, I have seen what happens if a company doesn't treat CM seriously, and it isn't pretty!

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'First' 3D-printed rifle's barrel splits after single shot

jrd

Oh for goodness' sake! How many of these "3D printing a gun" stories are you going to run?

It's a non-issue to anyone except the press or politicians looking for cheap PR.

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Euro PC shipments plummet into bottomless pit of DOOOOM

jrd

Old PCs

My 7 year old laptop still does what I need. I don't have a compelling reason to replace the hardware - Windows XP, Office 2003 and Adobe Photoshop CS2 are all "good enough". PCs have become household appliances for most people - you keep the one you have until it breaks or won't get the job done. Or (maybe) Miscrosoft stops supporting the OS.

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'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

jrd

Re: Way to miss the point...

[Quote] This is a gamechanger for two reasons. Should I want to put a bullet in David Cameron, dont tempt me, with this I can make it myself, disguise it if I want to, and all I need to do is find the guy (probably when he's daughter hunting again), walk past, jam in in his gut and pull the trigger. [End]

Bullets are not freely available in the UK. And, if you're sourcing the bullets illegally, why not buy a gun the same way? Or, why not just stab him with a knife? It will be just as lethal as a small, low-velocity bullet.

Doesn't seem like a game-changer to me.

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Lenovo proclaims PC victory, re-orgs to take on Apple

jrd
Thumb Up

Re: Lenovo Thinkpads are not IBM Thinkpads

Typing this on a Lenovo Thinkpad X60 Tablet, my main computer. Bought it second hand 4 years ago and still going strong! Excellent bit of kit - vendors who offer 3 year warranties build their kit to last.

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Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

jrd
Thumb Up

gmail works

I've had 1 email address for 10 years which I use for everything, and I do a lot of shopping online, I'm on mailing lists etc and I must say almost no spam gets past gmail's excellent filters. Those that do always seem to respond to unsubscribe requests, so I would recommend this extremely simple and low-overhead combination if you have spam problems.

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Chinese court orders Apple to cough £100k to writers for violating copyright

jrd

Hmm, government puts the interests of its' own citizens ahead of those of foreign multinational companies, who would have expected that? I wonder if that'll catch on in the West too...

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Bankrupt Kodak misses $2bn target, flogs imaging patents for $525m

jrd

Re: Even with $2.6B

No, this isn't price fixing. It's companies learning that the strategy of bidding up the value of patent portfolios on the basis they can screw their competitors later isn't a great way to run a business. Which is a step in the right direction in my book.

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Gaping hole in Google service exposes thousands to ID theft

jrd

Re: Blimey...

Jeremy Clarkson was apparently quoted over £20,000 to insure a Ford Escort (a fast one), and that was over 20 years ago. Expensive car insurance isn't only a modern phenomenon!

(And I think that was before he was famous, so I don't think they pushed the quote up because it was him...)

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Happy 20th Birthday, IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad

jrd
Thumb Up

X60 and X30

My current computer is a Thinkpad X60 tablet running XP (6 years old). It works fine.

This replaced a Thinkpad X30, which I still use as a music/print server.

Both of these I bought second-hand (each a couple of years old at the time) and have been good, reliable machines.

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Culture jammers connect Lego clones with 3D printer files

jrd
Happy

Congratulations

I think I like every single thing about this story. Well done, all concerned!

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Nokia Asha 201 Qwerty phone

jrd

Different opinion

C|Net don't like the phone much...

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/mobile-phones/nokia-asha-201-review-50005823/

In particular, that reviewer hated the keyboard and the menu interface. And wasn't much impressed with the call quality either ("muffled").

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Assange: Text messages show rape allegations were 'set up'

jrd

Extradition to US

"If they know its a setup, then he should have no worries about going to Sweden and helping the police resolve the case".

I do not believe Assange is particularly worried about beating the Swedish accusations themselves. He fears that if he returns to Sweden then he will be extradited from there to the US.

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Is cloud data secure?

jrd

Risk assessment

I suspect it's the difficulty of assessing the risks of migrating to a cloud that's holding organizations back, as much as anything else. We know how to do risk assessment of servers, data retention and archiving systems, data centres, firewalls, physical site access controls - we've done them in the past and there's plenty of advice and best practice available.

But - how do you identify and quantify the risks with the cloud model? No-one really knows.

A risk which is that difficult to assess and mitigate is by definition a high risk...

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Gov decides not to have scientific advice on drugs any more

jrd

Good!

Mark McCormack, "What they don't teach you at Harvard business school":

"If your company has hired a consultant and you are not taking his advice - fire him.

This is no reflection on the consultant. He may be giving you the best advice you will ever get, but if you are not following it you are wasting his time and your money."

If we are going to have a government which thinks it knows best, and is prepared to make its own decisions, I'd rather they didn't waste our money paying consultants and then ignoring them or blaming them when the decisions don't generate the desired effects.

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