* Posts by silent_count

574 posts • joined 21 Nov 2011


Big Red's big pay gap: $13,000 gulf between male and female Oracle staffers – reports


All else being equal...

If Jane and John have equal productivity but Jane's wage bill is $13k less, why would a company employ John? Whoever is bringing this lawsuit needs to explain why there are any male employees left who haven't been out-competed by their equally skilled but cheaper-to-employ sisters.

I have little love for Oracle but even less for nonsense lawsuits.

Guess who's back, back again? China's back, hacking your friends: Beijing targets American biz amid tech tariff tiff


I wonder if the yank's zeal for protecting IP right extends to paying royalties to China every time they manufacture a bullet - which, funnily enough, contains gunpowder which was invented by...

Sure one could argue that the patient might have expired but guess which Disney-beholden national government keeps extending IP terms ever further towards the big bang.

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how


Re: what exactly do they define as a "drone"?

I was wondering the same.

"You shot it down."

"Yeah. We're allowed to do that if the drone looks threatening."

"It was a 747 coming in to land."


"It had civilians aboard. We're only allowed to shoot down unmanned drones."

"I didn't see 'em."

The only good I can see coming of this is that Mr Travaglia is going to have a field day with this nonsense.

Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month


Re: Java has been great as a teaching tool

I'll probably get laughed at but why not JavaScript?

- the syntax is C-ish.

- it's already installed on every device your students have.

- the browsers have some pretty decent dev tools built in.

- it's not dominated by one company (nobody is going to start demanding subscriptions or licenses to use JavaScript)

Facebook suspends account of Cambridge Analytica whistleblower


Facebook will self-destruct in 3... 2.... 1...

“Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do"

So when can we expect facebook to cease operating?

'Repeal hate crime laws for free speech' petition passes 14k signatures


Re: My view

Hey AC, remember the yanks who said Obama shouldn't be president because he's not a US citizen? The problem was not in their ability to make the accusation but with their lack of evidence.

Incidentally a similar problem arises for you. Sure you can exercise your free speech to make the accusation against TimeMaster T but, in a world of free speech, there's nothing to stop me from asking what evidence you have to back your accusation.

Optus to refund NBN customers for slow connections


Technology vs Advertising BS

This is not a technology problem or a NBN problem. This is a marketing bullshit problem.

Change the law so that if a telco advertises a given download/upload rate then they get fined $1 million for every single customer who does not get at least that rate 24/7. Bet'cha the day after that law passes we'll stop seeing advertisements for download speeds which are only ever seen by 0.00001% of the customers.

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?


“Off topic, but I'm not sure why Firefox has lost so much ground to Chrome in recent years."

I am.

They spent a long time where every. damn. release. was another, "oh look! We've faffed around with the UI yet again for no apparent reason while completely ignoring the bugs & problems which have been with firefox forever". Just incidentally, every UI change was to make Firefox look more and more like Chrome. And quite a few people took the not unreasonable view that if they're going to use a browser which tries to be like Chrome, they might as well use Chrome.

Mozilla spent time and energy screwing around with a phone OS which was never going anywhere.

They found the time and energy to change the Mozilla logo. Did you care what their logo looks like? Did anyone?

The one time which they acted with any kind of decisiveness is when they got rid of Brenden Eich - they got rid of a guy with unquestionable technical competence to satisfy their political preferences. This was the final evidence, if any was needed, that making a good browser which people want to use is not something the people at Mozilla are interested in.

And I say this as a Firefox supporter. :/

Over a million Android users fooled by fake WhatsApp app in official Google Play Store


Re: store fakes and junk

I commend to your attention 'Smart AudioBook Player'. The free version is good enough for my use but I bought the paid version to support the dev. (I have no interest in this software other than being a happy customer)

If you find anything good in the other categories you mentioned I'd be interested to see.

New SMB bug: How to crash Windows system with a 'link of death'


If it compiles, ship it

"This mean that the new code base was simply not audited or fuzzed before shipping it on their latest operating systems."

Honestly now, is anyone surprised?

Clients say they'll take their money and run if service hacked – poll


+1 Talk is cheap. A quick measure of the revealed preference would be to ask the same people when was the last time they changed providers in response to their previous provider's crap security.

#Censusfail Australia: Not an attack, data safe, no heads to roll


Re: 260 forms per second?!?

"Note that Australia has a population of 24m."

We think the population is around 24mil but we don't know. Maybe there's been a population boom and all 2.4 billion Australians trying to connect to the ABS server at once is what caused it to fall over.

In any case, it should be a fairly easy problem to solve. We can count how many Australians there are by taking a cens.... oh.

Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018


Re: Will be interesting to see what happens...

Back when I had more time to play games, I used to make sure there was a working No-CD crack before I'd even consider buying a game (life's too short to spend it switching CDs for every damn program, just to pander to the publishers' paranoia).

So I'm not so sure, AC, that perfect DRM actually would increase sales, or whether there would be enough people like me who'd sooner find something else to spend their time on.

These days I buy off gog.com (all DRM free), or not at all.

The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016


About bloody time!

Because I'm sick to death of these snooty science nerds banging on about how their 'evidence' stuff is more important than my opinion.

The Register's Australian technology headline predictions … for 2017!


Initial DOCSIS 3.1 rollouts...

I read that as, "Inital DOS 3.1 rollouts". Now I'm left to ponder which of the two technologies would be more beneficial to the people of Oz.

Hollywood given two months to get real about the price of piracy


Re: Reminds me of...

I actually agree with you, Danny 14, right up to your last line. I can't buy that the ICC acted in anything like good faith.

If the player called for chucking was in the third grade of the Zimbabwean domestic comp, the ICC would not have changed the rules.


Reminds me of...

A cricket umpire named Darrell Hair. Mr Hair no-balled Muttiah Muralitharan for chucking. Rather than support Mr Hair, cricket's ruling body changed the rules so that Mr Muralitharan's bowling action was no-longer illegal.

Rather than applaud Justice Perram for being sensible, I'll bet the government will pass some law stating that the harm inflicted by every torrent download is equal to the GDP of the country where the movie was made.

Australia's smut-shocked senators seek net censorship (again)


It seems a disturbing number of adults in Canberra spend their time thinking about children and pornography. Now those same deviates are brazenly trying to find an excuse to get paid to indulge in their favourite pass time - thinking about children and pornography.

Perhaps there should be some kind of national register so parents know who these people are, and some restrictions, maybe a 5km exclusion zone around every school, to keep those of their ilk away from our children.

Sued for using HTTPS: Big brands told to cough up in crypto patent fight


How does the plaintiff know for sure what sort of encryption the defendant(s) use without decrypting traffic, which would be in violation of the DCMA?

VW's Audi suspends two engineers in air pollution cheatware probe


So the follow-up question is whether those unspecified "senior managers" were work experience students or cleaning contractors.

£2.3m ZANO nano-drone crowdfunded project crashes and burns


Re: KickShorter

Anti-failure insurance wouldn't be the worst idea.

KS could make it a requirement that everyone who wants a KS campaign has to pay $1k up front. That money would be used to pay someone to assess the viability of the campaign and determine how much it would cost for a potential backer to insure their pledge.

KS could make a modest fee from selling the insurance, and posting the price of the insurance on a campaign's page would give would-be backers a better feel for the likelihood of the campaign's success.

Most developers have never seen a successful project


Re: Bollocks - Right stat wrong conclusion


From a guy described as 'an evangelist'. Nobody could have seen that coming.

FCC won't track Do Not Track


Snowden said it best

"Let us speak no more of faith in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of cryptography."

Edward Snowden (paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson)

Disabuse yourselves of the notion that people who make money from tracking you are going to stop trying. Regardless of how many unenforceable laws or feel-good-but-useless protocols (hi there, DNT) are made, the only way they're going to stop is if you leave them no other option.

Block scripts and cookies (unless you absolutely need them for a given site) and browse through a VPN. Let's see how the, "We'll ignore DNT" crowd likes dem apples.

AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly


This guy could win.

So they're going to pull twelve regular people off the street and get them savvy enough about CPU architectures and designs to be able to make an informed ruling on this case. And then I'm going to flap my wings and fly to the moon.

This case does have a chance of being successful. Not because it has any merit but because the jury won't have a clue about who is telling the truth.

TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it


60 Days to Read the TPP

As You Like It

Julius Ceasar

King Lear


The Merchant of Venice

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Much Ado About Nothing


Romeo and Juliet

The Taming of the Shrew

The Tempest

If you printed out all of the above plays, at 250 words per page, you'd have a stack of almost 2,000 pages. If you had 60 days, and nothing else to occupy your time, you could read through that much text (a mere 33 pages per day).

But if any politician says they've read through it in that time frame, and understood it all, and carefully considered the pros and cons for their constituents, and actually done their job too... yeah, they're lying.


Re: "so you may want to wait for others to provide summaries."

Charming. So when can we expect to read yours AC?

BlackBerry makes Android security patch promises


Re: PC, which has highly standardised hardware

I agree with your assessment, Paul Shirley.

The only way I can see it changing is as a result of a class action. Something like: customers, whose phones are still under contract, sueing Verizon (for example) after the customers get hit with malware which Google issued an update for but which wasn't passed on in a timely manner by either the manufacturer or carrier.

Such a lawsuit would lose but if the plaintiffs make enough noise, the mere possibly of losing money, combined with the bad PR might, just might, make those responsible get off their collective backsides long enough to change the status quo.

'Anonymous' says anonymous KKK dump wasn't from Anonymous


The pot and the kettle

Surely someone in Anonymous-land sees the spectacular irony of a group, which identifies itself by its members' anonymity, organising a lynch mob by outing people who wish to remain (you guessed it!) anonymous for the purpose of organising lynch mobs against people they do not like.

Sennheiser announces €50,000 headphones (we checked, no typos)


Re: Sigh....

@Lost All Faith

You're so right, mate. It's an obscene amount of money to be paying for something which obviously could not possibly be worth that much.

Incidentally, if any Senheiser customer reads this and discovers their €50k headphones don't have a long enough cable, you're in luck! I can sell you a genuine analogue (far warmer and more organic than the digital rubbish you get these days) audio extension cable sheathed in real unicorn scrotum. Sure, it won't be cheap but you just can't put a price tag on the envious looks you'll get from your guests when you brandish your €100k audio cable.

KeePass looter: Password plunderer rinses pwned sysadmins


So this is like the JPG 'virus'.

It is another permutation of, "if someone has admin on your system, they can do $BAD_THING".

Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant


The last block of code in the article is missing a ")" before the "goto".

That aside, Mr Torvalds is right in this specific case, and in general too. A lot of the constucts used to work with, and around, the preprocessor are just ugly and could quite happily be dragged out behind the back of the shed and shot.

Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?


Yay for 'innovation'

As PC hardware improves, software gets progressively slower and more bloated so as to negate any gains in speed or storage space the owner might have otherwise enjoyed.

Obviously the purchase price and power consumption of LED globes have become unacceptably low. So thankfully there are people, like the company in this article, looking to solve that particular problem.

So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?


I think you were on the right track with "free software", but think rather "public domain".

The notion of, "this thing I have created is freely available to every member of the public forever", is important.

For one thing, it stops information from getting lost, as used to happen with trade secrets and now happens with, 'nobody can use it because nobody knows who had the copyright and the companies involved folded 20 years ago'*.

Public domain stops us from having to reinvent the wheel ever again.

* The TPP's extending copyright to 'the end of time or thereabouts' will undoubtedly be an unqualified boon to all humanity. /sarcasm

Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet


The next sorta-killer app

I suspect there's market out there for a way of allowing people to avoid advertising by making micro-payments to outbid the advertisers.

For example, upon visiting El Reg, this killer app would find out how much advertisers are paying for a page worth of adds on El Reg and then allow the visitor to pay a teensy bit more than that directly to El Reg to get the page without any adds.

The site visitor is happy because they avoid adds while keeping the website in business. The site is happy because they're a little richer than they'd otherwise be. And the spurned advertiser can go burn in the hell from whence they were spawned.

Facebook's UK wing paid just £4k in corporation tax last year


The Worstall Effect

After looking at the comments on this story, I'd like to thank Mr Worstall for his articles.

It's fairly obvious that the readership of El Reg (myself included) has become markedly more economically literate, which in turn has raised the level of discussion.

Cheers to you all!

BLABBERGEDDON! Old Twitter chief becomes new Twitter chief to axe staff – report


Not an unreasonable plan.

The execs (as are all employees) are paid on the basis of the value they add to the company. Given that Twitter has not made a profit, does not make a profit, and does not appear to have a viable plan for making a profit in the future, I'm curious about the nature of the value Mr Dorsey is deemed to add to the company.

If cutting staff and thus wages is the path to progress, then they could sack Mr Dorsey and replace him with my corriander* plant. It's just as adept at running a successful company and is quite happy to be paid in water and sunshine.

* Cilantro for any Yanks who've made it this far into my ramble.

Zuck, Gates and Bono in ludicrous internet access for world+dog by 2020 bid


Stated vs revealed preferences

"But Zuck and chums didn't offer to fling any cash around at this weekend's UN summit."

And right there is the real indication about their level of sincerity.

Three seriously rich guys advocate for something that they care about so deeply that not one of them is willing to spend a single cent on it.

Dear do-gooders, you can't get rid of child labour just by banning it


I find your post interesting.

If Chinese norms are really producing a 10:1 male/female ratio, I'd imagine that would drive up the value of females - each girl would have ten potential hubbies lined up outside her door.

Brothels would make a killing from the nine unsuccessful suitors.

NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS


NASA will announce...

The curiosity rover has been destroyed by a disintegration ray gun owned by an irate martian father who claims the perverts at NASA were spying on his sunbathing daughters.

VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies


Re: Political nukes

"Since the fifties there's been a general increase in the population of sciencey-things-are-scary. Noone has had the political will to change that since the 80s."

I think the problem began when the children of the 70's hippies were grown up by the early 90's. You know, when suddenly nobody was allowed to smack children any more and nobody was allowed to tell the darlings they're wrong about anything lest you hurt their precious feelings. So they've grown up with the delusion that, regardless of the facts, their opinion is just as valid as anyone else's.

So now we've got homoeopaths and anti-vaxers arguing with doctors, and more recent hippy-throwbacks arguing with people who know the science of nuclear power.

NOxious Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal: Chief falls on sword


Re: "even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part"

@Nigel 11

At the minimum, the engine design team were lying about how well their engine works and the compliance team were either complicit or were so incompetent they didn't notice that the design team were lying.

I accept that a CEO isn't omniscient but this isn't like two of the cleaning staff sharing a joint on the night shift.

Mobile phones are the greatest poverty-reducing tech EVER


Re: BillG vs Zuckerberg

Ok 9Rune5, just for the sake of it, I'll give you a counter-argument.

Mobile phones and internet access seem less important when someone you love is dying of malaria. It's not purely an emotive argument either. A sick person decreases a workforce's productivity. And those inconsiderate dead people make no contribution to GDP at all.

Technology and wealth will benefit a society but only the ones who are alive to enjoy it.

That all said, access to better medical outcomes and better technology are not mutually exclusive and both together will do more to improve lives than either one alone.

Dislike: Facebook scammers latch onto anti-Like button calls


Re: Showing empathy

Yup. "Empathy" without effort corresponds nicely with Facebook's idea of being "social" without any effort towards being sociable enough to spend one's time in the society of one's alleged "friends".

There should be a whipping in the offing for misappropriating our language but I guess that, "I don't give enough of a rat's backside to actually talk to you so I'll click on this", is too wordy to fit on a button.

Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer


Re: I suspect a lot of us did this back in the day...

"Funny how some techniques are independently invented by multiple people."

My one (purely academic) go at writing a virus was a straight forward, "overwrite the smallest uninfected file larger than the virus code". To find the ideal target, my virus had to have a way of 'looking' at every file on the disk, so I invented a programming technique commonly known as 'recursion'. Too bad this was the late 80s and some people had already stolen my idea... long before I had it.

You want to DISRUPT my TECH? How about I DISRUPT your FACE?


Ahh.. "disruption"

'Disruption' is in this century what 'synergy' was in the previous one - a clear sign that the speaker is peddling in vacuous drivel.

Iranian hackers ease off on US after friendly nuke chats, says NSA


Re: Interesting Lies

"Mark my words, when Iran attacks Israel it will mean a war that will [...]“

Imagine, for a moment, that you're running Iran and contemplating an all out military assault on Israel. Given that Israel is known to have a nuclear arsenal, is a 'win' possible? And what would it look like?

I've met a few Iranians and not a single one is the kind of bucolic idiot who thinks a nuclear war ends well. I'll concede that it could be a case of selection bias - as in, the smart ones have skipped the country and left the nutters to run the show back home.

They’re FAT. They’re ROUND. They’re worth almost a POUND. Smart waaatch, smart waaatch


Re: Someone needed to say it.

@ Sarah Balfour & werdsmith

You're both right and I must confess that I don't pay much attention to the wearable gadget market.


Re: Someone needed to say it.

As much as I hate to admit it, I think Sony has perhaps the smartest play in the market. The worst a 'smart' watch band can do is provide no benefit over a 'dumb' watch band - it doesn't detract from the watch's existing function. Nor does it doesn't involve discarding the watch you already have.

It neatly sidesteps the trade-offs involved in the purchase of any of the existing stable of 'smart' watches.

If only they didn't go, as you point out, with such a daft name.

Dating gets even more dangerous after PlentyOfFish suffers tainted ads



I don't know the legal degree of liability for adverts, either in print or on the web. However if what black hats do is illegal* then the law should apply to everyone, and that could just be a good thing.

Visitors to PoF get malware. They sue PoF. PoF in turn sues the add slinger. The add slinger then has plenty of incentive to make sure the next bunch of adds they sling aren't malware vectors.

* Personally I think the internet should be the wild west with no laws governing what you can and can't do but I do acknowledge that's not the world we live in.


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