* Posts by TechnicalBen

2218 posts • joined 23 Mar 2012

Pre-checked cookie boxes don't count as valid consent, says adviser to top EU court

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Let's report every case of this to the ICO

"Are you sure Yes/No"

"Do you want X Yes/No"

"Do you want Y Yes/No"

"Do you want to cancel cancelling all of the above and accept? Yes/No/Skip"

I came across this change Android setup list recently with a new phone. I can accept my usage and management/customisation of Google and Android services (if you know they are tracking, you can possibly amend usage to fit, or if opt out, can at least minimise on what I personally see as a tool and just a phone)... however, I consider changing the old reliable "skip all" to "accept and skip all" as not cheeky, but down right manipulative and predatory! I nearly accepted all the tracking as I'd became use to the previous no double negative trick questions!

We fought through the crowds to try Oculus's new VR goggles so you don't have to bother (and frankly, you shouldn't)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Been waiting...

Yeah nearly all of these complaints are technologies we do now have. I agree it is not for everyone! And is like model aircraft. I love flying those but know some people have no interest in the hand eye co-ordination. Similar with vr is as said, the limit in visual and spacial modes and if there is any desire for the content or any content worth usuing it for.

But fov and eye tracking and even to some extent light focal length (IIRC NVidia have a cinema experience and cost prototype that allows for natural focus of each pixel/object) abd wireless are possible. But very very expensive.

A but like the folding or flexible displays. The tech has been ariund for nearly a decade. But only now is reliability and cost reaching a releaseable product.

VR will now be on a steady and sure footing and market. Just the same as most niches. It will be small and specialised only!

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Been waiting...

I would say it is slightly different this time. This time it is just cost keeping it at bay, not technology. The screen resolution and speed does exist, but is eye watering. The speed and processing power exists but is heartbreaking.

You would be spending 4-8k on the headset and 5-10k on the PC lol. But back in the day, even the best PC and hardware were comparable to the Virtualboy. We do now have the tech and the speed and fidelity. Just not the reasonable costs. (Where as home fusion, AI and many other things might be pie in the sky and just not practical ever)

New phone who dis? Facial recognition models more farcical despite progress

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Re: @c1ue

A bit of both. Some expert systems have been found to be checking texture, not shape. Thus they can check things... but again, unlike the human or animal, the reward system might be wrong, or the pre-arranged learning mechanic (as above example, shape was suppose to be applied, but colour was in error) may be wrong.

Some systems are not able to though. So say a facial recognition system may be programed to only take in single images. So it has no ability to link movements etc. Then later they add it in (as with finger print sensors checking if the finger is alive!). Where as, as you say, humans and animals tend to not have much of a restriction at all, when it comes to learning.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: "AI doesn't always work as well as you'd expect in real life"

Those are not really "AI" though. They *ARE* statistical look up tables. For when our squidgy brains and eyes hit the limits of their ability, we can pass it on to a computer. Just as we do for say, fine manipulation tools, or heavy construction tools. We are not replacing a human, but adding to.

Getting a computer to check the size of a cell or star almost perfectly, is simpler and more accurate, and faster, than getting a human to do it. Just in the same way getting in my car to go to the shops is quicker than running (well, depends on the runner, and the traffic! XD ).

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

TechnicalBen Silver badge
IT Angle

Thumb down?

Ok, I may have oversimplified that one. But similar happened, as the feedback on the stick did not clearly show the nose up was from the other co-pilot. I'm happy to be corrected though!

TechnicalBen Silver badge

I think Air France crash that had the two pilots inputting opposite correction, one nose up in panic, one nose down down to stop a stall. Each one over compensated for the other, and in the end the aircraft fell from the sky. :(

TechnicalBen Silver badge

No joke.

I doubt I'd ever get in a 737 Max now... or any other 737 (as I suspect a renaming scheme might try to hide the fact).

I've no qualms on flying... but this one incident, does not bode well for future "tech" that throws sense (training) and safety (fail safe systems) out the window.

Stop us if you're getting deja-vu: Uber used spyware to nobble dial-a-ride rival, this time Down Under, allegedly

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Kill one man.

"And you are a criminal. Kill a million, and you are a hero"

That phrase springs to mind here. They raid others for doing it, but a company, they'd just ask for their cut of the profits (See Sonys Rootkit).

Vengeful sacked IT bod destroyed ex-employer's AWS cloud accounts. Now he'll spent rest of 2019 in the clink

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Voova should take some heat here...

I didn't know "Someone elses problem" began with a C and ended with a D until the "cloud" was invented. ;)

Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

Wait... the problem is, you are letting your kids watch "pepper pig" on facebook/youtube on an unofficial channel.

You'd not let the kids eat out the back of a garbage can just because it had "pepper pig garbage, honest gov!" written on the back. How people still trust the internet in this day and age, or go for the "free" garbage, when actual free content is next door (iplayer/CITV for example for kids) is insane.

What is wrong with parents?

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

I agree we should not share such things, we should not even look it up!

But sadly, a lot of this has been started by the mainstream media. Showing CCTV camera footage, and cutting out "just before" an incident. This drives curiosity and desensitises people. It made me stop watching the news. I don't mind knowing what is happening, but I have *no* reason to see it, on TV of all things!

Bombs Huawei... Smartphone exploded in my daughter's pocket, seriously burning her, claims dad in lawsuit

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Original charger (or at least a good one)?

I do take my risk in my pocket. With my nice sturdy case, glass front and back, if the thing does not expand like a balloon, it should launch me into orbit instead!

(Risk of fire or glass is then partially mitigated... and I am reminded my parents and grandparents did much worse and survived. So I expect the phone is the least of my worries. )

Open-source 64-ish-bit serial number gen snafu sparks TLS security cert revoke runaround

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Huh?

"which to put it in perspective is roughly the number of human cells in the population of swansea".

I want to know *how* you know that specific fact about Swansea... no, come to think of it, not how, but *why*.

Also, AFAIK those are nice people, so what are you planning?!

If you're worried that quantum computers will crack your crypto, don't be – at least, not for a decade or so. Here's why

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Grant application

Or a hammer. Hammers are cheap.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: So Google have there own Qbit system...

Hahahaha. They don't need to if you connect to their servers. Who needs man in the middle, if you own the website? XD

Carphone Warehouse fined £29m for mis-selling mobile insurance to punters who didn't need it

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Not "suckered".

I know of a few people who will say yes, then cancel at home, just because they don't like confrontation/making people sad.

LOL when the salesperson does see the paycheck, still sad, and still confrontational.

But some people just cannot give an honest "no, get lost" answer. :/

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Apparently

Same experience with headphones. The ones on display were sold out, showing "on sale" for an amazing price and sound quality. But no info on them (turns out end of line, but other companies already have the new models in). Lower specced model in stock, but obvs lower end line. Most of them were broken or not actually stocked.

They were helpful in telling me they could order in one for next day collection/delivery, but I don't know how, as online it showed "out of stock".

So in the end, we got the "newer" (only a slight external visual revision AFAIK) model elsewhere, my bro same day delivery, me I got some a week later at another store.

I was literally ready to give them my cash, but no real help (I know I can buy them online :rolleyes:).

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Panic

Paul. You don't understand statistics. Sorry.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

I kinda do agree. Flight 447 is really sad. As, even an untrained, no idea person, I could still figure out "oh, nothing is wrong here, hold heading straight" etc. If 477 had followed the manual perfectly, it would have been ok. Panic set in (or just confusion) and the worse happened.

Here, with the 737 it seems slightly different. Even following training, if no one is told the MACS exists, or if the MACS can be faulty (due to 1 or 2 CPU control, not the normal 3), then how can a pilot or crew respond correctly?

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Air France 447 all over again?

While the Air France crash was due to two pilots putting in conflicting controls, it was again impounded by the computer not communicating it's actions well (and the pilots).

So in this case, could it be, though only pilot to computer in this case, the computer not communicating it's change in trim well? Thus pilots making adjustments/maneuvers, and "strange things" happening, as the automatic system overrides their action.

You then get a feedback effect, either from the computer, or from the human user, each one trying to adjust the others, each ones action becoming more and more extreme, until one fails.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Tail wagging the dog.

Hahaha. Yes the dyslexia is strong in my typing.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Higher was better

They probably never installed the mobile mast on the radio tower, because of all the dangerous, deadly, radiation coming off the radio tower...


TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Tail wagging the dog.

Lets be honest. 99% of it is "it looks bad/I don't want my garden dug up". I can agree with that sentiment, who wants their house being the one with the eyesaw.

I cannot agree with the falsehood of using any excuse, such as "radiation" when being honest and saying "could we put it somewhere it won't look an eyesaw" would be much more responsive and probably get more backing (such as working with the community to put them on things like Fire Stations etc).

What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Fallout shelter?

A makeshift shelter could help protect from a blast and radiation... but by the time you'd built one, it'd be over. If you get a warning with enough time, you need to ask *how* they could give a warning, yet not negotiate a ceasefire. :/

Biker sues Google Fiber: I broke my leg, borked my ankle in trench dug to lay ad giant's pipe

TechnicalBen Silver badge


Unless it's for Google to just counter sue the building company? I could understand that.

Seen a video where a Youtubers dash cam on their bicycle, shows the cycle just fell over when going over some hole covering metal sheets on road works. The metal was so slippery, the bike just loses it. They got really bad concussion too.

So fault can be with the building company.

No guns or lockpicks needed to nick modern cars if they're fitted with hackable 'smart' alarms

TechnicalBen Silver badge

You think to small.

IIRC the GitS reboot series had the entire cities cars hacked for their processing power. They caused a masive gridlock. Just think of the bitcoin you could mine!

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Zombie cars

I think there was a documentary Disney made about that one.

Champagne corks undocked as SpaceX brings the Crew Dragon back to Earth

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Space cheese

Sadly I think I saw it is still (ton) on display... they never ate it. Must be rather pongy by now.

From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Shouting at your discs

When people shout at me it also has a negative effect on my work performance... for some reason they are surprised by this.

Meizu ditched hole-free phone because it was 'just the marketing team messing about', not because no one really gave a toss

TechnicalBen Silver badge


Seems it was just too highly priced. As a choice, it's not a bad option. As a forced "the entire market copies it", it would be a worry. A bit like if everyone adds notches and ditches headphone jacks and removable batteries... oh wait.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Missed Option

Yes, those towns will be especially quiet when everyone gets run over.

In a perfect world, we could use sounds in an interim period, until people got use to the new method/form of travel. However, I'm expecting this to go the same route as "phone bezels" and just keep getting more and more impractical car sounds as time goes by.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Not just electric cars.

Current petrol cars sometimes have fake engine sounds coming out of the radio/stereo system, because they no longer sound the same, and sales/marketing still want the customers to think they are getting the "same" car/engine. Kinda annoying to OCD/pedantic people like me... but IIRC you can turn it back off again.

Pumping it out, instead of in, the car should be no problem.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Dumber and Dumber

Drivers with earbuds? But how do earbuds prevent drivers from hearing all those pedestrians walking around in *really* loud shoes, or when they go "brmmmmbrrmmmm brum" as they walk?

Cheap as chips: There's no such thing as a free lunch any Moore

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: HDD vs decent SSD

Technically, if SSDs are also on silicone, they could hit similar return on rate of improvement. So not that far off Moore's law! :)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Win10

IIRC that's because Win 10 "updates" are entire ISOs most of the time now. :/

(I feel a little smug that my Linux machine is kbs (pic either ;) ) worth of data, but then I remember I have to boot into 10 for some software :( )

TechnicalBen Silver badge

NO. No they would not.

"If Moore's Law had ground along, Surface Go would sport an Intel CPU fabricated on a 7nm process – with more than twice the grunt of the model Microsoft shipped."

No, they would have put an even worse CPU, as the 7nm cost of production would be higher, and they would want to claw back more profit (or the pure cost would make it impossible to make at that price point).

When a device is slow, it is not because they cannot make it faster (at least most of the time), but making it faster is more *expensive*.

See the current folding phones as an example, of tech being there, but cost and reliability of production being prohibitive, making them almost useless in their current form/price range (as damage/loss makes it rather unpalatable).

You purchased the slowest model... The slowest model. Don't then say it could be faster... unless you are saying "if I bought the faster model, it would be faster". ;)

Spooky! Solar System's Planet NINE could be discovered in the next NINE years (plus one to six), say astroboffins

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Wasn't this how Newtonian mechanics was disproved?

Great to see you learnt by looking up the history, finding out the science (orbits, expected "vulcan" planet not being there etc).

Very few people do these days. Have an upvote for progress! :)

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Wasn't this how Newtonian mechanics was disproved?

Almost? Mercury's orbit helped prove einstein.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Here's Your Sign

Kinda. We have signs of something, not necessarily a planet.

A bit like when you notice something missing from the fridge "someone else must have eaten it"... five mins later "oh, now I remember, *I* ate it". It's a slight failure in categorizing the search space.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Exotic orbital inclination

Because some are actually based on wrong explanations (myths) of actual observations (history). Untangling the two is difficult, but not impossible. Why? Timescales/correlation.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1006 (Monk writes unbelievable record, turns out to be actual astronomical observation)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minoan_eruption#Effect_on_Egyptian_history (Contested, because the Egyptians were cheeky with their history)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_comet_observations_in_China (Chinese record of comets)

Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head, but many more exist. Some myths are myths, and some history becomes exaggerated, but if we can find the source, it can be helpful.

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: A simple mitigation

A separate processor entirely? I mean, it's the internet, why is it given access to all 36* of my cores?

*Ok, I only have 4, but someone out there has a pc like that.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: The Current Spectre / Meltdown Mitigation Overhead Benchmarks On Linux 5.0

TBF that *is* a context switch... which was not being checked before and now is (or flushed? ). So that one type of function is 1/8th the performance. The rest of the graphs might be better to help understand a mixed load difference in performance. As I doubt anyone will be doing 100% context switches in their software.

The rest of those tests would average out to around 1/8th slower with the mitigations installed. Still bad. But not quite as extremes.

Also interesting that AMD takes less of a hit on the newer CPUs than Intel does on their also new CPUs. So looks like AMD made improvements in architecture... Intel just overclocked things. Lol.

SpaceX Crew Dragon: Launched and docked. Now, about that splashdown...

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: "At 4m wide and 8.1m high"

Yes? But shaping those would take a lot more time... and the glue gets stuck to my fingers...

TechnicalBen Silver badge

"At 4m wide and 8.1m high"

It's a clever little capsule. Though my 3d printer may have trouble matching that, at 1:100th (right scale?), a 4cm to 8.1cm is in the pans. Stages 1-2 have already been printed. XD

Another way to look at Amazon's counterfeit-busting Project Zero: Making merchants cough up protection money

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Buyer Beware

Forget counterfeiting, any way to order product *other* than by list of "shade of blue 00001 500w psu, shade of blue 00002 500w psu, shade of blue 00003 500w psu" would be helpful. Anything that stops 1000s of the same item getting put up for sale would help actually find a product, let alone report it if a scam, and if they put back such a button.

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either

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Re: Finally....

The office-less office?

Foldables herald the beginning of the end of the smartphone fetish

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: and want plenty of storage (say microSD).

Wait what? Samsung do a 1TB phone, that is *expandable*.

Still, even a cheap second hand Note 3/4 could do 32gb and IIRC a 64gb stick... so don't have to break the bank either.

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Re: Roller phones are the future!

Already possible with OLED. Costs/reliability/physics tricks tend to make progress slow though. The cost of the device, the risk of folding/tearing/scratching, then figuring out how to structurally support it. All doable, but takes time.

Lenovo kicks down door of MWC, dumps a stack of sexy new ThinkPads

TechnicalBen Silver badge

Linux + secure enclaves?

I would assume it's because of the secure enclaves and/or proprietary integration to some on chip security that is not supported in Linux.

They fear keys getting out. SMC all over again?

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