* Posts by 2Fat2Bald

140 posts • joined 4 May 2012

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Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

2Fat2Bald

I know it's sad - I used to use them. But they've not been Demon for some years. Not really.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

2Fat2Bald

Shotguns are definitely a better option than rifles, any gamekeeper will tell you that.

As far as jamming goes - they'd have to block rather a lot of channels to down the drone, since most of them use frequency hopping. There is the usual 2.4 Ghz band. It could also be using 5ghz, or maybe using WiFi or mobile data etc etc. And how do you tell if the signal you're jamming is the drone control signal out of the morass of signals you're typically dealing with? - of course it could simply be pre-programmed with waypoints so not using a signal at all.

You can keep a heli in the area to look for it, but that would have the same essential effect as the drone (!) if help in the air. If kept on the ground, contrary to what you see in action movies, taking off in a helicopter takes several minutes - especially from a major international airport. So by the time the thing is in the air the drone probably will have vanished again.

Does it strike anyone else as odd that apparently nobody has come forward to claim responsibility for this?

Concerns over cops' crap computer kit: UK MPs call for cash, capacity, command

2Fat2Bald

Having experience of both policing and IT I can tell you that the Police themselves are culturally incapable of tackling high tech crime. They've almost been bred to be exactly the wrong sort of people to do it.

To he honest. At this point I'd take high-tech and organised crime off the County forces and give it to a regional force made up of as few old-school cops as possible - made mainly out of geeks and nerds. Not necessarily graduates, but people from industry or with relevant skills.

High tech crime is inherently complex and nuanced. It's not really suitable for investigation by someone who's been more-or-less bred to look for simple, quick disposals. And it's amazing how few people who can understand code, computer networks and so on want to spend 2 years on street duties before they can possibly apply for what they actually want to do with uncertain probability of actually getting it. All what earning less than they could do for any outsourcer or consultancy.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

2Fat2Bald

In reality, cars are not going to make these decisions - which are value judgement. They're simply going to try to avoid a collision with the object. If they swerve to avoid an animal and then a human also gets in the way and there is no solution to them avoiding the human, they'll hit them. If hazards appear at the exact same moment, it'll try to avoid both but if that's not possible, the laws of physics will dictate the outcome, not the car's logic.

Imagine the product liabity on anything else - The product effectively making a positive decision to kill someone because they're less valuable than someone else? - no way, Jose. It'll just be "avoid all collisions, until the laws of physics determine what you hit".

You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

2Fat2Bald

For me, sleep/hibernate/suspend are for walking from one meeting to another. Or Possibly to preserve battery life when you're going AFK for a bit. They're not for making sure your PC pops up as you left it the following day. People do that and then complain when their PC runs slowly and takes 30 minutes to reboot when it finally, finally, finally gets to patch. Memory leaks are still a thing, I'm afraid.

Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

2Fat2Bald

I think it's up the other people to decide if someone's "spent" conviction is important, or not. Clearly they do think it's important (or ABC anticipates that they will), since he's fussed about getting it removed.

Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

2Fat2Bald

Re: Back in my day

yeah, it's always the lowly branch manager, though. genuinely senior people usually realise it's best to encourage people you're relying on.

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

2Fat2Bald

Re: I wonder if there's corellation here...

if anyone is rude to me, I just walk off. don't care who they are, I'm not paid for that.

2Fat2Bald

Re: I'm not sure what's worse

You might l like to open any modern Windows-based PC and run the program "PSR.EXE"

It's not AS good, but pretty good nonetheless.

Tor-forker Joshua Yabut cuffed for armoured personnel carrier joyride

2Fat2Bald

It isn't a tank, its a mobile command post. It's armour is proof (ish) against light weapons (ie handguns), but other than that its about equivalent to a not-very-efficient earthmover.

There are no reports of casualties or serious damage, and he was arrested peacefully. Sounds like the police handled it pretty well. I wonder how many of those pursuing cars were military police?

New UK drone laws are on the way – but actual Drones Bill still in limbo

2Fat2Bald

Badly reported, or badly done?

If they've literally just used the word "Drone" in the legislation then they do have a problem. I'd argue that a "drone" is actually self-controlled (ie waypoints or AI). Whereas what I fly (manually) is a quadcopter. Certainly I don't think my Heli or fixed wing types are "drones".

I guess is the legislation contains a legal definition of "drone" then it could be fair enough, but then again if people appeal and say the legislation is faulty because what you're defining as a "drone" isn't... Where does that leave you? You could expand the definition of "drone" to encompass all model aircraft, really.

To be honest, I think the 250g weight limit is too low. I also disagree with putting the matter under the auspices of the CAA who - speaking frankly - are motivated to do what they can to ruin drones because they're a competitor to their industry. It's like putting gaslighters in charge of managing these new-fangled electric lights.

2Fat2Bald

Re: Great weight limit

Oh, yes. It weighs less than nothing.

Although it's MASS is many tonnes. It's weight is low.

T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

2Fat2Bald

Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB.. @ Charlie Clark

I do wonder, if I have a zit on my arse in "Megacorp Pink", will I get a letter from their lawyers?

There are many, many good reasons I should wear trousers in public. But that shouldn't be one.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

2Fat2Bald

in my view the crash provided an opportunity for the airlines do to something they would have done anyway, if it wasn't for the opprobrium it would attract.

concorde, for all its technical achievements, was simply conceptually misconceived. Not that many people travelling wanted to do so in cramped conditions at great expense to do something in 6 hours (allowing for travel to the airport, check in etc) that could be done in 8 in relative comfort and value.

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

2Fat2Bald

I used to do helpdesk for a major bank. It was amazing how often we'd get phone calls from users telling us their computer was really, really slow. And we'd check the management software - and it's not been rebooted for 30 days+.

So. I'd tell them to reboot it at lunchtime or at hometime. Most of the time, though, they just turned the monitor off and on again - or outright lied to us about doing anything at all.

So I instead asked them to call in when they were going home or going to lunch and I'd do an "administrative shutdown & rebuild" for them (just a reboot from the command prompt in reality). Then I'd log them back in and lock the PC when it came back up. So when they got back, everything was ready for them.

Sometimes it's the medicine. Sometimes it's the spoon.

Punctual as ever, Equifax starts snail-mailing affected Brits about mega-breach

2Fat2Bald

Should be as simple as this. You need a licence to hold personal data. It can be revoked. If it IS revoked, you need to delete the personal data as you are no longer considered fit to hold it.

Not really that complex. Of course anyone relying on data from someone who didn't have a licence to hold it would be on VERY Dodgy ground, legally.

Which would basically screw their business model completely. Which is what they deserve for this.

You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

2Fat2Bald

Outsourcing

There is a definite problem with outsourcing. If you think most people lie on their CVs, it's nothing compared to what a lot of outsourcers do at the pitch meeting. Several times I've seen entire departments outsourced, only to come back as contractors a few months later because the people who took the job on couldn't actually do it - but the boss can't admit it was a massive mistake and bring the jobs back. Sometimes it's their ego, sometimes it's the exit clauses.

The really charming one is when they ask the staff who's job is being outsourced to fly to India (or wherever) and train their replacements in the job they're just been made redundant from. And often the outsourcers blame the empty when their staff can't cut it "Oh, they didn't help at all - I think they had a bit of an attitude after being made redundant!".

Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

2Fat2Bald

Re: Sale of Goods Act

Not sure about that. Arguably it's limited to it's warranty. You bought it, the warranty expired. It stopped working. But they only said it would work for 12 months, anyway.

I don't buy that argument because it hasn't stopped working (it's fine) which is what warranties are there for, but did they actually agree to provide updates to any future OS? because you do - of course - have the option of using the older OS it was designed for if you want to. That may not be wise or convenient, but you do have it. Unless you've already rejected that option by upgrading to 11. But that's your choice.

AMD comes out swinging, says: We're the Buster Douglas of the tech industry!

2Fat2Bald

It's kinda interesting...

I've long used AMD stuff. It's fine, honestly. I've used AMD since the days of the first AMD I386DX40 I bought. Back then people said "Get the intel - it's faster". And it was - slightly - but also more expensive.

I think for some people the biggest disincentive to AMD is simply "It's not an Intel" and the perception that it's a cheap knock-off of a "proper" CPU. Like not buying an Android because it's a knock-off of an iPhone and "not a proper smartphone" (different scale, but similar Logic).

I do wonder how much Intel would actually like AMD to go away. I think they probably don't want that as they don't want to be in a monopoly (often bad things happen - like being open-sourced) and really want a dominant market position that isn't *quite* a monopoly.

Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

2Fat2Bald

There is a kinda patchy history with Vacuum companies making electrical cars for eccentric British inventors........................

iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

2Fat2Bald

So. It can - briefly - sprint to do something very quickly that only a few people will want doing?

I mean - don't get me wrong - it's impressive and all. But is it actually - genuinely - valuable?

Apple’s facial recognition: Well, it is more secure for the, er, sleeping user

2Fat2Bald

I have no idea how to do this.... but.

How about getting multiple images of a face from different angles, then using that to work out the measurements of the face. Once you have multiple angles that ought to become easier. Scoping social media ought to give you enough images to get a pretty good impression of the face from different angles.

One your have that, you can then make a 3D printed mask of the face and print/paint facial features on to it, also garnered from social media. A few years ago this would have been too pixelated, but now days most phones have pretty decent cameras in them, so high def images are easy.

I doubt it's easy, as I say I have no idea how to do it, but equally I know that with enough maths it ought to be possible.

Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee

2Fat2Bald

I do wonder to what extent people withdraw their "goodwill" when benefits are cut. it's easy to put the costs on a spreadsheet and show you've saved money, but there are less tangible costs involved.

What they don't see is that salesman visiting the client and turning up cranky because his Octavia greenline is not as a nice as the BMW 320d he used to have. Or the technician who at 4pm says "Well, I'd better hit the road if I want to be home for dinner", rather than billing another 2 hours. They've got no idea the guys who fixed the CRM databases at 11am Thursday would, for the price of Pizza haven't fixed it 8pm Wednesday. One risk is that the company looks "cheap" or, worse "desperate" and gets the smell of death about it - both customers and competitors will get that.

On the one hand, there is no reason for a technical rep to have a company Porsche or for a sales droid to stay in a £2000 a night knightsbridge hotel. On the other, you can't really rely on the goodwill of a many who's forced to bring his own sarnies to a conference, where everyone else pops to the bar afterwards.

Bank IT fella accused of masterminding multimillion-dollar insider-trading scam

2Fat2Bald

there are plenty of good ways to communicate data securely that don't need an app. Or go low tech and use a burner or public phone......

I wonder why they added that speculation?

Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

2Fat2Bald

I like Paint.Net - it's a nicely enhanced version of Paint.exe that is nicely judged for clipping and adding notes to photos and the line.

John McAfee plans to destroy Google. Details? Ummm...

2Fat2Bald

I am not a number...

I am a FREE MAN!

It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude

2Fat2Bald

It's certainly going to be disruptive, isn't it? When you can get your hands (or whatever other thing...) on the person of your dreams by ordering them. At the moment how many of us actually get someone who, physically, is precisely what we want? Not only that, but how many of us keep that person? - Nobody - because real-world people age and wear and change their minds etc. We all have things that we find particularly attractive in a person. Occasionally we will see someone who hits most of those points and, even if we're in a committed relationship or there is a ridiculous age gap, or they're clearly with someone or whatever we will - even if we do nothing - find our eyes drawn back to them and think to ourselves "if only". With this technology you'll be able to order that person. And keep them. And even modify them to be slightly different because you've discovered something new you like. Hell's there is even the possibility of getting a photo of your crush and getting a replica made. Or of licencing the image of pron stars to be used in the dolls.

My point is - how can a real person who must play the genetic lottery and live in the real world with all the challenges, infirmities and uncertainties that it brings hope to compete with someone made in a factory to exacting specifications that can be changed and refined at any time? How can someone with independent thought, needs and knowledge hope to compete with someone who's one directive is to please you in any way possible?

My guess is that if this technology ever does see light, then it will be in brothels. Or possibly people will have one person who's their "life partner" and a robot for sex. Perhaps the robot will even join them for sex? Making it a four-way, potentially, at least. Is that really that much different from the wife keeping a vibrator in her knicker-drawer?

And this "kids thing" - creepy as f*ck and apt to normalise it. Definitely illegal, and should remain so.

Nokia's retro revival 3310 goes on sale and disappears immediately

2Fat2Bald

so. a lot of people just want a mobile telephone, not a portable computer?

‪There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box

2Fat2Bald

I would imagine that most people - upon finding they're infected - leap for the power button immediately.

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

2Fat2Bald

A single-speed cd spins at 200-500 RPM (depending on where it's being read)

52x that is 10,400 RPM, at slowest.

120mm across. (or 0.12 meters) x 3.14 (pi) = 380 CM circumference (.38 meters)

.38 X 10,400 = 3952 meters/minute/60=65 Meters a second. X2.5 to give us full speed. 164 M/Sec

164 m/sec = about 360 MPH, outer rim speed. Slightly less than half the speed of sound.

Yep. They're moving.

BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

2Fat2Bald

Re: Good code is good code

Good code is Good code, yes. But there is a lot more to it than that. Good ideas, done mediocre will trounce bad ideas, no matter how well done. Most Microsoft projects are not that well coded, but they're

But - outside of some tiny projects and sci-fi films - coders never just sit there on their own with a single computer, writing stuff from memory. There is a massive team involved and they MUST all cooperate.

Having someone on the team who's disrupting it is rarely worth their contributions, and they need to be kicked out of fixed very quickly.

Having said all that. I think this is a pathetic pretext for doing so. Who cares if he likes to play sexual games? - what are you now, the morality police?

Road accident nuisance callers fined £270,000 for being absolute sh*tbags

2Fat2Bald

Re: Was about to say the same thing

Well, it WAS always that. Up until the speed camera - which takes a photograph of your car, prints a number on it, and claims that's how fast you were going and that you were driving at the time.

As this won't work if you ask the Camera to actually prove anything, it's assumed to be right unless you can prove it isn't.

Really the burden of proof is on the accused here.

'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

2Fat2Bald

Thinking about it...

I stopped using their services when sat nav became cheap enough for me to buy one - obviating the need to print out a map before jumping in the car. Shortly after that most mobiles gained sat nav as the iPhone and Android became universal.

I'm not sure their decline is due to competition at all. I think it might be due to being a print-out-and-drive service in a navigate-as-you-drive world.

Google DO provide maps, but people use them to look at places remotely to see what they're like and to look for stuff.

Now I think of it, are they really even direct competitors?

BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me

2Fat2Bald

I just say "I don't give out any information to unsolicited callers". Mostly they say "Oh, goodbye". Sometimes they say "But I only wanted..." and I just repeat "I don't give out any information to unsolicited callers".

After a few rounds of this I say "Sorry, but I've got a queue of people with me and it doesn't look at if we can do business. I'm going to have to go".

RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

2Fat2Bald

Words fail me.

Because it sounds like something I would do.

IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick

2Fat2Bald

I've worked in a place (several years back) where they had a strictly enforced security policy. If IT reported someone for doing something against the rules, they got fired. No ifs, buts, maybes or excuses. The rules were sensible things like not using personal email on work computers, no USB devices and so on. When there was a virus infection we had to write a report, apportioning blame where necessary. The company realised that the information was their lifeblood and if some daft git brought their personal computer into the office, plugged it in and it infected the network the loss of time, confidence, and money could be far worse than stuff for which you'd expect to be fired (like torching the building). Everyone watched a video on this on the first day, and signed a piece of paper agreeing to the policy. IT were given some discretion on whether to offer advice or report stuff - depending on how egregious and intentional the transgression was.

You know how often we did this? - virtually never. Because people knew it wasn't worth the risk. Seeing one-or-two colleagues a year (of several thousand) marched out of the building by security made sure people didn't take the mick. If IT came down and said "Look - you can't plug that into your computer" - they listened. Breaking the rules wasn't a "silly computer thing", it was your job. And a friendly warning from IT was sure to be listened to as the next one would be from Security and rather less friendly.

Even quite senior managers respected security protocols and used to come to IT to ask advice and permission before doing things that might impact network security. Sometimes the answer was no, but more often it was "Yes" or "Yes, but you need to do it like this..." or "Oh, we know a much better way of this this - let me show you".

Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads

2Fat2Bald

Re: Dunno, Man

With respect, that's not a problem with the format. It's a problem with the implementation. Used to annoy the crap out of me the way so many electronics providers would solder the darn socket to the board. If they just spent 5p more making the thing and screwed it to the casing with flying leads (as the standard was designed to be used) - it would have been fine.

Soz fanbois, Apple DIDN'T invent the smartphone after all

2Fat2Bald

Apple definitely weren't the first Smartphone - although I think there is a perception that they were amongst a significant proportion of the population. Certainly I had a SonyEricson P800 many years before the iPhone made smartphones popular. People used to be curious about it and think it was cool that it could run games and pick up email and so on.

I think what Apple did do it make the Smartphone mass-market and cool.

Hapless scouser scours streets for lost Crimble drone

2Fat2Bald

Re: Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...

Some of them have an option to limit how far from takeoff point they can go - but obviously this only works when the drone has a GPS lock on takeoff, and retains it in flight.

China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning

2Fat2Bald

Because, of course, the US Navy is conducting surveys into ocean currents and salinity. Yes, natural thing for the military to do, is that. Definitely. At this time of shallow budgets and cost-consciousness, naturally they're just putzing around near their biggest foe making sure the sea isn't too salty.

As for trump. Well, it's a phonetic spelling, isn't it? - an easy mistake to make, for sure, but you'd hope he's check this out.

Plus he's far from correct about this kind of thing not happening before. It happens regularly. It's - at most - in the category of the Russians flying strategic bombers into UK airspace for - basically - shits and giggles (as they do constantly).

Apple ordered to cough up $2m to store workers after denying rest breaks

2Fat2Bald

Something of a pyric victory, perhaps?

They're won on a point of law, but I'm guessing that Apple extracted more than 95 Dollars of worth out of them by these business practices.

Disney sued in race row: Axed IT workers claim jobs went to H-1B hires

2Fat2Bald

the racism angle is tenuous. The incoming cheaper staff were all from a low cost provider who happened to be in India. so recruited chiefly Indians.

The sad fact is that ditching time served staff in exchange for rookies can save a business so much money that its practically a no-brainer.

User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

2Fat2Bald

Wonko the sane had a point...

US reactor breaks fusion record – then runs out of cash and shuts down

2Fat2Bald

Re: Quotation from the article: "the high pressures required for burning plasma"

More likely, he's just speaking loosely for the purposes of a non-scientist, popular audience.

In my job I'm forever paraphrasing and simplifying stuff for non-technical staff.

Tax-swerving IT director disqualified for 8 years

2Fat2Bald

Meh

The unspoken truth with big business not paying tax is that it's reported pretty vaguely by the media. Often they say things like "XXXX paid only £3000 this year in Corporation tax". - which begs the question "Yes - but what other taxes did they pay?". It may be that Corporation Tax isn't the appropriate tax for them to pay, because they're paying the money elsewhere for a variety of reasons.

It could also be that they're not making massive profits. For example, if a business is expanding and ploughing most of it's profit back into to expansion it may actually make very small profits year-on-year, despite the apparent value of the enterprise continuing to increase. Similarly if it's investing money in other businesses, or paying off loans or a variety of other things it may not appear to make much actual cash or may not pay much in particular taxes, choosing or needing to pay it elsewhere instead.

Don't misunderstand me - it's highly likely that a lot of businesses are avoiding paying tax and, possibly, the rules need to be tightened. But the rules are what they are and if people are taking advantage of them to avoid handing over money, that's on the government not the people doing it. UNLESS they're breaking the rules.

Perhaps hard to believe, but I think the media are sensationalising this somewhat.

Galaxy Note 7 flameout: 2 in 5 Samsung fans say they'll never buy from the Korean giant again

2Fat2Bald

It's probably the consumers fault. "Holding it wrong", or something....

Google 'screwed over' its non-millennials – now they can all fight back

2Fat2Bald

It just doesn't make sense.

Older employees tend to have more experience. I'm not talking about knowing ancient, irrelevant technologies, I'm talking about knowing people, logical processes, unrelated but reusable concepts and ideas etc etc. I'm not ragging on the younger guys & gals, who tend to have a little more energy and optimism.

But, yeah, there is an impression that people over 40ish are getting more useless by the day, and I think it's very probably a self-fulfilling prophesy.

VESK coughs up £18k in ransomware attack

2Fat2Bald

Great. So encourage them, why don't you?

Sounds to me like Vesk's backup plan was not all it should be.

BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

2Fat2Bald

Usually....

The company starts trotting out this stuff when they're in trouble and frantically looking for an answer other than "management incompetence" as to why.

Typically they'll have paid a great deal of money for the survey company's services, despite telling everyone that there is no money for frivolous things like annual increments, staff benefits, modern IT equipment, training etc etc etc.

Airbag bug forces GM to recall 4.3m vehicles – but eh, how about those self-driving cars, huh?

2Fat2Bald

Compare and Contrast with VW....

VW Passat, arguably, makes more carbon than VW claimed it would (When everyone know the claims were rubbish, anyway). No injuries, illness or real-world harm in evidence at all.

"Outraged" owners, politicians and journalist describe how VW could possibly do such a egregious thing as lying about something that - arguably - barely matters. Massive, massive, disproportionate "compensation" claimed and awarded by federal government, news media dipping on and on about it for months. VW ordered to refund cars in full, despite the mileage, criminal charges filed in federal courts...

GM Cars. Definitely dangerous, lead to at least one confirmed death, probably more, vital safety equipment not working........ drop them an email about it, and move on. If they don't respond, it's their stupid fault for buying a GM product and expecting it to not kill them....

NB: one is European. One is not only American, but also partially owned by the federal government.

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