* Posts by Ledswinger

7333 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Pull request accepted: You want to buy GitHub, Microsoft? Go for it – EU

Ledswinger
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Re: Perhaps I'm too cautious but...

a matter of time before the more useful bits of private GitHub projects start turning up in Microsoft software

That would imply changes to Microsoft software bring benefits to users. I'm still waiting on that, after some decades. Microsoft borg all manner of software, and then put both bug fixes and useful development into stasis. I think perhaps you meant a matter of time before unwanted, unasked for, partially functional bugware from GitHub projects starts turning up in Microsoft bloatware

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FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal

Ledswinger
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Re: How long before the courts move into the modern world?

I know it involves changes to court systems, but why wasn't the work started over 10 years ago and completed 5 years ago?

In the US presumably it's complicated by the number of different state systems plus whatever the Feds use?

In the UK the answer is a lot easier: Because the Ministry of Justice & Home Office couldn't find their own arse without assistance, and every IT related project they touch turns to (expensive) ash.

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From dank memes to Krispy Kremes: British uni eggheads claim viral lol pics make kids fat

Ledswinger
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Cure cancer or something useful instead of justifying your salary coming up with ridiculous bollocks like this.

Looking at the letter (linked off the article) it appears to originate mainly from Loughborough University's world renowned school of PE, and to be "research" driven by keyword analysis of Facebook posts. PE teachers have been a waste of space since they were invented. There's nothing useful they're going to be solving anytime soon.

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Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

Ledswinger
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I'm sure Nick sold them a great tale about being one of the most trusted former politicians in the world with regard to privacy an honesty.

I would say Facebook know full well that every politician or former politician they buy is a useless knob end. But that doesn't matter, because anybody who has held significant office retains residual door-opening abilities to governments, oppositions, civil servants and regulators. They shouldn't, but they do.

Mind you, Clegg and Zuck are both revolting, smarmy, shallow, lying knobs, maybe they really like each other's company.

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Insects with farts that smell like coriander assist in covering up Paris's aroma d'urine

Ledswinger
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Re: Bristol's public toilets closed by council - Bristol's streets are now public toilets

That's the ticket, don't build any new accommodation, infrastructure or increase services despite the population boom

Maybe Bristol City Council shouldn't have frittered circa £20m on setting up their own loss making energy supply company, and then finding that they couldn't supply themselves as cheaply as British Gas Business? Or spending millions to screw up traffic flows just about everywhere under their control.

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Anonymous Amazonian demands withdrawal of face-recog kit from sale

Ledswinger
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The blog author isn't thinking much

Righho, so we have anonymous letter (text parsing and grammar that can be evaluated).

A claim to be a current Amazon employee

A previous letter to management (more text, presumably anon)

Some known or predictable political views

Staff wiki contribution (presumably anon)

I'd have thought any competent big data company could come up with a very short list of people who could be the author, and a bit of triangulation against in-house data, and the perp is unmasked, and finds themselves being escorted off the premises.

Being anonymous in this day and age requires hard work, and the avoidance of repetitive behaviour, sadly.

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Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

Ledswinger
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"the vast and disparate NHS"

Maybe that is the problem, that the organisation is varied and inconsistent. There's no good excuse for the NHS to have so little commonality. It is supposed (broadly speaking) to fix people's health problems. There's established protocols for treatment, there's no reason for the lack of standardisation in organisation, management and governance (or in procurement, systems, buildings, hardware and technology).

Take the not-too-contentious example of hospitals. Every time the NHS builds a new one, (a) they fuck up capacity planning, location, car parking and other easily resolved elements, and (b) they do so each time to a brand new from the ground up design, leading to delays, cost-overruns, and plenty of costly work for untalented architects. All this could be resolved centrally with a portfolio of perhaps five basic designs with some modularity according to the scale and services needed (and also allowing for low cost expansion if needed). Architecture-by-Lego.

So bringing this back to NHS IT, you're quite right that standards based models have worked elsewhere, but really only where failure didn't matter. Look at all the early email clients or servers that have long since vanished - when these folded, a few devs had to find new jobs, and a few loyal customers were pissed off, but nobody died. To my mind the NHS needs common systems, they could be commercially provided (albeit on a regulated asset payment basis to avoid monopoly power), and the NHS needs to be able to have access to the IP (maybe just escrow code) to avoid supplier risk. Of course, that suggests one system to rule them all and in the darkness bind them, and there's a difficulty that NHS Digital is the Sauron of this age - evil, malignant despoilers the lot of them. They all need to go.

A few other things Hancock could do for healthcare would be to unwind all the PFI deals that are leaching money out of the NHS, stop local authorities from charging the NHS rates. And sack all the useless, over-paid, talent free wankers who seem to make up most NHS Trust boards, and replace them with accountable NHS employed managers (who could be and should be sacked if they're crap). And stop the public sector merry-go-round where whenever some overpaid useless twat fucks up, they get paid off, and then land a juicy role elsewhere in the NHS or related bodies.

Here endeth the rant.

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Insult to injury: Malware menace soaks water-logged utility ravaged by Hurricane Florence

Ledswinger
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Re: I'm not that stupid

Would this have affected them if they ran Linux?

Probably not. Not because Linux has no vulnerabilities, but because the crims go after the volume targets that are Windows and X86 architectures, with plenty of freely available attack tools and unfixed-yet-known vulnerabilities, not to mention the ease of accessing administrator capabilities from within Windows applications.

However, Linux does have flaws, and a state-sponsored attack would have the resources available to find and exploit any Linux flaws now. If corporate systems saw a notable uptick in Linux adoption, the everyday crims would start looking for means to attacking those systems.

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UK defence secretary ponders £50m hit to terminate Capita recruiting contract

Ledswinger
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Re: Whilst I'm no lover of Capita...

Capita are some sort of militant pacifists committed to removal of all armed forces

No, that's the MoD you're thinking of. And particularly their fundamentalist wing operating out of a base in Abbey Wood, Bristol. Crapita are mere accessories to the crime.

However, all things concerned (and speaking as somebody from a family with military roots), aren't we better off as a nation of our politicians don't have the resources to go an engage in unsuccessful hobby wars in distant lands?

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Well slap my ass and call me Judy, Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 is just as hard to fix as the old one

Ledswinger
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Re: Overpriced

A grand or two seems like an awful lot of money for a disposable piece of gear.

Apple and Samsung appear convinced otherwise. But they and Microsoft can f*** right off if they think I'm paying that sort of money for a short life tool.

Clearly, there are sufficient people who are willing to splash the cash. Fools and their money, eh?

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Huawei Mate 20 series: China's best phone, but a pricey proposition

Ledswinger
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I bet it's rubbish, like all phone integrated itty bitty lenses there's no real bokeh or shallow depth of field

That's inherent in the physics of very small cameras. No matter who makes the lenses or the camera unit, the depth of field is huge, and you then have to fake a short depth of field, and the phone has to fart around artificially blurring what it hopes is the background. This will never change, although the processing may improve a bit.

But you probably know that already. Along with the fact that the tiny sensor will always be prone to digital noise and blown out highlights. And again, it is image processing that attempts to come to the rescue with (claimed) HDR pics.

It'll be a phone, with a (probably) very good phone camera. But it won't hold a candle to a dedicated camera with a large sensor and proper lenses.

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Ledswinger
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Chinese phone models

Not just Huawei that suffer this "brand fragmentation" with innumerable, rapidly changing models. I don't know why, but if you start taking an interest in a Chinese company's products, you quickly find that the range is vast, the labelling confusing and contradictory, and the rate of change rapid. Even the reviewers struggle to keep up with spec changes.

It can be well worth it if you persevere and read reviews and labels carefully, but this looks to be something cultural. Perhaps some of our esteemed commentards from China could help us understand?

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Stroppy Google runs rings round Brussels with Android remedy

Ledswinger
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Re: Ha

People are not forced to buy it and they want it because google is pretty successful at delivering what people want.

Nobody doubts that Google got to where they are by offering an attractive service offer, cheaply and non-transparently priced in "privacy units". The issue is what Google do with their market power, and in particular how they use that to try and avoid competitors getting a foothold.

So this isn't about your choices today and whether the Google proposition is popular, it is about Google trying to make sure you don't have choices tomorrow. Is that lack of choice really what you want?

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The new Huawei is going upmarket, but the old Huawei still threatens

Ledswinger
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The real challenge for Huawei

Is not merely humanising its products, it is genuine, groundbreaking innovation. 80,000 STEM graduates, and they're STILL copying Apple, even down to the designations applied to their phones, notches, loss of 3.5mm sockets etc. Maybe the real innovation they keep for the home market, or maybe they struggle for whatever reason to come up with the sort of ideas that seem obvious afterwards, but nobody sees before the innovator.

Arguably Apple have merely refined rather than innovated under Tim Cook, and if that continues (and nobody else offers bold innovation) then perhaps Huawei don't have to worry.

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Emergency Services Network delays to cost public purse £1.1bn, Home Office reveals

Ledswinger
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Re: Why is it relying on voice at all?

I could be wrong but I have a slight suspicion that the "powers that be" actually want a system that has some chance of working, not one that has little or no chance.

You're wrong. If they wanted a working system the emergency services wouldn't be in this pickle. Therefore, we can assume some other motive: Main choices are corruption or incompetence. Looking at the house of Westminster, it can't be corruption because if you want real money you have to be reasonably clever, whereas Westminster is full of people whose idea of fraud is mis-stating their expenses.

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Penta-gone! Personal records of 30,000 US Dept of Defense workers swiped by miscreants

Ledswinger
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Re: NOT a good look - or anything else

If it weren't for the fact that I am an American, I'd find this funny. As I am an American, I mainly find it tragic.

And thus you illustrate the problem of being the Imperial power of the age. A side effect of this problem is being able to see this clearly evidenced in history but not being able to see it in yourself.

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Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow

Ledswinger
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Re: What this project has really done...

Yet Another Anonymous coward: Or 10,000s of children have learnt that STEM is just about fast cars and rockets and jet fighters and so is just for boys that want to make lots of noise and kill things, so not for them.

The shoddy generalisations are strong in this one. As is the awareness of the sort of thing that capitvate and engage audiences of all ages and sexes.

What exactly would you have preferred? Let's have the details so that we can mock your proposal with equally daft and irrelevant generalisations.

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300,000 BT pensioners await Court of Appeal pension scheme ruling

Ledswinger
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Re: I blame the cursed one

the crappy IBM "fourth generation" programming environment

Bwahahahahahahaha! I remember when "4GL" was the future, and going to make all coders unemployed! How all you'd need was to tip a defined business process into the hopper, and out at the bottom would pop a freshly minted, perfectly functioning block of code, ready to do the job faultlessly. This, for those whose memories don't stretch back that far was 1987. ICL was still a thing back then; OS/2 and Windows 2.0 were released on an unenthusiastic world, whilst Vauxhall were still churning out Cavaliers for an equally unenthusiastic world.

And now the same sort of fuckwits who told us the 4GLs were the future are now trying to promote AI, machine learning, blockchain, the InternetOfshiTe and similar causes. A word from the old to the young: Don't believe anybody trying to sell a vision. On the other hand, if some old buzzard gives you a rule of thumb, understand that they've been their, they've scoffed at the old buzzards, and then learned the hard way that "rules of thumb" are more immutable than the laws of physics.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I blame the cursed one

I wonder what unintended consequences will arise....

Who says these consequences were/will be unintended? Politicians have been living beyond their tax income means for decades, so there's been a necessity of getting the cash from somewhere else. Stealing it from the savings of future private sector pensioners is a great option when the politicians themselves are on the gold plated MP's pension scheme. In the case of BT, don't forget that unlike most private pensions, government backstop the pension scheme if BT go bust, and that could conceivably happen if they can't stop the actuarial liability rising.

And this robbing of prospective pensioners continues: To judge by the leaks to the press, Hammond is yet again trying to build a case to reduce tax relief on pension contributions in the budget, because that's a whole lot easier for the schmuck's of Westminster than sorting out the buggers muddle they have and continue to make of government spending.

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Ledswinger
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It's the same with BT. They want to default on their debts.

Actually, they want to default on their future obligations.

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NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

Ledswinger
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Re: Failure modes

so you'd need a working shuttle to bring it back.

No problem, the US has the X37. Unfortunately the Pentagon made the payload bay rather too small, so they'd need to bring Chandra back in pieces.

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GDPR stands for Google Doing Positively, Regardless. Webpage trackers down in Europe – except Big G's

Ledswinger
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Re: Google is headed for a Republican beatdown

I think they will find very soon that it stands for Google Does Pay Reparations. Those GDPR fines are coming...

Unfortunately they won't be very big. Because tosspot EU politicians know less than the sum of fuck all, they defined the MAXIMUM penalties as 4% of turnover. For a manufacturer, or commodity supplier that's really very, very bad news. If however you're a tech giant, that's noise. For Google's parent, their pre-tax profit is in the range of 20-25% of turnover. Realistically they'll get fined a fraction of the 4% anyway, so fines become simply a cost of doing business. Just like large banks everywhere, large US companies do what they want until they are ordered not to, and then pay any associated fines. These are simply a cost of doing business.

GDPR won't stop Google, Facebook and Amazon doing what the hell they like, unless and until the enforced penalties include imprisonment of directors and a legal prohibition on doing business until regulatory standards are met. There's few precedents for that, so don't hold your breath on anything changing in our lifetimes (squared).

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AI's next battlefield is literally the battlefield: In 20 years, bots will fight our wars – Army boffin

Ledswinger
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Re: Humans will always have the most important battlefield role

Just endless bills for all the tech

Looking at military procurement by all advanced nations, the unit cost of everything has been rising over time, to the point that the military who specified the need often end up with half the number of units they originally planned for - this works for all countries, but in a US or UK context we can see it with any aircraft or ship programme.

The same will be true with combat mechs. As per other posts there's a power issue, there's unsolved control and communication challenges, the machines need to be both physically armoured and logically hardened. The mechanical complexity will mean low reliability and a need for advanced field maintenance and logistics. It needs to be proof to sandstorms, rain, heat, freezing conditions. The cost is going to be immense, and between the start of the programme and delivering a fleet of mechs to the field it will increase by an order of magnitude or more.

And inevitably, the trials by the inventors will manage to overlook the non-conventional response of low tech opponents, which simply needs to disrupt by exploiting weaknesses. The most obvious weakness would be "friend or foe" recognition. If you can cause it to misidentify hostiles, non-combatants, or friendlies, even relatively low levels of mis-recognition is hugely disruptive.

Personally, I can't see this successfully delivering a military asset - it is just another wet dream by the military air-heads, inspired by an overdose of video games and science fiction. I can however see it becoming a money pit very successfully, to the point that in future people will point to the F35 and wistfully remark what a good value, low tech, reliable piece of kit it is.

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Samsung: Swanky hardware alone won't save a phone maker

Ledswinger
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£549

If Samsung think that the £549 A9 is mid-range, then they must have their corporate head stuck up their corporate bottom. I struggle to spend over £200 on Xiaomi phones and still get a stonking bargain - and if Xiaomi's announced UK launch makes their handsets too expensive in future, there's other competent makers who aren't officially operating in the UK but don't mind a grey market presence in the UK.

My current Mi handset cost me £160, and its bloody good. Its a year and a half old, if it went wrong I'd buy a new one rather than repair a device that (even being very optimistic) is at least a third of the way through its maximum useful service life, due to wear and tear, battery degradation, software compatibility, socket wear, not to mention assorted forms of electronics decay.

So Samsung can offer one hour service and that might support the S9 premium market. But until their (genuinely) mid market phones are any good, it won't matter how quickly they can repair those.

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Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

Ledswinger
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Re: Not Surprised

There are few problems in life which can't be solved, or at least ameliorated, by having a dog.

Arguably Yale's IoT system is a dog.

I'm not sure it has solved any problems, other than the corporate one of "the IoT is coming, what shit can we sell to idiots?"

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Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei

Ledswinger
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What really got me about all the Samsung bloat and crapware was that they don't even let you uninstall them.

But that is the norm for almost all Android makers. They must be losing money hand over fist on their shitty me-too software and cloud offerings, and yet they still persist, kidding themselves that somehow it will help them go from manufacturers' thin margins to Googlesque fat margins in a few months. And all the while, makers don't notice that nobody in the history of the world ever said "Wow, this manufacturer skin and manufacturer apps are really great, I'm so pleased with them, and wish they'd do more of this".

Even people like Huawei and Xiaomi are doing this. There's only two real options for Android owners: Get all techy and install Lineages OS and hope that all the hardware features still work, or buy an Android One device.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Four cameras?

BTW, what's for a low res "wide angle" camera?

Low cost, manufacturer convenience, and an assumed primary use case of taking pics of drunkards in poorly lit bars.

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Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?

Ledswinger
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Re: Why does ChromeOS still exist? It should have just been replaced with android.

Chrome OS works better with a touchscreen than Windows and works much better with a keyboard and pad or mouse than Android.

And Chrome OS just works, reliably and securely (by mainstream OS standards). I know Google are tracking everything I do, but Microsoft try to, AND they expect me to pay cash for their bloatware, AND it is still a bit flakey, AND the updates keep borking my chosen settings or installing shite I don't want.

Chrome OS is exactly what I want: Mac OS for poor people who don't need to do heavy lift computing.

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Ledswinger
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Re: you can't make a Veblen good out of a dumb computer terminal

In fairness, Andrew, he's a cat

That's rich coming from a building tool......

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Ledswinger
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Re: When you have the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

"You can make what you want when your pocket is deep."

Only up to a point. Google have a growing reputation for dropping stuff and leaving users (and indeed customers) stranded, investment analysts are looking for returns, and the wider public enjoy a good pratfall.

Microsoft had deep, deep pockets, and still couldn't cut it in phone. Appears that Google haven't learned the lesson on that.

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Those Stanford whiz kids have done it again. Now a chatty AI bot to negotiate sales for you with Craigslist riffraff

Ledswinger
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Maybe it does make sense

That last example chat that goes

"Hi, how are you?"

"i am"

That's pretty cool, in a cyborg sort of way, wouldn't you agree? A machine isn't going have any emotional leanings, it can't have a bad day, nor a good day. I might even adopt that myself for conversations with colleagues. Of course, the inevitable flow of conversation with the machine is going to be bad for somebody:

"Errr, that's good, yeah...that's OK...what can I do for you?"

"I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle"

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PINs and needled: Experian site blabbed codes to unlock credit accounts for fraudsters

Ledswinger
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Re: Can someone tell me why?

That we live in a society where people are perfectly happy to give away their information and sign up to a loan in order to purchase an over-priced luxury

Not just luxuries. Don't forget that gas, electricity and water bills usually involve a credit check unless you're on a pre-payment meter. If you're paying by instalment, then even dull stuff like home and car insurance is credit. Most but not all big telcos will credit check you for telephones, mobile or broadband, and some shitty MVNOs will even credit check you for SIM only deals.

Anywhere that a business is incurring costs before payment or runs a smoothed direct debit system, they are extending credit. If you were running one of those businesses, you'd want to check that new customers didn't have a dreadful history of credit defaults.

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The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now

Ledswinger
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Re: Reall?

And yet they got data for F-35 in 2017:

Who said they hacked it? Surely we should all want China to copy the mad, complex, expensive, impracticable F35? We can move towards a situation where the militaries' demand for unaffordable "state of the art" toys makes big nation versus big nation wars unfeasible.

On current progress, in three decades the US will have the F42 with a programme cost of seventy trillion dollars, and as a result USAF will have one, and USN the other. Impoverished European air forces will be holding together a handful of aged F35s and Typhoons with sellotape and string.

We have to hope Russia and China will likewise have out-teched their own pockets.

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Ledswinger
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Re: Oops.

Very glad to hear that the crew survived ok.

Which for me is the real headline here. Rockets are big, dangerous fireworks that frequently fail (compared to the standards of reliability in lower energy forms of aerospace), so this one going pop is neither here nor there. But to recover the crew safely - we hope - that's news.

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Phew! Digital ad revenues to save Amazon's business model – analyst

Ledswinger
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Presumably Amazon's gain is Google's loss

Or is at least in the longer term. At the moment it is possible that the continued enthusiasm of advertisers to transfer budgets to online will disguise what has to be a zero-sum game at least from a market share perspective.

More competition for Google ought to be a good thing, but a duopoly won't change much in terms of the balance of market power, nor improve the poor transparency and crap returns of online ad spending.

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Who needs custom malware? 'Govt-backed' Gallmaker spy crew uses off-the-shelf wares

Ledswinger
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Can't we have some intelligent speculation as to the nation responsible?

Symantec obviously won't but AFAIA The Reg doesn't have any big government contracts.

Now, we're looking for a state that's coffers are a bit threadbare, who don't really prioritise cyber-offence, too polite to run an operation that might inadvertently be "false-flagging" somebody else, apparently aren't doing this for economic gain, and believe they've got some quasi legitimate interest in the Middle East. And in addition to the avoidance of false-flagging, the (apparent) lack of customisation suggests a considerable interest in plausible deniability.

I've no idea who fits the bill.

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Astroboffins discover when white and brown dwarfs mix, the results are rather explosive

Ledswinger
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Cygnus, which is shaped like a swan

...if you selected ten random stars, superimposed a rough cruciform on them and described that as "shaped like a swan".

All I can say is how pleased I am by the invention of telly, cinema, computers and beer as alternative forms of entertainment to sitting around in the dark for thousands of years inventing ridiculous names for made up star groupings.

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Happy with your Surface Pro 3's battery? Well, here's a setting that will cut the charge by half

Ledswinger
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Alarm avoidance - of a kind

To avoid alarming the user, it still shows the device as fully charged and reverts back when disconnected.

So it sits there happy as Larry, reporting charge at 100% whilst plugged in, then if unplugged goes "Just kidding! You've only got 50% juice! Bwahahahahahahahahahahaa!"

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Don't make us pay compensation for employee data breach, Morrisons begs UK court

Ledswinger
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Re: I don't have any sympathy for Morrisons

it is not possible to lock everything down so that someone internal trying to nick data can be prevented 100% of the time

IME most companies do very little in terms of real data security. Yes, everybody has to jump through hoops and train in respect of DPA and GDPR, but leakage still it goes on. Despite the ready availability of suitable technology, most companies don't use any proper access control and monitoring of sensitive files and databases. Emailing large files in and out is too easy (but should rarely be necessary if the company provides the right tools, although few do), simple approaches like disabling demountable storage are overlooked, etc etc. Yes, if security had been better and he'd been clever enough he might have found a way - but that doesn't appear to be the case. And even then, Morrisons were the custodians, they were the ones who lost it. If I put £500 in the bank, I expect them to keep it safe, rather than say "it wasn't us, it was that rotten armed robber". As an auditor, this twit should have had access on demand for almost anything, but that doesn't mean that he should have uncontrolled, unmonitored access, nor the ability to ex-filtrate data.

Morrisons are fools for pursuing this case, because it refreshes public memory that they were incompetent (in my view, as per above), and it shows them in denial. Having being ordered by a court to pay, they should then have arranged a suitable non-disclosure settlement to keep it from bobbing up in the press. Instead the twerps try and appeal. I hope they lose. And I'll bear this in mind for future discretionary purchases so that no matter how small, their poor response has a commercial impact.

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Surprising no one, Google to appeal against European Commission's €4.34bn Android fine

Ledswinger
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Can't speak for the OP, but that $12.85 per user is remarkably little, and shows how little Apple actually value the privacy of their customers. Admittedly most would be using Google anyway, but as a point of principle it seems deeply unethical for Apple to tout their walled garden as secure and private, so much better than Android, and then they go and hold the gate open for Google in return for a paltry few shekels.

This will be that supply chain schmuck's doing.

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LinkedIn has a Glint in its eye and cash burning a hole in its pocket

Ledswinger
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Re: Software that tells you why employees keep leaving

details showing a happiness level in the 50s% (While I'm surprised it got that high

In my experience across various businesses, the main driver of unexpectedly high scores is that many employees believe that they either will be factually identified for negative comments or scores, or that results will be broken down to team level, and vindictive PHBs will conduct a witch hunt to assign the blame for poor scores or comments that are not welcome.

I've not personally come across of the survey "unmasking" individuals, but I've routinely come across PHBs conducting witch hunts. Sometimes the "guilty" are blamed, just as often the blame is pinned on the innocent. Invariably the PHB exerts pressure for everybody to participate next time round, and to make sure they give the "right" answers, without company or PHB changing the behaviours that earned poor scores.

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Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

Ledswinger
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Re: DOA

Whatsapp is pretty much a necessity now.

Obviously in some parallel universe to the corporate world I work in. And indeed personally....what is this "Wassup" of which you speak?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Calls and Email

Read more carefully. It doesn't do email

IMHO that's a careless, probably fatal omission, for business use. I follow the logic that you could use a separate device, but when you're on the hoof and only have your phone that's a fat lot of good.

On the sort of enterprise policy restricted mobile devices I've come across, the camera and storage are made inaccessible, written policy forbids installing unapproved apps, and all the device is for is voice, text, email. With much improved battery life, and better security Punkt should have been on to a winner that cleaned up in the corporate space (although that side view that looks like a 1980s desk calculator seems like a dubious choice).

Good luck to anybody hoping to get directors and senior managers to accept this. It'll start well when you pick on senior managers who lack influence and have to take what they are given, as soon as you try and get any director or influential senior manager they'll simply say "no, not touching that it doesn't meet business needs". And it'll be even worse if these get handed out, people go "OK.....errr HOLD ON! Where's my f***ing email?" and then the IT team have to take them back in.

So near, and yet so far. They must surely have agonised over the email in-or-out decision, and then they went all purist, decided to leave it out, and created a product with a very restricted market.

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Google now minus Google Plus: Social mini-network faces axe in data leak bug drama

Ledswinger
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Re: Absence of evidence

But the claim "Google know for sure no harm was done, therefore they had no obligation to tell their customers" simply isn't justified on the face of what we know.

It's Google we're talking about. So rather than "absence of evidence", it's more a case of "abstinence of evidence.

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Which? That smart home camera? The one with the vulns? Really?

Ledswinger
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Which? bases best buys on a bag of criteria.

Having a pseudo auditable assessment criteria doesn't make the outcome any good. This month they're recommending as a "best buy" a £990 home coffee maker. And even then it only got 76% across their weighted criteria. Likewise, it busies itself reviewing hundred quid toasters, five hundred quid vacuum cleaners, and so on. Car reviews have been getting progressively more ambitious, including those popular-with-Which-rank-and-file models such as the Porsche Panamera, the Mercedes CLS, and the Tesla Model S.

When it comes to (say) energy, broadband or insurance, Which treats its readers like simpletons without the skills or confidence to make any decisions for themselves, but then goes into some reasonable detail on pensions, will and later life care. With product reviews increasingly for expensive products, I conclude that Which has degenerated to a general interest magazine for wealthy pensioners

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Facebook's new always-listening home appliance kit Portal doesn't do Facebook

Ledswinger
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Does Gerry Anderson's estate get a cut for him inventing this?

I hope the eyes of the caller's picture light up when they call.

Note for Milennials: Don't worry, you won't know what this post is about.

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UK High Court blocks iPhone Safari privacy suit against Google

Ledswinger
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How much?

Lower limit of claimed compensation of £1bn, 20,000 claimants equals £50k per claimant for six months of creepy Google tracking. Who were these people that their location data is worth near on four times the average UK salary?

Maybe the case wouldn't have been laughed out of court if they'd come up with some more convincing value for the harm.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Next steps

Are they advising that each of launch a lawsuit, so that there are now 20,000 law suits against Google

In the UK (unlike the US) it is normal practice for the winner of legal action to have their legal costs paid by the loser. As a private individual, you'd have to be very confident that you wouldn't be forking out for Google's legal costs. In fact, your own lawyer is professionally required to check that you have the means to pay if you do lose. And if you can't show that you could pay up for Google's top tier law firm and their padded time sheets, your own lawyer would have to turn you down.

You could of course use the UK small claims court process, because the use of lawyers by companies is frowned upon and usually not awarded costs even if the claimant loses. Question: How many of those affected fancy some DIY Rumpolery through a small claims process? My guess is none.

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On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Ledswinger
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Re: Classic Reg, keeping it classy

Today we need to be grown up and face up to the reality that heroes are often anything but

I'd suggest that the necessary drive and determination to achieve great things almost always means that the doer will be a ruthless bastard in aspects of their personality, and that will always spill over into other behaviours that they won't be lovingly remembered for.

If we're going to have a list of great leaders and high achievers who were all round nice guys or girls it'll be a bloody short list. Who can you think of that fits the bill?

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Dell Tech: We have a plan B for bog standard IPO

Ledswinger
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Re: Silverlake's exit strategy

Sound reasoning sir, but maybe they don't intend to pay down the debt? Gear up VMDell, pillage it for dividends, and then let the flaming wreckage float away. And the great thing about a reverse takeover is that it just happens. No special scrutiny around an IPO, and even if the deal doesn't have any cash element to run off with, all the erm, "deal architects" do is bleed their stock back into a gullible market ASAP.

Surely a private equity house wouldn't do anything as irresponsible as that?

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