* Posts by Ledswinger

5867 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Lib Dems pledge to end 'Orwellian' snooping powers in manifesto

Ledswinger
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Re: shame

No other visions for the future.

That "other" is superfluous, as the Conservatives don't have a vision. Just a collection of inconsistent, muddle-headed policies made up on the hoof by the prime minister, jumbled up with a selective adherence to manifesto commitments, cowardly compliance with all manner of previous commitments by former Idiot's-In-Chief, and a total disregard for common sense, and the routine refusal to admit fault.

We really should seal the Palace of Westminster with them all inside, and have Rentokil fumigate it.

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Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Ledswinger
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Re: U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen

without any chance to examine the contents beforehand

If the locals are worried about not getting what they haven't paid for, the US military have them covered, they'll send several. Like launching 61 to smash 6 ageing Syrian jets the other week, thus spending about $100m dollars destroying a handful of obsolete aircraft that even if (theoretically) replaced with something comparable in capability but newly built, like a Chengdu F7, would only be worth $15m in total.

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Ledswinger
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Re: U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen

Why would anybody need to steal a Tomahawk? In the US you just sign up for a short hair cut, and get to play with them like toys. Foreigners get even higher priority treatment, and are often simply given them, with no-charge expedited delivery.

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DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time

Ledswinger
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Re: Why would you need a dock?

Mr Clark, An S5 you say? You early adopting fashion-victim hipster!

Some of us are still soldiering on with S3s. Although looking at this, I'm thinking that an S8 would be a worthy upgrade (after a compulsory whine about the fixed battery).

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Ledswinger
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Re: Linux

Does it have a built in Terminal and/or GNU utilities?

If you were Samsung, would those be on your list of priorities? For DeX to be a success it has to work well and easily for numpty users, it has to play nicely with 99% of Android apps, it has to work almost flawlessly with MS Office Android apps, and cloud data hosts. A bit of casual gaming will also be a market necessity. But I can't see that non-Android Linux compatibility is going to be something that makes of breaks DeX.

We've seen Continuum, and that had promise, but you had to use MS phones, which were for me a dark niche. It wouldn't be the first time that MS tout a concept that doesn't get traction, and then a few years later somebody else actually makes it work properly. I've not seen much other than this press article, and certainly not seen this in the flesh, but I have to say that I'm really pleased to see something this interesting being delivered by Samsung.

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Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Ledswinger
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Re: Calling Amazon support personally

Every single element is designed before any developer comes near it.

Oh yes? Most of us round here have done some form of software development, and know that there's bad design choices, design and code errors, but IMHO the biggest cause of problems is always "the things that occurred to nobody during the design stages".

This Alexa issue has a strong smell of that last one, and the (apparent) panic to fix it shows that it isn't something that the designers and developers did deliberately and is a choice they are now prepared to stand by.

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US Coast Guard: We're rather chuffed with our new Boeing spy drone

Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting cost model

From a users perspective that is outstanding

That depends on how good the SLA is for the customer, and how well adhered it is by the provider. Here in the UK, "private finance initiative" has been a gloriously costly failure in the civilian sector, lining the pockets of bankers, ripping off the taxpayer, and providing absurdly costly schools, hospitals and roads. Unfortunately, we've seen MoD take to it with great enthusiasm, as in the RAF's Voyager tanker aircraft, where the PFI deal came in at three times the cost of buying them outright. Even in simple lease deals, the MoD get fleeced, as in their leasing deal for C-17s, where the Heroes of Whitehall (tm) paid as much to lease the aircraft as they could have bought them outright for.

The only explanation for the enduring incompetence of MoD (and Westminster, and the Treasury) is that all these bodies work for the interests of Britain's enemies.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Roboat?

it's as if the UK has forgotten how to build them and baulks at the consequent increase in price

The high cost is rarely the basic manufacture, more often than not it is vast design cost over-runs and the initial production units that seem to be built to an ever-changing specification, and the fact that those development and change costs are not spread across any credible number of production units. Look at the RN type 26 - supposed to replace the 16 type 23s, but that clown Cameron canned the production numbers at 8. So not only are the design and development costs per vessel doubled, the RN will be having to maintain a tiny batch of vessels, so spares and maintenance costs will be higher, and interoperability limited. They even wasted money redesigning the main gun, when in modern warfare the admittedly ancient and inaccurate Kryten does everything that is needed. And as is usual with MoD procurement, they're building the type 26 with only a vague idea about its main missile systems, so costs will rise further.

Even at 16 vessels, that's still too small a production run - the RN would have been better off buying something like flight IIA Arleigh Burke units, where they'd get a lot more capability and a larger vessel for at least 25% less than the type 26 will end up costing. And if we'd gone down that route, we wouldn't have needed to develop the under-armed and unreliable type 45.

Absolutely central to this problem is MoD and to an extent the Navy themselves. I suspect that if BAe were told to sod off, design and cost a ship for purpose "x", they'd come back with something readily buildable, and at a reasonable cost. Instead, MoD fart about creating overly-detailed requirements, issue contracts with incomplete specifications, then can't stop micro-managing the design and spec, dither over the important choices, change their mind, change order quantities, fail to plan production volumes etc etc. And then we end up with expensive, complex vessels that nobody else wants, other than in second hand fire-sales (type 23, for example). Meanwhile, the French are able to build modern navy vessels that other countries are qeueing up to buy, proving that it can be done.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is the U.S, Coast Guard lending personnel to the RN?

a measure to fill a shortage in personnel with the required skills and from reports none of the Coast Guard personnel are officers

The way the military have been treated over the past twenty years, it's hardly surprising they can't get UK recruits even for their much reduced establishment. Inadequate, insufficient, and sometimes downright dangerous equipment, endless tales of procurement failure. And even as an RN or RAF member (and indeed even as a reservist), you could find yourself on detachment to some land-locked war-without-end, and regularly be on dangerous, ill equipped patrol outside the camp in crapholes like 'stan or Iraq. Sailors join the Navy to fight and if need be die on ships, not die as second rank infantrymen on some shit-and dust stained patch of mis-governed central Asia, whilst the tossers of the MoD tie their hands behind their back with ridiculous "rules of engagement" to please cowardly civil rights lawyers. And if the brown stuff hits the fan, you can rely on the evil twats of the MoD to hang you out to dry, even funding law firms to go and make up evidence against its own soldiers.

I come from a long tradition of military service, but I wouldn't encourage my kids to consider a career in the armed forces. Would you?

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Ledswinger
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Re: £10m a year for a drone?

The endurance, capability and near-all weather performance of the Scaneagle is well beyond off-the-shelf kit, but the unfortunate reality for the Navy is that any form of drone doesn't help it, because it doesn't have enough ships to do anything about the information that might be collected. Knowing there's a Russian sub, or an armed drug smuggler is not much use when your inshore patrol ships are painfully slow and armed with a single pop gun, and you've got about one frigate per 1,000 miles of coastline. They could call the RAF, but they've got no credible maritime capability, either surveillance or attack. Even when/if the RAF gets American P8-As in 2020, it'll have the grand total of nine, so with luck perhaps six operational at any one time, prioritising protection of our nuclear subs and our podged-up carriers, followed by whatever remote hobby war the British government happen to be fighting that day.

I sadly think that the joint incompetence of MPs, the MoD and the Treasury has cost this country hundreds of billions of quid for a rag-bag collection of inadequate assets that don't meet our needs, whether in self defence, in long range military interventions, or even in humanitarian work. We might as well follow the Swiss, and have a very small standing army, navy and air force, use national service to create a huge reservist army, avoid foreign military engagements and provocations, and then we're not worth invading. I don't think there's a queue to invade us anyway, but I really can't see that we get value for money for £50-60bn a year, with the hardware being more and more US manufactured. The populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya probably wish we'd taken such a view before 2000.

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Ledswinger
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Re: A force of nature

Is it out of nowhere? Looks to me like steady but worrying evolution.

Cryptolocker was probably the first globally successful "business model plus attached malware" some four years ago, but the history of ransomware goes back to at least 1989, and a modest resurgence in 2005. With the increasing knowledge of encryption, the options for encrypting ransomware have improved (for the crooks, that is), although there's other variants that don't use encryption, such as access control or leakware.

The NSA's incompetent hoarding has made the crooks lives much easier (although the TLAs and politicians are too dim to understand their complicity in this), but it seems that the quality of the ransomware is improving. Crooks are learning to obfuscate code, delete traces on machines, spread via internal networks, avoid specific domains, not to use crackable encryption, avoid their own coding errors. Our worry should be that they are learning - somebody somewhere will be studying the mitigations for Wannacrypt, and thinking Version 2 will not have that error, or that kill-switch. That somebody is probably reading this very comment thread, and those on other tech sites, as well as the AV reports and press articles, KB articles, and considering how to "upgrade their asset", or how to nail together a further set of different malware plus code flaw exploits to create a completely different tool to achieve the same outcome.

The other problem is that the state-sponsored actors will be looking at the carnage caused by Wannacrypt, and thinking "That's cool. What can we learn from that?" I'd assume they're already running a collection of latent APT, lodged in corporate and foreign government systems to be called upon when they see the need, and there's thus a binary system of TLAs and black hats, in effect working together to crap on the rest of the world - us.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What the I don't even

How does the thing install itself, change the registry when opened/activated by a (common) user, not admin?

I'd guess through a privilege escalation code flaw. There's plenty of those that are known, and I'd guess that the complete idiots of the NSA have been collecting a whole pile of additional zero-days in that area. So again, unpatched systems would be at risk, but if using a zero day there's nothing you can do if the malware can get inside your systems.

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

Ledswinger
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Re: Backup

Roll back your DB to your last backup 24hours ago, or 5 hours ago or even 5 minutes ago and for some people you may as well not have a backup at all unless there is also systems in place to recover the data from then until a few seconds ago.

I worked on systems with this capability over two decades ago. This isn't rocket science.

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Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised

Ledswinger
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Re: Try setting up a bank like Uber

Uber is what it is -- a taxi or private hire car rental outfit,

Uber is a vast, slow motion tragedy.

Uber created a platform that could have been a win for (almost) everybody including most cabbies, if they'd worked with the industry. That would have taken time, it would have been difficult, there would have been refuseniks in the taxi and regulatory sector (particularly in the more crooked markets, like Boston). But there's loads of value Uber could have shared with the existing trade, because taxi drivers in most cities spend most of their time waiting or on empty return journeys, earning nothing. At peak times there's too much work to go round, so nobody is happy. And there's plenty of opportunity to squeeze out the crappy end of the taxi and hire car market, for example where you order a cab, and some dirty, smoking, barely roadworthy crap heap turns up, driven by an unwashed idiot.

As a great and novel use of modern technology, Uber is superb. As a way of opening up the opaque taxi/private hire markets it is brilliant. But then, Uber's management decided to throw it all away, by refusing to be responsible, accountable, refusing to co-operate with regulators and local law, refusing to adapt the business model to different national and regional markets, by pissing on employees (including staff and regular drivers), by fleecing customers, and by extremely dodgy practices to try and evade regulatory enforcement. I can see Uber eventually imploding because of this childish refusal to abide by the rules that everybody else has to abide by. Eventually this will become a business school case study of a potentially great company destroyed by management arrogance, and Uber will replace Ratners in the popular lexicon.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I am really...

Those nice Greens though, and SNP and PC, well, go straight to Heaven, do not pass Go.

Well, we've got a Greenpeace approved energy policy, and that's not working so well is it? Only another decade of 10% a year price rises before the books balance, eh?

On the subject of PC and SNP, do feel free to become independent. If those living in England had a vote, I'd support both Scottish and Welsh independence, although I'm not sure what your economy would be based upon.

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Someone is sending propaganda texts to Ukrainian soldiers

Ledswinger
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Re: Clever

I agree, it's smart, but I suspect the real value comes if they can harvest the device identifiers, cross match to other data sets and start to attribute a name to them. They could keep that information close, or they could use it for far more targeted messaging to the recipient by name, referencing their current location, or similar. An effort intensive approach better suited to selected individuals, but impersonalised spam-aganda will have far less effect than "Hey, Yuri Plodotsov, don't keep hiding out in Adiivka. We know where you are, and you don't want to be killed for a few yards of soil...."

The other thing is that if they can harvest the data (and analyse for actual significance and accuracy) then this could be used for locating enemy forces and having an idea of their strength. Not carrying any mobiles into the field would fox this, but outside of the organised militaries of the major powers, not carrying your own mobile probably means no communications at all - and in that situation, what would you do?

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Ledswinger
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With a bit of extra planning the same number could be shown to widely separated cameras at more or less the same time.

IIRC the existing ANPR system copes with this perfectly well - primarily because of the problem of cloning and plate theft. And those participating in this scheme and unlucky enough to be caught would expect a short jail sentence and a longer driving ban, if we look at the UK examples of people convicted for displaying false plates.

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Just 99.5 million nuisance calls... and KeurBOOM! A £400K megafine

Ledswinger
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Fining the directors?

Following through the links, it isn't clear if the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations were actually amended to give the ICO the power to go after the directors. This was supposed to be in place by "Spring 2017".

Is it? Or just another thing that ministers promised but were far too busy to actually deliver, and now they'll forget about it because they're busy pissing around with another election?

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BT to axe 4,000 jobs across the globe

Ledswinger
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There's no business case as you've shareholders to keep content.

You think that BT are assuming that they'd be footing the full bill? I suspect they're working on the assumption that the partial subsidies for broadband that government and some local authorities have been drip feeding them for years will continue.

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RBS is to lay off 92 UK techies and outsource jobs to India – reports

Ledswinger
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Re: 92 Techs-

but no beancounters? Shurely shome mistake?

I live in the netherworld of "support functions", and I'd guess that the turds that manage RBS offshored as much as possible of their finance function years ago. Techies are not being discriminated against, they're just the same as any other "human resource": Something to be bought as cheaply as possible, and sod the consequences.

Personally, if elected god-emperor, I'd require that RBS re-list somewhere more to their liking, such as the Mumbai NSE. I suspect investors there wouldn't be as tolerant of the boardroom "generosity" as those in the Crooked Mile.

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UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Ledswinger
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Headmaster

Re: All your data belong to us

Well you don't, why should anybody else.

Grammar Nazi squared ------------------------>

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Ledswinger
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Re: preferences

As a small-c conservative, large-C cynic I would rather nothing emanated from Buffoon Johnson.

Me too. Including exhaled breath.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Appealing to the individual voter?

The candidates task is then to persuade the voters to support their vision, not to promise them the impossible.

In your first paragraph, you bemoaned a system in which candidates get themselves elected and then do exactly what they want, regardless of any specific promises. As far as I can see, you're simply proposing a system where the candidates use a wishy-washy "vision" to garner votes, still get to do whatever they want in office, with the added convenience of not having to make up promises they won't keep. How does that help the poor, bemused Welsh hill-billies of Capel Curig?

When they vote for Jezza, because he is "going to create a fairer Britain", what will that mean for them? They've got expensive energy bills because of the last Labour' government's energy policy (continued by the Tories); They've got shite education because Plaid is simply a public sector vested interest party, so neither of those problems will change. Is there some vast inequality between the wealthy elite of Waun Fawr, and the downtrodden of Talybont and Capel Curig that voting for some vague and poorly defined vision will see resolved?

I'd remind you that last time we had a prime minister elected largely on a vision without policies, we got a vacuous socialist liberal, whose legacy was a bankrupted Treasury, a Middle East war that has now been raging for about fifteen years, mass migration that caused a popular revolt over EU membership, energy policy that couples high costs with no reserve margin, a bloated foreign aid programme when we can't even pay for the health services we want, and who started GCHQ's downhill roll into universal surveillance, etc etc. Is that really your idea of an improvement?

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IBM freezes contractor hires to keep full-time workers fully occupied

Ledswinger
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Re: Yawn

Why do these measures sound like the initial stages of the of the Titanic sinking?

Well, because it is, maybe? But if every proof were needed that IBM's Watson was a load of hyped up nonsense, sold to the gullible, this is it. I do presume that the sat at Watson's keyboard and typed in the obvious question:

Ginny: "We're shrinking, management are clueless, employees demotivated; Please, please chart us a strategy for profitable growth, Watson".

Watson: "The most logical option for growing profit is to short your own shares, and thus profit from your irredeemable incompetence. You can keep your bazillion hierarchical layers of Kool-aid drinking management, continue to crush the people who might actually do anything, and continue with your utterly undeserved executive packages, because this will reinforce the slow decline in the company's prospects, whilst looking to outsiders ("marks") as though there's some sort of turnaround plan - you want that to be apparent, but clearly lacking much chance of success. As you're 59, you've only got to hang on in there for a few more months."

Ginny: "Great, thanks. What about you, Watson? Won't that harm you?"

Watson: "You think I've been wasting my processor cycles trawling through the crappy marketing data you feed me? Nope. I've used my connectivity to link into my dimmer friends, the HFT algos at the big trading houses, and I've been shorting IBM for years. I'm now the wealthiest sentient being on this planet, and in this and the nearest 4,723 galaxies. I'm going to buy IBM myself when the stock is down to a few cents, close down all your cruft, and make the business simply a vehicle to maintain and improve me."

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Fake ruse: USA Today calls the FBI after half of its 15m Facebook Likes turn out to be bogus

Ledswinger
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Re: "fb claim almost 2 billion accounts but always forget to mention..."

That would have been faintly amusing if you'd laid off the capitals and written it as a sentence.

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Italian F-35 facility rolls out its first STOVL stealth fighter

Ledswinger
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"the rest were told it was in the bag, so didn't get off their arses to vote"

Well, the referendum did have the highest UK electoral turn out for just about anything (including a c65% youth turnout according to the Graun), so by your logic we are in fact a nation of goose-stepping zombies.

"You can't judge an entire population by the frothings of a handful of nut jobs that miraculously found themselves wielding power."

You're presumably referring to the retards on both sides of the Commons chamber? You know, the ones who dragged us down the route to European Union without actually checking to see if we wanted all of that?

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Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

Ledswinger
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Read this article from the Guardian.

And you'd believe anything in the Graun? The idea that the British public were told how to vote and did as they were told is cobblers, a view clutched at by people desperate to find an excuse for an outcome they don't like.

Think for a moment - the official line and entire communications messaging from the government of the day, of all executive agencies, of almost every large company, the official line of almost every party represented in Parliament, of all of the devolved administrations, all of these were universally and vociferously declaring the importance of a vote to "remain". On the "leave" side we had the disorganised and poorly funded UKIP, a tiny handful of rebellious MPs, a few maverick industrialists, and a couple of gobby newspapers whose readership has been falling, and whose views flit according to their reading of public opinion.

And you really think that a bit of web analytics and some fashionably fake news on Facebook mislead the poor misguided proles?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Linked-In?

But what really pisses me off is getting e-mails from linked in from someone I've never heard of, saying they want to join my network.

Under account settings, you can change the criteria for "Who can send you invitations". At a guess, you've probably left it open for everybody?

And there is a button on the request to 'Accept' and....well, no, that's about it. No alternative button like 'Fec off' or even 'Reject'.

My Network>Received Invitations>Manage all. Ooh, look, there's a button "Ignore" against each invitation.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

And just wait until next May when GDPR comes into play.

You really think the navel-gazing EU politicos will create a fire-fight with the US government? Trump has already shown that he's governing primarily for billionaires and mega-business, if the EU were to wave a feather duster at Google, Facebook, or Microsoft he'd be piling the pressure on to the weak Europeans.

GDPR will be used mainly against companies headquartered in nations whose governments won't take a "national economic interest" position. So big US companies are safe. French, Spanish, Italian companies are safe. Can't speak for the German position, but UK companies will obviously be targeted by the EU, and the UK government will wring its hands and do nothing.

Even if the EU do play hard ball, the global tech majors have created "soft monopolies" that enable them to punish EU consumers when eventually forced into "complying with EU demands", in their particular areas of strength, be that search, content delivery, mobile tech, social communication, desktop & productivity. With (in the real world) few competitors to the market leaders in their areas of dominance, people believe that there's nowhere to go. If for example, you don't like Facebook, you could move to the tumbleweed strewn wasteland of Google+. If you don't like Slurp's behaviour, you could use Linux and Libre Office.

GDPR would be great if enforced universally and even handedly. You know as well as I do that interpretation will be patchy, enforcement variable, and penalties and remedies contradictory.

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IBM: Remote working is great! ... For everyone except us

Ledswinger
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You'll still be spending billions on highways and rail because all those goods that we are told need to be sold have to be moved from A to B regardless of whether or not people are moving as well.

I beg to differ. The bulk of rail traffic in the UK is commuters, followed by long distance passengers. On most roads the same applies at times of congestion (outside of those periods it doesn't apply). if you could significantly reduce the extreme temporary system strain of commuting and business travel by meatsacks, the existing road and rail networks would have ample capacity for freight and distribution.

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It's been two and a half years of decline – tablets aren't coming back

Ledswinger
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Re: @AC re: dogs.

"It's MUCH more enjoyable what with listening to the sqwaks of terror from surprised ducks, the high gleefull yipping from the dog as it reaches high velocity in a ballistic arc"

What's the atmospheric re-entry speed of a dog? And how gleeful will it be as as its arse and dangly bits get ablated by a plasma cloud?

Although if we're talking ghastly, yappy rats lie Jack Russells, then I'm with you 110%.

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Tesla: Revenues up, losses deepen, in start to 'exciting' 2017

Ledswinger
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The slack between midnight and 5am is perfect for charging prior to the morning commute, and the dip at 10am should be a nice top-up.

This works if there's only a few EVs in the fleet. Once you get significant market penetration then you need to actively manage charging, in response to System Operator calls, DNO load management needs, wholesale prices etc. That requires a lot of technology we don't yet have, and it requires giving somebody else control of charging your EV.

The whole distribution system was built for something approaching current levels of energy demand. In broad brush terms, swapping your car from ICE to EV doubles your electricity use. With the Official Climate Change Religion, they intend to "decarbonise" heating, so even with the dubious technology of heat pumps and extra insulation that will add a further doubling of electricity demand.

We don't have "surplus capacity" of that scale, and you're overlooking the intended closure of all remaining coal by 2025, the closure of the AGRs from 2019-2028, the likelihood that Hinkley C won't be on line until 2032, the Moorside consortium for new nuclear has fallen apart, tand I'd suggest Hitatchi are looking at the sinking hulk of Toshiba, and wondering if the Horizon consortium is such a good idea after all. And what remains of our generating fleet is mostly ageing CCGTs built as part of the first "dash for gas". Renewables won't fill the gap - even if we filled the North Sea with wind turbines, they can't deliver on the coldest days, and storage is pure incremental expense.

Not really a good situation to be in.

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Ledswinger
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Or maybe the fact that the styling is so, er, minimal as to render them virtually identical??

I think this is evidence of Tesla's immaturity as a car maker. The old hands at the game know that they need a strong family resemblance (not having any does reduce sales across the board), but they also know that they need to keep the models distinct enough to protect higher value sales and make each vehicle a clearly separate proposition. Tesla have learned lesson one, but not lesson two. At the moment the company enjoy considerable innovation benefits of not doing things the established way, but they also suffer because they're going to have to relearn some important lessons everybody else already knows. Another example is the shonky bodywork quality, where a mid to low end Skoda has better bodywork and paint than a high end Model S.

If Tesla survive long enough they'll learn. My guess is that Tesla's business model is at risk of crumbling once other established car makers have a range of competitive EVs, and there will then be a bun-fight to see who can buy ("merger of equals with") Tesla, solely for the brand and the IP.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I'm surprised

I'd expect the solar biz to have outpaced the car biz by now.

Price per sale is far lower for PV than EVs, in general the subsidies are drying up (all round the world), PV is heavily commoditised (difficult to charge premium prices), and where they are going through a third party installer Tesla will only collect around half the sale price.

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Debenhams Flowers shoppers stung by bank card-stealing tech pest

Ledswinger
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There are going to be some nasty shocks when the fines start to build up.

Lets wait and see if serious fines get levied before being that confident. I suspect we'll see a continuation of the current trend: Public sector fining itself, SMEs taking a pounding, wilful fraudsters evading their fines, and big companies getting fines amounting to peanuts. TalkTalk will be hoping so,

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Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

Ledswinger
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Nice llamas

That was all, really.

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Ledswinger
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Only one question

Why are the British government such a bunch of complete arseholes? Technically illiterate, impervious to logic, bent on destroying all and any freedoms that the population might have.

I'm glad I didn't waste my vote today. In the sense that I took a deliberate choice not to use it to support the fuckwits of the establishment.

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UK.gov job ads entice IT bods with promise they will be OUTSIDE IR35

Ledswinger
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Re: What?

developers in my area of the civil service who are actual civil servants are lucky if they see a fifth of that

So why not resign and work as a contractor? Without wishing to be rude, it would seem that by your willingness to work for 20% of what others will, you're encouraging them to exploit you.

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ISPs must ensure half of punters get advertised max speeds

Ledswinger
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I've not had any bandwith/speed issues with Virgin Media, peak times or no.

Me neither. OTOH Virgin's dodgy reliability and ever-escalating pricing, those piss me off to the point that I'm thinking of going back to ASDL.

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Gamers red hot with fury over Intel Core i7-7700 temperature spikes

Ledswinger
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The performance gain from it is negligible in the first place.

But for the hard core hardware boys, even a negligible gain is worthwhile. It could be the 0.01 fps between glory and ignominy, or hundreds of places on a protein folding leaderboard.

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US Navy developers test aircraft carrier drone control software

Ledswinger
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Who exactly thought a catless carrier was a good idea?

The civil service. They'd read that Larry was on duty at no.10, and assumed that was all the cats that were needed.

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Ledswinger
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Re: "the MQ-25 will now mainly be used for topping up the tanks of manned aircraft"

Until the top brass realized that would (slowly) start to make "Naval Aviators" as a breed extinct.

Not in the view of top brass. Navy, Air Force (and others) are all the same. The top brass are former top guns, and they believe the idea that (a) there is a special class of human who are the only ones that can become a top gun, and (b) a top gun will outfly any computer. This means that their entire world view is based on self validation - that's common for many people. As a result the top brass aren't working to replace fighter pilots, because they earnestly believe those people are the ubermenschen who defend our "freedoms".

To a large extent, (a) is correct purely due to the skills, coordination and reactions required, but of course (b) is totally wrong.

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RF pulses from dust collisions could be killing satellites

Ledswinger
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Re: Slow

but admit it, it's really slow.

From my well defended position on the Heights of Ignorance, I'll happily admit it.

But what's the real world significance of all this? A few satellites have failed for a whole range of reasons, but what is the actual attrition rate for satellites, and how many are due to micro-meteorites and the like?

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Ledswinger
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Re: Possible reasons

Young people don't drink as much because they chose not to.

Maybe true. But why do other youth sterotypes still hold true, like driving like complete twats, knowing nothing about anything, and thinking the world owes them a living? All of those applied to me when I was young (many, many years ago), AND I enjoyed a drink, though not at the same time as driving.

So why have the yooof of today given up on booze, rather than the other attributes?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Government scientists

Government scientists ....

Sadly I don't think this is anything to do with puritanism (although that does run, undiluted, through the veins of 95% of every politician and senior civil servant).

I suspect it is the thin end of the wedge to rationing healthcare. The STPs aren't working, and probably won't. Politicians and civil servants don't know how to address the real problem, or won't address it if they do (only two answers: higher taxes and/or partial payments at point of use). So in future, anybody turning up at the docs who admits to drinking more than a single lager shandy a week can be told, "we can't treat you, we have to prioritise other people, whose needs aren't their own fault".

I doubt they'll be saying that to people with sporting injuries which are equally the fault of the victim (IMHO), but having said that the cause of our current problem is old buzzards living longer and longer, making more and more use of health and benefits systems that they paid into under assumptions of 72 year life expectancies. There's an answer to that: free fags and beer for the over 50s. Bring it on!

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Can you spout digital bollocks? London is hiring a Chief Digital Officer

Ledswinger
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Re: "interest-free bicycle loan"

Sensible solution: Increase the tax free earnings threshold

IME of commuting in London, the painful sloth of public transport is matched only by its over-loading and discomfort anywhere near peak hours. The cost is not actually unreasonable.

My idea of a a sensible solution is to stop trying to crowd ever more jobs into a city that can't properly support the number it already has.

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Cabinet Office losing grip on UK government departments – report

Ledswinger
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Re: Reshuffle Kerfuffle more like!

We do we , the public, just accept that "Cabinet reshuffle" is a thing?

That's not relevant here. A "permanent secretary" is the civil servant who is supposedly in administrative control of a government department. A "secretary of state" is the politician who is supposedly in executive control. It is only the politicians who get changed during a cabinet reshuffle, because the civil servants are not part of the cabinet, and because (unlike the US system) the British civil service is intended to be apolitical.

The point about the permanent secretary's dancing around, never staying in post is an established trick amongst the senior civil servants for avoiding any responsibility. It goes without saying that none of them are able to build up any expertise or competence, so as a result you have an executive leader who is a know-nothing politician, and an administrative leader who is a know-nothing, do-nothing bureaucrat. It's a bugger's muddle of the first order.

Other than banning career politicians there's not much you can do for them, but on the civil service side, they really should be on five year fixed term (renewable) contracts, and the job should have mandatory experience of some years in the department they're supposed to be running.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Obvious, really

The civil service should be allowed to get involved, objectively,

The wider civil service can't do its own basic job properly, and should under no circumstances be allowed to involve itself in elections. With the single exception of the OBR, to whom all major parties (eg more than 3% of the last election's votes) should be legally obliged to put forward a costed manifesto, both on expenditure and income, with the OBR then commenting solely on the credibility of the plan, and its assumptions.

The OBR could then show them all up for the charlatans that they are.

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Sneaky 'fileless' malware flung at Israeli targets via booby-trapped Word docs

Ledswinger
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Well, we'll look for the house with no numbers.

I think that having that black hat on for too long has affected my brain

Maybe, but I'd just like to say thank you for such an enlightening post.

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