* Posts by Screwed

61 posts • joined 27 Mar 2013


Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War


Re: Huawei

Surely an argument to "take back control" (TM)?

Let us build our own kit.

First let us work out how to manufacture PPE in volume... And find some solid, truly British companies to do the job.

Better late than never... Google Chrome to kill off 'tiny' number of mobile web ads that gobble battery, CPU power


Re: I'll stick to firefox thanks

Until the end of last year, my broadband was so poor, I had no choice but to run an ad blocker. Without doing so, I was effectively unable to use much of the web - on desktop or phone. My attention would wander to watching the cat sleeping as it was more dynamic.

'iOS security is f**ked' says exploit broker Zerodium: Prices crash for taking a bite out of Apple's core tech


"Let's hope iOS 14 will be better."

I don't disagree. But in the short term, let us hope 13.5 will at least be somewhat better. It is at least on the cards for release this month.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Re: And what about the people ...

Might be slightly out of date but yesterday I was reading up.

About 79% of the population (not just working people).

100% of 16-24

going down to around 40% of over-65s.

Also, add in those who spend a lot of time in phone signal not-spots. At the very least that is likely to delay information transfer, possibly significantly.

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard


Random utterly unconnected thought.

One for each bicycle in Beijing.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital



I learned COBOL on ICL mainframes - which rather dates trhe experience! (Have since also used it on HP machines.)

What fills me with horror is the thought of having to work on generated COBOL code. Things like QUICKCOBOL.I don't know, but I doubt the original generator tools still work and the code some of them produced was a dreadful rats nest.

Plain, human coded COBOL, where the original authors tried to be clear, isn't too bad at all.

Tribunal halts all Information Commissioner's Office cases because UK data watchdog can't print or organise PDFs


Re: "As courts and tribunals slowly join the 21st century..."

And I thought Zoom would be able to overlay a wig onto each lawyer's live feed?

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots


Which is why it is better for all if people speak up even at the cost of temporarily being thought a fool. Culture which encourages openness is much to be desired.

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it." —Maurice Switzer, 1907

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research


Re: And in comparison...

Finally traded in my Galaxy S2 a few weeks ago. Mind, had sat in a drawer for years since I got an iPhone 6S.

I was quite impressed that it still worked just fine within the limits of its extremely out-of-date Android. Even the battery retained decent charge.

Immediately flogged the phone I traded it in for on ebay which helped my bank account to the best part of a hundred pounds.

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!


Re: Dwarfs or dwarves?

I have long used two very distinctly different lower-case letters "s" when handwriting. Don't really know how I started doing it, but depending on the letters either side, or being first/last letter, or being double-s, I will choose one or the other.

Pretty darned sure I am not consistent - some subconscious part of me selects the one to use.

I am pretty sure that it isn't that rare to do this - or something similar.

Your McDonald's demo has expired. For full functionality, please purchase a licence or try another fast-food joint


McD do need a demo. For their customers.

To show them how to park in the car park, not outside on the road right on top of yellow lines - double and single, blocking roads and entrances. And how to use indicators when turning into McD's car park.

And another to show them how to use waste bins.

To be fair to McD, they do send someone out to clean up some of the litter but not before much of it has blown all over.

(You guessed, I live too close to a branch.)

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


Re: AI learning from feedback including the user

The more systems that are trying to identify the speed limit, the more work is required to decide which system is right and which is wrong.

Further, if (for a simplisitc discussion example) it decides that three are right and one is wrong, I assume it will override the wrong one. But the very fact that it has to decide to ignore a system raises questions about that decision making system.

We have read of Tesla vehicles hitting stationary (or slow-moving) objects more than once.


Imagine humans carrying signs. What a fantastic way to disrupt traffic. Extinction Rebellion have put in a bulk order for signs showing "5".

So, make it an offence to carry a sign. And make sure that football shirts are covered up as the team walks by a road...

But what would be needed is prohibition of any sign that would be misread by any automatic system as a speed limit... Not just carried, or on clothing, but in adverts on billboards, or even on vehicles.

One of the cars I regularly drive has speed limit detection. There are several ways it fails. First, a bendy road with "30" in black - an advisory maximum. But the road is easy to drive quite a bit over that in almost any modern car. Second, where the straight ahead lane drops to 20 but the main lane turns right and remains 30. The car always gets that wrong. Third, some roads where it simpy goes haywire and get signs and alerts wrong. Fourth, it has no concept of dual carriageway. It simply shows National Speed Limit. There are almost no dual carriageways in the area but there are several places where there is are overtaking sections with an extra lane. Two lanes does not make a 70 mph dual carriageway. Fifth, any speed limit ahead signs (rare though they may be).

I am very glad that the car only indicates what it thinks is the limit, and does not attempt to set the cruise control.

In a high-security preview, we got our claws on Samsung's Galaxy S20 and S20+... which are annoyingly good


Re: This might be..


I only traded in my S2 a few weeks ago. It was still working OK.

Managed to get £100 off a new phone. (Promptly sold on eBay...)

Boffins blow hot and cold over li-ion battery that can cut leccy car recharging to '10 mins'


Be interesting to see how self-driving affects parking. As you say, the manufacturers will have to be cautious and I would expect that to include parking (at least, on-road parking). Close to my home there is a stretch of road where people continually park illegally and, all too often, very poorly.

Both as a driver and as a cyclist, I'd really like to see most parking better enforced. Certainly the vehicles that are parked half on the pavement blocking the local shared-use path, and at the same time preventing two-way traffic on a locally important road, should not occur. But perhaps its would be impossible for them to find legal parking before they run out of charge?

Elon Musk shows world that he is truly awful at something


I was quite sure that what EM couldn't do was implied by this:

Elon Musk's new EDM single reviewed – 'Bringing erectile dysfunction to the masses!'

Wrong again.

You're always a day Huawei: UK to decide whether to ban Chinese firm's kit from 5G networks tomorrow


Re: Yellow Devil

I know it was quite a long time ago, but was there not some skirmish now often called the American War of Independence?

LastPass stores passwords so securely, not even its users can access them


Re: "Maybe the current outage is a sign"

More engines, more chance of an engine fire...

The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit


I see Mamut say:

AccountEdge 2020 will be released in March, as normal, with feature updates and payroll tax compliance, and AccountEdge will continue to receive updates in the future.

If many customers are so upset and looking at alternatives, I wonder how long updates will continue to be released?

Y2K quick-fix crick? 1920s come roaring back after mystery blip at UK's vehicle licensing agency

Thumb Down

Re: 2038

You'll hit the Y10K problem long before then.

We won't CU later: New Ofcom broadband proposals mull killing off old copper network


Having very, very recently transferred to FTTP, we were disappointed the phone didn't work. (Don't actually use it but nice to have for emegencies and spam calls.)

Called BT, who got OpenReach out, who sent an engineer. A really nice chap who is trained in copper only. Seems although everything written implied we were going to get our phone service from the Optical Network Terminator on FTTP, we have actually been left on copper. And someone broke a copper connection when installing the fibre.

Hence BT will have to maintain both copper and fibre...

(Small advantage for us, actually. Phone on FTTP would not work during a power cut as BT don't supply any form of battery backup.)

What's that? Encryption's OK now? UK politicos Brexit from Whatsapp to Signal



Just wondering how many of these politcal types will express their appreciation of Signal by making donations?

Signal Technology Foundation is an independent 501c3 nonprofit. The team at Signal is committed to the mission of developing open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication. Your contribution fuels this cause. No advertisements. No trackers. No kidding.

Your donation helps pay for the servers, bandwidth, and continued development of an app that is used by millions of people every day for secure, free, and instantaneous communication anywhere in the world.

Please make a donation today


Amazon straightens up its IoT house, complete with virtual Alexa, ahead of Las Vegas shindig


Campaign against voice operated systems!

I find myself freezing when a system reacts to my voice. It is only after years of use that I can manage voice controlled telephone systems. Even now, I often choose the bail-out option (if there is one and if I can work out how to). Something in me rebels against formulating words, opening my mouth and uttering what is required. Especially when anyone else is around. Why? I really don’t know. I can feel muscles prepare to press a button, flick a switch, but not speak. My mouth almost stops working.

I have always had a bit of stutter to my speech but, in daily life, conversing with humans (or the cat), I have overcome it more or less completely. These systems bring it out.

I hate them with a vengeance for what they do to me. Without even going into the privacy issues which are also of great importance.

We don't usually sugar-coat the news but... Alien sugars found in Earth-bound meteorites


Re: Which kind of ribose?

But just what would all D-ribose imply?

Alien aliens who are based on opposite stereoisomers?

Openreach's cunning plan to 'turbocharge' the post-Brexit economy: Getting everyone on full-fibre broadband by 2025


We have just got FTTP. Well, the fibre is in the duct ready to be hooked up.

OpenReach installed fibre for the whole little bit of town (about 150 properties) and I now have to decide which ISP to go with. (Most already had OK ADSL or FTTC). At present, all the checkers, bar OpenReach's own, show the current reality - 4 Mbps over copper. So it is a case of waiting or contacting each of the small number of ISPs that re-flog FTTP. Will have to leave current ISP, PlusNet, as they don't do FTTP packages.

I'd have been happy enough with decent copper, but current speed is dire.

Why didn't we already have FTTC? Very much looks to me as if someone simply made a mistake and didn't add our little bit.

Tesla’s Autopilot losing track of devs crashing out of 'leccy car maker


Re: Autonomous driving is months, years, or decades away

The obvious step would appear to be for Tesla to test vehicles in those very places. Are they doing that?

Actually, I'd be interested in how it manages round the country lanes in my neck of the woods. Yes, have seen a few on the more main roads, but not yet on the really tough ones. And no idea what mode they were in.

That this AI can simulate universes in 30ms is not the scary part. It's that its creators don't know why it works so well


Re: Dark Star

Commander Powell for PM.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers


Re: No petition has ever garnered so many votes in one day

Obviously your definition of night might not be the same as mine, but it has NOT gone up by half a million between 23:30 and 07:30.

It’s baaack – Microsoft starts pushing out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Noticed a number of machines that had been stuck on earlier W10 releases have recently unjammed and updated successfully. Not yet identified exactly what allowed them to do so but Update Assistant seems to have been used. Ironically, perhaps, I think they have all ended up on 1803.


I have also noticed in the past few days several machines that had got stuck on some earlier W10 release have managed to update themselves.


Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them


Re: That does seem kind of shady...

No, it's really not much of an answer.

It puts Amazon in the position where they have no incentive ever to reduce the price of anything orderable by button. If bog rolls generally drop by 50% across the market, Amazon would be far better off selling the original product at the original price for button orders, and listing the same product under another listing at a more competitive price for human orders.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…


Re: Is this libel?

Is there even the concept of a spent conviction for a company - or any other non-human entity?

O little town of Bethlehem, Georgia. How still we see your internet lie... US govt throws another $600m at rural broadband


I find it difficult to care about their Bethlehem. What about OUR Bethlehem:

Bethlehem, Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)


Samsung’s new phone-as-desktop is slick, fast and ready for splash-down ... somewhere


Re: Ridiculous

It appears that Rolls Royce and Aston Martin say they agree with you:

Farnborough Airshow: Aston Martin unveils sports car for the skies

Carl Bourne, Rolls-Royce's strategy and business development head, said the consortium rejected plans to build a flying car. "You'd end up with a bad aircraft, and a bad car."


Then they seem to partially recant:

The aircraft would, he said, "be a sports car for the skies".

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Re: Not since 1998...

Found a few which do not update due to hardware. More, though, due to something wrong such as permissions. Looks like language packs can cause havoc, as can trying to use the domain admin to update a PC. Going over to the original non-domain admin user under which it was first built sometimes works.

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help


Re: Close, but too early to say how close

"Now the Russians have long had experience of "useful idiots" ..." brings to mind:

Life with an Idiot (Russian: Жизнь с идиотом, Zhizn s idiotom ) is an opera by the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke to a Russian libretto by Viktor Erofeyev. An allegory of Soviet oppression,[1] the opera was first performed at Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, on 13 April 1992.

Decision time for AI: Sometimes accuracy is not your friend


The consequences could be an almighty row as partner thinks you are dressing up because the system automatically shows female attire - when all you were trying to do was show her the trousers you would like.

My point was more that I would much rather be in control over what sort of clothing I am offered. The classic clicking through choices is perfectly adequate. What advantage is there to me as customer that their AI assesses my gender/sex?


It might only have been for illustration but the male/female issue is treated with hypersimplifaction.

We surely have all heard of men who like to wear women's clothing. Of women who choose to wear men's clothing. Of people who just might be buying for someone of the opposite for whatever reason. Of people who perhaps don't express such clarity of division.

I might well not wish to be identified as what I really am when buying clothes on the internet! (Could even be the very reason for choosing to buy online rather than face real flesh assistants in bricks and mortar stores.) Do I really want some AI system butting in and deciding how to classify me? No I bleeding well don't.

UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy


I spend all too many hours on health forums where we see all too many reports of inaccessible healthcare in the UK. Whether delays of weeks for GP appointments, people being told to buy their own medicines on the internet because the NHS won't pay (thank you, CCGs), people being refused referrals, and devastating ignorance even among senior consultants.

I'd be delighted if the Department of Health were as concerned for the health of the citizens of the UK as the FO appear to be for that of JA.

Braking news: Tesla preps firmware fling to 'fix' Model 3's inability to stop in time


Re: A different problem

Obviously you don't watch me driving.

It does help to be driving in a part of the country where others also most often leave sensible distances. Of course there are idiots, but far fewer than where I used to live.

Interestingly, both the distance that my car's adaptive cruise control uses and my own judgement are in quite close agreement.

Eye in the sea skies: Insitu flies Scaneagle 3 UAV in first public demo


Did they really, really, use measurements like 33 feet, and two feet?

(Mind, can believe the 1,000 square miles quoted from a USA source...)

Waymo van prang, self-driving cars still suck, AI research jobs, and more


I really struggle to see how mixed autonomous and human-driven vehicles can cope with the narrow country lanes in this part of the world. Not whether the autonomous vehicles could actually guide themselves - but how they will manage the inevitable situations in which they have to cope with the negotiation of passing oncoming vehicles. Especially when you throw in tractors, animals, birds, hedgerows that encroach over the road, and all the other things that make it, umm, different. Humans manage by civil negotiation and sophisticated understanding of facial and hand/arm gestures, headlamp flashing, nature of the vegetation, depth of puddles and over-road flows of water, etc.

I'd consider it very different to California - and very likely to find shortcomings in what has been developed elsewhere.

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti


Re: Advanced Tactical Laser - ATL

Hmm, how about attaching a laser to a Weeble? Throw it into the area and watch it sweep the sky above - especially if there is a reasonable breeze.

Cheap enough to have dozens or hundreds all going at once.

"Weebles wobble but they don't fall down"

Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good


As a never-signed up non-member of the FB empire, how do I find out what they know about me without them finding out even more?

Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why


Re: Deep Learning is the problem

Why only bipedal?


Re: Tea anyone? In France not likely.

Have to agree. Tea with any milk tastes akin to vomit of varying degrees of mildness.



You might say that - but I regularly drink St Dalfour tea. A French company even if the tea is still grown in traditional tea-growing countries.

Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser



Have read through fairly quickly, so might have missed it, but I haven't seen any mention of Silverlight!

Yes - that really is a reason we keep getting people calling and saying "Please install Silverlight because I need it for <crappy website>". They get nowhere trying to open the site in Edge.

The second most common issue is that people find PDFs opening in Edge. Mostly they prefer Acrobat Reader DC or whatever other tools they have installed.

The third is that they do not have necessary print options when printing from Edge.

The fourth is using Remote Desktop (or has that recently changed?) which has always needed IE to work easily and reliably.

And my hate, unable to use it in a domain admin account. It isn't that I want to use it, but I have to positively change defaults in order to avoid things trying to open in Edge.

Finally, the fact that time after time, portal.office.com (yes, the 365 portal) fails to open pages time after time. The tab just stays blank and requires one or more F5/refreshes before it will appear. Works far better in FireFox.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO


Re: SEO = Sell Everything Online

So is anyone offering an SEO-free search engine that really is aligned to my/our interests - even if we have to pay money for the service?


Basic Google-fu includes understanding that there is more than one p*****est domain - including, for example, a .co.uk version. So needs something more than you suggest.



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