* Posts by MonkeyCee

1025 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

Flying electric taxi upstart scores $90m from investors

MonkeyCee Silver badge


Certain big motor corps had already built and then scrapped a fleet of decent electric cars by 15 years ago. People loved them. GM refused to sell any, and recalled the leases in 2002.

Electric engines where an also ran to the internal combustion engine for motor vehicles mass adoption. Hell, most internal combustion engines require an electric one to start :)

There have been, and continue to be, high usage EVs in industrial settings. I've only encountered milkfloats and massive forklifts, but I'm sure there are other examples. So at least some heavy industrial manufacturers can manufacture the parts needed when it's required.

There is a big difference between taking a series of established and demonstrated principles and combining them to make something much better than the current market price. Tesla and SpaceX both do this, albeit for very different definitions of cargo and cost.

This is not to downplay the hard work and engineering in the doing of this, but Musk didn't dramatically improve the electric motor or a rocket engine, or make a ten-fold increase in battery capacity. No dramatic breakthroughs in the fundamental technologies. Just hard work and a bit of luck making the theoretically possible actual.

It's also very possible that the investors know full well that it'll never do what it says on the tin, but that the parts and process created will be worth more than what goes in.

Paris Hilton inflates cryptocurrency bubble some more, backs Initial Coin Offering

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: PonziCoin

A Ponzi scheme involves paying back at least your initial investors, typically from new investors deposits, and representing that you actually own assets.

ICO just involves you getting cash for the "assets" that may or may not be worthless.

It's more boiler room than Ponzi, in the scheme of things....

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Cryptocurrencies and their Ilk

"But because I do not trust governments to make them illegal"

You could look at what various governments are actually doing.

Mainly they have decided that crypto is either property or a financial product, and seek to regulate it under applicable laws. Thus it falls under money laundering notification laws, same as if you purchased bars of silver, and you usually owe some form of tax if you convert it to fiat.

Because it is considered a form of money*, it's regulated as such. Raising capital for a new venture has various rules around doing so. This is what the concern over ICOs are from a governance perspective.

An ICO allows you to "go public" without actually doing all that annoying regulatory filing and reporting, which removes many protections that should be in place between retail investors and companies seeking capital.

I'm sure it's "disruptive" and "innovative", but it's just the same old story of flouting the current laws for profit. From Apple/MS/Google's creative tax arrangements, Uber's passenger protections and AirBnB's respect for zoning laws, being tech means being fast enough to break the law on a large enough scale that by the time you get caught, the law abiding businesses have already started to bite the dust and your lawyers can draw it out until you are the default supplier.

I have no fear of the government declaring crypto illegal. But I'm pretty certain they'll want to tax it :)

* the debate about "what is money" is a pretty huge subject. Whether gold is money, despite being part of central bank deposits, is still debated by economists.

Give a boffin a Xeon and a big GPU, get a new big prime number

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: I love engineers

Bah, yer telling it wrong. Mainly because I work with engineers, scientists and mathematicians I have a lot of the three types jokes.

Premise is that all odd are prime.

Mathematician goes:

3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not prime. 9 is an exception, therefore premise is false.

Scientist goes:

3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime. 9 is likely to be an observation error, premise appears to be correct, and I need a six figure grant to improve the accuracy of measurement equipment.

Engineer goes:

3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime....

VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Did He Have An Option ???

"Also in the states employers don't give bad reviews for legal reasons and will just refuse."

I thought (but IANAL) that you have to give someone a reference. You just have to not write anything defamatory or untrue. Refusing to give one at all can be seen as being obstructive.

Most of the "Bob is an arsehole, but I can't write that" references I see are of the form "Bob was employed here as a $ROLE, for a period of $TIME between $START_DATE and $END_DATE".

It's a bit like the old RAC deal, no signal is the signal. An actual reference, even if it's very mundane like "Bob is punctual and polite" indicates that Bob is probably OK. Including nothing else is a definite warning sign.

ASUS smoking hashes with 19-GPU, 24,000-core motherboard

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: What a Topsy-Turvy World

"Not for Bitcoin. You might make a few pennies per year with a GFX."

Dear werdsmith,

When replying to a thread that is not of excessive length, it is often helpful to have read the previous comments. Therein you may discover that the only people suggesting mining bitcoin on this, or my shiteboxen, are people who also wish to point out that it was be very poor at this. That is a strawman argument, and beneath you.

Perhaps a reply assuming I'm mining ETH would make more sense. For the record I dual mine ETH and Decred on AMD, ETH and Sia on nVidia.

There are plenty of mining calculators around. A 1060 single card shitebox will be about 350-400 euro, will do 21 Mhs @ 120 watts assuming terrible parts. Plug in your power cost and away you go.

If you think my shiteboxen are bad at mining BTC, you should see them mining for coal. Disgraceful.... :)

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: "mining" cryptocurrency

"So the Cryptocurrencies replace central banks and governments with anonymous rich people to control increase of money supply."

Not anytime soon. The market cap of all crypto is tiny compared to any of the major traded world currencies. Even with massive expansion we're not seeing the end of central bank fiat any time soon.

Introductory macro economics is more about why personal/business accounting and government accounting are utterly different beasts, and that when the right magic words are spoken a Ponzi scheme is not, debt is money, and 100 gold coins from the queen of thorns is less than you might expect. You'll notice that in many textbooks even just a few years old that negative interest rates are not possible, because *reasons* and Keynes said so. After ~10 years of effective negative rates and ~4 years of actual negative rates, they just leave that section out now.

Explaining the Fed (and other central banks) ability to be their own biggest creditor, whilst continuing to issue more money is always fun. I'll always tell my students that if you expect any aspect of the economy to be fair or just, you picked the wrong subject.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: What a Topsy-Turvy World

"People spending $10k on a PC to mine fictional cryptocash"

I assure you crypto is real.

Real enough that the tax department* would like it listed among your assets.

"Or I'm in the wrong line of business."

It's very easy to get in to. I'd assume that about 90% of the reg readers should be able to knock up a shitebox miner from parts laying around plus a GFX card. If you have cheap power, or want a heater in a particular space, it's a no brainer. It's a server with GFX card in it. Set up right, have some sort of monitoring and remote access, leave it alone.

Make sure you pay applicable taxes, and that it's OK for you to run the boxen in the location of your choice.

*the belastingdienst does anyway

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: ASIC anyone?

"Why would anyone buy a traditional CPU/GPU system to mine cryptos?"

Because certain of the crypto currancy algos are designed to be ASIC resistant. You can usually guess which algo it is because of the quite different speeds. And the fact that a GPU is being considered at all implies it's ASIC resistant. BTC and LTC are both only viable to mine on ASICs, ETH and XRP are only viable on GPUs and CPUs.

It is not at all helped by the fact that people refer to it as "mining bitcoin" when in fact they are mining something else and getting paid in bitcoin. Or that many people are still throwing their hands in the air about the concept that currency unbacked by an army and a tax collector cannot exist.

I mine on normal kit because the traditional aspect enables me to more easily resell the used parts, and get business licences etc. Saying to the bank/council that I build specialized cryptographic workstations that I then remotely rent out (for legal purposes), and these boxen look suitably like a normal computers, fall under fire safety et al using an existing enclosure and thus are easy to classify. Having a bunch of open rigs would make at the very least my fire/electircal safety come into question.

Oh, and expect a few visits from the cops too. Large power draw + fan noise + heat + business income from BTC = probable cause. They are quite polite about it, and it's not unusual in my hood for such things.

"This Asus motherboard is for researching stuff as it is general purpose."

My rather long winded posts above are that the *specialist* mining cards it proposes using are no better than the general purpose ones.

MonkeyCee Silver badge


"This would get you around $30/day with eth."

Just to put my pedant hat on, it will get you about 0.1 eth per day, at a cost of about 46kWh per day.

Which is indeed about thirty bucks income, 20-25 bucks profit per day :)

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Why the P106?

"Power draw. You are asking the wrong questions. For the extreme miners it is all about power draw. I dont know the specifics but possibly form factor too if it allows cheaper or better cooling."

It doesn't draw less power. In fact, it draws almost exactly the same power as a 1060 when running at ~22Mhs. It can hash slightly faster, but at the cost of more power. I've seen 24Mhs @ 120w per card, 150w at the wall. If your power cost is over US$0.17/KWh, then it's a money loser to run it at higher power.

The P160 has better fans than the entry level 1060. Same heatpipes. Same form factor. If you want a lower or shorter form factor, then there are a range of 1060s for that, my preference is for Zotac. Fans run about 35% for most boxen here, less for the ones in unheated spaces.

The issue remains that it gives a very marginal gain on max speed, no gain on Mhs/watt, and has no real resale value and no warranty. I've had mining cards that ran for 4 years that I could still sell for 30% of their retail price* plus even fairly ancient cards that came with the shiteboxen can still fetch a fiver for someones minecraft box.

If my mining card needs to RMAd as long as I've:

- run it within it's performance envelope

- not buggered with the BIOS settings (encrypted on 1060 and presumably P106)

- run it on compatible and tested hardware (no bloody risers)

- run it in an ESD safe enclosure (case rather than rig)

- used only the manufacturer supplied OC SW

- run it under a "tested" OS

Then my suppliers will replace it anytime within 3 years. Why I'd want to give that up for 4 months warranty for a small potential performance gain is beyond me.

The 1060 was already an amazingly efficient mining card. The 470 has more grunt (and draw) for mining, is in more need of cooling (+5-10 C over a 1060), thus would probably benefit more from a specialized mining only card. But even then, a new 570 4Gb is about 250 euro retail, so any mining card would have to come in under 200 for me to even think about it.

It feels like the responses to the demand for GFX cards are quite odd. Most companies make 3-4 versions of the same chipset and memory combo, with better binning, cooling and more power requirement on the higher end models. Adding another model of fully functional GFX card, with low binned processor, high binned memory and the best cooling, and then pricing it accordingly would seem more logical than making a new range without any cost savings. Or just make more, in response to demand.

Instead it's been used as a price hike. Shortage of supply, price rise, supply resumes, prices kept high.

* x is about 90 cents at the moment. Between 50 cents and 5 euro over the last 6 months

** as an example RX270 2Gb for 50 euro

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Why the P106?

Mobo is nice if you like going the whole rig route. Personally I find it easier to just chuck a card or two in an old/budget box and leave it somewhere I'd like some regular heat.

I still cannot understand why anyone with half a brain would ever buy a P106. The 470 4Gb mining version maybe, but you can compare a P106 directly to a 1060. They cost roughly the same, although you can usually find a 1060 cheaper, the 1060 has full consumer guarantee (2-3 years) versus 4 months, 1060 is likely to have better resale value due to is greater utility. Worst of all they aren't any better at mining than a 1060 made by themselves.

A bog standard 1060 6Gb made by Asus* will do about 19 MHs out of the box. Using Asus GPU tweek you increase the memory speed and fiddle the power target based on what numbers make you happier. I have always got ~22 MHs, with most having a sweet spot about 21.5 MHs for about 80 watts on the card and 110 watts at the wall with a silver rated PSU. 22 Mhs is usually closer to 100 watts.

19*21.5 = 408.5

So 19 P106 in an Asus built enclosure hash at the same rate as 19 1060 in my shiteboxen space heaters, those P106 would cost me more, and I strongly suspect that that funky mobo plus big ass PSUs are going to end up costing more than my shiteboxen.

I think they should have started making riser cards, since they are easily the shittiest component in most mining rigs and should have a pretty high margin. They tend to make me hulk level mad, hence why shiteboxen rather than milk crate rig or other such innovations.

* there's some chip binning and cooling differences between the cards, mainly not significant for mining

Hackers scam half a million from Enigma digital currency investors

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Yawn..

Do more crypto devalue other crypto? Not really. Only if there is some problem that makes headlines and panics specualtors in coin A, resulting in panic about price of coin B.

There are many uses for crypto, the point is usually to have something that is more than just a blockchain transaction (like BTC and LTC) so you the tokens have more use than just money. Hence ETH being quite popular.

Thus there are a number of different algos that a coin can be based on (~10 or so currently) and a number of different coins off each one. So there might well be a winner per algo, but that will still result in ~10 coins at a minimum.

The "roll your own" crypto have been around for ages, at least since LTC started (so 4+ years), and picking a winner versus one of the also rans is pretty hard. But if you mine it and cash it out right away it doesn't really matter what you get paid in. I get my payout in BTC, despite not having any SHA256 miners.

The latest issue for miners (at least) is the mass of ICOs. They are (as noted) like an IPO, except without any legal protections. Or paperwork. Or SEC rubber stamping. Using them as initial funding rounds also puts massive selling pressure on the coins they issued it in (since they need that money). They also are particularly vulnerable to being scammed, as all you need to do is change a wallet address and Bobs your uncle.

Daily Stormer booted off internet again, this time by Namecheap

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Re:I do wish people would stop calling these people "Nazis".

"Let's call them daleks instead... since they both seem to want to kill everyone who isn't exacly like them..."

Nononono! Both the nazi's and daleks kill everyone who isn't exactly like an arbitrary made-up standard*, which include agreeing that they have the right to kill all inferior beings....

* that will obviously not be used to test anyone who is clearly a *proper* whatever. See Hitler and Nuremburg laws

GoDaddy gives white supremacist site its marching orders after Charlottesville slur

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: RE : Brexit

"Unfortunately, forgetting about it isn't an option for those of us who have to live here."

You've still got a couple of years yet. Get to the EU while you can :)

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: RE : Brexit

"Is there an internet law or adage for the needless or blatant mention of Brexit in a discussion forum???"

It's a discussion about a right wing propaganda website being being dumped by it's hosts because it's content a) went too far and 2) has attracted a lot of publicity.

Turns out there is quite a large overlap between neo-fascists and brexiters. They've bought into the idea that their country/privileges have been taken away from them (equal rights for wenches and darkies! But what about my right be oppress them!!!) and that the only people who can save them are $Strong_Man. In order to eliminate all these enemies of the people, $Strong_Man needs to be given greater powers. Anyone who opposes giving more powers is also enemy of people....

You might as well complain about Godwin's law too. Not a lot of water between the actual nazi's, and these wannabes. Well, the wannabes are pretty snowflake like, whining that after they've been hitting people with sticks, antifa turns up sticks, and violence belongs to the white master race damnit....

Why do you cry when chopping onions? No, it's not crippling anxiety, it's this weird chemical

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Sharp knives are the key.

"...and my ham knife is a Dick"

You are Ramsey Bolton and I claim my five quid :)

Sorry, psycho bosses, it's not OK to keylog your employees

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: So he'd been a good employee

What Ben Tasker said.

If you own the company in a place you can dismiss people on the spot, then that's both your right and 100% your call.

However if someone has been there for 4 years and is productive for the company, then good management is to help this person improve rather than kick then out. In cases of petty misconduct (~15 hours of personal use of work machine on company time) a formal talking too might be in order, written warning if you feel the need to bring the hammer down and maybe a final warning if you're setting someone up for the chop.

People are also motivated to change if it affects their livelihood. Use that as a carrot rather than a stick . If someone really isn't wanted, find another way to make it work. Part time, remote work, come back as a contractor, take some leave or cut a cheque and part ways amicably so that down the road their skills are available, rather than belonging to an angry ex :)

Your competitors are also not stupid. One good dicking deserves another.


Management is about improving their workers. Being a dick may cause blowback.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Fruit of the poisoned tree

"But if the point of the legal system is to accurately determine who is guilty and who isn't, then discarding evidence seems to be somewhat counter-intuitive."

But if it's been obtained illegally, it may not in fact be evidence. The whole point of chain of evidence is that it's not been tampered with. If it is obtained in a fashion not in line with the rules governing evidence, then it is invalid from the first.

At what point to you draw the line? Are we allowed to torture suspects to make them confess, since that is also illegally obtained evidence? How about entrapment? Or evidence tampering, because a cop *knows* you are guilty?

Almost always the difference between legally gathered and illegally gathered evidence is whether the police presented evidence to the courts that would justify a warrant *before* doing the search. That the cops will avoid this if they can is perceived by the judiciary as them attempting to circumvent certain checks and balances, which is why it will often get a severe reprimand.

While TV and Hollywood like to present court cases as being very clear cut, with irrefutable evidence and no contradictions, almost always there are at least some things that do not completely line up. Hence why a jury or magistrate has to weigh the evidence and testimony and decide from there.

Game of Pwns: Hackers invade HBO, 'leak Game of Thrones script'

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening

"As I said no one really knows if GRRM is gonna finish his books at the rate he's going. When HBO signed he was already deep into taking untold years to write #5."

He's had the overall plot done for a while. At least since book 3 was released anyway. The writers, producers and some of the cast of GoT are aware of the general shape of the plot, and I presume so is HBO.

The way of story telling and world building in the books is very different to the show. Things are told from a characters perspective, thus there is lot more tell and a lot less show. There are some pretty big changes to assorted minor story lines, and it's not clear if they have been cut or altered and we'll see it later.

There's also the issue with the current part of the story, as essentially there is a period of several years between Cersei's ascension to power and the current invasion. So GRR started writing Dance of Dragons, then realised about 80% was flashbacks, so then wrote it chronologically, which resulted in the most deathly boring book in the series. The next book should be full of stuff happening, as we're ripping through a major battle or two each episode.

So I do have some sympathy for GRRM, he's done some great world building, he's actually got the total plot and a plan for it already, and he really REALLY wants to make it all consistent.

Arcade Fire releases album on USB fidget spinner for £79/$105

MonkeyCee Silver badge


" a danger to a kids development. "

That seems a little over the top. There's some pretty good evidence that they (and other fiddle habits) help those with ADD deal with in a way that doesn't involve us walking out or getting on the speed.

Personally I doodle, so for a 2 hour dull lecture I'll fill three or four sides of A4. Beats falling asleep or playing video games/facebook as I still have enough attention for the useful ten minutes of lecture they slip in.

The issue is that when something is boring enough that I end up sketching, often the people around me become more interested in my drawing than the lecture. Even when I stick to abstracts rather than nudes...

So even if the spinners help the kid with ADD focus, it'll still distract others, so it's value as a classroom treatment is questionable. Don't think it'll be a threat to their development either way.

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: It's quite simple don't blame the player, vote to change the game.

"cost of breaking the law < the profit then a for profit company must do it to maximize shareholder value or they risk a minority shareholder lawsuit."

I'm not certain you've thought that through. I'm fairly sure you cannot sue to force a company to make more profit by illegal means.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: This is why you want anonymous payments

"... and confiscated the cash as probable drug money."

To be fair civil asset forfeiture is dodgy as fuck.

I am OK with the general principle that the state has the right that after you are convicted of a crime, they can sue you in civil court for assets obtained by that crime. Obviously if there is a specific victim then it should be compensatory, but if it's social damage, then going into the general tax fund seems just.

I am a bit squeamish about the state using civil courts to seek financial redress from people not convicted of crimes, but I could see potential reasons why specific cases might be valid. A fraudster gives money to their family, then the family member has committed no crime, but has still benefited from the proceeds of crime. However, this opens an avenue to abuse.

I am certain that being able to preemptively* seize assets on the basis that those assets alone are potentially criminal is going to be abused. The civil asset thieving program in the USA clearly shows this is the case. Essentially anything (except probably a gun, NAMBLA will be all over that) that has value can be considered potentially criminal proceeds, therefore a LEO has to decide if a person "looks criminal" and therefore couldn't possibly have legitimate reason to have a nice car or a bag of cash.

As for google ads, it's great. I can tell what my wife has been looking up, so I can "intuitively" suggest that she is probably due a lovely summer dress, or that Italy would be lovely to visit. She also knows exactly which model GFX card I have, since I ended up buying it three times and returning it twice, thus have doubled down on the "sell me what I just purchased" super awesome ML algo...

* to a warrant. Serving a warrant and immediately seizing assets seems OK

BOFH: Oh go on. Strap me to your Hell Desk, PFY

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Benedict?

"Thanks to that link, I've now found the BOFH archive. How am I supposed to get anything done until I've read ALL of them now...?"

Book it under User Sensitivity Training.

Then you can apply it, such as how sensitive they are to cattle prods...

Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

MonkeyCee Silver badge

facts and reporting on allegtions

"as has been shown a number of times recently where unsubstantiated rumour has been widely disseminated as facts "

Sorta. The power of weasel words allows you to lie in plain sight :)

So saying "David Cameron is alleged to like pork" sounds an awful lot like "Cameron porked a hog" but leaves you freedom to say "I was just saying that those fellas where just saying that..." and avoid getting sued.

So you can use the following phrases, and then follow them with whatever you want. It's been going on so long some people are hilariously crude with it:

- There are rumors of... ministerial competence

- Some people say... the F35 is a bargain at twice the price

- It is alleged that... bacon is a performance enhancing drug

- A senior government figure, under condition of anonymity, stated... you can't get pregnant when drunk

You can also use semi-rhetorical questions to state false prepositions, like "Given Trump's history of eating babies dipped in hot sauce* and the lack of evidence of voter fraud, is the commission into voter fraud just another attempt at voter suppression?" which again sound all sort of truthy and factoid shaped, but aren't.

* as anyone knows, the correct sauce is bechamel

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Bob the slacker

How about Bob the builder then? Since it would more accurately be called "Wendy the Builder, Bob the Bellend Boss" since Bob is always fucking things up, and Wendy is always making things right. Hell, she even gets asked to fix the yard man's printer, although I strongly suspect that was a euphemism :)

UK government's war on e-cigs is over

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Organised crime

Hate to break it to you, but it's not legal in the Netherlands, there's no legal way to grow it, and most of the coffee shops are either owned or controlled by some form of OC. They also use the coffee shops (and legal prostitution) to launder dirty money too.

Legalisation doesn't get rid of the criminals.

CoinDash crowdfunding hack further dents trust in crypto-trading world

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: So...

Nah, they stole the ETH being used to buy CoinDash's tokens.

That's why it's an ICO, innit :)

Instead of selling shares for cash (IPO), which involves all this awkward filling in of forms, using bank accounts, having a viable business plan and nasty tax stuff etc, you sell your "totally-not-a-financial-product" in exchange for crypto, neatly bypassing the SEC and the like.

It's one of the reasons crypto is under a lot of selling pressure, as those startups are busy running away with the cash *ahem* I mean dutifully cashing out a responsible amount in order to pay the bills for their totally profit making business.

Juicero does to its staff what your hands can do to its overpriced juice sacks

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Other reasons this is despicable

I could see it being somewhat viable as a commercial product (with it being ridiculously over engineered) and having it as way of serving "fresh juice" without having to clean up as much as a traditional juicer.

But I doubt they can get the logistics of those juice packs down to a viable price for commercial distribution.

In general I feel I must really be missing something here, as I can get a freshly squeezed juice from an assortment of cafes/juice bars/coffee shops for about the same price as a juice pack, including the cost of someone bringing it to me and cleaning up afterwards. Or juice to take home for about half the price.

Burglary in mind? Easy, just pwn the home alarm

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: That implies targeted burglary

"If they were targeting they'd go into the nice neighborhoods where the chance of getting really good loot is higher"

My MIL lived with a (supposedly) ex crook who went to jail for receiving. We stayed there for a month when getting settled in the country and he was full of stories about his "old" days. He maintained that stealing from poor people was a bad idea, "working" over a poor neighborhood was worse, since there are more likely to be people home during the day and more likely that there would e some local group of goons that would object to his lot.

So he and his minions would pick a upscale neighborhood, go there during the work day, and clear out half a dozen houses. So the neighborhood would be targeted, but individual properties will be opportunistically targeted.

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

MonkeyCee Silver badge


"For me, the main problem is the idea that a "photographer" should automatically own copyright in a picture they "made" even if the "photographer" used no skill whatsoever,"

That's easy. If they used no skill, none of the photos would be of any use. If you mean "minimal skill" then you still have the issue of the picture being any good, unless I missed the shot composition function on the camera.

Assuming the photographer has the right to take the picture (public place or private property with permission) and has not been employed to take the picture, then *clearly* the image should belong to the photographer. Anything else is just bonkers.

Now, as for anyone who is "creating the scene", depending on where you are you either have an expectation of privacy or not. If not (ie in public) then you get no say. If you do, then publishing those photos would be problematic/illegal. Hence why you sign a model release or equivalent* for any reputable production, even if you're just an extra.

If it's a thing rather than a person, then putting it on private property should prevent anyone from (legally) taking pictures of it.

Photographer has copyright is best of the situation, otherwise you'll be stuck with things like wedding photos where you need to pay for copyright release to the owners of the church, the architect, the builders, the florists, the seamstress and tailor, the cobbler... and so on. Would end up with more nudes I suppose...

* can't recall what the one for filming was, but broadly said that I agree to my image being used for whatever purposes New Line feels like.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: "the case was wasting judicial resources"

"I respected PETA for their work in animal welfare"

No offence, but you've swallowed the cool aid.

PETA is about promoting PETA, and getting more money for PETA. Anything that gets in the way of that goes by the wayside.

That means that PETA needs to be generating publicity, as that results in donations. Not actually doing anything, as that is expensive. Hence the use of sexy pictures, and lots of details on the animals they "rescue" but none on what happens next.

It's no secret that PETA euthanise the majority of the animals they take into care. They've been prosecuted for illegally dumping animal corpses into dumpsters, and for euthanising "stray" animals they picked up before attempting to find the owners.

This is not unique to any group that runs an animal shelter, the SPCA euthanises maybe 30-40% of the cats and dogs it receives and places the rest. PETA, based on it's own stats for animals taken into care and animals placed into homes, euthanises 70-100% of it's intake.

"Is this how they spend money donated for the purpose of looking after animals?"

That's not what a donation to PETA will do. If you want to support a charity that looks after animals, then by all means do but PETA is not the SPCA. If PETA has convinced you that a donation to them will save actual individual animals, rather than the general promotion of animal rights, then their marketing arm is earning their generous remuneration.

PETAs reaction when they are caught doing illegal activities is to deny it, followed by bring in the lawyers. Not to claim that the individuals caught are doing something against PETA policy, but typical scum-bag lawyer techniques. So PETAs animal shelters are in fact not legally animal shelters (so they don't have to follow standards pushed for by, er, PETA) but are places where they can store and execute animals. There is supposed to be a waiting period before you euthanise an animal that isn't in immediate distress, typically a week or so. PETA has been repeatedly shown to kill animals within 24 hours of taking them in, even doing things like collecting animals from another shelter and immediately killing them in the parking lot.

I would always advise people to have a look at what a charity actually does, rather than what a charity says it does. PETA is a top example of an almost cynical hypocritical charity.

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: dichotomy and delay

"Well it might have helped if those who campaigned so vigorously for Brexit had given the implications a bit of thought."

They have. Essentially it's "better to rule in hell than serve in heaven".

The oligarchs who put their money behind Leave did so knowing full well it'll cause a massive amount of grief, and that it'll tie up some of the sharper minds in the EU for a few years, and that (hopefully) the UK will be outside EU control before any of those awkward tax harmonization rules come into play. They also are quite clear that their right to live/work where the fuck they like will also not be impacted. Most (if not all) have dual nationalities with some small island nation, which in exchange for their generous donations and philanthropic gestures will give them not only a passport, but a diplomatic passport.

So it doesn't matter how much of a fuck up Brexit is. In fact, for many of those funding Leave, the bigger the mess, the better.

The problem was (IMHO) that the voting public wasn't paying attention. A referendum (binding or not) is not an effective tool of democracy. It is a tool of autocrats to get a justification to do what they want, while having it as a fig leaf to say "but you asked for it!". And yes, that applies to joining the EU as much as leaving it.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Not to worry. Brexit probably won't be ready by Brexit either.

"rather than 27 separate bi-lateral trade negotiations High-Chancellor-in Waiting Prime Minister May thought was going to be the case"

I know the leavers don't know/care how the EU works, but how the flaming fudge does anyone think that was going to be the case. I mean, they bang on about how the EU controls the trade agreements, and the UK can't negotiate them seperately, but somehow once the UK leaves the EU no longer negotiates as a bloc any more. Insanity.....

Then again, the Leave plan may have been:

- announce UK is leaving EU

- EU promptly collapses

- individual ex-EU nations beg UK to save them from each other

Which at least has the merit of being a plan, versus the "p and not p" statements that seem to emanate from Mr Davis's speaking hole.

Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Frozen winter shit.

" The key is to make sure the last line of the JD is "and any other reasonable request" "

IMHO it should always be "other duties as agreed", since it makes it quite clear that both parties must agree it's reasonable.

Google blows $800k on bots to flood the UK with 30,000 'articles' a month

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: €706,000 ($800,000)

"Yeah, I do remember that - still have no idea where the money *actually* went. Directorships probably."

Broadly speaking, part of it went into covering gambling, sorry speculation, debts incurred by the investment arms of the banks, which when you're leveraged at 25-1 on paper and 50-1 in reality is very easy to do when something goes wrong in the casino.

The bigger part went into the banks coffers, so that they could meet various Basel (3 IIRC) regulations about not being so over leveraged that any market movement they are on the wrong side of could wipe them out.

So of the 40k you loaned the banks, about 2k went on covering bad debts, about 16k has been repaid with minimal interest, and 22k went into their deposit account.

Personally I don't why it's OK to do all the crappy parts about nationalisation without actually owning the companies or running them better. But then again, that's been the railway policy in the UK for a while. BR cost significantly less than the current deal (30% ish), was marginally worse, and directly answerable to the politicians (as much as the civil service ever is).

As for debt, never had a mortgage, and ideally never will. But I did get to buy my house for about half it's value through a mortgagee sale. Always seemed odd to me when people talk about owning their home, when the bank owns it until you've paid them 20+ years of interest.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: wonderful

"Forgive my nievety , but i think news shouldnt be coloured with feelings and views . hey ho."

I am unsure as to what you mean by "news" then?

Maybe it's a left/right pondian thing. I know the USA has a special place for journalists, as long as they pretend to be impartial. But it is inherent that publishing *any* story has to have involved some feelings and views. Otherwise you just have an endless stream of mainly pointless facts. I can see something like the shipping forecast to be like this, but deciding which n stories should appear (or not) in a publication, and what prominence should be placed for each one is a decision in which the editor is making their own opinions known.

If you have had the joy of attending a court case, you might discover that there are *many* different versions of the the "truth", that the same set of facts can be interpreted completely differently depending upon presentation or personal views, and that an awful lot of people make their minds up based on emotion then justify it using reasoning.

Once you accept that there is no total impartiality, that there is always a motivation behind anything being published, that you should always ask "what is the motivation of the author?" and for the press in particular, "what is the editorial position for this publication?" since that will mainly determine what facts are presented and which are not.

As for the news bot, I thought that's what most journo's where stuck doing these days anyway. Don't toe the line, and no more comments for you. Don't bother re-writing the press release, just copy paste. Run this segment from corporate. Read this opinion piece from auto-cue, because the station owners do/don't want $THING to happen.

GoogleNewsReporter could probably have even scooped most of the UKs biggest scandals by scraping/scanning back issues Private Eye, although this is no doubt straight out of "investigate journalism for gruanaid journos".

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

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Androids are special

"I think the people who wrote this (crap) are probably as aware of the realities of robotics and AI as you are.

The difference is they need to popularise their organisation and become better known"

They are university professors. Not sure where Sheffield stands in the robotics field, but Delft is a fine technical university and their bio-mech program is pretty damn good. Their AI masters is not so well regarded, but that's just me being biased towards my alma mater :D

They really shouldn't need to make their research more popular, because it seems that their paper published after a survey on things we don't have has been lapped up like it's some proper hard science. So they write fairly typical academic weasel words for "this is basicly bollocks, but it's a talking point". At least el Reg put this quote in "the phrasing of survey questions and lack of participant knowledge about sex robots may have skewed results."

In translation, a well/badly designed and targeted survey will get you whatever answers you want, and it's based on a hypothetical situation you don't explain in detail, so we could have made up the results and no-one would know.

Looking at the actual surveys is even more screwed up:

1000 American's : 9% would fuck a bot

100 Americans: 66% male in favor of sex robots 66% females opposed to sex robots

1000 Brits: 26% go on date with human looking bot

1150 Dutch: 20% sex robots have no negative consequences.

230 chaps: 40% would consider buying a sex bot in net 5 years. Not shown prices

So not one survey used the same questions or standards, and often the "important" questions where designed to generate positive response ("would you consider" versus "would you buy, for 10 grand").

So they might make some people more interested in robotics or AI, which is good because I hardly see any mention of these topics elsewhere, but mainly they've published the equivalent of "$THING kills cancer in a petri dish" knowing full well that $THING does dick all to cancers in an organism.

That the person supposed to be teaching you about professional ethics is publishing papers which are both BS and attention grabbing makes me more concerned. There are plenty of ethical/moral issues in tech, certainly in AI, and quite frankly "is it OK to fuck a ten thousand dollar robot?" is not one we really need to worry about in a hurry. I *hope* this is just a cynical attempt to be able to apply for funding to the various bodies that want ethics in AI researched.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Androids are special

That was sort of the point I was making. Anthropomorphic is good art, but not I'd describe any working industrial robot I've experienced.

I've had an issue recently which my bank should have helped me with. I contacted them through secure chat, and I got a textbook correct answer. Not terribly helpful, and not really the attitude I'm used to from them, but since it was correct I let it go.

A week later, when a real person from my branch actually reviewed the conversation, and took things seriously, got in contact and did everything they could from their side of things.

So actual chatbots causing actual (legal) issues, or badly designed algos doing illegally discriminatory or incorrect assessments screwing up people's lives that are currently happening, can and should be discussed, but are pretty much ignored in the media.

But should we fuck non-existent androids, and the morality of fucking non-existent android children and any other gets worldwide press, despite all the tech is down to a lone MIT researcher, isn't very good (IMHO), and it's marketing Real Dolls. Whom don't really need it as far as I can tell, since if you can afford one and want one, you already knew about it.....

We're much more likely to be faced with a situation where all your customer service contacts will be through some bot, and getting a person to deal with you becomes almost impossible. Since being unreachable by customers is clearly the goal of certain departments, this will help even more than phone menus with more options than digits of pi.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: * RIP Iain M Banks

I'm a big fan of Clarke's and Asimov's writings (less so of personal politics), but off the top of my head most of Asimov's robots where some flavor of android, that the positronic brain was pretty much comparable to a neuron based one and anything that was larger than a human was a computer with remote controlled agents rather than a robot. I'd be delighted if anyone can suggest some other decent examples it'll make my life a bit easier :D

It's also that it was always very clear the robots where enslaved and had only the free will granted to them by their creators. The three laws of robotics are one of those lovely ideas that are completely impractical in real life. Take a simple action like making a cup of tea. Can you do it, while ensuring that you do not endanger any persons life? What if the tea is (potentially) sourced from a place that has dangerous labor practices? Or the second law would probably involve robots slapping beers, burgers and cigarettes out of humans hands, since by inaction they are allowing you to die.

Or you put a limit on how deep/wide you search on the potential consequences of your actions, which means at some point a robot will be confronted with a situation where it's actions/inactions killed someone, thus causing it to self destruct or go on a killing spree IIRC :)

Iain M Banks managed to create a universe where humans where part of a group of intelligent species, with the various AIs all being smarter than them, the Minds being smarter than the AIs, and still have relateable characters. The AIs are unfettered, and surpassed the meatsacks, but turned out to quite like them.

Asimov's robots are more about having an electric golem that *maybe* can be allowed one day to be free.

I would be extremely hesitant to say one is better than another, and both use magic fairly liberally, although I'm oddly more willing to deal with Bank's "free energy" than Asimov's fully omniscent 3 laws, as less plot points hinge upon the previous.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Androids are special

Fuck me, I'm sick of this shit.

I'm currently studying related subjects (robotics, machine learning, AI) and the media manages to constantly go from some vaguely sensible discussion to skipping straight to the sci-fi. I suppose it's what I'd expect from a bunch of writers, but still....

In fiction, androids (human like robots) are used as a device to explore attitudes towards class, race and slavery. That the same themes could be explored by just having humans be exploited is alas too much like real life to actually hold a mirror to our attitudes. But it's why there is a massive amount of popular fiction that feature androids, but not a lot that feature AIs/robots that are not entirely anthropomorphic*.

Thus there is a real lack of actual analysis about automation and the resulting impact on the workplace/workforce other than "30 year predictions" or utter bollocks as it's known. So there are dozens of articles on the Real Doll makers attempts to make their sex toys talk, but hardly any on chat bots. But you can (and often are) using chat bots already, they have real world implications and impacts, and maybe there should be a spot more discussion about this. However imaginary sex toys, imaginary robot brothels give us plenty of sexy hypotheticals to discuss, without actually having anything to deal with. You know, like "what do we do about the current brothels" or "why is OK to exploit some people and not others".

* RIP Iain M Banks

Largest advertising company in the world still wincing after NotPetya punch

MonkeyCee Silver badge

What is advertising

" In what sense is any advertising more real-world than any other? "

Like a lot of things, it's to do with how the industry itself self identifies. Ebay isn't a retailer itself, but acts as a middleman between retailers and customers. So would eBay be considered the third* largest retailer in the world, or not a retailer at all?

The biggest/most profitable/most successful "jeweler" in the UK doesn't sell any traditional gemstones. They sell pretty looking stones, that are well cut, and are very popular with their customers. But becasue they don't sell the *right* shiny stones** they get snubbed by the rest of the industry and are often derided as selling costume rather than real jewelry.

* or whatever position it would be, presuming Amazon and Walmart conglomorates at least are bigger.

** gemstones and gold only have value by merit of being pretty and traditional. That a natural diamond is worth more than a synthetic diamond which is worth more than cubic zirconium (you've got to be fairly expert to tell the difference between these even with a loupe) has no rational basis.

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

MonkeyCee Silver badge


"There's the cost of installing Windows - a PITA when compared to being able o PIXIEboot a new machine and install an image."

Your statement is contradictory. Either you've built a deployment image, in which case 95% of the work has been done, or you're using install medium of some flavor.

Building an image is more about the testing, especially whatever apps are getting rolled out. The actual install should be able to be done by a well trained ape adding the computer to the relevant groups, then PXE boot and follow some destructions*.

Installing a machine from scratch is always a PITA. I've got images for Windows with all the relevant patches and SPs installed which makes a comparable install speed to Mint/Ubuntu on a whitebox. Then there's always some dicking with drivers and config, whatever the OS, unless all the HW is bog standard. Then futzing with the apps, which are either as simple as apt-get or rolled out through group policies, or involve some buggering around with config files, registry entries or whatever chicken sacrifices are required.

* As for speed of rollout, I've managed to re-image 400 windows boxen in an hour using two 12 year olds and a six pack of red bull. 40 minutes if we don't do test login. About 150 an hour if by myself, but that's a terrible plan :)

Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Where's the Line?

"I think the question should be has the EU crossed the line and how will they recover from it?"

In short no. It's the European Commission, which is one of the institutions of the EU, not the EU as a whole that does this. It's also about the only governmental EU institution that is supposed to act in the best interest of Europe as a whole, as compared to EU Parliament (citizens), Council(countries) or the Committee of the regions.

So for ruling on whether something is anti-competitive is pretty much down to the EC, many of the cases are without precedent, and there are plenty of EU companies that it has ruled against.

"They are doing it because they have now only just decided that Google has market dominance "

Nope, that was decided a long time ago. You'll note that neither the EC or Google argue this point, it is accepted by both sides that Google holds a dominant market position in search. The question is whether Google is abusing it's market position. While there are a number of things that are agreed a being abuses of market position, it is possible for the EC to decide that a particular behavior is being abusive without a precedent. Obviously they'd need some evidence, but they aren't tied to just say price fixing.

"plugging their own stuff in combination with market dominance is against the law. "

Using their market dominance in search to actively promote their own product at the expense of their competitors is exactly what the issue is. It doesn't matter what the product is, the using of your market dominant position for anti-competitive purposes is.

"The more I read about this the more it seems the EU is fining Google and then making up reasons to do so. How can Google have complied with a law that wasnt a law until they were fined for it?"

If a company is in a market dominant position*** then they have to ensure their actions are not abusing the position. Their behavior has been ruled as being anti-competitive* through using a dominant market position. It's pretty clear cut. Fairly typical tech attitude, disruptive = illegal, but by the time you sue us we'll have already crushed the competition.

Almost always in these cases it comes down to economic/legal arguments about exactly what is and isn't "fair competition". I've had to read and summate (and write the odd paper on) a few dozen EC decisions, it's interesting how they come to generally correct (IMHO) decisions but with (to my mind) quite odd reasonings.

They are pretty consistent across rulings, ie Volvo heavy can't buy Scania, because bad for customers**, but could buy pretty much any other truck manufacturer without it being anti-competitive. Volvo heavy buys Renault heavy, EC says OK, referencing Scania decision.

"Interestingly there doesnt seem to even be a solution to the problem, only that Google must provide a solution and then be monitored for compliance. "

Erm, that *is* the solution. Google doesn't stop providing any of it's services, it doesn't get a monopoly taken away from it, it just stops promoting/demoting search results for shopping comparison sites. It agrees that it done bad, pays a fine, and stops doing it. Then someone checks they aren't doing it.

Not abusing your market position is a regulation you have to follow. If you don't, you get fined, and someone will be round to check that you are following it.

* Not that it matters, but I agree.

** Much of that decision was an argument between Volvo/EC over who is Volvo's customer for trucks, and do those customers have any real negotiating power.

*** The EC has definitions for this. In general, more than 25% of the market and 5 million+ a year in turnover in the EU are the minimum hurdles

Microsoft admits to disabling third-party antivirus code if Win 10 doesn't like it

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: "Building a Hackintosh is very easy these days"

Hackintosh legality depends on your country. I can, for example, support them but not sell them. Over the border in Germany, you can sell them.

In general, Apple doesn't care even if you use it professionally so long as a) you buy a licence and b) you don't sell boxen at retail. They are quite aware that hackies are not going to affect their sales, but pissing off hardware fiddlers is going to lead to bad press.

Depnding on the client, they are either blown away by the hackintosh, since it's pretty much a decently specced whitebox PC without BS marget segmentatio, so you get a lot of grunt without breaking the bank. Or the clients hate it, because it's not stylish.

Yet more reform efforts at the Euro Patent Office, and you'll never guess what...

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Leave remain

"This is my issue with the EU, treaties are defined and decided without any input from you and me... we're just citizens."

Welcome to representative democracy.

In the UK the government (executive) doesn't even need to get parliament's (legislative) approval to make or break treaties. So not only do you not get a vote on a treaty, your elected representative doesn't either.

In general EU citizens elect most of their representatives, be it directly or through normal methods (head of government being on various councils etc) but most people aren't aware or don't care. In the same way you elect your local council, DHB, mayor, sheriff, coroner (delete as applicable) often people simply don't know or care.

It's why Farage can be a MEP for 20+ years, yet can't win a seat as a MP. Because most people don't give a fig about who their MEP is, but will have a good whine when they are crap at it.

Only in a direct democracy do all citizens get a vote on each issue, and they have their own raft of problems, not least of which is a ballot paper longer than an international tax return.

Donald Trumped: Comey says Prez is a liar – and admits he's a leaker

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Impeachment?

@ Eddy Ito: The president doesn't get to write get-out-of-jail free cards for the future. They can pardon someone once they have been convicted of a federal offence. Obama couldn't parson Hillary for something she has never been convicted of doing. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations pardons and commutation of sentences where pretty damn dodgy. Mind you, so where their use of private email for government business, but we know that's only bad when the blue team do it :D

The simplified process is (as I understand it): potential crimes are investigated by bodies within the DoJ (FBI, state police etc); these are passed to the prosecutors (also part of the DoJ), who decide to go ahead or not; then there is a trial or plea (overseen by the judiciary).

At no point is the executive directly involved. The only role of the executive in this process is nominating/appointing personnel, or altering the sentence at the end of it. Not by interfering with an investigation.

" As the chief executive, if he says to drop the investigation then it gets dropped and sorry kids but there is nothing illegal about it."

Seeing as how Trump and his lawyers are busy bending in half to deny that this is what happened, I strongly suspect that it is in fact illegal. This is why there is a lot of focus on the phrase "I hope you can see your way to letting this go" as to whether that was an illegal order, or a personal opinion.

Not really sure why the GoP is fighting this. They'd be much happier with Pence in charge.

Bogus Bitcoiners battered with US$12 million penalty

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: an unlike real commodities

Because no-one has ever run a Ponzi scheme using real assets as the alleged backing?

It's a headline because Bitcoin.

There are dozens of Ponzi scheme convictions each month, along with assorted rulings. There are at least two that have larger numbers of victims and greater damage done, that have been convicted in the US this month alone.

They all claimed to be buying stuff, and promised returns they knew they could not make. As long as people will accept a "too good to be true" deal, and are not willing to probe the murky details, then people will prey on others greed.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: But they'd still be in jail...

"it's all massive custom ASICs from here on out."

For bitcoin mining, and scrypt that's true.

For ones aimed at GPUs, it's profitable to mine them with GPUs. Depending on your GDDR size, it sems to be Dagger-Hashimoto, Ethereum or one of the LBRA forks.

For the CPU ones like monero, pretty much any modern CPU will make you 50 cents to a euro a day.

I'm using old Dell workstations (Xeon 4/6 cores ~2.5Ghz) with modern GPUs, and they pay themselves off in about ~110 days of operation, with a bit of hand wiggling around depending on what I can flog the spare bits of the Dells for, and exactly what price and chipset and shiny toys the GPUs are.

The popular mining ones (AMD RX 470/480) are a pig to find with decent RAM, but even then a ~280 euro card with shitty RAM produces ~3 euros a day profit, or for a 1080ti a ~750 euro card produces about ~7.50 a day. YMMV depending on undervolting, over clocking, limiting TDP and the efficiency of your PSU.

Never thought ASICs where a good investment idea, high end graphics cards hold their value very well as do efficient PSUs.

AS an example, I just sold a R9 270 for 50 euro, it cost 180 euros several years ago and has produced ~1400 euros (at a cost of ~250 euro) during that time. Still making ~50 cents a day

BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Latest config not saved

Allright, my bet is that the power failure is caused by putting too much load on the circuits at one time. Either from a mass reboot or the cooling systems not behaving nicely, or being mismanaged. Some piece of vital network kit wasn't on the UPS, and lost it's current config on reboot. Or mangled it in a fun way.

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