* Posts by Paul Smith

349 posts • joined 11 Jul 2007

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Java EE 8 takes final bow under Oracle's wing: Here's what's new

Paul Smith
Happy

Ding dong the witch is dead!

Yippee!

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

Paul Smith

Plea Bargin

The real story here is not about someone being convicted for breaking the rules, it is that the witness copped a plea bargain in return for helping the prosecution, which the judge didn't honor.

The US justice system was already severely handicapped by things like associating conviction rates with electoral success, and the ability of police and prosecution forces to bully their way past civil rights, but it was tolerable while the majority of judges remained impartial. Exceptions like Rittenband were notable by being the exception, but increasingly often it would seem that judges in the US believe that they have the right to express and exercise their personal opinions.

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Strip club selfie bloke's accidental discharge gets him 6 years in clink

Paul Smith

A bit harsh

Florida, six years in jail for being an idiot.

Charlotte, Presidential pardon for being a racist and an idiot.

Remind me again why I don't want to go to the States.

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Chap behind Godwin's law suspends his own rule for Charlottesville fascists: 'By all means, compare them to Nazis'

Paul Smith

Re: @The Tick Godwin not applicable here

If you need justifications to prove you are not a racist, you probably are.

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Toyota, Intel, Ericsson team to get cars talking to the cloud

Paul Smith

Re: A hackers delight

The hundreds, if not thousands of people you are referring to all have a vested interest in this working. It is not in their interests to point out the stupidity inherent in many of the ideas mentioned. If you want public transport, that is absolutely fine, and the aviation industry is a good model to follow with highly connected and closely tracked vehicles (though you still get the odd MH370) but how does that add anything other then excessive costs to private travel.

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Sputtering bit-blasters! IBM's just claimed densest tape ever record

Paul Smith
Pint

Taping up is never easy, I know

But I have to go

Knowing me, knowing you

It's the best I can do

Sorry. Mines the one with the Disco beat.

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Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

Paul Smith

"Utility-style" regulation, what could possibly go wrong?

Anybody else remember the California brown-outs in 2000 and 2001?

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Astroboffins discover that half of the Milky Way's matter comes from other galaxies

Paul Smith

Re: Was April 1st involved somewhere?

You are right. I didn't read the as yet unpublished paper. I read the El reg article about the paper and that is what I commented on.

The maths do not come close to adding up.

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Paul Smith

Re: Was April 1st involved somewhere?

"Since the distance between galaxies often stretches over many light years, "

To a normal person, 'many' usually means less then three digits. Since all but a few stars are considerably further then that, this suggests galaxies are closer then stars.

The size of the galaxy does not affect the number of supernova and as a large galaxy, we have more super nova then a small galaxy. 3 Observed supernova in a millennium even at 100% efficiency, and you are talking between 100 and 1000 solar masses. Lets pick a nice round figure, say 0.58 solar masses a year. In the life of the universe, (1.3x10^10 years) supernova may have moved 7.5x10^9 solar masses, which is just over 1% of the estimated mass of our galaxy (5.8x10^11 solar masses).

Looks like somebody can't add...

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Paul Smith

Was April 1st involved somewhere?

Galaxies that are closer then stars?

'Winds' carrying material between galaxies? And what material were those winds made of?

Up to half the mass of our galaxy having traveled here from other galaxies? Ejected by supernovas?

So half the mass of our Galaxy should have been ejected outwards as well? Wheer are the trails of matter?

How often do supernovas happen? Three have been seen from Earth in the last thousand years, so, not very often.

This isn't scientific, it is just silly.

1
5

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Paul Smith

$ date -u -d @1500000000

Fri Jul 14 02:40:00 UTC 2017

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Forcing digital forensics to obey 'one size fits all' crime lab standard is 'stupid and expensive'

Paul Smith

Hi, I am a Forensic Cumpeter Scientist. I only charge £500 a day. Where did I learn my 3l33t skillz? I watched CSI.

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So despite all the cash ploughed into big data, no one knows how to make it profitable

Paul Smith

Re: But, perhaps profitable for the companies using it

If I remember correctly, there was an article here on El Reg a couple of years ago that reported big data projects were returning a little under 50c for each dollar invested.

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Paul Smith

Re: Big Data?

What on earth makes you think that the civil servants in those organizations can handle large IT projects any better then the civil servants in any other part of government? How many convictions in public court have you seen as a result of their efforts? Or do you just believe them when they say they are doing a good job?

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Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence experts gather in London

Paul Smith

I tried

I tried to resist, honestly...

https://xkcd.com/1838/

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Paul Smith

Re: Why air launch?

For a once off launch, ground launch is clearly cheaper, but at least 98% of the take off mass is lost. (Saturn V took off weighing 3,000 tons to get 40 tons on the moon and 10 tons back to earth). For repeated launches, once the cost of the bits lost getting to the air launched altitude match the cost of air launching, you are at break even, but after that is all profit. Potentially 20 or 30% lower costs per launch add up to a lot of money when you consider the current costs per kilo are (roughly) $5k to LEO and $30k to GEO.

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Ex-NSA techies launch data governance tool for future algorithm-slavery

Paul Smith

I call BS!

This smells like someone is pulling a fast one.

Even the most modest categorization algorithms produces more branches then can be humanly monitored. You want to know why you have a bad credit rating? It's because the computer says so, that is why.

Decision trees and Bayesian analysis can just about be followed by the person using them, but stay well clear of even the simplest neural network.

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Riddle of cannibal black hole pairs solved ... nearly: Astroboffins explain all to El Reg

Paul Smith

Re: Check your "Fact Check"

From the same wiki page [quote]Palaeontologist Donald Prothero criticized the mass media reaction to this study as superficial and premature, concluding:

Until someone has convincingly addressed the issue, I'm going to put "Brontosaurus" in quotes and not follow the latest media fad, nor will I overrule Riggs (1903) and put the name in my books as a valid genus.[29][/quote]

What you know of as a "Brontosaurus" is just a sub-type of Apatosaurus, and any drawings or models you have seen probably have the wrong head on it.

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Paul Smith

“A paleontologist, who has never seen a living dinosaur, can figure out how the dinosaur looked and lived from its skeletal remains. In a similar way, we can analyze the mergers of black holes, and use these observations to figure out how those stars interacted during their brief but intense lives.”

Tosh and fiddlesticks! Paleontologists have come up with the the most incredibly dumb and far stretched explanations to fit the bones they found and have often been very slow to admit, let alone correct their mistakes. The worlds favourite dinosaur after the T-Rex? The Brontosaurus? It doesn't exist!

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Paul Smith

Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

"Provided I can disassemble it and use wirecutters on the interface " - You clearly haven't read the DCMA small print. That is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the copyright holders rights and could get you 20 years of in the pokey.

1
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Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Paul Smith
Flame

FFS

" to promote potentially lethal drones." Seriously?

Do you object to the same ads appearing on other channels or was this just an opportunity to insert some political commentary into a publication that normally wouldn't touch it with a barge pole (and for good reason!)?

Back to the point, Google was promoting those drones *at you*. Why don't you write an article about what it was in your browser history that made you Google think you would be interested in those toys? That at least would be slightly IT related?

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The priest, the coder, the Bitcoin drug deals – and today's guilty verdicts

Paul Smith

Re: Not really about Bitcoin, and not about a priest...

Let Me Google That For You:

"define priest" => "an ordained minister of the Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican Church, authorized to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments."

"define pastor" => "a minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation, especially in some non-episcopal churches."

So a priest is a pastor, but a pastor may not be a priest.

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America's Marine Corp steamy selfies scandal, a Senate probe – and El Reg to the rescue

Paul Smith
Flame

Ho, ho, silly girl, took a naughty picture of herself, what did she expect to happen?

Sorry but I don't accept that and I am disappointed that El Reg even suggests it. Very poor choice of headline.

None of the images being shared were done so with the consent of the subject.

Most of the images being shared were done so without the knowledge of the subject.

Many of the images being shared were taken without the knowledge or consent of the subject.

"Selfies" are pictures that you take of yourself, so clearly most of the images involved do not fall into that category, and those that do, once used without consent, can no longer be considered selfies.

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Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

Paul Smith

Smart?

When did "pay as you go" become smart for anyone other then the service provider.

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Git fscked by SHA-1 collision? Not so fast, says Linus Torvalds

Paul Smith

Re: That's not how hashes work

Sorry, but no it doesn't! Any hash key can produce only a limited number of distinct results, and while the greater the number of bits in use, the less chance of *accidentally* encountering a collision. To go from "the chances of a random collision are vanishingly small" to "it always produces a unique result" is the sort of dangerous mistake that hackers love to exploit.

Linus was using SHA-1 as a cheap way of calculating a hash that was *very unlikely* to collide, the hackers are using a known algorithm to produce a predetermined result.

Imaging Linus was simply summing the bits mod 1024. there would a 1 in 1024 chance of a collision. If a hackers target has a hash of 512 and the code they want to use has a hash of 384, then they just have to add 128 to produce a valid fake.

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Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

Paul Smith

What about them? When a large truck is heading for my self-driving car, I would rather that it did not take that as an opportunity to contemplate the significance of id and ego on a semi-autonomous entity.

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US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

Paul Smith

Re: Huh?

All three are valid and may not be what you want to submit to the TSA.

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Google reveals its servers all contain custom security silicon

Paul Smith

Apart from the custom security chips and fitting them to all(?) their servers, (more details would be welcome here!) they seem to be doing exactly the same as any other reasonably large enterprise. I would be interested in knowing the quality and thoroughness of the implementation, which tends to vary in organizations I have been involved with.

1
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You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg

Paul Smith

Not the end of free press, the

Sorry, but the more I read, the less this sounds like the end of a free-press, though it might spell the end of the current 'can't touch-me' attitude that a small but dangerous minority of the press enjoy. The legal and financial threats that the papers are claiming will put them out of business are the same ones that the publishers having been using to ignore or silence their victims for years.

All this talk of Fascist, racist and/or biased personalities is a distraction from the fact that today, an individual who believes they have been wronged by the press has no recourse but to take on the expense of a high court case. Section 40 will give them an additional option, fixed cost arbitration. The publisher can choose to accept the result of arbitration and the case is closed. The publisher can refuse to accept the result of arbitration and go to court, and the publisher can refuse to go to arbitration in the first place. Either action will result in the publisher being liable for the legal bills meaning the publisher can no longer ignore complaints from people who can't afford a high court case. And since the act explicitly says "the court must award costs against the defendant unless satisfied that ..." the the publisher need not worry about frivolous cases as they will be appropriately punished by the courts.

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Paul Smith

Re: Accuracy of Reporting

Now, now, a little more accuracy please. This is important.

Arbitration is a fixed cost process unless you choose not to abide by the findings while the cost to the victim of an incorrect article is open ended.

As an industry, you have had years to clean up your act, and have chosen not to.

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5
Paul Smith

Accuracy of Reporting

I am not convinced that the article actually reflects the truth of the situation that Section 40 covers. As I understand it, if some one is upset by an published storey, then the publisher has the option to a) go to arbitration or b) pay all the lawyers. The fact that El Reg doesn't like the current arbitration choices is not (IMHO) sufficient reason to block the law.

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NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

Paul Smith

Re: Rolf?

If you want an alternative perspective, why not have a look at the Myth Busters take on it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1269663/

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Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

Paul Smith

Common sense.

If I build a fence around a pitch and call it a football ground, I can charge people to enter the ground to watch a match, but can I sue the people who don't enter but watch the match by looking through gaps in the fence? No, of course not. My fence, my problem to block the gaps.

Can I sue the guy outside the fence who is renting step ladders that let people look over the fence?

Can I sue the guy who invites his mates around because his apartment overlooks the fence?

How about if the fence is made of gold plated unobtainium and cost me millions and makes me billions?

6
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IT ops doesn't matter. Really?

Paul Smith

I think this is one fad that has run its course. If nothing else, the one thing that cloud has brought to the software world is the separation of software from the environment it runs in, and since the the Ops side of DevOps is all about the integration of the platform and software, what you end up with in a cloudy world is a lot of people looking for a new job.

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UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Paul Smith

Re: Provided by?

Yes they can touch personal encryption. It is currently a jail-able offence to not reveal an encryption key when demanded - even when it is not possible to prove that there is anything encrypted.

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100k+ petition: MPs must consider debating Snoopers' Charter again

Paul Smith

Abandon hope...

“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.” - George Orwell, 1984.

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1

Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Paul Smith

Re: Science? What happened to "hypothesis" vs "theory"?

Duh... How else are you going to get a grant?

0
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Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

Paul Smith

A-10 role

Does the A-10 still have a role to play on the battle field? Has its niche not been filled by attack helicopters?

0
6

Every LTE call, text, can be intercepted, blacked out, hacker finds

Paul Smith

Re: Clarification on LTE call/SMS interception (not!)

"So let's get rid of 2G fast, please." Why? It is simple, it is cheap and it works.

Why not get rid if the idiotic thinking that says a phone (wireless or otherwise) can be used securely. Must people would agree that a phone is fine for telling people you are on the train when you don't give a damn about being overheard, but is probably not ideal when trying to explain the results of your nearest and dearest's STD exam.

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3

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

Paul Smith

Re: 120 years away?

Sadly, no. Did you not read the article? They have achieved fusion power. It just took 1.4 million amps of power generated by something else to generate fusion power for two seconds.

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Linus Torvalds admits 'buggy crap' made it into Linux 4.8

Paul Smith

Re: re: Sure, anyone can read them

Just as anyone who picks up your wallet and takes out your payslip knows exactly how much you are being paid. Knowable to the public is not the same as publicly known.

7
2

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Paul Smith

There is only one benifit to smart meters

The only benefit that I have been able to identify for smart meters is the remote application of variable tariffs. Instead of just a flat rate, or the current 'night rate' (which requires the fitting of a separate meter) suppliers can apply actual hourly rated or worse (better?) variably rated tariffs. If anyone here is old enough to remember the pre-mobile phone era and paper phone bills, then they may remember the massive change caused to teenagers lives by the introduction of itemized phone bills. I suspect the electricity consumer market may be in for a similar awakening.

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'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder

Paul Smith

Re: anyone play shadowrun?

Ssshhh!!! Be quiet or you will have the lawyers onto you for releasing the script of the next Bond movie.

0
0
Paul Smith

Basic maths

$280 million buyout, contingent on $250 million launch. Did they have any other assets or am I missing something?

11
0

Our man pops the hood on Intel's v4 engine: Broadwell Xeons

Paul Smith

Re: Ouch

I would see that as encouragement to explore non-proprietary options.

1
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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

Paul Smith

...when the drone flew alongside it.

Cool, a drone that can fly at 140knots (160+ miles an hour)! Where can I get one of them?

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

Paul Smith

Drakes equation and statistics

>>>Not to mention, Drake's equation - the chance of observing THAT EXACT MOMENT of someone building this ridiculous structure (rather than it not being built yet, it being already built, or it already having blown to pieces long ago) is basically zero.

Yes it's a long shot, but is it exactly a million to one yet?

4
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Flight sim records show MH370 captain practiced 'flight' near search area

Paul Smith

Pretty odd

Yes, it is pretty odd. But to determine how odd, I think you would have to check all the places he flew to in the Simulator against all the places he didn't have a reason to go to in real life.

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1

NASA puts lenses through a different drill to stare at the Sun

Paul Smith

Re: 16 million holes?

I would like to propose the Albert Hall as the new El Reg unit of measure for counting holes. "Now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall."

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Docker and storage – solving the problem of data persistence

Paul Smith

I get it

I get the deploy benefits, but in my experience, deploying a solution is not the solution, it is merely one aspect of solution delivery, a thorny one admittedly, but no customer has ever paid me to for the deployment. I get the scaling of the application, the ability to just run up additional instances on demand and drop them when they are no longer needed, which leads directly to what makes containerization so good for testing, the ability to blow away what was there and start again clean. However, this is exactly what makes containerization a problem for me; If you are blowing away an instance when you no longer need it, what exactly was the point of doing it in the first place? Stateless activities are (IMHO) meaningless unless they take place within a statefull context, and I don't think Docker et. al. have grasped that.

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