* Posts by a_yank_lurker

2771 posts • joined 16 Nov 2013

EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

a_yank_lurker
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N-Waves Again

Somehow this reminds of N-waves of the early 20th century. They were an artifact of the laboratory setup.

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Hitler 'is dead' declares French prof who gazed at dictator's nashers

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Still I don't understand why Russian doesn't allow full tests.

The best non-pathology evidence was the eyewitnesses in the bunker who survived and knew Hitler very well as they worked closely with him. They were always consistent in their stories of what happened and there were several including secretaries, orderlies, etc. So the question then becomes are they all liars or they telling the truth. Having see interviews with some of them, I do not believe they are all liars so they are telling the truth.

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About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

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QA Anyone?

Avast is a well AV vendor so one would think that updating Bloat 10 would be tested by Slurp in house before unleashing the spyware on to the masses.

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Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

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Random Babblings

What I have seen with too news events in general is the 'news' outlets (on cable in particular) have to fill time. So they grab some babbling moron who knows absolutely nothing about the particular situation to pontificate about it live. Often the ponitifications are shown to be wrong once the details finally emerge a few days later as they usually do. These details usually also show a more complicated situation than the babbling blowhards ever imagined. Also, the media is prone to latch on to 'official' sources who may know very little who also spout off random nonsense and spread rumors. None of this specific to this situation but a general observation of media behavior, particularly of the TV channels.

About this situation, other than it happened and several were killed and more injured, I doubt much is really known by the investigators at the time of this post. And I doubt any of the pontificators on your favorite new outlet really knows anything about the situation other than the barest facts. Certainly they do not why this tragedy occurred and at this point the investigators may not really know either. I understand they have the shooter in custody so the investigators can interview him to find out why. But getting clear answers takes time and effort by the investigators.

Making intelligent policy to prevent these from happening requires avoiding knee jerk reactions by all. How did he get the guns? Several possible answers and depending on the actual answer is there a way to prevent someone like him from getting them in future. In a couple of recent mass killings, the shooter was not entered into the database due various administrative stupidities as required by law and was thus able to buy them legally. Where the guns stolen? Do not know but that raises another set questions. Where the guns legally owned by a relative? Again, this raises a different set of questions. At this point, there are more questions than answers. Why did he do it? The answer here is also not obvious but important in possibly stopping future events. Was he a known problem that was ignored? Was there a recent traumatic event that triggered this? Answers these types of questions point to different issues and possible solutions. Again more questions than answers. And I do not have the answers to these questions and I may not have raised the pertinent question for this case.

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US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

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Commercial Problem

The basic commercial problem is very few works ever have any real commercial success. Of the few that do, most of their commercial success is for a relatively short period; somewhat variable but based on the type of work. After this period minimal sales occur and many of the copies that are sold are highly discounted (remaindering in the book trade). This period might be only a few months to a few years at most. The number that have any continued commercial success is incredibly small. And very few of those works out last the active career of the creator commercially.

So a truly reasonable copyright system would have a moderate period of about 10 years to cover the commercial life of the work. It would have limited renewal by the creator, about 2 times to cover virtually any other work. It would also require a positive registration initially. Thus, most works are automatically public domain and commercial works would enter public domain fairly quickly.

The very rare works that have continued commercial success would also go into public domain unlike the current system.

Also, I wonder if the current copyright period is even Constitutional but that never stopped Congress critters from being both criminal and idiotic before.

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Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Low Cost? at $499!

@Deltics - The point of BYO kit is you control what is used not that you can save money. Usually you do not save money but more. But you have built a machine you want not what is offered by a vendor. Your example is what I would expect, components bought in retail quantities will have a higher cost than the same bought in commercial quantities.

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a_yank_lurker
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Re: Low Cost? at $499!

If have a reputable used dealer around you probably can buy a couple year old, refurbished laptop with much better specs for the prices you are quoting.

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Biometrics: Better than your mother's maiden name. Good luck changing your body if your info is stolen

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Biometrics vs Maiden Name

Biometrics are basically permanent and can not be changed so they are only good as username or equivalent. Questions like mother's maiden name can be guessed if you assume (mostly correct) the person actually answered correctly. But if a person use a set fictitious answers to these questions that would not be obvious where they come from, they are much harder to guess. For example using 'von Francois' for mother's maiden when it is 'Smith' and 'von Francios' is not a close relative's name like an in-law.

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I got 257 problems, and they're all open source: Report shines light on Wild West of software

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Re: "every closed source software vendor has their own license usually with onerous restrictions"

The difference between closed source and open source is who has the authority to make modifications. With closed source only the vendor can make changes to the code. So you are completely at their mercy if something will get patched or added. With open source, you have the explicit authority to make any change you want for any reason. Whether you do, is your choice.

From a practical user perspective, there often is very little difference when using either if the code is being used internally. If the code is being used externally then the license restrictions do matter and often the open source licenses are less restrictive by default as you being able to include the code in your code base. With closed licenses, one needs to read the T&Cs to be sure though many cases you can include a compiled binary in your code.

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Capita cost-cutting on NHS England contract 'put patients at risk' – spending watchdog

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@Doctor Syntax - Spot on. But many PHBs and MBAs (being redundant) only look at personnel as a cost not a resource. Having the resource internal to you makes it easier to shift them were needed. Also, internal personnel if they can talk to each other can share resources with each other more freely; they are both working for the same company.

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Lawyers for Marcus Hutchins: His 'I made malware' jail phone call isn't proper evidence

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Signed a Miranda waiver form after being read his rights

@DougS - Third party videos can be used as evidence such as dash cam videos without reading the Miranda rights. Miranda explicitly refers to interviewing the accused and nothing else. Most local Stasis over here record all interviews as a matter of policy to provide an accurate record of what was said. However, the ferals generally do not.

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Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

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Re: Hero ?

Training can only partially replicate what happened in reality. Plus, the pilot is faced with possibly several different problems at once that may not be run in a simulator simultaneously or at all in some cases. See he has to make quick, accurate decisions based on his training, experience, and what is actually happening at the time to bring the plane as safely as possible with them minimum of casualties. So any when faced with a crisis, who rises to the occasion does qualify as a hero in the public's eyes.

Note may of the pilot heroes actually do not consider themselves heroes but only someone doing their job very well in a crisis. Another point in favor of calling them heroes, their actions were only done to solve a serious problem not for seeking any glory.

Most heroes do have the appropriate training for the jobs but only show any heroism when there is a serious crisis demanding someone rise up to the occasion.

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US judge to Facebook: Nope, facial recognition lawsuit has to go to jury

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Solution

The solution for Failbook is to learning the meaning of ethics and start acting ethically not like some bratty toddler when called for their ethical short comings. Fundamentally, this is what the case is about; unethical and now illegal behavior in some jurisdictions being attacked by the abused.

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'Alexa, find me a good patent lawyer' – Amazon sued for allegedly lifting tech of home assistant

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Re: Ohh, folks at RPI won't be happy

To the point they would like to split the state in 2 and let the downstate scum sink in financial oblivion.

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FCC sets a record breaking $120m fine for rude robocalls

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Re: Could it be?

I suspect most robocall operations are offshore thus harder to nail plus you have an extradition treaty to deal with. His problem appears to be operated in the US robocalling the US; dumber and dumb.

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Sueballs flying over Facebook's Android app data slurping

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Re: Laudable but...

The first of many I suspect. What is worse for FailBook is if these cases generate ongoing negative publicity about their antics. They rely more than Chocolate Factory on user acquiescence at a minimum to their data slurping ways as they need a critical mass of active users to be viable; MySpace anyone? While Chocolate Factory is vulnerable on the same grounds their services are more varied so they are less reliant on anyone service to the degree FailBook is.

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US border cops told not to search seized devices just for the hell of it

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Re: Doesn't change much

"Reasonable suspicion" does give the defendant the ability to challenge the use of any evidence found in court. And the judge might toss it as tainted and the case probably will collapse from a lack of evidence. It is a relatively low bar but still a bar.

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@Mark 85 - His problem was he been found guilty twice of trying to smuggle? firearms. Thus, finding legal gun parts would naturally be suspicious for someone who is a known smuggler. The court gave a split decision; the agents need more than a whim to search electronic gadgets but in his case the agents had enough reasonable suspicion to search. It seems they got the situation more or less correct - no warrantless search at the border unless there is reasonable grounds to suspect a possible crime.

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US Congress finally emits all 3,000 Russian 'troll' Facebook ads. Let's take a look at some

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Purpose

I have always suspected the purpose of these ads was not to influence the election in any meaningful way but to stir the pot if someone is stupid enough to fall for them. Both Blowhard (now President Blowhard) and Felonia are well known personalities to the public well before the election. So with 20+ years of sizing them up it is likely that only the youngest voters would not have an opinion (largely negative for both) about them. The reason the ads have become 'important' is the donkeys do not want to admit Felonia ran an incompetent campaign and is widely detested by very large swaths of the American public well before the election. And she ran against Blowhard who is also detested by large swaths of the public. A competent campaign with a moderately appealing candidate might have won easily.

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Microsoft programming chief to devs: Tell us where Windows hurt you

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Re: Tell us...

Still less than 0.

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Risky business: You'd better have a plan for tech to go wrong

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@Doctor Syntax

I think the difference was back in the mainframe days many activities were never fully computerized and often there were manual systems (and staff) still in place for when the mainframe went down. Also, the pace of mail tended to make time a less critical factor. This also meant it was pointless to fully automate a lot of processes as saving 10 minutes was going to be lost later. A lot of communication back then was down by snail mail which might take 3 or 4 days (or longer) to reach the recipient. Also, computers were not networked like now as there was no Internet.

Now, people get antsy if one does answer an email in 20 minutes or have their phone within arms reach. Plus a lot of commercial interactions are done initially online making absolute up time critical.

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Microsoft vows to bridge phones to PCs, and this time it means it. Honest.

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Delusional Thinking

While smartphones are really very portable computers under the skin their usage is very different from a PC (laptop or desktop). Thus the nature of the applications and UI is very different. While some data can be shared between devices (see Apple) not everyone is thrilled at having this done. One security consideration is a phone is a lot easier to lose or get nicked than a PC so limiting the amount information it can access is a good idea. It seems Slurp has not quite gotten into the feeble minds that phones and PCs are used differently and that most people are perfectly happy with this. It is as if Slurp uses the geekiest focus group they can find to ask what features they crave.

I personally go so far as to have different base email accounts for my Android phone and my main email. Nothing of personal importance goes to the phone email and I do not have any banking or shopping apps on the phone, limits the amount of damage losing the phone will cause.

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Microsoft's most popular SQL Server product of all time runs on Linux

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Microsoft will truly endorse Linux...

I suspect an accurate usage survey would show about 45% of the features Office 2010 being used by about 95% of the users. Another 10% of the features used by 4.5%+ of the users and the rest of the features each used by a small scattering of users with no definitive trend.

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Hacking charge dropped against Nova Scotia teen who slurped public records from the web

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@Mark 85 - I have no use for the weasels who will never admit they screwed up. If they are elected officials I favor very harsh prison sentences for jury tampering plus serious personal fines for slander.

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Whoa, Gartner drops a truth bomb: Blockchain is overhyped and top IT bods don't want it

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Re: Your all missing the point.

Blockchain is not necessary for an unbreakable chain of evidence. It may make it easier to implement than other methods. But one thing to remember, a business that has a working system is not going to implement a new, mostly unproven, system if they have any sense. The risk is to great and the reward is too meager if it is successful.

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Another quarter, another record-breaking Tesla loss: Let's take a question from YouTube, eh, Mr Musk?

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Pioneers

A little history is in order. Electric cars have been manufactured off and on since about 1900 with varying degrees of success and profitability. The primary problems they faced have been range, charging time, and replacement battery costs. Range has been more or less solved in that nominal range of many models is reasonable for most people. Charging time has been a weakness from day as a battery pack can only be charged so fast before you have problems. Different chemistries will be a little faster or slower but still somewhat slow. Battery replacement is expensive and the batteries can handling only so much discharge-recharge cycles These problems existed in 1910 and the still exist to some degree today.

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Apple somehow plucks iPad sales out from 13-quarter death spiral

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Or maybe...

To me, tablets are a niche device. If you use them in their niches you will find them an excellent bang-for-buck otherwise they just plain suck. The question is how big is the actual market including non-users who could really use one.

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45-day drone flights? You are like a little baby. How about a full YEAR?

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Re: 45 days vs 365

Airbus is being more honest. Drones will need periodic maintenance, say once every 30 to 60 days of continuous operation just make sure nothing has worn out, shaken loose, is not suffering from fatigue, etc. The maintenance might take a week, depending on what is found.

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Apple's latest financials are still pretty decent even though iPhone sales are slowing

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Fruit vs Itsy Bitsy Morons

An interesting comparison is Fruit has both revenue and profit growth about every quarter. Also, they seem to be building a service business without too much fanfare. This makes you wonder what else they have under wraps to announce in the future that might be a big hit. While Itsy Bitsy Morons seem to losing sales every quarter even if their profits wobble. The Morons are talking about how they plan to make a major splash in the whatever but never seem to get around to it. There is a sneaky feeling that all is not well with the Morons and some speculation when they will go bankrupt as they sink into total irrelevance.

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Ahem! Uber, Lyft etc: California Supremes just shook your gig economy with contractor ruling

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Common Sense Approach

Horrors!!! A court decision that is common sense. Uber drivers and the like are really part-time employees not contractors. The problem that many like Uber having trying to do is skirt employment law worldwide by trying define the drivers as contractors.

There is a situation where someone can be a contractor and not an employee. That is when the contractor is an employee rented from another company. There is a company taking care of the legal issues.

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Press F to pay respects to the Windows 10 April Update casualties

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Re: pause for a moment

Usable in 2020? That might be a tad optimistic; more like 2030 at the earliest.

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Autonomy ex-CFO Hussain guilty of fraud: He cooked the books amid $11bn HP gobble

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Wouldn't this be a SOXX issue too?

I suspect there several other security law violations that could have used and may used in other cases. It probably depends on what the prosecutors thought were the strongest.

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IBM Australia to end on-shore software support

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Worldwide support out of India?

I wonder if the PHBs running Itsy Bitsy Morons have figured on the costs of breach of contract, travel, etc. when they cooked up this stupidity. First Oz, next Europe, then the Americas, then bankruptcy.

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Exposing 145m Equifax customer deets: $240m. Legal fees: $28.9m. Insurance: Priceless

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Jail

Or may be a wee bit harsher sentence? Might focus other C-Suites to focus on their responsibilities.

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IBM turnover shrinks $28bn in 6 years but execs laugh all the way to the bank

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Re: incentives must match desired behaviour

Itsy Bitsy Morons do not have a proactive strategy but reactive strategy. What you are outlining is proactive strategy to deal with the market place. Do they have a workable plan and more importantly do they know where they are going. I doubt they have the latter so any plan is fundamentally pointless. Being reactive, they are always behind the trend and are playing catch up with others.

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Programmers! Close the StackOverflow tabs. This AI robot will write your source code for you

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Re: What a load of a fucking bollocks

I always wonder about the code quality from such systems. Yes, it will properly compile into a Java executable but someone will need to maintain the code for many years. Often this involves extending the code or removing unnecessary features over time.

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Princeton research team hunting down IoT security blunders

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@Grikath - Townie here, my observation is the brightest of the Princeton faculty have malfunctioning elevators on their best days. They are rather oblivious to the obvious.

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Kaspersky Lab loses the privilege of giving Twitter ad money

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@Martin - I doubt this will be the end for Kaspersky as actions like this risk a winnable civil suit by them. The only reason they are in 'trouble' is because they are Russian and thus most be in Putin's hip pocket. The same could be said about any AV vendor, they must be in X's back pocket because they are in Y. No proof has been offered on these assertions.

However, Twitter is being more and more censored because they are afraid of anything smelling of a controversy. As they become more risk adverse look for more this type of action in the future.

Also, this might be a blessing for Kapersky as the use of ad blockers rises making online advertising less effective. Some browsers are shipped with ad-blockers (Brave definitely - built in).

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

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Re: Deleting emails

My personal and professional policy is to keep emails from only certain people/groups or for certain topics (billing emails e.g.). Otherwise, it is deleted. If it looks like something I might reasonably need, I keep it.

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Oracle whips out the swatter, squishes 254 security bugs in its gear

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Re: wait wut

Unfortunately yes. Used heavily by enterprises along with other bloatish languages.

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Mad Leo tried to sack me over Autonomy, says top HP Inc beancounter

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Re: Sounds liek the lawyer is trying to muddy the waters.

Cutting the CFO out of the deliberations smells either of incompetence and being on the take. I can believe either one.

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Beware! Medical AI systems are easy targets for fraud and error

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True Meaning of AI

AI = Always Idiotic. Any AI system is only as good as the underlying model used for the classification. Also, the models will be incomplete by their very nature, they are models not reality.

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Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!

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Re: Windows insider Program

@Lost all faith - It is the over reliance on external alpha and beta testers that is the problem. A proper internal test program would catch a lot of the problems before the alpha and beta testers ever see it. Also, a well designed program would deliberately try to break the code and find the errors.Your typical external testers are not likely to try to break the code. Also, the equipment available to the external testers is rather limited; maybe a couple of printers, a scanner, a couple of laptops, etc.

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Congressional group asks FBI boss Wray to explain Apple lawsuit

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Rodger Winn and 'Working Fiction'

What is often forgotten in this whole argument is often the communication decrypts are incomplete or missing key details. The decrypts supplement a through understanding of the strategies and tactics being used, traffic analysis, good old fashion intuition. Sir Rodger Winn called his daily analysis of the German U-boot efforts 'working fiction' because he realized he was always partially in the dark about the true German intentions, even when Enigma decrypts were available.

In the movie 'Tora, Tora, Tora' there is a scene were Col. Rufus Bratton was puzzling over the Japanese diplomatic messages and other information. He concluded the Japanese were going to attack on Sunday 30-November-1941; only 1 week off. The US at the time was decrypting Japanese diplomatic messages as fast or faster than the Japanese Embassy in Washington at the time.

The issue is not have the decrypts but having the full context of the messages. Also, depending on how much planning took place 'off the grid', the decrypts may not make much sense to someone not part of the plot. Given San Bernardino was a husband and wife team, I suspect most of the planning was face to face. Also, activities that should have raised an alarm were not reported because many feared being labelled a racist if they made a report. However traffic analysis would show who they were communicating with and that would warrant a visit and game of 20 questions. Most would be absolutely innocent.

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a_yank_lurker
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Re: Can't unlock 7800 devices

@bombastic bob - In this case the phone was the county's phone issued to him. The problem was incompetence causing the password to be reset in such away the county could not access it. His personal phone, the one likely to have the info desired, was destroyed with hammer. Apparently, he slightly smarter than the average feral or local flatfoot, use effectively a burner device and then destroy it.

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UK pub chain Wetherspoons' last call: ♫ Just a spoonful of Twitter – let's pull social media down ♫

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Re: Non-story?

Semi non-story, for many businesses an active social media presence is not very critical or as noted above be a net loss. This is a form of advertising that should evaluated on its own merits for one's specific situation.And the results will range from a presence being at best pointless to absolutely critical.

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Super Cali's frickin' whiz kids no longer oppose us: Even though Facebook thought info law was quite atrocious

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Targeted Advertising = Targeted Stupidity

Targeted advertising makes a critical, often erroneous assumption: one's current online activities reflect one's needs or desires. What is lacking is the context of the activity which may be due to nothing more the pure curiosity or just seeing what is out there. Another missing bit is whether the search has already led to a purchase in which case a targeted ad for the product is pointless. The idea that you can target to nearly an individual level is false. This is because the information is always somewhat out of date (another problem).

To me, the primary goal of advertising is brand awareness. People do not buy stuff from unfamiliar brands that often especially from a brand they have never heard of. This can be done any of a number of ways including 'word of mouth' but always means that some of the advertising will always fall on the uninterested as John Wanamaker observed.

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'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

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AOL = America OffLine

When we first got on the Internet we were told by the computer store staff to avoid America OffLine and go with a true ISP which we did.

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Having ended America's broadband woes, the FCC now looks to space

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@tom dial - If you operate a transmitter in any country you have to apply to the locals for the correct operating license. Part of this is frequency allocation as well as other technical details such as power output, etc. While the ferals are catching flack about this, it is actually true no matter where the transmitter is located, just the name of the agency is different.

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Backpage.com cops to human trafficking, money laundering

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Re: You'd have thought..

If I understand correctly their primary activities are illegal in most countries and where they are legal may not be the best business environment. Moving money around only complicates things and risks tax fraud charges. Given the charges are state level the really nasty feral charges are yet to kick in. It appears they thought Section 230 gave them an absolute impunity to aid and abet prostitution and child trafficking when that was likely never the intent. But the problem is the post may be protected but the underlying acts are illegal (aiding and abetting child trafficking is illegal in the US). Section 230 is intend to primarily to prevent sites from being liable for third party content. (El Reg can not be sued because I posted a libelous comment - I can be still be sued.).

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