* Posts by David Roberts

1110 posts • joined 25 Jan 2007

Page:

So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Chromium OS?

Nobody has mentioned loading Chromium OS onto a Windows/Linux PC.

If it is that good, why not?

Or is it the hardware that sells ChromeOS, and if you have a PC you run Windows and/or Linux?

0
1

Please replace the sword, says owner of now-hollow stone

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Give me the sword

And I'll take a stab at it.

Mail, of course.

1
0

First annual review of Privacy Shield gives it a resounding... 'adequate'

David Roberts
Silver badge
Unhappy

So,

Nobody is currently bothering to police the agreement. Sounds effective.

13
0

Combinations? Permutations? Those words don't mean what you think they mean

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: re: pseudo-maths

Shriek AKA bang, IIRC.

Can't remember the context of each useage but both were computing. Just shorter than saying "exclamation mark".

0
0

Ex-TalkTalk chief grilled by MPs on suitability to chair NHS Improvement

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

All i can say is

I wouldn't want the job.

Not sound evidence that anyone both competent and sane wouldn't want the job either, but rumour has it that few if any with senior management capability would relish a job where there was so little chance of making a difference and enhancing your CV.

Expect similar jobs to go to those on the sinecure gravy train,

2
0

Programming bootcamp compiles $375,000 check after triggering New York AG's error handlers

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

The "how to run a business" unit of the course

Was less successful than the coding parts.

3
0

Watch out for Microsoft Word DDE nasties: Now Freddie Mac menaced

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Am I the only one.......

......who would have launched the photon torpedoes?

Because, well, security, meh, but, photon torpedoes!!!

2
0

uBlock Origin ad-blocker knocked for blocking hack attack squawking

David Roberts
Silver badge

May be missing something here

But isn't the main problem that they chose Google Analytics as the reporting mechanism?

10
1

Keep your voice down in the data centre, the HDDs have ears! I SAID, KEEP...

David Roberts
Silver badge
WTF?

So

When a bearing craps out on a drive the whole array shuts down in sympathy?

0
0

Grant Shapps of coup shame fame stands by 'broadbad' research

David Roberts
Silver badge

Intersting snippet

About all premises in a postcode being assumed to be on fast Internet once a cabinet can service 50%.

11
0

WPA2 security in trouble as KRACK Belgian boffins tease key reinstallation bug

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Router firmware updates?

That shouldn't take long.

7
0

'Open sesame'... Subaru key fobs vulnerable, says engineer

David Roberts
Silver badge

Cheap components?

I was sceptical about building the whole thing for $25 so I had a quick search.

Damn, but there is some cheap kit around.

Now wondering if a DVB-T stick would work with my Android tablet.

4
0

Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

David Roberts
Silver badge
Unhappy

They seek him here...

Be interesting to see if they manage to track the drone pilot (drilot?) down.

If not, the wrong lesson will probably be learned.

22
0

Overdraft-fiddling hackers cost banks in Eastern Europe $100m

David Roberts
Silver badge

Cash is King

Traceability of transactions to fraudulent cards linked to fraudulent accounts with fraudulent overdrafts is kinda pointless.

The money has been withdrawn in cash. Gone.

0
0

When Irish data's leaking: Supermarket shoppers urged to check bank statements

David Roberts
Silver badge
Unhappy

How long ago?

Having been to Ireland (N&S) in the last few months I would like to know how far back this breach goes.

Of course, if they are keeping historical records of card details the answer may be "almost forever".

4
0

Harvard, MIT boffins ink up with health-monitoring 'smart' tats

David Roberts
Silver badge
Go

Aesthetics?

What a load of bullshit.

Serious users would almost certainly be more than happy with a simple graduated scale which changed colour alongside the scale to show the current value.

For example blood glucose on a scale of 3 to 12.

I assume this would work nicely with a smart watch (or other bracelet) with a light source and camera to continuously record the values; first obvious problem is keeping the camera located in exactly the right place. Certainly good for scanning with a mobile phone app. Very good as a medic alert tattoo when an unconcious (or mentally wandering) diabetic goes low or high. Hypo or Hyper with suitable instructions highlighted.

I would be happy with one on the back of my hand showing blood glucose and blood ketone levels. Biggest task would be to source some backless cycling gloves.

No doubt Big Pharma would make sure you had to renew the tattoo every month just to keep the revenue stream nice and active.

1
1

The architecture for sharing tokens across blockchains promises traction

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Virtual

I assume that this is trying to prevent the use of cash as an intermediate step.

It hadn't occurred to me that an exchange couldn't trade directly between say Bitcoin and Ethereum. I wonder why not? If you can convert to and from currency it doesn't seem an order of magnitude different to agree a notional dollar value for the transaction and do an integrated buy and sell.

Given previous comments on El Reg about the low trading volumes in "real cash" terms and the impact on notional value if somebody tried to cash out a million dollar/pound/whatever holding at one go, perhaps this is an attempt to sidestep a lack of liquidity in the market?

I assume also that if you convert to real money at any point there is the risk of a large transaction raising its head in the real banking system and being traceable.

It is all very well being a Bitcoin millionaire but at some point you may want to spend it on mundane things like a house, car, and beer.

It does also raise the prospect of automated currency trading bots manipulating the unregulated market to make virtual fortunes at the expense of the average punter.

5
0

Portland posts full report on Uber's dirty dealings with Greyball

David Roberts
Silver badge
Facepalm

Sullied their reputation?

Say it is not so!

6
0

Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

David Roberts
Silver badge
Facepalm

I had problems with Google

When searching for Jew sons.

(Othe building supplies companies are available.)

As others have said the investigation should have been for all major religious groupings.

<rant>

Israeli is not a race. It reflects citizenship.

As far as I know you can be Israeli and, for example, Christian (atheist, agnostic, Muslim) so being anti Israeli is not racist, nor is it "religionist" but is a reaction to a particular electorate within a nation state.

It certainly is not anti-semitic.

Many semites are anti Israel.

</rant>

Sorry, started out as a lame joke then pressed the usual buttons.

7
3

User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing

David Roberts
Silver badge
Pint

Modifying test system?

IMHO once you do more than the tiniest of changes to a test system (such as in this case using a valid configuration option present on the live system to change screen colours) you are well down the road to invalidating the testing.

A variant of the common user support question "Did you change anything?" with the usual response of "No." followed by "Yes, but that isn't important.".

If you start adding code to make it obvious that it is a test system then you compromise the strategy of taking an exact copy of the live system then kicking the living shit out of it.

Or building a new version, testing, then flipping it to be the live system.

This problem reads like either a user communication error because nobody though a tester would change the colour scheme, or more likely the result of the kind of lunch break that results in the morning's work disappearing irretrievably into the mists of time such that two weeks down the line there is still no memory of ever having tested anything. Of course the user could just be irredeemably thick. Still, you would have thought the question "How is the testing going?" followed by the answer "What testing?" might have raised a warning flag.

Beer - the obvious culprit. (Not from personal experience, you understand.)

6
1

Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Babypod

Was coming here to post something similar.

Except on the lines that a lot of things that will/are designed to fit in the vagina can also fit in the rectum (full term babies hopefully excluded).

So finally we have a poli(tician)pod where people of a certain persuasion can demonstrably and consistently talk out of their arse.

I do hope these things ate not wireless/IoT though.

Who wants to wake up in the middle of the night to a little voice saying "Help! It's dark in here! Let me out!!"

Then again if it can pair with your phone it might be suitable for unsolicited calls.

What's that muffled noise? Oh, just some c*nt in my c*nt. Then again thst may not be the best education for your unborn child.

11
0

Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: 'Confirm the sequences'

Presumably a burglar left a hair behind (hopefully not a behind hair) and he is convinced that Hilary was the perpetrator and wants a DNA match to prove it.

Or there may be no logic at all.

8
0

Apple’s facial recognition: Well, it is more secure for the, er, sleeping user

David Roberts
Silver badge

Reversing the logic

How about configuring the lock when you are wearing a mask?

Not much help for everyday use in the bus queue but would mess with the head of anyone trying the various dubious tactics suggested up thread.

Alternaively, has anyone checked if it works with a cat?

Gives you two fat purr (sorry) authentication.

0
0
David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Liveness check ? Circa 2013 on Android ...

Skin colour changes?

So it may not work if you have sunburn?

1
0

This article has been deleted

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Unless they were very hygenic

I would think twice about drinking the coffee,

Especially with whipped cream.

Come to think of it, did they ever get round to serving coffee?

1
0

Auto-makers told their autopilots need better safeguards

David Roberts
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: It is easier to automate the damn highway

I have commented on this in the past but I'm just too idle to look it up.

The big problem is the existing infrastructure especially in the UK and the suitability for upgrading to support automation.

(1) Assume you will generally need at least two automated lanes in each direction, one for trucks with a limited maximum speed and the other for faster, lighter vehicles. Much like current dual carriageways.

(2) Assume that you will need another two lanes to provide for the non-automated traffic during the (protracted) change over phase again to allow some segregation between cars and trucks.

This gives you a minimum of a 4 lane highway in each direction to reap benefits from automation.

Time, cost and complexity; you could look at the work to increase capacity on the A14 between the M11 and the A1M from the current inadequate two lanes each way.

Real need for extra lanes; look at places for example on the M1, M4, and M25 where there are 4 lanes currently due to volume of traffic. Then add 2 more as a minimum.

For uptake of new privately funded infrastructure look perhaps at the M6 toll north of Birmingham.

As has already been suggested the requirement for an automated transport network starts to look very similar to a rail network with stations where you switch to an alternative infrastructure.

So perhaps we should be looking at building new infrastructure akin to a rail network which only intersects occasionally with the current road network and easing the load on short journeys by enabling long distance automated transport. This would, of course, have to be significantly cheaper than just upgrading the current rail network.

However in a country like the UK with such a large amount of established infrastructure and such a dense population this seems to be a logistical nightmare. Just bypassing a town or village on a single carriageway road seems to take decades to organise and upgrading single carriageway to dual carriageway on major trunk roads goes at a snail's pace.

Countries with wide open spaces and massive wide roads (such as quite a lot of the USA) could be suitable for this next stage of transport evolution to make long journeys safer and more comfortable. I remain to be convinced that it is viable for most of the UK.

7
2

Boffins' satcomms rig uses earthly LEDs to talk to orbiting PV panels

David Roberts
Silver badge

Did I read that right?

Are they getting more bandwidth to a cubesat using LEDs than at least 5% of the UK get over wires?

6
0

Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Mmmmmmm....Apple Turnover Tax

Mmmmmm......Apple turnover......

Sorry, what was the question?

I'm just off to get an apple turnover.

12
0

Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

You know you are old

When all your heroes are dead.

RIP

3
0

F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out 'like iPhone updates'

David Roberts
Silver badge
Unhappy

Limited data storage?

No SD card slot, then?

2
0

Scotiabank internet whizzkids screw up their HTTPS security certs

David Roberts
Silver badge
WTF?

F-bomb?

Had to look it up.

I assume that the code wasn't full of fat laden snacks.

Presumably bad language in the comments?

0
0

China bans crypto-currency fundraising schemes

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: @David Roberts

Thanks for the extra detail, guys/gals.

I'm still somewhat bemused that people would put money into such a thing, but as the saying goes "you can't patch stupid".

I am assuming that if you invest in the more traditional way in a firm pre-IPO you get private non-traded shares which give you certain legal rights and are regulated. You hope that when the firm goes public these shares will increase massively in value, or perhaps a second stage investor will buy out your stake at a profit in a future funding round.

I am struggling (as usual) to work out what rights you get from an ICO.

If you buy shares in a company then you are more or less tied to the financial success of the company.

Company does well, you share the profits.

What is to stop the company making billions but abandoning the digital currency?

What ties your investment to the success of the company?

What rights do you get?

If you are just selling a new digital currency why does it have to be tied to a company? What gives added value? Or is it truly just a money making scam selling wooden nickels?

0
0
David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: What can you spend the tokens on?

Lots of rants about Bitcoin but no answer yet.

As far as I can tell the ICO does not involve giving the company money in return for Bitcoin. How would that work anyway? The company would have to buy the Bitcoin to give to the investors.

This seems to be about giving the investors an alternative to Bitcoin which has been created by the firm specifically for this ICO. In effect they have printed their own banknotes which are not legal tender.

The nearest I can come to this is the mining companies who used to pay their miners with private coinage which could only be spent at the company store. However in this case there is no mention of a company store.

So i will ask again.

Where can you trade these (not Bit)Coins?

What can you spend them on?

0
0
David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

What can you spend the tokens on?

If each ICO creates a set of digital tokens unique to the fund raising for an individual firm, how do you convert them to real cash?

Shares at least give you a nominal "share" in the company, but shares not traded on a recognised exchange can be almost impossible to value or sell (see many boiler room scams passim).

The tokens must start out at virtually zero cost to the issuer (like shares) to be worth issuing to raise captal.

Obviously missing some vital step here.

1
0

WhatsApp irons a shirt, dons a suit, prepares business services

David Roberts
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: What are the requirements for a messaging app?

Upvote for pointing me to the desktop app.

Looked for one a while back and missed the launch of this.

0
0

Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

David Roberts
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

I'm with the downvote victims on this one.

The A/C post I am replying to sums it up well.

There seems to be a short term correlation between industrialisation and changes in the climate but there has been some very dodgy science from people desperate to prove themselves right which taints other work in the field. Enough for some sceptical thought. The evangelicals who decry everyone who doesn't accept their world view, including on El Reg, doesn't help either.

We (nearly) all know that climate changes constantly and we are apparently emerging from a mini ice age. The amount of impact that humanity is having, and which particular activities are responsible for significant changes, is as I understand it the main area of debate.

I also think that religion isn't as cut and dried as some "scientists" would like to make out. There is the term "crisis of faith" and many of the truly religious constantly re-examine their personal faith. Lord, I believe. Help me in my disbelief.

So someone who doesn't accept the current climate religion but who continues to gather data is probably a good person to have in charge. You don't want someone who has a mind already made up who is resistant to anything that doesn't support their world view.

I also wonder how much of the up and down voting is on political instead of logical grounds.

3
6

Yet another AWS config fumble: Time Warner Cable exposes 4 million subscriber records

David Roberts
Silver badge

Developer bad habits?

Possibly developers have been security slapdash for decades because it just gets in the way of doing cool stuff quickly.

Back in the day the operational staff probably kept them nicely caged in their festering pit of cool and cleaned up the more obvious stupidities during testing and deployment.

These days you don't need that expertise because DevOps and Cloud. Code it, click and there you go. New live system. Disrupt, baby!

Quality is boring, though, init.

4
0

Please, pleeeease let me ban Kaspersky Lab from US govt PCs – senator

David Roberts
Silver badge

Just standard politics

Blame foreigners for something nebulous and possibly untrue and raise your profile.

Think Jim Hacker and the Euro Sausage.

15
1

UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

David Roberts
Silver badge

Combined use?

I have stored all my loyalty cards and membership cards on my phone because I was laden down with plastic. So I unlock the phone at the till.

It would make sense to use the phone for the payment as well but not all credit card suppliers seem to have a phone app. Will investigate. As others have said, the current payment methods are reasonably quick and reasonably secure.

I use credit not debit for the slight delay in payment (from years ago when I could pay before the end of the month and settle after) and the added protection for higher value transactions.

2
3

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

David Roberts
Silver badge

What is the point?

I assume you get academic brownie points and bragging rights over your enormous shiny rig but what real value to science is yet another prime number?

I am assuming that however large you go there will always be a larger one.

2
6

Asterisk RTP bug worse than first thought: Think intercepted streams

David Roberts
Silver badge

Alternatives?

If Asterisk is insecure what are the alternatives?

Any other software out there?

0
0

Boffins want machine learning to predict earthquakes

David Roberts
Silver badge
Unhappy

Existing known faults only?

Two downsides to this report:

(1) It is about monitoring a known fault and learning the sequence up to a quake.

(2) It seems to be easily confused by other near by faults.

In the South Island of NZ the last few big quakes seem to have been along new faults which have not previously been active. There also a huge number of minor faults in very tectonically active areas.

Any progress in prediction of earthquakes is good, but this seems to have a long way to go.

4
0

User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: A couch?!

I understand that you are very keen to {cough} work under me in IT support......

16
0

SanDisk's little microSD card sucks up 400GB

David Roberts
Silver badge
Happy

Re: 400 Gb on your little fingernail....Dustbin Lid

As used in Stomp.

2
0

Alert: AT&T customers with Arris modems at risk of remote hacking, claim infosec bods

David Roberts
Silver badge
Flame

Firewall bypass?

This looks like the usual development software with all the hooks for a lazy developer still in place.

Quite a few back doors left in.

0
0

ARM’s embedded TLS library fixes man-in-the-middle fiddle

David Roberts
Silver badge

Fix works for servers

Not for peer to peer which is the other IoT implementation.

So if you don't get updates you are potentially screwed.

If you rely on a 3rd party server to apply the update you are also potentially screwed, of course.

0
0

Korea extends factory automation tax break, is accused of levying 'robot taxes' anyway

David Roberts
Silver badge

Combined harvester

Replaces a lot of agricultural workers.

There are major cost savings over maintaining or hiring a manual work force.

Should they be taxed at the rate of all the people they replace? (Minus, of course, all the healthcare and other infrastructure costs requied to maintain wetware.)

The general principle that industry should bear their fair share of the running costs of the country seems reasonable.

Taxing robotics seems unduly specific.

6
0

Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat

David Roberts
Silver badge
Flame

Savings?

Presumably calculated by the same people who did the smart meter numbers for the UK?

There is a school of thought which claims that (in a well inulated house) it is just as efficient to maintain the same temperature 24/7. You can turn the thermostat down when you are away on holiday, of course.

I suspect that the vast majority of homes in the UK only have the H part of HVAC so the projected savings from not running the A/C full blast whilst you are down at the beach may not apply here.

Icon for wood burning stove in the winter.

22
0

Google Cloud rolls back changes after 18-hour load balancer brownout

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

In the middle of a brown out at the moment

Sorry if this is TMI.

2
1

China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

No problem.

Just join two Chinooks at right angles in the middle.

Simples.

Off to the Drones club as usual ->

2
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017