* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges UK.gov

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Re: Not just GDPR

"There's no way around it, this is going to be a cliff-edge Brexit."

However the Brexiteers will read that as a White Cliffe-edge Brexit and cheer - because Vera Lynn.

Regulate, says Musk – OK, but who writes the New Robot Rules?

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Re: Maybot to the rescue

"our Prime Minister elect(hah!)"

I take your ironic point that we don't directly elect Prime Ministers. However to style someone as '$OFFICE elect' indicates that although they have been elected to that office they haven't yet taken it up. It would have been correct to refer to Trump as POTUS elect between his election and inauguration, subsequently he became simply POTUS. By contrast, as May is PM your use of "elect", even ironically, is inappropriate.

"Simply POTUS" is left on the table for those of you who want to play with it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Working out what AI is thinking and why

"I'm not sure that this is possible with some aspects of AI/ML, since the algorithm is honed by the AI/ML itself and may not be transparent/apparent to its developers at all even if logged in a black box log."

If liability falls on the manufacturer - and I think it should - it's then up to that manufacturer to decide whether they want to ship something whose workings they don't and, more importantly, can't understand. It seems to me that they really shouldn't want to. Should they even be allowed to?

Auto-makers told their autopilots need better safeguards

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“conditions for which they were designed”

Test tracks?

Government lab that gives a crap pushes open source

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"This bovine bounty accounts for about 2.5 per cent of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the US."

If the waste is digested aerobically all it will do is put back into the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that was recently removed by the grass on which the animal was fed. It's called the carbon cycle and we've known about it for years.

Digesting it anaerobically is a different matter unless you're able to effectively trap the methane and burn it.

Or do US farmers feed their stock on oil?

Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

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Re: The interesting bit...

"My Tesla would like to say Hi."

Tell it to just keep watching the road. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/13/ntsb_recommends_self_driving_cars_autopilots_upgrade/

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"a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'"

Oh no it isn't. Not mine, anyway.

Bosch wants crowdsourced data for future connected cars

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Re: Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

"Whether you encrypt the payload or authenticate slave nodes isn't within the CANBus bailiwick, it's the responsibility of whatever protocol you run on top of CANBus."

IOW add it later, so standard operating practice.

And then when things go wrong everybody asks why security wasn't built in from scratch. In this case by including the necessary protocols in the spec instead of of waving hands and saying it's SEP.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

This isn't a case of a drill and coffee maker manufacturer muscling in with no track record.

Given the frequent reports of "security, what security?", a track record of inventing CANBus seems something to be wary of.

Your boss asks you to run the 'cloud project': Ever-changing wish lists, packs of 'ideas'... and 1 deadline

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Whiny systems people management who have no clue about how the business makes money and why things need to be done.

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Re: Opposite problem can be as bad

"we all lived in fear of the Council invoking the BC plan which they threatened to do on one occasion!"

Why? Invoking it would be the one thing that would force them to confront reality.

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Re: plus ça change ...

"I'm sure that there is a medically definable mental condition that kicks in when normally rational people commission anything to do with IT projects."

Careful. You're in danger of equating manglement with normal rational people.

They aren't. They believe that because they're paid more than you that their understanding of everything must be better than yours and that because they want something it must be possible.

This underlies the magic of consultants. If the consultant is paid more than management he can take your advice and pass it on, adding price. Manglement equates this with adding value because they know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Because it costs them so much money the advice instantly becomes believable.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Management advice

"When you need it, it will not be for sale."

Deserves far more upvotes than I can give. Absolutely spot on. Why is this simple fact so unfamiliar to management? Or is it that they really believe they won't ever need it?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Not exclusive to cloud

In some respects, not even exclusive to IT.

And Bob's solution was the correct one. When it's time to go, go. Punish management by making them crawl with better offers if you can but go anyway.

ICO slaps cab app chaps for 10-day spam crap

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Re: re: What about the taxi companies?

"I suppose this will be covered by the GDPR?"

Isn't it already covered by the DPA?

Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

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Re: Semiconductors are getting hard to fill

"No really new ideas."

I thought multiple cores per die were the new idea once there was little "faster" to be found.

Maybe the next new idea is to accept that semiconductors are a mature technology and that there are no further gains worth investing in in that direction.

Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

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Re: Don't get it why

" Don't they have any other stuff to do?"

Too much.

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Re: Interesting principles behind this

"What is it that makes creatures have rights and the law apply to them?"

Back this up a little.

What is it that makes humans have rights?

Simple: it's a convention we adopt amongst ourselves to make human society work better. Rights are a description of human behaviour

Can this apply to other species?

Some species are social, some aren't. Those that are have their own behaviours some of which are vastly different to humans. Start going down PETA's route and you end up trying to apply modern slavery legislation to worker bees.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I fscking loathe PETA

"get Peta to call the monkey to court as a witness just to shut them up and stop them bringing future cases."

Seconded. Without this they would appear to have no standing. Why did the court even deign to take the case? Publicity for the court?

The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

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Re: TRACKPOINT??

Alternative view: No GUI and a set of applications optimised for keyboard instead of mouse or touch.

And before the mouth-foaming starts, that doesn't have to be synonymous with a CLI. Back in the day we had menu-driven systems which worked perfectly well for ordinary users.

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Re: Disappointing looks

"Looks a bit too generic, basically a random Huawei slab"

Looks aren't everything. Can you point is to a random Huawei slab running Debian? Or are you a Mac user?

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Re: Put a small screen and a numeric keypad on the front...

"it didnt understand my melodic scottish barritone"

You're not supposed to sing to it.

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Re: Pocketability

"Can files created or saved in Android be seen from Linux, or are they on completely different partitions?"

Being on a different partition wouldn't stop Linux being able to see it. This Linux laptop has several partitions. For one thing, it's always good to keep the home directories on a separate partition so that the partition(s) holding the OS can be reformatted if a new OS is to be installed.

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Re: Driver legacy - source/specs

"I don't *want* to have to throw this one away."

Which brings to mind - swappable battery?

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Re: No Google?

"Seriously, if you want a mobile phone there are hundreds of sub $50 devices out there which will do just that."

The requirement was run Debian & be a phone. Not for sub $50 :(

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Re: Well

"The default software on Chromebooks is essentially a Google-client."

What I'd like to see on this is an S/W equally well integrated with the server but with the your choice of server - such as your own NextCloud box on your own network.

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Re: Connects how?

"ARCNet."

RS-232

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Re: I still like my Psion5mx...

"Who am I kidding - it'll be cheaper to run a RPi ZeroW with serial over GPIO and bounce off that."

Probably. But when you've added on the keyboard & some sort of display you'll realise why packaging by a really good industrial designer matters.

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"I now watch people who are oncall take their laptops with them to the pub, to be able do work that I used to be able to do with a small device in my coat pocket."

Nokia Communicator? I used to have one of those & if I wasn't retired I'd certainly be in line for a device like this. Waaaay back I was using a Nokia to check the (internal) emails on a Unix server; "DBAing his box on his phone" (and from the pub, of course) flabbergasted a couple of visiting USians.

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

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Re: Just change the current tax laws.

"And being able to sell throughout Europe from a single permanent presence in one of the member states is the very definition of the single market."

I'd have thought a single market would have a single tax rate.

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Re: Just change the current tax laws.

"It would be legal (if done right) but doesn't make any logical business sense"

If it allows the business to make more profits after tax then of course it makes business sense. That's why companies do it.

The EU is as it is and the countries' tax rates are as they are and that's exactly what happens. If a country taxes its resident businesses highly it can't expect multi-national businesses to accrue most of their profits elsewhere.

Whilst France makes little money from the multi-nationals it makes more from its local companies than the others. It's not the French government that's being disadvantaged by this, it's French businesses and they're actually being disadvantaged by their own government, nobody else.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I suspect that the EU ministers hope that the mere threat will encourage the tech sector to comply and "play the game properly"

They do play the game properly by the rules laid down by the EU and the various governments. When a company is multinational it's able to look on taxation as a competitive market. So we have countries not offering competitive rates relative to Luxembourg and Ireland complaining that they're not competitive in the market.

Virginia scraps poke-to-vote machines hackers destroyed at DefCon

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Re: Strangely enough

"As I understand it USA does not claim to be a democracy but a constitutional republic."

But does it function?

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Wrong order

"audit the machines in use"

Wouldn't it have been better to have audited them before they were put in use?

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Re: Strangely enough

"and might even one day become a functioning democracy."

I was with you up to this.

Lord Sugar phubbed in peers' debate on 'digital understanding'

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Re: Boring jobs?

"My company has a policy at the moment of not paying bills for 60 days."

The counter for this, of course, is an invoice term that specifies a surcharge for paying in more than 30 days.

Users shop cold-calling telco to ICO: 'She said she was from Openreach'

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"And I don't get why you'd try TPS numbers anyway."

Even stranger are those who use the "we've done business with you before" excuse for ringing a TPS number. Do these idiots not realise that it's going to lead to never doing business again?

44m UK consumers on Equifax's books. How many pwned? Blighty eagerly awaits spex on the breach

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Re: EU data protection?

And I'd be even more curious how they are going to inform all non-customers products about the data they kept

FTFY

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Re: So the bodies using this service have been passing them information in the process?

"You don't appear to understand how credit reference agencies work"

We understand all right. We just don't like it.

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Re: So much worse than that ...

"Given that HMG is also an enthusiastic user of such services, WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS, apart from the fuck-all currently on display."

Working hard at getting out from under any sort of extra-territorial jurisdiction that could hold them to account (standard MP uselessness will make sure Parliament won't).

Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

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"I don't consider a bigger M2 SSD cheap"

Use a cheaper technology.

As a professional you should be aware that speed/cost (or speed/capacity which amounts to the same thing for a given level of budget) ratio comes in a series of tiers. SSD introduced another tier, the others, by and large*, still remain.

* A few have disappeared but but the HDD isn't one of them.

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Re: Cloud providers are becoming like drug dealers

Becoming?

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Re: DFS?

"Disk Filiing System"

Damn sans serif fonts - I read that as Disk Filling System. I've seen a few of those in my time.

Scientists, free software bods still worried about EU copyright proposals

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"with this blunder Estonians provide us with definitive proof that they are not nearly half as tech savvy as they are purported to be"

And here's one they made earlier: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/05/estonia_identifies_security_risk_in_750000_id_cards/

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undermine the presumption of innocence by treating “every user of the platform as a potential copyright infringer”

Presumptions of innocence? Ah, yes. I remember it.

Home Sec May will be in favour.

The bigger the drone, the bigger the impact

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Re: WTF?

"tins of bear"

Open carefully.

Boffins: 68 exoplanets in prime locations to SPY on humanity on Earth

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Re: Spying on us?

Why aren't our TLAs spying back?

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Re: Deep Time

"He makes a case that our ancestors perceived the world in a way very different to ours."

It's quite clear that not even all the elReg commentariat perceive the world in the same way.

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Re: tl;dr version

"Why am I not surprised at this work originating from Queens, Belfast?"

I don't know why you're not surprised. I'm not surprised because I know how good a university QUB is.

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Re: Fait accompli, mate

"Imagine if you found a planet full of neanderthals, that didn't know what a spaceship was, could barely communicate, had little idea of community, let alone the wider world they lived in"

I'll let you have the spaceship as an obvious anachronism but I'm pretty sure the rest are wrong.

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