* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Keen for much-hyped quantum computing to finally land? Don't expect it for a decade

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I have a little box which simultaneously does and doesn't contain a quantum computer. Unfortunately every time I've opened it it came down on the side of not containing one.

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"The google search engine for example"

So that's why the head of MicroSoft AI has gone off to work for an estate agentcy: so they can display even more estate agency hits when I'm looking for something else entirely.

Capita: We are seeking staff to join our board. Just two please

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To make it easier to create a short list we're making all employees except two redundant.

Brits' DNA data sent to military base after 'foreign' hack attacks – report

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"This has to be a first ?"

No. The ones you hear about being breached are the ones who didn't build in security from the first.

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Re: "100,000 Genomes Project is secure, insists chair"...

"Which regular commentard am I?"

I don't think you're Bob. One down....

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

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Re: Take your browser and fuck off

"This goes for all manufacturers."

And while we're at it, can we include non-manufacturers? No I will never sign up to Prime so stop pushing the crap at me. No I will not let PayPal remember my password to add a "Not even later" option. And on and on....

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Re: "Microsoft doesn't comment on rumours or speculation"

They're not sure which of them will turn out to be true.

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"Gartner said something like that about the Windows phone not long back either.."

So did Charles3 if you check his previous posts.

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Re: So wither those "MS Only" outfits ?

"Unless you were urging MS only outfits to decay and atrophy and shrink. Which I suppose works, too."

It's a very good interpretation, especially as they were his former former employer. It would be a good reason to move them from current to former status and get out ahead of the crowd.

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"users do matter and will either not stay, complain or hate a design if they can't get what they want easily and fast."

The thing that most effectively causes me to not stay is a page that displays nothing at all or a list of URLs it wants Javascript from. If it doesn't work reasonably with NoScript in action then as far as I'm concerned it's a dead loss.

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"How about a BSD distro?"

Somebody could go and rummage in the attic for the Xenix source code.

The British Home Office was warned about its crappy data management – then Windrush happened

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At some point, assuming the whole Brexit process doesn't choke itself to death, we'll be looking for an adequacy rating from the EU for data sharing. I don't think the HO going rogue in this way is going to help get that.

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning

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"very misleading without additional context"

Any ideas why that context might be missing?

GOPwned: Republicans fall victim to email hack

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Will someone point out to them that insisting on back doors in communications will make this more likely if you get them. Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

BT pension scheme will stay on RPI interest rates for now

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Re: I came here...

"how BT manage their pension scheme on a Raspberry Pi."

It's managed by Accenture. Is that better or worse?

Accenture in doghouse after NHSmail mass outage cuts off 1m+ UK health staff

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Re: Accenture wont care

"They also need to satisfy a lot of due diligence, usually involving delivery on similar sorts of contracts to similar sized public sector bodies."

And they still win the contracts?

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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Step 1. Start rumours that the govt is spying on the public's $stuff, e.g. turning on everyone's Echoes etc.

Step 2. Govt starts taking serious public heat and discovered it's been courageous (as in Yes Minister).

Step 3. Govt appeals to telecoms companies to deny the existence of such TCNs

Step 4. Telecoms companies point out they have to keep shtum about TCNs and can't possibly confirm or deny they exist.

Step 5. What was that about an election?

UK taxman told to chill out 'cos loan charge is whacking tax dodgers and whoopsies alike

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Standard tax gatherers' approach since the (Red) Dawn of Time: go for those least able to afford professional defence and demand an arm and leg.

YouTube fight gets dirty: Kids urged to pester parents over Article 13

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ISTM that this is dogfight (or would catfight be more appropriate) between two unlovely branches of the media industry. I'm not sure which I want to come off worst.

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

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Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

"I dont think May or the gov has the stones to deliver"

Kidney stones? I believe they're appropriately painful.

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Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

"May can then tell ERG that look all your talking about amazing deals with Europe - well this is best you can get and shut up for a generation now."

Their view will be that they weren't in charge. Nothing other than utter failure with nobody else to hang the blame on will persuade them. Probably not even that; they'd just start finger pointing amongst themselves.

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Re: ctrl-C, ctrl-V

" hell on earth when it doesn't"

Hell somewhere - not sure where.

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Just another example of how this country is getting shafted entirely by its own efforts.


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Re: Spexit!

"confined to a European theatre of war"

I hate to break this shocking news to you but satellites go round the world*. Members of a constellation should be available at any longitude although the inclination of the orbit will determine the range of latitudes between which they're above the horizon.

* A Brexit satellite will be different. It will go round in ever-decreasing circles over the UK until it disappears up its own thruster.

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"Space policy expert Dr Bleddyn Bowen"

Another expert. What do they know? We didn't get into the mess we're in where we are today by listening to experts.

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I'm surprised nobody has come up with the solution close to May's heart. AIUI the UK did the work on the encryption for Galileo. Just put a back door in it that only the UK can use. Problem solved. Let Johnny Foreigner think he's locked us out while we all know better.

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Re: No mention...

"Of the weekend resignation of Sam Gyimah, the Science Minister"

I haven't looked to see who, if anyone, has replaced him. Would it be too much to hope that they'd find someone who had a STEM background?

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Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

"Road pricing can be done many ways, but if you are a moderately dim civil servant without much conception of how bloody devious the general public can be if money is involved, then a road pricing scheme involving Galileo looks like a really, really good idea."

You're getting close to my scheme for getting rid of traffic congestion.

1. Use road pricing technology to measure how much each vehicle was held up over the course of the year and price it.

2. Deduct from the sum raised by road taxation the amount actually spent improving the roads.

3. Deduct from the remainder the cost of congestion measured at step 1 and use it to compensate the drivers. If there isn't enough to cover it divvy up what is left on a pro rata basis.

4. What's left, if anything, goes into the Exchequer.

There'll be all manner of road works to reduce congestion over the next few years until some cash starts getting into the Treasury.

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Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

"no one can actually determine if she's tilting towards leaving or remaining"

I think it depends on who's just threatened her.

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway

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"Default Autopilot behavior, if there’s no driver input, is to slow gradually to a stop & turn on hazard lights."

I suppose their explanation will be that it was slowing very gradually. So gradually nobody noticed.

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

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"may contain fibre"

Advert for breakfast serial.

Mine's the one with a breakout box in the pocket.

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Re: Copper

"he line going from the cab to your house is aluminium"

There's a lot of re-stringing of the overhead network going on in my neck of the woods over the last few weeks. I haven't asked what it's about but I wonder if they're replacing AL with Cu.

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

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Re: I'm missing something...

" I suppose I might have taken to copying the file and checking in the copy instead"

I might have written a script that did the check-in/check-out as a single command. That's assuming there wasn't an option - as per the comment on SCCS - in which case just get used to that as the normal way to do things.

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Re: Why use a revision control system?

"Code used to be backed up to tape too. It was obsoleted by revision control systems."

And where is your revision control system backed up? Don't tell me it isn't. Revision control and backups are two different things.

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Re: I'm missing something...

"Why was a writeable fstab so fatal?"

I think what you've missed was that the revision control removed the file when checking in. That's why it had to be checked out again.

Checking out read only would be a side issue. It would mean that the revision control system wouldn't have the version locked and it would also mean that the running version couldn't get edited to a state inconsistent with the version the revision control system had marked current.

Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don't call back when asked for evidence

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"What are all the miscreants who have been devoting their energy to "mining" cryptocurrencies with other folk's resources going to switch their efforts to"

Selling used GPUs on eBay.

Marriott's Starwood hotels mega-hack: Half a BILLION guests' deets exposed over 4 years

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Re: 500 million?

Since 2014 some of the cards will have expired so they'll be counting the originals and the replacements. Then there are customers with multiple cards. And some of the customers will have changed address or given a home address sometimes and a business address at others. Even if it's card plus address combinations rather than transactions there'll be a good deal of multiple counting of individuals going on.

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"burning the CC's and going cash only. No checks either."

The way things are going it'll be impossible to get hold of cash, at least in the UK. You can't get cash from your now-closed bank branch and you'll need a card to get cash out of an ATM. And that assumes the ATM network survives.

It's high time retention of banking licences was tied to meeting standards of accessibility and customer service with the required standards being notched up each year.

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"since you used our website, you agreed to the T&C's"

It probably depends on jurisdiction but statute law as to consumer rights overrides contract law.

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"I would've hoped at least when GDPR came in, one of the things businesses would've spotted was that data is a liability"

You're quite right but it's not easy to break the habits of a lifetime. It doesn't help that for a lot of management bods the desire to hoard and exploit data is part of their personality; it's what got them into those roles. It's probably going to take a few fines on a scale prompted by intent to make an example of the a few miscreants before the message gets through. And then a few more top tier fines on a few businesses who try to cover up to get that message through as well.

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"Which of us has never upgraded software to make things better?"

And which of us has never upgraded software and found it made things worse?

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

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"One quick twiddle later, and the laptop worked perfectly again.

Cue one embarrassed Director, and one smug IT support guy."

Embarrassing the Director isn't necessarily a good career move. Avoid it and give the impression that you've worked a miracle. There are a couple of alternatives. One would be to take it out of the room to work on it and wait at least 20 minutes before returning it with an exhausted look on your face. If you're not allowed to take it away do something distracting and technical-looking whilst nodding wisely such as bring up the command line and scroll through few directory listings while surreptitiously twiddling the volume.

NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform

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Re: Nope

"You can google the locations of Amazon data centers, take a look at GDPR and maybe Caldicott Two and work out where the data will likely move. This is a groundless worry."

What precautions do they have to move stuff out of scope of the CLOUD Act and anything else the US Govt. will come up with when it can't get its own way?

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Re: Red flag

"When I see hyperbolic statements like this in relation to security issues, I get very, very suspicious that the security is flawed."

When I seem them I look carefully at the alternative meanings that can be attached. e.g."you've never seen anything this poor".

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Re: USA Patriot act

"the Patriot Act would have no force"

But the CLOUD Act would.

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Re: Shifting patient records to the cloud requires approval from NHS Digital

"As it stands it is always best to check facts before you go off on a rant."

Never. It just gets in the way.

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Re: Half-baked babble

"I even think it is fine to have cloud based back-up"

What about all those reports of stuff found hanging out online unencrypted and unsecured which turned out to be cloud based back-ups. And even if properly secured still vulnerable to US "we own the world" legislation.

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Re: Just a minute there

"unprecedented levels of protection"

It's probably a fair description. It's just unprecedented in a way you don't want it to be.

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

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Re: One more time, please

"a sufficiently described inventive step"

The problem here seems to be the interpretation of those words by patent offices and courts. On the one hand "sufficiently" might be over-generously interpreted and on the other hand so might the inventiveness needed to implement it.

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Re: This is unfortunately a common Silicon Valley trick

"Always make sure anyone you talk to about technology advances you are working on is under proper NDAs."

The exploiting company can always claim that you didn't say whatever it was they stole. To counter that you need evidence.

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