* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

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Re: This goes to show one thing

"no seasonal labour for crop picking."

No problem there. It'll be like the old days when Londoners took their summer "holidays" hop-picking in Kent only this time it'll be ex-industrial workers from the Midlands & NE.

'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

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Re: Privacy in wire communications??

"That reduces the value of ad cues the ISPs can get."

The better plug-ins simply cut out the advertising altogether.

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Re: "Seriously, this guy needs to be given the same treatment as the latest FreeNas release"

"3 of the 4"

Don't do statistics on small samples.

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Re: term linits

"old geezers that don't understand the nature of eCommerce"

Another PC idiot to whom ageism is not only the only permissible -ism but apparently mandatory.

Today on this site you will find the obituary of Bob Taylor.

Go read it. Read it several times.

Then reflect that you also, if you're lucky, will be old and by that time, with luck, you may understand the nature of some things; ATM your level of understanding seems questionable.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Big difference."

A difference without a distinction.

NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

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Re: Not again...

"heading well towards Idiocracy"

Heading? And we're following.

RIP Bob Taylor: Internet, desktop PC pioneer powers down at 85

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Over the last few years we've seen a generation start to pass: Doug Englebart, Dennis Ritchie, Robert Morris, Bob Norris to name but a few others. And still the kids seem to think that nobody over 40 ever knew anything.

In Taylor's case I can't help thinking that it's not only Xerox who failed to capitalise on what he provided for them. DEC could have owned internet search with Alta Vista.

'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

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Re: Welcome to the Stupid Australian Judge of the Month Club

"But then again, maybe it's not the judge that's stupid at all. It may be the Aussie legal system that's goofy."

Slow of reading or couldn't be bothered?

It's already established by earlier comments that the EFF did not defend the case in Oz. In that case the judge was only presented with one side of the argument. The only thing that the judge can do in that situation is to decide in favour of the only argument that's presented provided it presents a prima facie case. It's not a judge's job to make up arguments for one side or another. That would be prejudice. Believe me, you really don't want that.

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Re: EFF Lawyers are EFF'n Stupid

"Hence are our Australian cousins suggesting the Apollo programme was a myth created less than 20 years ago and we really didn't get to the moon?"

And there seems to be prior art on that suggestion as well.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Aussie Judges

"That seems odd."

Why? The judge can only make a decision based on the balance of probabilities. If only one set of probabilities is presented it's not up to them to try to work out what the other side might have said if they'd bothered to turn up.

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Re: Opinions versus facts

"I am surprised the Australian judge did not take such a view."

Someone suggested a likely reason earlier on. It was probably a one-sided hearing; why should EFF turn up in court and recognise the court's jurisdiction?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Personal opinion

"While I agree in your qualification, licensing the patent for someone else to use, provided it results in a real product, would be perfectly acceptable demonstration of the practicality of implementation of a patent."

Your patent troll would then argue that the infringing product proves its practicality.

My point is that there are good arguments against almost all S/W patents. Introducing an argument such as "you've got to make a product yourself" isn't one of them.

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Re: EFF Lawyers are EFF'n Stupid

Unfortunately many existing software patents are of the form "implementing a <some well-known operation> using a computer".

-Tim's example of pre-existing art was on a computer.

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Re: Personal opinion

"What is the point of inventing and not actually market your invention?"

There are a whole lot of skills involved in inventing and a whole lot of different skills involved in manufacturing and marketing. It's unreasonable for a small company, and even less for an individual to possess all those. It's a perfectly legitimate business to invent, design, etc. a product and licence it to others to bring to market. ARM would be an example. Patenting some bundle of vague ideas is not, however, inventing under any reasonable interpretation of the word.

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Re: @hrearden360

"How is the weather in Aus?"

How would he know? He's sheltering under the bridge.

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Re: EFF Lawyers are EFF'n Stupid

@ hrearden360

You signed up just to post that?

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"Of course, free speech in the us ends when you say bad things about us companies. DMCA ring a bell?"

You clearly haven't looked very carefully at the EFF. For a start, try googling EFF & DMCA. You might find it educational.

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

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AFAICS this lies at the heart of data protection legislation which includes control of processing. A good deal of the intent of such legislation is to prevent inappropriate processing. As I said in a comment on another topic maybe tightening up here might lead banks to re-evaluate branch closures.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Googles algorithms should be open to scrutiny by a legally backed watchdog because they can make or break a company/product/person/opinion."

That might be easier said than done. We keep getting told that even the authors of the learning programs don't know how they work after they've been subject to training.

In any event I'm not sure even the results would pass scrutiny. Google seems to specialise in presenting hits which are irrelevant to what I actually want too much of the time. The likes of Amazon & eBay all too often present prompts along the lines that "You might also be interested in ${What I just bought or something similar and won't need to buy again for a long time}" or "People who looked at $Thing also looked at ${Amazing variety of other things which just goes to show that looking at $Thing doesn't correlate well with looking at anything else}". I'd have thought that anyone who's experienced this would think very carefully about devolving any serious decision to such processes. Clearly, however, too many in business can't understand what lies in front of them.

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Re: Quantum Computing

"And when this finally _really_ materialises, then what?"

I'm uncertain about that.

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Re: Regulation versus Appeal

"Too often these days the law makers rush bills through with insufficient scrutiny."

It's called agile.

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Re: Plase stop using the word algorithms

"Isn't that exactly what dim-but-crazy Amber and barking-mad Theresa are wanting to do with encryption theorems."

Looking at the state of governance of nuclear powers around the world I'm starting to think that by comparison BoJo is a rational and diplomatic negotiator, Rudd is a competent technocrat and May a benevolent internationalist. We're doomed, I tell you, dooomed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: confidence intervals

"if they can't generate confidence intervals, it's a shit algorithm that should not be trusted."

And even if they can but make no distinction between different offences and the circumstances in which they were committed then it's still a shit algorithm.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Even if

"These crusty old law makers could look at the algorithm, they probably wouldn't understand it anyway."

Let's examine your ageism.

First of all, look at the summary from the table here http://parliamentarycandidates.org/news/the-age-of-the-new-parliament dating from 2015

18 - 29 2% 30 - 39 14% 40 - 49 32% 50 - 59 32% 60 - 69 16% > 70 4%

How does this compare with your concept of "crusty old". BTW, without looking it up, how do you think those 4% over 70 are distributed between parties?

Now let's think what we might consider as an ideal age distribution. I think most of us would like our MPs to have some practical experience of the world they're trying to administer. My least ideal candidate would be a newly graduated or even younger policy wonk who has no concept of life outside of their own party machine. Such an MP isn't going to come into Parliament without being well into that age distribution, is going to spend some extra years broadening their experience in dealing with governance at all levels from constituency matters upwards and then should remain there so that their experience adds value. Does that distribution seem particularly unreasonable.

There's also the notion implicit in the A/C's statement that somehow it's only the young who are aware of algorithms. So here, my young A/C is a little research exercise for you. Who are Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman? How old are they? Why do you think they should be unable to understand what algorithms are much less understand them? And, if you bothered to look up the answer to the question I posed earlier about >70 MP's parties, how did that fit you preconceptions?

Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

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Re: 80mile range?

"These are used for recharging in under an hour when travelling."

How much under? That's like saying I'd have to spend "under" two hours or "under three hours" additional time on a long journey recharging when I'd need at most one fill of the tank of petrol taking a few minutes. In turn that implies that motorway service stations would have to have many times the number of charging points compared to the number of petrol pumps if such short-range vehicles became the norm.

Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

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Re: Duh

"Why wouldn't they[want to burn their business]?"

For investors, an aversion to losing their investment. For the executives an aversion to being sacked by the investors.

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Re: F**k em.

"I worked at an Ad Agency for 18months and what they did with your data was shocking."

What, if anything, did they or could they do to measure negative effects of advertising campaigns?

I can't see how they could do that other than going round with clip-boards and we know how that can be subverted by the way the interview is constructed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Duh

"What about a manufacturer's website for drivers?"

You keep raising that. Let's look at it.

Where do these manufacturers make their money?

By selling the H/W that their drivers support.

What would happen if they poisoned their drivers?

They'd burn their main business. (Remember how quickly HP had to row back after the shit-storm they raised by playing silly buggers with their ink cartridges.)

Why would they want to do that?

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Roll on May next year. 4% global turnover fines on the entire ad industry.

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Re: Test

"As I did try to find someone through LinkedIn - quite some time ago - has it left a marker somewhere on my laptop and how do I get rid of it?"

Why would you want to? It's disinformation.

Sysadmin 'trashed old bosses' Oracle database with ticking logic bomb'

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Re: Proof?

"And there'll be several eBay links on the first results page."

There are eBay links for getting a laptop to connect to a specific company's network?

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

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Re: Stupid

"But for those stuck with Windows-ONLY software (that isn't WINE-friendly), they're kinda stuck, you know?"

And for stuff that only runs on older versions of Windows?

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Re: Year of the Linux desktop, finally, from Microsoft

"I'm surprised Munich is going back to Windows after enduring the pain of switching to Linux."

ITYF it's their political PHB who wants that.

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Re: Most of the people who use PCs think they run "Google"

"Mint with Mate or Cinnamon for a shorter learning curve."

Or KDE which can be made to look very much like a classic Windows desktop.

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Looking at it from MS's PoV, they expect your to run Office 365 on their boxes, other stuff on Azure on their boxes. So what difference can a bit of "telemetry" make?

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"Bitching about Microsoft and especially Windows 10 on The Register is the 21st century equivalent of Last of the Summer Wine."

Given that it's supposed to continue being churned out for ever with periodic updates Windows 10 is the 21st century equivalent of Last of the Summer Wine.

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Re: Question

Good questions. After all there are better options to stick on it.

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"the (much larger) group who are interested in upgrading their hardware, or who are buying a new computer"

Even Gartner have noticed that this is no longer a large group.

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Re: If you are forced into Windows 10

And good look with all those surviving the next update.

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"How do I get out of this chicken shit outfit?"

Why are you wearing a chicken shit outfit?

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Re: Optional

"Microsoft just killed all trust in their Desktop product."


Leaked NSA point-and-pwn hack tools menace Win2k to Windows 8

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"While we cannot ascertain the information that has been published, we can confirm that no EastNets customer data has been compromised in any way"

How often do we see this sort of PR statement made immediately after an indication of a breach before there's been time for an investigation and how often is it followed by a climb-down.

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Re: This could be a good thing for Microsoft

"If people start actively using these exploits then Windows 7, 8 and 10 systems will be patched and protected."

I doubt 7 would be. After all, they want to push people off 7 onto 10.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Let's stop pretending...

"The only way to have a two-way dialog with the server was through teletype situated in the server room."

Server or mainframe? The characteristic of a server is that it provides services. Unless all the users of those services are to be herded into the secure server room it's going to have to communicate externally. Alternatively you could secure even further by closing it down, removing the power, encasing it in concrete and burying in a hole in the ground.

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Re: Damn it NSA,

"you had one job."

That's the problem. They have two and they're contradictory.

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Re: Too slow...

"If there is a fix in the next month, we will KNOW that the NSA has been working with m$ on this."

Alternative possibility. Microsoft did a deal with Shadow Brokers some time ago so that fully supported stuff would get patched beforehand leaving W7 users with an incentive to migrate to 10 given that they've resisted everything else so far.

US military makes first drop of Mother-of-All-Bombs on Daesh-bags

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Re: Gather Dust?

I have real problems with the "Suck all the oxygen out of the air" statement.

Whoever said it had a lisp?

Amazon touts Echo voice-recog tech to world's gizmo makers

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Who would win in a fight between Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortuna, and a dead crab?

"Who would win in a fight between Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortuna, and a dead crab? "

I don't know but AFAICS there's only one that would go well in a salad.

Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

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Re: If it's anything like our area...

"Perhaps it's related to the aging demographic trends."

You mean the survivors are growing up?

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"There's no such thing as bad publicity."

The smartphone has made that obsolete. Just ask United Airlines.

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