* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Fancy that – the sharing economy lobby doesn't speak for the sharers

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Re: "Labour arbitrage"

Other terms are available. Pimping?

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A previous boss of mine once told me quite honestly (when I asked for a raise) that the company "pays the employees one pound over the threshold where people would just resign".

My threshold's just gone up by a pound.

And again.

And again.


Smut-scamming copyright chaser 'fesses up, will do hard time

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Re: No sympathy for this guy

"What kind of conviction includes stripping people of their rights of due process?"

What part of "waive" didn't you understand?

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Re: God I love America:

"You've just made my point for me."

And you've missed the point. If he feels entitled to call duly appointed judges "so-called" then he's equally entitled to get the same appellation applied to himself. What goes around comes around.

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I'm almost sorry to see this drawing to a close. Ken White's writing on the subject has been massively entertaining although, of course, the victims won't agree.

Next Generation Security: No, Dorothy, there is no magic wand

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Do you really want a single ID around the internet? Should your bank ID be the same as your Amazon ID or your Register handle?

Do you trust a provider to never leak your credentials?

An online provider may well analyse your behaviour for security purposes. Fair enough, it might be able to detect attempts at impersonation that way, but would you trust it to not also use the analysis for its own commercial ends such as ad-slinging?

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"You dare contradict the talking heads of Gartner?"

Are you sure you've got the right part of the anatomy?

Fraud detection system with 93% failure rate gets IT companies sued

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Justice by computer is a very long way away. Unfortunately attempts at at aren't.

That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

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Re: Hmm, wikileaks

"Even if the Trump angle is wrong, (why would Wikileaks support him?)"


US Senator snaps on glove, probes insecure IoT toymaker CloudPets

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Re: Risk vs. Reward

"they have little or no liability for the digital bits"

Are there any precedents either way on this?

Salford and Liverpool City Councils plan IT trading venture

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Given that so many councils don't seem to do a particularly good job of running their existing services I suspect their taxpayers could be in for a few losses.

Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019

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Re: Why did people like the defender?

"They weren't bullet proof"

Now you tell me. I had the occasional ride through Belfast in Army LRs. They did have some internal cladding AFAICR. It was held on by nut & bolt and the bolts hadn't been cut to length. The sticky-out ends were lethal.

Scammers hired hundreds of 'staff' to defraud TalkTalk customers

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A TalkTalk spokeswoman said... “We take our responsibility to protect our customers very seriously."

And did she keep a straight face whilst saying it?

A mooving tail of cows, calves and the Internet of Things

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Re: Coverage - and not in the nice way

"Has anyone done any analysis about birth rate defects due to the calf growing up on a microwave transmitter"

According to this the monitor is only fitted when calving's due in a few days.


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Re: Now that is a useful IoT application

"In this case it wouldn't be Bullsh*t it would be CowSh*t..."

You're milking it for all it's worth.

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

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Re: Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery

"Household loads are becoming increasingly non-linear with really awful harmonics."

OK, but properly enforced EMC regulations would significantly reduce that, surely?

The devices which Richard described are those which we're being encouraged to use - LED lamps, more efficient washing machines etc. If they're inherently non-linear TPTB are going to have to make some tough choices about conflicting policies.

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Re: pah....

"How much of a premium are you prepared to pay to not have one?"

It depends. The premium might be less than the overcharging.

You can also try playing one supplier off against another. Unless it's made compulsory someone might have the wit not to charge a premium and make it a USP.

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Re: Errrmmm....

"Or am I being naive?"

Of course you are. They're digital devices. They must be right - it's all there in numbers on the display and we always trust measuring devices with numbers.

Shamoon malware spawns even nastier 'StoneDrill'

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Re: StoneDrill malware sits in a victim's browser

"How does the StoneDrill malware get into the victim's browser in the first place?"

Phishing or malvertising.

That big scary 1.4bn leak was 100s of millions of email, postal addresses

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"I'm suprised Spamhaus ... haven't already flagged RCM as a major spammer"

They have but that doesn't help as much as they'd like because spammers switch addresses and domains.

If you read the details they got a lot more than the address lists. They got internal communications which show how, for instance, they acquire a domain, send mail from it to addresses they control so the domain builds a reputation of sending non-spam (they don't complain about their own emails ;) and then switch it to spamming. They also found scripts which were used to overload targets so large spam loads could be forced through before the target could react. This information will help defend against their tactics. If it provides evidence for criminal investigation so much the better.

Microsoft wants you to plan a new generation of legacy systems

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Re: Meaning?

A downvote from someone who's clearly not sufficiently paranoid to be a system administrator.

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Re: The worst part (IMO)

"the UK's nuclear subs still using (a customised version of) XP."

Windows for Warships again?

I doubt they're on the net.

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Re: Nice operating system you've got there...


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Re: Meaning?

"Could this be a sign of market weakness that Slurp is scrounging for some money now figuring its not likely to get much in the future?"

And if it spends the money now who's going to support the product so far into the future? If I were spending this I'd want to see the escrow arrangements for all that code.

Linus Torvalds lashes devs who 'screw all the rules and processes' and send him 'crap'

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Re: Linus Torvalds or Donald Trump?

"Both are idiots who can't control their mouths."

And yet another numpty who hasn't read the article before commenting.

Pro-tip - sometimes you can't rely on el Reg headlines. You really have to read the article.

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Re: Charity case Torvalds gets what he he pays for.

"Maybe it's Intel & co who are the charity cases. Torvalds is managing their product development for them."

OK, all this rhetoric is fun but it's obscuring the real situation. Let's get down to reality.

For most of its existence Linux has been supported by the Linux Foundation. The Foundation supports and manages kernel.org which is where the work is done. That, AIUI, includes paying Torvalds' salary.

The Foundation is supported by those businesses I included as "Intel & co" - and, yes, they include Microsoft. So Linux is, and has been for years, their joint product, collectively developed. And, we have to suppose, developed for what they think they can get out of it.

Organisationally it's an interesting situation. Collectively they contribute to pay Linus and separately they pay most of the individual developers. Yet Linus has no place the the line management of those developers, can't hire or fire them, doesn't perform their annual reviews or otherwise discipline them and can't even dictate what they work on. The only influence he has is the content and tone of feedback. I'm not sure what most of us would do in that position.

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"With some exceptions, the objectives of the projects they are working on are not to improve Linux, but rather to get THEIR product to work with Linux, or to change Linux so it will play nice with THEIR internal app, or to eliminate some bug in Linux that affects their company and their clients."

Upvoted because this is actually an interesting comment.

The point at which I think we diverge is this: you're seeing Linux as something separate from these contributors (and here I'm including the employers such as Intel as contributors), as some external product which they have to improve.

I think you're looking at it wrong. Linux is, collectively, their product. Torvalds could step away from it today and people (including those companies) would still go on contributing because they see it as worth their while to have that product there and continuing to evolve.

One other interesting aspect of all this discussion is the role of the companies who contribute vs those who don't. If some H/W manufacturers such as Intel find it essential to contribute to Linux by sharing IP what, really, does it say about the self-image of those who seem to think it essential not to? Do they really think they know something Intel doesn't? Or do they not know something Intel does? Or, as someone said in another comment, are they ashamed of the quality of their code?

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Re: "supplying drivers for all major operating systems"

"Is Chrome Linux?"

Chrome OS is (as distinct from just plain Chrome which is a browser) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrome_OS

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Re: "Does the chip vendor publish enough to let someone write a driver?"

"I know, it's always far easy to be munificent with someone else money.... and in my experience, those same people are the most greed when it comes to their own IP - if ever they have something valuable."

Who are those "same people"? The ones who donate their IP to projects such as the Linux kernel, the Gnu toolset that surrounds it, KDE, Gnome, LibreOffice...?

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Re: "If you are stupid enough to try and ship code that does not build"

"usually paid employees of the hardware maker."

And these are donated to Windows.

And if you look who contributes code to Linux it's mostly paid employees of H/W manufacturers or distro makers such as Red Hat.

Either both cases are charity or neither is. Is that beyond your understanding?

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Re: "Because what they sell isn't the driver, it's the device it drives"

"not Debian and its purists."

Searches package descriptions for "firmware". Finds 116 packages.

OK, some of them aren't firmware themselves, such as b43-fwcutter, Utility for extracting Broadcom 43xx firmware, but others are, some explicitly non-free.

All told I've got 14 of those packages installed, several of which provide binaries. Do I care they contain binaries? No.

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If and only if you are normally paid for your work are you a professional.

If you work for free you're an amateur.

Could you explain a little further.

Are the devs working for Intel being paid or not? Assuming they are that makes them professionals. Intel donates their work to the Linux kernel for free. Does that make them amateurs?

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Re: "Does the chip vendor publish enough to let someone write a driver?"

"So my answer stands: why they should publish their IP for free? "

And so does mine. Drivers exist to sell hardware, not vice versa.

Unless, of course, you think they should go a step further and not publish Windows drivers either. That would really keep their IP under wraps, wouldn't it?

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Re: Not surprise reaction from Linus

"Lack of quality code comes from getting your code second hand, built by people paid to fulfill some paying companies own project"

The biggest single contributor is usually Intel. Their "project" is the Intel processor line. Of course, given some recent experiences you may have a point....


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Re: "If you are stupid enough to try and ship code that does not build"

"Except that MS paid its developers rather than depending on charity donations of time from them."

Who writes Windows drivers?

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Re: Linus

Another one who couldn't be bothered to read before commenting. I've given the link in a previous comment. Go read it.

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"Man known for shouty & sweary outbursts....has a shouty & sweary outburst."

You really should have read the article before commenting.

Shouting? There's scarcely an expletive to report in Torvalds' post, which is rather tame compared to past missives.

Even better, read the announcement the article links: http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1703.0/03031.html

Go on, read it now.

What was that you were saying?

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Re: Charity case Torvalds gets what he he pays for.


"Leading the way were Intel employees with 10.5 percent of Linux code to their credit. Following Intel was Red Hat, 8.4 percent; Linaro, 5.6 percent; Samsung, 4.4 percent; IBM 3.2 percent; and SUSE, 3 percent."

Maybe it's Intel & co who are the charity cases. Torvalds is managing their product development for them.

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Re: Testing Testing Testing

"Linux is Open Source written in the main by folks who are doing it as a hobby."




Oh dear, you've missed the edit window by a couple of minutes.

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Re: "Does the chip vendor publish enough to let someone write a driver?"

"And why should they?"

Because what they sell isn't the driver, it's the device it drives. The driver only exists to make the device worth buying. Drivers are essential to sell the device. That's why.

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Re: "supplying drivers for all major operating systems"

"is Linux desktop a "major" operating system given its very small market share?"

Are you sure? https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/23/chromebook-mac-google-pc-sales

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"mskes.the wifi"

If you're going to call out people for alleged incompetence it would look better if you could avoid it yourself. Maybe your problem is closer to home.

MP brands 1,600 CSC layoffs as the 'worst excesses of capitalism'

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"Civil servants that think there should be change find it almost impossible to find anyone willing to sign it off or multiple parts of government in parallel responsibility."

Actually the converse is true. Govts keep changing what they want to do and after the contract's been awarded changes mean CASH.

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Re: "no less than 5% of the workforce"

"Will they pay the price hike or as seems the want of everything now-a-days go for the lowest price?"

They could save money by engaging freelancers instead. Instead, that is, of pissing them off with IR35.

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Re: Time to start changing the contracts

"no less than 5% of the workforce engaged on the contract can come from outside"


UK Home Office spy powers unit pretended it was a private citizen in Ofcom consultation

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"The Home Office has ... suggested that its anonymity was a mere admin error."

I suppose if you're in the habit of being surreptitious it's an easy error to make.

It looks more like the actual error was getting caught.

Solarwinds sends customers each others' complete client lists

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It looks as if the cut and paste is still working: it was only a few customers' data released.

URGH – bitter taste! Sage hikes One SaaS price 50 per cent

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Re: its not doing the accounts that is the problem though

"demonstrating compliance to ... rules"

Putting employees' details on someone else's computer wouldn't be my first step in that.

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Re: I used cloud based accounting software for two years

"My accountant has always told me that you need nothing more than excel to do your accounts"

For payroll?

US Congress to NSA: How many Americans do you illegally spy on?

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Re: 325 Million

"A chunk of that number must be infants"

Baby alarms. On-line soft toys. We have our ways.

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