* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

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"it's a non runner at the moment. it will be when I've done it up though!"

Verb sap.

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"You could barely read the pages in the one of my dad's Maxi 1750 for all the oily thumb-prints."

I had a Maxi.....The best advice would be to keep the manual and throw away the car.

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware

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"it's the year of the Linux desktop"

As it has been that these many years for lots of us. We feel sorry for those of you on Win10. Well, at least a bit sorry. Maybe.

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack

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"Strangely, not all VMs shared the same authentication, but all were destroyed."

If the hypervisor was got at it wouldn't make any difference if the VMs had different authentication. The entire disk system holding the VMs could be wiped.

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Re: Backups?

"How do you backup 100's of terabytes and live VM's?"

Properly and professionally. If people are paying you to look after data you look after it. Backing it up is part of that looking after. Don't take on more data than you can back up off-line.

No fax given: Blighty's health service bods told to ban snail mail, too

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Re: Secure, private, encrypted two-way messaging is needed, email possibly not

"in order to book a doctor's appointment (rather than just loading up a web form at any time of day - or night - convenient to you, and picking an available appointment time that suits you (just like you would when using an online travel ticket booking service)). Likewise for arranging repeat prescriptions. It's primitive, inefficient, and a poor use of time and resources all round."

Change your GP.

With our GP we can book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online. We can also do that by phone. What we don't get to do is ring a doctor direct and why should we expect to do that? If you were in a consultation with your doctor you wouldn't be happy to have them break off a few times to answer the phone and then try to pick up where they left off. Nor do we get to pick the exact time we want. After all the doctors do have other patients to see so it's a matter of picking the best slot left.

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Re: He doesn't get it.

"As a pensioner who retired in 2002, I find electronic communications extremely useful"

So it works for your use case. Fine It would work for mine. It wouldn't work for everyone. Even here it wouldn't work for SWMBO because she very rarely looks at email. She also very rarely turns on her mobile so SMS wouldn't work either. Snail mail and POTS work very well.

Thinking that because something that works for oneself works for everyone is a trap into which tech enthusiasts are liable to fall. Hancock is so entrapped into it that he doesn't realise it and, frankly, I doubt he'd believe, or maybe not even understand, anyone who tried to tell him.

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"NHSMail to Gmail is probably more secure than you'd expect to be honest....Google get their hands on sensitive information"

Which is exactly the level of security we expect. So no.

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Re: 'ow much?

"Brown envelopes"

Can't do that. Can't use snail mail.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

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Dammit - gaol!

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So an email to the Home Secs - both of them - containing something suitably propagandist. Just for good measure include an encrypted email to which they don't have the key. Add the message "Go straight to goal. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.".

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"Much as I detest May as the most feckless waste of space ever to occupy her current post (against some very strong candidates), all that's changed is streaming content is explicitly included."

Maybe you've forgotten that May was Home Sec. Once a Home Sec always a Home Sec.

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Re: Hoots Mon

Better not try. Your persuasion will probably be counted as terrorist propaganda and land everyone who read it inside.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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Re: Another substitute for bad management

"If you want the best from your workers, you motivate them properly, make them feel valued, and reward them appropriately."

It starts before that. First you have to recruit the right workers. I can't think of anything more likely to make that task difficult but I've no doubt manglement will come up with something that does.

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Back in the real real world

It's not so much a matter of when and where you do the work. It's what the work really is. The keystrokes are only the end product of the work. The work happens inside the brain. Are they going to fit EEGs next? And if so how are they going to figure if the brain waves are work?

Cisco sues lawyers on its own side – for bigger slice of capacitor price-fixing settlement pie

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"There's no reason why appliances can't last like this:


I doubt they were using a 1950s TV.

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That's going to involve some interesting decisions for lawyers being offered the brief. Probably best to ask for payment in advance.

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

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Eventually one reaches a state where not only children but grandchildren have grown out of these things.

However grandson will still sometimes watch the original Dangermouse. That has some wonderfully surreal jokes at times.

Object-recognition AI – the dumb program's idea of a smart program: How neural nets are really just looking at textures

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Re: It seems to be an extension of this study...

"the AI sees a banana, cherry bakewells, kebabs etc."

Food porn!

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Re: Wrong priorities

"presumably without it being made explicit"

With nothing more than pictures to go on providing explicit rules is needed. The training of the human visual system involves more than looking. I wonder what percentages of post-grad students are parents. If they were they might realise that when a child it prodding and biting objects or crawling round bumping into things it's doing more than reviewing the continual flow of images; it's correlating them with other senses and learning about solid objects. This is information that the AI isn't acquiring because it doesn't have the requisite data feeds nor the ability to interact with real objects.

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Re: Surprising...

"Looking down the microscope at a slide you get a largely 2D view of the object and rarely use binocular microscopes."

That's an interesting point. I started off as a pollen analyst. Pollen grains are very definitely 3D objects but mostly grains were very easy to recognise whatever their orientation. This was because human perception has evolved to understand 3D objects and I think combines 3 things - a 3D model, the 2D image and an understanding of viewpoint. Maybe the last is what's missing in AI and being substituted by pattern.

Perhaps pollen grains (optical images, not SEM) would be a useful training set for AI as shape, size and texture are all significant.

One of the problems with AI is that you can't ask it how it comes by its decisions nor explain to it how to reach them. One could at least explain to students "I'm focussing up and down through the grain to look for pores" or "try moving the cover slip gently to roll the grain over", these being useful techniques to deal with edge cases.

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Re: "It's fake smart."

"I live in Dundee Scotland and absent the last two winters (more severe in England) such challenges are common."

Commuting over the Pennines had similar challenges. However certain drivers, such as those in Mercedes, seemed to find it quite easy to to overtake. Perhaps the makers of self-driving cars have already added the characteristic that enables this. I think it's called over-confidence.

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Re: "It's fake smart."

"yet when I suggest that we might see general intelligence in 5-10 years it seems overly optimistic."

It is. It's the "five to" that's wrong. The normal estimate is 10 years and has been for decades.

Sci-tech committee: UK.gov's 27-page biometrics strategy is great... as toilet paper

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Re: >keeping images of presumed innocent people was unlawful.

How did you spot the objective? It's supposed to be secret.

I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty

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"And surveillance of the civil population."

As their spokesman said, it's hard to identify people by the tops of their heads.

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I'd like to see a good national survey of crop marks in a dry summer and a survey in low sun conditions.

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Re: Nothing wrong

As used by dendrochronologists.

Intel SGX 'safe' room easily trashed by white-hat hacking marauders: Enclave malware demo'd

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"research which is based upon assumptions that are outside the threat model for Intel SGX."

I think this is saying it doesn't conform to the assumptions Intel made. Be careful about assumptions that you make in designing or implementing something. Your assumptions will become the product's limitations. If you're not aware of them they may become its bugs.

620 million accounts stolen from 16 hacked websites now for sale on dark web, seller boasts

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Re: Hash

"why you DON'T plug them into a password manager."

Why? Maybe you don't plug them into and online password manager but I rather think my encrypted KeyPass manager on my laptop is a bit more secure than a text file or the browser's password caching on the same. Apart from anything else its random passwords look a lot more like line noise than any erqogdp]oe0 keyboard mashing will generate.

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Re: 617M real account details?

"you can't even start to guess the email I actually used to sign up with for, say, Paypal"

Not the best example. PayPal actually give this address out to "merchants" when you make a payment. I put merchants in quotes because I got spammed on my PayPal address by archive.org* orecently because I'd responded to their previous donation appeal. It cost them a donation this appeal of course....

* who aren't even a merchant and would have no reason to need an email address under any of PayPal's feeble excuses.

Uncle Sam to its friends around the world: You can buy technology the easy way, or the Huawei

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Re: (...) hypocrites

making it fair for everyone (i.e. everyone on our side us)


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Re: Be curious, if the UK has to toe the line ...

"Also sovereignty is the right of the people to chose their own destiny."

That must be a comforting thought. Especially if you think most of the planet is still painted pink. In fact, the right of the people is only to choose their own destiny from what can actually be achieved. Politics is the art of the possible but we seem to have a bunch of politicians who haven't heard that, don't believe it or have succumbed to aspirational crap such as "You can be whatever you want to be".

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Re: Its economic

"Who knows what all those motherboards might contain!"

Such as magical ICs that can't be photographed but can reprogram the entire motherboard?

First they came for Equifax and we did nothing because America. Now they are coming for back-end systems and we're...

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Re: So they took almost three months to notify people involved?

Any of those people in the EU? Three months could be expensive.

RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC

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The Onyx and its Onix OS was a stepping stone to getting out of badly paid science into rather better paid IT - where I PDQ found myself on the Zilog Unix boxes (System III - did anybody else use that). I have a lot to be grateful for to Zilog and all who sailed in her.

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

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Could we keep them going by public subscription? A change of name to B Ark maybe? There's a lot of good they could do.

Oh dear, Lads: Spam marketing bosses banned from forming UK firms for clobbering folk with 500k calls and texts

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Re: the ICO had recouped just £2.2m of the £8.5m fines

"The ICO definitely needs more powers"

The ICO now has more powers. At the time of these offences they didn't. They can now fine the directors as in the next to last paragraph of TFA - and the last para explains it's the Reg that done it.

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Re: Make them pay?

"Anyone care to wager on whether they'll recover the full amount of those fines from the miscreants involved?"

The fines were on the companies, now liquidated so no, they aren't going to get paid and the disqualifications are because they're not going to get paid.

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"However, a wife or an uncle or a mate could act as a director."

And they can go down for it. They as in both the banned director and the stooge. The stooge can get out by claiming they didn't know, signatures forged etc. and if that's proven then the banned director is even deeper n it.

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I'd like to think these are a couple that I've complained about. I wonder if they're cheeky enough to try to get round their bans and discover just how big trouble they can really get themselves into.

Google's stunning plan to avoid apps slurping Gmail inboxes: Charge devs for security audits

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Re: When will using GMail (or any Google Service...)...

Gmail has its place.

Fr'instance, I run a website for a community group. We get free hosting as a community group so it runs without any budget at all. The only cost was a nice extra in that I paid to register a domain which is then linked to the free hosting. Several years registration is pocket change. But we wanted a mail address for a "contact us" form and that certainly wasn't going to go into my private domain because I still live in hopes that someone else will share the responding and if I can get a free address elsewhere it isn't going to go into the domain I registered for the site because that would cost extra. So Gmail it is.

Actually, I find Gmail by web to be clunky, like any other webmail.

Ever yearn for the Windows 95 shutdown sound? TADA! There's an Electron app for that

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That's probably the next thing to be added.

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Re: Painfully slow

Oi. One Bob is quite enough.

Not heard owt bad about Huawei, says EU Commish infosec bod

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bringing vendors on board with the "voluntary" initiative

Compulsory will be better. A sticker will probably find itself with an almost lookalike sibling certifying, if you look carefully, that it (the sticker) was made in China. Make it illegal to sell an uncertified item in the EU. That would probably even give us a degree of herd immunity here in the UK, at least once they finish dumping all the old uncertifiable stuff.

Skype goes blurry, Office gets a kick in the privacy, and Microsoft takes us back to 1990

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In a report last week, Microsoft confirmed that products that form part of its Office Pro Plus will be tweaked by the end of April to address the "concerns". Failure to do so could result in the Dutch unleashing the regulatory hounds.

The regulator should have been unleashed immediately. Letting them know they can get away with "Oops, sorry!" does nothing to inhibit future offences.

Cop films chap on body-worn cam because he 'complains about cops a lot'. Chap complains

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Re: No doubt they passed that one by the Ethics department.

No, they're Hampthire.

QNAP NAS user? You'd better check your hosts file for mystery anti-antivirus entries

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"The normal non-malicious use is to enforce blocking of unwanted sites."

The normal non-malicious use as far as I'm concerned is to resolve the addresses of stuff on my local network. Blocking is a comparatively recent twist.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

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Re: Careful of what you write

"from a copy/paste mistake, to a customer visiting the office."

Or a request for any data you hold on them under the DPA, a right that backdates GDPR. Data includes written notes.

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Re: Help desk

"try to get an issue escalated"

Escalation? Does that still exist? Any company I deal with seems convinced that what failed before is good enough to fail next time as well. The idea that they should be succeeding seems to be something consigned to the remote past.

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want

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Re: And without learning regex

"I can do all I need in MS Office quite easily without knowing that regex exists."

So your knowledge is aligned to your needs - or vice versa.

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