* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Top CompSci boffins name the architectures we'll need in 2030

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"Make designing special-purpose hardware as easy as writing software"

Patch Tuesday for hardware.

Reschedule the holiday party, Patch Tuesday is here and it's a big one

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Re: No reschedule needed here

"but the interfaces all seem to be a bit odd with too many quirks that would simply annoy me in day to day use"

Such as ribbon interfaces?

Blue sky basic income thinking is b****cks

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[robots] that replace people, whose income is taxed – can themselves be taxed, so that governments can redistribute the money to its unemployed citizens, thus giving them a basic income...

First of all, businesses don't exist to pay tax, it being just another expense. They will twist and turn to avoid it, basing themselves in the Seychelles, the Cayman Isles, Panama and any other nation-state where such onerous and unwanted taxes are not raised."

Where the person being replaced is being replaced outside of the country it doesn't really matter whether it's a robot or an outsourced human worker doing the replacement from the tax point of view. For some tasks external replacement wouldn't be possible anyway - the robot barista vending machine needs to be in reach of the customer. If its work is to be taxed it can be taxed at its location.

But the line of argument in the article seems to assume corporation tax. Where multinationals are concerned corporation tax always favours small countries with a small local tax base. They can attract what are effectively accommodation addresses by offering competitive tax rates that bring in much greater receipts than could be achieved by the most swingeing rates on local businesses - and the local businesses then have the additional advantages of paying low rates themselves.

If corporation tax is failing the objectives of most countries then maybe the time has come to look at an alternative or at least a partial replacement. Tax all money, credit or other proxy for money, leaving the country. That way it gets taxed before it reaches the tax haven. It also replaces import duties as the money leaving the country to pay for the imports is what gets taxed.

Meet Hyper.is – the terminal written in HTML, JS and CSS

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Just a terminal?

Why not go for a full-blown OS: https://browsix.org/ ?

The really worrying thing is that the security of this Unix-alike thing depends on the security of the browser.

Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

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"A colleague and I had managed to uncover certain indiscretions; my services were no longer needed after that, and my former colleague is concerned that he will be out after Christmas."

I'd have thought you'd have been offered promotions.

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Re: So?

"Nobody would (nor should) care."

The IRS would.

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

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Re: Speaking as someone who breathes air...

"As a born and bred country bumpkin, still resident in my ancestral village, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to snaffle up the pure unadulterated air of yore"

Would that "air of yore" be the the coal smoke that followed on from the introduction of the railways? Because before that it was all wood fires unless you had turbary rights.

BTW I too live in my native village. I quite like the wood smoke from my neighbour's wood-burner.

Well, well. Auditors say UK govt procurement body hasn't saved your tax cash

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Re: As ever, Sir Humphry knows

"Yes Minister about St. Edwards Hospital"

It must be about 3 decades old by now and still fits today like a glove. Should we laugh or weep?

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As ever, Sir Humphry knows

"What is it 741 people do exactly?"

1. Contingency planning Department

2. Data and Research Department

3. Finance

4. Purchasing Department

5. Technical Department

6. Building Department

7. Maintenance

8. Catering

9. Personnel

10. Administration

Minister, we don't measure our success by results, but by activity. and the activity is considerable. And productive. These 500 people are seriously overworked - the full establishment should be 650.

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Re: "should achieve very large savings.. not clear exactly what spending should be centralised"

"Who gets that?"

Probably Crapita.

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Re: Bit click-baity, eh?

"Actual quote from NAO says it isn't possible to tell whether money has been saved or not."

It's a good trick. Be in such a mess that the NAO can't audit you effectively.

Icelandic Pirate Party sails away from attempt to form government

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Re: Nice

"I think I should admire all involved here as they've stood by their principles instead of accepting roles as Cabinet Ministers (along with the extra money) in a coalition they have no real faith in."

Alternative view: they have been elected to govern and they're not doing it. Do they get money for not doing what they were elected to do?

Major outage at broadband biz 186k

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Re: no future?

"The Register has contacted 186k to ask when it expects the service to return to normal, and the reason for the outage."

This is the new normal.

TalkTalk hacker gets iPhone taken away by Norwich Youth Court

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So this lad has learned that doing this sort of thing carries fairly minor penalties. Will he be deterred from repeating it, maybe going a bit further next time, and being more careful about being caught?

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Re: Ridiculous

They are also the ones who should be fined.


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Re: “Your IT skills will always be there - just use them legally in the future.”

"Now, this gentleman from the government would like to speak to regarding your future career."

Which department? Given that he's just a skiddie he has very little skill to offer. On second thoughts he sounds just right for GDS, Universal Credit and quite a few other projects.

Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care

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Re: Reboot pray repeat

"There's no hidden magic, cryptic registry keys, out-of-spec behaviour, massive nebulous undocumented 'updates', mysteries built upon mystery which tend to render the only solution in Windows world to be reboot and pray."

Instead, there's systemd.

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Re: Got rung up by "Microsoft" this morning...

Unfortunately, I wasn't properly awake, and instead of quizzing "Mike" immediately about the DHCP problem to try and string the call out for the sake of the less technically aware among us

Hmmm. The current problem should give the stringing along a whole new dimension. "No, you can't connect to my PC, I can't get it connected to the internet."

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Re: "Cumulative updates" strikes again

"difficult to avoid"

They do understand that one. Why do you think they're doing it?

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Re: It's all a bit farcical, isn't it?

"This new patching model isn't working out too well for the end users, is it?"

Which end users. It's probably working out just fine for enterprise customers. They have all those alpha beta testers sorting out the bugs.

Higher tech prices ARE here to stay. It's Mr Farage's new Britain

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Re: Rip off Britain

"The only people worse off are the Irish, who get the same shafting while these multinationals bum off their lower corporation tax as a gateway into Europe."

Not that one again? Ireland sets its corporation tax for the best outcome for Ireland. Low corporation tax strategy is one the works for countries with a relatively small local tax base. It brings in far more tax overall than a high tax strategy would and means that the local tax base is at a competitive advantage by sharing the low tax rates.

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Re: Brexit means brexit. (@Pen-y-gors)

"Why not buy locally? That's what devaluation is supposed to encourage."

Even local suppliers are exposed to exchange rates because they're buying equipment in dollars.

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Re: Brexit means brexit.

"It's a legal argument, some people who think they're smarter than they are think that invoking article 50 is the job of parliament because it affects people's rights."

It's the job of Parliament because Parliament is sovereign. We've been working on that one for over a third of a millennium.

And we don't have a definitive answer yet because HMG appealed the high court decision and we don't yet have the supreme court's verdict.

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Re: Brexit means brexit.

"Yes, because after six months of Remainers predicting catastrophe their beds, there is no buyer's remorse. We are leaving the EU. People are pleased to be taking back control, even it is less than they might ideally want."

You seem to have a very poor understanding of the time scales at work here. We're in what might be termed the phony war period.

In case you haven't noticed we still don't have a definitive answer to the constitutional way to invoke Article 50. Amazingly the Leavers don't even seem to have thought about that essential preliminary. It doesn't bode well for the rest of their planning.

Apart from that we're just seeing the obvious financial penalty of a devalued pound; it'll be some time before the inflationary effects of that work through. We're quite some way from finding what sort of pig is in the poke the Leavers have contrived to but for us.

"And a General Election would wipe out the Remain parties: Labour and LibDem."

Let's look at the timing. May plans to invoke Article 50 next year. It all becomes effective in 2019. By the time the next election is due there'll have been a year's experience. If it's been a hard Brexit we'll see corporations who have set up EU operations here starting to move them back into the EU and people will be losing their jobs*. If it's been a soft Brexit it will be becoming apparent that things are much as they were - still in the customs union, still with freedom of movement, still subject to the EU regulations etc, still paying something into the EU but with significantly less control. As the consequences start to dawn on the electorate I think it will be the Leave parties that get wiped out.

*Yes, I know you're about to tell us about all the world-wide trade deals. Even if there are any of these that don't involve shafting us they'll be some way from delivering any visible benefits.

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Re: More than just economic uncertainty

"Sorry if this is incoherent,"

It is but the incoherence isn't yours.

"but I'm just stunned that someone can vote that way and then claim it won't have any impact?!?!?"

Believing it wouldn't have any impact is what enabled them to vote that way.

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Re: Everyone is missing the problem

"That is the real problem, everything else is just window dressing. Brexit, and election of Trump, as symptoms. Let's focus on the real problem shall we, and find a real solution."

We had a problem and the voters turned to Brexit. We now have two problems.

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Re: Today's Brexit news

"I do find this interesting as UKIP have already pointed out they wouldnt have gone as far as May is shouting about"

Of course not. Surely the referendum was as far as their plans went. Implementing it means work.

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Re: Brexit means brexit.

"Plus ça change"

Are we still allowed to say that? It's something Johnny Foreigner says.

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"its publicity-shy leader"

Who is that today? The leadership seems to be a revolving door with Farage in at least two of its compartments.

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Re: Brexit means brexit.

"The British voter looked at Europe, saw it was a massive mess, saw that it was impossible to get a better deal for the UK, and voted for sovereignty.

This was a rational decision that prices in the uncertainty and short-term pain."

Do you really believe that that (a) most of the Leave voters priced in anything - which in some cases may well prove to be their jobs - and (b) the result of a long term change will be short-term?

Ransomware scum offer free decryption if you infect two mates

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"Do you mind sharing how you recovered 97%?"

I used photorec to help a cousin out. The particular ransomware involved wrote an encrypted file & just deleted the old one. That leaves the data sitting on disk ready to be recovered providing nothing else writes over it. That's the proviso - something, maybe the ransomware whilst writing out another encryption, may have written over some of the files. There was also a load of stuff not recovering - stacks of buttons, logos & what not from the browser cache. In the end it made sense to simply chop all the really tiny files rather than waste the user's time going through them. There's also the possibility that the recovery software might simply not be able to recognise some file formats.

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There are a lot of "friends" who keep sending emails to my spam bin. I'm sure I could spare a couple of those.

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" I got called in to help."

I hope your bill was more than a decent backup arrangement would have cost. A couple more incidents and they'll start to get the financial message. Financial because it's the only one they'll understand.

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Re: So...

"You forgot a step : pay twice the extortion amount"

No, it's easy. You spin up another couple of VMs for each of the VMs.

It's VMs all the way down.

DDoS script kiddies are also... actual kiddies, Europol arrests reveal

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Re: *sigh*

"Because it would be monumentally stupid."

Indeed. But it would be a good idea to punish businesses who persist in training their customers to do just that.

Only a few days ago yet another spam arrived from my bank warning customers about how not to get caught by frauds. At least it purports to be from the bank. It's actually from a marketing spamming company. It has several links on which customers are invited to click. At least this time they've improved things so that the links are to a server in the bank's domain. Further examination shows that in fact the links actually resolve to a server controlled by the marketing spamming company. The only things that indicate that the bank is actually behind it is that it was addressed to an email alias that was only given to the bank and that the bank employs idiots a marketing department.

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Re: Prevention campaign

"Fear of getting caught deters crime."

Back in the day I handled 2 cases involving the same individual who clearly had some prior form. The first one was a break-in. He accepted that he'd forced an entry but insisted that he didn't actually go inside the premises because at the last moment he realised that if he did it would be actual gaol this time round. The evidence, however, said he did enter. Whilst on remand, and putting off the case in order to get a more lenient judge IIRC he got involved in a gang rape. Whatever the sentence on his original break-in it would now be dwarfed. What his actual sentences were I don't know because I would usually give my evidence & then leave so I'd seldom hear the verdicts. But that was one lad who the leniency conveyor belt delivered right into serious crime and multi-year sentences.

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Re: Prevention campaign

"Vindictive justice at its best."

Vindictive? What part of deterrent did you not understand?

Every day the local paper reports the court appearances of habitual criminals who've been given lots of chances which amount to warnings, suspended sentences etc. so they see no real penalty for themselves or for their peers who are committing the same crimes with the same results. There's no deterrence. By the time they get their first custodial sentences their criminal careers are well established.

A few real penalties, well publicised, might deter their peers and ultimately prevent more lives being ruined by being gradually sucked in.

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Re: Prevention campaign

I'd settle for well publicised convictions with sufficiently deterrent sentences.

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

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"Force fed updates still a good idea Microsoft ?"

It's going splendidly. All the bugs get shaken out before the big money Enterprise customers get the update. That was pretty clear from the outset. It's a bit rough on the professional users because Professional ought to be professional.

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Re: loss of business

"If they're using innocent bystanders as beta testers"

Dunno about beta. This sounds more like alpha.

Top tech company's IP was looted by China, so it plans to hack back

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Re: One way links

" Opto-isolators provide electrical isolation not data isolation between networks."

They're also one way.

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Re: One way links

"Data Diodes are a thing."

AKA opto-isolator.

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"Whether they take any notice is somewhat up to people like the Reg readership - there won't be, for instance, a security quality star rating system, unless there's a widespread call for it."

If it was up to the Reg readership there'd be no warrantless spying, no talk about back-doors only accessible to the good guys and a load of other crap.

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"and found myself in the company of informed and intelligent people."

The cynic in me says these are not going to be the decision makers.

It's all very well running such "games" but are these all they are? Are they just games or does anything feed through into policy or preparedness?

Fatal flaw found in PricewaterhouseCoopers SAP security software

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The really depressing thing is that this is probably the right response. The sort of people who make the decisions to use this sort of software who hear about it aren't going to understand that shooting the messenger is a bad alternative to accepting the message and fixing the problem; in fact, they'd probably do the same thing themselves. And if it keeps the rest of the potential users from hearing about the problem it's served its purpose.

IBM has an on-prem cloud it thinks can go big in Asia

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Re: Whaaa...

"They are still yearning for the Mainframe+mini model to return "

Yearning? This is the return.

PAC chair: Who's naughty or nice? The 3 IT mega projects that had better watch out

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'She said while Brexit might solve the issue of the disallowance fines from Europe, the more immediate problem of farmers "is down to the British government" and its failure to implement a fit-for-purpose IT system.'

I thought one of the facets of Brexit was that we'd be out of the CAP, farmers won't get any more payments, they won't be able to recruit cheap foreign migrant labour* and will go out of business so the IT system for paying them simply won't be needed.

*They might be able to recruit UK migrant labour when all those businesses established here as an EU base for non-EU corporations close down.

Microsoft announces 16 years of support for Windows, SQL Servers

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Re: At last

"It's what they should be doing with Windows 7."

Do you think it couldn't happen?

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

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Re: From a user's point of view...

"use middle initial, or x/y/z if there isn't one, so there'll be... bill.x.smith"

Then a year later Bill Xavier Smith gets hired.

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"how do you handle companies where two John Smiths work?"

In the original scheme it appeared that naming was somewhat informal allowing scope for ad hoc decisions to resolve problems. If you set up a prescriptive scheme such as that proposed you need to build in a means of ensuring* uniqueness. In another post someone suggested adding x, y or z as dummy initials to a first/last initial scheme; works well right up until you've allocated jxs and then John Xavier Smith joins the company. Essentially it means something along the lines of adding a few digits so that your two John Smiths, or indeed Jane and John Smith, can be handled as smithj01 and smithj02.

*To some degree of statistical acceptability. The example above fails if the company is so big there's a realistic chance of 100 or more smithjnn names being generated in which case you need more digits.

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