* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Google plots cop detection for auto autos

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Do you want to play a game ?

"You can play the same game with real cars, by strapping a flashing blue & red light to your car roof. You'll quickly discover that it's illegal."

What about a flashing white light? Through red and blue filters it looks red and blue. They'd also need to check for green as a control.

HSBC: How will we verify business banking customers? Selfies!

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Re: trust and verify

"These are interrelated from different government or business offices which have separately identified you. Your passport, license, birth certificate, a document addressed to you."

All from different places and all forged before uploading.

"If two or three trusted samples are held in different organisations and can be cross checked there is improved trust"

...and a potential offence under the DPA.

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Re: I see a flaw

Probably not. The biometrics will be based on face-like features. If your dick has these maybe a chat with your doctor is called for.

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Re: Misunderstanding of risk

"So wish good luck to HSBC"

Sorry, I just can't bring myself to do that.

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"That aside, their internet banking does work on Mozilla on Linux - not only that but I find it works *better* on Mozilla on Linux than it does on Windows."

It worked perfectly well for me. This came when their clunky arrangement for online payment from a current account to a credit card fell over in the middle & I got in touch to give them a friendly heads-up. I couldn't get past the "what are you using bit". They repeated this in writing. I didn't even want them to support my software - I just wanted them to support their own.

Last time I looked at HSBC group in the form of 1st Direct there was the admonishment that you shouldn't use it on a LAN. Now I can see that they were probably thinking of "don't use in in an internet cafe/public library/office network". But without digging out an ancient dial-up modem - if I could find one, I couldn't use my home laptop because it connects to the net via a TCP/IP connection to the router which I reckon makes it a LAN. I told them about it. Months later they were still saying the same thing and, of course, it gives them wriggle room if anything goes wrong.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"You're lucky to have a local branch, ours closed in July, so our "local" branch is now 20 miles away."

When I told HSBC I'd be closing my account (as they'd closed the most convenient local branch) they asked me to come in to discus it. I offered to come into that same branch. They failed to take me up on my offer. As to internet banking - that was the other reason: they insisted they didn't support Mozilla on Linux.

HDMI hooks up with USB-C in cables that reverse, one way

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Re: Wonderful thing about standards....

"But I've been around long enough to remember IRQ and Port jumpering. And the irritations of RS232 (crossed or uncrossed always the question)."

I'm beginning to think things were so much simpler then.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Can we just use an Ethernet cable already ?

"Oh, right, it doesn't do DRM. Damn."

No but it does do reporting back to the mother-ship.

I must admit that my reaction to the article was to wonder whether this was a ploy to sneak DRM into USB by the back door.

These are not just job cuts, these are M&S job cuts

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Re: Re:You should have asked for that in writing.

"Why ?"

To drop them in it with Trading Standards. Sale of Goods Act & all that.

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Re: Suggest the next in sequence ...

'They then made a big point that buttons were not covered by the warranty, and that they would only replace the item because it was "less than a month".'

You should have asked for that in writing.

Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Upvote for Timothy Dalton. They really should have had him take over directly from Connery.

Sysadmins: Poor capacity planning is not our fault

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Re: "get senior management to take the issues seriously"

"your Change Management process"

Changing managers could have helped but didn't.

Oh, I see what you mean. But you've build an assumption into that.

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Re: "get senior management to take the issues seriously"

"That only happens when senior manglement is capable of looking beyond its own nose."

Been there too. Repeated requests for more memory turned down until an OS upgrade put the system into severe thrashing at which point the vendor was summoned to add more memory PDQ and promises made to be more responsive to requests in future. Yeah, right.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Of course some argue that the informal, ad hoc approach is perfectly adequate, and that getting too ‘procedural' is more trouble than it's worth. Fair enough if you have a modest and relatively slow-moving IT environment, and a small IT team in which everyone always knows what everyone else is up to."

I once had a gig providing 2 weeks holiday cover in a very small DBA team with a week either side handing over. Most of the 2 weeks was spent on the paperwork to add another 2Gb chunk or two to the database. As far as I know the entire machine was devoted to running the database and the applications running on it. I don't suppose the operations team which had to add the space from the LVMS was any bigger than the DBA team but I never set eyes on them. I don't think that buseiness exists any longer.

Japan's Brexit warning casts shadow over Softbank ARM promises

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Re: Meanwhile

"We don't even elect our own head of state."

You want a politician as head of state?

Frankly, I think it's a lousy job. You don't apply for it, you get it dumped on you whether you want it or not and you can't even retire.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile

"who does it work for?"

That's easy. Itself, i.e. its management. Just like many non-profits.

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Re: Not really comparable

"However, suspect currently ARM's IP is assigned to a UK entity and hence all profits that accrue are subject to UK taxes."

I'd expect it was assigned to a UK entity, ARM. ARM and its assets are now owned by a non-UK company. If it was assigned to some entity other why would SoftBank have bought ARM?

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"They bought the company after the vote so there is no excuse for not keeping with their promises."

Kraft bought Cadburys. AFAICR they didn't bother too much about excuses.

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Re: Not really comparable

"ARM have people in the UK. It's their skills that are of interest."

It's also their IP. The IP is a profit centre. Their new owners could take the view that the people are just a cost centre.

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Re: SoftBank vs. Brexit

I doubt it'll make any difference. SoftBank will do whatever they were planning to do anyway. I suppose one possible benefit for Brexit would be to make it possible to nail down stuff like Cadburys & ARM, always assuming there's anything left to take.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile

"Isn't it amazing that poor uneducated oiks tup north think democracy is more important than money - unlike so many wealthy toss pots sitting in their metropolitan echo chambers."

It would be well to remember that once we had a home grown motor industry. Its workers largely wrecked it in the '70s. Far Eastern investment gave us a second. It looks like its workers are now doing the same thing. Do you think anybody's going to give us a third?

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That's OK. After all, we voted to get foreigners out and regain control.

Tech-for-insurers biz out of action for 10 days now. Hope they had, er...

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"Suppose the problem here is that if they'd flipped the switch, how many people who may have thought they'd bought insurance, hadn't?"

How does that compare with the current situation?

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"Apparently SSP has a mirror data centre and it could have switched its operations there, but the decision was taken to try to repair the main one as the mirror was some 15 minutes behind"

Did they take time to think what the mirror was for?

It all sounds like a PHB stepping in and deciding what was the best. The fact that the underlying problem recurred suggests they didn't get to grips with what it actually was before going ahead with an attempted restore.

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Were they insured?

Nul points: PM May's post-Brexit EU immigration options

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Re: That 1% swing

"The Fixed-term Parliaments Act prevents an earlier election unless the government loses a vote of no confidence"

Or unless it's repealed.

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"Summer of vagueness" - I really like the term, if not the truth behind it.'

An eventual winter of discontent isn't out of the question.

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Re: Controlling immigration was never that easy...

"including the pensions trainwreck which is slowly unfolding and will result in stupidly high income tax levels within 15 years simply to pay Boomers who didn't bother saving enough"

You could look at a few other factors there. Such as Brown's changing the taxation of dividends received by pension funds which was quite obviously a form of taxing the future. And such as pumping more and more cash into the economy, lowering interest rates and hence returns on savings hence ensuring that nobody can save enough. "Enough" is moving further and further out of reach..

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Wrong question

"And that last point is important. Leavers may have 'won the referendum', but that does not entitle them to dictate how things will be."

I wouldn't look at it like that. It was their idea. It should be up to them to make it work - or not. In fact they've been tasked with just that. They should, of course, be given criteria as to what would be acceptable. I agree that their efforts should then be put to a final vote once they're able to confirm they think they can meet the criteria.

"They may not even be the majority now."

I tend to agree with you although I noted an item on the Beeb's news saying that 2/3 of adults are positive about Britan's future post Brexit. However it was an opinion poll so to make sense of that I'd need to know what the questions were.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Vote Leave and Remain had no right to make policy promises"

They had no right to be believed either. Not only were Leave believed there still seem to be those who believe them even as evidence to the contrary starts to accumulate.

Sophos Windows users face black screens after false positive snafu

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Re: Silver Lining


See James's second post above.

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From the Graham Cluley blog: "To its credit, Sophos issued an update at 9am UTC on Sunday, fixing the false alarm."

Which isn't a great deal of use if you can't log on. I hope none of my friends and family are using Sophos.

UK Parliament's back for Snoopers' Charter. Former head of GCHQ talks to El Reg

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"innocence until proven guilty has no veracity in a court of law, the onus is upon you (that being me) to prove your innocence by disproving the statements of the police officers"

That sounds like instant grounds for appeal. It also sounds like a magistrate not a judge.

[Edit. Just seen your response; it was a magistrate. This is a real cause for concern.]

Apart from anything else, in a jury trial the jury is the tribunal of fact, not the judge. It's standard procedure for the judge to tell the jury that they must be convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that it's up to the prosecution to prove its case, not the defendant.

In the so-called Diplock courts in NI (i.e. trials without jury) the judge does become the tribunal of fact. In that case the judge gives a reasoned statement of how he reached his verdict, something that juries don't do, and in those I've heard the accused having to prove innocence wasn't a factor. And to forestall any comments on that I've heard both magistrates and judges dismiss cases.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Corresponding with The Register, Sir David explained how in his experience such bulk hacking powers were necessary for law enforcement purposes on the internet, rather than just being necessary for national security reasons."

His experience clearly doesn't include such legal concepts as the presumption of innocence or due process of law. Bulk surveillance runs counter to both. If we chuck them away just what sort of society are we supposed to be protecting? Not a free one.

Microsoft thought of the children and decided to ban some browsers

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"The fact is, Windows is and always has been a failure that needed re-writing but Microsoft has spent 2 decades trying to cover it up."

Somebody will be along shortly to tell you that you can't say things like that because Windows is wonderful, object-oriented, more modern in design than all these Unix-derived OSs and that drive letters aren't in the least clunky.

Nevertheless you might have a point.

Red-faced VESK scratches '100% uptime' claim after 2-day outage

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing to a previous winning streak of 1500 days of 100% uptime. It's not the same as promising 100% uptime in future."

It's also not the same as continuing to claim 100% uptime after that streak had come to an end even though it might have been a far better record than some others. And then there's always the traditional "small number of customers affected".

Brexit must not break the cloud, Japan tells UK and EU

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Re: @ dan1980

"Unfortunately the party that wanted brexit is not in power"

The EU has divided both major parties for decades. Cameron's problem, as with his predecessors, was a bunch of vocal anti-EU MPs who had been threatening to split the party for years. The vote was an attempt to silence them which back-fired.

Now they've got what they ostensibly wanted. The more senior of them have now been given the task of fronting it. Personally I think a few more of them should have been added to the punishment squad. So although there isn't an anti-EU party as such (other than UKIP) the anti-EU faction of the governing party has been given the job of clearing up its own mess which is about as close as you can get.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Dear Japan


As you seem to realise, there are areas where business and workers' interests align and some where they don't. On the whole EU membership belongs to the former - it has brought businesses and hence employment into the UK which might otherwise have been located elsewhere. To vote against that as an expression of justified dissent against zero hours contracts brings to mind sayings about nose & face.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Dear Japan

"What has this do with factories?"

ITYF that the letter from which the article quoted selectively dealt with this issue as well.

Brexit affects industries across the board and Japan has investments in many of them. What Leave voters have managed to ignore is that those investments, and others, were made on the basis of the UK being in the EU. Once the UK is no longer in the EU that is no operative. The question then becomes how closely the UK shadows the way the EU does things and how good an access it gets to the single market (which, of course, is going to mean accepting things like free movement of labour).

The letter is a reminder of this. The irony, for want of a better word, is that some of those investments were in the heartlands of Vote Leave. All those Leavers there who thought they were sticking to the EU are apt to find they were sticking it to themselves.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Dear Japan

" I am really sure that all the people which voted Leave in Sunderland will love being shown the door when the Nissan plant there shuts the doors. Because that is _EXACTLY_ what Leave means economically."

That's OK. They'll be able to get seasonal work in Lincolnshire picking potatoes when all the eastern Europeans have been thrown out.

Appliance-maker Liebherr chillin' with Microsoft, prototyping another Internet fridge

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Re: What could possibly go wrong?

forced system updates will arbitrarily disable the ice dispenser put it into an endless defrost cycle.

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"The light turns off when you close the door"

Does it? Isn't that one of the great mysteries of life?

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"Who's asking for these features?"

Wrong way round. The market researcher can ask a series of questions leading the respondent to a particular answer. Start with the question "Do you sometimes run out of milk?" and you can see where that could go.

Childcare app bods wipe users' data – then discover backups had been borked for a year

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Re: urrrm.....

My guess would be that they'd just redone the front end intending to use the existing database and contrived to re-initialise it when they connected to it.

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I wonder that their T&Cs say about compensation for losing data.

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Re: How many nursery schools...

"people with the skills to make decent suggestions are often over-ruled."

All too often people with the skill to make decent suggestions aren't even employed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So much for Due Dilligence...


A. The operations team.

Q Who discovered this?

A. The consultant brought in to do a migration.

Is it time to unplug frail OpenOffice's life support? Apache Project asked to mull it over

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: VinceH : People still use this!?

"Like it or not .doc and .xls are the defacto standards and have been for, what, 20 years now."

Apart from the move to .docx & .xlsx these formats have been a moving target, ensuring that users had to keep repurchasing what they'd already bought if they needed to open files of allegedly the same format written by later versions of the S/W.

They never were open standards. Open standards for files are even more important than open source for the applications that use them.

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"So the Irish Government are forcing austerity on the public, and refusing to take due taxes from Apple."

The Irish government may have calculated that the Irish economy might benefit more from having Apple operating in the country and maying minimal direct taxes than not operating there at all and paying none.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: What if taxation is inherently unjust?

"As I said nobody is even taking Ireland to task on this (they should be though) - just simply that it's anticompetitive for companies in their own state."

You've almost got it. They're not taking Ireland to task on tax evasion. You've nailed it in one word: anticompetitive. Anticompetitive for companies in another state is state aid and that's exactly what they're being taken to task over. I said "almost" because you still think they should be being taken to task for something different.

"One state is sponsoring tax evasion in other states."

In what way? Apple aren't being accused of evading taxes, not even in Ireland so how can anybody be "sponsoring" them to do so - whatever that might mean?

"State aid" and "tax evasion" have specific meanings in law. You can't successfully accuse someone of one thing when the circumstances that define it don't fit that particular case. You should at least consider the possibility that the EU's lawyers understand the definitions better that you do.

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