* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m

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"UK? Sorry mate, we've terminated business with those commie europe-types"

If you're running a UK-based web site and relying on that view you'd be well advised to look up the current DPA.

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Re: re: There is no Refuse option available.

"Sometimes that is the best way to refuse the terms of service -- by not using the site/company and going elsewhere."

GDPR does not allow excessive data gathering to be tied to use of site. If a cookie is required for the operation of the site, e.g. to maintain state, that's OK. If it's to gather data about behaviour it requires separate explicit permission and service can't be withheld if permission isn't given. Breaching that aspect of GDPR brings fines.

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Re: ...fast forward 5 years of legal back-and-forth appeals....

"AFAIK other complaints over that are already working their respective ways through the legal systems."

More (successful) complaints = more fines.

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Re: ...fast forward 5 years of legal back-and-forth appeals....

"I wish browser would allow such option automatically, but as long the main one is made bu google itself"

It's only the "main one" because of the numbers of people who use it. Your post suggests you're one of those so it's partially your decision to make it that. You are free to do your bit to change it any time you want.

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"The Reg asked Google to comment and will update the article when we receive a reply."

The Beeb seems to have a comment from Google. It says they're studying the decision to decide on their next step. Would that be a decision between cheque or card?

EU will have agreed a tech tax by March, says French finance minister

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Re: French politicians have a history of declaring what the Eu will decide - and being wrong

"I wouldn't be surprised if things were a bit more thorny than that."

He hasn't told you how they've cracked it. The French have actually started already. It'll be done by issuing annual fines for GDPR breaches.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

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Re: Silly NIC games ...

'The manufacturer gets alloted his "prefix", which is the first 24-bits of the address, then every card they make is then given a unique address using the prefix + a serial number from the manufacturer for the second 24-bits of the address'

It might also be possible to change the MAC in S/W.

I discovered that DECNET assumes the prefix will be DEC's own. We had installed DECNET emulator S/W for HP-UX. When we first fired it up it reset the HP server MAC to make it look like a DEC. There could have been a problem if it reset to another VAX on the network but you'd have to be very unlucky to have that happen. No we weren't unlucky like that. What did happen was that the change of MAC invalidated all the connected users' ARP caches. I can't remember how long it took but they did repopulate fairly quickly.

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Re: Silly NIC games ...

"The manufacturer of the cards wasn't lazy. The manufacturer of the cards was crooked."

It can be a fine dividing line.

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"developers were struggling on old kit, and the managers got all the high tech new stuff"

Distributed build using the manglement boxes as build servers?

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Re: Minimum specs PCs for testing

"written as a 'client-server' style application, .. entire database tables were being transmitted from server to client"

I'm not sure that deserves to be called client-server. There are a few things it does deserve to be called.

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

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Provenance?

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

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Re: Just plain embarrassing

"Try systems like the Zerox Star"

Coincidentally a link to this arrived in my news feed today: https://engblg.livingcomputers.org/index.php/2019/01/19/introducing-darkstar-a-xerox-star-emulator/

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Unless the supplier is Lenovo just about antbody these days

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Re: Workstations

"and then go away and copy it."

To be followed by one of them claiming the other copied him! (CBA looking it up but I think it was Billy G.)

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Re: Limped after Apple II

"The only other brand I can think of with such a turnaround is Audi."

What about BMW? Remember the Isetta.

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Re: As a dev system?

"Motorola workstation....the soldering on the original was terrible with dry joints all over the place"

Motorola H/W problems. That rings a bell.

I had a gig which involved adding some reports to a factory control system that ran on a Motorola server and then involved going to Italy to install them on site. Reports, no problem. Installation, no problem. But then the server kept crashing and what looked like leaving bits of memory dump in files in lost+found after running fsck. The client's client didn't want to let me go until it was all working & I was rapidly running out of Lira. I eventually escaped & heard later it was a hardware memory failure that was responsible.

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Re: As a dev system?

I remember the reviews. I ignored the price. Even an Apple ][ would have been out of my price range back then.

Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

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Re: So, have I got this straight?

"Of course this was quite a few years ago"

The Incredible Human Journey? I don't think it was that long ago and it's being repeated on BBC 4. There was a more recent series called "Origins of us". All worth watching, up to the standards of Horizon of long ago instead of the usual Beeb science programme of 15 minutes padded out to 50mins or an hour.

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Re: Many mysteries

"Never been to Norfolk and seen the Norfolkers then?"

Having heard this so many times I was interested in Leslie et al, 2015, the Nature paper on fine structure of Britain They produced a map in which lowland England came out as homogeneous. The distinct populations were in upland Britain. Norfolk was just part of the amorphous blob. Not distinct from the rest at all.

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Re: Many mysteries

"Truth is, the multi-species conventional wisdom is looking more and more pants."

Did anyone catch the 2018 Royal Institutional Christmas Lectures (only 3 - there used to be 5, everything goes downhill)? This year it was a two hander, the anatomist Alice Roberts and a geneticist guest lecturer, Aoife McLysaght. Roberts was presenting the usual Neanderthalis vs Sapiens when McLysaght interjected "it's all one species". It's the old splitters versus lumpers all over again.

Just forget what Gartner said about AI in June 'cos CIOs are all over it now apparently

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Re: Snake oil

"BS meter explodes"

Reading Gartner articles without first disengaging the BS meter invalidates its insurance.

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Re: The Chief Guffmongerer has spoken

Charlie, you're going to have to work harder to get in front of the game.

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Re: Currently, there's no such thing as "AI"

"Chatbots are a trite example but they're being used because they can improve customer service quite a bit if expectations are correct."

Do you mean if customer expectations are low?

After TT had bought out my old ISP I had the misfortune to have to use their customer "services" (the two events might well be connected) and still have no idea if there was a bot or a human at the other end. All I can say for sure is that if it was a human they'd failed their Turing test.

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"CIOs are all over it now"

And next time round it'll probably be "CIOs have all got over it now". I'm sure a I read something here recently that said more or less that about blockchain so AI has to be next.

The lighter side of HMRC: We want your money, but we also want to make you laugh

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Re: Ha

"Its purpose being to take the correct amount of money from people"

Hi indeed. It's the "correct" bit that's tricky.

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Re: Excuses????

"a full-on legit conference for fiction authors"

Excuses for missing deadlines perhaps? "Sorry, I had it written but a pirate of the Caribbean ate it."

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"claw back every penny owed"

Not necessarily owed. There are reports of notices of fines for missing a submission date that hasn't even arrived. It seems to be a computer problem. Could this be something to do with HMRC having IR25-rwlated problems taking on freelancers?

Looming EU copyright rules – tackling Google news article scraping, installing upload filters – under fire from all sides

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Re: Surely sticking it all on an AI blockchain will work ?

In the cloud. You forgot the cloud. And maybe leveraging Big Data should be in there somewhere.

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Re: Fair Use

"I'll click through to read the full story."

This is one thing that tends to be overlooked. I haven't followed the politics of this so I'm not sure just what line the newspapers are taking on this but ISTR that in some instances Google stopped quoting and the newspapers found their site traffic falling off which wasn't at all what they wanted.

DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one

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Re: FDA approved blood glucose meters etc ( el Reg makes title too long then complains)

"I suspect that what went wrong with the 23andMe samples"

According to the CBC article the 23andMe results agreed to within 0.4%. The substantial differences in interpretation must be down to that 0.4% and/or the possibility that, as someone else posted, each analysis covers a subset of the genome. The 99.6% agreement would then apply to the common sections that were analysed. The differences between the variability of the 23andMe interpretations and the consistency of, say, the Ancestry variations are probably telling us something about the differences in the nature of the combinations of the interpretive algorithms and their underlying data.

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Re: anonymous coward

"Each test should have returned the same percentages for them."

Not so much each test, more the interpretation of the tests. The 0.4% difference (presumably experimental error in sequencing and/or mutations during development) seems to have thrown the interpretive algorithms of some vendors more than others.

To my mind the differences in interpretation between the other two vendors is interesting. They give very similar results between the twins but pretty substantial differences between the vendors in what these mean. It suggests to me that the real problem in all of this stuff is the data on which the interpretations lie. Any place in Europe has a population whose ancestors got there by a variety of different routes and which swapped elements of the population with other places. The result isn't entirely homogeneous but it's certainly fairly mixed and each of these businesses (and academic investigators also) are taking sub-samples of this mix and characterising them as some sort of type specimens and then using them to interpret subsequent analyses. I doubt the underlying data are really good enough to make proper sense out of this, nor will they be for a few more years.

It all reminds me of the situation back in the '60s/early '70s when we were starting to apply carbon dating to archaeology (and palaeoecology) but without a good enough corpus of dating material to make real sense of it. E.g. having some nicely dated pollen diagrams of the Irish late bronze age and a nice archaeological write-up of the Irish late bronze age which seemed to fit but without a single carbon date for the archaeology to test that fit.

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Re: Their facial structure looks a bit different ...

"You might like to watch episode three of last Xmas's Royal Institution lecture."

Even better, watch all three.

Lawyers' secure email network goes down, firm says it'll take 2 weeks to restore

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Re: Read the Secret Barrister's tweets

"If you follow, which you should @TheSecretBarrister"

There's a good reason not to. It requires use of social media.

Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn

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"it turned out to be pretty impressive winds"

Sounds painful.

IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers

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Re: Changes staying the same

"Frankly, I won't trust an English website on French grammar or literature."

I would, however, trust it on French phrases adopted in English. As far as I can see it makes sense with either verb. The OP version, if my long-ago French classes can be relied on, means "the more things change the more they are the same" which makes the same point, arguably more pithily.

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Like I said when her own claim was mentioned in an earlier article: don't upset someone who knows where the bodies are buried.

Top GP: Medical app Your.MD's data security wasn't my remit

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Re: "can be downloaded worldwide, and modified, without even a password"

Dammit - mutually acceptable solutions

The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings

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Re: Proof once again

"If you actually have something to hide, like your whereabouts as a professional killer, having something on you that can link you to a crime scene is exactly the thing you should avoid."

It's so hard to get good staff these days.

Amazon shareholders revolt on Rekognition, Nvidia opens robotics lab, and hot AI chips on Google Cloud

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Re: Interesting shareholder attitude

"They don't need to have a conscience if fear gets them to do the right thing."

But what would the right thing be? A polite letter to the board asking them to refrain or a shareholders' motion absolutely forbidding it at the AGM?

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

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Re: Don't blame the user

"Coloured text on a coloured screen; colour-blind user."

It's surprising how this can get overlooked. In my area of forensic science we tended to do a lot of colour matching of fibres in microscopy. My initial boss couldn't do that part of the job, he was colour blind*. About 4 years later when I'd got to the level of doing recruiting my office-mate & I decided we really should screen candidates for colour vision.

*He'd come in via a medical lab-tech background where microscopy tended to use red/blue staining.

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Re: Users NEVER read on screen messages

"Programmers bear some responsibility for this, using unexpected jargon etc., and few companies seem prepared to review all user-facing text for clarity."

They're probably in a cleft stick here. On the one hand you can give a short message and have complaints about jargon or use descriptive terms and have complaints about it being too long to read. A good idea, however it to avoid messages such as "ERROR SJIWEK00000340000SDIJKEW".

On the whole one probably should be able to expect users to understand the basic terminology of whatever it is they're dealing with. Try driving a car if you don't understand "brake" or "starter", or using your TV if you don't understand the word "channel".

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Re: It is possible to produce an idiot proof interface.

"If you were lucky you had a white screen monitor rather than the usual orange."

In my day you were lucky if you had an orange screen rather than the usual green.

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Re: Error messages

"This is done because the users do not understand how to take an actual screen shot in Windows."

If they don't understand the error message how do you expect them to know how to take a screenshot? Have you tried showing them?

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Re: Find the "A" key

after a relatively short while before buying it B.B.C (not *the* BBC, note) decided their acquisition was surplus to requirements a competitor and shuttered the place.

Likely alternative version.

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"Person in charge of software testing asks"

Remember really old versions of Windows when the button on the top left of the window had an icon with a horizontal bar on it? I heard it said that a good software tester could look at that and see a minus sign.

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Re: You've already had a second vote

"would have expected the Lib Dems, Greens, SNP and PC to have done much better in 2017 election"

The LibDems were still being punished by their erst-while protest-voting supporters for actually taking responsibility and joining a coalition government rather than being ineffective.

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Headmaster

"2 referendum votes"

Well swerved! Adding "vote" to carry the plural.

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Re: I can believe it!

That has the added advantage that it gets them to RTFM albeit in small snatches.

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Re: I can believe it!

"i often find that it does not start printing unless you walk up to it."

You haven't terrified it enough. Try downloading and printing brochures for a replacement printer.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

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Re: not missed any more

"used to push them over blackberries"

Didn't that scratch them?

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