I'm not too worried
Since my new HP Envy won't even let authorized users print to it remotely, I rather doubt anyone can execute anything malicious on it.
1205 posts • joined 26 Aug 2014
Since my new HP Envy won't even let authorized users print to it remotely, I rather doubt anyone can execute anything malicious on it.
Possibly because they're all freelance now, and so have no idea what they're doing.
As others have said, Siri just isn't up to the task, with a 20% question recognition rate and a 60% correct answer rate. She's much weaker than Google (70% rec, 90% acc), Amazon (20% rec, 90% acc) and Microsoft's (60% rec, 80% acc) voice assistants and is falling further behind every year. Siri is just about capable of giving directions, and not much else.
The problem is, while a smartphone can point to other features to make up for Siri being an idiot, a Home Assistant can't. She won't have much to hide behind, and sticking a middling bluetooth speaker to her (one that costs twice as much as a decent sound bar and will have half the fidelity) doesn't really justify a home assistant that can only answer 1 in 5 questions, and then gets nearly half of those answers wrong.
"Many charities use support workers on zero hour contracts for various valid reasons. "
It's funny how, whenever this statement comes up, no-one can ever specify what the 'valid reasons' ever are. Just like whenever the 'people who appreciate the flexibility of zero-hours contracts' are mentioned, no-one can ever find a real-life person it applies to outside of the local Young Conservatives chapter.
In fairness, there's quite a lot of MPs who are indeed direct shareholders (or hold directorships) for public services companies, as can be found through a quick scan of the register of interests (https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/registers-of-interests/register-of-members-financial-interests/).
It's far from all MPs, though; the word 'shareholdings' appears 124 times, which equates to about 1 in 5 MPs. That covers any holding of over 15% of a company, or valued at over £70k. There may be others with rather more small-time holdings.
There's more android devices, but while Google can currently claim about 85% market share, Windows in 2003 was up around 97-98%. Apple were at their lowest point and had about 2% share. Linux hadn't really taken off in the server room yet, and it's desktop market share was (and remains) less than a rounding error.
Android is close to matching that level of dominance, but it's unlikely anyone will really match it ever again; hell, Windows still accounts for about 90% of desktop and laptop land even following Apple's surge to cool and Linux's meteoric rise to parity in the data center. Apple's recent laptops are considered a big success, but in terms of actual market share they're at about 6-7%. Linux struggles to rise over 1% in userland, despite now being present on at least some devices in every server room. And outside the more militant Apple fansites and Linux forums, there's no anticipation of this changing.
The point is more that FaceID (along with fingerprint scanning) does not replace a password. It replaces a username. To unlock ought to require something you have (username, fingerprint, face scan, bank card, whatever) and then still ask for something you know (password, pin number). This is security 101, and literally all phone manufacturers (not just Apple) are no longer bothering to enforce it.
Given that Trump violates most of Twitter's T&Cs on a daily basis, the unprofessional one was likely the guy re-activating it.
It's obviously going to be djt1.
I didn't even know Hillary had been working at Twitter.
"So something like the usual CIA psyops playbook also ran in South America, Indonesia, Iran"
Not really, no. The CIA generally produced false news to try and achieve a specific aim - to convince people that the CIA-backed candidate was Good and the other person was Bad. An example of CIA'backed intel attacks of this kind would be consistently suggesting the enemy candidate wanted to abolish private property, and their own candidate was the ally of the Common Man (which he invariabl wasn't).
The Russian approach is referred to as 'The Firehose of Bullshit' in intelligence circles, and basically involves generating as much crap as possible so people just stop trusting anything. They produce stuff with deranged and impossible-to-believe allegations (like 'Hillary is an alien'), but do so about both sides... and everyone else they can, too.
The idea is that critical thinking is hard, and so the brain gets tired after having to do it for a while, so if you barrage people with enough total bullshit they give up trying to filter it out and just accept whatever confirms their existing biases. Putin used it internally with great success over the last decade, and now they're trying to use it on outside parties (as are the far right media in the US, Brexiteers in the UK, The Front Nationale in France etc).
Yup, definitely both. The Russians pretty clearly favoured Trump to win (many pro-Trump ads, very many anti-Hillary ads), but they were pushing shit onto gullible voters on both sides. They were also pushing general conflict - so they had pro- and anti-BLM groups simultaneously, pro- and anti-secession groups, pro- and anti-gun groups etc. There's probably a fair few vocal pro-Bernie groups waiting to be uncovered, too, ones that then declared for Stein or advocated not voting.
Basically, I suspect they started out just looking to push buttons - try and get everyone fighting in the streets and make the whole process as divisive as possible. This began to get all Pro-Trump because they could see that his presidency would more or less automatically fall to pieces - even if Trump himself wasn't so manifestly incompetent, dishonest, venal, corrupt and incapable, his acrimonious relationship with the establishment of both parties was likely to cause significant problems in government, leading to an understaffed and inexperienced administration that would struggle to get any legislation through congress. The aim was always to paralyze the US, rather than take over, and it's been hugely effective.
Most coherent thing aManfromMars has ever posted.
No, there's a very serious danger that we'd get actual numbers from that. It is vitally important that NO HARD IMPACT NUMBERS ARE EVER FOUND. The Russian campaign must be found to have had a devastating impact while simultaneously not having effected the results in any state.
Because the official position is basically a contradiction. It states:
1) The Russians definitely interfered in the US election.
2) This interference did not have any impact on the result.
Both sides know that it's important to accept 1), because, well, it's true, and it's a massive attack on the United States' political system which is likely to happen again.However, both sides ALSO have to accept 2), because they don't want to shake public confidence in the democratic process, and there's no mechanism for dealing with it (somehow, the all-powerful, all-knowing pantheon of the Founding Fathers didn't manage to anticipate Twitter or the Internet in 1787, though accepting that the 27-times amended constitution is a perfect document and has always been a perfect document is a vital part of the US's self-image).
This leaves all discussion somewhat absurd, as 1) requires treating this with almost super-human gravitas, while 2) suggests that the problem doesn't actually exist. And yet congress must hold both ideas as true simultaneously. The more information is made public, the harder it is for the public to maintain the cognitive dissonance; it's not hard to accept two mutually-contradictory ideas as both true if you don't know anything about the topics, but if you have a reasonable grasp of the facts then you need a lot of training to keep agreeing with both.
So, if the US population sees, say, a mass advert was targeted at Wisconsin Democrats telling them they could vote by text, then agreeing that this had no impact in a state Trump carried by 0.7% becomes a lot harder. And if that's the case, then the validity of the election is called into question, and a democracy only works if the losing side agrees that they lost (which is why losing presidential candidates always publicly concede and tell their followers to accept the situation, and why there was outcry when Trump threatened not to do so prior to the election). That's why even Democrats in congress keep stressing that they don't think the result was changed, even though they (and, tbh, even some elected Republicans) now pretty clearly believe that it was.
"I fully support this idea, because I *know* there will be lots of work mopping up the damage afterwards."
Indeed. I'm already googling what my new salary will be once I go from being a sys admin preventing problems to a management consultant explaining why problems happened after they fired all the sys admins.
Yeah, this is a very, very old discussion (older even than Cartwright's previous article on virtualization, which really belonged in 2005). I seem to recall a Worstall article about deliberately hiring Eastern Block programmers back in the 70s because the inferior soviet computing infrastructure had trained them to be much more efficient on the hardware.
"For example, I dislike Python, but having used it for just a couple of months, I am not really qualified to say, because I haven't yet experienced the full benefits of advanced Python."
A couple of months IS "advanced Python". It thoroughly expects the user to have no idea what they're doing, which makes writing in it frustrating for anyonewho knows the rules and when to break them.
"The border patrol agents can take your phone, hold it up to your face, and it unlocks."
Provided the lighting is right, and they're holding it about 50cm from your face, and you're not wearing glasses or have an unusually dense amount of stubble that day, and they have the angle just right...
Actually, I think the problem is more that, while a PIN can be stolen giving anyone access to your phone, FaceID doesn't even let YOU into it under most circumstances...
Uh, what training time, exactly? I seem to recall Apple's blurb on this was that it was the bestest thing ever that worked regardless of whether your face was obscured by a comedy Groucho Marx costume or whatever, not that it would require a load of training time to occasionally work if it was at the correct angle and you had just the right lighting.
As opposed to what other face?
"Licenses will now be per core, rather than per processor. Every physical core must be licensed, and you must have at least 8 cores per processor and at least 16 cores per server. Core licenses are sold in packs of two, and you must have at least two eight-core packs to license a server".
So... they're sold in packs of two, but two packs cover eight cores each. Licenses are being sold per core, except their not sold per core because you need at least eight cores and two processors, and you can't buy them individually so their actually being sold in pairs of cores, unless they're being sold in an eight-pack.
May as well be "SQL server can now only be licensed to companies with an R in their name, except if they're based in Swaziland where P and L are accepted, providing the company founding pre-dates the Treaty of Westphalia's third centenary. If the CEO has been changed in the last six years and the number of certified engineers on site is a multiple of four, then the license price is reduced by the square root of the total number of customers served in April of the last financial year, denominated in yen. Licenses last either two or three years, determined through mud wrestling competition on the day of purchase."
"that would mean someone in government doing their job."
Wait, Spain has a government? I thought they'd given up trying after the last four years of failing to put one together.
"Those are AMERICAN dollars (AUD)"
I think you mean AUSTRALIAN dollars, unless you're buying a very different AUD from the rest of the Forex.
Footage of Big John at his day job:
"not a fiat currency, for some bizzarre reasons"
Because it lacks most of the properties of a fiat currency, i.e. there's no sovereign power sat behind it who is able to enforce it's worth (by insisting on people paying their taxes in it) and you can't just print as much as you like since it becomes more difficult to create the more there is. It's also not a commodity currency either.
Of course, anyone sane knows that being a fiat currency isn't actually a bad thing anyway, since the Gold Standard was the cause of repeated economic disaster. Opposing fiat is the realm of gold bugs and whackjobs sat in their cellar waiting for the gubmint to take their guns away.
Thankfully, no-one can tell since the current MS licensing model is already completely incomprehensible.
It's all just symptoms of the main point:
MS have never understood that the best OS is one that can be ignored.
People do not want any kind of relationship with their Operating System. No-one, in the history of ever, has booted up a computer purely to use the OS. They want to run programs that sit on top of that OS, and they want those programs to interact with them. If they could get to the programs without an OS at all, then they would.
MS has, instead, always wanted to make using Windows 'an experience'. They constantly inject shit that jumps up and down in front of you screaming "LOOK AT ME, I'M
MR MESEEKS AN OPERATING SYSTEM, AREN'T I FUN AND EXCITING?!?!". To which the answer will literally always be 'no', because there is nothing exciting about operating systems. Even to those of us who like computers, OSes are an unfortunate necessity rather than an objective in themselves. Well, maybe not including some of the more extreme Linux fans.
It's pretty simple. Be configurable, be secure by default, and be unobtrusive. Don't go looking for applause because you've successfully loaded the networking driver, or pop up with 'helpful' notifications to point out that you've started installing an update at the most inconvenient time ever. Even the 'good' versions of Windows (98, XP, 7) tended to fail on these points.
"Windows is highly irrelevant in the current era."
Sure, except in the real world, where it remains so utterly dominant in the Enterprise space that everyone has to work with it every single day.
"Just how the hell SECURITY is being improved by making a PC more like a bloody mobile phone ?"
Because no-one could be bothered to write malware for Windows Phone?
Doubt it, since Trump doesn't actually have any money. Like everyone else in real estate, he generally uses other people's, since his own assets are decidedly less liquid.
But then we'd have to pay taxes!
Several years ago, I had a job working for a tiny IT outfit, based in a disused mental hospital. We had a grand total of 8 staff - 2 support engineers, 2 Microsoft consultants, a web designer and 3 managers. All our business came from a single client, whom the managers had worked for years previously; they'd never managed to acquire any other clients at all. We were decidedly small-time, though the MD seemed to think we were a Big Player in the IT world.
I'll always recall a Skype meeting with Microsoft's VP for Europe, when we were looking to renew our Gold Partner status, which we were not entitled to, since we didn't have enough MS-certified staff. Frustrated by the VP pointing this out, the MD blurted out 'We have engineers here who could be writing software that YOU could SELL!', quite ignoring the fact that not a single person in the building could code. The MS Veep simply sat in silence for about ten seconds, then carried on as if our MD hadn't just said something unfathomably stupid.
THAT is the same level of delusion necessary to think that Oracle are going to be anything more than a bit player in cloud at this point.
This guy talks about AWS as if it doesn't control more of the market - and is growing faster, in absolute terms - than the next 4 competitors combined. He talks about Azure as if it's some tiny, plucky competitor to Oracle, despite Azure being some 5 times the size of Big Red's offering. He barely mentions Google or IBM at all.
I always kind of assumed that Oracle's approach to cloud, after having missed the boat through Larry's insistence it would come to nothing, is just to pretend like they know what their doing and have a Cunning Plan. This interview more or less confirms that, imo.
Did I hit a nerve with the Friedman thing? This is like the third time you've brought it up...
Yup. That's basically what an MBA teaches you to do nowadays.
Yes, it's notable just how many of the perpetrators of these crimes are leaning into the 'I recognize that I have a problem and am seeking help' excuse. Heaven forbid they're actually held accountable for actions that are outright criminal. No, it must be some kind of terrible disease that caused Weinstein to vigorously wank off into a plant pot at an upmarket restaurant, rather than a societal position of such overweening power that meant consequences just don't happen to people like him. Of course, if you did it, you'd be in a cell for indecent exposure like a flash, but you're not rich or powerful enough to have a 'problem'.
Also, odd that the 'problem' only becomes a problem after they're exposed; you'd have thought Harvey could have noticed at some stage in the previous 30 years that bursting into people's hotel rooms and jerking off in their shower was not a popular move and might be something to seek counseling over.
Yeah, the only reputation Maplin have had anywhere round here for the last 15-20 years is for being hilariously overpriced.
Any government which didn't allow you to deduct capital expenditures from profits before tax would basically be removing the primary incentive for businesses to update plant, and adding a pretty strong incentive not to upgrade anything until it literally falls to pieces, since you'd need to pay out x% of the price of hardware on tax with money you no longer own (because you've already spent it on the hardware).
"It's certainly not the OS itself as modern Linux provides the looks *and* the efficiency."
Except Linux fans have been saying that since 1998.It's almost as bad a trope as 'this will be the YOLOTD'.
I think the problem is that, while *some* Linux distros provide looks and efficiency, others don't, and most people have given up long before they even reach that point. When you decide to try Linux, you go on some forum, say 'hey, where can I get Linux from?', and immediately 800 people say 'actually, it's not that simple' and all suggest their own favourite niche distro - with the thread almost certainly breaking out into a fight over systemd, or KDE vs Gnome, or Debian vs Mint or whatever. It's incredibly off-putting (not helped by many Linux forums being notoriously hostile to newbies, with anyone asking for help being told 'FO and RTFM'; yes, it's not all of them, and yes, the community is much less arrogant-tossbag-centric than it was twenty years ago, but still).
The level of fragmentation is ridiculous. People have written whole guides on how to choose a distro - and they all disagree with al the other guides on the features of each one. There's dead distros cluttering things up, distros which look like either distros but with 1 or 2 minor differences no-one notices, distros that are formed because of Linux's own endless internal Holy Wars over subsystems like systemd... And I think most Linux fans don't understand how immensely off-putting most 'normal' people find this. It's so complicated they don't even get to the install phase, so even if you have one of the user-friendly distros (Ubuntu, or Mint) it doesn't matter, since most users don't get that far.
"I'd put more blame on Redmond, with their restrictive licencing practices if vendors install other OSs."
Again, doesn't really stand up to scrutiny that well, given that you could buy Linux-based equipment fairly easily from fairly early on in the server room. The OEMs signed those agreements with Microsoft because there wasn't much demand for anything else, so they weren't losing much business by agreeing to it.
The fact that no un-MS-chained desktop vendor sprang up and rose to dominate the market by selling Linux boxes pretty much clinches this one - if being locked into a license deal with Microsoft was such a big disadvantage in the marketplace, then it would have shown (and, again, did in the server room, with the likes of Netapp and VMWare arising selling Linux-based equipment and ignoring MS altogether). Instead, no-one really suffered for it, while people who did try to put together a Linux desktop or laptop found sales never rose high enough to achieve economies of scale.
There was neither a demand for Linux in the desktop space, nor the need for it. For the vast majority of users, Windows was familiar (because they used it at work) and relatively straightforward (particularly in the early days, when installing Linux was a ten hour process of picking between a seemingly endless variety of things that did the same task - often ones that the average user did not understand or care about). Linux evangelists continuously ignored that, and assumed everyone delighted in picking between GNOME and KDE, or reading unless forum debates over the best bootstrapper. It's great for performance computer people - i.e., El Reg readers, supercomputer builders and IT nerds - but just annoying complexity for the average punter.
"I do wonder how they manage in Germany,"
Mostly by painfully migrating back to Windows after 10 years and enormous sums of money being thrown down the drain.
Basically, Munich found that using Linux not only caused all sorts of headaches, but also cost nearly twice as much money as just using Windows would have. Because a) support staff cost twice as much, b) you have to write a ton of custom software, c) even then you still end up with formatting issues in office etc, and d) you need to retrain your entire workforce on how to do basic tasks, and then train any new recruit from scratch. Finally, it was also impossible to be 100% Linux, because of the number of things which are simply not available, so they still had to maintain about 20% of their Windows PCs anyway.
Meanwhile, in the real world, one might assume big manufacturers were refusing to make the product because there was no demand for it.
Quite simply, there was no YLOTD because was never a huge public surge of demand for Linux - or for anything other than Windows, in fact. People bitched about Windows a lot, but even when they were offered alternatives for free they weren't interested. In a free market, not being able to give something away is more or less the most damning indictment a product can get.
We can argue as to why that was (lack of application ecosystem outside of Microsoft; the fact that everyone knew how to use Windows and didn't know how anything else worked; the simple absurdity of how complicated the Linux world is to outsiders, where just the process of picking a distro has a 17-page guide available), but regardless of your favoured reason for the lack of demand, a lack of supply was not the problem.
This is particularly obvious because Linux took off like a rocket in the server room, because the demand was there. IT professionals like Linux. Ordinary people like Windows. Hipsters like Macs. That's more or less the rules.
Probably more like 95% tbh. People are not interested in IT security. They like to say they care about it, but the moment they are required to learn even the simplest of new things or are slowed down by the smallest amount, they instantly hate it and turn it off. For example, see the recent hatred for the iPhone X's facial recognition; the number one complain I've seen is 'now I have to look at the screen to unlock it', as if that's a massive fail for something that reduces false positives by about 99.9% and is a device you usually have to look at to use anyway.
What do you mean, "was"?
"he was chatting to guests about Plato and the school of Socrates."
The thing is, once again, if you remove all the flowery language from Brand, you quickly realise that he has only a very limited grasp of what he's talking about, and doesn't appear to understand how to read critically. I don't think he's thick, necessarily; I just think he doesn't have the critical thinking skills necessary for serious social analysis. As a result, he reads one book on a subject, believes it unquestioningly, and then starts spouting off about it to everyone who'll listen like a 15 year old who's just read the Communist Manifesto.
So rather than producing an actual critical analysis of modern voting systems, Brand uncritically read someone else's critique (judging by the contents of the frankly dull 'Revolution', probably Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent), failed to understand any of the technical details which made the original actually make sense, and then mindlessly parroted his very simplistic understanding until Ed Milliband sat down with him for ten minutes and pointed out the numerous flaws in it, where upon he instantly recanted and told everyone to vote Labour instead. Rather than, say, having anticipated even the simplest of objections to 'his' ideas and having thought of a single counterargument.
This is not a Great Thinker, but his use of ludicrously ornate speech patterns hides the fact he's often just recycling someone else's opinion on a topic. As such, he's not a smart person (since a smart person would be capable of coming up with and then defending an opinion on a topic, rather than just borrowing someone else's and then instantly abandoning it in the face of questioning), but he's a stupid person's idea of a smart person, since he uses long words to describe things he pretty clearly doesn't really understand himself.
And this is where we get back to Johnson; he too simply uses very elaborate verbage to hide the fact that what he's saying isn't actually very highbrow. He dresses up his fairly basic arguments in the kind of language that people who barely completed high school imagine academics use, but which have none of the subtle differences in meaning or specific definitions that real academic language contains (though there's plenty of academics who fall into this particular trap, too, mind). And so there's no big clever original ideas hidden in there - it's just fairly ordinary Thatcherite Tory dogma presented in a particularly waffling manner, just as Brand's tedious diatribes are a 14 year old's understanding of libertarian socialism dressed up in the language of a particularly irritating 17th century poet.
There's an old saying: "A good academic makes the complicated seem simple, a bad academic makes the simple seem complicated." Both Johnson and Brand are very much in the latter camp.
"Johnson is the one with brain power."
No, he really isn't.
Johnson is a stupid person's idea of a smart person, rather than an actual smart person. Kind like Paul Ryan in the US plays a policy wonk on TV, but isn't actually very wonkish and isn't very good at policy, or Mitch McConnell pretends to be a grand master of the Senate but can't even get his own party to agree on legislation, let alone the other side. Or how Donald Trump played a successful businessman on the Apprentice, but at a time had completely failed as a businessman.
Johnson uses lots of long words and throws in chunks of Latin to give the appearance of intellect, but if you actually drill down into his bloviating crap there's not really a lot of serious substance there. Just some appeals to naked bigotry, some patriotic-sounding half-truths, and a lot of waffle and outright lies. He got away with this for a long while, but his maneuvering over the Brexit vote - and the almost-instant subsequent exposure of everything he'd been saying as falsehoods (in spite of there being some very strong truthful arguments against the EU) - has sheared away his popularity, and left him an anathema to most Remain voters, which includes just under half the Tory membership.
If using long words made you intelligent, Russell Brand would be a genius - which many younger voters assumed he was in 2015, until he revealed himself to be a man of very little brain indeed when a 20 minute chat with Ed Milliband revealed just how little he understood about the system he was attempting to critique. Johnson is much the same, and should be taken about as seriously.
Microsoft's security is much better than it was 15 years ago, but a decent security researcher can still crack one fairly easily even if it's up to date and running an antivirus.
Though the maker of Android passing comment on someone else's OS security is a bit rich.
It's funny, but I was just thinking yesterday' You know what Chrome needs? To use up yet more RAM and processing power for tasks that have nothing to do with web browsing'.
Google has determined that I live at work, and so regularly tells me when my last train 'home' is when I get into bed at night.
Insert obligatory holding-it-wrong joke here.
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