* Posts by Lysenko

986 posts • joined 23 Jan 2015


'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: I think I speak for everybody when I say...

the offensive bit is realizing that your taxes likely paid for it

Political party begging letters funded by taxes? They'd be eaten alive by the press and opposition. This sort of junk mail is paid for by prior victims and corrupt payments political donations.

Huawei consumer biz pres: Are we in talks with Trump? Nope

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: The only loser is the US consumer..

Who would trust a Russian phone? Why trust a Chinese one totally sourced there?

I trust Moscow and Beijing not to presume universal jurisdiction, attempting to extradite people every 5 seconds over alleged hacking offences or trying to seize records held in Irish data centres based on extra-territorial warrants. So, a Yottaphone is definitely something I would consider. The FSB/SVR may be just as bad as the FBI/NSA (being worse isn't possible) for snooping, but they don't go around pretending that some Moscow magistrate has authority in Dublin or seizing foreign security researchers off planes.

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: The only loser is the US consumer..

Our colonial cousins never stopped worrying about the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify their precious bodily fluids. This is just the digital version.

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

Lysenko Silver badge


... no material involving offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity? Well, that's every police force on the planet off to Google then, along with the rest of the legal system and news media. Quite a bit of nudity in the medical profession, so they need to switch as well (especially A&E and Gynaecologists). Oh, and Quentin Tarantino? Back to the typewriter and postal system for all future scripts.

I'd like to think they're just dumb and never heard of the law of unintended consequences, but the fact is they're not that dumb. What they're actually doing is reanimating the old totalitarian dictatorship trick of making existence itself illegal and then employing arbitrary enforcement to eliminate anyone and anything that becomes 'inconvenient'.

Addicts of Facebook and pals are easy prey for manipulative scumbags – thanks to tech giants' 'extraordinary reach'

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Some Data Protection and other ideas

Congratulations. You just invented GDPR.

US govt's final bid to extradite Lauri Love kicked into touch

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Good reasons not to extradite aplenty

Don't fucking hack the American Government EVEN if their passwords are set to Password1

It IS a crime and you are NOT being clever

Whether it is a crime or not will be decided by a British court applying British law. Brexiting from the (presumed) universal jurisdiction of the US Federal Government is the one form I approve of.

Yes, Love very probably is a criminal so with this foreign meddling out of the way we can hopefully proceed with an appropriate prosecution.

123 Reg suffers deja vu: Websites restored from August 2017 backups amid storage meltdown

Lysenko Silver badge


The fact that a 7-month-old backup is even available tells you all you need to know. A backup (which should be) 34 revisions out of date ought to be squirrelled away in dusty LTS by now - if it exists at all. One (inherited) 123-Reg domain to port away come renewal time and I'll be rid of them permanently.

Equifax peeks under couch, finds 2.4 million more folk hit by breach

Lysenko Silver badge

Why don't they just cut their losses and estimate about half the population of the country? It would probably be close to accurate and escape this death march of supplementary announcements.

Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: I can think of lots of uses for a smart watch...

Sure, I can see how someone such as yourself or Mr @arthoss may have a need for special equipment for your specific sport (you probably have special shoes too), but I was really discussing mainstreaming these devices (or not). Personally, I would like a watch with a compass, altimeter and GPS because it would be useful for deploying LoraWAN sensors - but that's an even smaller niche than orienteering.

Call me paranoid if you like, but I specifically don't want a device monitoring "me" for generic use, particularly if there is a cloud slurping dimension. I'm interested (potentially) in sensing and controlling my environment, but voluntarily instrumenting myself 24/7 on behalf of slurp corps is not going to happen.

Lysenko Silver badge

I can think of lots of uses for a smart watch...

... wearable oyster and other payments card, remote arming the car alarm, GPS, controlling ZigBee lights, YubiKey style 2FA, voice memo recording ... but "fitness"?? No. I don't give a damn how many steps a 3km walk amounts to and I don't need to obsessively monitor my pulse any more than I do my blood sugar. Medical devices like that may be useful for people with specific health conditions, but otherwise, you're just targetting narcissists and hypochondriacs.

Ethics? Yeah, that's great, but do they scale?

Lysenko Silver badge


This is one of the first conference promoting advertorials I've seen that wasn't a steaming pile of buzzword ridden drivel. Regardless of whether I agree with the implied conclusions, the case presented is coherent, thought provoking, provides a basis for debate, and is clearly not the product of the typical PowerPoint ninjas who infest many such events.

Stop us if you've heard this one: Ex-Googler sues web giant claiming terrible treatment. This time, sex harassment

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Don't Play Well With Others

There's going to be a series of blowback law suits a little down the line. Obviously, people with poor social skills exist everywhere, but some of them are going to have a medical diagnosis (likely some form of ASD) to back it up, and that's going to potentially trigger disability discrimination law if the symptoms are penalised when they are not directly relevant to the job description.

The virtue signalling of outlawing "inappropriate comments" in the workplace inverts somewhat when it is reframed as "I shouldn't have to work with disabled people because they make me feel uncomfortable".

Google: Class search results as journalism so we can dodge Right To Be Forgotten

Lysenko Silver badge

We all did silly things when we were young and naive...

...yes. Like joining FaceBook.

US watchdog just gave up trying to get Google to explain YouTube's huge financial figures

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Jurisdictional question

Obviously, the IRS could investigate Alphabet down to the last paperclip, and that would entail calculating the exact trading and financial position of YouTube, but they can only do that if they have grounds to suspect tax evasion, not just because they were bored and curious nor at the behest of Wall Street "activist investors" who are only interested in pump and dumping (or shorting) share positions to create magic money over a 90 day timeframe. Scratch the surface of this SEC fishing expedition and that's what you'll find.

TigerGraph emerges from undergrowth with 2.0 release in its jaws

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: 'Scuse my ignorance

Graph database = MUMPS for more "experienced" users ;)

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: @Lysenko

Do you think it would be possible to hook up multiple MS Kinect's to a monitoring system?

That's exactly what we did for PoC, with a FliR Lepton bolted on the end. It's workable.

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: An actual usefull scenario...

Those things already exist. You can get g-force monitors to see if people have fallen and ...

Yes, I know, however, we were asked to cover the "20" bit of the 80/20 rule and (crucially) not to depend on instrumenting the individual directly. That means accelerometers and magnetometers (for example) are out for posture detection and in with OpenCV. Same for temperature (microbolometers, not thermocouples). Way too many corner cases for my liking with either approach.

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: An actual usefull scenario...

The hole with all those systems is that someone who collapses (stroke, fall, cardiac event etc) is quite likely incapable of coherent speech or pressing buttons. We've been asked to build something to plug that gap, but short of death detection (by thermal imaging), we haven't come up with a workable approach that doesn't require strapping sensors onto the target or making huge assumptions (e.g. no-one sits still on the floor, ergo alarm) triggering false positives.

Lysenko Silver badge

SWATted by Siri?

No thanks. It is a dumb an idea as a car that does an emergency stop every time it hears the word "brake" (or was it "break"?). If they have to do something like this (and Alexa at least could do it now), it should be based on a safeword (or phrase), not AI trying to disentangle someone doing DIY while watching a horror movie.

Samsung's Galaxy 9s debut, with not much other than new cameras

Lysenko Silver badge

So, Apple's lead killer feature for the last release was an animated turd, and Samsung hit back with the animated cartoon selfie? Hmmm ... I'll give that one to Samsung for (vanishingly little) utility, but Apple's grasp of the true consumer zeitgeist is unchallenged I fear.

NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

Lysenko Silver badge

Oh? Explain how heavily outgunned Vietnamese drove out the mightiest army in the world? What about Somalia? Afghanistan? Iraq?

All cases of foreign invasion. The relevant comparison for small arms against government oppression would be the spectacular (lack of) success the domestic opposition to Saddam Hussein enjoyed when he was in power.

The problem with the "defending to home front" analysis is that if the government bans guns and sends forces in to collect them then they are defending the home front against an internal insurrection. No extended supply lines, no unusual terrain and no external meddling (because they definitely control the navy and air force).

Lysenko Silver badge

Banning 5 million legal firearms is almost impossible.

Tripe. How many million firearms do you think were floating around Europe in 1946? Where are they now? Do you seriously think there are millions of STEN guns squirrelled away in potting sheds all over the continent? Your figure seems low to me, but even if you're off by a couple of orders of magnitude it changes nothing (besides making them easier to find). How many tins of lead paint or tons of asbestos do you think needed tracking down and disposing of after they were recognised as potentially lethal?

The logistics of banning firearms in the US are simple. The problem is the political will to face down the (inevitable) couple of dozen Ruby Ridge/Waco incidents which the tin foil hatted FEMA Camps/NWO/Freeman on the Land/Militia lunatics will inevitably provoke.

If you are going to argue that a lightly but dangerously armed populace is a good thing then defend that position on its merits. Trying to deflect the question with bogus claims of logistical impossibility discredits your argument because it implies you realise yourself that your position is untenable.

So, armed civilians prevent government tyranny? Fine. Explain how a bunch of amateurs using only 9mm pistols and 5.56mm rifles stop a tank? Or a Predator? Or an Apache helicopter? Or just a bunch of professionals with M-16s and grenade launchers? It's ridiculous. You know it, I know it, the whole world knows it.

If you're going to claim the 2A is anything other than a historical anachronism then find a coherent argument that isn't rooted in "liberty" vs. men with muskets. You might as well riff off the founder's obsession with Rome and bolt the right to own a gladius into the Constitution, or go all Anglo-Saxon and make it a seax.

Unlucky Linux boxes trampled by NPM code update, patch zapped

Lysenko Silver badge

What other kind of user would need sudo?

...and that's what proper QA is about. Root has no reason to use sudo so that's exactly why you have QA specialists who think up all the stupid, illogical and documentation defying things a user might try and test them to ensure no unanticipated code paths get triggered. QA isn't about checking that something works - it's about trying to out-think the developer and break his code.

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: So testing before deploying isn't a "thing" anymore?

DevOps is certainly part of it, but my guess is that the modern "security" mantra is just as much to do with it. People are bombarded (correctly, in context) with exhortations to keep everything up to date and always apply the latest patches, so it becomes second nature to pull the trigger on any update as soon as you hear about it. Failure to do so (Equistrutsup) can be career limiting. No PHB on a sacrificial goat hunt after a security breach is going to be deflected by hearing a patch was still in internal beta.

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Where Gemini's value really lies

Agreed. Writing English is a niche activity I can do in various ways, including this on screen touch keyboard. Writing code, particularly code that is formatting sensitive (Python), is where this is going to be a game changer (for me).

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Wedded to Intel

You seem to be confusing Seattle with Cupertino.

Talk about a MINER offense! Crypto-cash crafter clashes with T-Mob US in hipster haven

Lysenko Silver badge

If only there were a solution...

... some sort of "cage" maybe. Didn't some old geezer called "Faraday" do some work on such things?

UK local gov: 37 cyber attacks a minute but little mandatory training

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Hmm

If anyone asks me that I just give them the Fail2Ban stats for failed SSH login attempts (one every two seconds or so seems a bit low to me).Trawling through email virus logs, attempted access to PHP admin interfaces over HTTP and all the rest is a complete waste of time because the metrics thus created are meaningless when aggregated.

Flight Simulator's DRM fighter nosedives into Chrome's cache

Lysenko Silver badge

Better warm up the legal department, lawsuits are going to fly.

Just goes to show, stupid people can be overachievers too.

It also highlights a common industry deficiency. Many developer interviews find time for trivia ("what is a closure?") that can be looked up in 5 seconds but completely fail to inquire about fundamentals like knowledge of the Computer Misuse Act and Data Protection Act etc. It's like hiring an architect based on his knowledge of the aesthetics of post-modernism and forgetting to ask if he's ever heard of building regulations and planning permission.

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Unreal

That or it's techbro "no mere mortal is as clever as *us*! Right bro?" stupidity.

This smells more like a veteran of the "Home taping is killing music" era who hasn't quite reached retirement age yet. I mean, it isn't even a (<cough>Sony</cough>) rootkit.

Capita data centres hit by buttload of outages

Lysenko Silver badge

No surprise...

The Maldives Basketball Association members running outfits like Capita hear the term "redundancy" and automatically equate it with something you need to get rid of.

Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

Lysenko Silver badge

there are no easy fixes at this point - too many guns are already in the system to quickly fix this.

Europe was awash with guns after both world wars. Now it isn't. How did that happen? In any case, even if you don't have the backbone to face down a few dozen "militia" sociopath incidents, you can just ban sales of ammunition and watch the problem start to solve itself over a few decades.

Transport for London to toughen up on taxi firms in the Uber age

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Re Seatbelts

They should all be removed and a spike placed on the steering wheel pointing at the chest of the driver.

I was thinking of the standard H&S ratchet whereby anything optional introduced for "safety" reasons (seatbelts, ear defenders, breath masks, goggles, hard hats) has a tendency to become compulsory in a decade or so.

For added fun, there's the challenge of trying to cook up a defensible argument for why "women only" is materially different to "heterosexuals only" or "Hindus only" or "deaf only" or any other discriminatory measure one might want to cook up. Women are a special case and are demonstrably unsafe in mixed sex environments you say? I refer to the point I made some moments ago. Welcome to Riyad.

Lysenko Silver badge

Aha ... so TFL have been on a fact finding trip to Riyad...

TfL also asked private-hire businesses to develop a way to allow passengers to choose who they share vehicles with – the example given is female-only cabs – before accepting a ride.

...and decided that Saudi Arabia was right all along. Sex segregated transport really is a public safety issue rather than repressive paternalism.

It will be completely optional of course, just as mandating the fitment of seatbelts in 1972 gave you the option to use one. Obviously, no-one would consider making wearing seatbelts compulsory.

Should AI get to choose a topping in a two pizza team?

Lysenko Silver badge

What is he talking about?

“The whole concept of DevOps is to bring together human beings for a more integrated approach to delivering technologies and systems.”

The whole point of DevOps is to engineer humans out of the delivery process via automation. I'm having trouble parsing the sophistry. Is he talking about bringing people together at the Job Centre? Closer proximity of the survivors once you've sacked ops and QA and downsized office space? Co-opting customers as unpaid alpha testers?

The existence of linters, test generators and code path analysis demonstrates that "AI" already has a foothold in build chains (in a primitive fashion) so that train has already left the station.

If you don't like what IBM is pitching, blame Watson: It's generating sales 'solutions' now

Lysenko Silver badge

does the phrase "cognitive solutioning" sound like something Watson made up?

A computer wouldn't mistake a noun for a verb. That sort of illiteracy is restricted to humans from the Middle Bronze Age.

Lysenko Silver badge


"We've trained Watson on our standard solutions and offerings, plus all the prior solutions IBM has designed for large enterprises."

So, they pulled together pitch decks from all their PowerPoint ninjas and shuffled the slides based on last weeks top trending buzzwords. It is sad that they think their victims will fall for this - but positively tragic that they're probably right.

BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Any news on whether the BBC pays their side of the bargain?

assuming she followed all of the tax accountants advice as to what she had to pay etc, etc to Keep it legal - then can she sue the accountant for giving false advice?

That can get tricky. Unlike criminal law, you can't generally sue someone (successfully) just for being wrong - you have to prove that the error was deliberate or negligent. Given that this ruling is seen as significant, it follows that the accountants have a good defence on the basis that their advice was an honest, competent opinion at the time it was given.

Hate to ruin your day, but... Boffins cook up fresh Meltdown, Spectre CPU design flaw exploits

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Just kill ALL code in a browser.

Yeah, that'll stop anyone exploiting cpu flaws.

Get the torches!!! They're running JavaScript!!!! It looks like C but the scoping's different!!!!!!!!!!!!

JavaScript isn't the issue. Automatically downloading and executing code that arrives over the internet (*.vbs email attachments?) is the issue.

The positive side is there are only a handful of JS engines in common use with V8 (Google open source) being the market leader. It should be possible to stamp out these exploits inside TurboFan (the V8 compiler) and the equivalents in other JS engines, which would automatically sanitise all the JS in circulation. Statically compiled code (C/C++ etc) is a much bigger problem in this regard.

Roses are red, Facebook is blue. Think private means private? More fool you

Lysenko Silver badge


If you're bringing a tort action and you are dumb enough to create evidentiary material that undermines your case then it is discoverable and admissible. It could be hard copy photos that have never been near a computer or handwriting from someone claiming for RSI. A claimant cannot be allowed to prevail simply by suppressing material evidence on the grounds of "privacy". The scope for abuse would be catastrophic and virtually guarantee reversal on appeal.

Rogue IT admin goes off the rails, shuts down Canadian train switches

Lysenko Silver badge

management (not just from one company) would frequently "let someone go" with out informing us.

The problem is org charts. HR have a visceral resistance to the reality that on a day to day basis a SysAdmin is a far more powerful (and therefore potentially dangerous) individual than a CEO and consequently needs to be handled with greater care.

The same thing happens in DCs. People get awestruck by CTOs and (to a lesser extent) networking guys and forget that regular electricians and aircon plumbers underpin everything[1].

[1] Based on a "logic bomb" left by a disgruntled sparky. A few breakers were "accidentally" miswired so that when a scheduled power down happened three months later the wrong aisles got powered off which also unbalanced the 3-Phase with assorted domino effects. The miscreant was long gone back to somewhere in Eastern Europe by then.

Microsoft working to scale Blockchain for grand distributed ID scheme

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: The trust issue

Bonus Question: Is W10 adoption held back more by concerns about spying, or because of its horrible interface? Discuss

Using a standard statistical significance threshold of 5% (i.e. 1 PC user in 20), I suspect that no-one cares about Win10 telemetry and most people using earlier versions simply don't see any compelling need to upgrade.

I base this on incontinent FarceTwitGooDroidCloudSnipGram settings and usage behaviours the majority of people seem perfectly relaxed about. If you see no problem with all your email, documents and photos being stored in cleartext on a Google server while your phone tracks and uploads your every movement and undetermined amounts of what you say, why would you suddenly get agitated about the (vastly less invasive) implications of Win10. The fact that much of this Google tracking can be switched off is beside the point - most people apparently don't care enough to do so.

IBM declares it's the 'backbone of the world's economy'

Lysenko Silver badge

The hubris - it burns...

IBM are a world leader in one area: mainframes. Everywhere else they are a third rate also-ran, frantically leveraging brand recognition (built with mainframes) to remain relevant.

It didn't have to be this way. IBM could still be the gold standard x86 PC and server manufacturer with a halo effect making IBM the industry standard in related areas from keyboards to datacentre equipment racking to containerised clouds, but no. They sold that off and went all in with slick suits fronting offshore cube farms. You ate your own seed corn IBM. Own it.

Facial recognition software easily IDs white men, but error rates soar for black women

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: Genetic diversity

Isn't 85% of all genetic diversity in humans found in Sub Sahara Africa (phenotype as well)?

Most of the genome has no external phenotypical expression and whole-genome genetic distance does not necessarily correlate with phenotype as the variation in dog breeds and the quasi-canine appearance of hyaenas illustrates. Conversely, sub-saharan Africans and aboriginal Australasians have the greatest genetic distance but are often considered to be phenotypically similar.

Sub-saharan Africans do not have any Neanderthal or Denisovan genetic contribution (3-5% in everyone else) besides some rare instances of genetic backflow from the Levant. This impacts externally observable phenotype, particularly in terms of eye and probably hair colouration (plus the immune system, hair texture, respiratory metabolism and a number of other areas).

Human perceptions of phenotype are evolved to assess ingroup membership rather than genetic distance per se. That means the environmental (in human terms, cultural) aspect of phenotype is often of greater importance. For a human, how an individual dresses and behaves (e.g. a military uniform, prayer rituals) is part of the phenotype just as the exact design of a nest is for a bird.

Lysenko Silver badge

Re: I'm not sure if serious.

Many times it has been stated, there is more diversity and difference inside groups than there is between groups.

That may be true for genotypes (it's actually an oversimplification), but it doesn't hold for phenotypes, particularly not when you're only considering a tiny subset of phenotypical data which the human brain has specifically evolved to evaluate (faces).

Lysenko Silver badge

The word "Intersectional" is the giveaway. A study declaring itself Marxist/Leninist would have identified that the discrepancy was class based and constituted oppression of the proletariat using exactly the same data and for exactly the same reasons (confirmation bias).

That doesn't mean they are wrong about the differential accuracy of course. It just means they have pointlessly poisoned the well regarding the integrity of the study.

Until last week, you could pwn KDE Linux desktop with a USB stick

Lysenko Silver badge

You compiled your own software that you run and could have compromised it while doing so? I'm shocked!

Exactly so, which is why FOSS "freedom" matters to people like me and is an irrelevance to everyone else (the vast majority).

Lysenko Silver badge

So no, stuff like this is not thoroughly tested just because MSFT.

True, it is more thoroughly tested because Windows runs on 88% of desktop/laptop PCs and is therefore the primary target for most security researchers and hackers. As I said, it's about the numbers, not the vendor or ideological purity.

Personally, I find Linux far easier to compromise cf. Windows precisely because it is FOSS. I recently modified and rebuilt SSH to log the passwords attackers use against my servers. I could have made it do anything of course, including building in a hard-coded back door. Much harder to do that with a closed source OS. Now you, being intimately familiar with GNU/Linux source code, might notice that I had done that - but would your average user? I doubt it.

autoplay isn't autorun btw. This attack couldn't work via Windows autoplay functions. If you know different, I'm sure the NSA will be in touch with a suitable cheque ;)

Lysenko Silver badge

Linux runs on 2-3% of desktops and KDE on only a fraction of those. Windows is therefore more thoroughly tested and stuff like this gets found faster. Hating MSFT and evangelising FOSS can't change the maths.

Huawei claims national security is used as plausible excuse for 'protectionism'

Lysenko Silver badge

Australia is 100% OK with NSA's SIGINT activities, as they are part of the Five Eyes agreement. The US is 100% OK with NSA's and GCHQ's SIGINT activities as a matter of law + Five Eyes agreement.

I agree. It is entirely possible that they want to push business towards American equipment to ensure that agreed backdoors and cryptographic flaws are present and that the privacy of Australian citizens is not inadvertently enhanced ;)


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