* Posts by Commswonk

970 posts • joined 3 Sep 2015

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Survey: Tech workers are terrified they will be sacked for being too old

Commswonk
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Re: This is worth waiting for...

Oh for pluck's sake... TFIF and nearly time for some of these------>

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Commswonk
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Re: This is worth waiting for...

@ Voyna i Mor:

Dirty lyre.

Oh how utterly superb.

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Commswonk
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This is worth waiting for...

Recall back in 2007, at a Y Combinator Startup School event at Stanford University, then 22-year-old Mark Zuckerberg said, "Young people are just smarter."

So when can we expect the arrogant tw*t to sack himself now that he is 10 years older?

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Your data will get hacked anyway so you might as well give up protecting it

Commswonk
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Re: Walt Disney does it...

Are you hoping to become a Glasgow - based journo for El Reg?

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Misco UK chops majority of workforce, pulls down shutters

Commswonk
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Chop a tree down, plant another one.

And they converted themselves into paper with printing without any CO2 being generated how exactly?

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Breakfast at Jeffrey's: UK CEO admits Voda 'slightly lost its mojo'

Commswonk
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On The Other Hand...

Not surprisingly, he's fairly critical of the incumbent, saying there must be something "structurally wrong" with the way the UK market operates for there to be such little fibre-to-the-premise penetration, around just 2 per cent.

It is arguable that this demonstrates that "the market" is working perfectly well. If it can be shown that demand from end users for FTTP is not all that great (when compared to those satisfied with ADSL / VDSL) then why would anyone (BT in this case) risk splurging capital to flood - wire the UK with fibre when there is no certainty - or more likely serious doubt - that the return on that investment would be sufficient?

Perhaps he (and others) are expecting BT to take on all the risk while permitting ISPs/ MNOs to use little bits of the fibre network as and when required, doubtless at a discounted price because "wholesale".

Disclaimer: I am not a BT shareholder; nor did I ever work for BT.

Downvotes expected...

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Commswonk
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Is Joke, Yes?

...other than Labour MP Ruth Smeeth having a pop at DDC – the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Defence Communication, its spin doctor battalion...

Please promise me that you made that bit up; if you didn't then it means that there are so many PR personnel that they need their own effing Directorate.

No wonder the MoD has no money to spend on, er... defence.

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Hackers can track, spoof locations and listen in on kids' smartwatches

Commswonk
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I think there needs to be regulation put into law for IoT tat before it's too late.

Er... it's already too late.

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Combinations? Permutations? Those words don't mean what you think they mean

Commswonk
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Re: "Pedantically, neither of these phrases are correct"

Pedantically neither of these phrases is correct.

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Ex-TalkTalk chief grilled by MPs on suitability to chair NHS Improvement

Commswonk
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Plus ça change...

As I said just a few days ago on a different thread on this illustrious organ...

The above looks all too like a cosy cabal of the self - appointed great and good (by their definition, not mine) looking after their own interests while the rest of us can get stuffed.

I regard this woman's simply being considered for this post as a gross insult to the electorate / NHS users. If she had any sense of decency she would have slunk off into a dark corner somewhere and stayed there.

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Qualcomm takes 5G to spooky millimetre land

Commswonk
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Laws of Physics

The X50 demo took place in Qualcomm's San Diego labs...

...where I suspect that power consumption was not much of an issue. Unless things have changed somewhat in the period since retirement making a radio work at SHF is far more demanding of "power" than one working at (say) 800 MHz. So what is the battery life of a practical (impractical?) device going to be if it has to operate at SHF? Modest, I would expect.

Where was the nice PP slide showing "get battery consumption down to sensible levels"?

Oldham? Ardnamurchan? I've been to both (neither recently) and if at the latter the last thing I would want would be a working cellphone. All I would want would be a dry (and hopefully cloudless sky) so that I could look at the stars without light pollution spoiling it all. Breathtaking.

On reflection having the lights on in Oldham also tends to spoil the view as well, for the simple reason that without the lights you can't see it.

Sorry Oldham.

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Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

Commswonk
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Forthcoming Attraction...

From the article: Turnbull was charged with posting pictures and videos that were "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing manner, in that they depicted [Turnbull] in possession of a cache of firearms and explosives".

How long before we see the following: [redacted] was charged with posting pictures and videos that were "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing manner, in that they depicted [redacted] in possession of a pie containing a meat product.

At this rate not long, I suspect. Those living in Wigan had better watch out.

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Remember how you said it was cool if your mobe network sold your name, number and location?

Commswonk
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Re: Failure of democracy.

This report and many other incidents are showing everyone that our present forms of governments do not, can not or will not represent the interest of citizens.

Well said; very well said actually. I just hope that nobody is particularly surprised at the statement because it's been bloody obvious for a long time.

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Boffins suggest UK needs an 'AI council' but regulation is for squares

Commswonk
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As always...

From the article: Elsewhere in the report, Hall and Pesenti call for government to establish an AI council as a "strategic oversight group" to encourage an "open and non-competitive forum" to coordinate collaboration between industry, the public sector and academia.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who is looking after my interests? The above looks all too like a cosy cabal of the self - appointed great and good (by their definition, not mine) looking after their own interests while the rest of us can get stuffed.

Please nobody suggest the ICO as it is currently constituted with either limited powers or limited intention of using them.

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Grant Shapps of coup shame fame stands by 'broadbad' research

Commswonk
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Re: He is a professional "Internet Marketeer"

To paraphrase Voltaire...

If Grant Shapps did not exist it would not be necessary to invent him.

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Essex drone snapper dealt with by police for steamy train photos

Commswonk
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Re: I feel sorry,

Written from where, exactly?

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IT at sea makes data too easy to see: Ships are basically big floating security nightmares

Commswonk
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Re: Just too smiple for words.

Smiple?

Does not compute, Captain.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Commswonk
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Re: Pah!

I just had to log in for the sole purpose of giving that an upvote.

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Commswonk
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Re: Hmm.

PNG... PNG... PNG

Persona Non Grata; how the hell did IT manage to hijack an existing acronym for its own selfish ends?

And why was it allowed to get away with it?

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Beware the GDPR 'no win, no fee ambulance chasers' – experts

Commswonk
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Re: "while it dismantled its pension and social services to contain costs"

@ LDS: That was wholly a Greek decision.

As, we must assume, was employing Golden Sacks to massage the books so that the country could join the Euro.

A decision that has cost others dear...

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Beardy Branson chucks cash at His Muskiness' Hyperloop idea

Commswonk
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Congratulations; 4 incorrectly used apostrophes and a couple of missing capital letters in 3 lines.

If English isn't your first language then forgiveness might just be available.

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Scouse marketing scamps scalped £70k for 100,000+ nuisance calls

Commswonk
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Re: Sorry, I didn't catch that

I'd be willing to join the Civil Service as a Director General of Mumbled Excuses and CEO of MAaaSS).

Sorry; that post was filled some time ago and there is a list of highly qualified applicants waiting for the next vacancy.

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Commswonk
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Re: 70p/call

Not enough

... by an eye-wateringly large margin.

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Q: How do you test future driverless car tech? A: Slurp a ton of real-world driving data

Commswonk
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Re: Self driving car

From the article: As part of the data-slurping system, each Disco also runs a separate driverless car software suite that responds appropriately to the car’s sensor inputs. Although its outputs are disconnected, they are logged: analysts can then compare the software’s responses to real-world stimuli to what the driver himself actually did.

That's all well and good, but there is an important bit of information missing; in fact there is a whole list of important bits missing.

There is no apparent way of determining why the human driver's decision making process resulted in the action he/she took being different to what the software would have done. Is it going to be assumed that the human was wrong, possibly correctly if the result was some sort of impact. Because "why did he/she do that" cannot be determined (not obviously anyway) there is no way for the software to learn anything; it can only respond the way someone in a lab somewhere told it to respond.

And in any given scenario that way might be wrong.

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Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

Commswonk
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What I don't get is why *none* of the political parties are pointing out that electric cars are a luxury item and therefore should *not* be subsidised...

Because politicians like to live in a world where external realities are excluded when those realities are in conflict with their deeply cherished beliefs. In the case of EVs technical realities are ruthlessly ignored because to recognise them would result in the politicians having to acknowledge that their dreams are just that; dreams.

EVs are seen as an "environmental" matter and as is all too often obvious the environmental lobby has politicians in some sort of Vulcan death grip.

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Commswonk
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Re: Brave New World

@ TRT: I expect the 18th edition wiring regulations will include modules about high capacity chargers in the domestic scenario as well as micro-generation systems. You have no sound reason to be fearful. They're pretty hot about this sort of thing.

Doesn't that rather overlook the fact that an 18th Edition will only really address installations carried out after its adoption? Think of all the premises that will be pre 18th Edition that would have to be reworked to make them compliant, at potentially huge cost.

Furthermore even if an 18th Edition addresses the "user" installation it will do nothing to uprate the supply side; think of all the roads and pavements that would have to be dug up to install cables adequate for the increased load.

Commonplace enough scenario; politicians get involved with technology with an outcome best described as delusional.

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Commswonk
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Re: Access to the Open LV dataset...

Some of the foregoing puns are real gems Joules.

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El Reg was invited to the House of Lords to burst the AI-pocalypse bubble

Commswonk
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Re: nice

Kudos indeed, but it's hardly a new concept. Go and spend a moment or two searching for Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats and you'll find that you need the "Black Hat". (But don't throw the others away; they are also useful!)

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BAE confirms it is slashing 2,000 jobs

Commswonk
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Re: Calling Mr Kim!

@ codejunky: I am not sure that would work. It isnt going to take a great deal to defeat wooden rockets and troops with sub-par kit.

You mean like last time there was fighting in Korea? Or for a more recent example think"Vietnam". If it came down to fighting (I hesitate to say "limited war", because it probably wouldn't be in any sense "limited") then there would be no certainty that China and/or Russia wouldn't support the NK cause for their own reasons, but even if both countries were prepared to sit on the sidelines it is hard to see how SK could escape near total destruction.

As has been shown time and time again just hurling big munitions on to a piece of territory is not enough to defeat it; it needs boots on the ground and it doesn't need a fertile imagination to see where that could lead. Like I said earlier... think Vietnam. Simply decapitating the NK regime in the expectation that that would be enough to ensure instant victory is fantasy.

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Commswonk
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@ Caustic Soda The government is cutting spending on a number of areas of defence. What do people expect to happen?

I expect that something will happen (sooner rather than later) to which UK Armed Service personnel will be committed, and that there will not be enough of them to do the job properly and those that are there will be ill / under equipped to do the job required of them. To be fair the scaling back of the Eurofighter programme is only a small part of that, but it is indicative of how "defence" is treated these days.

The most recent example is the suggested sale of HMS Ocean; if next year's hurrican season in the Caribbean is a repeat of this year then there won't be an HMS Ocean to go in support of beleaguered islanders. Thinking about it if the rumours are true there wouldn't be enough Royal Marines to go and help either.

To a politician defence spending can be reduced without any formal reduction in defence commitments, but it simply cannot work that way. Historically Conservative governments could be relied upon to maintain "the military" but ever since the cuts of 2010 (e.g."Harrier") that is clearly no longer the case.

I'm not suggesting that BAE Systens should be presented with facilities for direct debits from taxpayers' pockets but IMHO potential commitments (in both men and materiel) are too far ahead of capabilities; the "Capability Gap".

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1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

Commswonk
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Re: The unfortunate thing about this

We get the government we deserve, I guess.

An oft - repeated idea, but I fail to see why we (i.e. the voters) should get the blame. What past sins did we commit to have the sort of governments that we do? All we can do is put a cross in a box; as I said on a different thread a few days ago if all the candidates are dunderheads then dunderheads are elected. Not exclusively, perhaps, but in sufficient numbers to be highly damaging to UK national interests and the individual interests of the electors.

In any case foreign & defence policies rarely if ever feature in election manifestos; far too specialist for electors to worry about.

So - please - no more blaming the electorate. The defects are in those we elect, and the party we vote for matters not one jot; we have no choice but to elect fools.

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Commswonk
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Re: The unfortunate thing about this

Colourful. Passionate. Accurate.

Perfectly correct. Pity it was delivered as a rant because that detracted from what was otherwise a valid and reasonable and reasoned post.

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Commswonk
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Re: How to solve Brexit.

2000 skilled hands to work in the fields of the Lancashire agricultural industry

As a general rule I try to ignore "Brexit" postings irrespective if their being for or against, but IMHO yours demonstrates simple bad taste and thus warrants a response.

You might care to consider that the scale of the job losses is such that it is unlikely that they can be achieved by waiting until people retire, and skilled employees are going to find themselves without the work that was providing them with an income to pay their mortgages and all their other bills.

BAE Systems is the major employer in the area, so a significant loss of jobs is going to have a significant impact on the town of Warton and the surrounding area. Whatever anyone thinks about selling military aircraft to some regimes this loss of jobs is deeply regrettable. The UK doesn''t make enough "things" now so making fewer of them can hardly be seen as good.

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You may not have noticed, but 'superfast' broadband is available to 94% of Blighty

Commswonk
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Re: Outlaw the use of "up to" - it is lying about the truth

Not strictly, er... true. It is the truth, but it is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

If supermarkets tried to sell (say) tins of bean labelled "Contains "up to" 5 x 50 gram servings they would find themselves being pursued by customers and officialdom alike. Ditto pints of beer or litres of petrol.

I suspect that the trouble is that marketeers cannot work in anything that isn't short and snappy, probably based on the assumption that their likely customers can't either*, so putting in any sort of caveat about the limitations in speed that might arise is seen as impractical and pointless.

* They might, of course, be right.

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What does the Moon 4bn years ago and Yahoo! towers this week have in common? Both had an awful atmosphere

Commswonk
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Would you care to explain why do you think the original phrasing was inaproppriate?

Muphry's Law (or one of its variants) strikes again...

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MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

Commswonk
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Re: Little Jim

Not sure that's appropriate here, but on the plus side it means I'm not the only El Reg habitué who remembers the Goon Show.

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BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

Commswonk
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Re: high % women?

Rather odd this...

Women under - represented in the boardroom? Result; complaints.

Women over - represented in TV Licencing prosecutions? Result; complaints.

Raise this on El Reg? Likely outcome - downvotes.

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Commswonk
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Whether you're a techy or not, if you're drafting laws, you CALL IN EXPERTS.

But they do; unfortunately they are experts in drafting laws, not experts in what the law in question is actually trying to address.

"We have consulted with experts, and they advise us that this isn't the best way to go about things, so we will look for other solutions". What the hell is negative about that sentence?

Nothing negative, but from a politician's viewpoint it's simply wrong. Their approach is

"We have consulted with experts, and they advise us that this isn't the best way to go about things, so we will look for other solutions experts."

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Commswonk
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Re: Dim isn't anywhere near right

If she keeps getting in, says something about the voters in Hastings and uselessness of our electoral system.

I think that is genuinely wrong; the voters can only vote for candidates to stand, and who is to say that the other candidates weren't even worse? I also fail to see how the electoral system can be blamed; however you might tinker with it if the candidates are all dunderheads then a dunderhead will be elected.

Being an MP (or SoS or Minister) must be one of the very few jobs (if not the only one) where some decent substantive knowledge of something relevant* isn't an essential requirement; what matters is adherence to the party line at a local level, leavened with more brown - nosing than I could ever hope to achieve. (Yuck!)

I cannot see how any sort of fundamental "competence" test could be applied; who would set the standards? Other politicians, I fear, so there is no prospect of a change of the better any time soon.

* "Relevant" does not include PPE, along with numerous others...

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Commswonk
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Re: Sauce for the gander

Perhaps Boris Johnson counts as an 'organ of the state' ...

Is the ambiguity in that phrase deliberate or pure accident?

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Ofcom head Sharon White slams 5G hold-up in spectrum auction

Commswonk
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Re: "accusing them of derailing Britain’s “golden opportunity” to take a lead in 5G"

I would be interested to know the grounds for believing in any such "golden opportunity". Apart from anything else 5G will be the subject of an international standard (see a later post on the subject) and the UK is highly unlikely to be a manufacturing base for any of the component hardware.

So where, exactly, would this "lead" come from?

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Commswonk
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Re: Sharon White...where is the fibre backhaul for 5G?

...without more rollout of FTTP in the local loop by Openreach, it won't happen...

Without getting into an FTTC v FTTP debate are you suggesting the Openreach should flood - wire the UK with fibre on the basis that what might be a small percentage of it gets rented by 5G providers?

That might be the best technical solution, but it is not one that recognises financial realities.

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Tarmac for America's self-driving car future is being laid right now

Commswonk
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Re: saving lives, expanding mobility and reducing congestion

@ Tom 7: A largely centralised system will be able to dispatch routes to all vehicles that mostly avoid congestion. Proper load balancing can take place.

I think you have just introduced a whole new level (or levels) of possible FAIL, because as described your system would require each vehicle to upload its destination details to some Deep Thought somewhere so that routes can be allocated per vehicle and downloaded to each vehicle. Where is the bandwidth for all that going to come from?

If such an idea was to "work" the most likely outcome would be that the solution to congestion on (say) the M25 would be to introduce congestion on all the surrounding roads, assuming of course that they aren't already clogged up.

I live near the M6 and am only too aware of what happens locally if anything really major happens on it; in case you haven't guessed the result it is local roads become completely impassable, as opposed to being just very busy.

I am of the view that too many people see "autonomous" vehicles being some sort of panacea for all the current driving ills; your optimism may be admirable but in my opinion it is simply the stuff of dreams; it is highly unrealistic. A (large) degree of scepticism is required.

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Commswonk
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Re: saving lives, expanding mobility and reducing congestion

Congestion - a factor in congestion is often poor driver behaviour, so there really is some potential there.

I might suggest that a more consistent factor is too many vehicles trying to use the same bit of road at the same time, and quite how autonomous (or semi - autonomous) cars are going to solve that problem isn't obvious. I'm not trying to argue that poor driver behaviour doesn't exist, or that it isn't a factor in some congestion scenarios, but your comment overlooks the rather bigger contribution made by the sheer number of vehicles on the road.

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Nadella says senior management pay now linked to improving gender diversity

Commswonk
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...history shows that BOTH approaches (leaving things to itself and affirmative action) have their downsides.

Or to put it another way life is inherently unfair. Get used to it.

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Commswonk
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Re: Quality over quantity...

Within the field of technology shouldn't you be focusing on qualifications over gender?

(Pause for thought)

Within the field of technology work shouldn't you be focusing on qualifications over gender?

If I was in hospital facing complicated surgery I would want the surgeon to be the very most qualified and experienced, not the one who could accumulate the greatest number of ticks in "disadvantaged" boxes or the one who is there based on some sort of "quota".

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Amadeus booking software outages smack airports across world

Commswonk
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Re: 'we experienced a network issue '

Further to #8...

#9: Ryanair, who have screwed things up by cancelling a shedload of flights.

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TalkTalk once told GCHQ: Cyberattack? We'd act fast – to get sport streams back up

Commswonk
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I think blaming the PR team might be a little unfair; their role is to try to make the best of a bad job.

C suite occupants are fair game, though; they created the "bad job" in the first place.

I find myself wondering what the TalkTalk Data Controller has said about the security of customer data; he/she has a statutory responsibility for its protection even if the responsibility doesn't extend as far as ensuring effective cybersecurity.

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Commswonk
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TalkTalk was a negligent custodian

Borrowing Doctor Syntax's comment as a subject...

Former boss Dido Harding later told MPs there was no specific line manager for cyber security as the responsibility cuts across multiple roles in the company.

That tells us all we needed to know about the Blessed Dido Harding in the job she was supposed to be doing.

If we didn't know it already, that is.

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You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

Commswonk
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Re: Ah, 'booking'

@chivo243:

Looks of "What devilish sourcery is this?" abounded.

+1 isn't enough ;-}

Actually +1 is too generous, because it should have been sorcery not sourcery

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