* Posts by steelpillow

427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2016

Page:

EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: Autorotate to where?

Probably a corner of some car park, re-designated an aerial taxi dropoff point. Can only follow routes with a continuous supply of such.

It should be easy enough to specify a deployable paraglider or similar controlled-descent device, with independent control system and say 10 mins power supply, for use when the main flight power fails.

It might be a touch less easy to implement such a system and get it certified.

1
4

Microsoft has signed up to the Open Invention Network. We repeat. Microsoft has signed up to the OIN

steelpillow
Silver badge

Makes you wonder.

"OIN? let's embrace, extend, ... extinguish."

9
6

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: Do you have a Gemini - if so what's it like?

Getting more and more into mine. It's a perfectly good Android* 4G/LTE smartphone, once you get into the habit of flipping it open and sometimes having to hold it up like an open book to do portrait-mode stuff. Once you start a call you can close it up again and look normal, you can also answer calls with it closed. Bit like those flip-up clip-on sunglasses, very practical once you get past the novelty factor. Dropbox plus WPS Office turn it into a productive netbook, with a small keyboard you will either love or hate. Some use it like a laptop, some two-thumbed like a smartphone (awkward for small hands, but if that's you then you can hold it like a book when on the move and bring up the standard Android soft keyboard, save the physical one for the table top), some hold in one hand and type with the other - I often do for quick messages or adding a stumbled-on contact. Integrated productivity apps echo the old Psions and get variable responses. Maybe Planet Computers should have called it the YMMV. I love it.

* The one to watch is the new Sailfish OS build, due out soon. You can dual-boot or just dump Android.

19
0

Chinese tech titans' share prices slump after THAT Super Micro story

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: One thing is certain:

@ Rupert Fiennes: Of course, the security module's I/O channels will be open to the same kind of CITM (chip-in-the-middle) compromise, especially if the main chip is also made in China.

4
1

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

steelpillow
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Poppycock

Forgive me, but I think the OP's context implies dumping without using it properly first.

And isn't SpaceX a US company?

Poppycock and bollocks where they are due, my friend.

13
0

Wi-Fi Alliance ditches 802.11 spec codes for consumer-friendly naming scheme

steelpillow
Silver badge
WTF?

New, good - Retrospective, bad

I'm all for a more easily-undersood system that helps us spot this year's model from last.

But retrospective re-designation is stupid: if I check my current device spec sheet and it is some 802.blah number, how can I relate that to "Wfi 5 or 6?" or, "is "WiFi 4 too risky to keep any more?" type information?

1
0

A web where the user has complete control of their data? Sounds Solid, Tim Berners-Lee

steelpillow
Silver badge
WTF?

Circumvention

So the big dudes will just write apps that hook not only into Solid but into other arbitrary web resources, one of them being their own harvester. You can't police every "Solid-compliant" app on the planet, or have I missed something here?

6
0

Location, location, location... technologies under the microscope

steelpillow
Silver badge

Location tracking

I kind of appreciate that my bleepy thing's GPS could let the emergency services find me in an, err ... emergency.

But I kind of don't appreciate that social media, advertisers, stalkers and government spooks could too.

These things need effective security and strict access controls.

1
0
steelpillow
Silver badge

It was Ireland's biggest lingerie department I understand.

Upvote for [OK I won't say it yet] reference.

2
0

Send up a satellite to zap space junk if you want Earth's orbit to be clean, say boffins

steelpillow
Silver badge

Enemy junk

Interesting that someone thinks they have a better chance of funding if they present the 1-tonne enemy satellite as "junk".

Somebody should tell them that the most dangerous space junk is the 99.99% - the millions of tiny and invisible pieces, not the handful of monsters you can see coming and avoid.

10
1

Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

steelpillow
Silver badge
Coat

Coat icon

The "impact" from a bug in the braking system? Ooer!

Will Mitsubisihi's customers find themselves rear-ended by all this?

3
1

How do some of the best AI algorithms perform on real robots? Not well, it turns out

steelpillow
Silver badge
Childcatcher

Recursion

What you need is to hook the robot up to another ML AI back in the lab, dedicated to tuning the hyperparameters of other AI. You could call the lab one "Teacher" and allow it - ohh, I dunno, fifteen years or so the train up the "pupil" robot.

Now where have I met that paradigm before?

6
0

Enigma message crack honours pioneering Polish codebreakers

steelpillow
Silver badge
Angel

Missed opportunity

“I could operate it now and could plug it up,”

Shame they didn't let her.

9
0

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

steelpillow
Silver badge
Flame

Rainbow haired

FUCK YOU, Snow Wombat and co. Some of my best friends are rainbow-haired and your kind of prejudice and persecution is still rife in society. Opinions like yours need to be kept out of sight. Since you like Linus so much the way he used to be, I am sure that you will take this flame in the spirit it is given.

5
19

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

steelpillow
Silver badge

Couldn't have said it better myself

"It's exactly this sort of nonsense that drove many in the UK to vote for Brexit in the first place."

64
20

Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

steelpillow
Silver badge
Devil

Conspiracy theory

Russia has made pretty bullish noises about dumping the ISS supply contract next year.

Meanwhile the quality of the more recent Soyuz craft has been coming under criticism.

If you wanted to dump an undesirable contract, what better way to erode confidence than to encourage bad quality and follow that up by sticking a spanner drill in the works?

2
0

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

steelpillow
Silver badge
WTF?

Margins

The problem for Apple is that raising its top-end price by 500 dollars merely doubles its existing $500 margin, say. For its cheaper Android competitors, doing the same knocks their slimmer $100 margin up by a factor of five. Instead of having to sell five times as many to make the same profit as Apple, they now only have to sell twice as many. Not sure how smart Apple are being here.

3
3

Gartner: Governments want to be digital, but just can't scale it up

steelpillow
Silver badge
FAIL

Hope springs eternal, nothing else does

The traditional problem faced by the UK Ministry of Defence has always been the deeply traditional hatred between the Army, Navy and Air Force bureaucracies. Royal they may be but their first allegiance is always to the way they do things differently from the others. It has taken half a century to get even this small bit of business change moving and without it, a unified ICT system for the MoD had always been an impossible dream.

Err, how many assorted Departments, Offices and other miscellaneous stones with creatures underneath does UK Gov currently have? Even Wikipedia seems to have lost track.

With all those other democracies apparently in a similar bind, what hope is there for positive, coordinated action?

2
0

SpaceX dodges lightning while storms keep Japan earthbound

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: drone ship

(That's not a Shadows reference, but another band..)

"Set the controls to the heart of the sun" - yet a third band but a hint to the second nonetheless.

2
0
steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: It's not...?

It's not like teaching infosec to politicians.

9
0

Top antivirus tool nuked from macOS App Store – after it phoned browser histories to China

steelpillow
Silver badge
Facepalm

Top stuff

If you were a top motor car brand, would you allow any self-promoting clown to add their product to your approved accessories catalogue and then wait for a series of lethal accidents before pulling it? No, you would take some care to assure yourself of their respectability.

If you were a top food franchise, would you allow any self-promoting clown to add their product to your range and then wait for a rash of lethal allergic reactions before pulling it? No, you would take some care to assure yourself of their respectability.

If you were a top smartphone maker ... oh.

18
0

Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

steelpillow
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Who knew they make roof tiles

It's to protect them from all the **** raining down on them all the time.

8
0

What's AI good for? Industrial or consumer tech? Meh. Airliners? AHA, says UK.gov

steelpillow
Silver badge
WTF?

Ultrasonics

Sod the video. Blast the wing with ultrasonics and analyse the echo. Any ice build-up will change the wing's signature. There's a place down in Wotton-under-Edge who make that kind of gear to test for micro-cracking in the structure. And there are several outfits who do similar stuff to monitor helicopters in flight. I smell an attempt to avoid paying the people who know how to do the job properly. Or is bone ignorance more likely?

9
0

It looks like tech-savvy drivers will have to lead connected car data purge

steelpillow
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Users?

consumers also have to get into the habit of removing their data and dissociating their smartphones when they sell on their connected cars.

Indeed not. The manufacturers need to design-in remote access on a secure per-user basis and give their agents the apps to manage it right. But it will probably take class action lawsuits and appeals all the way to the top of the legal system in several countries before either the manufacturers or the regulators in their pockets will give a flying f*ck.

13
0

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)

steelpillow
Silver badge
Coat

All together now

"URL-y one morning, just as the sun was ri-ising

I heard a maiden singing In the Google below.

Chorus: Oh, don't deceive me, Oh, never leave me,

How could you use my poor data so?"

20
0

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: Einstein you say. I think you mean...

Maxwell calculated the speed of light in classical or Newtonian space. Michelson and Morley's measurements revealed that this speed appeared constant in all directions, showing that either the Earth stood still in space or something very weird was going on.

Einstein made a key advance in theorising that this constancy was relative and not absolute, and a second key advance in theorising that nothing else could go faster either. But because nobody could back that up with experimental data for decades, he won his Nobel prize for his work on quantum theory. One smart cookie.

12
0

Go Pester someone else: TSB ditches CEO over bank's IT meltdown

steelpillow
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Dreaming

Worked on a project which was fine except the automated failover system was botched so badly it would even screw up normal ops when it wasn't needed. Solution was to disable failover and keep the kit handy for manual swap-out.

1
0

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

steelpillow
Silver badge
FAIL

98 percent

What they are doing is trying to create a narrow slot in the graph of security strength and force everybody in there. 97% illegally fails to protect privacy, 99% illegally fails to allow easy snooping, every supplier has to hit 98% secure.

Who will be first in the dock in one country for illegally lose code, while simultaneously in the dock in another country because that same code is illegally tight?

The only conceivable way ahead would be an international standard and certification body for 98% code, with supplier indemnity from prosecution under international law, once their code is approved.

OMG look, Hell is freezing over...

5
0

UK.gov flings £95m at public sector superfast broadband rollouts

steelpillow
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Yeah, right

I live about a mile and a half (2.5 km) from a fibre cabinet, along with about a dozen other homes scattered nearby and another dozen along the route. There are hundreds if not thousands of patches in similar situations scattered across the county.

No government pocket money is going to bring superfast to all us "hard-to-profit from-reach" areas. We need legislation to force telcos to deliver at a fixed price.

6
6

Keep yer plastic, says analyst: eSIMs aren't all they're cracked up to be

steelpillow
Silver badge
Happy

Removable

Nice thing about the Gemini is, the eSIM is not embedded. It is an optional slot-in and is removable. If you don't like it you can swap back to a good ol' vendor-locked SIM.

Judging by the comments here, a lot of you folks don't realise that. I'm not sure that the esteemed analyst concerned did, either.

2
7
steelpillow
Silver badge
Go

Built on IoT

I do think that the idea of a few bleeps and the user is happy is more attractive to everybody than managing little pieces of plastic, so it will probably happen.

Given that IoT eSIMs must be serviced reliably, it is hard to see how the telcos can block smartphones from the same flexibility. I'd just download a "pretend I'm my Skoda" app to my Gemini. (Yes I do have one, and very futuristic it feels too: all that "retro" shit is just that, shit. I digress.) Um, now what's Indiegogo's url?....

2
6

Distro inferno: Debian's still rocking at 25

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: Fond of Debian

"Devuan's certainly an option. The only reason it's not really on my radar for this is because I'm not familiar with it (aside from on a superficial level), and when I look at changing the OS in all of my machines, being familiar with what I'm changing to becomes important."

Devuan ASCII = Debian Stretch - SystemD

Devuan is literally just Debian with SystemD exorcised. It pulls its builds from Debian repos, waves bell, book and candle over them and presto! the latest Devuan build. There are a few necessary changes such as installing eudev instead of udev, but the /udev directory paths don't even get renamed. I got more grief upgrading from Debian Jessie to Stretch than I did from upgrading to Devuan Jessie. You'll be 99.99% right at home - more so probably that with Debian's SystemD builds.

1
0
steelpillow
Silver badge
Pint

Re: And another one

1 Devuan, 1 still Debian but quaking in its boots.

Adopted Debian many years ago. Tried on occasion to elope with RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu, Mint or whatever, but always came back when Debian mended its ways and the others lost the plot again. Will I ever return from Devuan? Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets please....

14
2

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

steelpillow
Silver badge
Mushroom

YADINAFWUC

Yet Another Dickhead Industry that Needs A F*cking Wake-Up Call

3
0

Gartner's Great Vanishing: Some of 2017's emerging techs just disappeared

steelpillow
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Slide of oblivion

It's actually a quite sensible idea to graph all this year's ridiculous buzzwords so ignorant execs and investors can see where the gravy lies.

But that also needs a second path out of the trough for all those buzzwords that underwent a reality check and got tipped down the slide of oblivion.

4
0

The future of humanity: A Bluetooth ball hitting your face – forever

steelpillow
Silver badge

Paintball

Extra marks if you hit the thing with a paintball gun.

Where else would it be safe to use? The padded cell the inventors now live in, perhaps?

8
0

The Death of the Gods: Not scared of tech yet? You haven't been paying attention

steelpillow
Silver badge
Angel

Yeah, the Singularity will sort it all out for us.

I just know it will haver a special soft spot for me because I am so much better inside than everyone else.

7
0

Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

steelpillow
Silver badge
Flame

No foreigners, then

If you are an overseas IT worker in the UK, you must be earning at least £120k before your work permit will be renewed.*

The £100k on offer here must mean that one interview question will have to be, "If you are not a UK citizen, does your work permit cover the full period of the contract?"

* Was why child chess prodigy Shreyas Royal needed the Home Secretary to get personal, his dad's an IT Project Manager: BBC report

Speechless with indignation at our inhuman immigration laws.

Hey, Mr. Royal, maybe you should go for this low-paid-scum job, as a little personal "thank you" to said Home Secretary? You could let your kid do the actual migration strategy, he'd be pretty hot on it by all accounts.

1
0
steelpillow
Silver badge
Trollface

I am agog

From the recruitment leaflet:

"our strategy of bringing back ‘in-house’ our key design and architecture decisions, more directly controlling product development, putting users at the heart of our solutions"

Can I believe my eyes? Has the leopard changed its spots? Has .gov.uk actually discovered the twenty-first century?

Or, is it just puff to gloss over the fact that all the approved mega-contractors are currently in the political doghouse?

4
0

Home Office opens AWS cash firehose a little wider with police IT deal

steelpillow
Silver badge
Facepalm

Icon

.

.

.

And in other news, the RAF will be renting its F-35 frontline fighter jets off Lockheed Martin and Theresa May will be renting her shoes off Marks & Spencer using her existing M&S account.

7
0

If you drop a tablet in a forest of smartphones, will anyone hear it fall?

steelpillow
Silver badge

big screen landfill

If you actually need a screen as big as a tablet then you need a decent keyboard. Maybe they should include Chromebooks in the stats count. Or rename the current stat "big screen landfill"

4
13

Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November

steelpillow
Silver badge

Lost the plot

Already we have to enable Google XSS just to log in on the web.

Already official support for the Debian client has been dropped and the version frozen.

Now we see a pruning of *encrypted* filesystems of all things. Unencrypted I could understand, but ENCRYPTED (he shouts) is just two fingers up to us.

Dropbox, you are driving away your foundational user base, the geeks who seek out and support independent and privacy-strong providers. This is no way to grow your reputation or bottom line. You are undermining your USP in just about the most efficient way imaginable.

13
0

Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

steelpillow
Silver badge
Trollface

Whose side is it not worth being on

I'll bet Google see this as a way to stave off Surface sales - "We run your familiar Office apps too", meanwhile M$ see it as a way to do the exact opposite and penetrate the Chromebook market, and are busy putting together a suite of crippleware for it - "Our apps work so much better on our own hardware".

The licensing deals would make interesting reading.

I am reminded of George Orwell's Animal Farm, in which the rest of the animals could no longer tell the pigs apart from the men they were doing deals with.

9
5

Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

steelpillow
Silver badge

On the stroke of midnight

would you rather your car turned into an Apple or a pumpkin?

0
0

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

steelpillow
Silver badge
Facepalm

"Because speaking a trivial command out loud is still too intrusive"

Researchers accustomed to working in libraries will never, ever use a voice assistant as their primary UI.

I am sure I am not the only one. For us, the keyboard will remain paramount, as it is faster than any other silent data entry (except maybe for Chinese, where hunt-and-peck character pickers can hold their own).

12
0

UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

steelpillow
Silver badge

So much for growth

"We are overrun with orders, turning customers away"

"Then take on more staff"

"There isn't enough experienced talent out there that can hit the ground running"

"Then take on more contractors"

"It'll cost - have to raise our prices"

"[Expletive deleted]"

"And we'll have to take on someone to do the IR35 shit"

"A contractor to administer their own payroll?"

"Yes"

"[EXPLETIVE DELETED] that!"

"Time to sell out and move on, my dears."

33
2

Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

steelpillow
Silver badge

Re: Wikipedia, yawn

"This file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested."

Wikipedia, the encyclopedia any monkey can edit!

4
0

UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

steelpillow
Silver badge
Linux

>Cough< Open Source >Cough<

Proprietary lock-in? What could possibly go wrong?

Seriously - connect the codies to the teachers and then just get out of the effing way!

12
2

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018