* Posts by SMITCH79

40 posts • joined 22 Jul 2016

Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear


Re: Chromium poisoning

Had a look, the documentary was called "The Bleeding Edge" and I saw it on Netflix (its still there). Mainly covers the cert process in the US. Doctors story was specifically about his hip. Cheers


Re: It may be a side effect of procurement policy

"This business of certification meeting reality exists in the medical field. It takes a long time to certify a piece of medical equipment even if that equipment is not an implant or other device that could harm someone if it failed"

You would like to think that. Unfortunately that's not how certification of medical implants works these days. I can't remember exactly but I watched a doc. about a doctor who had problems after a hip replacement.

After having the hip extracted he discovered it had fallen apart (chrome on plastic if memory serves) and the chrome was leaking into his bloodstream giving him severe mental problems. He had been found in a hotel going mad (a la robert downey junior without the cocaine) and it was only his own medical experience that prompted him to investigate his hip.

After this he investigated the certification procedure and discovered that new medical devices can be "fasttracked" if they carry out the same function (or share a similiar design) to items that have been previously certified. They actually had footage of a certification commitee meeting which was an eye opener. (Basically rubber stamping devices they knew to be problematic)

Thats before you get to the problem of those doing the certifying being paid by the manufacturers.

e.g. One of the professors that certified "mesh" impants as safe for use in the UK was paid £100,000 by the company who made the devices. Of course he claimed there was no conflict of interest.

Three quarters of US Facebook users unaware their online behavior gets tracked


"like the old idea of people should have to take a test to see if they are smart enough to reproduce"

Any idea that compares itself as being like that is bad by default. Kids (all of us really) reflect their environment so we should focus on making the environment better (better education, better job opportunities, more open society, better healthcare, etc) not by putting people in further categories and groups. We already have enough of that.

IMO I don't think you can be born errrm, dumb, it's just that as we grow we learn to prioritise the skills and knowledge that are important to our continued survival and fulfillment of our needs. Next time you meet someone one who you think is dumb take some time to talk to them about what their interests and life experiences are (don't measure them by yours). Its amazing what you can learn.

Anyway we all get addicted to something - other people, drugs, pain, pleasure, being a git.

Facebook has just learned (really quite effectively) how to make their platform addictive exploiting behavioral psychology traits that have been known about for decades. Who cares how it works, just give me the dopamine! I get that.

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend



Outputs reminds me of NIALL (Non intelligent AMOS language learner) on the AMIGA in the 90s.

Cyber-insurance shock: Zurich refuses to foot NotPetya ransomware clean-up bill – and claims it's 'an act of war'


Re: Insurance Companies

I did say "essentially". Maybe by proxy would have been more appropriate.

Financial Service companies have serious lobbying influence on government (and therefore the FCA) and this was really what I was getting at.

Currently the FCA is understaffed with people with inadequate training and experience for the type of claims they are rendering decisions on (Channel4). Why is that?

I like to think when they are unsure of whether to side with claimant or not and seek counsel from the higher ups the response will be "Who's your Daddy?" since, as you point out, they are funded by levy.

A "stretch", I don't think so.


Insurance Companies

Early in my career I worked for a large UK insurance company as a phone jockey and then a back office technical advisor (don't hate me I left the profession 15 years ago due to seismic shifts in the way it operated). More reject on spec and squeeze claims down to the bare minimum,

e.g. Claiming the claimant didn't have a sufficient sum insured and then paying a pro rata fraction of the amount the claim was worth. They facilitated this by getting the Loss Adjusters to inflate the cost of the claimants possessions and rebuild costs.

Since i was primarily dealing with large fire/water damage claims I found this repugnant since I was the appointed contact at the insurer for this type of stuff. Initially it was fine since I had the delegated authority to override the LA but this was reduced at my yearly audit the year before I left. When they started asking me to upsell on live claims I decided that was it, I wasn't helping people anymore.

The "act of war" definition applied to this claim rejection will be difficult to substantiate in court and any good lawyer should be able to knock it out to the point of gaining at least 50% - 80% of the settlement. The insurance company is banking on this, tell them "no", put the ball back in their court and see what they do. This is classic on large claims.

E.g. A recently published story in the UK about a homeowner who lost his £400,000 home to fire. The LA came out and rejected his claim on the basis he had declared at application he only had 5 bedooms. The LA decided he had 7 despite the fact the two extra rooms were too small to be considered bedrooms under local government guidelines. He went to the Ombudsman and lost (since the Ombudsman is essentially operated by the financial service companies). In court he would have no problem getting that overturned but its easier for the insurers just to say no and get the Ombudsman to back them on the more expensive stuff. This would have been considered a large claim so the insurance company would be looking for outs from the get go.

I know that home insurance and £100 million malicious IT damage claims seem worlds apart but the principle is the same. Always.

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again


Re: The GSM/LTE call protocol may be an even bigger risk

No No No.

Then privacy becomes a social/economic issue. Those who can pay have their privacy respected and those who can't, well if you can't sell their data (because of the economic group you are in) you have to find other nefarious uses for it.

Its ok, people with limited money have had it soooooo easy over the last few years. </sarc>

All the time companies are salivating to get their hands on the data of the people who pay for privacy so over time it becomes erroded back to the state it is today. Bit by bit.

Jeep hacking lawsuit shifts into gear for trial after US Supremes refuse to hit the brakes


Re: Bogus Bovine Excrement

Exactly, I couldn't agree more. £50k per car - who are they kidding - just an opportunist suit. Would think a Jeep would depreciate like a stone anyway.

I had a call from a lawyers office the other day wanting me to get involved (i.e. do a load of paperwork for them) in a class action suit against a timeshare company I used to deal with due to their high maintenance fees. After asking where the hell they got my details they told me they got them as part of the discovery process. Colour me dubious - I used to get a load of calls offering to help me sell it for an upfront fee which were dispatched with the contempt they deserved but this was something new.

The young lady then excitedly told me it was "no win no fee". I pointed out that usually this meant the lawyers got all the cash and the plaintiffs got sod all after the case was settled. I obviously declined their offer.

I'll be watching this one with interest though. If car manufacturers can be successfully sued for software holes that are patched it'll set a interesting precedent. Very interesting.

Brit bomb hoax teen who fantasised about being a notorious hacker cops 3 years in jail


Only one thing to say . . .


Microsoft: New icons, new drivers, AI! Everything is awesome!



I put Win 10 on a dual boot laptop thats really just a knockabout workhorse. Mint/Windows

My reason, I thought that the time will come when they pull the lenovo update software. Its not supported but its a handy little repository anyway. Win 10 works fine (as fine as it can) from fresh install without this so ok. We'll see how nice it plays.

I'm no expert but HD2000/4000 will be the gen before my the HD3000 i5 variant in mine so sound likes my trusty laptop will soon on the endangered list.

Brilliant. In the same month I finally relented and bought a Win 10 licence Microsoft essentially put me on notice because of the age of my equipment.

Gotta love 'em.

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality


Re: Why would anyone tolerate this?

I know a small business owner (contractor) who paid £50 quid or so for targeted advertising on Facebook. Reckons it got him £5k worth of work.

Depressing. It's definitely here to stay.

YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul


Time for change

When I come to power hypocrisy will be made illegal (along with adverts claiming using their product will make you more attractive to the opposite sex - basically all of them)

I've had enough of American corporations. Probably why the apes will take over - more integrity

NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps


Re: Wow

Thats my point. I'm pretty sure it isn't unless some sort of threat was made. In which case he should clearly involve the police.

This wasn't what was upsetting him though just general bad mouthing of the service which in some cases was wholly justified.

Many times this notice has tempted me on the way into the surgery but he's such a horrible little man I was waiting until his bosses caught wind and educated him accordingly.

Land of free speech? - not if you want to see a doctor in my locale.



Terrible that people would talk about people private medical matters on a public forum. Any job I have ever taken DPA is always considered a priority and seems like this could be addressed with proper awareness training.

On a weird note. My local GP surgery has a notice up saying that anyone discussing the practice (or staff) on Facebook or Twitter does so under threat of expulsion from their register.

Although my hate of FB and Twitter is strong I have felt on occassion that I should maybe speak to the practice manager (or local trust) and point why this is a potentially perilous way to dictate who can access healthcare.

I would love to choke on my ironing if I foundout one of the numbnuts in the article was from my surgery

European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year



So the commission plans to drop a tax plan to tax users data. I like this. The EU eventually take a hit 'em in the pocket attitude to American frontier technology companies taking the piss. Sometimes its all they understand.

Can't help but think the lobbyists on this one are missing a trick though. Surely if it is taxed then any GDPR regulation becomes subject to the needs of the exchequer. Short term upheaval, long term influence for the Company. Look at banking in Britain, particuarly the city of London. I thought they would have learned that by now.

Maybe IT IS all just a show for the cameras. (it's 2am)

Tech Shutdown Blows: IT chaos cost Brit bank TSB almost £200m


Re: Are there any good banks out there?

"I'd strongly recommend Nationwide"

I wouldn't. The staff in the banks don't like carrying out normal banking functions and they have massive problems with fraud in their call centres apparently.

E.g. They have withdrawn Bill Payments from Telephone banking and now only allow such payments to be made online as they are more "secure". When you drill down into this you find that it is, for them as it mitigates their loss as they will consider any payments made via this system as being made by you. You cannot contest fraud (even if you've been hoodwinked). They learned this from Santander.

Things obviously got pretty bad in the call centre because they even withdrew funds transfers from available services. Y'know when you transfer money between your own accounts linked under your customer number (savings to current account, etc.) When I asked why; "increased instances of fraud" on internal transfers? Yeh right. - Scaling back of telephony services is the correct answer.

Finally I went into a branch to withdraw £100 which I wanted in £10 notes for Chrimbo card fillings. I was told that they wouldn't normally do that since there was a working cash machine outside. Helpful eh?

I could give many more examples of where Nationwide were obnoxious for no reason or just plain incompetent but all banks are. Every single last one of them.

Is it OK if we call $53bn-a-quarter Amazon the Bit Barns and Ignoble?


Re: Alexa

" I mean, what's the point in buying a toaster with artificial intelligence if you don't like toast. I mean, this is my job. This is cruel, just cruel."

Dunno, talkie toaster ended up being the swing vote in an election. Plus I was always sure he enjoyed winding up Dave.

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks


"That would be an ecumenical matter"

more tea father? Aww, go on, go on, go on. go on.

California lawmakers: We swear on our avocados we'll pass 'strongest net neutrality protections' in America


Re: "Oops, we got caught."

"Cleansing as they are, such answers are not the answers you want. "

Although my original post may seem blaze it's not the answer anyone would want.Simply put thoughit is sometimes necessary. The unfortunate nature of human beings in positions of power is that they are quite often easily corrupted. When the system becomes corrupted by those who administrate it to the detriment of the masses then it breeds discontent. This ultimately leads to the backlash of revolution. This as you point out ends in some cases civil war or a despot seizing control but until we learn how to administrate governments for the benefit of the people first and market capitalism second (at least) then it will be a cycle we will be doomed to repeat. (and China will be waiting)


Re: "Oops, we got caught."

"while the ability to vote is still there"

Yep. Some American pundits, especially Bill Maher, seems to think this is Trumps endgame. After this there is only one answer - revolution baby!!

Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO


Re: Eh?

As a scotsman (living in Scotland) its pretty depressing to read some of comments on here. It seems a lot of people don't understand the concept of divide and conquer. This is main political tool of any democratic goverment. Scottish - English, Workers - Benefit claimants. Its about subscribing to our instincts to be pack animals to garner support, about creating a them and us (if you will).

Until someone sees the actual figures (and proposed rollout) you don't know how this all shakes out so it would be wise to forgoe racial stereotypes in these situations. (I was called a "jock" in a highly derogatory manner by a customer some years ago - until then I didn't even know it was considered a racially defamatory word - I don't care anyway - proud scotsman and all that!

Anyway any Scotsman will tell you why we don't "like" the English - English football commentators! (especially around the world cup)

Nervous Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes Turing Test in Congress


I tried this with BT after I withdrew from a job offer. Even after I rescinded the offer, and specifically told BT not to contact my referees they did so anyway, 1 even four months later.

Cue massively irate me. Tried to get details of their data commissioner, no go. Several detailed emails pointing out their obligation under the DPA and no response. Massively iritating but I expect this will be industry standard practice just to ignore cogent emails regarding their data collection and storage policies. Never got anywhere. ICO wasn't interested either. Quel surprise!

Note under DPA (not sure about GDPR) a company can still deny your request under certain conditions. Cost and time to collate data being two. I remember years ago I saw a doc. about a guy who DSAR'd google. Initially they refused but the guy challenged them through a lawyer and ending up paying for the employee time to collect his data. Y'know those boxes that hold reams of photocopier paper? Think he got sent about a dozen of those.

Wonder how people would feel if they could have the same visual representation of data slurped? Might change the minds of some of the FB holdouts.

Fleeing Facebook app users realise what they agreed to in apps years ago – total slurpage


Re: @Ian Michael Gumby -- @SVV This is what could really do Zuckwit and his company serious harm

Weirdly I read your comment in style of Jez from Peep Show.

Yaaaay Mess!

Cambridge Analytica CEO suspended – and that's not even the worst news for them today


This could be the start of something beautiful

But experience tells me probably not. Cue bungled investigation, backroom deals and limited useless regulation. Thats the recipe these days ain't it?

Cynical me? Of course.

But to be fair I did have an alternate universe moment when watching BBC news. They had a rep from the ICO who was talking solemnly and gravely about "having real concerns about facebook for some time"

Who knows then. Right?

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?


Re: Its powered by magic fairies and gnomes

Wizbet? Hop high this away?

My oh my!

Perusing pr0nz at work? Here's a protip: Save it in a file marked 'private'


Re: The real story

I'm guessing BT?

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software


Re: Have I missed something?

Don't use the satnav mate, but I understand that maps on the device need updating.

I think the whole idea of trying to make a car (AI) understand the world around to perform the simple task of driving is nigh on impossible and thats before you've got to the interesting morality questions that have been posed. e.g. When the car has no option but to crash does it place the lives of the car occupants above those on the street.

If the world does want autonomous cars then I believe there will have to be changes to the infrastructure to make sure they can work reliably and safely. How does a visual AI check that what it thinks it is seeing is correct (as someone pointed kids with spraypaint, we get it all over here). I guess it would check a known database of good data which I would expect the manufacturer to update as required.

Since roadworks are by their very nature temporary (supposedly) then this would not mean replacing All road signs (not my point) just providing a way to interact with the car without having to rely on Visual AI for exceptions such as roadworks.

if they crack a self driving, morally upright car that needs no updates, set road data, can master driving different conditions, no infrastructure changes etc, etc, etc, etc, etc then they might as well build Skynet.


Have I missed something?

Why would autonomous cars (when they arrive in 2080) need to read road signs? Sure they have to read the road, looking out for wayward pedestrians, footballs, cats and the like but surely all set variables (like speedlimits, stop sign location, etc.) will be coded into the maps they use. I don't get this.

Just as i finished typing the sentence last sentence it occurred to me: roadworks but then again surely any roadworks could have custom (doesn't have to be a sign) transmitter to inform the car of the rules of traversing any ongoing works. This just seems like another "look how we can confuse weak AI" schtick. Be more interesting to read about how they solve these problems.

This is all just a bit "got your nose"

Lauri Love judgment: Extradition would be 'oppressive' and breach forum bar


Surely that is what the Americans were planning to do. Extradite him, bang him up in a federal hellhole for a few years (or offer him a plea deal) and then offer him a job penetration testing? I thought that was all in the American Government IT Security Recruitment playbook. (or I have seen too many Hollywood films?)

Be interesting to see if the UK Government move to prosecute and then offer a plea.

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare


How high's the water mama?

4ft high and Ryzen

Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?


Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

I remember watching that years ago after getting interested in pyramids (particularly the idea of a pyramid power station) then that numbnut just made me think no way. He is someone who just picked up the ball and ran with it. Can't believe they're still showing this stuff.

ESA astronaut decelerates from 28,800kph to zero in first bumpy landing


Re: Tough part


Farewell Patch Tuesday fragmentation: from October, MS will roll just one monthly patch


Re: reliability eh?

I looked into Ardour and it looks interesting but I'm loathe to leave my current setup and learn a new DAW. However this MS situation only leaves 2 options, offline my studio box permanently (the best PC I own) or go the Linux route. I didn't like UNITY on Ubuntu and I'm not Linux Savvy enough yet to replace the desktop although I did like Mint 17.3 and have it on an old system just for browsing and the like. I understand the appeal but it doesn't do everything I want.

From what I've read now (because of your post) I see I can get Focusrite Drivers for Linux but I get great latency for my setup (13ms overall) on Windows and it seems that (despite the existence of drivers) getting these interfaces working consistently on Linux isn't straightforward. i.e. Works with some DAW software and not others. I will switch out the drive on the studio box since I've got a spare SSD lying around and give this a go sometime though.

As for "0% of what you paid", I meant in terms of hardware but I take your point.


Re: reliability eh?

I know they just want to roll telemetry and whatever else they want into my Win7/8 systems and I'm not going to tolerate it. Up until the step change with Windows 10 I used to be a big advocate for MS. I liked showing Mac guys my recording setup and how it blew theirs out of the water for about 60% of the price.

I loved Windows 8 when it came out, hell no - not the UI but the fact I got a legit upgrade to my old XP Pro system for £25 and I could make it run like a more efficient version of 7. I bought 3 more copies (including 1 full retail) for my new recording box which I did safe in the knowledge I could use this machine for everything and if there was an issue (had already been there with the file explorer issue on 8) I could solve it by hiding a problematic update. I avoided 10 like it was the bubonic plague with the forced updates policy being among the primary reasons.

They (MS) actually say on their website that they are doing this based on "feedback from users", I wonder who these users are and what their deal is? Me I am obviously some out of step control freak for wanting my box to a) work, b) not send my personal data to a company who (at the end of the day) only provide an OS for a computer which I have paid to licence.

They are out of control.

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?



"People assume that W10 does not have better coding then seven. Many feel the seven year old OS is at par with W10 and that W10 has no technological advantage over seven as far has under the hood improvements. This is delusional thinking"

Delusional. My middle name. Actually in terms of the efficiency of the base coding of 10 you may well be right but there is a problem and its name is telemetry. Just think of the number of processor cycles and IRQ that the telemetry modules require and you start to see the problem in terms of supposed efficiency gains on 10. Truth is that it is stodgy. Is 7 any better, no because it's been patched to hell and back. Probably the most efficient Windows system I use is 8.1 (with telemetry updates removed obviously) and I can say this with some confidence since I run multi core recording software and the dead giveaway is the latency figures. These are spectacularly good on 8.1, rubbish on 10 and passable on 7.

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