* Posts by Sykowasp

73 posts • joined 2 Feb 2017

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Rogue ADT tech spied on hundreds of customers in their homes via CCTV – including me, says teen girl

Sykowasp

Creepy peeper.

Although as a parent (or more generally, a person who tries to think things through) I think I would push back on cameras in bedrooms/bathrooms regardless.

And yes, the key thing about systems is that the owner should be notified when new accounts are added, maybe get a monthly report of users on the system, and more. Full audit trails of every configuration option too. I don't know if ADT have centralised access to accounts or if they're managed within the home only - but duplicate email addresses on multiple home installs could be flagged and investigated as well. I.e., basic business reports could have found this issue far earlier, but nobody thought that an employee would actually be tempted by the thought of some sneaky voyeurism?

Lords: New IR35 off-payroll tax rules 'riddled with problems, unfairnesses, unintended consequences'

Sykowasp

https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1254648730877341696

Counter-points to those made in this report.

And replies have counter-points to the counter-points.

Intel's 10th-gen Core family cracks 5GHz barrier with H-series laptop processors

Sykowasp

"games need a decent amount of CPU power as well as GPU, and artists need to render at 4K resolution without needing to pop out for a cup of tea while things process"

Gamers want to play games for more than 1 minute at the PL2 clock (at 107-135W TDP - what happened to Intel's 1.25x TDP boost for turbo?) which allows for the >5GHz operation. Switching between turbo and non-turbo in a game would be more jarring than just having a lower max clock. And once the CPU is hot, there's no max 5.3GHz turbo any longer (if the laptop design supported that in the first place). It'll look good in benchmarks, but reality could be different.

And I suspect renderers want to render at max clocks more than one minute every 10 minutes.

Fact is the 16C 65W ecoMode Ryzen 3950X laptops (e.g,. Clevo) are using less power than this chip, and have higher base clocks.

Trading standards needs to take a long hard look at Intel's TDP and clock speed claims.

BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic

Sykowasp

I wonder why telephone support cannot be done from home with a suitable headset and VPN into the work office.

Or would that require BT to provide their staff with laptops, rather than coming in to use a decade old PC?

Microsoft staff giggle beneath the weight of a 52,000-person Reply-All email storm

Sykowasp

I, for one, am glad that they are doing real world load testing on their enterprise software platforms.

Hello, sub £-100 Moto: Lenovo punts 6.1-inch display e6S at low-cost crowd

Sykowasp

"no NFC radio, making Google Pay transactions a frustrating impossibility"

For the people behind the person with the phone, this is "a glorious impossibility."

NFC phone payments are just so much slower than tapping a contactless card - which the owner of the phone will have on their person anyway.

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

Sykowasp

I hope they kept a few binaries of the ransomware on archive media in case of this situation arising. Set it to activate one month after redundancy and wait.

When senior management decide that skilled IT people are 'replaceable units' it's probably best for these people to have to find a new employer. Let the management tell their shareholders two years later why their productivity has nosedived.

BAE Systems tosses its contractors a blanket... ban on off-payroll working under upcoming IR35 tax reforms

Sykowasp

Re: "[HMRC] has predicted the reforms will recoup £1.2bn a year by 2023"

The problem is that BAE don't want to hire them as full time employees at a higher rate of pay to compensate for the change in employment arrangement - and that's even if the contractor is willing to have the change - maybe they like not having employment benefits, or only want to work 8 months a year (which would normally not fall under IR35, but if BAE are doing this they will not have a choice).

Because what happens then is the rest of the workforce notices and says "this person is doing the same role as me, but being paid 50% more" and then that leads to major issues.

But ultimately, we all know that contractors have been getting a sweet deal - higher pay and lower taxes - so few in the real world are crying for them.

Get in the C: Raspberry Pi 4 can handle a wider range of USB adapters thanks to revised design's silent arrival

Sykowasp

Re: Recall a $40 device to re work it?!

Also the problem was only with higher charge rate (USB power delivery) adapters - the dozens of old USB adapters everyone has lying around their house from past USB devices all worked fine. No need to recall, just add some small print / clarifications.

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?

Sykowasp

Re: It wasn't me!

That calls for an addDomain.sh script that requires no manual editing of the actual domain file (obviously these days the domain file would be generated from a database of domains and blah blah blah).

It's amazing how poor most practices were in the past (and still now, unfortunately). Critical files simply should not be hand-edited, and indeed should have machine validation prior to deployment.

Sykowasp

Amazing that the default for rm wasn't to query when in interactive mode, and you are doing recursive/force or are root in a 'sensitive directory'.

"Are you sure you wish to recursively remove all files in / as root? Y/N"

But then people would run 'rm -rf --do-not-ask *' or something instead.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

Sykowasp

Re: if the current situation was so awful ... switching to permanent roles would be more popular

"older, wiser folk"

versus

"I haven't been able to work for near six months,"

I don't know about you, but the market for full time jobs in IT in London is still pretty good, so rather than sell your house, maybe just get a permanent role (remember, it's only as permanent as your notice period).

No, we all know it's because the contractors want there £800/day rates when their full-time peers are getting £300.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick

Sykowasp

Certainly I bet a lot of 2015 MacBook Pro owners are hanging on for dear life because the device has USB-A ports and HDMI ports, without needing a dock. The lack of USB-C is an issue going forward however.

Still, for those who have to upgrade, USB-C docks are getting down to the £25 price range (when on offer at least) so maybe this is becoming less of an issue for some (and at least they have an advantage of only needing one plug in/out action). And some monitors are getting USB-C DisplayPort input now, although monitors have an even longer replacement cycle in the home.

Soon we might return to where we used to be in the 80s, where a piece of equipment would last 10 years in the living room (TV, stereo) and then another 10 years in a secondary room.

Regarding computers however, surely a huge factor in the lack of upgrades is because Intel have made negligible improvements in 5 years because of their 10nm debacle? Additionally DRAM stalled in capacity over the past few years as well. The only thing that improved was SSD capacity, which

AMD have caught up (and with Renoir this month they will exceed Intel in performance, power consumption and cost in laptops for the first time) and look to have a path to 3nm over the next 3 or 4 years, hence performance will increase greatly over the next few years. And DDR5/LPDDR5 is coming online this year.

Microsoft Teams starts February with a good, old-fashioned TITSUP*

Sykowasp

Amateur Hour 365

Certificate renewal reminders shouldn't be a problem in 2020. Amateur hour from Microsoft here.

Stick your certificates into your asset management system (or whatever you use), mark them critical, and ensure that the asset expiry alerts (use a system that does this) are acted upon.

You can't rely on some certificate authority renewal email going to the fired-ex-manager's email address and being lost. Even worse is that I'm sure that the certificate was probably issued by Microsoft themselves in this case.

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

Sykowasp

The main issue is they went for the chrome/metal plates and ceiling downlighters and not white, so it stands out even more.

A spot of after-hours business email does you good, apparently

Sykowasp

Yeah, maybe for those people who would ideally work 1pm to 9pm in a sane world where you aren't forced to get up at 7am to be in work for 9, so they spend 3 hours waking up and web surfing in the mornings, and then wish to catch up on email trash in the evening after dinner.

But yeah, no. Not that. Anything received after home-time can wait until the morning.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

Sykowasp

Re: Eh?

Unwanted insults/verbal assault based upon a person's physical characteristics.

I.e., if you use them against someone, you've clearly already lost the argument.

gimp is a stupid name for a premier piece of linux software.

AMD agrees to cough up $35-a-chip payout over eight-core Bulldozer advertising fiasco

Sykowasp

Re: What does that mean for current lineup?

Nope, those are clearly full cores and the interconnect between them doesn't change a thing. Also the performance is good.

Sykowasp

Re: Advertising

TBH in this case 8 core was fair - it did have 8 integer cores. It just had the module design where two of these were paired with a lot of shared front-end and back-end, and shared FPU. The multi-thread scaling (let's ignore that single threaded performance was, let's say, 'poor') was pretty good, at a time when Intel barely got anything from SMT, AMD was getting 80%.

This is just a shut-up-and-go-away payment. But AMD did leave themselves open with this design and how they marketed it.

New UK Home Sec invokes infosec nerd rage by calling for an end to end-to-end encryption

Sykowasp

You can't have a fascist police state with the plebs having encrypted communications.

BOFH: On a sunny day like this one, the concrete dries so much more quickly

Sykowasp

3000 quid back in 2004, that would be at least 1000 pints, over 250 work days, and 2 BOFHs, is 2 pints per day, each.

So there should be a few more dodgy entries in the financial database IMO. Clearly they should have put the Post Its under the Blue Posts, and the Staples at The Gun.

DeepNude deep-nuked: AI photo app stripped clothes from women to render them naked. Now, it's stripped from web

Sykowasp

I don't get it.

It's not undressing the woman pictured. It's just applying some AI painting algorithm that knows a lot about flesh tones and female body parts to render a potential naked body for the woman. What's the flipping point? What do you get out of this? Just find a similar looking woman on one of those naughty video sites and let off your incel issues there instead.

What ever happened to the old fashioned sneaking around the bushes outside their house with a camera eh? Or the more modern Drone with Camera outside Bedroom Window? Sheesh! People these days! No get up and go.

Imagine being charged to take a lunch break... even if you didn't. Welcome to the world of these electronics assembly line workers

Sykowasp

Re: "the cost of which would be automatically taken from their wages"

That'll be what post-Brexit Britain ends up like, for workers rights versus giant bastard businesses.

This company was banking billions each year, and didn't have the common decency to pay for their workers' lunchbreaks (or indeed give decent breaks in the first place, 30 minutes is a joke, I wonder how much holiday these workers got? Annual bonus?).

I can say this quite safely with this article as evidence to back me up. Tyco is a business run by utter bastards.

Open-source chat plat toasts rival after picking up $50m in funding: 'The better Slack does, the better Mattermost does'

Sykowasp

The key feature is being able to host it on the premises, rather than relying on a cloud hosted (usually in the US) service.

Mattermost is okay, to be fair. It could do with some more theming/font/configuration, and better/simpler threading/conversations but it does the job.

IT pro screwed out of unused vacation pay, bonus by HPE after judge rules: The law is a mess but it's still the law

Sykowasp

Americans loves being slaves.

That's all I can take from that.

What's the point of living to work when you have no time off to have a proper holiday?

[Non-Ruling-Class] Americans Are Slaves. Prove me wrong.

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?

Sykowasp

Re: One, OK, hundred, I have my doubts

More like 1mm per floppy, for those old 5.25 inchers.

Also, if there was an empty drive bay above the HDD bay they could easily have fitted in there.

Also, I'm certain after 30 years there's a certain amount of exaggeration in this story. It's probably more likely to be 20 - 30 floppies.

Samsung slings the skinny on its 12GB GötterDRAMmerung for next-gen smartmobes

Sykowasp

Android Q has a desktop mode, albeit it might be ready until Android R or later. Obviously some Android front-ends already support this, but having it officially in the OS and therefore supported by developers will be the game changer.

I can see a future where docked mobiles replace casual laptop purchases. And this will be used to justify the higher mobile phone cost - you don't need that laptop anymore! Saves you $400-$1000 on a new laptop!

UK's ICO slaps £120k fines on Arron Banks' insurance biz and Leave.EU campaign

Sykowasp

Re: No Complaints?

Yes, she did. If that doesn't count as a complaint then what does?

Also her data got into their systems from using an insurance price comparison tool, so how she ever gave permission to the terms and conditions supposedly applied is beyond me.

This is a very small fine, especially if they did abuse data received for price comparison purposes only.

Ofcom: More spectrum for all the good boys and girls. Except you, EE. You've had your fill

Sykowasp

And this is presumably why EE are so rubbish indoors - they only have 10MHz of low-frequency spectrum, despite having loads of higher frequency spectrum.

The winners of the old TV spectrum will have some pretty good penetration into buildings and also long distance.

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

Sykowasp

Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

Tomorrow we will find out from the EU courts whether the UK can revoke Article 50.

The current ruling is expected to be Yes, But ...

Where the Buts are

* Full agreement of the EU parliament leaders (not the nations themselves)

* Likely some terms and conditions (no re-invoking Article 50 for N years ; payment for certain EU costs incurred at a state level)

* We would retain everything we had before (veto, rebate, etc)

Sykowasp

Yes, there's plenty of Galileo satellites up there providing a 1cm accurate signal. I think there are some more to be launched to complete the constellation, but we are pretty much pulling out in the final straight of the race.

As Wikipedia says: "As of July 2018, 26 of the planned 30 active satellites are in orbit.[8][9] Galileo started offering Early Operational Capability (EOC) on 15 December 2016,[1] providing initial services with a weak signal, and is expected to reach Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2019.[10] The complete 30-satellite Galileo system (24 operational and 6 active spares) is expected by 2020.[11]"

I'm so so sick of unicorn based politics these days.

What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs

Sykowasp

Well if the police thought that a $1M bond was required for this charge, then it should go both ways - their mistake should cost them $1M. Maybe that would make them think first.

Also this 'phishing' vehicle search seems horribly suspect to me in the first place. They had no reasonable basis to perform a vehicle search, but maybe Americans don't have any personal rights anymore in their nigh-on police state these days.

Big Q. Tch, what could have persuaded Intel to bring forward 5G chip production six months?

Sykowasp

I'll believe this when I see it.

Just because there is demand for unicorns doesn't mean that they exist.

No silicon shown either - just photoshops. Qualcomm has been showing working silicon and working devices for many months now (remember Qualcomm put the non-5G modems on the main SoC so the lack of multimode is far less than Intel's claims).

To enable this product to occur, they need a working 10nm-ish process. It's a huge risk to make it on their own. Therefore I predict this is either 14nm Intel, or TSMC/Samsung 7nm.

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

Sykowasp

Re: 'None of the actors can be taken at face value

With silicon thinning (already used for HBM stacks, for example), you could easily stick the silicon into the motherboard substrate, between standard layers. The bulge would be imperceptible, and the thin silicon might not register for x-rays or other hardware scanning solutions.

I presume this chip is installed onto a serial data link to the flash memory, and on power on it intercepts the serial bitstream from the flash, and adds enough to install its payload.

The hardware security solution to this is on-board flash and memory on the server management processor, preferably on the same die, made with security hardening techniques.

Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

Sykowasp

Installed to try it out, and it somehow deleted all of my stored logins in Chrome. What's that about?!

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Sykowasp

What's so amazing about a small cheap chip or module incorporating wifi/bluetooth, a simple low power processor, some DSPs, maybe a Neural Net accelerator, I/Os for microphones and speaker, SPI/I2C/UART to connect to the rest of the system, some standalone firmware to provides a high level interface, and code samples on how to use that high level interface?

Vodafone hounds Czech customers for bills after they were brute-forced with Voda-issued PINs

Sykowasp

Well, that's me not considering Vodafone for any future switch.

Such weak security arrangements are simply not acceptable. You don't allocate '1234' as a pin. You don't allow '1234' to be set as a pin. Where is another piece of information, such as the mentioned email address, or a standard password, or even those crappy questions about your first school or pet?

For Vodafone to hide behind its ToS when it is to blame, to save a few grand, is simply disgusting.

Your Twitter app stopped working? Here's why

Sykowasp

Well my ancient Tweetcaster application on Android is still working in terms of showing a timeline in reverse chronological order (although I guess the live streaming is dead now).

And that's what I want - a plain, reverse chronological ordered timeline of all my followed tweets. TBH I don't care if Twitter put ads in that timeline, just that it's in order, and where I got to is maintained, so I can dip in and catch up a little whilst on the toilet or in the pub waiting.

Also the font has to be small, and it's got to be light on dark theme.

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

Sykowasp

Ales:

"Continuous Drinkegration" - 5% IPA

"Wobbly Vector" - 6% extra strong ale

"Java 8" - 8% Coffee Porter

Ciders:

"Agile Scrumpy" - 7% Cider (or maybe "Scrumpy Master" is a better name)

"Quad (apple/pear) Core" - 4% Session Cider/Perry

Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

Sykowasp

What measure of 'drink' did these Americans use?

What is a drink? Why can't they use units like every other sane study?

I'm going to assume it's a British Imperial pint of a DIPA such as https://gipsyhillbrew.com/beers/hepcat-hepcat/

That is about 4 units.

So I need to drink 8 to 12 units a day to improve my health. Maybe I'll skip a day here and there, and move the units to another day, I'm sure that is recommended too.

No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

Sykowasp

Just think, in another 1.4B years the day could be 30 hours long! Perfect!

Even waiting another 400M years would get me another two hours in bed.

What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console

Sykowasp

You would think they would ship it without any of the contentious games then, as these are easily updatable later on, I would hope.

The truth would appear to be from the facts we have: there are no devices.

Not even a photo recently of the stacks of boxes of devices ready to ship!

Did you guess 2019 for Intel's 10nm chip ramp up? Congratulations

Sykowasp

Re: Wow

Intel is 3 years late on 10nm now. It looks like it may be 4 years late if it isn't fixed by mid 2019 - it's clear from the CEO's comments that there is little confidence that they can fix the yield issues easily, even though he claims they understand it. This is very similar to how Intel gained that 3 year lead in the first place - when everyone else got stuck at 28nm for a couple more years than they would have hoped for.

Their statements already clarified that they have to do 10nm before 7nm, because of sunk costs and their fab upgrade methodology. Going to 7nm would just introduce even more risk, if they cannot multi-pattern 10nm reliably still, as 7nm requires even more of that.

Intel have historically used their fab advantage to push their CPU clocks higher than the competition (or lower power consumption), whilst having good [CPU] designs. This is evidently no longer the situation. In the future they may make up lost ground, but right now it looks like they will be behind in volume for a year (versus TSMC) and likely come in behind Samsung and GlobalFoundries as well. Also note that gate and interconnect width is not everything there is to a process - Intel use simple 1D routing that costs density even though the individual transistors are very nice, and there are other aspects as well.

TSMC's 7nm looks very strong by the way, there is no guarantee that Intel's 10nm is going to equal it, never mind beat it.

Data watchdog fines Brit council £120k for identifying 943 owners of vacant property

Sykowasp

Re: Excel

Does Excel have an "Export only directly visible data in this view" option, or similar?

"Pivot Tables are Bad for FoI Requests" is the lesson learned here.

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

Sykowasp

Re: The Swiss are in it

The Swiss option is not on the table for Brexit negotiations because of Theresa May (and the far-right Brexit mob) and her red lines.

Leaving the EU, the Single Market and the Customs Union makes us a third party to all these.

Once the UK goes beyond the point of no return at the end of March next year, we will finally see how the EU treats a third party in negotiations. It won't be pretty for the UK.

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

Sykowasp

Diddums.

Sueball smacks AMD over processor chip security flaw silence

Sykowasp

AMD's share price went up since the disclosures, because Intel's performance was affected to a far greater degree, especially in the profitable server market.

AMD's Spectre v2 firmware is an optional thing for paranoid users who want to be definitely non-affected. It's a peace of mind thing.

Responsible disclosure of security flaws is more important than alerting shareholders at the first possible opportunity.

This needs to be thrown out now.

As does any aspects of cases against Intel that are whining about the non-disclosure. However the performance complaints and devaluation of share price complaints here are valid.

UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

Sykowasp

Re: A single case of a creepy...

Many restaurants are family businesses, and the delivery drivers are often related to the restaurant owners.

I think the only real solution here is that the visibility of the phone number is restricted, and communications should go via Just Eat (or HH, etc) - texts if late, etc, or a SIP call routed via Just Eat when the driver needs to find the address.

However, the driver still knows the customer's address. But that's a lot more effort than trying to get a date by messaging all the women you deliver to that you fancy. But there is always someone, somewhere...

Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

Sykowasp

If this was a study by experienced software engineers ... but it's not.

I can see it taking over some aspects of business processes that are currently achieved via programming against a dataset. For example reports, etc, are manually programmed or configured, yet in the future AI will understand 'give me the KPIs on this XYZ' and do things automatically.

But real programming? When nobody can specify anything clearly when a bit of software engineering is required?

At the worst, current programmers will migrate to being 'specification engineers', i.e., turning the vague useless specification a business provides into something concise and specific, that a code generator - AI or not - will turn into a working system, removing all the drudge work (but IDEs and Frameworks seem to halve the drudge work every 5 years anyway already, without AI) and filling in the actual code to achieve the end aim.

So yeah, better tools to remove drudge work for programs that don't need much flexibility. But that isn't what anyone understands by 'AIs will write software'.

Btw, we'll need twice as many 'specification engineers' to do a certain amount of work in 2040 than we need 'software engineers' to do a certain amount of work today. That's how these things seem to work, so why would it change?

Digital Entrepreneur Awards help UK tech cop an eyeful of... WTF?

Sykowasp

If we look at the original photo that sets this all off, we can see some bloke on the stage is clearly groping one of the dancer's bums.

Whilst I fail to see why this event needs scantily clad dancers, if they have to have them then they could have a mixed show put on, surely? But let's be honest, the only reason for scantily clad dancers is for eye titillation for the mainly-male audience. If those men want that, there are other venues.

In the end, the issue is that this industry has difficulty bringing in women, and stuff like this really does not improve the image of the industry. Which is a real shame, because I've found that it's often the women that work harder and generate better results, at least in businesses that allow them to get on with things without worrying about dodgy male bosses, etc.

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