* Posts by fredj

45 posts • joined 19 Feb 2017

Diplomat warns that tech industry has become a pawn as politicos fight dirty


Re: National Champions

I am seriously beginning to think the current panjandrum in government is entirely designed to do just as you suggest. There has to be some reason for the stupidity and lying to the people. Wrecking our businesses would be a wonderful 'in' for asset strippers and bankers.

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


Most workers don't want to be IT techs. It is not what they get paid for and importantly, judged on at review time. If the boss is not an IT geek looking for IT skill your performance grade can head southwards at speed for time wasting or being a slow worker. Workers also get very fed up with constant upgrades and system changes. I know most of that is for security etc. but? Civil services the world over are an out of world experience when compared to normal business. When I started working in R&D the techs there were only allowed to have computers with less power than a manager had for his email.

Glad I am retired. I had more than enough of being used as an IT support guy when I had a massive amount of work to do with large image files. The concept was beyond the company managers.

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito



OK, add sugar levels, viscosity, coefficient of thermal expansion, room temperature, liquid temperature, flow rate, nozzle shape, thixotropic nature, corrosion, flow velocity, materials used to make the tap' .... struggling now.

Sorry, I was an instrument lab tech for thirty years.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...


I am an old techie. Do you know that means working on electronic things and writing computer code? I hope you do because I had forgotten until I read the article. Nobody has trusted me to work for them for twenty years now and who can blame them? I saw this coming and put my cash where it could earn a profit for me without a lot of work. I doubt that I could even do that now but I don't care. I covered my posterior before it was too late. At my age it is downright inhuman to expect cutting edge productivity. Only a politician or a prat, same thing I suppose, could expect an older person to be as sharp as a younger person. I do know some exceptions but they were professors in their halcyon days and even they have slowed down a bit.

The UK government expects people to work skilfully until they are over sixty. What was it I said about politicians in the previous paragraph? I have forgotten already.

Get real people. Plan your life for your own future realistically. By the time you reach thirty you will know your natural level in the world and by the time you are forty you will be sure you know hoe fat your mental abilities are declining. Unless you are an NHS manager you will need to adapt.

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them


I don't know how but I placed an order with some, "device". Just go straight to your account and delete it. You will be OK - at least I was. Obviously don't sign off your session without checking your order list!

Disgusting practice.

Y'know how you might look at someone and can't help but wonder if they have a genetic disorder? We've taught AI to do the same


In general I believe we all do this already. It starts at school when you are surrounded by pears who are being marked and tested every day and you are living close together for many hours at a time. You become "trained" by constant reference to the data set performance in which you live and where you exist within it. When I was among young people I could quickly estimate their intelligence. Where I fall down is with levels of intelligence vastly more so than mine. That is outside my data set . Old people give me the same problem but that is probably because I am heading for my four score years and live in a village with a fair number of professors down to dole scroungers.

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory


From my distant memories when I used to work: I saw a lot of new computer and science technology coming in and easily understood it. I saw old technology managers deliberately plan to stop young, pain in the rear, types like me. I would be discredited, behind my back, at every opportunity such that I would never be promoted and as such senior managers would never get to hear of what I was doing. This tactic prevented middle managers loosing their jobs or having to learn new things to keep up to date.Of course. It all collapsed soon enough but a fine company is now just a memory. Latterly I worked with a company who knew they had to have A1 security for many real, real security reasons. Their techies got on with it and did it well.

(I have heard it said that I have a persecution complex!! It is difficult to disagree.)

Naked women cleaning biz smashes patriarchy by introducing naked bloke gardening service


Re: Let the comments begin...

So safe sex then?

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait


I would like to see a cost centre app which times and rports every users non productive windows time. I have been around since dos 2 and i have probably used a year of my life fighting their ++++++ OS. I am no ludddite. I worked mainly with scientific instruments and windows has been a fantastic resource BUT the time wasted is ublelievable.

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee


Re: Presumably

I suspect they needed counseling for their nasal discomfort.


Re: Had to think then

Mind the kids don't take you literally.........

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit


Many years ago I worked with a laboratory integrator for analysing HPLC traces.

Too frequently for financial comfort we used to get a failure of the main PCB. This never happened in the factory, only with customers.

One day one of the engineers noted that customers were very often ladies. There were no ladies in our instrument production facility. He looked at the matter more closely and eventually deduced the cause was ladies wearing nylon knickers. In practice and with some very discrete questioning we found this to be reliably true. After this discovery we warned new customers about the static problem with nylon clothes and never had the problem again.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs


Re: 64bit AMD x2 in full use - before this MS patch

This is far more serious than a few old pcs being knackered. There are big financial costs, time costs and all the rest of it.

Old AMD machines have a habit of working very well and the are not constantly obsoleted by new wintel software. Mine were running Linux with a windows 10 disc in them for the hell of it and because it was licensed after being brutally updated from XP or W7. Now those old computers are completely useless for anything because I ran W10 to find out something about this problem. Too late, I now understand.

I can not back update the processors because they will not run. I have seen comprehensive diatribes on how to remove those windows patches. That is as much use as a chocolate tea pot if you can not run windows 10 on your bricked computer.

This is a disaster. What I need now is a list of old AMD cpus which will replace my bricked ones and are Wintel proof. Hopefully I can buy these second hand for almost nothing and get some work done.

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV


How about about some friendly hacking if IOT devices to send emails to the s.b's. promoting simplistic smart meters in the UK. A couple of million emails a day might do some good. ( "might")

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway


Re: It's almost like...

Please don't forget the great British customer. They really know how to find a bargain even if they are clueless about what they are buying.

I once worked for a company that bought a dedicated word processor for the price of half a dozen houses just as the first versions of MS office were hitting our desks. It was switched on once after the initialisation and very expensive training. (I did say told you so but was promptly told to shut up)

Sorry, off subject but that is what you have to cope with when it comes to computer use.

Apple removes VPN apps in China as Russia's Putin puts in the boot with VPN banlaw


You can only start a war if you can persuade the people in two countries to fight the good fight. If they are always internetting each other and decide the respective leaders are the problem you will never get the good war started from either side.


Re: The future is almost here

Ok I agree mostly but most hate speech in the UK is coming from dimwits with ba's in worldly and financial acumen accusing people who do know and understand what is going on.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker


Re: They Live....

Be careful with plastic glasses of any sort. There is a good chance they do not block UV light and you will end up with wrecked eyes. Not usually much of a problem in the UK of course but in the tropics the effect is well known.

That Brexit in action: UK signs pact to let Euro court judge its patents


When you have a patent it doesn't mean that you always have the basis for something technically wonderful. Often it means that you can block someone else's new ideas and protect your old business. If you are lucky enough to get a key patent then you can effectively own a whole new business without doing little more than collecting royalties. Patent trolls love these.

Patents are a wonderful area for people to search for new ideas and avoid recent ones which they would have to license to use even if their own thoughts were independent. This of course raises the question as to whether the original patent should have been allowed in the first place.

Patents vary in quality. American patents are often blindingly obvious. Apple's rounded corners is a modern notable case. I was taught to form rounded corners in technical drawing classes c. 1964 yet Apple got a patent! I think I remember someone patenting a wheel barrow.?

Poor patents are a liability for everyone concerned because of the cost of overturning them. On the other hand that cost can be weaponised - Apple Again. This basically rules out innovative start up companies. Note: To British politicians continually eulogising start up companies as the way forward. Most UK start ups sell out immediately they get a good patent and take the cash while the value is there.

There is far more to patents than just, "The Patent!"

UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year


Re: Wait...

I worked in high tech science and visited all sorts of odd parts of the world working with advanced scientific equipment.

There are Qualifications, qualifications and fake qualifications. Some countries are not even able to teach to the standard of a US/European/Japanese and similar universities. Countries like China and Russia could theoretically train some fabulous scientists but they had little technical experience (1970s). When somebody turns up at the border you just do not know. You don't even know if the company making the job offer is suitably qualified to ask for skilled foreign people or they are just a front for getting friends and family into the UK. It is often of little use asking UK government border staff to make a sound judgment because their scientific nous is abysmal. Science is not their job after all.

Blocking a high proportion of applicants is a good thing. Only really good people and good UK companies asking for them will persevere.


I worked in high tech long enough to know that there is a huge variability in educational exam qualifications - even in the UK let alone who knows where. It would be crass to just believe what is written on a visa application form. The NHS have gone some way with this problem by re-examining medical doctors before supporting them. I have come across many personnel staff who try to employ people for tech roles when their own qualifications are totally lacking in the required field. That even goes for managers who have created the vacancy. In many fields key workers know each other and communicate. They know which jobs are not worth having!

Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever


Re: Yet Another Satellite Navigation System


this is interesting and I don't think it is good news.


Re: "our politicians actually followed our instructions"

Yes, I have one like that as well. It is so old its positional accuray is about 3 meters out so somtimes it can not tell you how to navigate road junctions. To really help the manufacturers have stopped supporting the thing which was very good.

If I was not so tight with money......................


Key patents anyone? Is this why the EU want / are going to handle our patents cases in law?

Cutting custody snaps too costly for cash-strapped cops – UK.gov


So, Google manages to photograph everything that has ever been printed of any use and OCR'd and indexed all of it along with photo recognition in just a few years and our plod can not do whatever for asmall number of photos for a small country.

I have heard from a reliable source that just turning on a windows computer at plod base can take over an hour. This makes report filing and so on a very time intensive task and economically not worth the bother. 'ugger the public.

I am sure things are getting better, yes that must be true of course?

Details of 600,000 foreign visitors to UK go up in smoke thanks to shonky border database


Re: Problems

New York is a hamlet in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, in the parish of Wildmore in the Lincolnshire Fens on the B1192 road near Coningsby, 11 1⁄2 miles (18.5 km) north from Boston. At the 2001 Census, its population was less than 150.

Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report


Re: It's what Britain is good at ...

Not quite. The game is asset stripping. The asset strippers get the cash and Britain gets sweet f.a.

Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?


Interesting but as always these analyses count wages as spendable income. That is just not true. All sorts of taxes are taken from income to feed the gaping maw of, "THE STATE". What is left is barely pocket money for most workers and the companies that employ them.

President Trump has put into place a very good idea. It is to cut tax on companies so that they can function properly . This has had an immediate effect on the USA. Employment is falling and people are able to work for real incomes as opposed to pocket money. Of course the EU thinks trump has opened the doors of hell. Maybe but what he has done is pushed all sorts of ideas for the state to spend other peoples money into hell where the perpetrators and their ideas must surely have escaped from.

( I am just moralising using flowery language)

NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops


Re: Shameful

I had dealings with Macs in labs years ago. They got their 'in' by virtually giving computers to education people. This was especially so in the USA and Japan. As I was working with projects that used Macs in industry we were 'screwed' blind by their prices and totally indifferent support in the UK. We did have people using Spark stations but that was far too complex for general use. Sadly, Windows worked well enough back in those days. (Linux or OS2 were jokes sorry to say.)

Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year


Re: Innovative, effective and affordable solutions

Before my time but I was told the trick was to jump out of a truck and accidentally hit the but on the ground. This would knock out the safety pin and prime the mechanism to fire a bullet upwards though your chin.

The secret of these guns was that they could be made by village blacksmiths. Now there is a tip for our defense procurement costings! OOps, village blacksmiths are long gone.

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP


Re: There's absolutely no excuse for this.

Anything done in a health care situation may have to be FDA approved even outside the USA if the application has a wide usage. Now add that cost to your computer budget.

Very few IT staff can write end user code and you can bet it is not part of their job description.


With working life of experience of computers from when a gui was two red leds and a teletype..........

Most people work at a pay grade as high up as they can get by leveraging their whole brain to support a job and acquire enough skill to keep the job and have a life as well. That is fact. They do not include becoming a Microsoft jockey in their life statement.

I worked with scientific instruments in laboratories so I have forced myself to know about computers as control devices and later on as data storage and information handling enablement. At the same time I have done my utmost to avoid becoming a microsoft jockey. Doing that is a total waste of my real skills as a scientist. In fact, if I have worried about computers, it is to make them work and I can write software for that purpose. Microsoft has been a drag on everything I have ever done but. It was like a deal with the Devil to get my pay checks. They have been a major cost centre in every project I have ever worked on.

Imagine a doctor/nurse/policeman/armed services soldier and so on. What possible interest have they got in Microsoft when they can do what they need to do with a pen and paper? Their bosses may well be very interested in big data collection and analysis but again none of them want to become microsoft jockeys either. They are not being paid for that.

As for linux! It is only in the last five years that I would ever have considered using it seriously in a general work place environment.

Interestingly mobile phones may be the salvation of networked computing. Users can just use them with a web interface. The phone and the server support can then be managed by microsoft or linux jockeys and the mobile phones can be junked every three years or be fully software updated remotely. Non jockeys will be free of the microsoft curse for the first time in half a century. Their relief will be much the same as having WCs installed in their houses.

1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run


"Normal person has a problem with a normal manager"

That just isn't a news story! You have got to have sex/discrimination/exploitation/ or something to make the news.

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration


Re: What happens if you freeze them ?

British Rail and it was was chickens if I remember the news at the the time. Also, I think it was quite a few tests before a consultant was asked to look at the situation.That was when they thought they could build super high speed tilting train. The attempt was parked in the sidings.


Thats all very nice but what if drones go into each of the engines? A long shot I know but for a serious attack a 'cluster' of drones could be launched.

Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs


Re: Hmm, If I was working at a secret agency

Japanese and probably with all the intellectual property as well?

156K spam text-sending firm to ICO: It wasn't us, Commissioner


Re: RE: Kenny

You can't put spuds in a freezer!!

If you throw them frozen you will get done for using a deadly weapon vis a cannon ball. If you thaw them out you will just have a pile of liquid muck.

Stick to computing and leave farming to farmers.

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers


Re: They targeted me

If you gave any number to BT that number would have been available in India. As we all know Indians are genuine honest working people but my experience is that your data could end up wherever those people live.


This has been going on since BT connected their phones to the internet and outsourced their call centres to India. One of the first scams was, "I'm an IBM/Microsoft engineer and we can see a problem with your computer, please give me your passwords and let us log on to fix it".

I got so fed up of it that I dreaded hearing an Indian voice on my phone and put the phone down. Later on I would mention, "sex and travel" but they did not catch on to that. Eventually BT started selling phones with caller ID and nuisance call blocking. These are an absolute must. As a much older person in a prosperous village we are a target for all types of chancers.

BT fined £25,000 over second unsafe London roadworks this year


Not quite but near. Most people have blind trust in the machine driver but were there are machines then drivers make mistakes (think of cars). Machines can also malfunction. The rule when you need to go near a machine is to wait well out of the way where the driver can see you and only approach when they tell you.

If anything is stupid it is people. A builders lorry was unloading paving slabs by our house. The old lady who lived opposite saw my wife, crossed the road for a chat and walked under the ton or so of concrete moving through the air on a sling. She never even realised what she had done. The truck driver turned white.

Those site fences are important.

Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities


Re: Cough


The UK is rife with it. Millions of people who do not understand technology have vast numbers of opinions and know that they must be correct since they thought of the opinion.

It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower


When I am using a computer to get something done and get fouled up on a too clever UI the only extra anybody in the world gets from me is a few swear words. Can you put a value on that?

I might add that any sort of an advert comes into the same category. Adverts are part of most user interfaces. Fine if you are shopping but if you are working they are n b u at all.

Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender


I used to work in R&D. Very often reagents and parts would cost a great deal of money and only be available from one supplier. This would take the purchase into capital expenditure and a senior management review they claimed. Our department managers simply ordered whatever as they had the money to run the department properly. We used to have great laughs at their stupidity and lack of basic intelligence. The senior managers would acquiesce very quickly because they would look pretty stupid if company R&D was shut down.

The fuss we created when computers came in for image analysis! Every computer purchase had to be reviewed and none could be more powerful than a senior managers computer. It would overturn the status of the manager. Again we just ordered the things as part of new instrument systems and hid the true spec. The poor dears had no idea what a couple of thousand high res tiff image would do for an HD.


Re: re The bureaucracy droid

Ah, accountants! The only thing most of them are really good at is telling you how the company went bust and in great detail.

Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too


Re: Why are we creating bots and AI to combat fake news?

Umm, educating humans? This is very risky. With planning and forethought you can usually educate most people to believe what ever you want. Think of churches, boy scouts, child soldiers, engineering workers unions. Once these people become true believers then they absolutely know they have the real truths. It goes further. Once these people know that have real truth they will assume they are supremely qualified to judge other news they know s.. all about. Just watch a BBC news broadcast to see this in action.

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