* Posts by Richocet

195 posts • joined 24 May 2017


US piles yet more charges on Theranos CEO, COO. We could do with good blood testing now... and this wasn't it

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Re: I know they were a bit fraudulent but.....

Yes you get it. But why do these companies get away with it, with the exception of one where they are throwing the book at them?

This raises some legitimate questions about inconsistent application of justice.

Guess what's heading to trial? IBM and its tactic of yoinking promised commissions after sales reps seal the deal

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Re: Up the Organization!

I read the shorter version "No Sho" - I do not recommend it to help with career progression.

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc

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Re: Getting security 100% right is hard

I think previous commenters were suggesting that the keys might have been supplied to the NSA by Intel , not that the vulnerability was deliberately put there for the benefit of the NSA.

Shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig, says Pen Test Partners

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Re: Nothing new...

So are you aware that the crews of some of these ships are slaves? https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/sep/30/modern-day-slavery-fishing-europe

The rest are extremely poorly paid.

Well, well, well. Internet-of-Things speaker biz Sonos to continue some software support for legacy kit after all

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I'm not a fan of that model. If the initial produce is expensive, I don't want to be shelling out every month to use it afterwards. Plus it's inefficient. With the little fees that financial institutions charge, it makes small payments inefficient.

Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches

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The court system needs a review as well if companies feel it's safe to not comply with labour laws and have to sued into complying, but also that this went through multiple courts to get resolved. Clearly there were one or more appeals in this case.

I'm not a law expert, but a thought is to have a quota for companies - one appeal per year. Or perhaps if they lose one appeal, they have to wait a year to appeal anything again. This would stop appeals being routine and they would need to choose carefully what to appeal.

This would stop them from appealing every ruling that is not in their favor, which is what they routinely do now. Appeals consume court resources, and increase the legal costs to both parties. Appeals are to some extent insulting to the judiciary - it demonstrates contempt for a judges ruling. I'm surprised the judiciary put up with this the way they do.

Justice delayed is justice denied - so the appeals have an compounded impact on the out-of pocket party. And less appeals mean lower court workloads, which means cases will be heard faster.

Fake docs rock real docs: Ex-Wall St guy accused of conning medics out of £27m for bogus cryptocurrency fund using faked paperwork

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Re: A simply test for this kind of operation.

We don't want them. We're not a dumping ground for unpopular English people (anymore).

Astroboffins may have raged at Elon's emissions staining the sky, but all those satellites will be more boon than bother

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Questionable benefits

Astronomy projects already produce so much data that they have to be analysed by distributing the data to many research organisations around the world. Some participating universities needed to update their data bandwidth which is remarkable since they have advanced internet backbones such as AARNET.

Upcoming astronomy projects will deliver order of magnitudes more data than their predecessors. https://datascience.codata.org/articles/10.5334/dsj-2015-011/

Bon Hannent : "one [optical] fibre could deliver the equivalent of all the bandwidth of every traditional satellite in operation". So extra satellites will not provide useful additional data bandwidth.

There are no remote universities not yet connected to the internet, even in Africa.

What is the benefit to astronomers again?

Remember those infosec fellas who were cuffed while testing the physical security of a courthouse? The burglary charges have been dropped

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Imagine what would have happened if they had been black.

Actually that's quite scary to think about.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: State is not county

Well because it's legally very difficult to give someone authority to commit a crime.

In this case getting the sheriff to agree in advance would have prevented the issue that happened, but it would have been very hard to forsee that issue happening.

The other approach would have been to arrange a pardon beforehand.

Brave, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla gather together to talk web privacy... and why we all shouldn't get too much of it

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Re: bah

I completely agree. I'm OK with seeing advertising on sites, and am OK for many sites to be funded this way.

The outrageously invasive and sometimes illegal tactics that advertising brokers utilise to harvest private data is the problem for me. The companies who pay to place ads don't need or ask for that amount of targeting.

For example a site I want to support showed me the message "Please disable your ad blocker" so I did because I wanted to support them. However their advertising partner refused to display and ads, and I got the same message this time asking me to disable my privacy blocker. I wasn't prepared to do that. So the site loses out on advertising, just because the middle-man is playing hard ball.

Also I have had legit sites serve me scams and malware via their advertising integrations. It is not OK to do that, and don't complain that I'm denying advertising revenue if they allow people to attack me through their site if I enable ads.

Firefox 72: Floating videos, blocking fingerprints, and defeating notification pop-ups

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Re: I hate that Firefox is the least terrible option

That's only intended for browsing the dark web,

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?

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Re: Two conflated things

I very much doubt that creepily profiled and targeted adverts actually result in very much greater recollection or clicks by readers at all, so why go to all that extremely creepy effort?

Profiled and targeted ads save the advertiser money as follows:

  • Ad targeting people who want to buy a new PC. Cost 30c per view. Needs to be shown to 100 people to generate one sale. Average cost: $30 per sale.
  • The same ad untargetted: Cost 10c per view. Needs to be shown to 2000 random people to generate one sale. Average cost: $200 per sale.

For the website owner, getting more revenue per visitor for targeted ads is much more attractive than untargetted ads because the number of visitors is something they can't easily change.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: But How ?

One challenge is that they figure out where you are without GPS by which Wifi networks are visible to your device and which cell towers are nearby. Both of these are challenging to fake.

A very clever white hat may be able to find a solution to this - consider this a challenge.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: But How ?

Feeding crap into the tracking and surveillance system has much more impact than blocking. If 20% of people fed crap in, it would be devastating. Perhaps as little as 10% might reduce the viability of the whole data mining, selling, and targeting advertising business (once word gets out*). A clean but incomplete data set just limits the size of the data set that can be sold for revenue. A polluted set of data is worth less, and is harder to assess the risks and value. An analogy is if you find out your local petrol station is diluting the fuel it sells. Would you pay them less, stop buying fuel completely or buy your fuel elsewhere at the previous price?

* The players in this business however would try hard to keep this issue quiet so that people would continue to pay for the data.

Savvy advertisers already take click fraud for online advertising into account in their return on investment (ROI) calculations. If their targeting of advertisements also became inaccurate this would further drive down the ROI and take billions out of the online advertising market.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: But How ?

I work in the area of collecting analysing, profiling and acting on customer data. Feeding dodgy data into the system is a very effective way to damage it. There is no realistic way to filter this data from coming in and once it is in the system, the difficulty of finding it and removing it is so high that it's best just to tolerate the impacts it has.

A good analogy is pouring sugar into a petrol tank. It's not easy to get the sugar out of the petrol, and the sugar will be discovered by engine damage.

Reusing software 'interfaces' is fine, Google tells Supreme Court, pleads: Think of the devs!

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Re: Its late stage capitalism at its very finest

No it's definitely capitalism.

Corrupt third world countries start off like this, but capitalism doesn't. It has been gradually getting heading in that direction.

The taxation analogy is a good one. These super-rich people want to do no productive work at all and receive an income stream from the patents, rights and licences they have purchased.

Where it differs is that tax gets spent on defense, health, schools, roads which benefit a lot of citizens, not just one rich person and their family.

IT exec sets up fake biz, uses it to bill his bosses $6m for phantom gear, gets caught by Microsoft Word metadata

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Re: idiot

I found his name so distracting it was hard to focus on the article.

Your workmates might still be reading that 'unshared' Slack document

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There's no technical reason that chat platforms can't be interoperable like phone calls, SMS and email.

It is unnecessary hassle when someone is using a different platform, or fashions change and we all have to move to something else.

Alphabet, Apple, Dell, Tesla, Microsoft exploit child labor to mine cobalt for batteries, human-rights warriors claim

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Thanks for letting us know that oil companies are major cobalt customers. I didn't know that.

How is oil industry deliberately being ignored? My guess is that oil industries are very good at getting away with widespread environmental damage (and global warming), so they would not be easy targets for such a campaign.

And the executives probably don't care that children are being abused and mutilated.

As long as they have enough money for their big swimming pool, private jet etc, why should the miners be paid anything? After all the execs work thousands of times harder than the children in the mines so everyone gets what they deserve. How is it even possible to work thousands of times harder than these kids?

FTC: All-powerful Google ABUSED rivals. So we did NOTHING

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It's funny reading this 4 years later, and seeing how much worse the situation has got that this doesn't even cause much concern anymore.

Tesla has a smashing weekend: Model 3 on Autopilot whacks cop cars, Elon's Cybertruck demolishes part of LA

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Re: I Can't Stop Myself

True, but pilots are highly trained an monitored and have to be re-accredited annually. Pilots lose their livelihood if they are reckless or incapable.

In Australia you get your drivers license once as a teenager, and being employed is literally a get out of jail free card for any type of driving offense including running people down and killing them.

So we shouldn't anticipate all drivers will be as careful and responsible with these functions as pilots.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: I Can't Stop Myself

I think the dog thing is just an excuse.

The Tesla autopilot needs to be banned. It has already reached the point of being widespread misleadingly labelled and marketed, and the average driver who thinks that cars work by some sort of engineering magic believe it is a full autopilot already.

So the only way to reset this thinking in an effective way is to require Tesla to withdraw the function, and then people will notice it and ask why it is not working. Tesla's factory forced updates can easily implement this.

Self-driving is an interesting field to explore, but it was arrogant and naive to assume and declare that it was achievable before cracking the problem.

Google ex-employees demand retribution for Thanksgiving massacre

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This was never formally adopted as the company's motto.

Oracle finally responds to wage discrimination claims… by suing US Department of Labor

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Re: Ok...ok...

Great argument.

You have just conclusively proven that ideology is the best way to resolve difficult/important questions.

Think of all the time we can save gathering facts and analysing them. A new golden age of productivity is upon us.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: Ok...ok...

..such as the professor specialising in employment who analysed the situation and concluded that the scenario was a one in a billion chance?

No matter how overwhelming the facts, analysis etc, there are still people who believe that white men are automatically better at <insert lucrative career here>.

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update

Richocet Bronze badge

There is a parallel to the Firmware update Sony introduced for their top of the range digital cameras.

It added filtering that deleted a bunch of stars from night photos, and changed the colour of other stars. This was not mentioned in the release notes.

The system is designed so that you can't go back to previous firmware versions. No one has found a workaround.

3 years have passed and Sony has not rectified the issue.

I bought one of these cameras just to take photos of stars, and had only owned it for a few months before the update came along.

Brit rocket boffins Reaction Engines notch up first supersonic precooler test

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Re: "Burning Hydrogen in air will also produce NOx "

You're point sums up the slippery slope so well.

"This small activity won't make a noticeable difference" said 6 billion people.

As I look out the window and see the worst wildfires ever burning on the horizon.

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Re: So much potential

Hydrogen and oxygen are not just lying around waiting to be collected and used. Unlike coal, oil, and gas.

The energy intensity of producing the materials is the most relevant part of the CO2 impact. Yes, if all electricity production was renewable it would be fine, but that is far from the case.

You might find the energy use of cement and aluminium production interesting.

Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?

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Re: Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity

Well having Vice and Integrity in the same title is a conflict.

Maybe it means President of Vice and Integrity.

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Re: Burn It !

The reduced battery drain is a strong sign that the app was broadly mining data off your phone and sending it back to the mothership.

Battery consumption (and data consumption) are symptoms of this activity that can't be hidden.

Google brings its secret health data stockpiling systems to the US

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Re: Nothing surprises me about Google anymore....

Nice blending of the straw man and appeal to ridicule argument strategies.

Ex from Hell gets six years for online stalking and revenge pics rampage at two women

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Re: Enforcement

I know my comment was controversial. I'm interested in why the down-votes as I can think of a few reasons for them, if anyone can elaborate.

1) The US police aren't ever racially biased.

2) Disagree that sentencing this guy to a prison sentence is a deterrent to others

3) Think that the US prison system is pleasant

4) We won't see more prosecutions like this anytime soon.

5) Another reason

Richocet Bronze badge


I wonder if the an exception was made to the normal police practice of not enforcing these laws because the perpetrator was not a caucasian?

Regardless, it's good thing that he got sentenced and this will make others think twice - many of them couldn't do the time in the brutal US prison system, so maybe they won't do the crime.

Maybe the investigation and prosecution of these creeps will be extended to other demographics in future. Let's hope so.

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

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Re: Not designed to detect jaywalkers == mansalughter through gross negligence

Well because there's a loophole.

If you take a process and make it much more complex and with multiple legal entities, it is possible to get away with more from a law and liability perspective.


Tax avoidance through complex international company structures.

Causing a financial crash through unnecessarily complex financial products created from home loans.

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Re: A more ethical way of developing these autonomous systems ...

Yes, there's some sort of Bosch-developed traction control system in my car that prevents and recovers from skids etc. It's about 5 years old and came standard. It sounds like what you describe.

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This system is ready for deployment in Queensland Australia

The behavior this vehicle exhibited mimics Queensland drivers very well. And they already have the system packaged into an SUV.

In Queensland running over objects is the general approach to driving. If unsure run over it and hope for the best, with some exceptions if the object is as big as the vehicle.

Future upgrades for the Queensland market:

1) Fit a bullbar so that the vehicle can sustain more impacts before needing repairs.

2) Re-program to drive a minimum of 10kmph above the speed limit at all times

3) Move aggressive AI to swerve towards pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists

4) Occasionally turn off the "give way" logic module.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: "Fall Creators Update"

That is why they turned off the part of the program where the car slowed down if it spotted a potential danger it was unsure of, or braked to avoid a hazard.

They couldn't solve the actual problem of AI driving so they faked it. More reckless than what Boeing did with their MCAS on the 767 Max and someone should be liable for the decision.

Potential solution: Make the Uber test car and the safety driver a tiny, frail vehicle that has the lowest legal crash protection rating: Minimizes damage to 3rd parties in the event of a crash, and a stronger incentive for Uber and the safety driver to avoid all crashes.

Helen Fospero makes yet another Brit telly presenter to win IR35 case against taxman

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Re: Beyond their grasp

.. and the biggest one: donate to political parties.

Just take a look at the carnage on Notepad++'s GitHub: 'Free Uyghur' release sparks spam tsunami by pro-Chinese

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Re: Thumbs up

Well I think that not buying new Chinese items is a more practical and high impact tactic that destroying whatever Chinese made products you already own since China already has your money for those purchases.

The modern economy operates on tiny margins, and a boycott of a product or country hits harder as a result. Maybe take advantage of that.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: *Standing, thunderous, rowdy ovation*

The Australian government has some obligations to ensure Julian is being treated lawfully and to assist him diplomatically, but it seems the current government is happy about what is happening and is willingly letting the US pursue him.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: *Standing, thunderous, rowdy ovation*

Back when Visual Studio was at peak brokenness as a development environment, most experienced developers in my company switched to Notepad++. In a nod to this, we renamed the executable to Visual Studio++ to reduce the risk of management discovering and forcing us to switch back.

I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu

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Re: 737 MAX

This is well worth a full-blown article with some solid journalism.

I have noticed some quirks that could had me questioning how the individuals involved could have obtained the qualifications they held. The sort of approach that all the interns I've hired would have known better.

I hadn't heard before today that fake qualifications were common.

Richocet Bronze badge

Re: 737 MAX

Don't even think about it. There are "no step" markings all over the top of the plane. Complete with footprint icons.

Dropbox reinvents itself as a collaborative workspace – no, not the WeWork kind (phew)

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Re: captcha hell - a quick segway :(

Have you ever considered you might be a bot?

Justice served: There is no escape from the long server log of the law

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Re: Surely...

1,2,4,5 and "Users need not apply" are all subject to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

So be careful giving rules like that.

Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

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Re: Bah!

By Australian government standards he probably was. The current government has taken to calling various groups and individuals who didn't vote for them terrorists. Steve was probably a member of a conservation group, ergo the government classifies him as a terrorist.

Like a grotty data addict desperately jonesing for its next fix, Google just can't stop misbehaving

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Worse still is that sites often host scam ads, crypto-mining scripts, or hacks that directly attack me.

It it outrageous that website owners say "I must be able to get some money from advertising to cover the cost of my site", while Google makes billions from selling this advertising, and they have such a low quality control of this service.

I don't feel any obligation to accept this as a reasonable cost of visiting a site without paying.

Clean up your act if you want this deal to be acceptable.

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

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Re: Advertising

This was how VW was able to sell so many diesel cars. Most people accepted the magic that a small, light, powerful, efficient and emissions compliant diesel car was possible.

Engineers at their competitors were frustrated for years trying to work out what VW had done.

Clutching at its Perl 6, developer community ponders language name with less baggage

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I like Perhl for some reason.



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