* Posts by ThatOne

241 posts • joined 9 Oct 2017

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BT to 'sunset' Apache CloudStack cloud, customer demand went AWOL

ThatOne
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Devil

Oh no, you can't strip that out! That whole part is there to contain the oh-so-important word "customer"! It's a box you have to tick to show you're customer-centric...

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SEAL up your data just like Microsoft: Redmond open-sources 'simple' homomorphic encryption blueprints

ThatOne
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Coat

My crystal ball is ringing

I see, I see - unauthorized users working illegally with the database without any need to decrypt it...

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Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

ThatOne
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Devil

Naive?

It's all a plot to be given some juicy exec jobs at Facebook too, after which the whole unpleasantness will suddenly disappear. Papers? What papers?

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Tech bosses talk kids' books! Could they show a glimmer of humanity? You only get one guess

ThatOne
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Headmaster

Re: Devil's advocate speaking

> when the reply is so blatantly a lie

They didn't really lie, they just never answered the actual question. They just ignored the question and named whatever seemed to best justify their actions, or sounded witty and/or clever (to them). It was just another PR exercise for them, a question like "if you were a color, what color would you be": You would never mention your true favorite color, you know there is only one right answer possible lest you want to pass for a sociopath... It's not a lie, it's basic career management.

Disclaimer: I'm not related in any way or condoning any of the people mentioned in the article, I'm just trying to be just here. I'm usually the first to suspect and mistrust everything and everyone; But this isn't one of those cases. This is just a non-event blown up because the people involved are celebrities. (IMHO, YMMV, etc.)

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ThatOne
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Headmaster

Devil's advocate speaking

Come on people, what do you expected those C-suites to say? They are allowed a PR stunt ("tell us more about The Real You"), and they obviously follow the instructions their PR manager has set up for them.

They obviously won't answer "Machiavelli's The Prince", or "comic books"; On the other hand giving some well-known children's book titles would be a missed occasion, and they didn't become what they are by missing occasions. So they go for the surgical strike, with a clearly defined (and most importantly, unique) message which can be tied to them as an individual, defining trait.

(My point, in case it was lost: That doesn't make them any nicer, it's just that their answers are not as strange as the article seems to believe.)

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Tech sector unites in attempt to avoid Oz's anti-crypto push, again

ThatOne
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> What makes the Australian government thinks that just because encryption without backdoors will be illegal that criminals won't continue to use unbreakable encryption and break the law?

Nothing, they don't really care. What's important to them is to have that shiny badge saying "I am the one who singlehandedly saved our country from chaos - It's me, adore me, vote for me". Reality on the terrain isn't important, more so since actual crime fighting (as opposed to gesture politics) is actually someone else's problem.

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Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg can't remember smear firm, but 'some of their work' crossed her desk

ThatOne
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Coat

> Face what?

Palm.

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Groundhog Day comes early as Intel Display Drivers give Windows 10 the silent treatment

ThatOne
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Alert

> One would think it is time M$ called a halt to the 'development' of 10. It was a nice try but doesn't really work, and start afresh with a completely fresh slate.

I don't know why everyone assumes their goal is to make a good, solid product they can be proud of. Preposterous. Their goal is to make money, lots of money, by any means, and the current situation already does that just fine.

Besides, why would they spend even a penny to reinvent an entirely new OS when their whole business case relies on compatibility with older Windows versions? It would be commercial suicide: They could make The Perfect OS, and yet nobody would ever touch it with a 10ft pole "because my programs don't run on it" - haven't you heard that tune already somewhere?...

The power of Windows is that it is Windows. And as long as it remains windowsy enough, users will accept everything Microsoft decides to do to them, because Windows is the only Windows. Amazing, when you think about it...

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Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die

ThatOne
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Less is less

Digital radio could had been nice, except that corporate greed dictates to dial up compression as high as possible (to squeeze more channels in), usually resulting in audio quality one can only qualify as appalling. No wonder FM sounds better, even in a noisy environment like a car...

I definitely won't bother buying a DAB radio, FM is good enough for me...

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In Space, Still: 20 years since Russia hurled first bit of floating astronaut hostel into orbit

ThatOne
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Unhappy

Sic transit gloria mundi

> expressed a desire to end funding by 2025, effectively killing off the ISS

Thus effectively killing the last remains of human presence in space... :-(

A couple decades later the last remains of know-how to send a human in space will have been lost, and space will just be a commercial battlefield for clouds of cheap throw-away satellites offering increasingly pointless services.

"So what" you might ask, "I don't need no stinking space."

Well yes you do actually: The race to the moon has triggered technological progress we all profit from daily, in almost all aspects of our lives. When the only progress left is IoT-enabled flower pots we will know human civilization has gone into fatal decline.

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Australia's 'snoop minister' wants crypto-busting law probe wound up, proposals back into parliament

ThatOne
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Devil

> the fishing expeditions his 'Home Affairs' ministry could go on if they could read everyone's private mail

Not to mention the value of personal informations to resell...

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LastPass? More like lost pass. Or where the fsck has it gone pass. Five-hour outage drives netizens bonkers

ThatOne
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Re: Keepass

> but at quite some inconvenience

Come on, how often do you add new passwords? I copy password files too, and in average I need to copy the updated password file to my phone 2-3 times a year. The rest of the time it either hasn't changed, or the changes aren't needed on my phone.

Besides I synchronize my phone weekly for other stuff, like documentation, address books and similar stuff anyway, so it's not really an inconvenience. Being locked out because their server fell over would be much more annoying, IMHO.

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UK's national Airwave terminal procurement framework awarded to Motorola and Sepura

ThatOne
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> What's wrong with Airwave anyway?

It's a "dated technology", meaning it has to be replaced by something newer (think MS Office versions), preferentially less user-friendly and more complicated/fragile, requiring nice juicy support contracts.

And you have seen nothing yet - Wait for the government to start implementing the replacement for the now very dated technology of the wheel...

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From directory traversal to direct travesty: Crash, hijack, siphon off this TP-Link VPN box via classic exploitable bugs

ThatOne
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Re: TP-Link

Because there is a vast amount of people who know just enough about networking to get themselves in trouble... I know, I'm one of them. ;o)

And obviously the kind of device they will buy for their home Internet connection depends solely on the size of hole it will burn in their wallet, this being the only difference they can see. Where on earth could they check who among the heap of similar devices from TP-Link, D-Link, Netgear, Linksys (etc.) is better (or less worse) than the others? Buying Cisco is not an option for people with average (or under-average) incomes + a family.

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Microsoft confirms: We fixed Azure by turning it off and on again. PS: Office 362 is still borked

ThatOne
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> Redmond said that it is still working on the problem

Wouldn't it be better if they worked on the solution instead?

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

ThatOne
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Devil

> MS account that does have an Office 365 subscription...

So? Did you think that means you're exempt from seeing ads?...

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Google: Our DeepMind health slurp is completely kosher

ThatOne
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Re: GDPR

... or they can just sell it and in case of problems blame those who bought it.

Much more profitable.

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Empire state of mind: NYC scatters palm leaves for Bezos' cloudy web shop juggernaut

ThatOne
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True, but those small businesses don't have the leverage required. You need to be stinking rich to get tax breaks and aids.

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Oz telcos' club asks: Why the hell do Australia Post, rando councils, or Taxi Services Commission want comms metadata?

ThatOne
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Big Brother

> "I've hesitated calling it a 'back door'... but it's certainly a way in."

It will hurt a little, but eventually Australians will learn to love it...

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Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

ThatOne
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Re: Isn't this inertial guidance?

> It sounds like the original press release used the word 'quantum' a lot. How would this help?

To reassure people with the classic "Quantum = Magic" principle... :o)

"But inertial systems tend to drift over time" - "Yes, but this is a quantum one!"

Now increasing the resolution might indeed have helped somewhat, the question remains "how much", and "at what cost". I guess there are probably several years before this idea is ready to leave the labs as anything else than a technology demonstrator. It's a cool idea (laser-cooled even!), but still just a lab success.

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One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

ThatOne
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Joke

Bigger is better

I'd like a 21" phone. (Of course with a handset you could pick up and hold to your head for calls. It could be connected with one of those spiffy spiral cables...)

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Tasty news bytes from networking land: Route security, Cisco cert death, ETSI and more

ThatOne
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Folding

> use a backslash (“\”, also referred to as a “slosh”) to indicate that a line has been folded

...and Windows paths become origami...

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Civil rights group says Oracles, Tapads and Experians get let off for wanton info-sucking

ThatOne
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Unhappy

Re: And their response?

Also:

"...And what are you going to do about it?"

or possibly:

"You and what army?"...

.

GDPR sounds good, but I need to see it in action before I trust it will have any effect. There have been lots of "theoretically you don't have to put up with this, but don't get your hopes up nevertheless" type laws, and those companies have good lawyers and all the right connections.

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Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

ThatOne
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WTF?

Small problem though

Something drew my attention: The article mentioned the possibility to reprogram the firmware to ignore the password. That's the big(gest) problem IMHO.

If you can change the firmware to tell the drive not to ask for a password but just go on and decrypt everything as requested it really doesn't matter if the password used is user-set or just "1234".

On the other hand, if the drive doesn't actually know the password unless you give it to it, it shouldn't matter if it is directly user-set or a longer password protected by the user password. Firmware, no matter what you program it to, wouldn't be able to access the data on its own.

Did I miss something?

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Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

ThatOne
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Re: Then what??

Then it will retire and move to Florida...

Seriously, I agree this is a strange statement indeed, even for context-less copy/paste quotes. *scratches head*

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50 ways to leave your lover, but four to sniff browser history

ThatOne
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Re: Look around the disk drive

> After removing Firefox I found over 1Gb of data

AFAIK most programs do that when uninstalling: They remove the program's own files, but leave any user-created files the program might have created.

In Firefox's case that would be installed add-ons, the history, cookie and bookmarks databases, the cache (probably the biggest part of the 1 GB you found) and whatever else your own use created. The point is that if you just uninstalled it to reinstall it (for refreshing, updating or fixing), you'll be back to your environment just as you left it. Even if you install another browser, he'll find the old Firefox data and offer to import your bookmarks.

So not actually a bad or evil thing, IMHO. Imagine if uninstalling MS Word deleted all .doc files on your hard drive... :o)

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ThatOne
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Re: run NoScript

NoScript only works if the naughty script is served from a domain you don't care about. It might be trickier if the naughty script is hosted on a domain you actually need to whitelist because else the site you're visiting doesn't work (online stores come to mind).

In this case you would need a means to only allow those scripts which are necessary, while blocking those which do unnecessary stuff, despite both coming from the same domain and potentially even being inside the same Javascript file. I guess it's possible, but I don't think it's easy to do reliably (don't know, I'm not a developer, just a pessimist).

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Americans' broadband access is so screwed up that the answer may lie in tiny space satellites

ThatOne
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WTF?

Jug of the Danaides?

> it will take six years for SpaceX to get half of those satellites into orbit

If they have a life time of 5 years, by the time they get half of them up there a part of those will be already spacefill. And by the time they shoot the rest up there (assuming another 6 years), the full first half will have to be replaced... Definitely missing something here.

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Facebook, Google sued for 'secretly' slurping people's whereabouts – while Feds lap it up

ThatOne
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Big Brother

OMG

George Orwell, what have you done!...

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Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

ThatOne
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Coat

D'uh

So rich kids have a better grasp and control of their environment? Next thing you'll tell me the pope is catholic...

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A DeepMind library to help build reinforcement learning bots, and how Google's Pixel 3 cameras handle zoom

ThatOne
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Re: Is is just me?

> Do you folks really want to live in a world where no one is, or possibly can be, able to figure out why computers do what they do?

While I agree with you, I hope you don't suggest that humans are always accountable for their actions and decisions...

While AI taking non-deterministic semi-random decisions about important questions is a sure recipe for (slow, insidious) disaster, we don't really need AI for that specific type of problem, there are lots of humans in key positions who's intelligence is artificial enough.

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Ericsson's very good bad quarter, Mozilla encrypts SNI, new TIP projects, and more

ThatOne
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Big Brother

> you can hear law enforcement and spooks wondering how to draft legislation to ban excessively secure protocols

Best way is to ban secure protocols: Think of the children! Yes, yes, I'm being sarcastic, not visionary (I hope).

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Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

ThatOne
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Having a valuable address book is a precious skill. Being wealthy and having a knighthood is proof of morals, so of course he can get in the USA!

Political lobbying will get so much easier for Facebook with someone who knows the right people by first name.

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Good news: Largest, most ancient known galaxy supercluster is spotted. Bad news: It's collapsing on itself

ThatOne
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Happy

Symmetry

And right now, somebody over there is probably looking at the old light of what our own supercluster looked like "back then", and is wondering what our neighborhood might look like nowadays...

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

ThatOne
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Devil

Re: Autorotate to where?

> I don’t see how the proponents of these devices can expect different treatment to existing aircraft as the risks are largely the same.

Better lobbying?

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Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

ThatOne
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Big Brother

More accurate spying - Who wouldn't want that?

It's a good thing for them, because they will be able to sell it for good money to Google/Amazon who will employ it to improve their profiles.

(And obviously also for those who will use it to collect "leverage" on certain people.)

But, as the article notes, we're just a small bunch of old fogeys always complaining; The younger generation is quite adamant about their right to be spied upon. Oh well.

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Those Stanford whiz kids have done it again. Now a chatty AI bot to negotiate sales for you with Craigslist riffraff

ThatOne
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How about 36?

Maybe 36 then? Or perhaps 36?

Sorry, doesn't sound like successful bargaining to me. The bot passes the smalltalk phase (which it can't process anyway, since all it gets is a subjective appreciation), but when it comes to money it fails inexplicably: How hard is it to parse the "60" in the seller's sentence and suggest something between 36 and 60, instead of insisting stupidly on 36? I would had assumed that's the easiest part to automate, with some psychological insight about how to stay over the rejection limit of your opponent and drive the negotiation down as much as possible without risking a rejection.

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Hunt for Planet X finds yet another planetoid, just not the right one

ThatOne
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Wow.

Orbit taking 40000 years - That's a long year! If there is intelligent life up there, the periodic appearance of a less-faint star in the sky is not even a vague legend: In our time scale, 40000 years ago is about the time Neanderthals got extinct.

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I like BigGANs but their pics do lie, you other AIs can't deny

ThatOne
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WTF?

What are we actually talking about?

> Images generated by AI

Images generated how? Are they painted out of nothing ("paint me a brown dog"), are they modifications of existing images?

What exactly are we talking about? Can somebody please be so kind to explain what I'm looking at?

If they are "painted" out of nothing following a request like "paint a butterfly on some flowers" they are astonishingly good and definitely plausible: The dog could have an eye problem, and the butterfly an old scar (or there was some dirt on the lens).

As for the "dogball", I definitely don't see what kind of attempt gave birth to that creature: It's not a dog face on a tennis ball, it's not a tennis ball made to look like a dog, I have the nagging feeling I'm seeing the answer to a question I don't understand.

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Volkswagen links arms with Microsoft for data-slurping cloud on Azure

ThatOne
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Big Brother

Resistance is futile

As somebody already said, car makers want a slice of that new shiny pie that is detailed customer lives. Where do you live, where do you go, when do you do it, how do you drive, how many people are with you (Friends? Family?), so they can sell (or lose) it to anybody interested.

They will make sure you can't turn the collection of data off, give it a nice flattering name like "personalized experience" and justify it with some "it's for your own good" kind of excuse. Most people won't care anyway, they have already told everything to everybody on Facebook/Twitter, so why shouldn't car makers be too shy to hop on that bandwagon too?

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

ThatOne
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Unhappy

Re: Location tracking

> GPS could let the emergency services find me

But all you'll get is localized ads for insurance offices and local car towing services.

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AI-powered IT security seems cool – until you clock miscreants wielding it too

ThatOne
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Facepalm

This is getting tiresome

AI is a marketing buzzword. There are wild-eyed salespersons running around screaming "The end is coming! Did you buy our AI solution yet, or are you doomed? Doomed I say!"

As for savvy people using it, well, it has its uses so some people will use it, although one would need to check what ISACA means by "AI". In marketing newspeak any program able to make simple "if...then" decisions is "AI", so obviously that moves the goalpost a little...

(Besides: Do savvy people use AI more often, or are they just savvy because they actually happen to use it?...)

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

ThatOne
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Re: It all seems a bit far fetched, to me

> The article suggests the impulse being applied for less than half a minute

Well, there is some vagueness in the description, but I read "1,800 seconds" as being 30 minutes during which the cleaning satellite will have to blow plasma onto the victim. Which would mean the cleaning satellite will have to follow its prey for at least half an hour, through what (should be) a rapid deceleration and radical change of orbit. I might be wrong though.

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ThatOne
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Re: It all seems a bit far fetched, to me

Indeed. The idea as I understand it is to slow the debris down so it falls into a lower orbit, more affected by the outer borders of atmosphere.

To do so you'd need to put your plasma throwing satellite on the same orbit as the debris, a couple of meters in front of it. Then you start blowing your plasma at the debris, and as a result it slows down, thus falling back and down into a lower orbit. So, to keep slowing it down your plasma throwing satellite will have to follow it for a short while, slowing down by the same amount, which means it will descend into lower orbits too. If you don't want it to go plunging into the atmosphere too, you'll need to use some kind of booster to make it climb back up so it can go search for some other debris to kill.

Not impossible, but sounds definitely fiddly and very fuel intensive.

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DEF CON hackers' dossier on US voting machine security is just as grim as feared

ThatOne
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Big Brother

Shush, those are just the means to correct incorrect vote results.

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NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

ThatOne
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Unhappy

Bitter times are coming...

And in 30 years from now people will be on some similar forum, complaining that back when they were young(er), humanity even had a manned research space station orbiting Earth! Something that day's technology isn't able to do anymore (save for some vague future ad-supported projects).

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Adobe forks out $4.75bn for Marketo in massive marketing mashup move

ThatOne
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Coat

Opportunity knocks

Any 7-letter company named "Ma...to" to sell?

They certainly won't stop at "Magento" and "Marketo", it's too much fun.

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Big Cable tells US government: Now's not the time to talk about internet speeds – just give us the money

ThatOne
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Facepalm

"The speed is enough for bumpkins, it argues, they don't need more."

Here, fixed it for you.

Their point is not to spend money, but to make some more. They didn't spend decades of efforts to build their monopoly situations just for fun. Heed the old saying: Money speaks - it does not listen.

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Garbage collection – in SPAAACE: Net snaffles junk in first step to clean up Earth's orbiting litter

ThatOne
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Partial solution

That might work for intact CubeSats and bigger objects, but good luck catching the shrapnel sized debris with nets. Unfortunately bigger objects will tend over time to break down into smaller chunks due to collisions, chunks which will over time create even more small debris.

We need to put in orbit an asteroid made of ballistic gel into which all this hypervelocity buckshot can go bury itself! Let it turn in different orbits until they are cleaned, then let it drop back to earth, despite its size it will burn up easily.

(Shucks, no mad scientist icon)

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