* Posts by Persona

82 posts • joined 6 Jul 2018


Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m


Re: Make it attractive to pay tax

No, VAT is still payable. Amazon can avoid corporation tax, it can't escape VAT.

Object-recognition AI – the dumb program's idea of a smart program: How neural nets are really just looking at textures


Re: Surprising...

Looking down the microscope at a slide you get a largely 2D view of the object and rarely use binocular microscopes. Shape recognition works.

A person looking at a cat directly gets 3D information and when it moves your brain integrates it all into a cohesive 3D cat. Once learnt you can infer the 2D outline of a cat in any position so recognize the 2D image as a 3D cat. By training recognition systems with libraries of 2D images the systems have chosen to ignore the wildly variable 2D outlines that result from the different positions of the 3D object and concentrate on the more consistent textures …... which sometimes give horribly wrong results.

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi


Re: Mini computer flingers

Intel started with 4 bit microprocessors and the package only had 16 pins. A Xeon Phi with 72 64bit cores in a package with 3647 pins .......... is a lot bigger. Way to big to still call a microprocessor.

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price


Re: Why is Windows monolithic?

40 years ago computers normally had reset buttons on the front panel. CP/M and DOS and all the "home" computers that preceded them lacked an O/S capable of pulling execution away from a looping bit of code. Even a PDP 8 had a halt switch.

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'


Re: Tangible value of currency

That's not a good comparison. Fiat currency has value and need because of the government behind it. It levies taxes that must be paid in its currency and it pays out in that currency. The currency then becomes a representation of the underlying asset value of the country. This "generally" makes for a reasonably stable currency which can be valued then traded against fiat currencies of other nations. This is utterly different to bitcoin which is not a currency. A more appropriate analogy for bitcoin would be a limited set of baseball cards. When the fans want to buy them the price goes up, and when they want or need to sell them (perhaps to pay a tax bill) the price goes down. Even that is a far from perfect analogy as a baseball card has a picture on it with some intrinsic value.


N of M key sharing is a feature built into every Hardware Security Module you can buy. I've even used it on two different brands. Don't build it yourself: the cost of failure is too high.


Re: Lesson for us all...

Your argument would be true if the bitcoins together represented some underlying asset with a tangible value. They don't. The value of a bitcoin is simply a function of market supply and demand: when people want to buy them it pushes the price up and when they want to sell the price goes down. As there is no underlying asset that can be valued independently, there is no true notion of the price being under or overvalued so there is nothing to constrain the price rising towards infinity or dropping to zero.

Clever girl: SpaceX's Mars-bound Raptor engine looks like it works just fine


Re: Green

As a first step you tune the LOX/CH3 mixture ratios, pressures and indirectly the temperatures on both of the pre-burners and the combustion chamber.

Windows Defender update: So secure, it wouldn't let Secure-Boot Windows PCs, er, boot


The DNS issue that stops BT internet users from using the Windows Update service also stops them being able to download apps from the store.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees


Re: I said that!

The massive out of town car parks will also double as charging stations for the people who can't charge their car at home.


Re: I said that!

A self driving taxi is still profitable with a low duty cycle.as you don't have a driver sitting there idle for most of the time who still needs paying.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias


Re: Why not just

I would consider allowing one of these devices into my home if it had such a button, provided that the button operated by physically removing power to the microphone pre-amp. It would also require an LED on that power line so I could see if the device was capable of listening or not.

Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data


Re: FFS!!

I don't think they deliberately sell the data, but I'm happy to see the evidence to be proven wrong.

As I see it, it's too valuable to just sell as by holding onto it they can continually monetize it with dynamic ads that lets the advertizer select the data characteristics Facebook will use to target the add.

Even Windows 10 can't save the PC market as chip shortages, Brexit uncertainties bite


Re: Windows 10 can't save the PC market

Windows 10 should have been the solution to exactly what the article was about, namely the inevitability of the market for home PC's evaporating. Their hope was to keep their users by developing Windows phones that felt the same as their Windows desktop at work and also gave them the option to allow their phone to plug into a screen/keyboard to give the productivity when and if required.

The problem was that they came late to smartphone market and missed getting aboard the apps bandwagon. In their panic to catch it they pushed out Windows 10 to phones before it was ready and destroyed the platform they hoped to migrate their users to by making it an unattractive choice for third party phone manufacturers.


Re: Windows 10 can't save the PC market

Nope. The smartphone broke the PC market. Most of the things that a home user did on their PC, they now do on their phone. The few instances when they need the PC they struggle and do it on their phone slowly and inefficiently because it's not worth the expense of buying a PC to fill those needs alone. Business users need the productivity of the big screen, keyboard and mouse so they are still largely buying PC's though for some job functions the phone is sufficient.

Openreach to heap faster broadband on UK's media-heavy hubs


Re: Some time ago

We had fibre roll our down our road. The ISP's didn't know so they didn't inform the people who had asked to be informed if fibre became available. After about a year I found on a comparison web site that BT but no other ISP's were offering fibre, so I was the first down our road to get FTTP. Now all the

ISP's are offering it.

Florida man's deadliest catch forces police to evacuate Taco Bell


Re: Not just in Florida...

You might want to check what did happen to the complete round. Possession of a live round is an offence under section 1 of the Firearms Act. Under the circumstances you're unlikely to get the full five year custodial sentence, though you could get six months.

Whats(goes)App must come down... World in shock as Zuck decides to intertwine Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp


Re: Damn

Quite possible as the US has a low penetration of WhatsApp. For the 18-29 age group its 30% and for the 30-59 folks it's 25% both of which are dwarfed by Facebook messenger.

It's the network effect. You use what your friends use, and they use what their friends use. For the US this means a big dominance of Facebook messenger and for the UK it's WhatsApp. It is however possible that you are in an isolated social bubble so don't come across people using the regionally dominant messenger even though they probably do ...... just not with you.



Re: Signal

Some people have lots of friends, and their friends have friends.

Human StarCraft II e-athletes crushed by neural net ace – DeepMind's AlphaStar


Re: professional

Hmmmmm …….. I had to Google it.

Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual


I briefly worked with a chap who would have failed your written For Next loop test. Every time he programmed a loop he got an out by one error, and on more than one occasion when the error was pointed out to him he would "fix" it ..... and end up with an out by 2 error.

He didn't work for us for very long.

Want to spin up Ubuntu VMs from Windows 10's command line, eh? We'll need to see a Multipass


As the article says it's aimed at the corporate environment where you have to have a Windows PC on your desk. You can then have 1 core of the CPU running Windows for the PC only apps your employer mandates. The other CPU's on the PC then give you the development environment you need.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020


I'll keep my 640XL to the end too, which for my phone is July 2019 as it couldn't get the final update.

I purchased it in July 2015 so it will have received monthly security updates for four years. I expect it will be hard to rival that with whatever replaces it, especially when you factor in that it only cost £122.22

South Korea reckons mystery hackers cracked open advanced weapons servers


True but if you had a tad acrimonious relationship with a neighbouring country and you found this place where they stored information about all their advanced weapons purchases would you take a peek if you could? Of course you would. It would be criminally stupid not to.

HSBC suggests it might have found a... use for blockchain?


Re: Truth

"I think you'll find that any distributed ledger would be vulnerable to attack in such a circumstance."

As it was intra-company I think that you will find HSBC's ledger (which might have been distributed but probably wasn't) was handled solely within HSBC's systems which voids the concept of a 51% attack.

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


I solved this problem 20 years ago, by buying a single roll of Izal hard toilet paper. It's truly horrible stuff that I remember using as a boy on my Grandparent outside loo.. When supplies get low I see this roll sitting at the back of the cupboard and the thought of having to use it is so bad it sticks in the mind for days ensuring that I remember to buy some nice modern comfortable paper. Consequently I have never needed to use any of the 336 sheets from the 75mm diameter roll....... yes it's that thin.

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock


Re: "Given that a credit card in Germany is just a "delayed-action" debit card"

The card issuer makes most profit from transaction charges. Amex charges retailers about 3% of each sale.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left


Re: Naming conventions

Oath of Fealty was written by Niven and Pournelle who has been mentioned here before. It's very hard to spot who wrote which bits as their writing styles blend.

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans


Re: Just like buying a magazine.

Back then I got paid to do computer forensic investigations and have come across tampered logs at work. He was capable of MAC spoofing and good at id theft, and yes I was proud of him, but sadly the logs did not lie. I guess he was just a late starter ........ unless he had figured out ARP cache poisoning.


Re: Just like buying a magazine.

When my children were young I did secretly monitor their internet activity. It made me a little uneasy to be intruding on their privacy, but their online safety was paramount. Whilst I was most concerned about my youngest children's access, I vividly recall looking at my teenage son's browsing habits with dismay and thinking to myself ....... "for fucks sake, you should be browsing some porn at your age".

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises


Re: @AC - How To Do Encryption IN THE REAL WORLD

PKI was invented to distribute symetric encryption keys over an insecure channel. The problem with PKI's is that everyone needs to use the same one (though bridging is possible). Both national governments and financial instututions wisely see no net benefit to prioviding large scale PKI's, so they are fragmented. You also need to trust the PKI to correctly distribute the public key. It gets really messy when you start factoring in key expiry and revocation and people forgetting their private key. These complications have limited it to small scale deployment, and this hasn't improved in the last 20 years.

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass


The OS should not permit the application to roam about without authentication, but should provide a discretionary privilege mechanism to allow applications to respond and respond to incoming calls whilst locked.

It is however the responsibility of the application to protect all data that it had previously cached when operating in an authenticated mode.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Re: Send in other, bigger, better armed drones?

No. Keep it simple. Send up a unarmed drone with longer flight capacity to follow it home. Follow this up with a visit from plod to collect the forensic evidence (i.e. a drone with lots of fingerprints and DNA inside and out) and/or nab the perpetrator.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones


Re: Why not kit out airports with anti-drone drones?

You don't need the police drone to catch it. Just follow it till it's low on power and its operator recovers it to recharge the batteries, and dispatch a police control to apprehend them.

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off


If the API's were both undocumented, unadvertised and (I'm guessing here) probably inherently insecure, the consumer doesn't have a case.

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is


I think the real problem is that Edge hardly worked properly at all on most sites.

Edge works well for me, especially on my old underpowered tablet where Chrome sucks. I do try hard to avoid Google web sites as they suck badly on Edge ...... and they nag me to install Chrome.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing


Re: Beer in the Sodastream?

Blue Nun is interesting stuff. Just don't drink it. The prototype for Le Piat D'Or red wine was made with Blue Nun and red food colouring as this would "appeal" to the regular British consumer in 1974 who wasn't quite ready for real red wine. They then went to a French wine producer and asked them to make red wine that looked and tasted that way. It was very popular in its day thanks mainly to an attractive bottle and a huge TV advertising campaign.

He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman



He is simply a broker. There are good reasons to use a broker who has been around awhile and understands the business rather than dealing directly with the end party whom you have no reason to trust. A broker always gets commission for his services either by charging a fee or pressing the supplier for the discount he knows he can get, and often both! As for cracking RSA-1024, the only practical way of doing this is to "obtain" a copy of the private key.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss


Re: Take your browser and fuck off

I use both Edge and Chrome. Of the two Edge performs much better on my underpowered tablet. The only downside for me is if I use any Google web site it nags me to use Chrome.

Intel eggheads put bits in a spin to try to revive Moore's law


Re: How many generations?

You have missed the Laddic which is/was a magnetic device for performing logic. Was it important? Well I've seen (actually stood inside) a computer built with Laddic that was controlling a nuclear reactor, so arguably yes.

Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don't call back when asked for evidence


Blockchains are a wonderful tool .....

...... for separating fools from their money.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


Re: OK, but why ....


"Load control? Unless the rollout is even dumber than I've heard, that's not done by cutting off power at the meter. It's done by selectively cutting off individual major loads, usually an immersion heater."

How could it possibly do that? The smart meter in on the wires coming from the company fuses and going into the consumer unit. It's all or nothing. You would need a smart consumer unit to selectively cut power to individual circuits.

All a smart meter can do (in the future) is allow power to be bought with an expensive high reliability tariff or a cheaper low reliability tarif that gets turned off when power demand exceeds supply.

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette


Re: Harmless

"8 tracks were only common for a couple years in the late 1960s."

I visited Salt Lake City in 2001. Our taxi driver was playing music with an 8 track.


Re: Harmless

"I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player."

It's the USA ...... 8 tracks were the thing over there. Probably still are outside of the cities.

Microsoft: You looking at me funny? Oh, you just want to sign in


Re: I Don't Get It...

They need to access the "secure enclave" on your device to sign the nonce, and to unlock that enclave they will need your PIN or biometric etc. so be careful that when a person steals your phone they don't also take your finger.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location


Re: As someone who currently designs chip-enabled cat interface devices...

@Neil Barnes

"they have a rotary lock which as far as I know no cat has succeeded in defeating"

My daughters cat opens the rotary lock on her cat flap so quickly you don't see him doing it. He can pry up the door too.

With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships


Re: Why the front-facing camera hullaballoo?

30% of the market takes selfies and posts them on social medial, 60% of the market wants to emulate that 30% so need a phone that is good for selfies. The remaining 10% is an interesting group for various reasons. Most Register readers are in that odd 10%

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere


Re: Confusing

"You can turn a speaker into a microphone by reversing the polarity or something. "

Sigh. You can use a moving coil speaker as a microphone, but only by putting it into a circuit that does the exact opposite of the electronics used to power the speaker. A circuit that goes DAC -> amplifier -> speaker is more than just a "polarity change" to go to speaker-mike -> amplifier -> ADC

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...


Re: Important 'cause...

Self driving cars are really good at maneuvering and braking the car, better than almost all human drivers. They are relatively terrible at identifying things, current worst than most drivers so we have a way to go before making value judgements about what to hit. Once we get there it's time to apply Steinbach's Guideline for Systems Programmers - "Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle."

It only took Oz govt transformation bods 6 months and $700k to report that blockchain ain't worth the effort


Re: Audit trails for copyright claims

"Do they need to be paid, wouldn't some copyright holders do it out of self interest?"

They might for a bit, but then drop out as they realize the costs of network bandwidth, maintenance, support and storage space outweigh the somewhat intangible value of having a robust way of claiming copyright. Soon you start to have concerns that over 50% of the service is provided by a single player ...... who rapidly becomes a very big copyright owner.


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