* Posts by Joe W

166 posts • joined 8 Aug 2018


What do WLinux and Benedict Cumberbatch have in common? They're both fond of Pengwin

Joe W

Re: I've asked this before, and I'll ask it again ...

Yeah, right. And in all companies you do get offered your specific wish of a laptop /desktop/raspberry pi rather than a corporate standard machine /OS combo, snowflakes that we all are.

I, at least, don't. But then they are also slow in letting us use wsl, so not much progress yet. At least I can get Cygwin.

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

Joe W

A good laugh is Norwegian brown cheese, or real goat cheese. Sold in slabs, seems to look like some kind of explosive on the x-ray machine. You always get a good laugh from the (usually quite relaxed and friendly) security guards in Gardermoen or Flesland...

Freelance devs: Oh, you wanted the app to be secure? The job spec didn't mention that

Joe W

Re: The devil is in the details

Well.... depends: if they would push this for any high impact journal you would be right in doubting. If they consider this to be a rather quick exploratory study to be published somewhere quite less prestigeous, then sure, why not do it? This fits the current "must pubish as much as possible" fad, which leads to a marked decrease in average (mean, median, whatever) article quality, and to research results being split up into three or five papers. If a PhD candidate has to publish three papers at least this is a very obvious reaction (not that I either condone or like that development).

And an authentification system without the most basic level of security (don't store the passwords in plain... among others) is a failure. I do not think that this has to be specified, quite like if you build a house the load bearing walls should be strong enough and you sort of expect that the house (or the outhouse, in your example) has a roof...

Joe W

Re: €100 (~$112) or €200 (~$225)

Plus: show me a developer in Munich who is not fluent in English...

Also: Those 83€, for how many hours is that? They offered that for the final system, as I understand the article. If it takes you more than a working day to do this then you are below minimum pay - and as somebody else commented above - you are to be considered "unskilled labour". I would not let somebody plan a house (statics and stuff involved, cabling, water (in and out)) who has no training in that. Why should they be able to deliver a safe (secure) solution for something else?

Buffer overflow flaw in British Airways in-flight entertainment systems will affect other airlines, but why try it in the air?

Joe W


Had a book - finished it (there was a massive blurb on the next book at the end)

Had laptop - battery empty because I did some work at the airport

Empty battery on the mp3-player

And then the IFE did not work... got copious amounts of booze, but LH supplies that anyway, and some Air Miles, but still sucked big time.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

Joe W

Ha, but the lounge serves only alcohol free beer, for the real stuff you have to be allowed into the Gold lounge (except maybe for the new lounge in the national part of OSL, unless things have changed).

Lykke til og god Tür!

From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic

Joe W

HDD as a microphone

There was (I think in an April issue) an article in a German computer magazine (ct, if you must know) about 20 years ago to use these corrections for inertia based navigation. Together with a road atlas it should be accurate enough to spot which road you were on.

Uber won't face criminal charges after its robo-car killed woman crossing street

Joe W

Re: Safety driver?


Broken system at your place, that is. Yes, if you are stupid / lazy (dark clothes, no lights on the bike, crossing where you should not) then part of the liability is yours. I have a hard time imagining all of the liability be attributed to the "weaker" party, i.e. pedestrians or cyclists. Especially if that person gets killed by an inattentive driver.

Google finally touts $150 pint-sized Linux dev board with Edge TPU AI math copro brains

Joe W

Another idea

Many believe that’s a bad idea, and so Google has provided a way for company owners to opt out of the thing.

Here is another idea: when such a thing calls you, refuse the booking. Yeah, you are "losing" a customer that way - actually that person would not have booked a table at your place in person anyway.

On the other hand, I would actually find this useful. I usually think of these things (hotel or restaurant reservations, doctor appointments) when the places are closed. So getting somebody else to do it for me would be nice. I guess the robocaller can access Google's database with opening hours, and thus know when (not) to call.

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster

Joe W

I found a beard to be more work than shaving all of the face. Ending up with a symmetrical result when either drunk or still half asleep (shaving before you go to bed or when you get up) is difficult. Shaving all of the strange figure's face peeping at you from the bathroom mirror in the morning is easier. YMMV, obviously.

Joe W

Re: The man in the mirror

When bearded I look (OK, used to look) like El Che, there is a picture with him and a dog. The similarity is... striking.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?

Joe W

Having actually lived in a place with a substantial amount of electric cars: not such a big deal, but then most drivers were not hell bent on mowing down cyclists (or pedestrians, for that matter). You do get used to recognising the power converters' (or whatever) high pitched whine (at four decades old I can still hear it so... not _that_ high pitched), and register this as an incoming bogey.

We sent a Reg vulture to RSA to learn about the future of AI and security. And it's no use. It's bots all the way down

Joe W


The agents would also, presumably, learn what's normal on the network

this is where it falls down, like "a young person who had too much drink" (BOFH, paraphrased, and thus, the icon). I do have some colleagues pushing in that direction, and then when I really sit them down to ask what is normal in our data and what not then all of a sudden it no longer seems like such a good idea. The problem with our data is that some stuff that looks out of place is actually correct (there are things that take bloody ages because they are complex, not because some component failed), and some hints of problems are too subtle to flag them as errors. So any ML system will, with a bad training set like this, never be able to do what we want. What it will be able to identify is what we can see with more oldish fashioned stats as well, and we can actually see and understand why something gets flagged.

Linux 5.0 is out except it's really 4.21 because Linus 'ran out of fingers and toes' to count on

Joe W

It will, if Torvalds kicks the bucket and Pottering takes over. Imagine a kernel that wants to be the window manager and the whole kaboodle...

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

Joe W

Re: The 2FA isn't really optional anymore either

Same happened to me. I used an additional cell phone number that noone had, and an email alias. Got locked out after half a day - I uploaded a sanitised (exif header removed) landscape photo. If there are no persons to run their nasty face recognition software against it they don't want it.

Yes, one can recover the account by sending in a scan of the passport / id-card. Not interested.

Spooky! Solar System's Planet NINE could be discovered in the next NINE years (plus one to six), say astroboffins

Joe W

Reverse use

Have a cold one!

(reminds me a bit of the retrophrenologist in Ankh Morpok...)

'They took away our Cup-a-Soup!' Share your tales of bleak breakout areas with us

Joe W

From my cold, dead hands!

At my last job: They took away our free coffee. Granted, it was only the nasty stuff made by Friele, and it was a drip maker, but still. In the lunch room we got a huge Nespresso monolith instead, which is expensive and the coffee is not that great (at least the selection they offered). Our guess was that somebody's brother in law or somesuch sold these on a commission.

We actually put a coffee machine elsewhere and used some departmental funds to continue buying coffee. The comments of the group leads were along the lines of "from our cold, dead hands..."

Huawei to the danger zone, ride into the danger zone... Chinese giant denies America's secrets theft, fraud charges

Joe W

Re: Huawei fights back

But then, who does look as pure?


Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...

Joe W

Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

Went to some musical instrument making workshop. Introduction included: do not use "just" (well: "nur noch"). So when we take a break for coffee or lunch or so, do not say "but I just only want to..." because that's the moment you are going to saw directly into your soundboard, undoing a few days of work

Also note the BOFH once observed that in a request it is a signal word for an unreasonable one...

Another way to look at Amazon's counterfeit-busting Project Zero: Making merchants cough up protection money

Joe W


"Honestly, guv, I'm not a seller / content provider / cab company / employer /..."

Yeah, right.

YouTube's pedo problem is so bad, it just switched off comments on millions of vids of small kids to stem the tide of vileness

Joe W

Re: One of the YouTube channels I watched got its comments deleted in this manner

Let me guess: they don't have a gazillion followers and so do not generate much income for YouTube...

Foldables herald the beginning of the end of the smartphone fetish

Joe W

Re: fetishisable glass slab

I know a gal who had one of those. Got it after she went swimming with her old phone. She has the habit of carrying her phone in her bra, she is not a handbag person and women's trousers have really small pockets. Beach, bikini, phone, swimming...

Joe W

Re: cynic

"what people don't do..."

Yeah, and that is exactly what we do not want to do. Make the damned thing more robust, then we do not need a case to protect it. That said: so far I have been lucky...

Three-quarters of crucial border IT systems at risk of failure? Bah, it's not like Brexit is *looks at watch* err... next month

Joe W

Re: Ha, making a mess

A mess of the whole Brexit thing yes. Pity.

I personally would have liked the UK to stay in. While London - Paris - Berlin not always agreed, it was a strong political axis of three bigger (and wealthy, important) nations. I would not call them the voice of reason, far from that, but the combination was enabling a bit of a counterweight of the EU versus the USA, for example.

Joe W

Re: What possible delay?

"non binding referendum"

remember that?

It could have been used as a strong argument to help reform either the EU, or change the UK's position inside the EU. In fact, many people outside the UK thought so (non representative sample from two countries, I admit).

Up up and Huawei in my beautiful buffoon: Trump sparks panic by tying tech kit ban, charges to China trade negotiations

Joe W

Re: "Criminal charges" ?

Well, and then there are those who say it has been for sale for a long time, but not to Johnny Foreigner...

This image-recognition neural net can be trained from 1.2 million pictures in the time it takes to make a cup o' tea

Joe W

Re: You can't make a cup of tea in 90 seconds

Plus the tast will be different. What is washed out of the leaves is influenced both by duration and temperature. So... no dice.

But nice idea nonetheless (icon: when the valve is stuck...)

BOFH: Bye desktop, bye desk. Hello 'slab and a beanbag on the floor

Joe W

Re: "digital natives"

*consults OED*

Ahh. Thanks, learned something new today (time for a drink!)

Joe W

"digital natives"

More like savages... the only thing they can do is prod their grubby fingers on fondleslabs, which are more consumption devices rather than anything to get work done with.

Not so smart after all: A techie's tale of toilet noise horror

Joe W

Re: Ironing

Ah, that's what Ironman is about? Was wondering...

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

Joe W

"where is the intelligence"

Coffee through the nose hurts. A lot.

Now I'll read the rest of the article...

Just do IoT? We'd walk a mile in someone else's Nike smart sneakers, but they seem to be 'bricked'

Joe W

Re: Self lacing?

Or on a bicycle. Have some shoes with torn laces. When not wearing cycling shoes I usually tuck the laces' ends and the loops either in the shoe or under the laces themselves. Yes, learned it the hard way. So I do understand the OP's point of view...

Joe W

If it ain't broken...

put some IoT stuff in it.

Behold… a WinRAR security bug that's older than your child's favorite YouTuber. And yes, you should patch this hole

Joe W

... because we do not have the source code

Holding my popcorn, waiting for the inevitable...

Europe-style 5G standards testing? Consistent definitions? Who the fsck wants that, asks US mobe industry

Joe W

Re: Tangentially related

... and they have called German cars a National Security Threat[TM]. Yeah, right...

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

Joe W

Re: Not this the?...

Te: Techmoan

You bas***d. Archive binging is bad for productivity and other things! Actually a quite entertaining chap, that one.

Have a beer or three...

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Joe W

Re: Placement of kill switch and other quirks

Yeah, that's a classic. And might even have been featured here - I think I can recall that, but Friday, and a long history of caffeine abuse...

Airbus will shutter its A380 production line from 2021

Joe W


I think it was due to two things: shift away from hub and spoke (except SAS, who do have hubs), and (maybe more importantly) the recent change in safety range ratings. It used to be the case that you needed four engines on some routes. No longer a requirement, so those kerosene guzzlers are no longer needed.

Oh Snapd! Gimme-root-now security bug lets miscreants sock it to your Ubuntu boxes

Joe W

Re: snapd and systemd

Dang, ninja'd. I actually have the same sentence in my copy clipboard...

OTOH: this is not really the init replacement that should not be named fault. Not directly, anyway. Granted, it is possible because TIRTSNBN wants too much and tries to take over all tasks and is a pig's breakfast.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Joe W

Re: Note to self:

This is some sort of uncertainty principle at work, only reverse. Here you need to know when you are to know where you are. Usually it is either or...

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

Joe W

Re: Wrong priorities

Yeah, the crux is that the software has no clue about the 3d nature of the object. Thus, instead of recognising it is a rotated cat, the NN focuses on what the images that are labelled "cat" have in common - and that is texture. So we need to devise a way to make the NN learn about the three dimensional nature of, eh, nature... not exactly straightforward. Especially taking into account the rather intransparent nature of CNNs. Black boxes, essentially.

Joe W

Re: Surprising...

Re: 99%

That's one person in their group. I think that a miss-click on the test form is the likeliest explanation....

Re: roundness

That's a statistical image recognition. These parameters are part of a statistical model, and depending on the scores in the different categories the object is classified. CNNs (NN in general) are model free.

Redditors start flinging Pooh after mega-forum takes cash from Chinese behemoth Tencent

Joe W

Re: $550m!

Yeah, but governments are working on a higher prefix ("milliard", as it was called in a civilised age ;p)

As M. von Lipvig put it: "if you stole five dollars you were a criminal. Steal 5000 and you were either government or a hero"[Pterry] (cannot be bothered to look up the exact words, sorry)

[Pterry] Sir Terry Pratchett, "Going Postal"

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

Joe W

Re: garage shop

Also take a peek at https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/blog/

Most videos cost a few quid, I find them (in general) very worth it...

Joe W

Re: garage shop

Hmpf. Except for the patio that's me, including the irritation about "yeah, it's a small shop area, only 2.5 acres" and "not too many tools, except for a table saw, band saw, thicknesser, planer, pillar drill, a lathe, mitre saw, paint booth,...". I have an English style workbench in a basement storage compartment, electric light but no power sockets. Thus hand tools only. Good for the neighbours, except when mortising :/

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

Joe W

Re: Pictures or it didn't.......

The padding in a Aldi bike shorts and longs is really too thick and uncomfy. You do not want to wear those on a bike, not for an extended period of time. (yes, I bike in lycra shorts, the triathlon variety, but before interacting with civilised company I change (or at least put cargo pants over the bike shorts)

Sounds a bit like it was running gear, not cycling.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

Joe W

Re: Never thought I'd be saying this ...

Yes, to all of your points.

What a mess, and publishing this proactively he now hopefully has them by the balls...

Pants-purveyor in plea for popularity: It's not just any pork push... it's an M&S 'love sausage'

Joe W

There is a cheese called "Scharfer Max", which could be translated both as "hot Max" (in both senses) or even "horny Max". I got quite a look at the cheese counter when asking for it... and yes, they had the cheese, and quite prominently displayed in the front. Otherwise I would not have asked for it, I guess.

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

Joe W

Re: Be curious if it's picked up at the other end ......

you do not need to send stuff continously, just push a bunch of additional data over when the unsafe word is uttered.

You like JavaScript! You really like it! Scripting lingo tops dev survey of programming languages

Joe W

Re: That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

The BOFH once said "special affirmative person and something with z I'll have thought of before it reaches the grievance committee".

The problem is not the language (well...) rather the copy-paste mentality of the current breed of "developers".


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