* Posts by holmegm

94 posts • joined 20 Aug 2018


Q&A: Crypto-guru Bruce Schneier on teaching tech to lawmakers, plus privacy failures – and a call to techies to act


not a bad thing, in itself

Lawmakers are reluctant to disrupt the enormous wealth creation machine that technology has turned out to be.

That's ... not a bad thing, in itself.

Obviously it can't be allowed to simply override all other concerns, but it's hardly an invalid concern of its own. Without enormous wealth creation machines you have poverty, which is best when avoided.

Science says death metal fans delightful and intelligent people, great at dinner parties


Re: My theory on the matter

Except that actual research on "letting it out" (punching pillows, primal screams, etc.) generally shows that it makes people *more* angry, more ready to act out, not less.

It turns out that anger is more of a habit than a gas.


Re: Not surprising

Good thing those are the only two choices - life might get complicated otherwise!

(Snarking more at the study, not you.)

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7


Re: Oh well,



Re: Oh well,

> Looks like the missus is getting Linux on our aging but faultless laptop soon then.

If my missus's crafting machines worked with Linux, I'd be saying the same.

Since they don't ... garr.

What today links Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram – apart from being run by monopolistic personal data harvesters?


That's a great idea! Let us know when you've convinced all his customers.

Alphabet top brass OK'd $100m-plus payouts to execs accused of sexual misconduct – court docs


key words

" allegedly signed off multimillion-dollar payouts to senior execs accused of sexual misconduct"

Aren't the key words here "allegedly" and "accused"?

Racist self-driving car scare debunked, inside AI black boxes, Google helps folks go with the TensorFlow...


Re: Asimov

If I recall, the criminals in the core gang of bad guys in Robocop were all scruffy white guys, except for one black man. (At the time, that was probably rather daring; *all* the bad guys should have been white, lol.)

(There *was* a joke about the one black criminal using his, er, equipment to distract a white woman cop. But I'm sure that wasn't racist at all ...)

Champagne corks undocked as SpaceX brings the Crew Dragon back to Earth


Re: Here in the UK... off topic

Or when the Chinese restaurant menu simply doesn't have your year in their animal zodiac table and you have to do the math.

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates


Re: It is too late

Perhaps she, er, he, er, zhe, uh, "identifies" as ... oh, forget it :)

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


Re: Combined reply :)

Oh come now, you conformed a little.

You haven't worn a tricornered hat, or a toga, have you?

We all conform ...


Re: We have surely reached peak beard.

70s motorcycle cop?

Web hacker 'Alfabeto Virtual' thrown in the clink for 3 months by US judge who wanted to 'send a message'


Hmm, which tack to take?

Decades in old chokey seems a bit harsh for mere "shenanigans". Awful US and its prison fetish and all that.

But then, it's Russia, so ... perhaps nothing can be too harsh.

Foldables herald the beginning of the end of the smartphone fetish


Re: cynic

"I understand the need for a bigger screen, which is why I don't do much on the phone other than calls, music, SMS, mail, google maps and the odd bit of internet to solve pub arguments."

Not to play contrarian, but isn't that, er, quite a lot?


Re: cynic

"I'd like a bigger screen. Phone is a pain for anything except some limited apps like banking."

I find it's good for a surprising number of things. *If* the app is designed well.

I wouldn't have thought that a language learning app would be good on a phone, for example, but Memrise is really well done. Phone version is even better than the web version, in my opinion.

Sure, there are many things that a desktop or larger display is better for, just saying that I was surprised how many things work on a small display, if designed well. That's the big "if".

After last year's sexism shambles, 2019's RSA infosec bash has upped its inclusivity game


How/when will you know when it's "fixed"? When there is a 50/50 split of speakers? When there are "booth dudes" instead of booth babes?

How, exactly?

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?


Re: Racist bastards!

Except of course that there really are British people, and even if you were born there, that doesn't magically make you one, if you aren't.

I'm not sure why people have such a problem with that, but only in certain countries. If I move to the Amazon river basin, nobody is going to call my children Indians, even though they were born there.


Re: Racist bastards!

Parenthetically, I've only ever heard or seen the term "brown people" used by "progressives".

So apparently that *would* be an acceptable term.


Re: sorry or not

Precisely so.

Caring what your race is, trying to find out if flat out asking you isn't allowed, trying to hire more of some and less of others, etc., *that's* all just fine - you just can't use these magic words, in English, to do it.


Re: sorry or not

"Somebody obviously works there who thinks in these terms. Perhaps still does."

Lots of people who work there - and everywhere else - think in those terms, including in HR.

There is plenty of obsession with race.

They just don't use those specific words, that's all. But they are still obsessed though with your race, how many they hire of each, how to hire more of some and less of others, etc.

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


"Then how do you handle the edge cases (female doctors and male nurses) without a fuss about discrimination being thrown?"

We had a few female doctors and male nurses back when people assumed "he" and "she" for the generic cases. Somehow everyone survived this just fine.


There's a pretty large assumption being made here that the data is unfairly biased, as opposed to simply reflecting an unpalatable reality.

It's probably necessary to show your work.


"The bias is there, in the many areas of media, government, people in areas and so on."

I'm not sure what "people in areas" are, but if the AI was trained solely on (fictional) media images and on government pronouncements, it would think that every criminal is a lily white businessman.

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin



Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that


Re: I've been on the receiving end of this

And there are ways to fire a customer gracefully.

You can just be so, so sad that you are unable to help them. It grieves you so much that you just can't even try anymore.

You care about them so much that you are sure they can get better help elsewhere. You are so sorry to have failed them. No no, you really can't risk failing them any longer.

Google's stunning plan to avoid apps slurping Gmail inboxes: Charge devs for security audits


"I abandoned Google because I was receiving emails not intended for me. My alias was punctuation between my first and last name. Apparently, they are really bad at hashing."

Mine is precisely that, and I get the emails not intended for me too. But that's because people don't know their customer's/friend's/lover's - or heaven help us, their own - email address, not due to a technical error.


Re: When will using GMail (or any Google Service...)...

It's not just the walled garden - do you really want the very existence of your email service (or any other service) to depend on the good will of Google?

To play devil's advocate - I've been on the consumer internet since the beginning. I've changed email providers every time I changed ISPs, until I said to heck with it and went with Gmail. Frankly, Gmail has been more stable and had more longevity than just about anything else out there.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign


There's an Office 2019?

What's the problem; it doesn't let you "draw" 3D dogs or something?

LibreOffice patches malicious code-execution bug, Apache OpenOffice – wait for it, wait for it – doesn't


Re: Tried Libre about 3 weeks ago....

I've had complex Word docs go just as wrong between different versions of Word, and so forth. That's a bit of a red herring.

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI


Re: Yep

It was just a troll (which means "person trolling for reactions", not "person I disagree with"), and not even a very good one.

Probably an amateur, but possibly even one paid by the other political side.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD


Re: You'd think the writer could use sailing for positive spin instead


Sailing Ship

Adler was right - we're attracted to our insecurities / fear projection

Nuke submarines ... SSN ! Even worse!


Presumably as an African nation, they weren't all that bothered by a 70-year-old European problem


It's a two letter identifier ... and there are only so many of 'em. For how long can we not use this one?

S is the 7th most common English letter, and not exactly rare in other languages.

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed


Er, what?

“Among the coffee species threatened with extinction are those that have potential to be used to breed and develop the coffees of the future, including those resistant to disease and capable of withstanding worsening climatic conditions,” noted Aaron Davis, lead author of the paper published in Science Advances and head of coffee research at Kew.

So, climate change is wiping out coffee species whose super power is resisting climate change? I'm confused.

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m



"And eef you don't comply, vee shall taunt you a *second* time!"

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit


Re: Puzzled

"We can see they are good at science and engineering, and they don't appear to have copied from the West to achieve it."

Not disputing they can be good at it, but not sure that follows from this ...

Landing on the moon? (US, 1969, manned)

Discovering that plants don't like cryogenic temperatures? (Pretty sure the West knew that some time ago ...)


Re: Puzzled

"Drive around with a blindfold on?"

If you must do, the moon is probably the best place for that ...

Black Horse slowed down: Lloyds Banking Group confirms problem with 'Faster' payments


Re: Faster Payments...

They should have called it : No payments...

Well, you have to concede; no payments is faster ...

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach


Why do so many businesses think that an email address is a good logon ID?

Because #1 it is unique, and #2 you won't forget it.

This must be some kind of mistake. IT managers axed, CEO and others' wallets lightened in patient hack aftermath


Re: This is the Bizarro Universe

However, if it's the inner circle, then the outer stuff is hot like in the Bible right?

To be even more pedantic, the Bible uses multiple metaphors to refer to Hell.

Some are hot, others not so much (one assumes that "outer darkness" is pretty cold).

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free


Re: Citation

Oh, "allegations"! Well, that settles it then.


Re: Crazy

What bizarre beliefs you have about your fellow countrymen.

Well, there is *one* group that resembles what you are describing - your new favorite pet voting block, those of the worldview that must not be named. They *actually* oppress women, which doesn't bother you at all.


Re: Easily solved

Someone must have forgot to tell them your clever little joke, because still they, and their southern neighbors, come ... and come ... and come ... year after year, decade after decade.

I indeed wonder why they don't protect themselves from such evil folk as we are, and choose to stay in their vibrant paradises where they are safe from us. Mysterious.

It's almost as though snarky anglo techies might get things wrong sometimes ...

Microsoft vows to destroy Office, er, offices: Campus to be demolished and rebuilt


A Classic ASP website can output any HTML that you want ... so there's no reason it couldn't be responsive design.

There are many *other* reasons not to have a Classic ASP website, but that is not one of them.

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


Re: Is this the

Is this the "new" and "improved" version of phrenology?

Er, no ... facial abnormalities are literally used in medicine to screen for and identify genetic disorders.

The idea itself is science, not pseudo-science. Can't speak to the execution here though.

It's the end of 2018, and this is your year in security


Re: The election wasn't hacked, oooh no it wasn't, honest.


If a given election got the results that you wanted, then in your eyes it wasn't hacked.

If a given election *didn't* get the results that you wanted, then in your eyes it *was* hacked.

Under no circumstances could your side just lose legitimately.

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?


Re: Look out

“Nazis” really?

You disagrees with someone so you compare them to a genocidal dictatorship who attempted to exterminate and entire ethnic group? That makes you at least as bad as the people you are trying to deride with your exaggeration of their intentions.

As an American I find that very amusing right about now for some reason. I won't go on about it though. Carry on :)

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter


"Got a source for those 24 inches? According to the article you linked to, the vibration had an amplitude of 3 inches,"

Well, he's a guy, so ...

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger


SELECT audiofiles FROM alexa WHERE customerid = 123456789 would be pretty much the same on any database, friend ... it's getting the 123456789 right that's the stumbling block.

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music


"and send the UK hurtling back to the pre-Brexit era when neighbours didn't one day decide to hate each other?"

Trollery indeed ... one needn't hate the neighbors to not wish to be ruled by them.


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