* Posts by bo111

108 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Dec 2022


If you like to play along with the illusion of privacy, smart devices are a dumb idea


Enough! Eliminate the root cause

Make targeted advertising illegal. Make PII collection illegal, unless necessary for legal purposes.

Search ads would still work, since a search keyword would match an ad and user intent. Social media can f-off as easily manipulated and harmful anyway.

Attackers accessed UK military data through high-security fencing firm's Windows 7 rig


> ballet dancer reskilling

I feel uneasy passing by huge fancy gov-funded offices providing zero-value services. Same with bailed-out banks.

While many private businesses are paying huge taxes and huddle in tiny boxed spaces to stay afloat.

Ballet is great. But everyone needs a nurse one day. Economy is a bitch.


> is just security theatre

and very complicated IT systems with 0.001% of country population able to understand it, if not already retired or busy with something better paid, like mobile game development.


> I can fix this problem ... with an S-100 computer

How much do you charge per hour? Are you available?


> but lacked a firewall

You are assuming IT specialists are in unlimited supply and cheap. Besides cyber-security is intellectually hard and typically a 53-th priority for small and mid-size business.

At the same time elReg readers seem to fervently protest large layoffs by Big IT, but this is exactly what is needed to fill job gaps of other businesses. In another news, actors and video game workers form guilds and strike, protecting their (easier?) jobs, instead of doing more in-demand IT or medical jobs, for example. This is an important example of how job security can be harmful for a country as a whole.

Well, government must support people while they are retraining. But firing people should be easy. The economy will thrive and compensate the unemployment costs and retraining.

Electoral Commission had internet-facing server with unpatched vuln


> Personal legal liability

Will not happen. Most people are not smart enough. IT systems are becoming more complex each year. Else half of the country will end up in jail.

Small and mid size business workers stare at me in a shock and offer to stop a transaction when I point to potential mishandling my PII.


Never. Here is a solution

Let's think logically. Majority of businesses and organizations are not sufficiently secure. This will NEVER change.

So, lets delegate PII data management to a few highly specialized organizations. Those can be those already proven to do it well, such as banks, cloud providers or a special government service. Governments must pay the providers to handle the data. Entrusted companies must not mix the PII-handling services with their commercial operations.

For the rest of organizations requiring PII to do business, they will be LEGALLY forbidden to ask for PII, record or process PII, copy and analyse PII in their databases. No more passport photos sent by email or scanned in a corner shop. Indirect identification and authorization methods must be used through the entrusted third parties, similar to how already now users login with Google or Facebook credentials to other web-sites.

PROS: (1) PII can be easily modified and propagate to all the rest. (2) Distinct user ID can be issued to each non-PII handling organization. Thus will make it harder to do illegal data cross-analysis or tracking. (3) Majority of businesses will not have to spend on expensive privacy management or worry about PII loss. (4) Possibility to implement notifications on PII access for any transaction by a third party. (5) The PII-providers can implement multiple levels of data protection, throttling the traffic with physically slow routers etc., so that it is literally impossible to download GBs of PII of the whole country unnoticed. (6) Only a few PII providers can be easily audited and monitored for service quality. (7) Illegal data usage, such as for illegal immigration or social security fraud will be made hard.

CONS: (1) Single point of failure, supposedly, but this is no different to current ALMOST CERTAIN data leaks through thousands of small organizations with little IT or privacy experience. (2) Possibility of identity theft, but this can be dramatically reduced by the necessity of physical contact by post or in person with the PII handler.

ChatGPT study suggests its LLMs are getting dumber at some tasks


High cost is the reason

Commercial applications are picking up and there is not enough infra to support the exploding demand. So something has to give.

Samsung’s midrange A54 is lovely, but users won't feel seen


Re: Duh, comparing apples to oranges

phone keeps switching on in my pocket

Try Settings: Display > Accidental touch protection ON, Touch sensitivity OFF.

Barts NHS hack leaves folks on tenterhooks over extortion


Re: Obligatory messaging on data usage for legal purposes

The contract would also need to include penalty clauses in event of it being voided in this way

- confirmation of a transaction is necessary, not only receiving a message. It is very similar how post-COVID online contracting works with email, SMS, and pseudo electronic signatures.


Obligatory messaging on data usage for legal purposes

I doubt the problem of stolen data will ever go away. Security approach is a waste of time and resources.

The best would be storing personal details in centralized volts, and forcing messaging the data owner on significant usage by third parties. For legal purpose any significant transaction or contract without messaging the data owner and confirmation by the data owner should be considered void. The solution should be standardized across economic blocks to facilitate international relations.

Important note: Humans can use AI to make music and still bag a Grammy


Re: LOOK MA...

Soon with real time music generation/remixing on demand

Boss such a tyrant you need a job quitting agent? It works in Japan


Is Japan less innovative and entrepreneurial than USA?

I imagine when people stay in old companies the whole economy slows down. For young companies to thrive the old must die.

We just don't get enough time, contractor tasked with fact-checking Google Bard tells us


Re: Subverted use case??

I find value in generated summaries before digging into specific URLs

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries


Re: Repair shop?

I am sure all the innovative Apple will find a water/dust proof solution. Maybe it is not a rocket science compared to other tech.

AI is going to eat itself: Experiment shows people training bots are using bots


Re: Billion Dollar Brain?

I wonder how many civilizations perished because they ignored current situation. Or maybe it is the evolution itself.


> you are assuming that the market will pick the best performer

You are partially right. I am quite disappointed to read comments here from people who have only used the free ChatGPT and call all GPTs useless.

I have a bitter feeling seeing China having 10x more interest for ChatGPT than any western country in Google Trends. Is it a statistical blip, or the West is decadent indeed?


> Asking government to legislate on AI is not going to end well

This. How can you even expect politicians to understand what AI is. Most AI experts are busy making big bucks and having great fun in the real world dev.

OK. Let's assume they can. Now go and enforce the laws. We already saw GDPR failing literally everywhere and making life harder by nonsense cookie warnings (98% of people do not understand what they mean). But, more importantly, indirectly by malware, ransomware etc. The same money is better spent elsewhere. Orthogonally. For example on education and cyber-security budgets.


No big deal. The market will decide

The product will improve. It is like the smart speakers. People did not use them much, because they were not good enough. But ChatGPT 4 is very good, while GPT 3.5 quite reasonably useful. So no. This is not "just a hype". Very good GPTs will be more expensive. My only worry is that the very best GPTs will not be affordable at all, because of huge financial advantage, and maybe the ability to control the World.

Capita faces first legal Letter of Claim over mega breach


> they would not be able to prove you received it

But what if replying to it was required as a kind of digital signature? And PRECISELY replying, not clicking on links or buttons to avoid malware. Official inbox can even intentionally remove or disable all URLs in the body = lots of spam cases solved.

There is one important reason why social security numbers are so popular for doing business: they uniquely identify a person and compress their legal name, birth date, birth place, and so on. There is no reason why official emails cannot be used this way instead. Such email has a huge advantage compared to a social security number: the email/id gets a message when used in a transaction. Nowadays you will not know if someone used it on your behalf until it is too late.

Yours are valid points against email, but there is one big pro: it is a commonly available and accepted messaging platform. It has been successfully used and proven for legal and trade.

As for spam, my only emails getting spam are those non-public leaked as customer data from my service providers. My public email never gets any spam. Anyway, how spam to existing leaked email addresses is different from spam to the official email?

Ideally official emails should be all digits with delimiters and a checksum: 171.397.189.978.111@id.gov. The reasons for digits only is that they are easy to pass over the phone.


A method to reduce identity theft

In the method we all should have an officially registered* email address, so that any contract above certain financial threshold signed with our name would require a copy sent to this address. Meaning, we will always get informed when our data is used for illegal purposes and could take action immediately. All contracts signed without reference and copy to the official email are void. Optimally such email boxes should not allow message deletion within a year or so, to help stolen access credentials to the inbox. Also there should be an international standard, to simplify international transactions.

*An email registered with our physical presence in some governmental office. Several official addresses could be allowed. It does not have to be an email service, as email delivery is not always guaranteed. Some better alternative could be created to make sure a message has been delivered.

Open the pod bay doors, GPT, and see if you're smart enough for the real world


Re: Reputation vs Regulation

Actually search engines are social media too. Because what is shown in search results is decided by what people click on, or link to.


> generating content for a right wing

Maybe what people say is not what they actually think :) There is certainly a lot of wishful thinking. Like equality, for example. But then ask a person to share own living place with refugees and one can see what this person really thinks.

Will we create an honest AI one day? What will it tell us about our nature?

Google Lens now can spot problematic skin spots, or not


What is your income and location?

Actually Google's idea is good. Because a larger population on Earth do not have access to medical services. Even many US citizens have insufficient health insurance. Now, why self-diagnosis is bad, if error rate is reasonable and skewed towards false positives, for example.


This is NOT a terrible idea

Not at all, because getting to a dermatologist takes weeks to months in relatively high income countries. And probably not available at all in other countries or small towns. From my experience, even if you get to see one, their diagnosis is often incorrect or none. At least for non-cancer related conditions. So I would not give dermatologists much credit for detecting early stage cancer, as they would probably make biopsy only if something is alarmingly wrong (and late?). Maybe much more in the case an experienced oncologist, but getting that far in the chain of medical referrals is unlikely to happen for initial stages.

Lantum S3 bucket leak is prescription for chaos for thousands of UK doctors


Re: Lack of consequences

I have experienced multiple moronic employees, who would not bother to properly handle or protect sensitive information, even when you nicely point it out. Besides some reasonably educated people I know do not properly care about their personal accounts and passwords. Well, cyber-security is pain in the ass for most people. I keep wondering how the World has not collapsed yet. Somehow the whole thing is resilient. Except disinformation, which is visibly rampant.

Chinese chipmaker insists it has Intel on-side, not inside


Copyright fuss throttling western economy

Now read GitHub accused of varying Copilot output to avoid copyright allegations. To which I commented on the importance of the global context:

Would we rather allow adversarial countries to accelerate their AI > economy > military, as they do not have to fuss over copyrights? Then wonder why, or why, the western economies are slowing down. Besides every day we hear about whole code bases of large software companies stolen*. Everyone is spying on everyone. Now what?

As a believer in singularity already happening**, and the global context, copyright laws must change***. Knowledge sharing accelerates economic development. Isn't it what everyone wants in the end?


* Interestingly hardware tech expertise is really hard to steal (TSMC, ASML). Or Taiwanese educational system.

** Singularity in this context is a rapid acceleration of socioeconomic and scientific processes.

*** Else the West becomes the land of lawyers, not of economical progress.

GitHub accused of varying Copilot output to avoid copyright allegations


Global context of intellectual property

Would we rather allow adversarial countries to accelerate their AI > economy > military, as they do not have to fuss over copyrights? Then wonder why, or why, the western economies are slowing down. Besides every day we hear about whole code bases of large software companies stolen*. Everyone is spying on everyone. Now what?

As a believer in singularity already happening**, and the global context, copyright laws must change***. Knowledge sharing accelerates economic development. Isn't it what everyone wants in the end?


* Interestingly hardware tech expertise is really hard to steal (TSMC, ASML). Or Taiwanese educational system.

** Singularity in this context is a rapid acceleration of socioeconomic and scientific processes.

*** Else the West becomes the countries of lawyers, not of the economical progress.

Google HR hounds threaten 'next steps' for slackers not coming in 3 days a week


Optimally the office time should be only that: project meetings, lunch, socializing with proper planning, so that different teams can mix by intentional random pairing. Mini conferences to exchange ideas. But ONLY that. One full day a week. Make such meetings obligatory.


Re: Why I prefer to work from home

8. Not having to smell other people at my desk when they use strong perfumes, stink from bad hygiene, or eat at the desk.

9. Wearing any shoes, slippers, or cloth I want.


Re: That explains why productivity has fallen off a cliff due to "W"FH.

>> the only people that really need to be back in the office are the under-performers

This. Or those not capable to self-organize and choose what to do. So unfortunately everyone has to attend meetings especially organized to motivate them. Companies can actually be more productive letting those low performers do nothing, but not disturbing the high performers.


Re: Butts in chairs = success!

And open source code development is a kind of work from home. No offices or performance reviews.


Why I prefer to work from home

1. My own food. Not what is available or left over. Besides there is so much you want to talk about with your colleagues, before you start hating them. And just out of loneliness having to eat together.

2. My own toilet: not having to sniff someone's shit, looking for available cabin, or cleaning after someone. Or worse: showing my underwear in those ridiculous US toilets with half a meter open space below the door.

3. Setting my own temperature in the office. Not having uncontrollable cold draft.

4. Not having a bright sunny background, because someone wants day light in the office. So I will not get blind or have to constantly change the display settings.

5. Never sharing a desk, or having to look for missing equipment or a clean chair.

6. Not having to stare at my colleagues' faces sitting right in front of me, because of the stupid low table partitions.

7. No noise, no random disturbances. Or people talking over the phone or about their project.

If companies want collaboration, let them reorganize offices specifically for that, and pay for more social events at working hours. Then let us work from home the rest of the time. So we can actually have the job done.

Besides, I notice, there is a tendency to intentionally avoid chit-chat and do everything in written form for quality and asynchrony reasons. Hardly anyone can afford constant workflow discontinuities.

Please add your own work preferences below.

Deepfakes being used in 'sextortion' scams, FBI warns


Re: Is this any different from photoshop?

Yes, it is orders of magnitude different by scale. It is similar to huge growth of digital photography after 1st iPhone. Besides making realistic fakes in Photoshop is very hard and slow.

Twitter loses second head of Trust and Safety under Musk


Re: Content moderation = politics


Political correctness != legality.

Once a large social network becomes a set of communities with own moderation policies, community moderation groups can be set, similar to Stackoverflow. One community with more relaxed moderation rules can recommend content from less liberal communities, but not vice versa. The top level rules of a media platform should only moderate clearly illegal content. Community content should be moderated by their owners and members. Users are free to choose specific communities, but they must accept their rules before joining and getting recommended specific community content. Community moderators should be able to kick out new members breaking the rules, in the simplest case spam bots.

Such model is somewhat similar to US federal structure or Internet with diverse web-sites in general. In a way, this would be balcanization of social media. Examples of potential benefits for special groups: communities for children of different age groups, communities of art, political groups. Even country-based sub-nets are possible.


Content moderation = politics

The problem is that some social media channels become political platforms or intentional social disruptors by third parties. Moderation enforcement makes social media political organizations. Effectively for very large social media It is not simply a moderation, it is a policing of country(s).

One solution it to break down large media companies into MANY smaller ones, and not allowing any social media to become larger than X-million users. Then allowing certain degree of diversity in moderation approaches similar to traditional print media. Pluralism is necessary for efficient political process.

Another approach is to allow (political) sub-networks within large social platforms with different moderation rules in each of them. Formulation of rules for each sub-net has to be done by KNOWN physical political representatives.

NASA experts looked through 800 UFO sightings and found essentially nothing


Re: Ball lightning photos and videos

Now it all adds up. My witnesses also saw it long ago, when many rural houses did not have lightning rods. As well as electric and telephone cables were not properly grounded. I guess the ball lightning is a type of discharge with extremely high voltage between walls. This would produce visual plasma effects and "wind" feelings caused by static electricity.

So nowadays it is not about the short life of the phenomena, but rather mush smaller likelihood to observe it close.


Ball lightning photos and videos

The high-quality camera argument is not convincing, because I personally know 2 non-bullshit persons who saw the ball lightning. Unfortunately there are no quality videos or photos in the Internet about the phenomena. Could it be that most photos taken are selfies?

I am not a believer in extraterrestrials, but I once saw a spectacular UFO, decades later well proved to be of human origin.

EU tells Twitter 'you can run but you can't hide' from disinformation policy


Re: Don't water down disinformation definition

Also online platforms should pass information about high volume frequently posting vloggers to tax authorities, so those can investigate potentially illegal sources of income. Because it takes time to run a channel full time.


Re: Don't water down disinformation definition

To tackle corrupted vloggers, the online platforms should not allow monetization of political or inflammatory content. For example if more than 20% of a channel is political, the whole channel is not allowed to monetize. Political posts or videos should not allow monetization by default. This will weed out commercial intent and let only truly politically involved persons to speak.


Don't water down disinformation definition

Clear-cut disinformation cases are those foreign-sponsored AND typically involving multitude of fake accounts pretending to be grass-root opinions, while mutually boosting likes and shares. This also includes artificial pumping of opinions with back-links and other SEO techniques. They have spam properties.

Such cases may also include popular bloggers being paid by foreign intelligence to push harmful narratives - but not indicating they are state-sponsored, similar to influencers pretending to like certain products, but actually being sponsored to promote them. Certain influential bloggers can also be black-mailed to create disinformation content, meanwhile earning income from platform advertisement and getting promoted by foreign-sponsored bots.

It is different to clearly marked foreign-sponsored news channels or non-foreign personal blogs with real persons sharing those opinions and getting REAL likes.

Uncle Sam strangles criminals' cashflow by reining in money mules


Your post is off-topic

I wish TheRegister allowed marking off-topic posts, so they would be hidden with a plus-sign to see. It is not fun to read through garbage with agenda.

Alternatively have 2 types of likes: [fun, not fun], [informative, not informative]. And allow to hide by those.


Great initiative

If I were naive a student, I would not know that a well-paid online job is scam assistance. The same way many people click ads and get scammed easily. One has to be pointed out at least once. For example by bank customer support. Besides there are people in need, and they may participate eagerly.

NHS England spends £8M to extend Microsoft deals by a month


Re: Long Term Solution

How does the crash look like in Windows?


Re: Long Term Solution

I have both Linux and WIndows installed on same newer machine for many years now. Linux crashes every 2-3 sessions. Windows not a single time - it just works. I am telling this even though I prefer Linux myself. But it is a disaster having to restart in the middle of some important work. In Linux it depends on updates - some updates fix it, and some break again.

FTC sues VoIP provider over 'billions of illegal robocalls'


Re: Spoofed numbers

> Spoofing numbers should be considered identity theft.

Which is typically the result of such calls.


> Robocalls should be made illegal, period.

Also because not many people call each other nowadays. Calls are reserved for very important issues.

Cops crack gang that used bots to book and resell immigration appointments


The problem also concerns other immigration issues: students, legal work migrants etc.