* Posts by Chris G

5027 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007

If you wanna make your own open-source chip, just Google it. Literally. Web giant says it'll fab them for free

Chris G Silver badge

By now the military must have some cool eye tracking kit.

Way back in the seventies, I was at an arms fair where a four barrel 20mm AA rig attracted my attention.

The whole thing was slaved (yes I know) to a helmet that projected a cross hair in the sky so thst you just had to follow an aircraft with the cross and the cannon would follow.

The sales drone was telling a Middle Eastern looking gentleman that they were developing an eye tracking version so that the gunner didn't have to move his head quite so much to track a target.

Can't remember the maker but may have been Lockheed.

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Matters arising

"Is criminal mastermind oxymoronic like military intelligence?"

No, the criminal masterminds own the internet and most of everything else.

Chris G Silver badge

The British police generally consider everyone not a policeman to be a criminal.

Though they are not above massaging the law on occasion.

An acquaintance, some years ago,was on jury service, one case was a yoof who had been caught for a series of car thefts, the charges included ( can't remember the exact number) something like 280 similar offences (commited over a relatively short period) to be taken into consideration.

The beak looked up at the defendant and the arresting cop and remarked that the defendant had been a very busy boy and that the police were lucky to have cleared their unsolved car thefts with by catching such a prodigious car thief.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Honey pot

What I find interesting is that a service like this or, say tor, are like putting your name on a list when you sign up for them.

Of course many users are simply concerned about their own privacy,or sensitive business information but anyone who is known to he trying to hide stuff will attract attention from the phuzz and other agencies.

Plain sight platforms plus your own encryption and you are more likely to be lost in the noise.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Honey pot

It certainly has the look of having been set up by a state actor/s.

Otherwise it would need to be the result of a private enterprise originating in a private hollowed out volcano somewhere.

E-scooter fanboy so hyped for Teesside to host UK's first trial

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Toys for the scallies

"And good for spare parts but deliberately trashing and scavenging these useful providers of handy organs will surely be the last thing on anyone's mind!

The good news: Vodafone switches on first full-fat, real-life 5G network in the UK. The bad news: it only got sent to Coventry

Chris G Silver badge

News flash!

Coventry shops out of tin foil stocks!

Seriously though, all the mast burners are going to need a new theory when it turns out Coventry hasn't got a population infected with C19 and their brains haven't been fried.

UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Blame...

The argument that 'people want' is not strictly true; much of the time they are fairly happy with what they have got if it performs well and is value for money in the eyes of the owner.

Where the thinner, lighter, faster comes in is the constant drive to sell more product by introducing new kit, it's marketing.

So, although Apple's expensive kit is good value for money, they will still push the public to buy buy more and more new kit by planned obsolescence thereby consigning older kit to the tip.

Marketing hasn't really changed since detergent ads on TV in the fifties, every year, a new, improved formula will be rolled out that washes whiter than the competition, phones, cars, TVs and everything else is still soldvthe same way.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Blame...

Apple is certainly to blame in part but so is every other manufacturer of E-goods, all of them want you to buy new replacements as often as possible, it's called capitalism, our current system relies on consumerism and obsolete goods in the shortest possible time that they can get away with.

The IoT is currently being pushed so hard because it has the potential to be the 'next big thing' and requires everything to be replaced with 'Smart' versions of what you already have and that works.

Pollution and ever growing piles/landfills of waste will not be solved until we find a better economic model and I am definitely not smart enough to come up with one that everyone would like.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

Chris G Silver badge

Targeted ads miss all of the people whose tracking doesn't show interest in a product but that is not to say they have no interest or are unlikely to buy it.

I rarely click on an ad but sometimes having seen a name will remind me of something I wish to buy.

It seems the best marketing people are those employed to market services to marketing people.

Brit MPs vote down bid to delay IR35 reforms, press ahead with new tax rules for private-sector contractors

Chris G Silver badge

"Obvious troll is obvious."

That would be why I didn't bother with an icon, given the rest of the post it should be clear enough.

Chris G Silver badge

It seems fairly clear that Boris and his chums along with HMRC are quite keen on the notion of zero rights employees.

Too many workers automatically expect a candle on their desk in the winter without even considering the cost to the employer who has kindly provided them with a job.

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

Chris G Silver badge

It's shocking and unfair, just because the UK renounced it's club membership, it's not allowed club benefits anymore.

For what it's worth, I don't see this changing for many years to come.

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Clearly I've missed something but

Exactly my thinking, when I first got W10, finding so many basic functions that were still in use but moved to obscure locations and a naming convention that is anything but bleedin' obvious, took me some time to overcome and produced some choice language.

Gradually and grudgingly, Microsith goes back to to some of the better functions of prior incarnations but not often enough.

Remember that black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth? Scientists queue up to say it may not exist after all

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Who is stealing the stars?

It's worse than that Jim!

These missing stellar bodies are part of a new unversal advertising campaign, the removal of the stellar bodies is to make way for three dimensional advertising hoardings, they will be erected by Universal Goobuuk the largest ad conglomerate in the cosmos.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Forget Scooters.

Re. Catching a kid on a mountain bike.

There is always the Net gun, most of them look like a torch (flashlight) and use a CO2 cartridge to launc a net.

They're mostly used for animals but I would apply that description to some of the wayward scooterists and cyclists.

Chris G Silver badge


I assume the intention is a cycling helmet as opposed to an ACU approved motorcycle lid.

A couple of decades back, a couple of mates and I fitted a strimmer engine to an adult sized scooter to use as a paddock 'bike'.

After a few weeks others had acquired similar and with the usual idiots racing each other in the paddock got them all banned.

Some of those idiots seem to be in the cities on e scooters now and will spoil it for others.

Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

Chris G Silver badge

There are amazing railway stations from the Victorian and Edwardian eras all over the world.

They are a testament to the huge contribution that the railways made to both trade and freedom of movement.

Just the cast iron work in some of the structures, in terms of size and decoration, couldn't be made economically even with modern technology.

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

Chris G Silver badge

My Mother and aunt were half Indian, my mother lived in India as a child until the war started and my aunt who was a generation older, lived in India for much of her life, She abhorred the caste system and thought it was one of the things that held India back, not only socially but developmentally too as many able members of lower castes had little to no chance of advancement. It seems that little has changed in the last few decades.

I remember my mother telling me how badly treated the Dalits were as well as members of some tribes who are not hindu, it's a shame because India and Indians have so much to offer the world.

Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again

Chris G Silver badge

F*ck-up fairy

I think she had a few sisters, a couple of them are neighbous of mine.

I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the mission teams when they get delays like this.

Particularly when the problems are with the taxi service.

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

Chris G Silver badge

Re: "In the interim, the British government has been forced to adopt human-powered contact tracing"

I think everyone should be wearing a bio-hazmat suit and there should be a Hygiene Person at the entrance and exit of every office, shop, bus and at stations, where they can spray each individual with benzylkonium chloride. Unemployment will be a thing of the past.

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

Chris G Silver badge

Is simply removing anything that is considered offensive a good thing?

I would imagine if you are teaching a system to associate words with images, that offensive examples of both would be necessary with appropriate weighting so that a system can learn what is undesirable as much as what is desirable.

That's how it works with children, if they hear a bad word without understanding it's value and meaning, they can use it without understanding and cause problems.

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

Chris G Silver badge

All the locals have emigrated, the last one out remembered to turn the light out.

I am no astronomer but if the star has collapsed directly into a black hole, wouldn't that produce a burst of X ray energy?

I seem to remember reading something along those lines.

Two out of three parachutes... is just as planned for Boeing's Starliner this time around

Chris G Silver badge

", in this case checking that the parachutes would do their thing even in the somewhat dynamic conditions of a launch abort."

Dropping from a balloon certainly doesn't sound as dynamic as a launch abort but then Boeing seems to prefer simulations.

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

Chris G Silver badge

One question

Will the 737 Max be inherently stable and flyable in the event the software fails completely and safe flight is dependent on the pilot's skills alone?

If not it shouldn't be flying as a passenger aircraft, that goes for any other aircraft too. The safety of people should come a long way before any profit.

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

Chris G Silver badge

"Government Tory" ?

What makes you think the reaction would have been if a beLabour government had suggested the same?

I doubt it would be much different.

I am sure it's possible calculate position based on a signal from any three Sat's if their positions are knownbecause it is fairly basic maths but that us nothing like using a constellation of dedicated satellites built for the job, I know feck all about how to go about repurposing internet sat's to GPS and I suspect Mr DC knows even less.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

I have four Euro plug sockets with piggy backed USB chargers built into them ready for when I rewire the house later in the year. They were about €15 each from Brico Depot ( B&Q in Spain).

One for the kitchen, one for the salon and one for each bedroom.

I see them going into every refurb here in Spain.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: To be fair...

I never use headphones for anything, I hate the damn things whether buds or the old fashioned cans.

I have three or four pairs in a drawer somewhere, waiting to visit the landfill.

Charging systems should have been standardised years ago, as it is I have two C to USB cables and either use my desktop or a two port car charger for everything except my cameras.

Now that's a train delay Upminster with which London travellers shall not put

Chris G Silver badge

Re: 'feels like March will never end'

Sooo, it's been a Long March?

Yes, Prime Minister, rewrite the Computer Misuse Act: Brit infosec outfits urge reform

Chris G Silver badge

So far Boris hasn't got round to replying.

As soon as he has found the most advantageous way to deal with this, he will reply.

White elephants in the mist: Google's upcoming Pixel 4A may ship without Soli motion recognition, per FCC filing

Chris G Silver badge

Getting back to the phone

Under £400 is considered a budget phone?

For something that may last less than two years judging by many of the people I know, I consider that on the high side.

Under £200 is a budget phone but nonetheless there are a lot of excellent phones for under £200, even some with reasonable cameras.

Dems take a crack at banning Feds from using facial-recog tech. Congress will put it on todo list after 'learn Klingon'

Chris G Silver badge

@ John Brown

I hadn't actually watched the video, as a piece of non information it is extremely successful.

Chris G Silver badge

I know it's how capitalism works but I hate the way vested interest corporations are lobbying politicians whether a law is good for the public interest or not.

I would love to see limitations set on lobbying from vested interests.

The Keen app actually looks to be potentially useful, though it is undoubtedly just another profiling and slurpage mechanism.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

Chris G Silver badge

Re: National Cream Tea Days

Tea and jam is a thing in Russia, they mostly drink tea black, with moloko( milk) is far less common, often when you are a guest a small dish of jam and a teaspoon will come with the tea the usual way is a sip of tea and a small taste of jam on the spoon.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: ...delightful cakey accompaniment is pronounced "scone"...

If it wasn't supposed to have the O pronounced like Oh, it wouldn't have an E on the end!

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

I definitely prefer a scone with sultanas and even a little dried peel, the cream can go in there any time it likes. I'm in Spain so decent Asturian or Galician cider is OK, unfortunately no clotted cream here in the shops but a friend was a farmer in the UK many years ago and she makes us clotted cream ( not that easy) that looks and tastes as good as I remember.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Have you tried

I'm not that flexible.

When I lived in California, my housemate complained about his desktop getting hot and cutting out, I offered to give it a dusting and upgrade the cooling fan, the back of the tower had a space where a bit of hardware used to be.

On opening up I discovered a black widow had taken up residence in there, she was a about 1/2" in body length so a big one, she got around half a can of bug spray before I would go anywhere near the PC.

Huawei wins approval to plonk £1bn optical comms R&D facility in UK's leafy Cambridgeshire

Chris G Silver badge

Well at least any kit made by Huawei in the UK will have had some attention paid to it at minimum by someone working for British security whether official or not.

I am sure Huawei knows that and so do our allies, if kit is clean and there is still shouting about security, it will be clear that they are taking about economic security.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

Chris G Silver badge

Re: foxes are trivial compared with............

Yeah Thylarctus Plummetus, deadly drop bears are only scared of Yara-ma-yha-mu, an even deadlier beast that is possibly related or at least drops out of trees but sucks the blood of its victim.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Poxy Greys

It is just as well red squirrels live higher up and out of the way, cute as they are, UK red squirrels carry leprosy.

So try not to kiss them frequently.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: occasional rabbits

The Occasion for rabbits, is being ' in the mix'.

Populations go from decimated by periodic plagues of mixamitosis to periodic plaguse of bunnies.

As far as petting foxes is concerned, this is a university full of bright kids right?

It would be even funnier if it was in Darwin uni'.

We're no longer helping UK Post Office persecute postal workers with our shonky system, says Fujitsu

Chris G Silver badge

Re: And hopefully the summary

Re the squaddies from NI; even when thousands of bikers did a run to Downing St it was ignored by the media, particularly the beeb, because a few squaddies who served their country in what was in reality a police action not a war, don't have the clout or membership of the old boys club the way that Vennels and Fujitsu do.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

Chris G Silver badge

Re: LAEDA Omissions!


You are Tom Cotton and I claim my $5

I assume your handle reflects your opinion of those who disagree with you.

Honeypot behind sold-off IP subnet shows Cyberbunker biz hosted all kinds of filth, says SANS Institute

Chris G Silver badge

Not need to know

It's one thing to be unaware of traffic content in general and completely another to deliberately look the other way while encouraging illegal and unacceptable traffic for gain.

US Department of Defense releases list of firms allegedly linked to the Chinese Army. Surprise surprise, Huawei makes an appearance

Chris G Silver badge

Re: nobody regards BAE Systems as an extension of Westminster

One does get the impression they each have a hand in the other's trouser pocket.

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

Chris G Silver badge

Re: As a child of the 1970s, I have a fear of savoury dishes involving fruit...

Macaronl custard! Only marginally less disgusting than 60s school tapioca, looked like frogspawn and I swear there was a frog in it once.

Chris G Silver badge

Re: Would I eat airline curry?

Fortunately for me, I don't eat a great deal anyway but I stopped eating inflight meals and taking my own snacks decades ago.

On one trip on the outward bound leg I had a salad with unrequested wild life in it, a caterpillar which attested to the freshness but spoilt my appetite. On the return journey the caterpillar had been pushed out of its job by a tiny slug.

Home made sarnies and a couple in of apples have been my inflight grub ever since.

Oh the fresh food flights I am fairly sure were Laker a good airline in all other respects.

California Attorney General asks judge to force Lyft and Uber to classify drivers as employees – or else

Chris G Silver badge

Shirley a better system for the drivers would be a modern equivalent of minicab drivers renting a radio.

I cabbed in the 80s for a while, drivers typically had a choice of several cab firms to rent a radio from and would obviously go for those companies that had the best controllers and traffic.

Back then I paid a straight forty quid a week for a radio, so a subscription service to provide fares to drivers should work, with the drivers being required to have a local license they would then become self employed and the likes of Uber would have less problems.

Ride prices might go up a little but in the best US free market traditions, everything would find its own level.

Sorry to drone on and on but have you heard of Ingenuity? NASA's camera-copter is ready to head off to Mars

Chris G Silver badge

I wish them the best of luck on the landing and deployment, once that is done the adventure can begin.

I can't wait to see the first footage of a successful flight.


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