"Messi had been employed by Jackpotcomics Ltd"
Because "Jackpotcomics Ltd" sounds like exactly the sort of company you'd want to bring in to handle important health issues.
258 posts • joined 29 Oct 2007
While I hesitate to say anything that could be construed as defending Santander, in the interests of fairness the article doesn't say that this outage was down to any sort of upgrade, let alone one to a critical system.
It does mention a fairly generic promise to upgrade systems, made in the last financial report, but there's nothing to say when that actually happened/will happen.
To be fair to "Pete" there's no indication from the article that he was stymied by the problem, or even that he'd got very far into troubleshooting after getting the diagnostics running. There's every chance that checking the integrity of the light shields was towards the top of his check list for investigating high readings from scintillation counters - Dud's theatrics simply gave him an early clue.
"...we take a data centre that supports a hundred or so users as domain controllers, SQL servers, file servers, Wi-Fi, Ethernet gigabit to all clients, around 200 devices, 100 or so virtualized servers."
That's more or less one server per user/2 devices - compartmentalising functionality is all well and good, but shurely a bit OTT?
Leaving your drama queen tendancies aside, you're also factually incorrect; from the very first Kindle you've been able to plug them into computers via USB cables, copy non-DRMed .mobi files on and immediately start reading them. None of your l33t jailbreaking needed.
Anything else you'd like to be wrong about?
I think you are missing the point. It is perfectly possible to have all these conveniences, to control your lights by voice or from a smartphone app, and all the other things, without the need to use the internet or someone else's server.
I don't think I am; I'm fully aware of the options for home automation, and have decided that for the time being at least the best balance of functionality and ease of use is to be found with some internet-based components.
That is why people on this forum are disparaging of IoT, it is unnecessarily complicated and prone to being made obsolete or unusable at the whim of the manufacturer or service provider, much more so than discrete electronics or equipment based on internal WiFi connections.
Hubs, and the external things that tie into them, may go obsolete; that's why all the in-house stuff we use here is based on a non-proprietary communication protocol. If one hub goes dark we can swtich to another, if they all die a death for some reason I'll get a Z-Wave module for the Pi, install the appropriate public domain packages and use that as the controller.
If you think that what has happened to the Honeywell thermostat is acceptable, then fine, carry on as you are, but understand that a lot of the technically minded people who post on the Reg have seen this coming for a long time, and it won't be the last time this happens.
I have to admit that I'm a little amused that you're presenting this as "the technically minded people" vs me - without going into details I really have got a fairly technical background myself. I've got no illusions about cloud-based systems being perfect, but find their flaws and potential future issues worth it for the advantages they provide.
As far as what I find acceptable goes, the original Reg article describes a problem where the control system's entirely functional locally, just not accessable remotely via the app - given that any remote system's going to be dependent on the house internet working, and probably my phone being on the internet too (so already vulnerable to several external points of failure), I'd say the Honeywell issue would be annoying but not a deal breaker.
This does the job for us - installed behind the lightswitch or in the ceiling rose, you hook the switch up to it then can control the light manually as well as via some Z-Wave-based system (so turning it off at the switch doesn't disable the controllable unit, as it would with an IoT bulb).
Advantages: Doesn't need a neutral line (most UK wall switches don't have one) - this is the only device of its type I've found that doesn't.
Disadvantages: Needs a deep backbox if installed behind the switch, may need an extra bypass unit for some bulb types, needs a Z-Wave hub.
We wouldn't trust an IoT lock either; as far as lights go, the auto-on outside lights make things significantly easier for us. The same goes for the motion sensor that turns on the dressing room light when you enter, the Nest thermostat we occasionally turn on and off remotely and the voice control on bedroom lights when we are feeling lazy and can't be arsed to stir ourselves.
None of it essential, all of it making things more convenient.
And, presumably, attracting a whole flurry of downvotes because it does seem that anything on the forums not condemning the IoT as the corporate tool of Satan, used solely by idiots, isn't very well received. I'll cope.
kuiash: "All those Wifi enabled lightbulbs that serve no actual, practically useful purpose nor do they really help aesthetically."
Speak for yourself, don't claim to speak for everyone; we have IoT-based (not actually WiFi) lightbulbs and with appropriate rules set up they're damn useful for turning the lights on automatically as someone arrives home.
(House location makes regular IR sensor-type arrangements impractical, as bypassers mean it'd be turning on and off all night)
"A small French company called Snips has been working for years on private-by-design voice recognition. Voice commands are processed on the end user’s device, making the data transfer unnecessary."
Ironically when I tried to follow the link to Snips on the Bloomberg page I ran into a "Manage Options on using your data" setup so Byzantine and fiddly it simply wasn't worth the effort of working through it; on quick examination it seems to want you to have a login and go in to set things for each advertiser individually, and the page where you start doing that's hidden 4+ inobvious links down from the simple "Just let us have everything" option.
So, I still don't know what their opinion of Snips is, but let's just say I have my doubts that it can match the cloudy setups as far as both price, practicality and out-of-the-box performance are concerned.
"The energy from the first laser pulse delivers a whopping 10^13 watts/cm2 in 35 millionths of a billionth of a second"
A watt's already a measure of energy applied in a period of time, so I'm pretty sure that should be "10^13 watts/cm2 for 35 millionths of a billionth of a second".
An honourable mention for that goes to the film Runaway (1984) - they wanted their characters to use portable flat screens, but as you say that simply wasn't an option at the time. So they used "loose" CRTs filmed at angles where only the front of the screen was visible, and positioned as if they were being cradled in arms, resting on table tops, etc...
For the most part if worked reasonably well.
"It's also one of those things which is like "why take that away" - like when they took offline maps away (I use that every now and then)"
Offline maps vanished for a while, but came back some time ago - drop down the LHS menu on the app version and it's now called "Offline Areas".
Photons having momentum is first level undergrad stuff - I'd hope the NASA people would have discounted that when considering possible causes of observations.
Plus, at very best photons emitted back in the direction of incident light would replicate the behaviour of a reflective solar sail - as the engine allegedly gives twice as much thrust as that, presumably something else has to be a factor.
While I was vehemently opposed to the mandatory ID card the last lot tried to bring in, I wouldn't automatically reject a voluntary system.
A lot would depend on just what information they wanted, and what they could do with it, but if it was limited to a simple "confirm identity, in similar situations as you already need to now, and nothing else" function I could see that being useful and not overly intrusive.
"Apple gets to decide what's reasonable"
Not really; Apple can certainly say what it thinks is reasonable, as can the consumer.
If it goes to the [small claims] court, though, it's the judge that gets to decide what's really reasonable and Apple/the consumer have to go with that.
"It is also likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, file sizes and storage density having all but stagnated in the past decade."
File sizes I couldn't comment on, but HDD storage density has increased by roughly an order of magnitude over the last 10 years; that's hardly stagnation!
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"There is considerable risk here and all payments should be made with the expectation that crims will take the money and run."
Surely if the expectation is the scammers will take the money and run you shouldn't pay?
If you don't think you'll get the data back in any event then write it off as lost, and don't give your money away for no benefit.
"When you hear consensus remember that this means that it is an opinion that cannot be backed up by an experiment i.e. it is a hypothesis rather than a theory."
I do not think that word means what you think it means.
"Consensus" means there's general agreement over some issue, no more and no less. Why there's agreement is a different issue - it might be because people have just assumed things without actually investigating, it might be a working hypothesis, but it might also be because the investigations have been done and everyone got the same result.
To extend one of your examples, the consensus is now that heavy and light objects fall at the same speed [in a vacuum]. And that is very much not an opinion that cannot be backed up by experiment.
So, your subject is correct; consensus is not science, but at the same time it's also not a indication that something's only a hypothesis.
"Someone else had complete control over all of our cars for well over half an hour."
The owners were at liberty to drive the cars away, enter them, leave them, and do anything apart from actually lock them. Some little way short of the other's control being actually "complete", IMHO.
"The point is that respected media organisations have become so in awe of Wikipedia that they’re prepared to flush age old journalistic principles – such as requiring two sources, or asking for hard evidence of an allegation – down the toilet."
TBH the principle of two sources or hard evidence is something most tabloids are happy to ignore whenever there's a nice headline to be had.
Get them in full blown election mode and they're not fussed about having even one source, or any sort of evidence, if they think they can get out a smear against "the other lot".
"Publishing rigidly conservative articles that border on misinformation AND censoring dissenting comments on them raises questions on how "unconventional" El Reg really is."
Yeah, on a related note I've had comments pointing out factual inaccuracies in Lewis's articles blocked. Combine that with the blocking of posts that were deeming to be too uncomplimentary to Andrew (for a guy that's not shy about dishing insults out, he does seem to have a rather thin skin) and I've pretty much stopped even trying to comment on articles. Too likely to be a wasted effort.
"Their house, their rules", of course, but for me it's started feeling a bit too much like the sort of house where you get glared at if you don't immediately take your shoes off on the doormat, or you get a snippy comment if you leave a towel crooked in the bathroom.
Agreed - this is also contrary to the usual Reg stance when overzealous laws are proposed on the security front. There they'll quite rightly refuse to accept arguments like "this law could be used in bad ways, but it's OK - if we bring it in you can trust us to only use it when we should".
Here they're saying "this is a bad law, that can only be used in bad ways, but no need to fuss or repeal it because they haven't used it yet".
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