* Posts by DavCrav

3563 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

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

DavCrav Silver badge

What, you mean people who are searching for holidays might want to see adverts about holidays? You mean, rather than see adverts about power showers, because they bought one last month?

Well, duh.

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

DavCrav Silver badge

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

I must have missed when we left the ESA. Not everything with E in the title is run by the EU.

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

DavCrav Silver badge

"Luckily, no one would ever dream of downloading and printing off a Lime sticker to stick to their own scooter, would they ...?"

I can buy a Ferrari badge and put it on my Vauxhall, but I think people might notice from the fact that it looks quite different.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: No they're not an effective means to reduce car traffic

"are you writing about scooter users or Audi drivers?"

You missed out the word 'white'. It should be 'white Audi drivers'. As in the car is white, not the driver.

Details of Beijing's new Hong Kong security law signal end to more than two decades of autonomy

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Severely endangering national security

"Only a Sith deals in absolutes. More seriously, when you have a country of 1.7, sorry, 1.8, sorry, 1.9 billion people, failing to understand how to engage with them productively seems, uh, counterproductive."

And what if they aren't interested in engagement, and just obedience?

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: @DavCrav - Severely endangering national security

"China does not want a bigger empire, they just want back a piece of land the British Empire appropriated illegally"

1) Do the wishes of the residents of that particular piece of land matter? I guess no in your mind.

2) I didn't know the UK illegally stole the Paracel and Spratly Islands. Or Taiwan. Or the Galwan Valley.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Terrorism Act 2006

"China adopted the 'Continental' (or Napoleonic) model where a case being developed by a prosecutor is overseen by a judge who determines whether there's enough evidence for a conviction."

No they haven't. They've adopted the 'Dictatorship' model where prosecutor, judge and executioner are all members of the same group. The judges are not independent of the Party. The prosecutors are not independent of the Party.

To call it a Continental system is a cruel joke.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Severely endangering national security

"China's decision is at odds with our cultural values* and the desires of many of the citizens of Hong Kong, but that does not make it wrong in an absolute sense."

Yes, but that's merely because there is no such thing as absolutely wrong. However, in most moral systems, arresting people for holding a flag is considered wrong. So is, you know, a concentration camp.

" I also think it's a mistake to view it through that lens because it reduces our capacity to engage creatively and productively with the motivations of the Chinese government."

There is no engaging with the Chinese government. This is the folly that landed us in this problem. You cannot engage with them, as it is a dictatorship hell-bent on domination both at home and abroad. The CCP used to be content with staying out of the press abroad and repression at home, but Xi needs his Lebensraum. He's an expansionist in the classic colonial mold. So you see him agrgressively building his power and then pushing in all directions at once. The East China Sea, the South China Sea, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan.

They even built an illegal wall in bloody Belfast for God's sake.

It's as plain as day what the Chinese government wants. A bigger empire, and a return to the world bringing it tribute.

DavCrav Silver badge

I must have an old calendar here

God, 2047 came quickly. Who can believe it's been 50 years since the handover of Hong Kong, when China pinkie swear promised to maintain two systems for 50 years?

Edit: something weird going on with The Register's systems. First my post disappears completely, then it appears twice, and then I could not remove the second one. Then it finally worked. Bizarre. And the fact it happened on a China-related article is just a coincidence.

It almost certainly is just a coincidence, but this is how rumours are started.

Happy privacy action day in California: If you don't have 'Do not sell my information' in your website footer, you need to read this story right now

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: he criticized the slow enforcement of Europe’s GDPR

"And when the EU does take action under GDPR, it is targeting US megacorps..."

Really? Because GDPR enforcement is down to national governments. So you are talking nonsense.

The UK has only levelled three GDPR fines: a local pharmacy, British Airways, and Marriott over that massive breach.

Educate yourself.

India bans 59 apps it says have privacy, national security problems. In a massive coincidence, they’re all Chinese

DavCrav Silver badge

One side has a God-complex leader of a fiercely nationalistic population, who tries to unleash this nationalism at appropriate targets given even imagined sleights. They have fenced off and isolated the only majority-Muslim region of the country and are slowly stripping it of rights. They have a fawning press that is largely controlled or at least directed by the ruling party. They make up...interesting...rules for commerce designed to champion local firms at the expense of foreign companies.

Sorry, I've forgotten which of the two countries I'm talking about.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: "fist fights"

Don't forget that they dammed several rivers, waited for Indian troops to enter the river bed, then unleashed a torrent to drown them. While they were fighting for their lives, they attacked the with nail-encrusted bats, Those they didn't bludgeon to death were pushed off the side of mountains to plummet to their deaths instead.

This wasn't a border skirmish. This was a pre-meditated Chinese government mass murder.

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

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Copyright?

"Can they use your medical data and other private data, slightly anonymised of course, too?"

I don't agree with taking this data, but a version of my medical file at 32x32 resolution? Sure.

"The patient has:

Eyes: at least one, maybe two.

Legs: present.

Some internal organs, not such which.

Maybe a disease in the past."

DavCrav Silver badge

"More to the point, It's about multiple words describing the same thing."

Except you can normally not identify child molestor or whore from the picture. And even if you can, unless you are training your algorithm to recognize pictures of Gary Glitter, I don't see what use it is.

DavCrav Silver badge

"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."

Yes, except that it requires the terms to still be accurate. What use is showing a machine learning algorithm a bunch of blocky pictures of 'child molesters'? (This is one of the categories, as the histogram clearly shows.) Maybe they were trying to train that algorithm that claimed to be able to tell a nonce at fifty paces.

Apple: We're defending your privacy by nixing 16 browser APIs. Rivals: You mean defending your bottom line

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: What's the real use of a bluetooth API in a browser?

"Because a browser is a program made to browse HTTP web pages, period. If a distant server needs to talk to other kit around my house, I definitely want that to happen through a dedicated, serious, opt-in and secure program, not something the browser dragged in and which is probably as sloppily coded as most commercial websites."

Sure. But you cannot install apps on an iPad, just Apple-approved apps.

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: That's a shame

"Unfortunately, it's "schadenfreude"."

I bet you enjoyed their getting the spelling wrong, didn't you?

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: He could hardly be acting alone

"It's difficult to believe that only one person in the company would be aware that the numbers were not real."

According to reports, this was 'well known'. Short-sellers have been giving WireCard a kicking over their accounts, and there were complaints to the German version of the FCA over their conduct. The FCA's response? Ban short selling in WireCard.

The German financial scene was so happy to have a darling that they didn't want to look too closely.

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

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: A correction

"In our bicameral legislature, "Congress" is misleading."

As a Brit, I thought it was that the Senate and the House of Representatives make up the Houses of Congress, but Congress is often used (incorrectly) to mean the House of Representatives. I am quite possibly wrong about this, of course.

Edit: I am wrong. It's called just the US Congress, not the Houses of Congress.

Lockdown team building: Actualise the potentiality of your workforce... through the power of video games

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: I'm starting to go off these games

"I'm losing sensation in my left thumb from being too forceful with the PS4 controller from melee fighting enemies in Assassins Creed Origins and other similar games,"

That at least is movement with a purpose. I frequently find myself craning my neck to look round a corner on a computer game. Which is so obviously stupid I have no words for it.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: What about...

"prepare to "pull wife-agro " as you get sucked in"

No worries for me. She's not a farmer.

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

DavCrav Silver badge

"Its entire point is so that we can be sure about what Huawei's kit does."

And we know it's sloppily coded shit. With the other vendors, we just have to guess that's sloppily coded shit.

DavCrav Silver badge

"As yet, it's unclear whether this new development will soften hearts in Westminster – cash always helps – allowing it more unfettered involvement in the UK's networks."

I thought that link under 'cash always helps' would be to a Desmond-Jenrick story, since we are talking about how money talks in planning decisions.

Singapore awards 5G licences – and winning carriers pick anyone but Huawei for nationwide network

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Seen it all before

"You don't seriously want to insinuate that this was Singapore's idea to begin with?!?"

Well, it could be a reaction to China's recent founding of two new adminstrative regions to control the South China Sea, and suggestions it will implement an ADIZ there. Singapore, along with more or less everyone in the world, but particularly those bordering the nine dash line, are none too chuffed with having their coast taken off them.

Or it could be the US. Yes, the US could be secretly controlling the world's governments, even those that have strong relations with China.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Seen it all before

"Once you get old enough, it's all just a repetition of the repetition of the repetition..."

Sorry, in your brain, which out of China and the tiny state of Singapore are the Nazis? It looks like you think it's Singapore. (Hint: it's the one that puts a religious minority in concentration camps, and engages in medical experiments/organ harvesting on prisoners.)

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

DavCrav Silver badge

"... and including them in a 'product' that is shipped to their customers ..."

One glaring security hole, mentioned on The Register in occasional stories, is pulling in these packages on execution, rather than using a fixed, immutable version of the code. (Am I remembering right: BA had this problem?) Then if the package gets turned off or maliciously updated, you are screwed. Sometimes borkage can occur innocently, but I would worry more about the opportunity for malice.

DavCrav Silver badge

"It's a bit of a circular argument though. Any third party library should be validating any inputs it is receiving."

Yes, but it's where you put your trust. You don't trust the user as far as you can throw them but you do trust most modules you suck down off some repository. Perhaps you should be treating them as cack-handed or malicious as well.

DavCrav Silver badge

"Validating inputs isn't defensive coding. It should be standard practice. If you, as a software developer, are not rigorously validating 100% of your user inputs, your computer access rights should be revoked."

My guess, given the topic, is that this is talking about validating other inputs. You sanitize your user input, mess with it, then pass it into some third-party code. My guess is that the author then wants another set of revalidation and sanitization, in case the third-party code is compromised.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

DavCrav Silver badge

"They're looking at the problem wrongly. The campus is littered with McD and other fast food outlets' rubbish and the rubbish attracts rodents and they attract foxes which bite the students. Seems to me that they'd do better to purge the campus of slovenly students."

Or purge it of McDonalds.

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

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Alternatives are good.

"English mustard was applied to the affected area. Sadly, the mutt liked mustard on his wood..."

Did they try Dijon?

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

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: In China

"You mean kicking out US backed murderous warlords, eg Chiang Kai-shek, who went on to slaughter the locals in Taiwan? Or someone else?"

I mean the bit where Mao killed 40m people, in the second great loss of lie in the history of the world (after WWII). That's the government being praised for bringing so many out of poverty here.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: In China

"The one-party state in China has at least raised a record amount of people out of poverty in the last 5 decades"

What happened a little before those five decades, do you remember?

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

DavCrav Silver badge

Indeed. Both are evidently lying through their teeth. It was both of their faults, so both can be jailed for it.

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Maze raged against victims who refused to play its game

They're just trying to make a dishonest living here. You don't have to go and mess them about over it.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

DavCrav Silver badge

A neural network might be able to tell violent criminality by looking at a face, in the sense that it does better than guessing. You could look at whether there are facial injuries consistent with being in fights, like reset jaws, etc.. That would pick out a lot of innocent people as well, but also pick up a fair few violent criminals.

Also, and this is more speculative, iron and B12 deficiency is linked to aggression in boys. If it also happens to have some impact, however slight, on how the boy's face matures during puberty, then it could be possible to produce a statistically significant result over the course of millions of faces.

But I'm only talking about doing better than chance, not getting anywhere near the levels talked about in this paper.

Big Tech on the hook for billions in back taxes after US Supreme Court rejects Altera stock options case hearing

DavCrav Silver badge

"Why do you think someone who worked hard their entire life to get high paying job should pay substantially higher tax than someone who has not contributed much and has not invested in personal development?"

Why should society provide you with security? I would put a list of tax-dodgers on a website, together with their addresses, and point out that they no longer will be protected by the police, so rob them if you fancy it.

You say that you can employ private security? They cannot stop people robbing you either, or they go to prison/go on the website. You leave? Well, you can leave your property behind.

It's time we started really dealing with people who want to live in society but don't pony up through being a tosser, rather than having no money.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: the SALE is in teh UK

"No, it doesn't, not in the real world. While I have some sympathy with your idealism, it is borne of ignorance I'm afraid. There's nothing you or any commentard could conjure up that my department couldn't work around in seconds, minutes at a push."

It is possible though, at least for consumer goods. One can close almost all of the loopholes and make it a lot harder to do it.

1) All sales are booked at the physical location of the purchaser. One might prefer to choose the location in which they are normally resident, but I prefer physical location.

2) Tax is paid on gross revenues, not profit. Fuck business's special pleading with one face while pushing everything round the world to save tax with the other face. This will destroy a lot of wafer-thin margin business, so I'm in two minds about it, but I think overall things would be better. Perhaps there would be an appeal if you can show (to a jury, not to an HMRC appointee you can bribe) that the business is not profit-shifting and is genuinely low-margin and needs to be measured on profits.

3) Debt, loans, etc., are not tax-deductible. Even if we are not trying to do anything else, I want this one to screw over debt-fuelled buyouts.

DavCrav Silver badge

"Taking just 1% of that in tax would give an income of 72,000,000,000 to 144,000,000,000 USD. The UK's entire tax take is about £600 Billion. If the UK was competitive enough to earn just 0.5-1% of corporate profits that would be the only tax anyone would ever need to pay."

It looks like you have messed up with your zeroes, so let's do it properly. Assume global corporate profits of $10trn, as you suggest. Then 1% of that is $0.1trn, about £80bn, roughly (order of magnitude) a tenth of the tax take of the UK. The UK is about 3% of world GDP though, so if we share corporate profits out equally (this is a massive simplification) the portion attached to the UK would be around £240bn. So you would need to tax at about 200% of corporate profit for this to work.

This assumes that UK companies make profits at the same rate as all other countries' companies (not true) and that companies don't move their money around to avoid tax (very not true).

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

DavCrav Silver badge

"If you think that's a counter-example, you don't know Japan, at all."

My point was that the Japanese government is trying desperately to improve the birth rate. They are so desperate they are even trying to encourage gaijin to come.

DavCrav Silver badge

Evidently I forgot the icon.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: licensed sex/reproduction

"It is probably an urban (historical) myth but I like it."

Definitely an urban myth, I'm afraid. It likely came from the same place as ficken, the German version.

It's also kind of obviously an urban myth. For one very obvious reason, most peasants couldn't read, and by the time the population was literate it was far too large for this. And in general, if this were true, the king would have spent most of his time, as it were, giving fucking permission.

DavCrav Silver badge

"Now every significant world power is overpopulated,"


DavCrav Silver badge

"so we are in the long term and whatever harms there are should be evident."

That looks like a bad argument though, because in the last couple of decades everything has gone to shit. The following might be caused by pornography then:


Trump, Brexit, Bolsonaro/AMLO/Kirchner.

The crack-down in Hong Kong.

Civil war in Syria

and so on.

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: If you want to play hardball

"Canada arrested a very senior Chinese business woman because she comitted an offence (supposedly) in America."

Another way of saying that Canada followed through with a properly formed arrest warrant, and is currently deciding whether to extradite based on the evidence.

"American courts claim world juristiction."

But you yourself say that she was in America when she committed the alleged offence. Most countries (I mean all) claim jurisdiction over the acts committed in their country, regardless of the nationality of the transgressor.

"Actions have consequences"

Ah, so before arresting Chinese (alleged) criminals, you should check with the CCP to make sure they aren't connected. If it turns out they are Made Men, you shouldn't touch them. Are the Chinese government going to make them an offer they can't refuse?

"My advice to Canada is, if you want to double down on Ms Huawei, get your Ambassador out of China first."

Indeed, I would recommend all forgeiners to leave China, on the off-chance their country does something to offend the thin-skinned little pooh bear. Or you might get kidnapped and murdered.

So glad you agree that China is a Mafia-esque thug.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Seems plausible

"They were referring to the liberal media personalities who have appointed themselves as an elite, utilising their one skill: framing their vacuous thoughts eloquently."

What do we call the people who frame their vacuous thoughts inelegantly then?

Influencers? The Cabinet?

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Seems plausible

"had a secret vault full of gold worth 12 trillion dollars"

Can I just point out that, at the current spot price, that's around 210 thousand tonnes of gold. According to the World Gold Council (for there is such a thing), only 197 576 tonnes exists above ground. Obviously that doesn't count the secret gold, but the Rothschilds have the same amount of gold as everyone else in the world combined? Hmm.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: I'm always struck by

"Why the unshakeable belief with so little evidence? Why the unshakeable rejection with so much evidence? Why don't people with contradictory conspiracy theories annoy them?"

Because it's not a single belief. People don't get told '5G causes sunspots, which signal to the Nazis in the hollowed out Earth' and just believe it. They start off with a collection of previous beliefs. Start with a massive distrust in all forms of organization. This can be gained in one way or another, but it starts to snowball.

Then you have the rare event issue. From an evolutionary point of view (IANAEB - I am not an evolutionary biologist), it might make sense to be afraid of things that occur with low probability. If you see ten people eat a particular mushroom and only one dies, you should think 'fuck, stay away from that mushroom, it's a killer', not 'ah, it'll probably be fine'. Thus lots of evidence that the mushrooms don't kill should be discarded in favour of the small amount of evidence that they do.

But that sort of 'gut feeling' response might be a good idea for which foods to eat, but not when it comes to assessing other types of risks. Early man faced lots of these low probability risks, and very few of the other type. Developing a paranoia about one type of mushroom is fine even if it was a coincidence that tenth guy died.

Early man could avoid things that were incorrectly considered risky, such as paracetamol. But this reasoning is what leads to the MMR bollocks.

DavCrav Silver badge

Re: Academic Psychologists and Survey Questions

"Really, is there a less reliable basis for a "scientific" study, other than just making the data up"

I read that people bothered to do a survey about wherther there would be a COVID-19 second wave. I mean, in what way can you use the 'wisdom' of the crowds to decide questions about epidemiology?

Facebook accused of trying to bypass GDPR, slurp domain owners' personal Whois info via an obscure process

DavCrav Silver badge

"“You don’t know who to sue until you’ve got the Whois information,” claimed Facebook rep Margie Millam at one such recent meeting. “So it’s backwards to say you have to have a lawsuit and you have to use your subpoena power under the lawsuit to get access to Whois.”"

Yeah, except that's bollocks. It's exactly the route copyright holders usually go. Name a John Doe, subpoena the ISP to obtain the name with some evidence of infringement, then launch a suit against the person.


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