* Posts by P. Lee

5268 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

Twitter: Our AI image-cropping algorithm is biased toward White people, women

P. Lee

Twitter is shocked to realise that AI learns from the data it is given!

In other Twitter news... GIGO

Microsoft customers locked out of Teams, Office, Xbox, Dynamics – and Azure Active Directory breakdown blamed

P. Lee

Re: I guess they are going to miss their SLA?

Many of the difficulties in creating cloud services are due to them being cloud services. If I’m fine with two little DC’s, why would I care if running a mega-scale cloud is hard? Smaller systems have lower complexity, which is more manageable.

Why would MS care about SLAs? If you’ve bought into AAD, you can’t take your business elsewhere.

US Office of National Intelligence says Russia, Iran tried to mess with 2020 elections, China sat it out

P. Lee

News at Ten

Administration of new president says election was totally legit while installing massive fortifications around his office and putting tens of thousands of troops between himself and his adoring supporters.

China does nothing since multinational companies with manufacturing bases in China don’t need to be asked - they know where their interests lie.

Also, media companies supporting him (who happen to get income from aforesaid multinationals) put no credence in photographs of his family doing drugs with hookers.

So that’s fine.

And yes, when we’re talking about a country which runs concentration camps, I’m for division, not unity.

End is nigh for iMac Pro as Apple stops offering custom configs of high-spec desktop

P. Lee

Re: The iMac was Pro in name only

I was under the impression that much of the M1 performance was gained by putting everything on-chip. It will be interesting to see if they can provide upgradable ram and graphics if they have a variety of external GPUs etc.

Australian government fights Facebook news ban by threatening 0.01% of Zuck's ad revenue

P. Lee

Australia: Stop people posting links on your platform for free!

FB: ok

Australia: Why can’t people post links on your platform?!

helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS

P. Lee

Re: Further simplicity and ease of use...

Do NOT search for “gimp”

That’s a good enough reason to start moving away from the name.

Google's Git commits point to project on pared-back Android for virtualized environments

P. Lee

Re: Android Virtualization

>I assume one could also use Google sync functions to transfer contacts or other data into a virtualized app running in this virtualized space too.

If you sync the data, what's the point?

Google Play goes in this container. All my stuff goes in the non-Google container.

Robinhood plays Sheriff of Nottingham as it pauses GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry etc stock sales, gets sued

P. Lee

Re: bots

Any lawsuit will be peanuts in comparison.

More importantly, Robinhood can take the hit for “the team” because it can go under in a lawsuit, the customers get almost nothing, and the execs can be compensated by the hedge funds, who just want the trading to stop.

Corrupt to the core.

What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall

P. Lee

Re: The money has to come from somewhere

It isn’t quite a pump and dump. Of course its a bubble, but how much of a bubble depends on the size of the hedge fund short.

My understanding is that the short was huge, so the hedge fund has to buy the stock it borrowed at whatever the market rate is. The bubble will last until the hedge fund buys enough stock to fulfill its obligation to return the stock it shorted. The Redditers aim is to sell the stock to the hedge fund.

The money comes from the hedge fund which has to liquidate other assets to pay for the stock at a particular time. It isn’t pure speculation, like the original short, the tulip, south-seas, or like high-frequency trading.

I hear that miraculously the Reddit board was shut down for “hate speech”. What a handy tool that is. Never misused for political or financial purposes.

I believe Soros used a similar technique to shorting in the currency markets (betting the government wouldn’t be able to prop up the pound) when forcing the UK out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and made himself an extra billion or so.

Two clichés, one headline: 'No good deed goes unpunished' and 'It's always DNS'

P. Lee

Never break a client’s procedures

Do not start changes early. CAB won’t have accounted for that and you may break someone else’s change or testing.

Have a test plan. This includes testing the broken and fixed functionality pre and post change.

Any decent organization will have the help desk log the start and end of changes. Always ask them for permission to start work and have them update the change to “in progress”.

If you finish early, you just tell people it’s still being tested and you don’t mark it as complete until the users have told you it’s working.

Apple reportedly planning to revive the MagSafe charging standard with the next lot of MacBook Pros

P. Lee

Re: Wish list

While the ram upgrade might be nice, I’m guessing just wacking in 16g will be fine for almost everyone.

Amd and intel could offer this for laptop cpus and get much of the same gains.

At the current level of laptop maturity I suspect you’d outgrow the ram and cpu at the same time.

Non-upgradable drives are a terrible evil though, especially since they wear out.

Salesforce relieves Republican National Committee of its tools citing 'risk of politically incited violence' across the US

P. Lee

Re: US came within inches of losing democracy

ChooChoo! All aboard the Biden Train!

Next Stop: the Chinese Market, via Purchased President. Runs express through US Workers.

Four women seek release from forced arbitration to sue Infosys for widespread gender discrimination

P. Lee

Re: Typical Indian male behavior

While I agree, I also notice that Indian boys are absolutely doted on by their parents whereas the girls are not. This produces spoiled brats.

Look at the social and financial systems at play in India. Without masses of birth-control, men are the income earners. The more boys you have, the wealthier the family will be. The girls will marry into someone-else's family.

Before we judge that society too harshly, remember what birth control has done in the West - our society is dying off as we fail to even replace our population.

Maybe patriarchy is a sign of a thriving, successful society ;)

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech

P. Lee

Re: Attaching a tractor-fed Epson LX-80 dot matrix impact printer was the height of luxury

Connecting a device, which rarely sees updates but does see all your important documents, to the internet and is on 24/7. What could possibly go wrong?

But yes, LX80... FX-80... Printshop and banner makers.... a terrible time for printing, but the computers were fun.

Pirate Bay co-founder criticises Parler for its lack of resilience

P. Lee

Re: Easy solution

A lot of people have had to move to subscribestar a Russian credit card payment facility because the land of the free isn't so much anymore.

P. Lee

Re: Geeks versus Politicians

> Delegitimating the electoral process

You mean like questioning the legitimacy of Trump's 2016 election victory? Something that went on for four years? You are allowed to question that all you like.

If you question Biden's election victory your posts will be auto-banned by the legacy social media.

Rules for thee...

China showing signs of brewing IPv6 eruption

P. Lee

Perhaps because that huge market pushes western corporations to cater for IPv6 which means we get to use the nice new toys too.

P. Lee

Re: Privacy anyone?

... and you can still NAT if you want to - though it makes little sense.

Despite all the VPN vendor's marketing about Google knowing lots about you, so hide your IP, that really isn't a thing. They are unlikely to care at all about your IP as they work far higher up the stack. noscript is probably a more useful tool and not doing dumb things like using gmail or for dns.

The real security reason to use a VPN is to block casual government snooping - internet connection records - that ISP's in many western countries have to log, and to bypass any stupid DNS blocking they may have put in place.

A major benefit of IPv6 is static addresses so that proper DNS can be a thing. That means you can do SAML with your own domain to interact with third parties, have proper certificates even for internal systems like a local firewall admin server, your router etc.

Beagleboard peeps tease dual-core 64-bit RISC-V computer with GPU, AI acceleration, more for under 100 quid

P. Lee

Re: I'm expecting Raspberry Pi Trust to take an interest in RISC-V...

Pi's initial aim was education. That's also where RISCV came from. RISCV takes the FLOSS philosophy and extends it to hardware.

However, I doubt the Pi foundation has too much interest in switching architectures too hard with little short-term benefit and the loss of ARM economies of scale.

We didn't collude with Twitter to throw Parler off our servers, says AWS in court filing

P. Lee

Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

Actually, monopolies generally do acquire more regulation and obligations than companies in a competitive market place. Hence, Trump (being a monopoly on being President) was not allowed to block followers.

The issue is a little different than that though and if you read the lawsuit rather than El Reg's "collusion" commentary. AWS signed a bigger deal with Twitter which generated a conflict of interest. Twitter shoots itself in the Left foot by censoring its own users and users start fleeing the platform. Then it shoots itself in the right foot by banning Trump and to protect its larger customer, AWS breaches its contract with Parler not over content it can point to which breaches TOS, but because it thinks it might not be able to comply with the TOS in the future.

To use the nightclub analogy, Parler got kicked not for failing to meet the dress code, but because AWS said it might come back later wearing flip-flops.

In security, we talk about the pillars of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. We've seen Azure kick Gab and AWS kick Parler. None of the cloud platforms can be considered "secure", which is obvious to IT security people, because if you don't secure the hardware, you haven't got a secure system.

This was the second major demo of why not to use cloud services.

P. Lee

If you're on social media, you don't know where the mute and block buttons are, and you have thin skin, Poland is the least of your problems.

P. Lee

Re: Small difference

>... no great loss.

Twitter's market cap disagrees.

Teracube whips out cheap, fixable phone with removable battery and four-year warranty

P. Lee

Re: offering a de-Googled version would be a deal clincher

Google - Redmond?

The main problem is maps. It's difficult to have a business model around something which needs constant updates and also which doesn't snoop on where you're going.

P. Lee

Re: Eventually we will reach peak phone

I seem to think the latest Google Pixel "upgrade" actually has a slower CPU than the previous generation.

Check the Linus Tech Tips WAN show for a discussion on the need for better phone hardware.

Google won’t let Australia have shiny new toys unless it picks apart pay-for-news plan

P. Lee

Re: If only there was a way

If news sites wanted to stop Google from "stealing their content", they can block Google really easily.

That's not what they want. They want make Google buy their content. This is interesting because end-users aren't that interested in paying for it, which is why the legacy media industry is dying.

So... good luck with that!

Two awful businesses fighting!

Mark Zuckerberg, 36, decides that having people on his website deny the deaths of six million Jews is a bad thing

P. Lee

I notice El Reg is framing this as "Zuckerberg's website."

The key question is: Is Zuckerberg publishing content or providing a platform for others to publish on?

Section 230 wants to know. It looks like most of big tech is prepping to become publishers.

The internet is a big place. The chance of any given opinion offending someone or being "hateful" is pretty much one. The funny thing about it is that the purity circle of approved viewpoints shrinks rapidly until it becomes a noose. Amazon censors anti-vax books and t-shirts which say "stand back and stand by." At what point do you decide that you don't want your ideas quashed? How quickly do you fall into a minority opinion and get cancelled?

The point about free speech is that it protects minorities. That's not just demographic minorities, but also new ideas which haven't yet gained traction and been refined through considered opposition.

Sacrificing that for the sake of "winning" against a few unpleasant people online, for whom you're too lazy to hit "mute" is a decision which will be regretted both by the users who thought they would somehow be immune to being cancelled, and Zuckerberg, who will preside over a boring, ever-shrinking website publishing the same orthodoxy forever, unable to ever consider anything new.

Bill Gates lays out a three-point plan to rid the world of COVID-19 – and anti-vaxxer cranks aren't gonna like it

P. Lee

Re: If Bill Gates has the technology to implant chips to control people's behavior

Gotta get that 99%+ survival rate down...

Tech ambitions said to lie at heart of Britain’s bonkers crash-and-burn Brexit plan

P. Lee

Re: To quote Yoda...

>There's no way on Earth that any UK business can now compete with the US and Far Eastern giants - we just don't have the capital even where we have the expertise.

I tend to agree, but I can't see how this is any different inside or outside the EU. The article appears to be another WOE! WOE! And three times WOE! on Brexit throwing all sorts of not-that-relevant bad news into the bucket.

On the plus side, we can be proud of things like Bitchute and Gab (I think both were started in the UK), even if they have had to move offshore. Like ARM, they may not be as lucrative as the US tech giants, but its fun to be a thorn in their sides and competition is healthy.

Trade with the EU is not going to disappear just because we leave. As noted in the article, half our trade is already with countries outside the EU playground and we cope with that just fine. Moving those borders will create more paperwork, but it isn't impossible.

Do we need an alternative to the US GPS? Strategically, perhaps, but its hardly an operational issue. My main concern is food and its labelling. American food is cheap and nasty and I'm concerned a trade deal would prevent proper labelling.

P. Lee

Re: State Aid????

Actually I think the "republic not democracy" thing is based around the fact that the "democratic' part is limited by the constitution.

Essentially, the US government is supposed to behave as the founders intended. The government does not have unlimited power based on a merely popular mandate.

This is why in Victoria, Australia, for example, the government can suspend your rights and freedoms - you aren't protected by the constitution, whereas the US constitution limits what the government can do.

While it is true that the US constitution can be changed, getting 51% of the vote (i.e. a democratic majority) is not enough. Likewise, the electoral college ensures power is shared between the states of the republic, rather than merely letting the big cities outvote everyone else.

The implication is that there is some moral good in the constitution which should be preserved against the temporary whim (or manipulation) of the people.

India flies Mach 6 scramjet for 20 whole seconds

P. Lee

Re: Amazing.

Don't underestimate the ability of government to extract things from the have-nots, or simply make their lives more miserable.

P. Lee

Re: "Pakistan hasn't been a threat since 1971"

The way nearly all countries have since the world wars. Armies facing each other is far too expensive in all kinds of ways.

Paragon 'optimistic' that its NTFS driver will be accepted into the Linux Kernel

P. Lee

Re: @DS999 - Whatever for?

Apple seems a bit schizophrenic. I seem to think they were busy removing open-source code and replacing it with their own for samba and possibly other things.

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online

P. Lee

Re: change for sake of change

>The costs of the cloud subscription can be planned,

Haha. Like any cloud provider can’t change them with a click. Compare that to in-house floss.

>and more importantly passed on to students as a line item charge directly if so desired.

And here we have another problem: the consumer doesn’t get a choice.

It’s dumb. Just charge students a fee and fund your own system. The the uni can reap the rewards of past development, rather than MS.

How can a science-based uni not have, or not be interest in cultivating, the skills to run the most basic computer services? Surely you’d do that as a strategy even if the economics of it were dubious on a standalone basis.

I suspect a fancy dinner was involved.

The Last of Us Part II: Never mind the Metacritic nonsense, Naughty Dog's ultra-violent odyssey is a must-play*

P. Lee

>But all faux complaints come from a place of male entitlement

And there we have it.

You took your fanbase and dumped on everything they liked about the game you made earlier. Then you tried to invalidate their lived experience and called them evil for not liking what you did.

Here’s a hint, which Disney can confirm: if you have a franchise with beloved characters and you mock and nullify their actions in a sequel, you will make your long term customers angry. But hey, vendor’s choice.

It is not entitlement to expect a game with the same name to be more of the same. Then insulting your customer base on the basis of their gender is a curious marketing strategy for any organization - game studio or tech rag.

First rule of Ransomware Club is do not pay the ransom, but it looks like Carlson Wagonlit Travel didn't get the memo

P. Lee

Sometimes the criminals are sneaky and go after the backups first.

P. Lee

Re: Crikey

I didn’t downvote, but in large businesses it going back in time could be more expensive.

Take amazon for example. “Just go back to your backup from 28 days ago” won’t cut it.

Australia to force Google and Facebook to pay for news and reveal algorithm changes before they whack web traffic

P. Lee

If you don’t want your site indexed


I see nothing useful to Australian media coming from this.

Face masks hamper the spread of coronavirus. Know what else they hamper? Facial-recognition systems (except China's)

P. Lee

Re: Rules on face mask design ?

I've decided to go full black balaclava, black turtleneck, black jeans and shoes. I'm also going to carry a largish nondescript duffel bag or metal case. I may even put a guy fawkes mask over the balaclava.

Sure I'll comply with your facemask requirements. I might even make it my new normal.

Everything must go! Distributors clear shelves of ALL notebooks in Q2, even ones gathering dust over last 12 months

P. Lee

Re: Still plenty of good used laptops on eBay

You may be right, but does that matter when what's required is a full system sitting on the dining-room table?

The requirement is for something small enough that it can be put out of the way when dinnertime rolls around.

P. Lee

Re: Do you ever change your mind, based on data?t

Don't forget the requirement for stupidly sized spreadsheets!

Apple warns developers API tweaks will flow from style guide changes that remove non-inclusive language

P. Lee

Re: Primary/Secondary

Just wait til they learn you've hooked up a black Western D drive as the slave... and it has TB in it.

Personally I'm offended by the use of "child processes" as it excludes those who identify as male and don't get me started on lack of body positivity in the vFAT-free disk sector chains.

Computing has a long been a part of patriarchal misogyny with men peeking and poking wherever they wanted with little regard for the consequences, giving commands without asking for consent, expecting things to do done in a timely fashion. Killing off processes just because they don't adhere to western expectations. Even the screens are white with most of the blackness marginalised, kept to the edges or hidden around the back.

Cosmetic-only changes are bad enough when they are used to make an old product look new. Cosmetic changes which only your devs see is a whole new level of "we're out of ideas."

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware

P. Lee

Re: Rookie mistake

If its a bad cert, that may not do much to help. Once you introduce encryption and DRM, things get very difficult in the long term.

Everyone should have a proper computer to run boot services from, but failing that, maybe ethernet over phone-usb link for TFTP/HTTP boot? We can do a TFTP boot from rom quite easily and we don't need fancy security for it.

Also, what happened to "three failed boots and revert to the last firmware image" that so many PC's have?

Bad news: Your Cisco switch is a fake and an update borked it. Good news: It wasn't designed to spy on you

P. Lee

Things I learned

Look at sdn. Cisco’s wan sdn even.

Features and speed don’t matter. Cheap administration matters.

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

P. Lee

Re: ARM will rule them all

Apple don’t love tech. The provide “just enough” cpu for x% of their use cases.

Possibly sensible, but neither fun, cool, interesting to most people here.

They make sports cars which look great but aren’t that quick.

Sometimes they do dumb stuff like a virtual brake (esc) button.

Trump U-turns on foreign student crackdown: F-1, M-1 visa holders allowed to study online mid-pandemic in the US

P. Lee

TDS much?

Brain drain? And what do the countries the kids come from think of this?

Economic crash? I wonder who’s causing that? Maybe those pushing lock-downs? Maybe those burning down businesses and those who support them? Is the economy that dependent on student fees?

As for the state of Harvard’s finances... my heart bleeds.

If you have Microsoft 365 and Windows Virtual Desktop, do you need Citrix? Apparently

P. Lee

Re: This Announcement

Client data bandwidth requirements?


Client compatibility?

I’d still be nervous if I were Citrix.

Google: OK, OK, we pinky promise not to suck Fitbit health data into the borg. Now will you approve the sale?

P. Lee

Re: We accept your conditions, just prove your honesty

Advertising is a small problem.

Insurance would be my concern, if I had such a device.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

P. Lee

Re: Proudly ignorant

Unless you actually have to speak the words.

Do these people really think they can remove all negative associations with darkness and black and all positive associations with light and white in the English language? That is the aim, right?

I guess we can erase vast swathes of poetry and literature. Perhaps we can persuade criminals to rob during the day for 50% of the time.

Or maybe this is just about wielding power for its own sake.

P. Lee

Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

So “whites” get a “pass” and “blacks” are “denied”?

Are you sure that is what you wanted, Dan?

Also, once this is done, will we have rooted out systemic racism from Linux?

Seriously, this is no different from the spin which renamed all the “daemons“ to “angels.”

Oh dear, did I mention “roots”?

Tony Blair tells Russian infosec conference that cross-border infosec policies need more gov intervention

P. Lee

Re: Simple Qiestion Tony.

Socialist says the answer is more government.

News at 10 o'clock.


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