* Posts by Adair

560 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008


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

Adair Silver badge

Re: What?

For a given value of 'democracy'. It's always worth thinking through what that word means in our own minds; what it might need to mean in order to be something that a substantial majority of mature people would wan to buy into for the long term well being of the society they belong to; and then how it is currently being played out in reality.

Chances are none of those three aspects will match up very well. Clearly 'democracy' is a fluid concept, depending on who we ask and what the person asked is hoping for.

I guess a simple definition of 'democracy' might be something like: government conducted with the engagement and consent of 'the people'.

Adair Silver badge

True, but that doesn't alter the fact that the whole thing was clearly a cynical money grubbing exercise relying on who we know rather than what we know.

Adair Silver badge

It was a shambles, and you know it.

Adair Silver badge

It's a 'state of mind' not a title anyone uses, unless they intend winding up those who know the cap fits their state of mind.

You know the kind of thing: 'world beating', 'punching above our weight', 'a seat at the table', 'buccaneering', etc. - they are all terms that hark back to empire and colonialism.

Some people in the UK are determined to march into the future facing backwards, instead of allowing who we are today - ALL OF US - and looking to see what we can be when we do COLLECTIVELY, with allowance for differences and compromise, work towards being the kind of society that MOST of us want to be a part of.

Adair Silver badge

Nothing wrong with that at all, except that in the current circumstances one would be hopeful that those who presume to rule/lead us, having found themselves - largely through their own efforts - in a rather large hole, would have the humility, integrity and political nouse to STOP DIGGING!

What do we see: the digging machine going into overdrive. 'Lazy snark' is the least of your, and our, worries.

Adair Silver badge

Are human beings capable of being self-serving idiots?

Are 'governments' comprised of 'human beings'?

Is it possible that governments are capable of making decisions based on self-serving idiocy?

The evidence presented thus far suggests that experts in the relevant fields are, at best, bemused at this apparent decision regarding the satellites. We shall await further developments and illumination, but on the record so far (investing millions in a company with no ferries and no history of operating them, etc.) we should not be hopeful that this latest wheeze has been thought through thoroughly - unless it happens to financially benefit certain 'cronies', regardless of the eventual outcome of the service.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Why Galileo?

Ummm, why then are we spending/wasting millions/billions on reinventing the satnav wheel?

Adair Silver badge

Remember this is 'British Empire 2' we're talking about. We're starting small (it's really 'English Empire 2'), but we're spending like we stole it ["What? We did steal it. Well, okay then - no problem!"]

So where were we? Oh, yes, if you're going to look like an empire you have to spend like one - noses in the trough, consider all awkward matters rapidly closed, move on, break things, never admit anything, never apologise, point to those sunlit uplands, lie, lie and lie again, whatever it takes to keep the money flowing from the sheeple to the people who really matter - my family, my mates and my paymasters.

Job done.

Brit police's use of facial-recognition tech is lawful, no need to question us, cops' lawyer tells Court of Appeal

Adair Silver badge

Re: Wedge

'Thick end' = 'Boris'

Adair Silver badge

Re: So now

How about: we just don't do it at all? Problem solved.

Just because something can be done - murder for example - doesn't mean it should be done.

Somehow human civilization has managed to stagger through the last five thousand years without the means to randomly check every passing face against a vast data base of 'persons of interest' and then to proceed to generate x number of false positives/negatives, ruin people's days/lives, hang on to data even though we said we would delete it, and generally act like 'God', but in a very 'human' - that is to say 'broken' - kind of way, and somehow claim that 'we are improving the quality of people's lives'. Utter bullshit.

Two things: power and money.

And a third thing: fuck 'quality of life'.

Adair Silver badge

So now

...the whole English population is in an identity parade, on the off chance we might [possibly] match some template.

On that basis why don't we just cut to the logical conclusion and give everybody a suspended sentence in advance of them being caught doing whatever it is that we do to offend 'the law'. After all there's no point in throwing everyone in jail, the sheeple need to work to earn the money that the priviledged few need to keep them in the manner to which they are forever wishing to become accostomed but which is forever just beyond their reach - someone else always has that little bit more than they do.

The 'little people' - 'the law' will keep them from getting too uppity.

Internet Society, remember your embarrassing .org flub? The actual internet society would like to talk about it

Adair Silver badge

Re: ISOC and PIR...

I cannot do better than to quote Oliver Cromwell speaking to the 'Rump Parliament' in 1653:

"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Just because we have done some good does not absolve us from the consequences of our failings and failures.

Adair Silver badge

Re: A billion really ain't that much.

But, your honour, I only murdered one person, and he was scum; Jack has slaughtered hundreds of innocents.

So, it seems only fair that I should be let off with a warning, but let Jack be torn to pieces by dogs, as an example to others.

Adair Silver badge

ISOC and PIR...

should both be dissolved and cease to exist as legal entities. They are utterly discredited.

Germany prepares to launch COVID-19 contact-tracing app 'this week' while UK version stuck in development hell

Adair Silver badge

With grateful thanks to the Python crew [no not you Guido]

Some things in life are bad

They can really make you mad

Other things just make you swear and curse

When you're chewing on life's gristle

Don't grumble, give a whistle

And this'll help things turn out for the best

And always look on the bright side of life

Always look on the light side of life

If life seems jolly rotten

There's something you've forgotten

And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing

When you're feeling in the dumps

Don't be silly chumps

Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing

And always look on the bright side of life

Come on!

Always look on the right side of life

For life is quite absurd

And death's the final word

You must always face the curtain with a bow

Forget about your sin

Give the audience a grin

Enjoy it, it's your last chance anyhow

So, always look on the bright side of death

A-just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit

When you look at it

Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true

You'll see it's all a show

Keep 'em laughing as you go

Just remember that the last laugh is on you

And always look on the bright side of life

Always look on the right side of life

C'mon Brian, cheer up!

Always look on the bright side of life

Always look on the bright side of life

Worse things happen at sea, you know

Always look on the bright side of life

I mean, what have you got to lose

You know, you come from nothing, you're going back to nothing

What have you lost? Nothing!

Always look on the right side of life...

Nothing will come from nothing, you know what they say?

Cheer up you old bugger, c'mon give us a grin!

There you are, see, it's the end of the film

Incidentally, this record is available in the foyer

Some of us have to got live as well, you know

Who do you think pays for all this rubbish

They're not gonna make their money back, you know

I told them, I said to them, Bernie, I said they'll never make their money back

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

Adair Silver badge

Re: When a monopoly comes to an end you can always hear the howling start. ..

Which brings us neatly to the question of Huawei - that 'proven' security nightmare which cannot be allowed to threaten the fine upstanding purveyors of networking tech that are, and always will be, pargons of security and moral probity from the US of A. Nothing to do with profits at all, nosiree, nothing at all!

As UK Parliament heads back to in-person voting, select committees are told they can continue working via Zoom

Adair Silver badge

Re: Progress

Change - as is often sadly noted - frequently only occurs one funeral at a time.

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere

Adair Silver badge

Re: Thanks Rasmus!

Mmm, that does somewhat depend on one's perception of 'elegance'. Arguably for something to be truly 'elegant' it must be 'functional', in fact functionality and efficiency should be the foundations of elegant code - it does what it is supposed to do, no more and no less, does it efficiently and in a way that is pleasing to read, i.e. maintainable!

Huawei launches UK charm offensive: We've provided 2G, 3G and 4G for 20 years, and you're worried about 5G?

Adair Silver badge

Re: If?

Perhaps the UK Govt. would be kind enough to publish the evidence demonstrating persuasively, if not conclusively, that Huawei does indeed present a genuine security danger to our interests, a greater security danger than is presented by anyone else's kit that we are in the habit of using.

It would, afterall, do wonders for trust and transparency, whilst having no actual impact on the actual processes of implementing national security.

Please. Or shall we just call: US bullying capitalist bullshit?

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR

Adair Silver badge

Re: Conspiracy time?

Reading the article one would have to say, 'Yeah, maybe'. It's hardly a ringing confirmation of readiness and committment. It could just as easily be a 'got-to-keep-on-keeping-up-appearances-until-it-all-blows-over-so-the-boss-doesn't-end-up-looking-like-an-idiot' whitewash.

Time will tell.

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021

Adair Silver badge

Re: Shock

I somehow think that the EU registry will cope with the grievous loss of its UK registrants.

Money isn't everything, and sometimes it helps to have rules that are generally adhered to, isn't that right Dominic?

But when we think we are exceptional, obviously everyone else is to blame and/or a fool.

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager

Adair Silver badge

New leopard...

...old spots.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

Adair Silver badge

And long may that day never come, while Linux, and FOSS in general, gets on doing what it does best - being the tools that anybody can make their own, and pass them on to someone else who is free to adapt them as they see fit, etc.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Linux is hard because so many versions.

No, no, no and lots more 'No' - part of the essence of 'Linux' as a concept and philosophy is its capacity to branch - even to fork.

We really do not want, or need 'Linux' to become the new 'Windows' - we've already got one of those, and one is quite enough!

New Zealand releases Bluetooth-free COVID-19 tracing app

Adair Silver badge

Re: IQ downward spiral...

Perfection is not the aim, nor the expectation - good enough is good enough.

Guess what, the NZ Government, and the nation's response has been: good enough.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

Adair Silver badge

Re: If you are desperate for Mountain Views spyware

I use Aurora on Lineage. Almost all my installed apps come via F-Droid, but the few that come through Aurora work fine - apart from one banking app (Natwest). My other three banking apps all just work, although some of them, and one or two other apps, complain that they can't find Google Services - they still work.

Whether Huawei's Android is even more disconnected from Google than Lineage, I wouldn't know, but for what it's worth loading apps via Aurora is mostly a non-issue.

Just make sure you choose the 'Anonymous' option.

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Adair Silver badge

Why, oh why...

...could we just see this coming; with bells ringing, clown shoes slapping, and full custard pie slap?

It didn't have to be this way, but somehow we just knew it would, as we peered through our fingers, hoping against hope that they might just manage to do it right. At least right enough to avoid the clown shoes and the custard pie.

And who ends up paying the price?

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Adair Silver badge

Re: Hanlon's razor

Well, I wouldn't apply it to ALL governments, but it is certainly a common feature - the more so where ever entrenched privilege through aggregation of power and money are a prominent feature of 'government'.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Hanlon's razor

Except, arguably, the Govt. has at no stage (or with rare exceptions) treated the adult population as 'responsible adults'.

The Govt's. default position is secretive, defensive, blustering, with enough lying to make anyone with any brain ask, "Why should I trust a word these clowns say? Even when they are trying to be honest I don't trust them, because they spend so much time being dishonest - or, as we are supposed to politely put it, 'economical with the truth'"

There we have the outcome response to ingrained arrogance and paternalism - lack of trust and an unwillingness to take the Govt of the day seriously.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please

Even my 'back of an envelope' calculation done on 6 March - I'm looking at it now - worked out that by doing nothing there was a good prospect of ~600,000 deaths by July.

'Herd immunity' is a fact of life concerning long term presence of a disease in a given population - it isn't a policy.

The Govt's. error was to turn it into a policy. They were wrong. 100% wrong, unless we place no value on the lives of those we love, our neighbours, or our own life.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Hanlon's razor

Or, in the case of the British Government (and governments the world over): never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by arrogance and paternalism.

In general, treating responsible adults like responsible adults will produce positive and constructive results. As for the small number of irresponsible adults: a. they have to be lived with; and b. their selfish stupidity should not be allowed to hold everyone else hostage.

With something like C19 the mitigation only has to be 'good enough', so there is a good chance that a well implemented decentralised system will be more than 'good enough' for the job.

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Adair Silver badge

The app may be well done...

Here's hoping. It's what happens to the data afterwards, especially after the crisis is over, that matters.

Will the app be 'repurposed'? Will the data be repurposed?

To be honest, at this stage I expect the people involved are doing their best, with goodwill. But, history tells us that the govt. and its various agencies will struggle to resist temptation to dip in and find 'necessary' reasons why they should have access, and ongoing access.

Arrogance and paternalism have a long history in UK govt., and there's little evidence that those habits have died.

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

Adair Silver badge

Re: Missing the point

In this case, it listened to the community.

Don't you think that is being extremely charitable with the actualite? The only reason they 'listened' -- after months of ignoring the pleading and cogent arguing from external interested parties -- was because of the threat of immanent disclosure of what was really going on behind the scenes, and who is involved.

In other words, when push came to shove they suddenly found it expedient to paint on some moral integrity and have the appearance of growing a spine -- while the covert operators all ran for cover.

It stinks.

Adair Silver badge

Re: DAMN, we were THAT close!

It won't happen. Greed and cowardice often go together. The people behind this do not like the bright light of forensic publicity. They will crawl away and hide in the dark, searching for easier ways to make a dishonest billion.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Now charities are doomed to never turn a profit.

Oh, and as for ICANN - just get rid of the whole steaming pile. It has long since ceased to have any relationship with the spirit and intent of its foundation. ICANN is clearly no longer fit for purpose.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Now charities are doomed to never turn a profit.

Always pays to go away and check on the reality before making sweeping generalisations based on ignorance, prejudice and/or misunderstanding.

Just for the record, the Church Commissioners' 'billions' are basically another pension fund - like all the many other pension funds operating around the world. Basically those 'billions' are completely tied up. They are certainly not available for covering the day to day running costs of the Church of England, let alone keeping the roof on your local parish church building. All of that, including the vicar's salary, is paid for out of what people contribute week by week.

Yes, the CoE could flof off all it's buildings and liquidate it's investment assets (the pension fund) and give it all away. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to do, but please don't imagine that there wouldn't be poor people tomorrow, or people in need a place to gather to worship and to use for the benefit of the local community. And so we begin again.

In the end having money isn't really a problem - how we get it, and what we do with it (and why) - are definitely questions worth asking.

Lockdown endgame? There won't be one until the West figures out its approach to contact-tracing apps

Adair Silver badge

Re: Wrong answer

Lacking an effective long term vaccine it may end up being best to learn to live with the virus. Learning to focus well tuned medical attention on the 'few' (relatively) who are vulnerable, with both preventative (if we find such) and curative treatment. And letting society overall establish a new equilibrium.

We probably need to give some hard and creative thought about how we travel and run our economies - actions that are long overdue.

NZ looks as though it may effectively wipe out the virus, but what are they going to do then? They will still have the creative work of managing their engagement with the rest of the world - presumably going into permanent exile is not an option. Their problem, and solutions, are also ours; we will all have to learn how to live with the virus. Assuming no effective long term vaccine is found.

Contact-tracing or contact sport? Defections and accusations emerge among European COVID-chasing app efforts

Adair Silver badge

Re: Why aren't the Telcos and manufacturers involved?

And yet...

'They' continue to royally fuck-up; and government continues, almost without exception, to exhibit all the hallmarks of cock-up rather than conspiracy.

They may have the ability to accrue data like gods, but clearly have not the understanding, wisdom, nor even the will, to be able to make effective use of it.

Not that there is any cause for complacency, quite the opposite in fact, but it helps to maintain a healthy degree of scepticism, and a reasonable grasp of the actualite .

Adair Silver badge

'One of the efforts is the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) group, a Germany-based effort to develop a contact-tracing protocol. The other is the Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing protocol, DP-3T, a Switzerland-based effort.'

Puts me in mind of...

FRANCIS: Thanks, Reg.

BRIAN: Are you the Judean People's Front?

REG: Fuck off!

BRIAN: What?

REG: Judean People's Front. We're the People's Front of Judea! Judean People's Front. Cawk.

FRANCIS: Wankers.

BRIAN: Can I... join your group?

REG: No. Piss off.

A chief technology officer in a time of COVID-19: Keep calm and make the most of the whole business suddenly realising how important IT is

Adair Silver badge

Good post, but I disagree with your last paragraph: This was an unlikely event, but it was not by any measure unimaginable...

A global pandemic, especially of a SARs type, was/is a 'likely' event. In fact it is a certainty; the problem is its infrequency and the difficulty in predicting it. On that basis, anyone doing DR for serious money or with serious intent should have had this one on their list of 'Must Do's, and hopefully ticked off as 'Done' (as far as Finance and senior Manglement allowed).

Linux fans thrown a bone in one Windows 10 build while Peppa Pig may fly if another is ready in time for this year

Adair Silver badge

Re: Linux developers

Logically, however, the moment I am developing for Windows I become a 'Windows developer', not a Linux developer. The platform I happen to be typing into is irrelevant, so the question remains: who are these 'Linux developers' who need Windows? It doesn't compute. ;-)

Europe calls for single app to track coronavirus. Meanwhile America pretends it isn’t trying to build one at all

Adair Silver badge

Re: Checks?

This is the US of A we are talking about. Definitely 'checks'.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Given how long it took them to get Brexit finished...

The one eyed cynical miserablist part, I expect.

Show me a nation or collection of nations that are significantly lacking in the deficiencies you have painted the EU with (as though its faults are the whole story); our own gloriously exceptional UK perhaps?

Yeah? Nah, they're all full of people like you and I, you know - human beings. Frail, fallible, greedy, stupid and vain human beings; and that's on a good day!

But then there's the other side of the coin, which we are witnessing in action all over the world: kind, generous, adaptable, forgiving,...

Funnily enough there is a lot more to the EU, and to the UK, than one comprising solely of bleak, cycnical and gloating finger pointing.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Given how long it took them to get Brexit finished...

Pleased I don't live in the world you appear to inhabit.

Have a good day. Ideally mean it too.

Not only is Zoom's strong end-to-end encryption not actually end-to-end, its encryption isn't even that strong

Adair Silver badge

Re: People don't buy encryption

You, and they, will get over it.

Microsoft Teams gets off to a wobbly start as the world and its cat starts working from home

Adair Silver badge

Alternatively ...

if needed https://cryptpad.fr may scratch some people's itch.

Boots on Moon? Well, the boot part is right: Audit of NASA's Space Launch System reveals more delays, cost overruns

Adair Silver badge


(see title)

If you're wondering how Brit cops' live suspect-hunting facial-recog is going, it's cruising at 88% false positives

Adair Silver badge

It's a Fishing Expedition

No 'just cause'; no targetted information - just a random trawl to see what they might catch.

O brave new world, that has such shitheads in it.

Open-source, cross-platform and people seem to like it: PowerShell 7 has landed

Adair Silver badge

Re: Bash gets the extend, embrace, extinguish treatment

KISS always wins - in the end.

As senescence builds in ageing [ahem!]... As senescence builds in maturing systems those in need of elegant, logical, and manageable systems to handle their requirements begin looking for serviceable alternatives. Someone somewhere, looking around in disappointment, will inevitably have begun to scratch that itch and others will, inevitably, join them.

Not so much 'reinventing the wheel' as making sure a simple, usable 'wheel' is always available, rather than whatever it is that someone wants to sell us, that just happens to have the label 'wheel' attached to it.



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