* Posts by drunk.smile

172 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2008


AI algorithms uncannily good at spotting your race from medical scans, boffins warn


Without knowing the why there are differences the researchers need to be clearer.

The problem with a lot of AI algorithms is they are a black box without showing why the algo determines a certain label. This causes huge issues with potential bias and shitty models. So, what were the researchers actually detecting from their algorithm for it to recognise race based on Xray scans? Without this information it's hard to say if their algorithm suffers from bad data selection (did they just use americans or a selection of Xrays from around the world?) what are the differences it found and how can they be explained?

Taken to extremes you can have examples like this article shows with the algorithm using the font of the Xray scan to determine if someone has covid or not.


Lies, damn lies, and KPIs: Let's not fix the formula until we have someone else to blame


Re: Reminds me of two things..

This KPI is probably about right because they'd need to calculate uplift.

I don't imagine that the reduction in price causes large amounts of people to buy bread that otherwise wouldn't. This means the people buying $1 bread are mostly those who would otherwise have purchased the same bread for $2.

So a $1 loss vs a $0.30 loss for throwing it away.

FBI boss: 'Memories are not absolutely private in America'

Black Helicopters

Re: failing at your job

Oh they KNOW you... you might not know that they're watching, but they are.

*Cue sound of black helicopters emblazoned with large FBI lettering (also, tastefully in black).

Assange meeting delayed


Re: Put up or shut up

I'm not sure they would look ridiculous.

When they finally get to ask Assange the questions, if he answers them (which so far with his delaying tactics he has refused to do) then the next step is as follows. The Swedish authorities go back and review the evidence and decide on balance if there is enough for prosecution. If there is not, then they drop the charges.

Assange is then released from the charge & free to go.

Exactly what would have happened very quickly if he had gone to Sweden and answered the questions. (Unless of course there evidence is enough to prosecute, which is clearly what Assange fears).

After being release from the Swedish charge there is still a small matter of him jumping UK bail to be dealt with and I'm sure includes running up several million pounds of UK policing expenses.

He is clearly a flight risk so it's unlikely he'll be easily released from this obligation. Now imagine what sort of response the British will give to a US extradition request once he is in their custody?

Nope, I don't the six fingered sex pest leaving the embassy anytime soon. His only chance is if Trump wins the US election as he has really spent too much time annoying UK, US, & Sweden governments and sadly his organisation has lost the editorial overview that it used to have in favour of sloppy political point scoring attempts. I want the old Wikileaks back!

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party


Steven Fry

Why not simply hire Steven Fry as an El Reg opinion technologist to cover such events?

Watch Apple PR spinning "Wait you're Steven Fry? Sure... El Reg?... Waitlist... Fry... Sure... Reg...Arrgh!"

Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot


Re: Idiots!

Yes, autopilot is such a bad name. Next time I'm on a 747 and the pilot has autopilot on I won't care if he's watching Harry Potter or paying attention to the flight.

Old, complex code could cause another UK banking TITSUP – study


Well it seems the cure wanted is to replace all the Java code.

I presume the report authors want Python to be the replacement, after all the lack of static typing will present no potential for security problems as the code grows to thousands of lines.

Fiorina: I rushed out HP servers to power NSA snooping. Mwahahaha!


Wait, she said that she just gave the computers that the NSA needed?

So why increase military spending? Why not just encourage corporate America to donate computers & hardware to the military? Surely it will be good for their image as this demonstration of their red, white & blue blood will encourage many private businesses and patriotic citizens in America to buy their products. Right?

Or is it just like the way the republicans banned the US government from negotiating the price of drugs from pharma companies? Politicians forcing the government to spend big on their buddies.

Win a free new car – just show Intel how you'd hack your existing one


This sounds like the basis for an El Reg Special Projects Bureau competition...

Reg readers must submit their proposals (ideally with diagrams or working demonstrations) on how they would 'hack' their car & take control of the systems... the best examples win... a mug.

Car in question must not be a new model variety, but given that this is the Reg forum it's likely cars will be older than 1995 anyway.

Bonus points for use of Paris Hilton in 'hack'.

What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+


Re: Greasy

Yes it is. And yes, these people are idiots.

The complaints are not about the telesales call, they are about the repeated sales call when they have asked us to remove all records of them from our systems.

If you're not on TPS and you have told us that we can't keep a record of you on our internal suppression lists then don't be surprised if you get called again in a few months when we refresh our call lists. We're not the ones being unreasonable, you are.

In answer to the question from another poster further down, yes there is such a thing as full delete we scrubbed the records clean, detailed backups were kept for a week and then were aggregated so that no personal data remained if someone wanted full delete.

In answer to the other posters who don't quite understand how telesales calls work.

Get as angry as you like, our droids will brush it off because they're professionals (they get thousands of "No" a week and make money on the small percentages that say 'yes'. do you really think you make much difference in their lives?). You are the one that has to carry that anger around with you. Your kids are the ones who have to watch daddy shouting down the phone at a stranger whilst the family is about to sit down for dinner; real great example for them you set, father of the year.

If the sales company is breaking the rules (not necessarily laws, most of the codes they sign are voluntary & unenforced) then complain, but don't take it out on the 'droid'. Take it out on the guys like me who design the systems. It's our job to put a system in place so the rules are followed and the sales agents can just call & make their percentages as quickly as possible.

Oh and if you can't work within the system and can't or won't understand why we need to keep a record of you to suppress future calls, then I will call you an idiot, but not to your face because I too am a professional.


Re: Greasy

Yes, although sometime that's also the user's fault for not knowing what they want sometimes.

I used to run the system for a company where we did actually delete the record, everything, but then the customer complained when the telesales team called them up a few months later trying to sell them products.

We ended up having several levels of delete.

- Deactivate & Suppress (turn your account dormant)

- Delete & Suppress (clear the customer records, but put their contact details on suppression lists to ensure sales don't call them again).

- Full Delete (remove all information about the customer and make it clear to them that this means sales could end up calling them).

A surprising number of people still kept on going for Full Delete & then complaining when telesales phone them up. Idiots.

In Ashley Madison's case though they offered a full delete service and didn't provide it, then they got caught. Idiots.

Dossiers on US spies, military snatched in 'SECOND govt data leak'


At some point...

the U.S. govt is really going to need to sort of their security.

Or is it really just too late for them to bother now.

Salesforce snubbed Microsoft's $55bn biz gobble offer – report


Too expensive? Just as well they have a backup.

Funny how during this period one of Salesforce's competitors was announcing a move from AWS to Azure... almost as though they are making themselves a more attractive acquisition target, don't you think?

Russia and China seal cyber non-hack pact


"sports stadia, municipal projects... on a scale that the host nation state is unlikely to require"

Is this China or FIFA you're referring to?

Cop in gay porn film advised to put his helmet away


Re: "potential for blackmail"

Actually I'll think you'll find, that's not the only potential for blackmale in this case.

Google MURDERS Google Code, orders everyone out to GitHub and co


For me in China this is a good thing.

There are lots of interesting projects hosted on googlecode that I can't access without a VPN.

IBM's secret growth plan is … Karaoke?


Actually not that odd, and also... already exists.

In most of Asia karaoke (or KTV) is huge.

And the Changba app is one of many available in China that does exactly what this patent does.

I have no idea about Japan or Korea, but would bet they also have their own apps too.


Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?


Tiptoes - Gary Oldman as a dwarf

If Matthew McConaughey as the leading love interest in a movie wasn't bad enough, this film combines it with Kate Beckinsale as his partner.

Gary Oldman also method acts as a dwarf spending much of the film walking around on his knees Yoda style. Peter Dinklage does put in an amusing, although too brief a performance to redeem this film.

It was so bad I actually bought several copies of the DVD so that I could distribute it to friends, much the same way that Two Girls One Cup was shared.

Identity thieves slurp Sony Pictures staff info – as CEO sends 'don't sue me, bro' memo


Other than a memo & putting fixes in place to stop it happening again

what is Sony doing for their employees who have had their personal data exposed?

Why did an employee have to sign up to a credit protection agency himself? Shouldn't Sony really have done this for every exposed person as a way of both buying goodwill and crisis management?

IBM Research wants laptop batteries to retire and slum it


People of the West!

Get rid of your eWaste guilt free by sending it to slums in India for reuse!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is reading this and thinking it's a potential ecological disaster?

That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'


Is it an egg?

Yes, I know the new Dr Who is terrible, but at least it's relevant to current events.

Chinese researchers develop fuzzy search algorithm for encrypted cloud data


So this system searches for more words

And surprisingly returns more results.

Who'd'a'thunk it?

Big Data's being held back by little talent, says Huawei head techie


Re: What do you expect

Yep. I agree with you.

The Big Data snake oil that my firm is selling is based around the idea of collaboration & teams. The 'data scientist' is then reduced to a mathematics geek with a bit of R skills and the ability to explain whatever algorithm they've chosen.

The real work comes from the IT team of experts integrating things together, the Business Analysts interpreting the customer problems into something that the team can work on together.

(And yes, a team of IT experts is needed and not a single magic tech guru who can do everything as the ones that can do all of it are both far too expensive and have also reached the point in their careers where they only need to work a few hours a month.

Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts


I don't really find them annoying personally

There are plenty more people 'walking' the streets without paying attention than those with smartphones.

SAP chaps cook up Glass Glass style apps for ...WHERE are you off to with that FORKLIFT?


Great, because what every SAP installation needs is a way to make warehouse data entry even more inaccurate.

I wonder how many accents they have tested it on, if it's anything like the workplaces I know then it will meet at least 20 incomprehensible accents per 300m2

Need a green traffic light all the way home? Easy with insecure street signals, say researchers


How long now some anarchic hacker takes a mini-drone

attaches a radio antenna, computer, mirror ball & sound system to it.

Then sets the drones on-board computer to hack into the nearest lights to flash them on and off in a disco style based on whatever tune is coming from the drones speakers.

This I can see someone attempting.

Very dangerous and irresponsible, lets hope for good sense.

Tesla trademark spat threatens Musk's China dream


Re: Typical China... stolen names and cheap knockoff's

Actually I fear it's more that the US will insist on running the organisation based on rules it decides will be what kills it stone dead.

Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally



Is there an alternative system in place for Russians to use if those two pull out?


So the data must be stored in Russia, but a copy can be held on elsewhere?

Or that the data must be stored in Russia, but can only be held in Russia?

If the latter it gets really complicated doesn't it?

What about airlines that don't operate in Russia? If I'm a Russian citizen and book a flight from Thailand to Malaysia as part of a round the world trip, is Thai airways breaking the law if they don't have a server storing my data in Russia?

It sounds like it's going to be another one of those laws that just gets ignored in practice until some official wants to line his pockets and can promise a foreign company to 'make the problem go away'.

When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post


I've googled every name in the article as

"<Name>" Merrill site:bbc.co.uk every single name comes up linking to the article. So I clearly need to be less specific with my searching.

Creepy battery-operated teddy bear sex toy..,sadly, this is for real


Is the voice of Seth MacFarlane an optional extra?

IoT cup claims 'instant' identification of what's in it


Must remember to hack these to reset counter every couple of drinks for Xmas party abuse.

London commuter hell will soon include 'one card to rule them all'


Can already do this where I am, Shanghai

Which might be where tfl got the idea from.

You can use your transport card for buses, taxis & the metro here, but most folk just use cash for the taxi or pay via smartphone apps or WeChat.

It's probably going to be no different in London.

Huawei Ascend P7: We review the PANORAMIC SELFIE smartphone


As a P6 user I can vouch for the heat,

it's particularly bad during video calls when I have actually had to put in into the freezer for a bit to keep it from shutting down.

The build quality isn't too great as, although smooth at first the plastic around the corners has chipped away after several months of heavy use.

What I'd like to know is if the volume buttons have moved further away from the power button? I've tried to take a photo a number of times and accidentally turned the screen off.

MAC MEN: Apple hiring 1,000 people for internal ad operation


Possibly not just their adverts? Apple could branch out into another revenue stream.

Maybe additionally if you want to advertise on an Apple device you'll also be offered services from Apple's own advertising & creative experts.

FORGET OUR PAST, 12,000 Europeans implore Google


Why would I not be surprised

If each of those completed forms end up stuck in limbo waiting on the data protection agency of each country to confirm that the links can be removed?

Get rid of the problem by passing it on to someone else, GOFH style.

128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours


New Uncrackable Crypto

I propose a new method of encoding data for cryptography.

Step 1. The data to encode is allocated a sequential ID number.

Step 2. The ID number is multiplied by 5.

Step 3: The ID number is then converted into Chinese number format and a Salt is added.

Step 4: The SaltedID is then encrypted using the most secure algorithm available today.

Step 4: The original data string is then uploaded to the Amazon cloud along with the SaltedID number for reference. Only the SaltedID remains in the encoded dataset.

Step 5: For encoding and decoding the data first the SaltedID is decrypted, then re-encrypted and then used to find the original data stored in the cloud and download this to the user.


List prices mean zilch. Remember that when buying from upstarts


A few vendors lost my business directly because of this...

I would be brought into a project and through conversations with similar companies to us discover that the beancounters were paying vastly over the odds for the software. Worse still, because we were a big name brand it seemed that suppliers felt (and from the evidence justifiably so) that they could charge us a premium because we would just pay, no questions.

As I was involved in integrating the software with our other systems and so would call up the supplier for a meeting and ask them politely to change the price. Often it would come down, however other times they just refused to budge which told me all I needed to know about how that vendor felt about doing business with my firm. Generally these are also the firms who the users reported consistently poor customer service from.

In those cases I put together a business case to replace them with an internally developed solution or a different supplier who were willing to give us a fair market rate.

Moral: if any supplier clearly doesn't care about your business in terms other than the money they can get from you then you should seriously consider replacing them.

Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech


Re: Why permit the secrecy

Not necessarily the commercial deals behind each patent licence, but certainly the details.

If, for example 85% of smartphones on the market infringe 200 Microsoft patents & require a licence is it not arguable that these licences should be frand?

WhatsApp founder: Believe us, internet! 'Twas a DODGY network router WOT DONE IT


It just couldn't handle the additional traffic

Downloading all that user data to Facebook servers before the customers deleted their accounts uses a lot of bandwidth.

Fandroids get their very own PERVY SMUT browser


How well does it work at getting round restrictions in say China or Iran on the interweb?

Dropbox unblocked in China ... for now


It's been unblocked for at least a year, maybe longer

I use it all the time to transfer files from the UK to China and back to my family. They understand it more than the mostly Chinese language alternatives.

One good thing from the Flappy Birds crapp flap: It's a handy 'tech' media rating system


I'm looking forward to the next El Reg Flappy Birds article

Where it lists alternatives available on the app store, but not mention that you can still just get it if you want to.

Russian gay dating app dev: We've been BLOCKED just DAYS before Winter Olympics


How many likes does it have amongst popular Russia sites like VK?

The TRUTH about LEAKY, STALKING, SPYING smartphone applications


Re: "If you aren't paying, you aren't the customer. You are the product."

I'm going to teach my off spring this too. I can probably incorporate into the same chat about the birds and the bees.

Mountain bike mishap man suffers SEVEN WEEK stiffie


Just nobody

show my wife where she needs to strike.

Google is developing flight 'price comparison thing' with us, claims Ryanair boss O'Leary


I do hope they also combine it with Google maps

so I can see how far RyanAir airports are from their actual destination.

Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it


Re: I'll side with the Against but Sympathetic crowd

Actually it's on as default on my Huawei P6.

How Google paved the way for NSA's intercepts - just as The Register predicted 9 years ago


Schmidt is only upset because

the NSA are doing this through the backdoor. If they simply took adverts out targeting people with the keywords of "terrorism", "bomb" or "kill the republican leadership" then Google would actually do the work for them.

Staying power: The small screen spans of the eleven Doctor Whos


Re: Worst infographic EVER

A note with the chart? It's enclosed within a whole freakin' article!