* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

2754 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

Software glitch revokes copyright protection for AI-generated comic book

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

"it's still unclear if humans can claim credit and protect content they didn't quite generate"

Surely the copyright exists on "the work" which the human author created, no matter what that work includes. I could create a book with photos of movie CGI in it and there should be no problem in granting me copyright on that work.

Should open source sniff the geopolitical wind and ban itself in China and Russia?

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Weird argument

you are obviously a moral vacuum.

And you are obviously a complete wanker if we are descending to that level.

But as long as we agree that if you try to release your Cure for Cancer as open-source software, you’re going to f*ing jail for the rest of your life, and good people will piss on your grave, we’re all good here.

No, I don't agree with that. You are talking out your arse.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Weird argument

if you give someone a tool that is used to destroy lives, you remain fully responsible for all consequences.

I guess I won't be releasing my Cure for Cancer any time soon because I'm not spending my life in jail when someone uses it to murder others.

Thankfully we have the concept of mens rea - which you acknowledge yourself - which determines whether those involved in any chain are actually responsible for an end result or outcome.

PyTorch dependency poisoned with malicious code

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: “research”

We appear to have a whole range of issues here; the so-called researcher doing it, PyPi allowing package dependencies to be hijacked, the OS allowing access to the files, workflows which allowed it to be effective.

What surprises me is how easy it seems to have been to do it.

Miniature nuclear reactors could be the answer to sustainable datacenter growth

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: The security costs will kill the concept

The radioactive contamination will be restricted to the immediate area, and this can be cleaned up, but at considerable expense,

Though, rather than see it cleaned up, I would expect to be seeing endless government ministers trying to convince us "it's just like winter flu" as they convince us "living with fallout" is just fine and dandy, as they have with covid.

I would have loved to have added a Joke Icon, but ...

Why would a keyboard pack a GPU and run Unreal Engine? To show animations beneath the clear keys, natch

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Horrible, annoying, distracting, expensive

Dear Santa; no thanks. Please supply electricity credits and tinned food.

Tech supply chains brace for impact as China shifts from zero-COVID to rampant COVID

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: "Experts predict..."

Are these "experts" using the same playbook that predicted total chaos in the UK if we didn't immediately lock down last Christmas? And when we didn't, and there was just a mild wave ...

According to the government data I was logging there were 8,100 covid deaths in Jan 2022 compared to 4,720 in Dec 2021.

I guess "mild wave" is in the eye of the beholder but I don't consider the experts to have been wrong nor have anything to apologise for. One reason things weren't as bad as they could have been was because people heeded advice of the experts, imposed self-lockdown, kept themselves safe, avoided becoming part of that wave.

In praise of MIDI, tech's hidden gift to humanity

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Foresight is a wonderful thing

My official USITT DMX512 specs show the original as 1986 and later as 1990. The revision was to extend the 'Mark after Break' pulse from 4us to no less than 8us which made it easier to generate and receive using microcontrollers of the time without needing external hardware logic.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


As someone who still has an official printed "MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification", bought direct from the MIDI Manufacturers Association in 1990, on my bookshelf you can put me down as some kind of fanboy.

Whenever I have had to implement any kind of UART API I have always ensured 31250 baud is made available if the hardware supports it.

My only complaint is, as the official spec was only available to paid-up members, is "no reproduction", it means a lot of example receiver implementations out there don't handle Running Status correctly or fail to accept that some MIDI messages can be inserted within others. They mostly work but not always and aren't actually spec compliant.

Brit chip company picks RISC-V for next-gen microcontrollers

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Not Again!

Hang on dear boy; you are making me wonder whether you are with us or against us.

ChatGPT has mastered the confidence trick, and that's a terrible look for AI

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: How odd

That answer is better than you will get from a science journalist, a philosophy professor or even most computer science PhDs.

Probably. From what I have seen, answers are a mash-up of what everyone has had to say, presented in a form which isn't easy to attribute to any particular source or sources.

It is impressive and I'm not fundamentally opposed to what it's doing. But given it's plagiarising many to form a more comprehensive or extensive answer than exists elsewhere doesn't make me feel more comfortable with it.

I would feel better if it provided references and acknowledgements to where it was getting its knowledge from

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: prove it!

The fact it responds as it does is clever, the content is not and doesn't bear deep scrutiny from a grown up. Humans do that too (as per your argument), but they're usually under 5.

Or down the pub, or a politician who has opened their mouth, or a typical rabid tabloid or propaganda media outlet.

The under-fives are mostly harmless. It's adults with agendas who aren't.

Raspberry Pi hires former spy gadget-maker who baked devices into surveillance ops

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: I was on Mastodon as it ahppened

"We hired a policeman and it's going really great" wasn't the best announcement they could have made.

I'm a Brit so 'ex-cop and surveillance' instantly brought to mind hiding cameras in plant pots to nab the bad guys. And "hurrah for that; someone's got to do it", and I wasn't much fussed.

But that's a rose-tinted view. He may well be a Good Cop, but there are plenty who aren't, as many have found out, especially certain members of Britain's communities, and those who have ended up on mortuary slabs for no good reason.

And it's even worse in America, so its not surprising some were triggered by the announcement. In truth I can't blame them, even though they are perceiving things from a different perspective than I and other Brits would.

From an American perspective it seems it would be easy to read it as "We have employed a cop who uses our kit to spy on people. Fuck yeah".

The real failing is in how the outraged were responded to. This is probably going to become a text book case of how not to respond to people you have inadvertently triggered. It's not the first time Raspberry Pi has responded in such a manner - Element 14's forum in the early days had a not insignificant number of members who had been banned from the Pi forum because their attitudes weren't appreciated - but this may be the most consequential.

I imagine Liz Upton, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Raspberry Pi Limited - "if you see our company producing anything with words, pictures or video in it, my sticky fingers have had some involvement." - is rather busy this morning dealing with what's happening, the shit storm that's been provoked.

Washington DC drags Amazon to court for 'yoinking' driver tips

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Tips?

My British ‘you gift the mailman at Xmas…. Seriously WHY!!’ was not particularly appreciated.

I have never received a satisfactory answer to "why?" - only outrage at daring to ask and for challenging the tradition or practice.

I am not sure anyone could convince me tipping workers is anything but a means to address an otherwise morally repugnant situation which I am therefore obliged not to support nor indulge in.

When I do tip workers it is not so much to benefit them but to avoid criticism from those who believe I must.

I would probably also keep my thoughts to myself if I were worried by forum downvotes.

Musk's Hotel California erected at Twitter HQ, as some offices converted into bedrooms

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Office as housing?

What a wanker.

Maybe it's worse than that. With Elon Musk, Donald Trump and Kanye West, we seem to have some sort of insane Trinity which has sprung into being.

The one with 'Predictions of End Times" in the pocket. No, that's the "QAnon Prophecies", the other pocket.

Blockchain needs a reason to exist, Boris Johnson tells roomful of blockchain pros

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

Didn't he volunteer-promise himself to be "dead in a ditch" Johnson?

Twitter gives up fight against COVID-19 misinformation

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)


An early study with a very small sample size but 86%.

That is the number of deaths in that instance. But there appears to be no evidence they died because of being ventilated, would have survived if they hadn't been, or had been ventilated without good cause.

Sometimes people are so far gone that no amount of treatment will save them. As the detailed report notes most subjected to ventilation, invasive and non-invasive, were "critically ill", older patients, with most having "organ function damage".

At the time there were few, if any, alternatives available other than to not treat patients.

Medical staff who would act to deliberately harm a patient, who will indulge in invasive or extreme intervention except as a last resort and with best intent, are thankfully few and far between.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

All the people who were forcibly ventilated due to the WHO initial treatment guidelines and likely died as a result.

Putting aside my dislike of your phrasing - Any stats on that?

I am grown-up enough to accept there probably were people who died as a result of being ventilated who may have survived if they hadn't been, but how many were saved because they were ventilated who would have died if they hadn't been?

I will lament all deaths but am not a fan of 'we mustn't do it if it kills some people' if it means many more will die as a result.

Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Thank $DEITY for El Reg Commentards

Much more interesting and entertaining reading than the article.

What's next as as the bottom of the barrel is scraped - "Turned up to unlock the office but had forgotten to bring the key" ?

UK cuts China from Sizewell nuclear project, takes joint stake

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Also

"Clearly it's viable, otherwise people wouldn't be trying to stop it"

I faced the same problem when I proposed pulping babies to manufacture an elixir of life.

Other logical fallacies are available

Elon Musk picks fight with Apple for slashing advertising spend on Twitter

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: More popcorn please

Seems Musk's notion of Free Speech is just as everyone predicted and he's determined to make Twitter an echo chamber for liars, propagandists, racists, fascists, nazis, supremacists, misogynists, haters and assorted scum.

I really can't fathom what's going on in his head but it seems to me there needs to be an intervention for his own good.

UK bans Chinese CCTV cameras on 'sensitive' government sites

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: I forrsee it'll only be a short time before ...

I wonder how much longer the US and the UK can bang on about security before people see it for what it truly is - stopping China from surpassing the US in terms of economic "power"

Quite some time I imagine as most people will accept whatever propaganda gets fed to them by those running the witch-hunt, the media who support them, and the echo chamber they get their fake news from.

There are plenty of people who aren't gullible sheeple but it never fails to amaze me how many are. I don't see that changing any time soon.

Doctors call for greater scrutiny of bidders for platform that pools UK's health info

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Dear Family Doctors,

Go fuck yourselves.

Yours sincerely, NHS England.

Boss broke servers with a careless bit of keyboarding, leaving techies to sort it out late on a Sunday

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Big red "cause a massive problem" button

In my experience their functionality is not so much "emergency stop" as "cut the power", but their naming remains the same.

Usually used to prevent further sparks and smoke, or to save people doing the 50Hz dance.

University orders investigation into Oracle finance disaster

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Silence is golden

"Oracle and Inoapps have so far declined the opportunity to comment".

And when they do it will probably only be to tell us their number one priority is to ensure the perfect on-time delivery of everything they have failed to deliver.

It seems to me the only people who have to say "our number one priority is..." are those who have failed to meet it.

Software company wins $154k for US Navy's licensing breach

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: excess licences

It seems to me this is a typical 'per user' licence where only licensed users can use the software, but can install it at work and home, or on any computer they use, but must only use it in one place at a time.

Figuring a user could be using any of the navy's computers they can install it on all, entire legitimately.

The challenge is in ensuring only licensed users are using the software and only on one computer at a time.

It appears the software suppliers woke up rather late to the inherent risk of what they were allowing with no means to ensure only licenced users were using it and only one install at a time, but couldn't prove there was abuse, and were arguing it as if 'per machine' licensing.

Security firms hijack New York trees to monitor private workforce

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Watching the watcher

When I was involved in security, before mobiles were a thing, we used to have 'key stations' which guards doing their rounds would need to activate.

We were the 'guards watching the guards', but purely for their own safety to ensure there hadn't been a 'man down' we didn't know about. But yes, it enforced doing their job, protected the company and guards against accusations of not doing their job, and there was shit to pay if they weren't keying-in when and where they were expected to but there was leeway

So it's not a new thing, but the underlying motivation for doing it can vary.

Twitter refugees seek asylum in an unusual place: The Matt Hancock app

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Useless cockwomble

If I had been responsible for the care home genocide, had repeatedly failed the health service and the people of Britain so badly, I would be ashamed to show my face in public.

But Hancock has no shame. Nor Boris Johnson who knew Hancock was "totally fucking hopeless" but wouldn't sack him, whose own dithering and lack of caring was responsible for tens of thousands of preventable deaths.

In my opinion Angela Raynor should never have apologised for her 'Tory scum' accusation; if anything it was rather too generous.

Russia-based Pushwoosh tricks US Army and others into running its code – for a while

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: regulations do not authorize the use of free software when paid software is available

Paying for something usually creates some entitlement and obligation to be listened to rather than dismissed with a simple "you didn't pay for anything so you're not entitled to anything".

Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

A more entertaining tale to tell would be the one about an engineer in our ''R&D Lab who was tasked with checking a prototype lighting dimmer product was working as expected.

Instructions: Disconnect power, daisy chain the triacs, connect mains live, connect to mains neutral through a light bulb, set faders to zero, turn on, move the faders up, check bulb comes on.

Set-up done, power turned on, faders move up. World's Largest Bang (TM), lights go out, silence descends across the building, I was off my chair and under the desk like a ferret in a war zone, wondering WTF and what damage had been done behind me.

Thankfully engineer intact, albeit 'surprised', and no damage done except to the triacs whose tops had blown off. Turns out the whole lot was accidentally wired as a live to neutral short waiting to happen, the light bulb not in circuit.

Power back on. Cups of tea all round. "Shit happens" the most severe recrimination. "Power through local circuit breaker" and other safety advice added to instructions. And we all lived happily ever after.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

I once used an incorrectly rated fuse for a UK plug which blew when I plugged it in. I had to replace the fuse with a correctly rated one before it could be used.

I fear it might take some padding to turn that into a more captivating tale of woe.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

There's been a lot of bans handed out to those who criticise the jump towards the alt-right that has been made.

What has utterly confused me is that you have labelled things the left and liberals have done, or would be ideologically inclined to do, as alt-right ideology.

While willing to accept the very-far-left and very-far-right are as bad as each other at the extremes of the political spectrum, the things you complain about are simple left-wing leanings which you label alt-right. The shift you perceive towards the alt-right is actually what I would call a shift to the left.

Criticise the left all you want but labelling them alt-right is ridiculous.

Twitter, Musk, and a week of bad decisions

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: caused Musk to ban "impersonators."

It's a mash-up of monikers and usernames. An imagined search could easily turn up stuff which makes it hard to tell what's real or invented:

Chicago Police @chicagopolice : It's our annual outreach programme this weekend

Chicago Police @chicagopd [verified] : Pleased to welcome David Duke to the CPD community

Chicago Police @real_chicagopolice [verified] : Supt. Aherm to discuss CPD failures tonight

Chicago Police @chicago_police [verified] : Record black kill rate this month

Chicago Police @chicago_cpd [verified] : CPD backs Trump for 2024

NSA urges orgs to use memory-safe programming languages

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Better compilers?

I always say: C is high-level assembly language and as such you need to handle it with care. Using it as a Application Programming Language is foolish.

That's been my view as well. Being unsafe is baked into the language. It was and is appropriate for what it was intended for but not in applications where no end of effort has been - and has to be - expended trying to mitigate its unsafe nature.

I can understand why people ended up using C for everything but it was foreseeably walking a path to the inevitable nightmare. "Don't use C for applications" has been said for decades but mostly ignored.

Mine's the one next to the growling lion holding a flick knife and a bottle of Novichok. No; it's perfectly safe if you approach it right.

China's first domestic single-aisle jet, the C919, scores 300 orders

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Historically

True, for now. I imagine it's much easier to build a plane then start replacing imported parts with home-grown variants, much like I'll use other people's libraries to get an app working before I start coding my own replacements for those.

Even if they have to use inferior or sub-standard parts, strip it to the bare bones, they will have something which can fly which is better than having nothing.

China won't become self-sufficient overnight but they are moving towards it incrementally.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Historically

I doubt China is building it to secure western customers, more building it to guarantee a sovereign solution which doesn't require Chinese and allied airlines to buy from western customers.

China has read the tea leaves, knows what's coming their way, are preparing for it. And they seem to be be doing a pretty good job of doing so.

Tesla recalls 40k cars over patch that broke power steering

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Power steering

My first car was a VW Polo ... God it was hard work

I could have done with that knowledge some time back.

I got loaned one while my own car was in for servicing. Turning onto the road as I pulled out I found myself pulling on the steering wheel like I was wrestling King Kong to the ground while exclaiming "fuck, fuck, fuck" as on-coming cars in the other lane were racing towards me.

No other car I owned without power-steering was ever as heavy on the steering as that.

LG debuts thin malleable screens made from contact lens material

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Resolution of 100ppi is decent, but it's not that good.

100ppi makes each pixel 0.254mm. I'm not sure my eyes have ever been that good and they've not got better with age.

Scrolling LED displays, departure boards and the like, are perfectly good at 5ppi. Typical text LCD displays are about 40ppi. It's all about use case.

Boffins find COVID changed the way sysadmins work – probably for the worse

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Example

I've been talking to colleagues to get to the root of the issue, but it was just one on one talking.

That seems to have been the problem. Could a virtual meeting of all parties have solved the issue as a physical meeting did?

I don't know. It seems to me you have demonstrated meetings can be better than one-on-one but have not proven that meetings need to be physical rather than virtual.

I am not convinced 'work from home doesn't work' based on just a few specific cases.

Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

This is where his Lordship holds his balls and dances

Musk has floated the idea of making Twitter's ~400,000 verified account holders pay $8/month to retain that status as a revenue-raising measure to supplement advertising revenue

My reading of Musk's tweet - https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587498907336118274 - "Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month" - is that he's not just proposing the verified pay for that privilege, but it can be purchased by anyone.

Musk seems to have a complete misunderstanding of what "verified" means.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

Do you know of someone on left that was suspended/cancelled ? Or that has their tweets removed..

Not me. But I don't recall anyone on the left posting the sort of things which got those on the right suspended and cancelled.

The right presumes "acceptability" is wherever they stand and thus inevitably feels persecuted because it isn't.

Reducing partisan divide alone does not boost support for democracy, study finds

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Being able to vote in the UK is taken as evidence of having a democracy which allows the so-called democratic system we have to persist. We focus on making voting easier, increasing turnout, to that end - who wins is only of secondary concern.

That's not so in America, and our recent governments have been trying to move us in that direction.

Is it any surprise that 'permacrisis' is the word of the year?

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Why do tax cuts have to be funded?

I remember the same expressed in a joke along the lines of getting to a checkout with a multi-pack of nappies and a case of beer. Finding a shortage of cash in hand, and one of them having to go back on the shelf, the beer gets purchased.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Me neither.

"Partygate", "Kyev" - Yes, lots.

"Carolean" - A few times, but not widely heard, and not new.

"Warm Bank", "Sportswashing", "Quiet Quitting" - Only a couple of times.

"Permacrisis", "Splooting", "Lawfare", "Vibe Shift" - Not once.

"Kami-Kwasi" would have been my offering but perhaps too short-lived to have gained traction.

UK comms regulator rings death knell for fax machines

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

If you can /speak/ over a phone connection, you can send a fax over a phone connection.

I was thinking that, modem too, but I also recall there's clever processing in audio-to-digital encoders which can filter stuff out to enhance voice audio.

I presume the current rules are 'fine, you can do that, but it must not bugger up fax tones' and the proposed change will remove that requirement. It doesn't necessarily mean fax won't work, but there will be no guarantee that it will work, no requirement for it to work.

Bumble open sources AI code to automatically blur NSFW photos

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Art class

But if a computer does it, it is different for reasons.

I guess it comes down to perceived skills and talent when performing in someone else's style, against those needed to get a computer to do the same.

I don't personally understand the vitriol directed at bg_5you. Nothing wrong with reasoned "you shouldn't do that", explanations as to why "that's not a good or appropriate thing to do", even "that's crap", "an insult", but the backlash goes far beyond that.

IMO there's far too much "with us or against us" polarisation and tribalism these days. We are increasingly losing our tolerance of others and that's not a good thing.

Your next PC should be a desktop – maybe even this Chinese mini machine

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: DisplayPort in 2003?

Did the author mean "DisplayLink"?

Government IT provider UKCloud goes into liquidation

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: I don't get it

Not just Braverman. I was - perhaps unwisely, prepared to give Sunak the benefit of the doubt, but the appointment of so many from the hard right, ERG members and sympathisers, Tufton Street worshippers, ended that quicker than I expected.

It's basically Truss 2.0 with a "but don't crash the markets" poster on every wall.

Bugger! I've been hacked! - Please let it be known that I for one welcome our fasci^W compassionate overlords and their ankle-bracelets for dissenters.

Most Metaverse business projects will be dead by 2025

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Web3-Metavers

most are saying what crap and nonsense. Remember when the Internet arrived the same thing was said.

I don't. I remember people saying it seemed pointless and they couldn't see what possible use it could be to them. The internet then took off as more people began see how it could be of use to them, how it could be useful in general, thought 'if it can work for that then maybe it could work for this'.

I can't see Meta delivering that. The potential gains for "Immersive FIFA" and other games are there, even "Immersive Virtual Holidaying", but day-to-day "Immersive Business", "Immersive Social", I just don't see it. Like others I suspect it will follow 3D TV; a minority sport.

Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

Re: Gartner

Just checked and I can still have 'a jolly good wank' (TM) with my eyes closed, just imagination, no tech involved.

I can see VR might appeal for some kind of gaming, maybe the odd hand-shandy if you already own them, but can't see the point or justification of cost for what Meta imagines we'll be using it for. "Fully immersive" sounds great but the last thing I want to be doing is lifting goggles off so I can find that sausage roll on my desk or take a sip without knocking my mug of tea everywhere.

I just can't see the gain over what we already have, not even for an hour a day.