* Posts by john.w

127 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Mar 2008


Sam Altman set to rejoin OpenAI as CEO – seemingly with Microsoft's blessing


Some more analysis from The New York Times which is quite damning and includes this statement from Ms. Toner.

The board’s mission was to ensure that the company creates artificial intelligence that “benefits all of humanity,” and if the company was destroyed, she said, that could be consistent with its mission.

A very interesting position for a company board member to take.



Diversity rules will hamper it because they decide what type of diversity is being observed rather than allowing a diverse background.


No, I am pointing out that when you have quotas they dictate appointments rather than ability or best fit for the company. Based on this article describing the board of six I would suggest that some of these individuals might not have been up to the task.



The old board had a gender split of 4 to 2 almost reaching the UKs FTSE350 recommendation of 40% of women on boards. Any diversity target leads to box ticking and in this case serious sub par performance.

OpenAI meltdown: How could Microsoft have let this happen after betting so many billions?


Re: Industry Input

It is a small board and has the required gender split, so they must be right, either that or they just did their best to destroy the company they are responsible for. Can we use the phrase cock-up or conspiracy in this case because we all know the first is normally the case.

Airport chaos as eGates down for the count across UK


Re: Current problems

The Home Office has been a disaster zone long before any cuts or even a Tory government. It was incompetent under Labour in the same way as it is incompetent under the Tories. The common factor is the civil service, an oxymoron if ever there was one.

UK Online Safety Bill to become law – and encryption busting clause is still there


Re: Wasted Talent.

Hardly hacking, more like demonstrating the incompetence of Harman's staff, username and password were “harriet” and “harman”.


Wasted Talent.

Would that be the UK technology minister Michelle Donelan with a BA in History and Politics from York University? What did Kemi Badenoch Minister for Business and Trade, you know the one with a Computer Science BSc an MEng and a Law degree think of the idea?

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'


Days of delays are their fall back.

It is clear that NATS considers days of flight delays for tens of thousands of passengers is an acceptable backup solution.

Get your staff's consent before you monitor them, tech inquiry warns


Cheaper than employing someone to do it.

Supervisors used to do the monitoring, including the time for bathroom breaks, so little has changed except you can now get rid of some unproductive headcount.

TETRA radio comms used by emergency heroes easily cracked, say experts


Of course the encryption is secure!

This talks about TEA1 not TEA2 that is used by the police and emergency services in SHENGEN area and Britain. The TEA1 version is used in the same way that the Enigma code was shared with 'friends' after the war.

Linux lover consumed a quarter of the network


Wi-Fi to the rescue or not

I remember many of the early Wi-Fi alliance meetings (it was called WECA at the time) where documents were passed around using PCMCIA cards because it was the only reliable way to share files.

38 percent of tech job interviews offered exclusively to men: report


Re: Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap

Attack the person and fail to present an alternative argument, the modern world in a nut shell.


Re: What ?!

The Cat identifying was picked up when a pupil challenged their teach and was threatened with punishment for suggesting that there were two genders and someone identifying as a cat had a mental heath problem.


Re: HR

The cultures that have strong representation of women in STEM are the most repressive towards women and conversely those societies that support women to perform any role they choose have stereotypical gender divides. A Norwegian documentary from NRK 'Brainwash: The Gender Equality Paradox' (youtube) gives a very good analysis.

EU's Cyber Resilience Act contains a poison pill for open source developers


The EU rarely knows what it is doing

The only function of the EU bureaucracy is to make regulations that they do not understand. Large corporate lobby groups make sure their clients get the regulations to ensure new entrants have the largest barriers and then they cheat the system they designed. VW car emissions is just one of many examples. Another classic is the dual flush toilets that have lost more water than they ever saved.

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade


Re: Record incompetence

Airwave is a point to point radio and a cellular radio and can use a vehicle based terminal as a repeater. The replacement only does one of these or rather will eventually, maybe. It also operates at a much lower frequency than 4G (hence poor data rates) but has much better coverage using fewer masts.


Re: Record incompetence

"Ride a civil servant" get removed for bullying.

Eric Idle tells infosec world to always look on the bright side of life


Keynotes can be good and bad.

I remember two back to back keynotes at a GSM conference in Cannes, first by Douglas Adams followed by Richard Branson. You can guess which was good and which was bad.

The best line was when Douglas told the audience of phone manufacturers that he had invented the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a portable device with a tiny screen and terrible interface but he was a fiction writer, what was their excuse?

UK consortium bid for NHS data platform falls at first hurdle


Re: Bare faced corruption

It is the civil service who write and run the tender process. Politicians of any variety don't get a look in on this lucrative directorship generating opportunity.

EU mandated messaging platform love-in is easier said than done: Cambridge boffins


Re: Someone...

El Reg's response to the controversy.


I can't do that, Dave: AI drowns top sci-fi mag with story submissions


Mission objectives can become dangerous.

At least get the quote right its "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid i can t do that"

When developing an audio editing system in the 90's the head of the team was called Dave. For a bit of a laugh one of the software engineers programmed every key on a development system to play the clip.

Smart ovens do really dumb stuff to check for Wi-Fi


Re: "Smart TVs" just as bad

Another problem is the continual un documented software updates that may or may not make your AV system obsolete. TV manufacturer is uninterested if third party kit stops working so its a balance between security updates and loosing significant functionality.

UK's Guardian newspaper breaks news of ransomware attack on itself


Re: Stay clam everyone and don't picnic!

The Guardian is very popular with Russia Today who often rerun their stories to show how corrupt and dismal the UK is.


Guardian 'Centre Left'

Making the Guardian 'Centre' Left is so that the phrase 'Far' Right can be applied to any paper that might be less than fully committed to the socialist dream.

FCC calls for mega $300 million fine for massive US robocall campaign


Fines will never be paid but....

If their phone numbers were to be published and updated regularly by the authorities I am sure some of us less pressed for time could give them a call and ask how they are doing.

Eurozone plans to formalize passenger data, improve security


Charge it all to the spook budget

So the data won't be stored at this hub but it will be harvested at this very convenient point to be stored by approved agencies of the clandestine variety. Now where is that foil hat?

Legit Android apps poisoned by sticky 'Zombinder' malware


Banking Apps

Never liked the idea of carrying around access to all by banking in my pocket. Decided to use a nice clean spare phone for the apps that are now necessary as no other support is provided by the bank. If only I could remember the safe place I put the phone.

Intruders get their hands on user data in LastPass incident


Password Recovery

There is a lot discussion and worry about securing passwords but little mention of some of the very lax methods employed by companies for password recovery. No point worrying about a secure password if it takes two minutes and simple info to change it.

UK's Online Safety Bill drops rules forcing social media to remove 'legal but harmful' content


Re: Pardon me but ...

The point being made is that this legislation can not be used by future governments for such nefarious acts. At least any future government would have to pass its own bill and that may actually be scrutinised as well.

Elon Musk to abused Twitter users: Your tormentors are coming back


Pre Musk Twitter had its rules

Twitter used to enforce the rule 'An attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else's voice; unless of course they believed that the 'someone else' needed to be silenced. The only way to be abused by twitter is to be on twitter.

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech



Or 'Her' (2013) but then it did have Scarlett Johansson to picture in one's minds eye.


"We are as committed as ever.....

The sort of statement of support every football manager dreads.

Qualcomm vs Arm: The bizarro quotient just went off the scale


Qualcomm lead the way.

It is amusing that it is Qualcomm, the epitome of the 'our way or the highway' approach to chip sets and IP, that is the supposed victim here.

Qualcomm: Arm threatens to end CPU licensing, charge device makers instead


Re: Non-transferable license ?

The links do give some background but no evidence that VW knew they were not getting the RR name when the deal closed. It was a few months later that a deal was done with BMW to continue to supply engines for both marques and acquire the RR name in 2003.


Re: Non-transferable license ?

Nearly as embarrassing as VW buying Rolls Royce cars without the licence to use the Rolls Royce name on cars.


Re: Bye bye ARM

Qualcomm just does not like others doing to it what it likes doing to others, ten fold.

CEO told to die in a car crash after firing engineers who had two full-time jobs


Apply a simple morality test

If what you are doing is acceptable then there is no need for secrecy.

PayPal decides fining people $2,500 for 'misinformation' wasn't a great idea


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

"various US Republicans who resent having provocative content moderated"

This would no doubt be because Democrats never say anything provocative and would never be moderated by big tech because they inhabit the moral high ground that only they can occupy.

Airline 'in talks' with Kyndryl after failed network card grounds flights


Virtue (or System) untested is not virtue (orsystem) at all.

"So it should have been more resilient than it proved to be on the day."

Tetchy trainee turned the lights down low to teach turgid lecturer a lesson


Patrick Winston (MIT) Presentation Skill Training

Patrick Winston allows no laptops or phones in his lectures because, as he explains, we only have one language processor in our brains so if your are writing you are not listening.


China spins up giant battery built with US-patented tech


Re: How many households?

You can't assume electric only because Net Zero policy will soon ban your gas boiler and you need to add that 30KWh figure during the winter.

Soaring costs, inflation nurturing generation of 'quiet quitters' among under-30s


Managers beware

The 'Quiet Quitters' will also be lining up the claims of bullying if asked to actual get on with some work.

Leaked Uber docs reveal frequent use of 'kill switch' to deactivate tech, thwart investigators


Why bother with a kill switch

They were simpler days, the mid 90's, our small company was raided by FAST following a tip off from a disgruntled ex employee. Plenty of windows machines in the lab and offices with software that might not have had a full set of licences but they only searched C: drives and we kept all the application software on the D:

Only thing found was as dodgy copy of Flight Sim on the CEO's PC, much to the relief of engineers and middle management.

Intel, Broadcom show off interoperable Wi-Fi 7 kit


Wi-Fi has come a long way

At many early Wi-Fi Alliance meetings (formally known as WECA) we handed around documents on PCMIA memory cards as the Wi-Fi networks and Windows software were so flaky.

Scientists use supercritical carbon dioxide to power the grid


More CO2 Needed

Better get the coal power stations up and running, two birds with one stone.

California to try tackling drought with canal-top solar panels


GW or GWh?

These panels will not be generating and GW at night so they will need to build lots more Gas generation plant to run on those rare cloudy days and all night.

California lawmakers approve online privacy law for kids. Which may turn websites into identity checkpoints


How do EU citizens obtain these protections if their location is irrelevant. If on holiday in the USA does GDPR still apply to their online activity? The EU does seem to like to get its tentacles everywhere.