* Posts by JassMan

877 posts • joined 26 Mar 2008


Misguided call for a 7-Zip boycott brings attention to FOSS archiving tools

JassMan Silver badge

Re: A couple of points

Its a shame we brexited, otherwise we could put forward an EU directive to make all software state that the language is Murican unless the "English" is the Britsh flavour. In fact if software was mandated to have both, it might teach left-pondians how to spell.

ALERT I not anti-American, I have some great American friends and have much admiration for many things they do. Its just that it gets on my tits when they say things like "different than" because "different" is not a comparator. Things can be "bigger than", "cooler than", "longer than", "stickier than" but they can never be different than. ie big vs small, cool vs warm, long vs short etc., but different vs ?????

JassMan Silver badge

We installed the Flatpak package to have a look, and while it works fine, it does pull in a whopping two-thirds of a gigabyte of KDE dependencies to do it,

When <bold>giorgiotani</bold> says his software is only 12MB, it makes you realise why people hate Flatpack and all the other non-rpm or deb formats so much. Yes they sometimes have a use, but 95% of the time, deb or rpm can be used and it will run on virtually all flavours of linux which use the appropriate packagers.

Will optics ever replace copper interconnects? We asked this silicon photonics startup

JassMan Silver badge

Re: The medium is the messenger

It all makes you wonder whether Transputers may have had a proper uptake if there had been some decent optical interface at chip level at the time. After all they were designed on the basis that serial comms can be faster and more reliable than waiting for all the parallel bits to sync correctly.

Leave that sentient AI alone a mo and fix those racist chatbots first

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Do androids dream of electric sheep again?

I think Netscape was the bilogical equivalent of HomoSapiens. IE was the biological equivalent of a total w*nker. Never obeys any rules (even its own), always blames the user or the website when things don't go as expected, spawned loads of offspring (each worse than the parent), tried to take over the entire world, insisted it always had to be there (even for things which were not web related), etc.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: They absorb any old shit you feed into them

I don't know about using a Turing test which has been discredited by testers thinking that humans are the AI. It ought to be replaced with the Dabbsy Test:

It's what AIs think about when they're on their own that defines sentience. What will I do at the weekend? What's up with that Putin bloke?

Businesses brace for quantum computing disruption by end of decade

JassMan Silver badge

Re: 501 UK-based executives

501? I thought that was a game of darts. But then again maybe that's how they do surveys. I see you just threw a triple 19, that'll be «that respondents were "almost unanimous" in their belief that quantum computing will create a moderate or high level of disruption for their own organization, industry sector, and the broader economy in the next five years.»

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

JassMan Silver badge

Re: 515 orders

Good point except that this is a case of Airbus beating Boeing at their own game. The clue is in the name: the 321 has always been a stretched 320 (just like the 319 is a short body). This is truly Revolution through Evolution based on a really well engineered starting point, instead of cost cutting

UK police to spend tens of millions on legacy comms network kit

JassMan Silver badge


Since they are relying on 4G, and they all have mobile phones, why on earth don't they just use Telegram. It has one to one voice chats or you can broadcast to a group. If you want to be silent you can use text instead of voice. The source code is available so they can check it out and fork it if they want to change the way it works. Whats not to like?

Having said all that, I believe that some (perhaps most) of the source code is far from optimised to be read by "normal" humans. I have read that many coders think it is deliberately obfuscated, others just think it is just a very hard to understand style.

Who knows, but there may be the possibility that for a budget far less than what Motorola are asking, the telegram devs could make it work on servers running in UK and as a totally private and secure system.

Linux Mint adopts Timeshift from overworked original developer

JassMan Silver badge


-> a native .DEB-packaged version of Firefox

Seriously, why is this even a selling point? Mac software coming in dmg or pkg instead of tar balls? Windows programs having an exe extension.

Its a selling point because in general .deb packages are small and concise, can be checked for the presence (or lack) of required dependencies and are generally understood by many tools. The fact that firefox is the the native version, means that canonical won't have messed with it and included privacy busting telemetry like they tried a few years ago. [Maybe they still do but I haven't used anything except mint for several years now]

World’s smallest remote-controlled robots are smaller than a flea

JassMan Silver badge

Re: inferior

Damn beat me to it. If they are going to go for biomimetics, the red spider mite is surely the epitome of the sprinter, not to mention energy store. The ones in the south of France can cover 8 to 10 cm / sec. Given that they are even less than than .5mm, I make that 200+ body-lengths/sec. Maybe they produce their own steroids. [Actually they probably do]

I am fascinated that that seem to be able to do this endlessly for hours on end round the edge of the swimming pool without recourse to finding any plant juice to top up their energy supplies. I'm guessing that they use some sort of resonant spring action because they are either going like the clappers or come to a total stop while they compute their next plan of action.

Human-made hopper out-leaps rival robots in artificial jumping contest

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Just one jump? @saif

Not more than a complicated spring if it can't jump again.

I suggest you read the article again.

It employs a rotary motor to multiply the work and uses specially selected springs and rubber bands that allow the system to store energy. If you look closely at the photo supplied you can see that a "string" from the cone to the opposite side of the "wheels". The motor reels in the string to flatten the wheels and tension up the rubber bands. Presumably, a radio signal (or possibly just a timer), tells the motor to start winding again after the jump is completed.

Personally, I think it could be made to jump higher simply by removing the rubber bands and simply relying on the stored energy in the carbon fibre. As an engineering student (several millennia ago), I was was taught never to call rubber bands, "elastic bands" because they are far from elastic. I know some modern elastomers are far more energy efficient, but I believe the current research is going into Carbon Nano Tube (CNT)Yarn as the way to store spring energy. Maybe they could substitute CNT yarn for the rubber although I don't know how extensible it is.

AI models still racist, even with more balanced training

JassMan Silver badge

As I commented in an earlier story on AI

It is time to stop giving ML the title of Artificial Intelligence unless you can prove it is open-minded and unbiased. Otherwise it should be called Artificial Bigotry

I'm pretty sure that the human equivalents in a past US president and the current Russian leader consider themselves Intelligent but the rest of us have another name for it.

Worried about being replaced by a robot? Become a physicist

JassMan Silver badge

Re: No computer can handle humans as customers...

There is a method much better than a hose but you do need to be wearing insulated boots first.

Meet Flamingo, Deepmind's latest open-ended AI

JassMan Silver badge

Re: More to the point:

Its a well known fact that flamingos only turn pink after assimilating enough prawns. I don't remember reading about any ML called Prawn recently so maybe that is the reason its not pink.


JassMan Silver badge

I don't know why but I read the headline as

Meet Flamingo, Deepend's latest open-minded AI

When you think about it, maybe software should not be called AI unless you can first prove it is open-minded. Otherwise it should be Artificial Bigotry software. There are already plenty of examples of ML producing extremely bigoted results.

Your software doesn't work when my PC is in 'O' mode

JassMan Silver badge

Somebody should have told Microsoft not to do that

Ivor was baffled. "This was the '90s," he said, "and no one could think of such a config option in our software." I think it was a bit disingenuous to show the on/off switch on the back of the computer rather than the one on the front which most people use. I don't know when Windows changed the way the button functioned, but I remember being quite confused for a while when I started noticing that some files on my office computer were no longer the same ones next morning. I attempted to be environmentally friendly by switching off at the wall. I was reprimanded by my manager for interfering with ability of the IT department to maintain the software on our PCs. I can only assume they were using the wake-on-LAN option to do out-of-hours updates. When I investigated I found that "start" button, although it is labelled with the internationally recognised On/Off was actually Hibernate/Wake by default and could be set to a variety of functions. At some stage, they managed to get hardware vendors to make the physical button on the PC follow the start button.

Sina Weibo, China's Twitter analog, reveals users' locations and IP addresses

JassMan Silver badge

It's not "misinformation" they're concerned about

Depending on where you live, one man's misinformation is another man's verified fact. The opposite is also true.

Microsoft fixes Point of Sale bug that delayed Windows 11 startup for 40 minutes

JassMan Silver badge

Re: P.O.S.

My immediate observations are: a) it takes longer to boot (not a lot, but noticeable), and b) every single time you boot up there are updates, requiring further reboots

Time to give LinuxMint a try. Been using 20.3 for several months now without problems (and other versions for the last 12 years). I don't know how my laptop compares with a Surface but it has consistently booted from cold within 6secs from POST to login. MS users complain that hibernate doesn't work on Linux but when it boots quickly enough why use hibernate at all? All updates happen in the background (and only if you accept them) with no noticeable slowdown while you are using the desktop and the next boot will be just as quick because the whole update is completed BEFORE you shutdown - none of that waiting for updating 2 of 3, then 3 of 3.

US Army may be about to 'waste' up to $22b on Microsoft HoloLens

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Just what a grunt in a muddy trench, in the rain needs ...


So you need two interception points on the ground that both pick up the signal, and which are in contact with each other

Given that they are likely to use 5G technology which is millimetric wavelength, you could reasonably assume that computer controlled ranging could control a mortar round up to 1km using 2 antennae about 1 metre apart. Even if accuracy demanded that the antennae were 10m apart, this could still be a fully portable mobile unit.

which either means a cable placed in advance. or at least one of the two intercept stations has to itself also transmit

The intercept stations (antennae) could communicate with IR laser which would be invisible to the enemy except in fog or rain. Indeed if the antennae are not on a rigid platform you would need lidar anyway to accurately measure the distance between the 2 units.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Just what a grunt in a muddy trench, in the rain needs ...

"Hang on,Sarge, I've just rebooted my helmet"

Being a MicroS**t product, it will decide by itself when is the most inappropriate time to reboot.

On another issue, presumably these units will all be in conversation with each other, telling the grunts where the commander wants them to be and what to target, or passing info about friend-or-foe. Even if the traffic is encrypted, how long before the other side develops an RF triangulating targeting system that drops a mortar round on every headset that generates an ack signal. The usual philosophy is radio silence except in exceptional circumstances.

Cybercriminals do their homework for latest banking scam

JassMan Silver badge

I know that Brits often play the baddie in films but...

The "fraud specialists" contacting users reportedly "speak English without a discernible accent," and once they establish credibility with the victim they move on to "helping" them "reverse" the fake transaction.

I am pretty sure that that this is an incorrect assertion on the part of the FBI.

I think it much more likely that they speak Merkin without any discenible accent. We English all have accents and they are mostly discernible by other English speakers. Only a Merkin would think they all sound the same.

When the expert speaker at an NFT tech panel goes rogue

JassMan Silver badge

Items of artwork from the museum will then be sold as NFT purchases to raise cash to fund a documentary series on the topic along with other environmental awareness projects.

Anyone who reads yesterday's story about NFTs will realise that:

A) It may raise cash for the documentary series but the NFT is totally Fungible when it comes to crooks selling off you toss-pot asset, so will never see the supposed rise in value.

B) If they are interested in environmental awareness, they would not be using NFTs in the first place owing to the computing power (and concomitant waste) involved.


Don't you just love boffins. Especially the ones who tell the truth instead of what they may or may not have been paid to say.

EU appeals overturned $1.2b Intel antitrust fine

JassMan Silver badge

With the amount of money they spent bribing manufacturers and retailers along with the amount it has so far cost in lawyers, they probably could have dropped the price to a point where it compensated for the poorer performance and sold their chips on a level playing field.

Vital UK customs system outage contributes to travel chaos at its borders

JassMan Silver badge

Re: @GruntyMcPugh

Yeah, but what makes the omnishambles even more galling is that we could have kept Blue Passports without brexit. Just another lie on scale of bent bananas. Croatia still have dark-blue. Burgundy was just offered as an example colour in the directive about bio-metric consistency. Every country using Burgundy, seems to have a different idea of off-red.

Direct lithium extraction technique for greener batteries gains traction

JassMan Silver badge

And this is bad for the environment because the water is completely destroyed in the process?

No, but it is removed from the water table which prevents farmers in the locality using it to water their crops. Every 100 tons of lithium is a million litres of water. It is unlikely to fall as rain nearby because they rely on being in a low humidty locality (often near desert) to get the evaporation to work as quick as possible. If you are a subsistence farmer this is a matter of life and death.

AMD Threadripper CPU supply severely low, PC makers say

JassMan Silver badge

How about: Calendar Year 3rd Quarter 2022

as opposed to 3rd quarter of the financial year which varies by country.


Fish mentality: If The Rock told you to eat flies, would you buy my NFT?

JassMan Silver badge


So if I sold a decade of SFTW as an NFT, I'd have to delete every single trace of the originals from the internet.

I'm not sure that's true. There seem to be plenty of other "artists" who leave up other copies of their artwork (indeed some encourage other sites to copy their work) and claim that the value of the NFT lies in the exclusivity of that NFT, and that the more copies the art there are shows that the NFT is worth every penny. If it was a work of art that no one wanted to copy, then the NFT wouldn't be worth anything either. A bit like being able to buy 1/10 to 10/10 of a woodcut, which is so popular that a copy of the un-numbered original is published in every newspaper and art catalog but those 10 are owned by the hard-core collectors.

JassMan Silver badge

More likely it wasn't fish friendly plastic and it is releasing bisphenols into the water.

JassMan Silver badge

"Before I go, allow me to add a footnote to say that this week's column marks 10 years of SFTW. A whole decade of this, just imagine! Yes, I know, it seems longer. And it began here. Every column is still on The Reg for your reading displeasure, so as hologrammatic AI Angeline Jolie says, eat them up now."

If you published it all in one massive "A decade of SFTW" on the interweb, some one would be astute stupid enough to pay for the NFT.

JassMan Silver badge

They forgot..

The information gathered by the 2.4g device should help scientists determine what stresses a fish out – climate change, human infrastructure projects, that kind of thing.

The most important stress is being treated as a fishy guinea-pig. It stresses out humans if they haven't given permission, so I don't see why a fish should be any less strressed. Its not as if they can sign a release document stating they absolve the scientists of any unforseen side effects from being attached to a pen-cap sized device.

Fujitsu to open Arm-based A64X HPC systems to public cloud

JassMan Silver badge

I hope they have improved their software since the days of Horizon.

Fujitsu Cloud Service HPC includes the compute power of the Fujitsu PRIMEHPC FX1000, based on the same A64FX 64-bit Arm chip used in the Fugaku supercomputer, which still holds the crown as the world's fastest, according to the TOP500 list.

If they haven't then the hardware will being throwing errors faster than people can sign up.

China finished 2021 with 4% global semiconductor market share

JassMan Silver badge


While Beijing has invested billions of dollars into processor development and manufacturing infrastructure, the investment is yet to pay off, and results so far suggest the country is spinning its gears.

We all know that new processors from scratch cost loads of dosh but a lot of that is proving an instruction set will be useful in the real world. Do we really need yet another new processor family?

I know I will be shot down in flames here but, it seems to me, that RISC-V and Arm are the way to go so why do they need another. If they don't want to pay for Arm licenses there is nothing to stop them from producing their own hardware to run the same instruction set (which is well tried and tested and has a lot of software already running.) This would be a much cheaper way to go.

The real question is, "Is all this money actually going to designers and manufacturers?" or is loads of it being syphoned off by various members of the Party.

China rolls out bots to enforce ‘temporary closed-off management’ of Shanghai

JassMan Silver badge

You have a choice

I can just imagine one of the robots from RoboCop strolling up and saying, "You have a choice. You can stay in your home where you might die unattended, from Covid, Starvation or Thirst, or you can come outside and you WILL be blasted to smithereens."

Court erred in Neo4j source license ruling, says Software Freedom Conservancy

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Mangle a license, get confusion

Yep! IANAL If they mangle a license and want to make conditions apply to the modified license, they should equally have a definition stating "This Modified License" refers to version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License along with conditions set out in whichever parts of Commons Clause they choose to insert. That way they can specify which parts follow which source license.

There is even a page on the FSF site which says if you want to change an open source licence for any reason they will help you with your new version. Why didn't they just talk to FSF before making a mess of a legal document then trying to screw people over with an ambiguous statement.

Man arrested, accused of trying to track woman using Apple Watch attached to car

JassMan Silver badge

More to the point

How come the driver didn't notice an out of balance wheel. When you get your tyres replaced, they often just add a single weight between 5gram to 20gram to counterbalance imperfections in the rubber. I certainly noticed when I lost a 10g weight after catching a displaced kerb stone while parking. I doubt that anyone would not notice the misbalance from a watch which weighs from 37 to 51grams depending on the case material, unless they never drove over 40mph.

DARPA to build life-saving AI models that think like medics

JassMan Silver badge

This is one case where an AI will never be better

Generals may disagree over how exactly a confrontation between two opposing units should unfold.

In a war situation, often the side that wins or loses is not down to generals but someone further down the chain misunderstanding, refusing to obey, or sometimes not even receiving an order. In fights over "assets" it sometimes depends on which side gets into an advantageous position just minutes ahead of the other side.

Hardly any plan ever survives meeting the opponents. Just look at how well Pootie Khuylo's plans are going.

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Scunthorpe Sans

Reminds me of the old joke:

If Typhoo put the T in Britain, who put the c*nt in Scunthorpe?

Intel counters AMD’s big-cache PC chip with 5.5GHz 16-core rival

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Let's Qualify that 5.5GHz Figure

You have to remember the most important selling point - that Intel can also fry an egg faster any equivalent cpu.

Axed data scientist sues IBM claiming he was discriminated against as a man

JassMan Silver badge

He must have been a stickler for punishment, taking on IBM

"Michael Stickler, a former IBM data scientist, has sued Big Blue for gender discrimination"

Sorry about that, I'll get my coat.

1,000-plus AI-generated LinkedIn faces uncovered

JassMan Silver badge

A recent study found that the average person has no better odds than chance at distinguishing a real face from an AI-generated one. Think you can do better? Test yourself at this site. ®

So am I weird in some way? I just tried 30 faces and was told every one was correct. I will admit that if I had to do each one in less than 5 secs it would be a different matter but quite a few were so poor that it took less than 3 secs. My worst case was about 8. I will also admit that 3 of them I trusted the naff background to reduce the time I took.

US DoJ reveals Russian supply chain attack targeting energy sector

JassMan Silver badge

Beware the FSB

All's fair in love and … the other thing. ®

Any phrase other "special military operation" is now outlawed by Putin Khuylo, and will result in 13 years chatting with Alexei Navalny.

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?

JassMan Silver badge

Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

Zut alors! c'est des des arachides, pas des arachnides. I know know they look similar but one is a spider and the other is a peanut. Arachide is a good word to remember if you have an allergy - it could save your life.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Ahh Yes the "We have stopped supporting your device mid sub"

>Milking haggises. Please take a seat

Ridiculous - the Haggis is of course a marsupial.

Sorry but that is not ridiculous at all. Marsupials are as capable of giving milk as any other mammal (of which they are a subset). I think you need to learn a bit of biology.

Next you'll be saying that mammals never lay eggs, because they bear their offspring live. The Ornithorhynchus anatinus (otherwise known as a platypus) lays eggs and being a marsupial, when its young hatch, it feeds them milk inside the pouch.

Sealed, confidential IBM files in age-discrimination case now public to all

JassMan Silver badge

Just like I cringe every time I hear a politician say "The truth of the matter is"... You just know that what follows will be a truth from an alternate reality.

Also when they say " the numbers don't lie", it means they are about to spout a statistic which may possibly be true for a single limited case (although is usually just made up) but in terms of what they are trying to prove is completely false.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Experience

The grey hairs bring experience to the table.

Exactly. Although not anything I think IBM would be involved in, I recently had to explain to a youngster how to join a gear train to a stepper motor, when said motor had no keyway. In spite of an MSc (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering, he had never heard of a collet.

Later he decided he needed repeated accelerating rotation for part of his project and started writing a special driver for the stepper before realising that changing the motor speed would change the speed of the entire mechanism, and he was about to abandon his project. I pointed out that all he needed was a spiral gear (nautilus gear). Again he did not believe that such a thing existed as he believed that all gears were circular and that only the tooth shape changed depending on the application.

Mind you he has already gone on to become a millionaire, sold his company, and is now in the process of building up his second business venture. He may have been dangerous to let loose on aeroplane design, but he certainly learnt the lessons of how to do business.

Linux Mint Debian Edition 5 is here

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Mint, ANY Mint, is just so much better than Ubuntu these days. I think the use of Snap for everything is what has put the nail in the coffin. It is just turning the entire OS into Bloatware. And we know where Bloatware™ came from.

While RPM has some merits, it is a shame that all distributions can't just settle on Apt/Synaptic. I can see that Flatpak has its uses for software which has a low number of users but software always runs faster when it is not containerised in any way.

A couple of months ago, I thought I might try XUbuntu on a rebuild since my normal use-case is XFCE on Mint. It lasted almost a day before I decided it just wasn't worth the downgrade. Yes there were some packages that were one increment newer than the downstream ones on Mint but since the ran from Snap, it felt like I was running Windows again from 12 years ago. Call me pampered but when I run any program I expect it to load virtually instantantly, unless it is LibreOffice and even that loads on Mint is less than 1.2 secs on my lappy.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Is Your Message Really Necessary? @WolfFan

I think that indicates the real source of the problem. I'm guessing here but would bet 20p that if you are at the command line when you DELete a file, it actually deletes it. If you are in the GUI, the file gets COPIED to Trash then deleted. That's why deleting a file results in loads of disk activity instead of a quick blip while the pointers are re-written. I'm guessing that since Apple also has Trash, the same happens.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: I Wish...

Do you mean that the board members who pay themselves unimaginable bonuses are too greedy to actually pay the staff who earn the money for them? I am shocked. SHOCKED!

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Ancient wisdom

I love the chindogu of the day:

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a different page!

(Somewhat different, anyway. The chindogu above may still be the same one, but the day won’t be 18th March 2022 anymore.)

JassMan Silver badge

Re: I Wish...

Last time that happened to me it was because the Relevement Inter-Bancaire showed all the various numbers helpfully grouped with spaces, my banks own examples showing that you can enter spaces but their software not accepting or auto-stripping spaces, resulting in "invalid input please try again". The most helpful bit is that you have to re-enter every single field all over again (instead of editing fields 1 at a time till you get rid of the error).

I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of brilliant coders out there, so why do banks always employ morons?



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