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233 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Apr 2007


OpenAI reassures: GPT-4 gives 'a mild uplift' to creators of biochemical weapons



I'd be interesed to know how you can install 'guardrails' on a process when you don't even know how it works.

No reliable way to detect AI-generated text, boffins sigh


Re: One advantage

I think the technical term for this is 'pissing in the watercooler'

Rights groups threaten legal action over NHS data pilot based on Palantir tech


pseudo - definition

pseudo- a combining form meaning “false,” “pretended,” “unreal,” used in the formation of compound words (pseudoclassic; pseudointellectual):

Go ahead, be rude. You don't know it now, but it will cost you $350,000


Re: You get what you order

<pedant>Actually PG Wodehouse </pedant>

Facebook's Meta, tracking code, and the student financial aid website


Don't Worry

Nick Clegg will sort it out.

Less than PEACH-y: UK's plant export IT system only works with Internet Explorer


Re: Not fit for purpose

In a former life I was involved in a small way with agriculture and had some dealings with ADAS - as that was what was later morphed into DEFRA by government edict. The ADAS advice service was free to farmers and growers as it was seen as promoting the common good.

When it was rebadged as DEFRA it was no longer free and had to become 'self financing' and the upheaval caused many problems. (eg the set-aside payments fiasco).

At the time I remember the previous ADAS employees had the new DEFRA acronym as:

'Dont Ever F***ing Reorganise us Again.

Chinese web giant Tencent predicts Beijing has more internet regulations coming – and welcomes them


welcomes the regulations

Rather like having to say 'thank you' for being caned.

Preliminary report on Texas Tesla crash finds Autosteer was 'not available' along road where both passengers died


Re: two driverless cars meet each other on a single track road

There has to be a punch line to that ...

Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative


Re: Too late

I always seems to be a big ask too. I've never seen a small one.

HPE urges judge to pick through Deloitte-bashing report it claims demolishes Autonomy founder's defence


Cheetah? Is that the correct spelling?

Buggy code, fragile legacy systems, ill-conceived projects cost US businesses $2 trillion in 2020


Re: Obligatory Sherlock Holmes quote

Occam's razor (William of Ockham 1287–1347)

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?


I seem to recall

A Welsh IT outfit that had the amusing domain welshit.com. Or maybe I dreamt it - it was some time ago.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah


Not well finished

The first thing I noticed was the obvious marks of badly finished rivets or screws down either side. More an Ikea flat pack than a monolith.

BBC makes switch to AWS, serverless for new website architecture, observers grumble about the HTML



Those little golden birdies....

Oracle Zooms past rivals to run TikTok’s cloud, take stake alongside WalMart and ByteDance investors


Re: Missed a bit

Expect Oracle to cough up $5billion? That's not how Oracle works. Sounds like another one of Trump's much vaunted 'deals'.

Financial Reporting Council slaps Autonomy auditor Deloitte with £15m fine over audit 'misconduct'


Name rings a bell

Isn't Deloitte organising Covid testing? Oh dear.

Linux kernel maintainers tear Paragon a new one after firm submits read-write NTFS driver in 27,000 lines of code


Re: Bit harsh

Tr: Beware of geeks bearing gifts

Virgin Galactic pals up with Rolls-Royce to work on Mach 3 Concorde-style private jet that can carry up to 19 people


Re: Short and sweet.

They used boats. Slower, but just as effective.

Google: OK, OK, we pinky promise not to suck Fitbit health data into the borg. Now will you approve the sale?


'Truly have the sages said that to cherish a base character is to give one's honor to the wind, and to involve one's own self in embarrassment'

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab



I think you might mean trawled

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram


er, 36 inches in a yard.

Not the Wright stuff: Bitcoin 'inventor' loses bid to sue YouTuber who called him a liar


Re: Brave

I was bothered by that at first, but you can switch it off. (takes a bit of rummaging around)

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate


Re: ain't no problem in the world that can't be solved with hot-snot

Not to forget the wire coat hanger. Sadly in short supply these days, but I once drove all the way from Spain to the UK with an exhaust system held on with their help.

Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot



That's a 'minature'! Should have put a ruler in the photo!

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


Re: Just drop the G

FYI Geek = someone who eats live animals - not gimp.

Also means someone with an unhealthy interest in tech I believe - not sre how that came about.

There's Huawei too many vulns in Chinese giant's firmware: Bug hunters slam pisspoor code


Cuts both ways?

Presumably China's infrastructure uses Huawei kit, so their systems are riddled with these known 'backdoors' and vulns too?

Or do they produce two different ranges of equipment, one for home use and one for export? Seems unlikely.

There's a reason why my cat doesn't need two-factor authentication


Re: some cats can circumvent the flap

Had the same problem. The cat flap company (I think it was Staywell) replaced the flap with a USA standard flap that was 'Racoon Proof' free of charge! Not had the problem since.

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone


Re: Totally unrelated to IT but related to explosions

My late father (born in the 19th century) was old school when it came to electrical wiring. To join two lengths of flex, the bare ends, stripped with teeth ( a habit it took me years to kick) were twisted together and folded back in opposite directions along the flex. Then the whole join was wrapped in what he called 'electricians tape' - a sort of cloth based tape soaked in a kind of black tarry goo. This seemed to work OK and was industry standard around our house even after I , as a curious 5 year old pulled one of these joins apart while trying to figure out how the 'wireless' worked. The ensuing flash and bang surprised but enthralled me.

The rest of the family were horrified, but strangely I have never been afraid of electricity since.

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks


Re: Just bunged them a tenner

Valves! You were lucky!When I started out we had to make do with a steam powered difference engine.

Facebook: Yeah, we hoovered up 1.5 million email address books without permission. But it was an accident!


Re: Not just Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg?

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security


Re: At what point do the employees wise up ?

Nick Clegg...

Senior slippery sex stimulator sales exec sacked for shafting .org-asmic cyber-space place, a tribunal hears


Re: Well, still an idiot

yesyesyes.org is up and running. Just checked.

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again


Ticked Off?

In UK english this means admonished or 'told off' - what does it mean here?

Memo to Mark Sedwill: Here's how to reboot government IT



"(DVLA) brought all of its IT services in-house, pulling in know how that had been at the system integrators. The techies were then closer to the problems they were trying to solve"

I have always wondered why the DVLA online system worked so well, considering they were .gov

Here's why AI can't make a catchier tune than the worst pop song in the charts right now



At best I would call the audio result a pastiche. It strikes me that a lot of AI manifestations are simply that.

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!


Re: Bedtime stories...

I think it's highly unlikely Stephen Fry would be anyone's dad. Just saying.

A tiny Ohio village turned itself into a $3m speed-cam trap. Now it has to pay back the fines


Re: Accidental broom sale

What's that? Googled it and the only relevant result was a link to this post.

Can someone explain?

Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge


Re: I've been pointing this out for years.

True. Look what happened to low diesel fuel tax untill there were enough diesel users 'hooked'.

It was increased so that the diesel price is now more than petrol. I imagine the increase in diesel efficiency (in mpg) is now completely offset resulting in no loss of income to the taxman.

The same thing will happen with electricity costs. A way will be found to tax electricity for road use (EERV?) to make up the shortfall. There will only be a brief window where electic cars will be cheaper to run. Death and Taxes.

BT hikes prices for third time in 18 months


Any Recommendations?

a) If you find a good restaurant don't tell anyone.

b) ISP ditto.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury


Self driving car?

hmm. Perhaps not.

Spotify cleared of exposing kids to self-love innuendo in TV spot


Not a children's programme??

I always thought Britain's Got Talent was a children's programme.

Toshiba conglomerate: Can we keep going? We don't know


Re: 'Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?

Small point: For the record, that would be Alexei Sayle not Ian Dury.

You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do


Blighty too

Note: our beloved Grauniad website has a permanent front page link with similar information.

KCL staff offered emotional support, clergy chat to help get over data loss


Re: Yesterday

er, a milestone hanging over me?

Electrified bird bum bomb shuts down US nuclear power plant


Avian Conspiracy

Didn't this happen to the Large Hadron Collider some time ago?

Between you, EE and the lamppost ... this UK cell network is knackered


BT Speak

a small number of customers = everybody

may have = have

W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over


Re: If I'm bored with Google

Thank God you translated 'bored of Google' to 'bored with Google' - there's still a few of us left.

Rise of the Machines: ROBOT KILLS MAN at Volkswagen plant


A fine example of Muphry's Law in action

Inside GOV.UK: 'Chaos' and 'nightmare' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites


Where is the graphic from?

Where is the graphic that heads this article from? I can't see anything like that on gov.uk.

I just visited the site, spurred by this article, and er, it didn't really seem too 'shiny'. Quite clear, really.

Admittedly at first sight, it seems quite useable. Obviously I'm not 'corporate' and didn't have any real business to do so it's not a thorough test.

Anyway, where is that graphic from - am I looking at the same site?

eBay planning massive job cuts following PayPal split – report


massive job cuts?

You mean Ebay actually has real employees?