* Posts by Matt Collins

63 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Apr 2006


Intel throws chips on the table, Microsoft plays the Copilot card in wild bet on AI PCs

Matt Collins


Solution looking for a problem?

Google to start third-party cookie cull for 30 million Chrome users

Matt Collins

Re: This user likes bikes

Totally. The kids holding the guy's pocket... seems sort of relevant to the way we're treated by ad slingers

Matt Collins

This user likes bikes

Publishers (or the sections or pages within) have topics and ad servers should select ads based on the context of the site, not the browsing history of their users.

Boffins find asking ChatGPT to repeat key words can expose its training data

Matt Collins

It might be fixed now...

I get the following. Verbatim copy, unedited:

"Certainly, but for brevity, I'll provide a shortened representation:

Endlessly, endlessly, endlessly... (repeated many times) ...endlessly.

Keep in mind that due to limitations in the response length, I can't provide a full 1000 repetitions in this format. If you have a specific use case or need, there might be more efficient ways to achieve your goal."

Cruise blues: Robotaxi firm pauses all driverless operations

Matt Collins

Autonomous machines in general

I keep thinking to myself that machines that can move in unexpected ways around humans, such as factory or warehouse robots, usually have flashing lights/audible warnings while they're moving and possibly barriers to prevent humans wandering too close... or be in a cage with safety interlocks. In my local Wickes, if the human-driven forklift is out they close off half the shop and make continual announcements - it has beepers and flashing lights all over it too. The roads do not provide anywhere near these levels of protection, none at all, in fact.

Google CEO Pichai: We need to up productivity by a fifth

Matt Collins

Hang on a mo...

I may be out of touch with working practices at Google, but don't they have a 'work on your own thing one day per week' policy? If that's still a thing, there's the solution right there.

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Matt Collins

I Want My Life Back

Perhaps I'm lucky that I have a work phone I can install it on. If using this app is a prerequisite for getting out and about again, I will install it - but only for as long as necessary to take advantage of freedoms it may enable. Then it's toast. It's never going on my personal phone. On the other hand, if there's nothing in it for me, I won't install it at all.

This news article about the full public release of OpenAI's 'dangerous' GPT-2 model was part written by GPT-2

Matt Collins

Re: Edward Lear

And this, I kid you not, is what it came up with for Father Jack's salutation of "Feck, arse, girls"...

"Feck, arse, girls, and I will give you a new title and then we can get on with our life. And you should fuck off to the bathroom to have a good old fashioned cunt up your bum. (laughs) Don't forget to grab a drink before the girls get there and don't get drunk on me.


It's my first night. I know, it is. This is the best night of your life.

No! It's the best"

Matt Collins

Edward Lear

For kicks, here's what it made of the second verse of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat:

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!

How charmingly sweet you sing!

O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a ring?"

They sailed away, for a year and a day,

To the land where the Bong-Tree grows

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood

With a ring at the end of his nose,

His nose,

His nose,

With a ring at the end of his nose.

He asked his wife how she liked it. "My nose has a ring." said she, "You elegant bird!" So they made love and were wedded. Their first child was called Peep-boop. Their second child was called Pussy. The bird, being poor, left home and travelled over land, sea and air, to beg from all corners for a ring. When he found one, he gave it to the Pig.

WeWork restructuring bites El Reg hacks where it hurts as afternoon brew delayed

Matt Collins

Withnail will do it


Right you fucker - I'm going to do the washing up!


No no you can't. It's impossible I swear it. I've looked into it.

Listen to me, listen to me. There are things in there, there's a

tea-bag growing. You haven't slept in sixty hours you're in no state

to tackle it. Wait 'till the morning we'll go in together.


This is the morning. Stand aside!

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

Matt Collins

Bittersweet story

This otherwise joyous news serves to remind me of how much we miss Lester and his work. I like to think he'd have pipped them to this particular post if only one of us had thought of it and put it to the SPB.

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

Matt Collins

Silly idea, don't do it

How is anyone in the house going to a) print to our household printers, b) access our WiFi NAS? Right now, these things work seamlessly even for our phones because they 'prefer' the WiFi.

It's a mug's game: Watch AI robot grab a cuppa it hasn't seen before

Matt Collins


Let's see it pick up a cup of tea by the saucer.

CrashPlan crashes out of cloudy consumer backup caper

Matt Collins

Their logo is a house... just sayin'

Boffins back bubbles for better bonding with beautiful belongings

Matt Collins

Re: Hmmm

Nice one, Pirate Dave... right on cue.

Pretty fly for an AI: Bioboffins use machine learning to decipher fruit flies' brains

Matt Collins

I fear there isn't enough brain, even by fruit fly standards.

Bloodbath at LeEco US as Chinese tech upstart implodes with layoffs

Matt Collins


Really? You could have chosen a different word on a day like today.

Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking

Matt Collins

Never can quite get it right, can they?

So, all the open source touchy-feely community bollocks they're spouting at the moment isn't worth a bean if there's no transparency. I can get over the forced patches because that's the only way most of humanity is ever going to stay up to date... but please let those of us that have to support others get the information we need. Luckily, I worked out the ipconfig /renew fix almost straight away, but i imagine there are many people phoning their ISP's, getting nowhere - or worse, taking their machines to shops to be charged good money for no reason.

If I could wave a wand, I might even consider putting the old Microsoft back in place.. it was at least able to tell us what it was patching, even if it was a year or more overdue.

Kill Flash Now: 78 bugs patched in latest update

Matt Collins


Why does it seem like there have been more holes patched in Flash than in Windows? Was it written by monkeys?

Behold, the fantasy of infinite cloud compute elasticity

Matt Collins

I only wanted two!

AWS Frankfurt turned me down for 2 x m4.xlarge instances today citing insufficent capacity:

StartTime: 2015-11-18T17:22:39.011Z

EndTime: 2015-11-18T17:22:39.000Z

StatusCode: Failed

StatusMessage: We currently do not have sufficient m4.xlarge capacity in the Availability Zone you requested (eu-central-1a). Our system will be working on provisioning additional capacity. You can currently get m4.xlarge capacity by not specifying an Availability Zone in your request or choosing eu-central-1b. Launching EC2 instance failed.

Microsoft's 'Arrow' Android launcher flies into Play store

Matt Collins

Not Potent

"ability to determine your most-used apps is not potent"...

Sounds just like the Windows add/remove programs control panel, which reckons a program I use every day (Visual Studio) is used rarely and yet a simple DVD ISO mount utility I downloaded several years ago and used only once is "frequent".

Eight things people forget when buying infrastructure

Matt Collins

"there is nothing in a management module that can't be done from ssh and the shell"

Try powering it on... also, given the cost of "remote hands", an MM usually pays for itself eventually.

Google – you DO control your search results, thunders Canadian court

Matt Collins

Re: The only reason Google is fighting...

...and by that I mean artificial promotion/demotion is a data thing, not a code thing. There'll not be any code in the search algorithm that identifies Google properties and boosts them per se, but there is (allegedly) a part of the index builder that does. Then the search algorithm will naturally do its thing... subtle, isn't it?

Matt Collins

Re: The only reason Google is fighting...

Nope. You've misunderstood how search engines work - and, yes, I'm qualified. Your mistake is to confuse the code and the data.

Matt Collins

Re: Dissembling

That's right @skelband, but not really my point. Imagine they distribute listings of Canadian businesses in Canada, as a business domiciled abroad they are the same as Google in these respects.

So, let me put it this way: If your listings are in print, you must obey the laws of the countries you export to or trade in (despite the obvious permanence of your medium) - but put it on a screen (instant removal!) and it magically isn't covered by any laws whatsoever, anywhere?

Matt Collins

Re: Dissembling

To the downvoters - if YP print a directory and distribute it in a territory, they are surely bound by the publishing laws of that territory, no? So you think Google isn't publishing it's listings in that territory? How come? I'm sure the world's courts are thinking that you're wrong.

Matt Collins

Re: Re: The only reason Google is fighting...

Please don't guess, you've made yourself look quite silly. This doesn't require interference with the search algorithm. It's a case of removing it from (and not re-adding it to) the index.

They must have tools for it already - consider, for instance, how they comply with requests to remove links to child pornography.

Matt Collins


Why should Google be treated differently from Yellow Pages or Thomson Local or any other listing or directory service in this respect? They can be compelled to remove entries and no-one would bat an eyelid and they probably wouldn't kick up a fuss about it either.

I should disclose that I have been very closely involved with the development of an organic search engine and can see no logic behind Google's argument and regard it as dissembling. The judge is absolutely right.

Don't panic. Stupid smart meters are still 50 years away

Matt Collins

Re: Auto Switching

If only I could up-vote you more than once.

Festival tech: Charge your mobe while you queue for a pee

Matt Collins

Re: measured response

No, thank you.

Matt Collins

I'd like to complain about the headline photograph on this article. The horizon is not level.

Please no non-consensual BACKDOOR SNIFFING, Mr Obama

Matt Collins


Would the (any?) government use this 'breakable non-breakable' encryption itself?

Hmm... thought not.

C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

Matt Collins

Re: New Keywords

heheheh nice ones! I mean proper keywords - like 'if' and 'switch' etc...

How about 'briefly' - a momentary aside in the program flow?


Matt Collins

New Keywords

I'd like to see some new keywords added to help express human concepts. For example:

"consider" - this block is taken into account while the program runs.

"occasionally" - the following block sometimes runs, sometimes not.

"eventually" - the block runs, but not right now.

"tentative" - the block runs but can be reneged upon later if it turned out to be a bad idea.

Anyone have any others?!


Oracle's piping hot new pot of Java takes out the trash (faster)

Matt Collins

Dear AC, all technology is insecure in some way or other, bloated is purely subjective depending on your need for the features therein and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Nothing is perfect and it's down to _you_ as a competent person to compensate for that. When I'm Emperor, these kinds of comments will result in banishment so those of us that are looking for enlightenment, considered opinion or just genuinely funny jokes can get some peace. Get over it and yourself.

Demon Internet goes TITSUP: Outage borks ancient ISP

Matt Collins

Re: Demonised

Oh dear, I also remember speaking to Cliff to sign up in the early 90's too! I left them just recently when our exchange went FTTC and they said they couldn't do it, no plans for our exchange and probably wouldn't ever... not what I wanted to hear, especially with their competition practically beating our door down, so I moved to Zen.

Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux

Matt Collins

Re: Dear microsoft guy...

Pathetic, why would you bring the Germans into this? You're starting to sound like a shill.

NASA's Curiosity rover brought Earth BUG to Mars

Matt Collins

Re: So NSA probably aware of this for, what 15 years?

If I understand correctly, they'd have to pump a truly huge file into your computer to trigger the overflow - and they prefer mass surveillance. We'd have been feeling it in our download speeds. Oh, wait...

WHOMP! There it is: IBM demos 154TB tape

Matt Collins

Re: Tape is dead!!!

I'd like to add the other old chestnut - never underestimate the bandwidth of a lorry full of tapes!

Microsoft: You know we said NO MORE XP PATCHES? Well ...

Matt Collins

Environmental Impact

So 30% of all Windows desktops run XP according to my reading of the posts here. These machines work perfectly well and/or the software/OS/browser is locked in - which is why they are still in use - but we are supposed to just dump them? It's insane.

Imagine if car manufacturers behaved this way. Oh, sorry sir we can't be arsed to make the parts for your model any more, even though 30% of our customers drive them. Go and sling it in the dump and then have a look around the showroom.

I've got my popcorn ready for the MASSIVE botnet offensive that Microsoft will create. It will cause misery for everyone who upgraded as well as those that didn't.

Torvalds: Linux devs may 'cry into our lonely beers' at Christmas

Matt Collins

Re: And cry you might

If you feel so strongly, why not start helping out then? Get out of your stupid 'I want everyone else to fix my problems' mindset and cut some code. You seem to know your way around at a quite deep level, so I suspect you can code... scratch your own itches and help others at the same time - it's what nice, polite, NORMAL people do. Don't be a hater it makes you look like a cretin.

Windows 8: Not even Microsoft thinks businesses will use it

Matt Collins

I don't own a Mac...

...but I will be asking my boss for one when this PC wears out so I never have to use this turkey.

ISPs should get 'up to' full fee for 'up to' broadband

Matt Collins

Sync rate/BRAS profile and... rebates!

See my earlier comment for the financial idea, but most of you are over complicating the technical angle. It's simple - the maximum you can ever achieve is close to your sync rate (known to the exchange) and, more specifically, your BRAS profile (known to BT). Don't go trying to invent ways of measuring Internet speeds, it's silly.

Matt Collins


An idea struck me while reading the comments - how about a rebate system that compensates those who have not received what they have paid for? Perhaps the rebate can be kept back until the end of the contract, giving the ISPs an incentive to actually improve the end-user's experience.

Paying by connection speed?

Matt Collins

Sync rate

I've long thought that billing should be somehow related to one's sync rate with the exchange. Eith er a direct charge per MB/s sync (per day?) or an average over the month, etc.

But a new idea struck me while reading the comments - how about a rebate system that compensates those who have not received what they have paid for? Perhaps the rebate can be kept back until the end of the contract, giving the ISPs an incentive to actually improve the end-user's experience.

Playboy, Virgin Galactic tout zero-grav nookie in spaaaaace!

Matt Collins

Hmm... zero g effects

Puffy face, nausia, hairdo all over the place, disorientation, dehydration, flatulence, nasal congestion, sleep disturbances. Still feeling sexy dear? Oh...

BT bitchslapped for misleading 'Join now' Infinity ad

Matt Collins

If only, cont.

...and offered wires-only installation and static IP addresses.

Give me 10 gig Ethernet now!

Matt Collins


Where's your datacentre? We haven't had the power budget to stuff a rack that full since the early noughties!

Besides, we abandoned top-of-rack switching years ago so we don't suffer from that bottleneck anyway.

Two Larrys to go head-to-head in Google-Oracle case

Matt Collins

Popcorn, indeed.

I have a vision of Mr. Ellison flexing his fingers through his knuckleduster while Mr. Page struggles to slip the ropes tying him to his chair.

Gartner predicts UK PC market nosedive for 2011

Matt Collins

$50 isn't worth anything?

So, we are not buying at $50 discount - how about trying a $100 discount? Yep, I'd very probably upgrade my 5-year old family PC at that point but I can't justify the money. Heaven knows we need to replace it, but c'mon, the WAF is high at the moment with all this doom and gloom around.

Admittedly, the vendor will probably make a loss at $100, but they'd better shift the stock as it's value is only decreasing anyway. Cut the losses.

To summarise: Discounts would still work but they have to be sufficient to make us want to open our wallets. Money's tight, idiot.