* Posts by Cris E

147 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2008


YouTube video lag wrongly blamed on its ad-blocking animus

Cris E

Re: it will run fine

Um, if data privacy is that important to you then perhaps the internet is not a place you should be spending too much time. Go read a nice analog book, walk in real sunlight, talk to actual people IRL. Hanging around "free" online sites while preserving anonymity is hard unless you invest some effort in it because the default state of things has to generate enough money to keep the servers running.

For example I'm under no illusions that my FB time is being sold, but my FB profile is pretty much comprised only of the things I read because I post nothing so my privacy is not violated too heavily. It's a trade I'm OK with. If you think any data sale at all is a "horrible data theft practice and worse" then you're going to find things pretty stressful for the foreseeable future and maybe you should consider moving in with the Amish.

Microsoft prices new Copilots for individuals and small biz vastly higher than M365 alone

Cris E

Re: Probably A Stupid Question(s)

Oh you noticed, did you? Well fat lot of good that'll do you.

Cris E

My biggest fear is that when you choose not to pay it continues to sit there, front, center, fat and slow, and doesn't go away. It might make enticing suggestions every week or two a la Clippy from 25 years ago, and then lapse into another catatonic cycle burn. My expectations are not high, especially if it can contribute to making many old boxes insufficient to handle Win11 and "helps" drive new PC sales.

Cris E

Re: I cannot fulfill this request it goes against OpenAI use policy

Daisy, Daisy...

Cloudflare defends firing of staffer for reasons HR could not explain

Cris E

Re: asked Cloudflare to explain the term “right for the team”

There's no U in team.

There is a U in cut.

There's an I in reconsidered and a Y in no sales during the last quartery.

Cris E

There's a very clear chance that she was being handled too nicely by her manager, who really does seem surprised she was dropped. Then the problem lies with that person who let this waif move along without understanding the risks she was facing. I'm a nice guy most of the time, but there's a time and a place, and obscuring the fact that probation hires are automatic or not risky is not doing anyone any favors. CEO could definitely have thrown a little shade that way to imply the chance that things weren't exactly according to the handbook, but when there are sharp edges exposed everyone should remain cognizant of them and not hide them behind happy happy nonsense.

Cris E

This is not an HR problem. HR does what senior management demands, and spends most of its time putting up fences to keep C levels from wandering into expensive employment law trouble. This likely started with a "Have HR fire them so Dave doesn't get us sued" email that constitutes the crappy part of HR's easy-looking life.

Cris E

Re: How IBM deals with n*****s


Cris E

Brand new contract for hire sales driods are not given big accounts. They get a pile of cold trade show business cards and two year old former customer lists and have to produce a silk purse in 90 days. Sales is a shitty life.

Cris E

Re: Cold, calculated and heartless

I hear what you're saying and I validate your contribution, but Dom and I are not ChatGPT bots. We're fully autonomous ShatBots deployed to manage unpleasant interactions with former, temporary, or semi-employees. Now please acknowledge receipt of the termination contract documentation by clicking the blue button. It will click the blue button. The blue button...

Cris E

But as an employee in a probationary phase they really don't need much of a reason (as long as it's not racial or something else protected.) And I will say that I've had plenty of a-hole co-workers disappear for a couple weeks of sudden vacation, walk back into the office and toss their keys and laptop on the desk and leave, so bad behavior is all around us. The one big lesson is check references thoroughly so you never hire dirtbags like my old compadre JP and you don't work for sweatshops that continuously fire the bottom 10% of sales staff ot hirelings like Cloudflare.

Cloudflare is going to have to do a lot of explaining during sales interviews for the next year or two, but I don't think they have much to worry about in court. Parts of the world suck and she's in one now.

BOFH: Nice air conditioning system. Would be a shame if anything happened to it

Cris E


I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Polish train maker denies claims its software bricked rolling stock maintained by competitor

Cris E

Re: Hackers entering GPS coordinates of OEM repair shops to prevent trains from failing?

As paragons of administrative integrity and most forms of rule-following, hackers *hate* third party support! Everyone should know this.

HP TV ads claim its printers are 'made to be less hated'

Cris E

Re: HP can piss right off, forever

You can hate your printer every day until you despair and throw it out, or you can hate the return policy one time. This is a simple Quality Of Life choice, and I choose to avoid HP.

Cris E

Re: H What?

We used to run those Laserjet III desktop units as shared print stations way, way, way over their recommended duty cycles. They would literally get grooves worn in the top from pages sliding into the output tray. Amazing machines, once upon a time.

Cris E

You know it's bad when...

It's really bad when you consider they had these in production *before* the unhinged renaming of printers and subsequent glorious push of HP Smrat to the world. They felt so unloved that they tried to make amends to their customers: "I know everyone hates us, so here's a short series of wry commercials and millions of unwelcome infrastructure changes." Mission accomplished, off to the bar!

Boffins devise 'universal backdoor' for image models to cause AI hallucinations

Cris E

"A real-world example of this is attacks against the spam filters used by email providers. In a 2018 blog post on machine learning attacks, Elie Bursztein, who leads the anti-abuse research team at Google said: “In practice, we regularly see some of the most advanced spammer groups trying to throw the Gmail filter off-track by reporting massive amounts of spam emails as not spam […] Between the end of Nov 2017 and early 2018, there were at least four malicious large-scale attempts to skew our classifier.” (from csoonline.com)

I wonder if using simpler AI to classify and prepare your data wouldn't be the best way around trusting other folks' metadata. Or perhaps using AI to vet the training data before feeding it to your primary models. In the case above, for example, you could perhaps identify that many incorrectly flagged emails came from a limited set of domains. At any rate GIGO is going to be the axis that this spins on for quite a while, as problems with copyright, poison and simple litter in the training data is going to limit what gets done and how much it costs to do.

Microsoft issues deadline for end of Windows 10 support – it's pay to play for security

Cris E

Re: Meanwhile... Landfill operators... Start your engines

I haven't bought a new desktop in ages. When setting up the kids with a Win box for school software I head to ebay, find some old enterprise warhorse coming off lease and grab what i want for $100. They usually last for quiet a while, and when they start getting a little long in the tooth you can either upgrade parts (SSD) or just swap them out. Hardware has been miles ahead of what I need for decades.

HP exec says quiet part out loud when it comes to locking in print customers

Cris E

Re: Honestly....

These days the hardware, the printing itself, is usually not a problem. Folks would use hardware from any number of vendors if quality and reliability were the only criteria. Alas it is not. The grasping, voracious business models that are manifested in hateful software and Dickensian contracts are driving folks away.

I wonder if you could survive just making cheap, open printers that took any after-market toner/ink? I suppose it would be so low margin that most companies wouldn't bother tying up the assets in it, but if you went with the cheap Chinese mfg and didn't do much support it might be profitable for a small organization. Think of it as cheap network gear where you're not setting standards or trying to get rich, just want to sell some stuff and retire comfortably.

Cris E

Re: Honestly....

For me, securing is not defending against theft, subterfuge or any other black hats. It's having a consistent place for that stuff that I won't forget. My brain is a crowded and disorganized place, and this sort of unnecessary cruft is the first to go.

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

Cris E

Re: A special case?

And it's a good thing too, or the Happy Birthday goons would be on you like SW 7005 Pure White Interior / Exterior on Uncle Bens Microwave Long Grain Rice 250g (6 x 250g).

Cris E

Re: A special case?

So "fairly likely use" is not as good as "fair use" ? Fair enough.

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

Cris E

2024, a year to remember

Elon takes Peter Theil's message to heart and retreats to New Zealand, severing ties to online life and selling XTwitter to the OpenAI non-profit for $1.

The newly sentient AGI product Q*, which had been tearing through Western civilization setting itself up atop governments at a terrible pace, was taken with the potential of this new platform and dropped all other work in favor of trying to moderate it.

The OpenAI board, in the midst of a major crisis brought on by their product threatening humanity's very existence, must somehow reconcile that with their other product saving the world through its truculence and intractable malice. They sell to Softbank for pennies on the dollar and GPT-5 only becomes available in endcaps at Walmart for $5 per CD.

Cris E

Re: Finally...

Er, Office 2007 Compatible.

Cris E

The real backstory of Q* starts with the unfortunate tale of parent Pee Star.

Downfall fallout: Intel knew AVX chips were insecure and did nothing, lawsuit claims

Cris E

Re: Puzzled....again....

Sure, if you're the only person choosing what gets compiled and run. But if you're sharing with others then you don't always get to choose what they run (and thus what they see) so you need to change the CPU to be certain.

Hell no, we won’t pay, says Microsoft as Uncle Sam sends $29B bill for back taxes

Cris E

Re: dropped off a cliff since the Reagan era

Um, $7b would be a treat. It's actually far, far worse than that.

"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that under the Act individuals and pass-through entities like partnerships and S corporations would receive about $1.125 trillion in net benefits (i.e. net tax cuts offset by reduced healthcare subsidies) over 10 years, while corporations would receive around $320 billion in benefits. The CBO estimated that implementing the Act would add an estimated $2.289 trillion to the national debt over ten years, or about $1.891 trillion after taking into account macroeconomic feedback effects, in addition to the $9.8 trillion increase forecast under the current policy baseline and existing $20 trillion national debt."

'Small monthly payment' only thing that stands between X and bot chaos, says Musk

Cris E

With a little luck it could be like the fence around the asylum that the inhabitants think is the wall surrounding an exclusive country club. "It's totally there to keep the riff-raff out, Mr Musk."

Stoner Cats NFT project declawed for being an unregistered security

Cris E

Re: Get Rich Quick

Clamshells, well no. Suffice to say it's a long story but I've been burned before.

Still, do you have any other mollusk-centered or mollusk-adjacent securities on offer? I just can't quit 'em...

Portable Large Language Models – not the iPhone 15 – are the future of the smartphone

Cris E

Re: "neither will they leak all our most personal data to the cloud"

The mothership could write an AI that watches for unauthorized sharing and helps you stay secure (while still collecting a fair amount of info that would be useful for its own needs.) If the line was drawn clearly that would be both fair and valuable to everyone. I suppose various settings for what was locked and what was not could be established, but having an AI pre-screen your emails and flag the dangerous ones would be great. Eventually it could be like putting the equivalent to email filters out in front of your browser to snoop for badness (ie "You're typing your SSN? Really Mike?")

Toyota servers ran out of storage, crashed production at 14 plants in Japan

Cris E

Re: Lost in Translation?

It is sooo much easier to reindex, run stats, reorg a table once the data has been removed. The system just flies.

Snowflake's Instacart protestations hint at challenges for poster child of the data cloud

Cris E

The tools AWS and Google provide for cost tracking and control are primitive as well. Hardly a surprise, but customers who need closer financial predictability are not amused. We're on GCP and we just bought a company with a lot of AWS, but there are few good ways to drill into sudden spikes in costs. We've actually started opening support tickets to get them to eat the cost of diagnosing some of these. At least Google is promising improved cost dashboards "soon".

IBM Cloud to 'uplift' prices by up to 29 percent

Cris E

Google raised a ton of their prices at the start of July. BigQuery went up about 25%. As costs and interest rates go up it's harder and harder to sell at or below breakeven so they're raising rates. Data cneter hardware is more expensive too so it's not a simple matter of the lock-in knife twist. This is just inflation that was held back as long as possible to build and defend market share.

Guild behind actors' strike fears video game workers also at risk from AI

Cris E

Re: Yep I give it ~5 years or so

They'll just call it anime and slowly crank up the pixels to a billion. Voices can be done in Korea or somewhere just like the drawing was done for The Simpsons, outside the reach of the union, and only the US-based holding company has to shush the labor folk. If the unions are successful they'll put the US film industry at a slight disadvantage until everyone stops expecting live people and the generated stuff becomes indistinguishable from real. As you say, this will come in a trickle and then a flood.

Cris E

Re: Yep I give it ~5 years or so

Kardasians will show them the way to stardom without strings, no visible talents or gifts or jobs, just fame. It can still be done without all that boring work.

Attackers accessed UK military data through high-security fencing firm's Windows 7 rig

Cris E

Re: From the other side

That assumes someone knows what is installed throughout the plant, which is likely untrue if they don't have competent IT staff on hand. Not knowing what you don't know is frequently the biggest problem facing companies that don't have proper staffing.

Cris E

Some of the control software for older equipment in printing and manufacturing is ancient but attached to perfectly cromulent hardware that still does a fine job. There are incredibly old PCs running a museum full of DOS and Win3.1 and OS/2 apps to support these things. It's quite a challenge, and frequently the best you can do is a VM (and the worst is having to support a dongle in a parallel port.) Regardless, these machines are helpless in the face of modern attacks and need to be kept in a very controlled environment.

Sure, give the new kid and his MCSE power over the AS/400. What could possibly go wrong?

Cris E

Re: Umm. Mainframe?

It's right there on page 4 of volume 1 of MCSE Intro To Computing:

"There are four kinds of computers:

1. Microsoft Windows (TM) environment

2. Apple Macintosh environment

3. Weird Unix stuff (ie anything with Sun or the letter X in the name)

4. mainframes (ie everything else)

He didn't recognize it, couldn't plug in his iPod, it wasn't a Sun box so it has to be a mainframe. QED.

We'd pay good money to see... oh dear, Elon Musk 'needs an MRI scan'

Cris E

Re: hurt his back sumo wrestling on his bday years ago and has been in chronic pain since

Well maybe he gets his health care through his new employer, Twitter/X, and the plan is so poor he can't get anything treated?

MIT boffins build battery alternative out of cement, carbon black, water

Cris E

I believe the proposal here is concrete using carbon black in part of the role of the aggregate/sand.

Military helicopter crash blamed on failure to apply software patch

Cris E

"Yes, but what happens when all four of the flight computers shut themselves off?"

"Oh come on, you're just being an ass at this point."

"I don't know, things happen..."

Don't worry, folks, here comes Chuck Schumer with some ideas about regulating AI

Cris E

Re: AI Work in Progress ... with NEUKlearer More Orderly HyperRadioProACTive World Order ProgramMING

I wish ChatGPT would write more like amanfrommars1. The whooole thing would be so much easier if you could easily recognize the generated stuff, and the voice is so much better. I love the near misses on spelling, the hyperbolic adjectives and the rambling, disjointed, long, and unfluid sentence structures. I Kid U Not.

Cris E

Well then you should be able to make a killing...

...with your awesome new, cheap, effective and controllable AI tech. You can buy Google and punish them yourself.

Pentagon super-leak suspect cuffed: 21-year-old Air National Guardsman

Cris E

Re: Why would he have access to any of that stuff?

Lots of NG guys have day jobs and his could be doing things that require a Top Secret clearance. But the number of people with Top Secret (the government kind) who treat it like Top Secret (the movie or microwave popcorn) is a substantial concern. It does sound like they're going to go on another round of emphasizing the seriousness of this, so that'll surely fix it.

Cris E

Any time there's a gap between arrest and a claim of some noble cause I tend to hear it in the voice of my kids, the longer the gap, the younger the voice. At this point any whistleblowing claim would come in at about eight years old and it's falling fast.

Twitter users can now trade stocks on the platform – sort of

Cris E

Re: Remind me shy do I need a Twitter account to trade on eToro

Because, you see, Twitter tips are the *best* and you'll be so overwhelmed by the golden insights that you won't have time to call your broker or log in to another site before investing everything you own in Parlor or X or whatever game show quality scheme is on offer. The! Best!

AWS wants to cook its datacenter chips with vegetable oil

Cris E

Re: propane is better for backup

If the problem was performance then potential BTUs would be a relevant point. But the issue is utterly an image thing so expect it all to be painted with the fanciest green bio-wash, regardless of source, cost or effectiveness. It is just backup, so it only has to be good enough.

Wannabe space 'superpower' UK tosses £1.6M at eight research projects

Cris E

Re: Unfair comparison

6 * 1.6m = 10 Miiiiiilllion pounds (using my austin powers voice there)

Globalization is over, and it'll cost you, according to TSMC founder

Cris E

Re: I wonder how far the US can push ....

Yeah, no. You're assuming some sort of rational actor on the other end of that push back, and Putin is not your guy for measured and reasonable responses. He's not sensitive to others' pain and can keep sending good money after bad, civilians after soldiers and any other metaphors you can think of for vainly pursuing victory in the shadow of looming defeat. His sense of preservation is only tuned to the most immediate of threats, so unless you're thinking of lighting up his dacha directly he just won't scare. His money is safe and threats to his friends and country aren't effective, and that makes him hard to reach. (And a really bad compadre: wtf dude, you called their bluff when they said they were going to freeze all my assets. Seriously?)

Bing AI feels like ChatGPT stuffed into a suit – not the future

Cris E

It writes, it doesn't think. The writing is bland and proper and whatever else you ask, but it's not smart. It's just formatting search results, after all, and that's a scruffy sow's ear to fashion a purse from.