* Posts by Neoc

1681 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

US patents boss cannot stress enough that inventors must be human, not AI


It has nothing to do with who came up with the idea. It has to do with who can be brought to answer for the Patent. A human being (or a corporation via its board/owners) can be made to answerable and, if necessary, brough to court.

AI cannot be (yet) and thus AI cannot hold patents.

It's ba-ack... UK watchdog publishes age verification proposals


Let's see:

1) Open banking, where a bank confirms a user is over 18 without sharing any other personal information.

Yes please, I want a MitM attack to be able to sniff out what bank I belong to and my credentials. Yummy,

2) Mobile network operator (MNO) age check, where the responsibility is shunted onto an MNO content restriction filter that can only be removed if the device user can prove to the MNO that they are over 18.

Sounds great. So, apart from the hassle to the MNO, the UK Gov *does* remember that not everyone uses only a mobile device to access the 'net, right?

3) Photo ID matching, where an image of the user is compared to an uploaded document used as proof of age to verify that they are the same person.

And who does the matching? And what if you're on a PC that doesn't have a webcam? Can the kiddies simply hold a photo of Mom/Dad in front of whatever camera is being used?

4) Credit card checks, where a credit card account is checked for validity – in the UK, credit card holders must be over 18.

Yeah! That's what I want! My credit card details spread around the internet to any website that deems that the require it for age checking. How long before a plethora of dodgy sites turn up saying their contents require age confirmation, fork over your details thanks?

5) Digital identity wallets and, our favorite, facial age estimation, where the features of a user's face are analyzed to estimate the user's age.

I don't have a digital wallet, and facial recognition again requires you to have a camera.

Really. I swear it seems like there's a requirement for common sense to be surgically removed before you're allowed to run for office.

Roblox investor plays hardball over 'weak' parental controls


Lemme get this straight:

Kiddies could spend too much money on Roblox and use it to buy tix, or whatever.

Someone makes loud noises that children spending should be moderated.

Roblox complies, leading the LESS SPENDING BY THE CHILDREN.

Investors, who apparently got blindsided by this "giving less money to those who spend it means less revenue" concept, now sue Roblox for drop in revenue.


Someone else has a go at reforming US Section 702 spying powers – and nope, no warrant requirement


Any Bill, in any government, that exempts politicians, elected officials and the like should immediately be taken to the back of the shed and put down. If it's good enough for the people, it should be good enough for them. After all "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear", right?

California governor vetoes bill requiring human drivers in robo trucks


Leaving aside the question as to whether or not they are capable of doing what's written on the box, the idea of mandating "autonomous" vehicles to have a human driver completely negates the purpose of these vehicles.

Either the vehicles are "autonomous" or they aren't. Personally, I'd rather way more testing to happen before the :autonomous" tag is allowed for a vehicle.

US military F-35 readiness problems highlighted in aptly timed report


"The DoD originally designed the F-35 program with management of sustainment operations placed squarely in the hands of contractors"

Des that mean the DoD will push for a new Federal "Right to Repair" bill?


Never understood that decision

I remember watching a documentary, ages back now, about the development of the next fighter craft. When the X-35 won the contract, I was stunned - on all counts the X-35 appeared to be the lesser contender. Then I heard who was building it and it made sense.

US Republican party's spam filter lawsuit against Google dimissed


Re: More performative bullshit

"Hence also the right to get shot bear arms."

Admittedly, I am no an American so I have not studied the various paperworks with a magnifying glass, but:

"The right to bear arms" implies every individual is allowed to own/use weapons. Which, unsurprisingly, is the "amendment" that gets touted by the NRA and various other groups. However, I believe the line is actually "a well-armed militia". A militia is defined as "a body of citizens organized for military service". Note here: "a body of" and "organized for military service". Not: "everyone" and "feels paranoid about the government".

OK, I probably exaggerate on that last one. But my point it, it doesn't talk about leave weapons in the hands of civilians, it talks about the ability for the populace to be gathered, handed weapon, trained, and used as an organised military group. Not a bunch of individuals who have their own weapons all the time.

UN cybercrime treaty risks becoming a 'global surveillance pact'


"EFF has called for the treaty to include wording that requires judicial authorization prior to surveillance, and to set minimum standards for data protection, such as putting limits on the purpose for collecting data and minimizing the amount of data that can legally be collected [PDF]."

Yes, because no agency or government has ever ignored a "thou shalt not.." provision in an Act or Law

I'm looking at you, FBI...

Tesla knew Autopilot weakness killed a driver – and didn't fix it, engineers claim


I feel sorry for the engineers.

Am I the only one who foresees these two engineers getting a couple of bad workplace reviews and then being fired for cause. Not because they dared say things His Muskness disapproves of, oh no - their work standards suddenly slipped after their testimony.



I can't even bring a bit of my psyche to feel sorry for Tesla. They named their software "autopilot" and threw it at a populace who relates that word to aircraft autopilots which are technically capable of taking off, flying the plane, and land without pilot interaction. (don't get me wrong, I still want meatbags behind the controls when I fly - but it's nice to know that said meatbags will be better rested after the drudgery of the flight is done by George).

The public saw "autopilot" and assumed a similar system capable of independent control. It is not even near that. For all their technological advances, the Tesla Advertising department committed an own-goal on this one.


You just answered your own question: "land of lawyers". Tesla has more money and lawyers.

Never mind room temperature, LK-99 slammed as 'not a superconductor at all'


I'd keep following this news cycle, but I've lost my apatite for it.

Linus Torvalds calls for calm as bcachefs filesystem doesn't make Linux 6.5


Me, I just want a FS/RAID pair that will allow me to use different-sized disks so I can upgrade/upscale the drives as they (eventually) fail.

Australia's 'great example of government using technology' found to be 'crude and cruel'. And literally lethal to citizens


For our cousins in the USA:

Labour (or the ALP) is roughly equivalent to the US Democrats.

The Liberals (or the LP) is roughly equivalent to the US Republicans.

The National Party (or NP) is roughly equivalent to the rednecks.

A while back, the Liberals and Nationals realised they couldn't beat Labour individually, so they joined forced and became the LNP.

And that should say it all*.

*No, the Labour party is not without its faults... but I dread the day the LNP merges with One Nation (you just KNOW it's coming).

US vendor accused of violating GDPR by reputation-scoring EU citizens


Re: Yet again

Well, no.

The parent company(ies) are Belgian, granted, but TeleSign is in California and even states it follow the "California Consumer Protection Act ".

'We hate what you’ve done with the place – especially the hate' Australia tells Twitter


I was being sarcastic.


"Why are the individuals/organisations that make the comments not being held legally responsible for their own comments if they are *unlawful* rather than simply distasteful?"

1) The majority of these comments are made anonymously - Yes, we COULD require that the platforms ensure they known who is on the other end of the line, but that way lies another madness (imagine someone like Putin being able to track down who doesn't like his policies).

2) The platforms ARE MAKING MONEY out of those comments. Why do people always overlook this bit? This is NOT "free speech", this is "speech paid by others". If they weren't making money one way or another, they wouldn't provide the platform. And as far as I am concerned, if you make money from a product your provide (in this case, a commenting platform) then it's up to you to make sure it follows the local laws where it is provided.

YMMV, of course.

Europe teases breaking up Google over ad monopoly


"He told The Register that he was referring to the Privacy Sandbox technology Google has been developing, which potentially obviates the need for a central ad exchange."

so... "we've been breaking the law, but don't punish us because we are developing a tool that will stop us from breaking the law again. Trust us. Would we lie to you?"

Whistleblower claims Uncle Sam is sitting on hoard of alien vehicles and tech

Black Helicopters

Re: Hoard of alien tech

Nope, it's in Area 52. Area 51 is there to distract you from the real supply depot.

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra is a worthy heir to the Note


Re: No expandable storage, no deal

I'd agree, if the damn things were hot-swappable. I'd even 3-d print a holder for the sd cards and attach it to the tablet.


Lack of new WOW features.

Back in the late '00 (or even earlier than that - there were "smartphones" before the iphone and I had a couple of them) every time a new version of a phone came out there was usually a "wow" feature which differentiated it from the previous lot. FM radio (since removed, but it looks like it's about to be legislated back in as an emergency contact method requirement in some countries); IR blasters (which made your phone usable on ALL scanners, since removed); LIDAR (since removed, except on iphones); the list goes on.

In fact. most of the "wow" features I can think of were eventually removed in favour of more and bigger cameras, and the removal of the head-phone jack for no appreciable reason I can think of (especially since they can be made decently water-tight). The only thing that had my attention in the last few years was the foldable phones (Samsung, now Google and, if rumours are correct, Apple in the near future) but so far the folding mechanism is still unstable and the devices too bulky when folded. Hopefully they will improve.

Which is why I am still using an S10+ - subsequent offerings so far have just been incremental increases in capabilities. No "wow".


Re: No expandable storage, no deal

I have the same problem but with tablets as I use them to read book, magazines, comics and manga off-line. I currently have a 1TB microSD in my Tab 10 and I am running the razor's edge of having it filled. Luckily, so far, the series I have finished JUST manage to make room for new issues of the series I am still following.

Bring on the 2TB microSD. ^_^

Australia asks Twitter how it will mod content without staff, gets ghosted


Re: Those funds are needed, in part, because Twitter is moderating less content

To misquote Yes, Minister's "it's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it: I have an independent mind; you are an eccentric; he is round the twist.":

..."What I say is free speech, what you say is fake news, what he says is slander"...

Hey Apple, what good is a status page if you only update it after the outage?


Re: They could, at least, make it unavailable

Doesn't matter - you're obviously reading it wrong.

Microsoft will upgrade Windows 10 21H2 users whether they like it or not


Let's see (YMMV as to how good or bad a version is/was):

Windows 98 - Good

Windows ME - Bad

Windows XP - Good

Windows Vista - Bad

Windows 7 - Good

Windows 8 - Bad

Windows 10 - Good (?) Sort of.*

Windows 11 - Bad (?) I haven't tried it, and what people are reporting isn't making me want to.

Windows 12... oh, please be good, please be good.

* Had to go around MS to create a local user instead of being forced into using a MS account, added 3rd-party software to restore the old windows menu, etc, etc, etc. Why does MS (and a lot of other software maker) feel the need to modify the UI every time they bring out a new version?

Sonatype axes 14 percent of staff, reminds them not to talk to the press


Funny how most American companies' first move is to sack the people actually doing the job, but not the managers whose bad decisions led to the problem in the first place.

Lawyers join forces to fight common enemy: The SEC and its probes into cyber-victims


I must be missing something here - the FCC isn't asking for WHY the clients are with the firm, simply WHICH clients are.

I understand that the DEALINGS between a lawyer and their client is confidential, but I didn't think the fact that they WERE clients was covered...?

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong


Re: !Steves Failure

Yes there is. Otherwise it'd be "Arm".

California toys with digital vehicle titles on private DMV blockchain


"One of the use cases cited by the DMV and Oxhead Alpha are interstate title transfers. Smith noted that faulty cars labeled "lemons" in California have notes placed on their titles, but can be taken out of state, transferred, and then brought back to California to lose that designation. "

??? OK, I don't know how it works in Cali (or the USA in general), but down here in QLD when you register a car you need to specify the VIN and the Engine Number. You then get the registration plates to attach to the car and they stay on the car until the registration expires. I am led to believe that in the USA you change the plate every time you pay your rego, which sounds like a waste to me, but hey what do I know?

Anyway - the registration details (and whether you've paid) is held in the system along with make/model/colour/VIN/EIN - and it's up to you to inform Transport (the local DMV) if these info change.

Sell the car? The owner details change - not the rest of the data - and the licence plate stays with the car.

My point (kinda lost track of it there) is that even is a car was sold inter-state, sold again, and then brought back, the system would have a record of the old VIN/EIN and would identify the car.

No block-chain required. Actually, I haven't been convinced of any situation where a block-chain would be the preferred solution (or in fact, an acceptable solution).

Shag pile PC earned techies a carpeting from HR


If a cow-orker* leaves their terminal unlocked for too long:

- move a (large) number of icons off the desktop;

- take a screenshot of the now semi-denuded desktop;

- replace their background with the screenshot;

- move whatever icons are left on the screen to temporary storage;

- restore the icons you moved in the first step (in their appropriate spots).

Now watch as your friend comes back from lunch/meeting and wonders why only some icons responds to the mouse, even after a reboot.

* (thanks, dogbert)

Publisher halts AI article assembly line after probe


Re: you must credit it as an author

I beg to differ - if you are using the AI to write even the first draft of your paper, then the fact is relevant as it could introduce bias in the reporting.

As such, the use of AI should be not credited, but certainly reported.

If today's tech gets you down, remember supercomputers are still being used for scientific progress


Interesting. I know a different version (Siphonaptera) which post-dates Swift's 1733 offering but is, to me, nicer on the ear:

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,

And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

End of the road for biz living off free G Suite legacy edition


"option"? what "option"?

I used the service for the household's personal email accounts. I wasn't given an option to switch to this mythical free option. Anyone know how I need to talk to?

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035


I'm curious on how non-EU vehicles will now traverse the EU. Will there still be petrol stations along the highways, or will they all have converted to 100% electric?

Microsoft, Apple, Google accelerate push to eliminate passwords


So we settle on fingerprints. But there are people out there without fingerprints due to missing hands/arms (and let's not forget those with Adermatoglyphia)

Oh, so what about iris scanning? Cataracts, anyone?

And, as someone rightly said, I can change my password/physical key if it gets compromised. How do I change my biometrics?

US judge dismisses Republican efforts to block release of Salesforce emails


Hey, RNC: "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

Sound familiar?

California suggests taking aim at AI-powered hiring software


If human beings can be made to justify their decisions, then AI software should also. If the software can't tell you WHY it made the decision, then hold the users in contempt. Yes, the users. Start fining the people/companies who use the software and see how quickly they flee developers who sell black boxes.

Epic Games' court dates with Apple and Google pushed into 2024


"The point of this discovery is to lay the groundwork for a contention that players of Fortnite, following its removal from the Android and iOS platforms, are likely simply to have switched to playing the game on another platform such as the PlayStation or Xbox"

What the heck does that have to do with it? The point in contention is that if you want to offer anything ON AN APPLE DEVICE, you have no recourse but the pay Apple its danegeld. Google is almost as bad. Microsoft is trying to catch up.

THAT'S the point, not whether users can play on another type of device.

China's top e-tailer sends sacked staff a 'graduation certificate'



I thought only Japanese Idols got "graduated" from their group?


Next-gen Moon buggy FLEX conquers California desert, seeks lunar speed record



Beat me to it.

"EVA" made sense when you are out in space and you, in fact, go outside the spacecraft (vehicle). I'd even accept it when talking about going outside the space station as this thing is orbiting at a decent speed and could be classified as a "vehicle".

But if you're on Mars, or the Moon, then the shelter or base cannot be classified as a "Vehicle".

"Extra-Base Activity" (EBA)? "Extra-Shelter Activity" (ESA)? Heck, we already have the term "Moon Walk".

The zero-password future can't come soon enough


As someone previously said:

"If my password is cracked, I can change my password. How do I change my fingerprints?" So far as I know, no-one has yet come up with a satisfying answer to that question.

And for those young 'uns who think this is a hypothetical question, this has happened. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/30/hacker-fakes-german-ministers-fingerprints-using-photos-of-her-hands

Internet connection now required for Windows 11 Pro Insider setup


"Making users unable to set up without an internet connection or a Microsoft account is more than a little annoying (even if the intent is as innocent as pulling down updates)."

The last two times I set up a laptop using Win10 with MSA the poor things could only see the Windows devices on my home network. Kill the network connection, re-install with a local account, and all of a sudden I can see my NASes and Linux fileservers.

Yep, if MS tries to force this down my throat I just might have to see how good Linux has become at running the last few pieces of software I use that require Windows.

Second Trojan asteroid confirmed to be leading our planet around the Sun


Bring back Pluto

According to NASA (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/in-depth/) the requirements are:

1) It must orbit a star (in our cosmic neighborhood, the Sun).

2) It must be big enough to have enough gravity to force it into a spherical shape.

3) It must be big enough that its gravity cleared away any other objects of a similar size near its orbit around the Sun.

That's the second time Earth has failed this last criteria!!

Dell: We and our customers understand the supply constraints now. The 'wildcard is logistics'

Thumb Down

"Dell: We and our customers understand the supply constraints now." I call bullcrap on that.

With my current Alienware laptop reaching EoL, I ordered a top-of-the line Alienware replacement from Dell in the beginning of July. Almost AUD8,000's worth of laptop. And then the delays started. Nothing reflected on the webapge, oh no - it still said turnaround time was 21 days. When, at the beginning of November, I was told that it would now be "mid-December, maybe" I cancelled my order and contacted a company in Western Australia who built me a 17.3" laptop INCLUDING an RTX 3080 which I had to wait AN EXTRA DAY for because of supply shortages) and the whole thing arrived on my doorstep (across the continent) in a week (give-or take, considering there was a weekend in between). And it was ~AUD400 cheaper.

Yeah, Dell DOESN'T understand "supply constraints".

Saturday start for NASA's Lucy probe on its 12-year quest to map Jupiter's Trojan asteroids


Shall we lose another planet

"...asteroids that share the same orbit as Jupiter by its interaction with the Sun's gravity"

Shouldn't Jupiter be stripped of it's "planet" status? It certainly hasn't <quote>“cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit<end quote> if there are still all those asteroids IN its orbit.

Australian PM and Deputy threaten Facebook and Twitter with defamation liability for users' posts


Hmmm... Leaving aside whether FB and its ilks are moderated or not (I point you to the various AI, expert systems, etc...)

You post something on your website and idjits uses the comments to make a malicious remark... not your fault.

Your ENTIRE BUSINESS is premised on people posting remarks, then I'm sorry but you ARE responsible for what people post. IT'S LITERALLY YOUR BUSINESS.

<sorry about the shouting. It may have been in the back of my mind for a while now>

Yes, yes, people are going to make parallels with the post office. Who don't decide what mail you should see/receive based on an obscure algorithm; and who, more importantly, move your mail without looking into it to decide whether they can monetise the contents.

Cop drone crashes into flight instructor's airplane


<facepalm> and people wonder why I'm against letting the concept of flying cars...

Russia tells UN it wants vast expansion of cybercrime offenses, plus network backdoors, online censorship


Am I the only one that cringed at the wording of these proposals:

"the intentional creation, including adaptation, use and distribution of malicious software intended for the unauthorized destruction, blocking, modification, copying, dissemination of digital information, or neutralization of its security features, except for lawful research."

"Malicious software": as defined by whom? Whoops, we don't like you, so you're software is malicious. But the people who work for us aren't.

"Unauthorised destruction": yep, everything's fine and dandy so long as someone in power said it was OK. Country X can wipe your hard-drive if it's been authorised. Because we *know* all countries will follow the proper rule of law, right?

Boffins find an 'actionable clock' hiding in your blood, ticking away to your death


Re: Thoughts

And you could still get in a car accident before your scheduled iAge...