* Posts by Mike Shepherd

639 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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China's Tencent to order ONE MILLION SERVERS as part of $70bn digital infrastructure splurge

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"pseudo-parliament"

What a good name!

Broadcom sends its England-based staff back into office as UK lockdown eases – though Welsh workers get a free pass

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"...part of the essential critical infrastructure..."

You have to wonder long these people spend in front of the mirror.

Switzerland 'first' country to roll out contact-tracing app using Apple-Google APIs to track coronavirus spread

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Switzerland as a model

In Switzerland, they say, everything is either forbidden or compulsory. Its compliant citizens are probably not a good model for how apps will be received elsewhere.

Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Correction

"...due to the unprecedented number of people using the internet for remote work, socialising and streaming porn".

Plus ça change...

Campaign groups warn GCHQ can re-identify UK's phones from COVID-19 contact-tracing app data

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Legal framework

Parliament has to quickly issue an adequate legal framework.

With GCHQ, the only legal framework I'd trust is not having installed the app in the first place.

Hey, what kind of silicon may power next-gen space probes? We hope your answer includes 'AI acceleration'

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Tough

"...4,000 hours non-stop at 125 Celsius..., withstanding...80 MeV of radiation energy per centimetre square..."

But can it survive being in a kid's video console?

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Highly sophisticated

Incompetent data controllers often claim to be victims of "highly sophisticated" attacks, despite taking security "extremely seriously".

An unkind person might suggest that many don't think much about whether a database is private / don't check incoming messages against buffer sizes / never heard of SQL injection. To them, I suppose, any attack is "highly sophisticated".

Cyber attack against UK power grid middleman Elexon sparks in-house IT recovery efforts

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Hubris

Electricity supply is not affected. We have robust cybersecurity measures across our IT and operational infrastructure to protect against cyber threats.

Let's file that with "No foreign bombs will fall on Germany".

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

Mike Shepherd
Happy

Re: someone explaining

Thanks for that. Can you say how power is distributed to the repeaters? Is it sent from various points along the shore or over large distances along the cables?

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Can someone explain?

...aluminium conductors instead of copper, an innovation developed by Facebook and Alcatel as a way of reducing voltage drop along the very long transmission distances required of submarine cables. More voltage means the ability to keep more fiber pairs lit.

The "very long transmission distances" of optical fibre depend on currents through the cables?

Aluminium conducts better than copper?

Better late than never... Google Chrome to kill off 'tiny' number of mobile web ads that gobble battery, CPU power

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: So nice of you, Google

But when I search for "Brave" in the Play Store, it warns "Contains ads".

If you're going to spend $3tn, what's another billion? Congress urged to inject taxpayer dollars into open anti-Huawei 5G radio tech

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"urged to inject taxpayer dollars"

Fighting Communism with...Communism!

India says its brains saved the world from the last colosso-crisis – cough, Y2K – proving it can become self-reliant

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"...we have the best talent in the world"

Well, if drivel and hype work for Trump, why not for India.

Gaming kit vendor Razer gives away face masks in Singapore – after signup to its payment system

Mike Shepherd
Unhappy

Re: It's Singapore innit?

Perhaps it's our future, too, where any action against a government robotic dog (or refusal to let one into your home) will have a pack of them arrive within a couple of minutes.

Serial killer spotted on the night train from Newcastle

Mike Shepherd

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

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Next step

The next step is to announce that "in the public interest", Google and Apple have agreed to install the app automatically, without an option to refuse.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

Mike Shepherd

Re: Depends.

How does changing the name of something make it easier to implement?

Microsoft! Please, put down the rebrandogun. No one else needs to get hurt... But it's too late for Visual Studio Online

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Safe option

The MBAs must be kept occupied, given the risk of leaving them alone with anything important. Having them invent meaningless product names (.NET was one) is the safe option.

GCC 10 gets security bug trap. And look what just fell into it: OpenSSL and a prod-of-death flaw in servers and apps

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Many eyes

"Many eyes" depends on source code written clearly enough that others will read it when there's nothing in it for them. Sadly, very little software (open source or not) rises above the level of "abysmal" in that respect, so most is examined only by the original author or by a few enthusiasts. Where OpenSSL lies in this, I'll leave others to judge.

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: El Reg (or the readership) really has changed

Oh, let's have more, not fewer, explanations. No real expert will be insulted by seeing his familiar jargon explained to others. It will annoy only those who fear that their mystique will be punctured. I've used GCC, but am not an expert in it, because most of my work is elsewhere. Do I feel embarrassed by this? I do not. I worked in what's now called IT when most GCC users were still soiling their pants, so their attempts to impress me with an array of acronyms will likely fall flat.

IT is now a vast field. Those who believe their recondite portion is the whole need to get out more.

Move fast and break stuff, Windows Terminal style: Final update before release will nix your carefully crafted settings

Mike Shepherd

Not the end yet

Some were hoping that Windows Terminal was the sequel to Windows 10.

Coronavirus lockdown forces UK retailers to shut 382 million square feet of floor space

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Management speak

With changing "landscapes", "embracing" of "sea changes" and stuff to "get our heads around", it looks like mixed and surplus metaphors will survive the virus.

Is this an ASP.NET Core I see before me? Where to next for Microsoft's confusing web framework...

Mike Shepherd
Happy

Thanks

Many thanks for these (and the earlier) detailed updates on the .NET family. They help as we try to understand the confusion emitted by Microsoft.

Tribunal halts all Information Commissioner's Office cases because UK data watchdog can't print or organise PDFs

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"As courts and tribunals slowly join the 21st century..."

Clearly a typing error. This should be "As courts and tribunals slowly join the 20th century...".

Time to brush up on current affairs. Because we're predicting Li-ion batt lifetimes using impedance and AI

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Battery analysis

You speak from a time when it was fashionable to think. Now we say "It's all too complicated, so give it to a neural network and we'll move on to something else". Oh, and invent some pretentious term to impress the natives. We measure the battery impedance at two or three different frequencies, so call it "electrochemical impedance spectroscopy".

Watch: Rare Second World War footage of Bletchley Park-linked MI6 intelligence heroes emerges, shared online

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Soviet Army in Manchuria

You haven't had your tablet today, have you? Have your tablet.

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Thank you, El Reg

I think something is lost in the translation from Martian.

Cricket's average-busting mathematician Tony Lewis pulls up stumps

Mike Shepherd
Happy

Hardy

Given his love of cricket, perhaps even G H Hardy (who expressed disdain for all "applied" mathematics) would have approved.

Microsoft expands AI features in Office, but are they any good? Mixed, according to our vulture

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Illiterate

If you're borderline illiterate, fancy tools can hide that only for a short time. Anyone who needs them should get a job more suited to their ability.

Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"Microsoft will ship Edge code only when it's ready"

...for customers to start testing it.

White House turns to Big Tech to fix coronavirus blunders while classifying previous conversations

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Oh My!

Free healthcare? My God, that's COMMUNISM!

Xilinx's high-end Versal FPGA is like a designer handbag. If you need to ask the price, you probably can't afford it

Mike Shepherd
Meh

High-level

"...high-level languages, such as C/C++, or low-level SystemVerilog and the like"

Verilog / SystemVerilog are high-level languages, just like C and C++.

Clearview said to be chasing every mugshot taken in the US over the last 15 years to paste into its facial-recog system

Mike Shepherd
Meh

We know where this is going

Soon, police will shoot dead someone "identified" falsely by automatic recognition. The subsequent recommendation will be to "tighten procedures".

UK Defence Committee probe into national security threat of Huawei sure to uncover lots of new and original insights

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Surely

Surely operators would be happy to use western equipment (supplied at Huawei prices, of course) - when they get around to inventing it.

UK.gov is not sharing Brits' medical data among different agencies... but it's having a jolly good think about it

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Be careful what you tell us

Perhaps GP surgeries will begin to post notices Be careful what you tell us, because we're forced to pass it on for use by all departments of government.

Hospitals (and their employees) will be prevented from giving the same warning.

Honeywell, I blew up the qubits: Thermostat maker to offer cloud access to 'world's most powerful quantum computer' within months

Mike Shepherd
Meh

The glorious future

...the American mega-manufacturer plans to announce that within three months...

I think I preferred history done in retrospect. Now we are expected to gaze in awe upon promises. When someone tells me "This will be epoch-making, game-changing or (your own superlative here), I say "Tell me when it's happened, not when all you have is optimistic talk".

Sophos was gearing up for a private life – then someone remembered the bike scheme

Mike Shepherd
Meh

De minimis

I think they mean "small".

"Let's put some Latin legal-sounding stuff in so people will be impressed".

Admins beware! Microsoft gives heads-up for 'disruptive' changes to authentication in Office 365 email service

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Disruptive changes

Disruption - just what customers love.

If you're struggling to keep new year resolutions, try NGTS-10b, a mere 1,000 LY away. One year is just 18 hrs

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Jovexit

In a referendum, citizens voted to leave the 27 other planets of the federation and move closer to their star. Switching on his three desk fans, Supreme Leader Boris Zog declared "With our warmer climate, asteroids and moons will be lining up to make tourist deals".

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a flying solar panel: BAE Systems' satellite alternative makes maiden flight in Oz

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"airborne for a year"

First let me know when one has managed to stay up for a week.

What's the German word for stalling technology rollouts over health fears? Cos that plus 5G equals Switzerland

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Stand firm

Perhaps if Switzerland stands firm, 5G will fade away, like quartz watches.

Astroboffins may have raged at Elon's emissions staining the sky, but all those satellites will be more boon than bother

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Missing the point

An excellent book on numerous atmospheric phenomena (but perhaps not the book that you remember) is Minnaert's The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air (1957 in the English translation), still available in paperback. It seems to cover everything from the Spectre of the Brocken to naked eye perception of the polarisation of daylight.

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Euphemisms

a forced landing with consequent damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants

The usual word is crash.

ICANN't approve the sale of .org to private equity – because California's Attorney General has... concerns

Mike Shepherd

Re: Huh

What?

In your face short sellers! Tesla goes two quarters in a row without losing money

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Feature complete

"feature complete...some chance of going from your home to work"

Just let me know where, so I can stay out of the way.

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?

Mike Shepherd
Meh

A reply from Sparta

"If the United States offers better logistics supply chain, better technology and lower costs virtually the entire world outside China would shift away from Huawei," tweeted Gingrich.

If.

Rockstar dev debate reopens: Hero programmers do exist, do all the work, do chat a lot – and do need love and attention from project leaders

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Too vague

We are heroes in some projects and not in others. Much depends on our level of enthusiasm. It's difficult to be enthusiastic if project goals seem pointless or are poorly communicated. It's difficult to be enthusiastic when dealing with an existing mess or where developers are seen as a homogeneous resource, like toner for the printer ("We'll need a couple of coders over the next three months").

I agree with LDS (above).

South American nations open fire on ICANN for 'illegal and unjust' sale of .amazon to zillionaire Jeff Bezos

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Balkanise

Since ICANN shows poor stewardship of the name system, countries should be at least ready to balkanise. Is it only Russia that makes serious preparations? It's all very sad, but if ICANN behaves badly, what else can be done?

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