* Posts by Circadian

236 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Aug 2008


AI-created faces now look so real, humans can't spot the difference


AI porn

With how weird AI gets things, there will be all sorts of unbelievable stuff that no-one could imagine… oh wait, Rule 34. Does this mean that it’s already happened or that even AI cannot possibly keep (it) up?

'A massive middle finger': Open-source audio fans up in arms after Audacity opts to add telemetry capture


Re: Democracy?

Reading “Rotten Boroughs” in Private Eye pretty much confirms that far too many councillors are just there to line their own pockets.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard


Re: Watt$ next?


But the batteries are designed to be replaced - it’s just the packaging it comes in (known as an “iPhone”) is a bit expensive...

As UK breaks away from Europe, Facebook tells Brits: You'll all be Californians soon


Re: I've already told my family and friends...


Might be worth “poisoning the well” putting a bunch of junk into the system before deleting as much as you can (it’s not like it actually gets removed from f*c*book’s data hive, so messing it up a bit is about the best that can be done).

Good luck with dropping the f-word!

Max Schrems is back... and he's challenging Apple's 'secret iPhone advertising tracking cookies' in Europe


Re: Wasting their time

@Anonymous Coward

Uh, wha-thu-fukkk?

That made no sense to me. What was truly a waste of money, though, was that spent on your education (try “they are” rather than “their”).

Got a problem with trust in AI? Just add blockchain, Forrester urges. Then bust out the holographic meetings. Welcome to the future


That's not a report...

... That's buzzword bingo!l

Hydrogen-powered train tested on Britain's railway tracks as diesel alternative


'@Inventor of the Marmite Laser

I was very tempted to hit the “Report Abuse” button for that - I think I sprained something groaning. 1

Microsoft leaks 6.5TB in Bing search data via unsecured Elastic server. *Insert 'Wow... that much?' joke here*


The majority of the data concerned “customer” ids (ad id, device id etc.) which are not very compressible...

Adtech's bogeymen are tracking everything - even your web visits to mental health charities, claim campaigners


Re: It's for charidee!

Don’t forget chuggers. And the way that charities are doing their best (worst?) to get money via direct debit - sometimes even refusing cold hard cash (for “reasons”).

Most big-name charities *are* businesses now, including the high-salary directors with big bonus plans.

Hold on to your hats, Net Neutrality version 2 is on its way courtesy of Trump and the FCC's moves on Section 230


Re: A dumpster fire in the making


If you think that political speech should not be censored, then there needs to be a law along the lines of “truth in advertising” - anything that is not backed by evidence or facts would not be published. (And dayum, I really wish the UK had something like that in place.)


First Amendment site

If the government truly wanted a site that follows first amendment principles, then they should simply implement their own. Having a government-run system should at least provide the rest of the world with a laugh...

Zuck says Facebook made an 'operational mistake' in not taking down US militia page mid-protests. TBH the whole social network is a mistake



“... throughout the entire remainder of the encounter, they seemed calm, patient and pretty professional...” kneeling on his neck for 8 fucking minutes. Seriously? Is that the standard you are holding police to? Personally, I hope for better. (And yes, most are better, which is why it’s important to remove the bad ones.)

Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple’s monstrous efforts to protect its customers' privacy


Re: Facebook Tracking

@Dave 126

There *was* a government agency for nudge. It was privatised at a cheap rate with the dept. bosses transferring with a nice block of shares... (allegedly, can’t be arsed to check back Private Eye for details) Still making most of their money from government contracts of course.

Anti-5G-vaxx pressure group sues Zuckerberg, Facebook, fact checkers for daring to suggest it might be wrong


Re: Lightening the mood a little...


Thank you.

US govt proposes elephant showers for every American after Prez Trump says trickles dampen his haircare routine


Re: The problem with water consumption limits is..

As I heard a Londoner comment once “what you complainin’ ‘bout the water for? It’s been passed by the bleedin’ queen!”


Re: Ah well...


Sorry, but the correct term for that sort-of white fluid is nut juice... (remember not to gargle)

NHS tests COVID-19 contact-tracing app that may actually work properly – EU neighbors lent a helping hand

Thumb Down

Re: Like to have an expert check the privacy statement & app


The only way to find out how much to trust the app is to read and understand the code. As a population, not many have that skill (though the readers here are skewed higher). Then, of course, you need access to the code, and verification that what you see is what was used to build the app distributed. Trust in this government is very low - it has been caught lying far too often already.

As hospital-based infections set to rise, best not change the vendor behind the system that tracks them, hm?


Re: I

An infection-tracking system that needed to be modified to track an infection... so complicated and proprietary that it would be difficult to move from. I wonder where the approver for purchasing this service works now, and for whom?

Mozilla warns more Firefox website breakage to come because devs just aren't checking for SameSite snafus


Re: does my browser have this enabled or not?


I’d blame windows 10. Still, I blame win10 for everything, even the Mojave instance...

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware


@charles 9

Just distribute the drm laden crap on the disks that cause the problem in the first place. The Blu-ray system is customer-hostile, and requiring an internet connection for updates is shitty.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux


Re: I wonder why?

Is that a “potty”/“Poettering” reference?

Brit police's use of facial-recognition tech is lawful, no need to question us, cops' lawyer tells Court of Appeal

Big Brother

How pervasive is cctv? How easy is it to connect the software? How much are they drooling...?

At Mozilla VPN stands for Vague Product News: Foundation reveals security product will launch eventually, with temporary pricing, in unspecified places


Re: This all comes down to trust ...


Guess that means you trust your ISP as all your traffic would be seen by them. There are tales of less scrupulous providers (I recall from the USA where they were selling advertising options based on customer traffic at one point) where use of a VPN is to try to protect yourself from your own ISP.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police


Re: And the moral of this story is ...

@Evil Harry

Why is the “bad apples” homily so rarely completed? “One bad apple can spoil the entire lot.” And that is a big problem with the police force - the protection of their colleagues means that the bad apples are not removed. I know it’s human nature to want to protect “your own”, but given the powers the police wield, bad apples *really* need to be removed.

We really doing this again? Rumour has it that Apple is nearly finished developing augmented-reality glasses



Surprised it’s not called an iGlass (or, in honour of the Google nickname, maybe the iHole).

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps


Re: Oh what a tangled web we weave!

Ah, that might explain it. Compared to the current US government, Hitler is just a liberal left-wing commie...

(Do I really need a “/s”?)

Project Reunion: Microsoft's attempt to tear down all those barriers it's built for Windows developers over the years


Re: Borkzilla looking for a new foot to shoot

I wonder what effect this will have on wine’s ability to run Win “apps”? Does it make the move to Linux while maintaining necessary Win-based programs harder?

Don't trust deep-learning algos to touch up medical scans: Boffins warn 'highly unstable' tech leads to bad diagnoses


What the fucketty-fuck?

They are using AI systems to alter images? AI is barely capable of recognising images (actually isn’t...), and some idiots are proposing using AI to “touch up” images that peoples’ lives depend on? Adding or removing details at the whim of an algorithm that is not transparent in its operation. Those bastards really only care about the money...

House of Commons agrees to allow Zoom app in Parliament, British MPs will still have to dress smartly


Re: How soon before ...

With the current crop of non-entities in parliament, how would a “deep fake” be any different from “ordinary fake” currently on offer?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus


Re: Perfect Timing

When it comes to quality, Dyson’s vacuum cleaners blow and the hand dryers suck...

Throw a sofa at this guy with your mind. She's in Control. Oh look, now I've learnt to bloody fly. She's in Control


Re: New (again) to gaming here

@Andy Non

Recommend you grab Horizon Zero Dawn. It can be set to a very forgiving difficulty, and has a very interesting storyline (though as an open-world game, the story is slow to play out). It’s often on sale and is a pretty good introduction to console gaming.

From WordPad to WordAds: Microsoft caught sneaking nagging Office promos into venerable text editor beta


Re: To be fair...

Oh for an “upvote +1000” button!

Greetings from the future where it's all pole-dancing robots and Pokemon passports



I don’t think you really get the humour here. “... razor wire pic” has no sexual innuendo, vulgarity or lewdness. All you’d feel is a little prick... Oh. Carry on.

Boeing, Boeing, gone! CEO Muilenburg quits 'effective immediately'


Re: Oh, don't worry chaps...

@A. P. Veening

Such as the FAA?

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands


Re: I think she's trolling


“Trollvertising” - thank you, that’s a keeper!

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators


Re: "authoritarian regimes [...]

I have but one upvote to give...


Re: Whenever Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein are involved in a debate about crypto ...


Sadly, the results are not predictable. As the old saying goes, they* only need to win once - and they will keep hammering away until they get what they want. So, eternal vigilance and endless patience needed. Good luck with that in these attention deficit... oooh look - squirrels!

*they - feel free to define as you will.


Re: If they were *really* thinking of the children...

@bombastic bob

Unfortunately, “think of the children” as (ab)used by politicians is almost always about the current darling tykes - “you don’t want *anything* slightly bad happening to your preciousssss do you?”. If people considered your interpretation then this planet wouldn’t be as messed up as it is.

Advertisers want exemption from web privacy rules that, you know, enforce privacy



No, no, no - depending on the genders, they may breed. Sodomise them. With a rusty axe.

A short note to say I'm off: Vulture taps claws on Reg keyboard for last time


Loved your reporting - hope your next gig allows the freedom of El Reg to, uh, express yourself.

ICANN latest: Will the internet be owned by Ted Cruz or Vladimir Putin in October?


Re: How about a disinterested NGO that all governments love about equally?

Actually I think you are on the right track - since we don't want power-crazy humans to be in charge of this, we *should* assign it to an AI in an independant organisation to handle. So... AIIANAAI.

Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman


Re: Police State or anarchy

Wish we had Lewis Page to provide some details of what type of charge is required for bomb disposal - I would have thought quite small, and not something capable of killing a man through armoured vest. Which begs the question - how is it that a police force has ready access to an anti-personnel explosive device? Or am I wrong and the bomb-disposal charge is actually very powerful?

Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right


These days, need minimum download bandwidth just for Windows 10. Govt missed a chance to specify minimum guaranteed upload, a common weakness in many packages. This is again needed just for Windows 10...

Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption


Re: The underlying point is deeper

@ Christian Berger

I should really not comment until after I've had my coffee and come round a bit, but... you are still a fucking idiot. Yeah, shows I'm an uncouth bitch, but I don't really care. The stupidity in your posts just goes beyond what I can put up with.

The point of all this is not defence against just black-hats, but against government abuse. Servers are always-on. Get a warrant (assuming they can even bother with that anymore), wander into datacenter and grab the relevant server image and copy of the memory. Full access (relatively) trivially. Even if you host your own, an always-on server is relatively simple to get full access to.

Your uses of mobile also seem very limited - the only usage shown in your examples is to browse web-pages. Mobile phones are capable of a lot more than that, including media, games, books etc., with access to the majority independant of internet access. Your scenarios go back to a dumb device that can do nothing without a connection. There are still people who get drop-outs and end up in places with no signal, or no cheap way of connecting to the internet.

Server operating system, plus terminal host - unfortunately, any way you wish to spin that, that is another operating system - plus comms channel ALWAYS required, and to get the full security of custom keys, both server and device need to be fully in your control to get the keys shared. No, the attack surface is pretty high, even if you trust the individual components more yourself, you are talking about all three to be fully secured with no vulnerabilities. The next aspect is who maintains the patches for the two devices and how do you trust them (I assume that you are not claming that the code for both needs to be maintained by the user)? Especially for what is supposed to be a mass-market, "consumer" device.

And your last point? Sounds like you agree with what I said about trust in the vendor.

Damn it - think the coffee is starting to kick in. I don't think we are so far apart about wanting there to be better security for everyone, just that I feel your vision is much too far a step backwards and rules out too many useful scenarios for a smartphone - which is after all a very portable computer - and you overestimate servers and underestimate smartphones. So to finish, I apologize for calling you a fucking idiot.


Re: The underlying point is deeper

@ Christian Berger

you are a fucking idiot. Here's some simple maths for you - how many operating systems do you have to get right for a secure smartphone as opposed to a semi-smartphone + a server that has to do everything?

Further practical considerations involve a communication channel between them (also nice MITM opportunities there)? With infinite free bandwidth? That is always available?

From an attacker's perspective, a server that is always on will always have password active in memory - much easier to access than a smartphone that has been switched off.

Also others may have different usage scenarios from yours - having a fully portable fully functioning computer (after all, that is what a smartphone is) allows them to do things directly on the device without needing connectivity.

Go back to playing "snakes" - or have you never moved on from that?

After saying all that, your paragraph 2 is very accurate. We are in the position where we have to absolutely trust the smartphone software provider, and we are completely at their mercy regarding updates. There may be some niche players trying to provide secure smartphones using open systems, but are expensive and may still be hit with a writ they have to comply with.

So I think ultimately it ends up with "who do you trust"? Or maybe distrust least? Or do we simply have to learn to live in a panopticon and the consequences of what that will do to the sanity of the inhabitants?

I guess I'll just leave quoting the words of wisdom of a wise old man. "We're doomed I tell ye - doooooomed."

Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn


MV = PQ = WTF?

Just checking - but from your description MV = PQ is not an actual equation describing a mathematical expression, but a desired target (like e.g. Moore's Law - a rule of thumb to target, not a "hard" equation)?

Crafty fingering could let Apple Watch thieves raid your bank account


Re: I think...

@ malle-herbert

You'd hope to. The reality is different. See Ted talk (less than ten minutes) on Youtube


(And @ tmTM - yes you're right :)

Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills


Re: The reason they are so keen on deploying smart meteres...

From article: Smart Energy GB responded to the IoD report, claiming the IoD "does not understand what’s needed to secure Britain’s energy infrastructure for the future."

From the point made by John 48 - this is because successive governments have failed to plan for the future, and so we are likely to not have enough power to go around shortly. So the plan is simply to force-switch-off ordinary punters power when supplies get a bit limited. I'm certain that there will be certain addresses that will be exempt from this, but I'll leave it to others to guess which ones that the powers-that-be decide to grace.

SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future


Re: Leave it out

Re: "Why not meddle in the stuff that needs fixing, ie. tax evasion/avoidance". As far as the politicians are concerned, it's already working perfectly. You and I are paying all the taxes while they and their paymasters get to avoid them.

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG


Nice straw man

"...what lingers is the image of the American consumer who doesn't even realize his or her Netflix stream has been blocked, and simply (presumably) stares at the screen".

The way it would really be done would just be via degradation. Dropped packets, occasional freezes, stuttering. Stuff that would be hard to track down and prove responsibility for. I'm reasonable technical, but I certainly don't have the networking knowledge or tools to be able to track and prove that type of degradation. So instead of a completely failed service, there would be a perception that (say) Netflx doesn't give as good a service as (ISP company X)'s own competing service. Or at least wouldn't unless Netflix ponies up some readies ("nice streaming service you have there. Would be a pity if some packets got... dropped").

However, in spite of that, I enjoyed the article. Nice to make it clear that the judges were basing their decision on how the law was framed (such that the FCC were overreaching their remit) and that it is the responsibility of the law-makers to resolve this if they wish FCC or some agency to have those powers.