* Posts by YARR

590 posts • joined 24 Nov 2008


Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up


Re: Forget Scooters.

Kill two birds with one stone, put the lights on the helmets.

Good luck using generative adversarial networks in real life – they're difficult to train and finicky to fix


Randomly gets worse then better again

This could be an indicator that the adversaries have actually learned something by their adversarial nature. When it happens the discriminator may have realised it’s been fooled by the generator, by spotting some new feature by which to discriminate. The generator is then forced to try new random tactics to fool the discriminator, resulting in a temporary reduction in output quality.

CEO of AI surveillance upstart Banjo walks the plank after white supremacist past sinks contracts


AI can't be intrinsically biased, because it starts from a neutral position and only knows the information that's given as input. Most reported "bias" is probably real differences in data by race. For example, facial recognition being more diffiult to discern when there is less color contrast between skin and facial features, or some historical data being more readily available in countries with a particular racial majority (which skews learning to that data set) .

Nineteen mysterious invaders from another Solar System spotted hanging around the outside edge of ours

Thumb Up

Re: Only 16 times earth and moon distance

There must be some mistake, like maybe 16 Astronomical Units (Earth - Sun distances) ? If objects hundreds of km across in an orbit that crosses our orbital plane passed just 16 Earth-Moons away we should more concerned about them than we are about Covid-19.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash


Autopilot 4 less

Tesla opted for inexpensive sensors over LIDAR to keep costs down. Perhaps a miniature fly-by-wire camera drone could give the car a better view of the road ahead, if that technology has reached an affordable price point? Just brake if it hits anything.

(Or a camera on a long retractable muscle wire)

Cache me if you can: HDD PC sales collapse in Europe as shoppers say yes siree to SSD


"Hard" means solid, so "Spinning" is a better description for a drive that rotates.

SSDs would be better described as "Fixed", but we already used that to mean one that moves.

Raw sunlight is going to cause our asteroid belt to spin itself to death by YORPing – but not for another six billion years


If human descendents make it as far as colonising space, those asteroids are going to be space mined for constructing space stations / space mirrors / a halo or dyson sphere or just ballast for enlarging and terraforming Mars (to hold a dense atmosphere). I doubt they'll still be there in 6 billion years.

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps


How about installing a suspension activated switch in the wheel arch of these vehicles? When they drive over a pot hole of a certain depth the switch is activated, it logs the GPS co-ordinates and sends an automated report to base? It could even take a photo as the vehicle drives over the hole.

Of course, for this to work, the drivers will have to intentionally NOT avoid the pot holes, which may prove costlier for them and unpopular with any passengers.

Brits may still be struck by Lightning, but EU lawmakers vote for bloc-wide common charging rules


"Mobile device"

What's a legal definition of a "mobile device"? Could many small network connected devices fall foul of this legislation?

Perhaps Apple could ship their EU iPhones with a lead weight strapped to them, and a legal disclaimer that "conversion of this iPhone to an EU mobile device is performed at the user's discretion".

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?


It's pointless worrying about "pecking orders" since we are destined to relative decline as the developing world grows. Reducing dependence on other nations is a better policy, in particular avoiding singular dependence on any one nation or trade block.

We should avoid trade deals that involve political compromise - a trade deal should be purely about trade.The electorate decide what sort of country we will become, not foreign governments. Also trade agreements that give corporations the right to claim against governments must be avoided, the rights of ordinary people must come first.

Most trade deals aren't advantageous to the UK since we are a net importer of nearly everything. We should be mindful about what trade deals we commit to since they will determine in which industries we can be competitive.

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program


Article is factually incorrect

UK population (2020) is about 67.7 million, it was about 63 million at the last census in 2011. That's a net growth of 4.6 million people in under 9 years, or over 0.5 million (~ the population of Bristol) per year, most or all of which is due to immigration.

Despite all those immigrants, business leaders are still demanding more, but this time it really will fix our economy once and for all! Having our immigration policy decided by "business leaders" has worked so well in the past... for them, but not for the majority. All the while, the cost of housing for ordinary workers is more unaffordable than ever.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space


You're right those planes have intake ducts. Outlet ducts would certainly be possible (since that what thrust vectors and reversers do) but may be less efficient for normal use. Like you said, they may not fix the pitch up issue either way.

Another option might be to mount the engine further back (in the "correct" position to avoid the need for MCAS), and have a duct for the upper part of the cold air stream immediately behind the main fan. The duct could redirect the cold air down the sides of the engine, under the wing, then emit it above the hot air stream behind the wing. This would allow the engine to be positioned higher up with part of the upper fan in front of the wing.


Alternate 737MAX design kludge

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the pitch up issue that MCAS addresses happens because the larger diameter engines are positioned further forward of the wing (and higher up). This means the thrust is acting from a different point than earlier 737 models. High thrust causes a turning moment about the plane's centre-of-mass, requiring elevators to compensate.

Why did they not put a small duct on the back of the engines, so the thrust acts from the same point as earlier 737 models? Ducts must be practical since they were used in the Lockheed Tristar.

The thrust reverser could be moved to the end of the duct, or be directed through a flap in the duct.

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you


Easily done...

Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox 304 times

... or anyone downloading their Steam library on a new PC.

High-resolution display output or Wi-Fi: It seems you can only choose one on Raspberry Pi 4



Could it be caused by the recent firmware updates to increase CPU performance before thermal throttling kicks in? To allow the CPU to run hotter + faster, other support devices must have been configured to use less power, resulting in unpredictable behaviour?

European smartphone market rallies but Apple didn't get the memo


Brexit stockpiling...

... because those phones are made in the EU?

How do we stop filling the oceans with Lego? By being a BaaS-tard, toy maker suggests


Re: Replay - I thought old LEGO bricks were made from carcinogenic / BPA plastics that are unsuitable for toys that kids might put in their mouths?

So isn't it time to get the kids savvy with 3D printing instead of old fashioned blocks? When they're bored of one toy, feed it back into the 3D printer to make a different toy, no plastic wasted.

Intel unveils gen 2 Optane SCM, bellows: You Barlow Pass, as it unfurls roadmap



Ecosia says Storage Class Memory

UK Supreme Court unprorogues Parliament


"Piece of piss" = your words. Yes a trade deal with the EU would be easier than with any other nation because we are already in the EU and are fully compliant with all current EU regulations. However, once we leave that wont be the case for long. Collectively our politicians have had >3 years to sort this out, that's not the fault of the Brexit voting majority. Unfortunately the collective failure of our politicians to co-operate and implement the electorate's will makes a mockery of democracy on the world stage.

Raspberry Pi head honcho Eben Upton talks thermals, stores and who's buying the kit


Downvoters - I wasn't advocating knock-offs, just surprised there are none. I though the hardware was all off-the-shelf parts, so in theory anyone could make their own Pi board that's 100% compatible? Wouldn't compatible ARM devices be a good thing?

I hadn't heard of the Pi-Top, I was thinking of something netbook sized but Raspbian compatible.


TBH I'm amazed there aren't knock-off Pi-es out there. Is there anything proprietary or custom to them?

They are verging on being usable low-end computers now. Perhaps an official PiBook (in the vein of the OLPC XO netbooks) might be in the offing?

Gov flings £10m to help businesses get Brexit-ready with, um... information packs


Agree with the last A/C - staying in the common market and not having control of our borders or the right to make our own trade agreements would make leaving the EU a net loss. That's why a trade deal is needed, so our most vital trade with the EU is not undermined. All major economies have trade deals of some kind, but the deal that would most benefit UK-EU trade is different from just inheriting existing EU trade deals. This will take time to negotiate, hence a backstop position is needed, but that backstop must not be permanent, hence why BJ is trying to renegotiate it with a backstop of the backstop.

People clinging to the referendum and demanding 'no deal' brexit are the ones who are frustrating leaving

WRONG. There are no MPs representing a hard-Brexit party. It's anti-Brexit MPs and Labour opportunists who have frustrated the parliamentary votes thus far. Proroguing parliament is an opportunity to stop those self-interested MPs from putting a spanner in the works at this crucial stage in UK-EU negotiations. A good trade deal is better than a hard Brexit, but a hard Brexit is better than a bad trade deal, or staying in the common market without a say.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament


ParLIARment have had three years to debate Brexit and have failed to agree a workable solution for the electorate's choice. It's time to clear their schedule, work the problem, make preparations, and discuss backstop alternatives with the EU etc. A temporary dictat that you can only speak if you have something constructive to say wouldn't go amiss.

AMD agrees to cough up $35-a-chip payout over eight-core Bulldozer advertising fiasco


Well this narrow minded decision will close the door on potential CPU designs. The next step would be to do away with the concept of cores, and just have pools of specialised execution units shared by any number of virtualised threads.

Huawei goes all Art of War on us: Switches on 'battle mode' and vows to 'dominate the world'


Pointing out virtue signalling is not virtue signalling, since you don't gain from it, but you assist others from being deceived. VS-ing is an attempt to gain favour that may or may not be deserved.

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date


Linux kernel licensing rules

... perhaps it's time to update them to ensure upgrades are available to all if they available at all? i.e. copyleft-ing

1Gbps, 4K streaming, buffering a thing of the past – but do Brits really even want full fibre?


£30b would be better spent on Brexit or not at all

£30b is like £1000 per taxpayer, which would pay for several years of complimentary broadband per household. The last thing we should be doing is committing the taxpayer to non-essential luxuries like FTTP and HS2/ HS3, when we have the HUGE known and unknown costs of transitioning our economy post Brexit. Let the market decide: let people pay the true cost of FTTP / HS2 / HS3 if they think they need it.

With no EU trade deal, business conditions will change significantly, with both new opportunities and many unviable businesses closing. LOTS of investment will be needed to survive the economic shock. Please prioritise taxpayers money for that, rather than wasting it on services most people don't need!!

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Re: Cancer causes cellphones

The xkcd data compares overall cancer rates in the USA, not brain tumors specifically. Clearly there is a major increasing trend in the detection of all cancers in the USA that predates widescale use of mobile phones.

If all of the increase in brain tumors in the UK study was due to people living longer, then all the increase should be in the uppermost age groups - the tumor incidence in younger age groups should be the same as in 1995. We don't have the data here, but the wording of the Telegraph article implies the increase in brain tumors specifically affects the young.

Again, all this relates to existing mobile phone standards 1G-4G which use a different frequency band from 5G, so is incidental to the argument against 5G.


You've not being very "scientific" by lumping 5G protesters with other environmental issues.

Anyway, the scientific evidence is that incidents of brain tumors in the UK have more than doubled in 20 years. As yet no culprit has been identified, but mobile phones are the most obvious lifestyle change that correlates with the scientific evidence.


Of course this is irrelevant to the 5G debate which argues that the higher frequency of 5G transmitters is significantly more dangerous to life than earlier generations, supposedly due to resonating with DNA or something. They also argue that past studies of the effects of EM radiation are based on short term exposure risks, not extended exposure over many years. (NB. I have not personally researched any of these claims).

Iran is doing to our networks what it did to our spy drone, claims Uncle Sam: Now they're bombing our hard drives


Re: Stop picking on me!

Re. If it doesn't have proof, it will invent it and have a 'damning' video of the event

... like the video of the Iranian boat detatching limpet mines from the oil tanker that was attacked? Can they do that with deepfakes?

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...


Re: Gone is the full-sized HDMI type A connector

With a little reshuffling, perhaps they could have one full sized and one micro HDMI? That would have been more practical for the majority.

As above, so below: El Reg haunts Scaleway's data centre catacombs 26 metres under Paris


I've got an in-Seine-ly great idea about how to cool those servers.

Boffins' neural network can work out from your speech whether you'll develop psychosis


OK, so I wasn't entirely right there.

A tautological identity statement indicates a tautological identity statement.

... and Brexit is the new Remain.


* is *

A tautological identity statement as a riposte indicates that a prior statement about the same subject is not entirely true.

TPM now stands for Tiny Platform Module: TCG shrinks crypto chip to secure all the Things


TPM = Ring -4 ?

So given the known hardware vulnerability at ring -3 with the Intel Management Engine / AMD TrustZone, is TPM really trusted?

Twist my Arm why don't you: Brit CPU behemoth latest biz to cease work with Huawei – report


I'm not sure that Risc-V has suitably advanced replacement CPU cores available yet. However MIPS is already supported for Android.

You're on a Huawei to Hell, China tells US: We'll fight import tariffs, trade war to bitter end


PC assembly in Ireland ended years ago...


Japan on track to start testing Alfa-X, fastest train in the world with top speed of 400kph


Carbon emissions

So how do the carbon emissions per passenger mile / kilometer compare for high speed trains? Will they help to achieve zero-emissions target by 2050?

Veteran vulture Andrew Orlowski is offski after 19 years at The Register


&& ||

Cheers for censoring my best comments over the years !!

Backup bods Backblaze: Disk drive reliability improving


He He He

Do they replace the drives at the first S.M.A.R.T. pre-failure warning, or when they actually crash? What if different makes of drive sense pre-failure differently? Sometimes all a drive has to do is overheat slightly from intense activity. Custom designed drive racks could influence this, and perhaps Helium drives dissipate less heat?

If you were a drive manufacturer, would you set the pre-failure criteria to be more sensitive, so customers buy more replacement drives?

MoD plonks down £2m on table in exchange for anti-drone tech ideas


... and return them safely to the Earth?

What they require is an artificial chameleon tongue to reach the target, and artificial gecko-toes to cling onto it. OTOH if safety is less of a concern, another quadcopter flying above could induce vortex ring state on the target.

Only one Huawei? We pitted the P30 Pro against Samsung and Apple's best – and this is what we found


Money || Life

It seems terribly wasteful to me, to invest so much money in a high-end device that promises no software updates beyond 2-3 years. After then, your fancy phone with all your personal data become a hacker's paradise. This must also reduce the second hand value of smartphones to effectively zero over that time. Apple seems to have the edge in this regards.

So how long before we finally get a phone OS with hardware abstraction and unlimited software updates like desktops? My money is waiting. A forward-looking reg article on this subject would get a thumbs up from me.

This is not, repeat, not an April Fools' Day joke: 5 UK broadband vendors agree to pay YOU daily rate for fscked internet


April rises

Cost will be passed onto the customer. The worse the service, the more you'll pay.

Croydon school rolling in toilet roll after Brexit gift deemed unfit for the Queen's Anus Horribilis


The Brexit upside...

A loo-roll shortage is an ideal opportunity for British innovation to lead the world again. The Dyson Loo-Blade (patent pending) will blast your behind with a high velocity airstream that will leave it fresher than it's ever felt before, all while saving the lives of countless trees. I sheet you not.

We can do this the easy way or the Huawei, US tells Germany with threat to snip intel over 5G fears

Big Brother

I don't buy it

Do security agencies normally publish such things?

There are backdoors, and then there are just bugs which can be exploited to remotely attack comms infrastructure. Individual endpoints can be quickly replaced, but if your network infrastructure is inherently vulnerable you can't quickly replace it. To remain operational in all circumstances, you must have the ability to independently patch bugs for which you need the source code. Which OEMs of network hardware provide the source code for their products and allow you to roll your own patches?

If you buy from the US you're supporting NSA spying, if you buy Chinese you're supporting their government mandated spyware / great firewall of China. Perhaps an ethical agency should choose neither?

Ready for another fright? Spectre flaws in today's computer chips can be exploited to hide, run stealthy malware


Re: Too many cores

If we made faster cores instead of just throwing more of them at workloads that can't use them, we wouldn't need speculative executions and thus, no spectre

The reason for speculative execution is to make a single core execute code faster. Faster meaning more IPS rather than raw clock speed. It's a trade off with diminishing returns, of throwing an order of magnitude more hardware / CPU die area / power consumption to run a single program thread with a linear speedup. The alternative would be to have many more slower non-speculative cores, or a mixture of the two.

Manufacturers may fix known Meltdown / Spectre / L1TF variants in their next generation CPUs, but speculative execution in general requires shortcuts which could expose them to as-yet-undiscovered issues. They could be forever fixing new speculative execution issues with each generation, which is an argument for including a non-speculative core in every CPU with hardware memory encryption that can be used to run critical secure code.

Crypto crash leads to inventory pile-up at Nvidia, sales slaughtered


beneficiary even. (Doh-ble pst).


Bitcon falling but not fooling

What a suprise that BTC is still falling, given the inherent ponzi-scheme design whereby later coins require (exponentially?) more work to produce. There ought to be a law against that sort of thing.

Therefore the gradual fall in value must disguise a severe fall in demand. Get out while you still can, I'd say.

We've heard from the benefactors, but the losers seem rather quiet. I wonder, could Crypto loses trigger a global recession?

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI


Q: does the ends (identifying a criminal) justify the means (violating data privacy rights)? For people who agreed to having their DNA searchable, perhaps not. For relatives who can be identified as a close match, yes this is a violation of their privacy. How serious would a crime have to be to justify a violation of privacy on this scale? I don't think this privacy right should be routinely abused, if ever. If law enforcement agencies already abuse the power of DNA databases by retaining DNA for innocent people, then they should not be entrusted with any further powers.

Re. to allow the agency to create new profiles on his system using DNA collected from, say, corpses, crime scenes, and suspects.

Q: Do the FBI own this DNA (personally identifiable information)? I think not.

Corpses - do human rights end when you die? If law enforcement are entitled to retain DNA from any corpse, they could eventually obtain everyone's family DNA history. Unidentified corpses that are obviously a victim of a crime, perhaps.

Crime scene - an innocent person's DNA could be left at a crime scene (if they were there before / after the crime). Can law enforcement retain this DNA indefinitely, or should it only be retained while that crime is under investigation?

Suspects - are innocent until proven guilty, so again there must be strict rules for how long their DNA can be retained. Once eliminated from an investigation, their DNA should be deleted.

En garde! 'Cyber-war has begun' – and France will hack first, its defence sec declares


If war's so glorious, why aren't politicians falling over themselves at election time to promise war more and more war?

Winning wars may be glorious (if the cost to you was worth it), but starting them generally isn't.

The strategy of avoiding war but encouraging / money-lending to others, then siding with the victor just before they win can be materially beneficial.



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