* Posts by Jonathan Richards 1

1082 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009


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

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: I wonder why?

> folks[0].

WARNING: footnote index reuse [0]

> [1] Which

ERROR: footnote index not defined [1]


It’s happened again: AT&T sued for allegedly transferring victim's number to thieves in $1.9m cryptocoin heist

Jonathan Richards 1

24E6 eggs in a flimsy basket

I don't know if AT&T promised and didn't deliver, but I will observe that if my entire life savings were even a fraction of $24m then I wouldn't be entrusting it to a repository the ownership of which depended on control of a single mobile telephone account. Sod 2FA, I would want an order of magnitude better than that. Why is it all in any one place in any event?

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Hmmm

Blackberry jam. Esz, proper job. Erright er ee, boy?

Coming live from Next@Acer in Taipei: Hardware refreshes, new ruggedised line – and, er, an energy drink

Jonathan Richards 1

Regex mismatch

TFA rendered thusly: "... flurry of hardware releases came thick and fast today at the [email protected] event in Taipei"

Time to tweak that regex, I believe.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

Jonathan Richards 1

Recognizing official photos

This was exactly what I was speculating about in my earlier post, not knowing about the AI project you mention - do you have a link?

I'm sure that the US AI trainers must have done things like eliminate the height marker along the wall behind the face image. Didn't they...?

Jonathan Richards 1

Training data?

It might very well be that the AI got good at distinguishing mugshots taken for police purposes from whatever the authors used for their "non-criminal" set. And there's a thing: how do you know that random face images do *not* represent a criminal? Maybe the AI can distinguish photos of criminals that get caught...

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

Jonathan Richards 1
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Roman Mile

...is indeed a thousand paces (2000 steps) - it's right there in the name. On a long walk in Wiltshire several years ago along the still-straight footpath which follows the Fosse Way, I used GPS to measure the distance covered by 1000 paces at marching speed, and it was *very* close to 1.609 km/1 statute mile.

Ex-director cops community service after 5,000-file deletion spree on company Dropbox

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Scummy company practices cause data loss

> Where did you get that from?

THE PROPERTY PRESS (HOLDINGS) LIMITED Company number 10058355. Mrs Bulley ceased to be a 'person with significant control' on 13 Mar 2018, and the company was wound up by extraordinary resolution (i.e. voluntarily) on 9 Aug 2018.

Letterbox Productions was incorporated on 30 Apr 2018, i.e. a little more than 3 months before Property Press was wound up.

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

Jonathan Richards 1

Win condition?

Is the win condition the destruction of the opposing aircraft (which would be required to chalk up a win in the war combat situation). If so, when the Natural Intelligence pilot makes it back to the ground, can s|he call it a win? I don't know that I'd volunteer to be that pilot. Youtube video "Take a shufti... don't come back..."

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

Jonathan Richards 1


> you won't be party to any mammoth DDoS attacks

I knew the Siberian permafrost was melting, but I didn't know that Fancy Bear had recruited the mammoths. Keep dem mammoths frozens!!1!

Tycoon malware rages through US schools, LG's boot problem, and QNAP admins had better get busy

Jonathan Richards 1


The 2020 United States of America Presidential election is in five months


Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

Jonathan Richards 1
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A hat tip...

... to the person who writes the URLs for El Reg's postings.

Amazon declined to sell a book so Elon Musk called for it to be broken up

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Twitter - paradise for attention whores

Wot, stallions? Or is that an instance of the spell check goblin fouling up again?

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Any chance

> you want him sacked because it may have infringed some guidance

No. One wants him to be relieved of giving advice to [1] the Prime Minister, because of a demonstrable failure of judgement. He didn't say he "[went] for a drive with his family", because of what the PR people call 'optics'. Maybe that's why he ascribed the outing to being an eye test. <sfx>rimshot</sfx>. So, that's either a lie, or a demonstrable failure of judgement: "Jeez, I don't think I can see well enough to drive. Let's load up the wife and bairn, and take a trip to Barnard Castle to find out".

[1] Or operating the PM with his hand up Mr Johnson's back, depending on who you believe.

Have I Been Pwned breach report email pwned entire firm's helldesk ticket system

Jonathan Richards 1

Also an age-old observation:

HTML has NO PLACE in email. Icon refers ->

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

Jonathan Richards 1

OT - Did I miss something? 301 moved permanently??

The URL https://www.theregister.co.uk/Week has asked to redirect to https://www.theregister.com/Week [emphases added]

When did that happen? The .com incarnation still needs permissions to go back to regmedia.co.uk, though. Wossallthatthen?

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: This does work

You're just rehashing the principle of the Infinite Improbability Drive. Remember what happened to the chap who generated the first one? Lynched by a mob of physicists who couldn't stand a smart-arse :)

Jonathan Richards 1

Ritzy HQ, though

BioShield Distribution Ltd was incorporated in January 2020 [1]. Both directors list their correspondence address as 7 Albion Parade, London, England, N16 9LD, which was a rather unprepossessing newsagents emporium in Stoke Newington, that's been shuttered every time the Google Street View car has been past in the last dozen years.

[1] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/12411850/officers

Jonathan Richards 1

Allium spp

> Tears ran down my face ... they just started to flow

Onions, luv. Someone was peeling onions.

Actually, I can see where someone might pay shedloads for an obsolete bit of electronics loaded with pathological lies, and tears would begin to run down their face. Entirely predictable.

AR flop Magic Leap's 'pivot' spins CEO right off his throne

Jonathan Richards 1

The anagram has it:

Rony Abovitz: A biz on toy VR

Tech's Volkswagen moment? Trend Micro accused of cheating Microsoft driver QA by detecting test suite

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Petty or Pedant?

Or rather, "it is that upon which we thrive". You are welcome.

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

Jonathan Richards 1

Starting a war

> It would also be particularly stupid of the Argentinian military to assume that a major NATO military, that you were about to start a war with, wouldn't be spying on you

Ah, but the Argentinian state (led by a military junta) didn't think it was starting a war, because it was interpreting actions of the UK Foreign Office with respect to the Falkland Islands in a particular way, and thus thought there would be diplomatic protests, disputed declarations in the UN, yadda yadda, but that they'd end up with de facto sovereignty over Las Malvinas in addition to the de jure sovereignty that they claimed, and still claim to this day. Even the dimmest General (and you don't get promoted to General by being dim) would know that Argentina couldn't win a war with the UK.

And indeed, Argentina didn't lose one. As I've said before, it wasn't a war in 1982, it was (as ex-RAF Egghead & Boffin, above) correctly describes it, a "conflict", a military Operation codenamed Corporate by the UK MOD. 75 years after VE Day isn't a good time to forget the difference between limited military conflict and total war.

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

Jonathan Richards 1

Coronavirus kills cities

Well, novel infectious diseases in general might. I shall probably be going near London in the future, for family reasons, but what is becoming increasingly unclear to me is why London goes anywhere near London. Too many people paying way too much to live, travel, and work unhealthily too close to each other! Run away!!

Obvs, this isn't going to happen in a year, or a parliamentary term, but I wouldn't be surprised if big cities cease to grow, or even start to decline in population, over the next generation or two. The grand-sweep-of-human-history reason for cities is almost itself history.

Stop tracking me, Google: Austrian citizen files GDPR legal complaint over Android Advertising ID

Jonathan Richards 1

The clue is the name, Google

From TFA sub-head: "Google says it cannot identify a user from the ID"

It's an ID, isn't it? It IDENTIFIES (reduces count of possible identities to 1) a user. Just because Google can't match it to the user's legal name, SSN|NI number, post|zip code (it says...) does not mean that the user is any less identified with the advertising ID. If what they mean is they cannot de-anonymize the advertising ID, then (a) that's different and (b) I'm not sure I believe it.

Post-rant musing: I wonder what happens if I change my legal name to the same string as my Google Ad ID...?

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service

Jonathan Richards 1

Follow the money

Four million connected devices, you say. So if there's an average four devices per subscriber (possibly generous) Wink is immediately going from $0 annual subscription revenue to around $60,000,000 p.a. I'll let someone else tell me if that's reasonable for Wink's likely expenses, or a gouge.

There's a world out there with a hexagon vortex over its pole packed with hydrocarbon ice crystals. That planet is Saturn

Jonathan Richards 1


> not in such numbers nor as regularly spaced out

I think I don't get spaced out regularly enough.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Congratulations, Kieren

> solid legal controls ... a lot of commenters here wouldn't trust it anyway.

For the good and sufficient reason that "solid legal controls" is a contradiction in terms. Parliament can, has, does, and will change "solid legal controls" around citizens' rights any time that it wants to. I give you RIPA as a single instance.

Jonathan Richards 1
Big Brother

Transparency obscured

> more technical explanation...

>> https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/report/nhs-covid-19-app-privacy-security-report

"You need to enable JavaScript to run this app."

TB-L, where are you? Is this what you imagined??

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Jonathan Richards 1

Hammer out...

...something about danger, warning, and incest? It's been a long time...

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

Jonathan Richards 1

Western terminology

Am I imagining it, or did it not used to be the case that the cinematographic genre known as "Westerns" had a trope wherein villains wore black hats, and heroes white ones? I *definitely* remember that the Lone Ranger wore a white hat: it never seemed to get remotely grubby, either.

Keen to go _ExtInt? LLVM Clang compiler adds support for custom width integers

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Sounds like a good idea

> compressing alpha-numeric characters

That rang a bell, and nobody's doing anything useful, so I got off the shelf a 1980 diary which I used as a notebook during the subsequent year or so. On the page for 4 February I have hand-compiled a 31-byte routine for the MCS 6502 which unpacks 4 6-bit wide characters from a 3-byte package, and on the next page a 27-byte routine to do the reverse, saving 25% on RAM. I'm typing on a machine with 8,589,934,592 bytes of RAM, though, so I don't think I'll fire up the emulator to check my hand-coding!

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

Jonathan Richards 1

The fight below \040

> an effort ... by Tab Atkins Jr. ...to get rid of unnecessary commas ...

In the (61, 66, 139) corner, Tab vs. \054 in the (255,0,0) corner.

But is he a VT \013 or an HT \009?

Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Wow

Tidal lagoon hydro-electricity is using gravity. When you hold back the tide, the moon experiences that little bit more drag, and orbits a tiny fraction more slowly and further out.

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Theory?

> Apple attracts the Earth too....

I know, right? In happier times I've seen almost half of it queuing outside the store for the latest iBling.

We lost another good one: Mathematician John Conway loses Game of Life, taken by coronavirus at 82

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: See also xkcd 2293

...see also^2 http://smbc-comics.com/comic/life-2

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Jonathan Richards 1

Memory-mapped video?

I'm going so far out on a limb that you'll mistake me for a leaf... did the Amiga 4000 have memory-mapped video? I'm thinking of a mistargetted JSR in the disk handler that leaps into video memory and crashes, unless the pixels at a point in the clock app window give you a nice clean RTS. Or something. I'll get my coat...

If you don't cover your Docker daemon API port you'll have a hell of a time... because cryptocreeps are hunting for it

Jonathan Richards 1

Why is the d.sh provider still up? is in the range for a hosting provider in Canada. Why has it not been taken down if it's hosting something as clearly malicious as d.sh?

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: "and rather bury"

Oh, I thought you meant "or rather Bury"

Infosys fires employee who Facebooked 'let's hold hands and share coronavirus'

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Misfiring joke?

> trolling for his own amusement

Benign motive isn't a defence, though. It's like doing the 'bomb in my hand-luggage' "joke" at the airport. As you're taken away in cuffs, it's no good whining "Where's your sense of humour?"

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

Jonathan Richards 1

Spreadsheets of yore

> Excel, which by the 1990s was already well on its way to dominance

I had a soft spot for Quattro Pro for a long time. As I recall it came on a stack of a dozen or so 1.38MB floppy disks, so installing it was, umm, tedious, but well worth the effort.

"Quattro Pro - since sold to Corel and now part of WordPerfect Office - was a fabulous product, way ahead of its time. Certainly ahead of Microsoft's then-young Excel and Office.", quoth the Vulture [1]. Yep. What he said.

[1] Why Borland trashed its spreadsheet

What's that? Encryption's OK now? UK politicos Brexit from Whatsapp to Signal

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Surely the answer is watermarking

So, with a little effort I too can run the incriminating text which may or may not have yellow feathers [1] through a noddy neural network before forwarding it to the leakhole of my choice? Do you have a spec. for this NN, please?

Actually, one's natural language skills should be good enough to do such refactoring, it's probably quicker and less likely subtly to alter the meaning of the message.

[1] Canary, as in the unfortunate birds used to warn of low oxygen/high CO levels dahn t'pit.

Sussex Police gives up on £790k Gatwick drone shutdown probe

Jonathan Richards 1

A panoramic view

Would have been better if you'd used that one taken from 150' AGL...

Time for another cuppa then? Tea-drinkers have better brains, say boffins with even better brains

Jonathan Richards 1

Nah, that can't be right...

Four cups a week? The Brits drink a hundred million cups of tea each day, we should all be bloody geniuses. And yet from the front pages of the newspapers [2], that would seem not to be the case.

[1] https://www.tea.co.uk/tea-faqs

[2] And most of the ones inside, too.

Tut – you wait a lifetime for an interstellar object then two come at once

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: However, on a serious note

On a most serious note, we (as in you and I) won't see more and more of these over the next couple of hundred years even if there are more and more of them to see.

Icon---> Memento mori.

Sorry to spoil the mood... carry on!

Geo-boffins drill into dino-killing asteroid crater, discover extinction involves bad smells, chilly weather, no broadband internet...

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Fahrenheit?

> tables on the back of the "red exercise book"

If I hunt really quite hard among the debris of decades, I am almost certain that I can find a Ready Reckoner, which, I will explain for the uninitiated, is a printed volume which simply lists the multiples of values. This is invaluable if you wish to know the price of one and a half gross of pen nibs at a penny-three-farthings each with a delivery charge of thruppence to be added. No billing in guineas, mind.

Jonathan Richards 1

Ulterior motives

@Stork - that's a very dubious username for someone posting about butter... :)

Criminal mastermind signed name as 'Thief' on receipts after buying stuff with stolen card

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Signing credit card slips in the US of A

Yes, legislation is carefully written to be unambiguous and have a deterministic result. So far, like computer language, so good. But the legal code doesn't get repeatedly run through a test suite, it doesn't get alpha- or beta-tested, it doesn't get a phased roll-out, and in the only respect in which it still resembles computer code, people get hurt when it fails.

Barristers make a lot of money precisely because they can't be replaced with a parser and an I/O interface.

And you thought the cops were bad... Civil rights group warns of facial recog 'epidemic' across UK private sites

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: private ANPR too...with results fed to the police

ANPR isn't subject to the Data Protection Act provisions, though, because vehicles aren't living persons.

Jonathan Richards 1

Re: Hypocratic oath for maths and tech

> it is the VCs and business types ...

They're only pushing what they can buy from technically and mathematically capable practitioners. As Dr Fry says, ethics are taught alongside medicine throughout, whereas they're bolted on to a mathematician's skillset as an afterthought, if at all.

An Army Watchkeeper drone tried to land. Then meatbags took over from the computers

Jonathan Richards 1


> The MoD refused to supply The Register with a copy of the same report.

Note that the MoD publishes all the information which it supplies in response to FOI requests, though it seems to be delayed by about a month: FOI responses released by the Ministry of Defence: 2019 [gov.uk]



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