* Posts by Paul 87

209 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


Apple Vision Pro units returned as folks just can't see themselves using it

Paul 87

Unsurprised at the feedback, the idea that wearing your monitor on your head will improve things isn't enough for the majority of use cases.

What I'd like to see is some of the technologies used moved into markets where having information directly at hand is critical.

For example, A&E, being able to call (with prior consent) someone's medical records, their current observations, and intelligent warnings about someone's condition could offer a big help.

Another area would be car windscreens, merging in some of the self driving car's sensors into a HUD to improve road and hazard visibility, particularly at night when the glare of oncoming headlights can make it difficult.

AR and VR technologies definitely need to stop and think about the use cases before they release and develop the hardware, it's not enough to release hardware and hope someone invests time into it

Billions lost to fraud and error during UK's pandemic spending spree

Paul 87

Said it before and I'll say it again, the governments need to define data standards for records, health data, education data, welfare data, etc. all needs to have a common data standard that's flexible to cope with future changes, but robust enough to survive long periods without the standard being updated.

If they did that, then all the software companies wanting to tender for government business would have to work off the same approach when it comes to data interchange.

Microsoft's Notepad goes from simple text editor to Copilot conspirator

Paul 87

It's bad enough they've screwed up Notepad to give it a "memory" and tabs, and now they want to cram bloatware into what is a necessary tool for handling basic logs?

Utterly stupid decision making

All they had to do was to create a *new* application with these features instead.

Dems and Repubs agree on something – a law to tackle unauthorized NSFW deepfakes

Paul 87

The law's not going to achieve a lot because you really have to target the toolmakers and regulate them to ensure that their products can generate "random" porn, but that it doesn't support "undressing" of uploaded photos and doesn't accept prompts that relate to real-world people.

Same for targeting the companies that host the material, make it difficult and expensive to host the material, require ID checks for uploaders etc.

No law will put the genie back in the bottle but you can make it as hard as possible for people to hurt others in this way.

Leaked email: Unit4 ERP system leaves some school staff with 'nil pay'

Paul 87

IT service providers need to start carrying financial penalties as well for any software screwups, even if they're end-user driven ones. It'll reduce the likelyhood that anyone gets to "go live" without appropriate system testing, including potentially dual-entry and ensuring that the new software is actually fit for purpose, and that staff understand what the new system does and why.

Too many of these systems go into companies and local authorities without either side understanding each other.

Akira ransomware gang says it stole passport scans from Lush in 110 GB data heist

Paul 87

It's amazing how many companies are diligently taking cybersecurity very seriously immediately after an attack.

X's 2024 plans include peer-to-peer payments in app push

Paul 87

It means that the adverts support all levels of the marketing funnel from the broad "raise awareness" starting point, through interest, desire, action, loyalty and finally advocacy.

The idea being that a fully integrated advertising platform would let you get a message out to millions, identify the hundreds of thousands who show an interest, identify the tens of thousands who have a desire, track them to your store to find the thousands who make an action to purchase, track the hundreds who are loyal to the brand, and finally identify the tens of people who are advocating for your product or brand.

Ransomware payment ban: Wrong idea at the wrong time

Paul 87

Makes you wonder if we shouldn't re-assess the global nature of the Internet and remove certain countries from it entirely.

Sure, spies and the like can try and get around this, work from other states etc. but would a country really risk being cut off by hosting such people voluntarily?

What the AI copyright fights are truly about: Human labor versus endless machines

Paul 87

The irony being that many news outlets will use a news wire source like Reuters for a lot of their content, often copy and pasting the articles automatically or quoted large swathes.

Thus scrapped content from the site *will* seem similar if it's been taken from another source using the same news wire.

Google to start third-party cookie cull for 30 million Chrome users

Paul 87

Targeted advertising will only satisfy privacy concerns when you chose your own boxes to be put into via an active mechanism.

If you chose no boxes, then you get whatever random ads are thrown up.

Advertisers need to agree a gold standard of categorisation for adverts so that tools can be developed by any and all companies as required.

And to encourage people to categorise themselves (or accept infered categorisation), then offer cashback rewards in the same way as "loyalty" cards do.

How thermal management is changing in the age of the kilowatt chip

Paul 87

The next big breakthrough will be figure out how to make effecient thermo-electric materials and layer those into the process, so that the waste heat can be drawn off and used to offset the power bill, or potentially have components that power up as it gets hotter.

Is it time for 6G already? Traffic analysis says yep

Paul 87

They'd be better off working out how to take all the legacy equipment and optimise it's use. Could all that 3G gear be repurposed to ensure that low bandwidth traffic like SMS and Push notifications for OTP are routed via the legacy equipement which is more than capable of supporting them, whilst the more intensive content is routed via the 4G or 5G network as appropriate.

It wouldn't be impossible to have a device or chipset which load balanced the traffic appropriately over the correct network option.

HMRC launches £500M procurement for new ERP, though project's already a 'red' risk

Paul 87

Having worked with for an SME ERP software developer for the past decade and a half, I can safely say that this project will fail as I guarentee that there will be too many "key decision makers" who will block things that they don't like, and hold differing views to their equivilents in the other departments.

It's hard enough to get a company of 20 people to agree, but on this scale? It's impossible.

They'd be better off using discrete solutions and agree a data reporting standard, so that performance figures can be compared and shared easily.

Kraft Heinz suggests we simmer down about Snatch ransomware attack claims

Paul 87

I am suddenly back in the 90's Yahoo chatrooms "got any Grey Poupon"

Curse you memory!! curse you!!

China's first undersea datacenter sinks – as planned

Paul 87

Imagine a "Money Lock" account in the UK?

Not only is it nearly impossible to find a bank branch within 30 miles these days, you turn up and some little beauracratic tinpot dictator will decide that *these* particular bills aren't valid, as they're not paper copies, and that your ID is invalid as it doesn't really look like you.

Mid-contract telco price hikes must end, Ofcom told

Paul 87

A good rule of thumb for fair contract law is "would a multi-national corporation buy on those terms"

The answer is, no, no they wouldn't, thus mid-contract rises have to go away.

Which in turn means that we need to have two seperate contracts.

1) A repayment agreement for the handset cost

2) A service contract that lasts a fixed period of time with no price rises.

Start making everything clearer for the consumer, and also, start giving an actual APR for handset loans, so people can compare them against other forms of credit.

Millions of smart meters will brick it when 2G and 3G turns off

Paul 87

Who'd have thought?

The government and civil servants responsible for making the policy document were entirely incapable of predicting the future, nor accurately assessing the time to complete the rollout of a project in an area where they have next to no experience. Never saw the point of smart meters, never wanted one, will always resist having one. After all, why on earth put something on the public internet for the sake of a tiny bit of data sharing?

Chances are high that this was high level corruption, boost shareholders values in various companies by pretending to give a damn about something.

EFF urges Chrome users to get out of the Privacy Sandbox

Paul 87

It's not hard, instead of infering what people might want, ask them. Offer them reward points for being matched against advertisers terms. Offer them the option to add what your analytical engines guess, but to ignore some bits.

Millions will sign up willingly, and those that don't will just have to put up with irrelvant stuff.

Local governments aren't businesses – so why are they force-fed business software?

Paul 87

Said it before, and I'll say it again, governments both national and local need a common data standard that'll let software vendors write compatible software. Coupled with a common processing langauge that'll let data be transformed and move around.

Whether it's health records, HR notes, social worker's case notes, police records etc. People designing software rarely have the relevant experience to write good structured data. Thus the structure needs to come from the people who do know.

Toyota servers ran out of storage, crashed production at 14 plants in Japan

Paul 87

Re: Lost in Translation?

Working for an ERP software developer, the main reason you do this isn't to recover the information, it's because an update is far faster than a delete action, thus for the most part you update the record to hide it when a user deletes things, and then later on run maintainance to clear out the fragments when it's quiet.

Not to mention can you imagine the mess the indicies would get into if you had users deleting records constnatly during the working day?

OpenAI calls for tough regulation of AI while quietly seeking less of it

Paul 87

You'd think a starting point would be to apply steganography to all AI images and text, so that they can be clearly identified as such on any tool that's publically accessible.

UK smart meter rollout years late and less than two thirds complete

Paul 87

I wonder if they've worked out that a lot of people don't *want* smart meters?

Why do we need a meter that can be disabled via a computer, that's part of a hackable network using relatively insecure, outdated protocols (GSM / SMS)

Has no one worked out yet that Russia has spent *decades* building up their cyberwarfare capabilities for this kind of reason??

Parts of UK booted offline as Virgin Media suffers massive broadband outage

Paul 87

And it's gone down again in the past hour.

Funny how this occurs in the day the bills have gone up around 15% and when their VoIP service is due to start being used heavily ..

UK consortium set to bid for £480 million NHS data platform

Paul 87

Ironically health records may actually be a good use of blockchain technology, if it can have strong access control restrictions

Bank of England won't call it Britcoin but says digital pound 'likely to be needed in future'

Paul 87

Ultimately a digital currency will need a "credit stick", a physical device that holds a balance.

It might be an app on your smartphone, or it might be a seperate physical device.

Games Workshop once again battles scariest monster of all: ERP gone wrong

Paul 87

It'll be the same problems that afflicts many organisations implementing ERP, each department will have it's own requirements that either contradict other departments or pulls the implementation team in too many directions.

It's almost certain that most of the time has been wasted focusing on integrating legacy technology, so that the new technology can come online for one department, without the other departments shifting because they're not "ready" yet.

University students recruit AI to write essays for them. Now what?

Paul 87

Saw a good use for ChatGPT via Twitter

Someone ran a landscape gardening business, but was dylsexic, and often losing out to others based purely on how their written work was percieved.

The person behind the Twitter account, helped them setup a routine whereby they could send an email, ChatGPT read it and re-wrote it out, and then sent a reply back to deliver a more professional sounding email.

That's the kind of good that this kind of AI can be used for, not for original thought, but by helping present those thoughts more coherently.

As liquid cooling takes off in the datacenter, fortune favors the brave

Paul 87

There must also come a point whereby it makes sense to fit a power generation or building heating system into the cooling loop, particularly if you don't just balance the waste heat over the datacentre, but combine it with the entire building (with emergancy area isolation!)

After all, we can use heat energy in a variety of ways, and convert it back to electricity, especially if there's a fluid medium involved.

Inadequate IT partly to blame for NHS doctors losing 13.5 million working hours

Paul 87

It's not hard

Standardise the structure of health records, and fund a migration plan involving a few thousand staff to update records into the new format

Doctors call for greater scrutiny of bidders for platform that pools UK's health info

Paul 87

As usual the NHS is approaching this arse about face

They shouldn't be focusing on a single vendor, they should be creating a single standard, akin to an IETF RFC, for data records and let individual companies then produce software that's compatible with the default record standard.

That standard should include an access control approach to allow data sharing to be controlled by the data subject, and a mandatory API/Reporting approach that lets the data be shared subject to the control restrictions.

With a single gold standard for the data, the systems can grow and evolve over time, but also be incredibly clear about what can and cannot be ascertained from the data.

General Motors charges mandatory $1,500 fee for three years of optional car features

Paul 87

The worrying part will be that once this is accepted, the next part will be that you're unable to sell the care on to anyone, without paying the dealer "administration fees" to transfer the software licence, or even be unable to transfer it at all.

Apple may have to cough up $1bn to Brits in latest iPhone Batterygate claim

Paul 87

This is why engineers shouldn't decide new features....

... the engineers undoubtedly decided on this feature being necesscary, to solve a percieved problem and went about solving it in a practical, common sense way.

Unfortunately no one took the time to ask a 5 year old how people would feel about this, who would have told them to put in an on/off switch for the feature, and deployed it turned off with lots of hype about how the battery saver feature has been added to iOS to help owners of older phones get more lifespan out of their battery.

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP

Paul 87

The people upgrading to Windows 11 amongst our customer base (SME B2B item sellers) are typically the less technically savvy who just click yes to every update prompt.

It's a real pain in the arse for us because so many things have moved around or are a lot more difficult to find.

Microsoft slides ads into Windows Insiders' File Explorer

Paul 87

Killing off their own golden goose

They're actively sabotaging their own core revenue with this.

Enterprise and business customers won't stand for "features" which hamper employee productivity or open security risks and if they get discouraged enough Google is waiting right there to snap them up, and you bet Amazon will be considering ways to run Desktops in the Cloud for business with the appropriate "dumb terminal" approach

UK pins hopes on 'latest technology' to whittle down massive National Health Service waiting lists

Paul 87

Re: Paying and using student nurses

Yup exactly this

At one point people were *paid* to train to be nurses, to encourage people who might not have the money and opportunity to study to learn a lifetime profession.

Yes, a lot left to go into private care but that's not hard to stop simply enforce a contract that if you fail to complete the training, or if you don't work for X years for an NHS Trust after completion then you owe the money back like any other student.

On top of that, strip out a layer of management

Get some software designed based on what frontline staff *need* to record, and not what the government *wants* them to record

Put back the missing layer of admin staff so nurses can focus on patient care

APNIC: Big Tech's use of carrier-grade NAT is holding back internet innovation

Paul 87

By far the biggest headache with IPv6 is that they stop being easy for human's to read and comprehend

An experienced network engineer can look at the issued IPv4 ranges on a PC and work out why they may be having issues accessing the internet / network resources / VPN etc.

To do the same on IPv6 takes a lot more knowledge and understanding, if it's even possible at all

Therefore, pain in the arse to switch over.

A fifth of England's NHS trusts are mostly paper-based as they grapple with COVID backlog, warn MPs

Paul 87

It'd be brilliant if this time around, someone started by asking the staff what they *need*, things that they need to save time on. Don't even start with asking them to think about what's possible for "technology" to do, find out what takes the time and then analyse what can actually be streamlined with off the shelf solutions, and what may need custom solutions.

There's lots of *ideas* on what may help, but until you talk to the people doing the work, and test whether your solution actually saves time, then you don't know what'd work.

Microsoft extends 'outage mode' for Azure Active Directory to bake more resilience into cloudy services

Paul 87

No idea why there isn't more effort put into a hybrid model or decentralized model, heck it could even be an actual, valid real world use for blockchain.

Sharing medical records with researchers: Assumed consent works in theory – just not yet in practice

Paul 87

The practice of assumed consent could work if the data was truely anonymous, as in providing grouped results only and no individual lines of data.

However, that means medical researchers have to know what questions that they want to ask, and someone will have to constantly process those requests. Even then, that also means that in the very act of gathering and centralising that data, there's the likelyhood that someone will leak it or hack into the system.

Thus, I am unconvinced that any approach to gather data into a single place is a good idea, and would personally be far happier if my medical record was something I, personally, kept with me and took to appointments.

Microsoft says Azure fended off what might just be the world's biggest-ever DDoS attack

Paul 87

Well our North European based instances haven't been able to be accessed until around 12pm today, so as for "fending off" I'm not entirely convinced that it's been working as planned....

Ex-health secretary said 'vast majority' were 'onside' with GP data grab. Consumer champion Which? reckons 20 million don't even know what it is

Paul 87

It's really not hard

If the government thinks people are as aware as they should be, then switch it around to an "Opt In" approach

Tell people the positives of the scheme, let them *chose* to take action.

Oh, what's that? You don't think many people will bother

Well what on earth does that tell you about your stupid scheme huh??

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points

Paul 87

Car Park Owners are missing out

I'm surprised NCP and the other large carpark owners haven't planned ahead.

They could literally get paid twice for people to park, once for the car park charges, and once for the EV top-up.

Even if they only fitted all the spaces on the edge of the carpark, where it'd be easier to run the cables, they could very easily move to dominate the charging market.

Cyberlaw experts: Take back control. No, we're not talking about Brexit. It's Automated Lane Keeping Systems

Paul 87

Re: "restricted to motorways and to speeds of 37mph"

Yes, it's exactly this kind of scenario that automated driving technologies will be most useful.

However to fully function, all the vehicles need it, and ideally you need some form of central control to monitor and make decisions based on all the vehicles.

Mounties messed up by using Clearview AI, says Canadian Privacy Commissioner

Paul 87

"In response, Clearview AI told The Register that it does not have contracts with, nor provide access to, customers in the European Union."

This is not the defence you think it is Clearview AI

GDPR says do not process the data, not "don't then sell it back to European customers"

Crap like this is why I do not have any pictures of me online, tagged with my identity. Saw it coming 25+ years ago and haven't changed my practices since.

Nvidia cripples Ethereum mining on GeForce RTX 3060 to deter crypto bods from nabbing all the kit at launch

Paul 87

Makes you think though

If they can do this, what other things can they have done with framerates or "tests" on specific games / test suites to manipulate the output?

Judge denies Parler an injunction to force AWS to host the antisocial network for internet outcasts

Paul 87

Re: Censorship by Private Companies

It's an interesting point to consider

Should governments be reliant on corporations to make decisions about what does, and does not constitute an acceptable use of their platforms?

Current thinking trends towards lax regulation in the name of free enterprise, and as such the same rules which allow corporations to trade without government interference, support that they are also free to choose to take down content that they deem damaging to their brand.

There's also an arguement that stock exchange listed corporations are legally required to protect their brand, as they must work to maximise shareholder value and return, so again the free market mandates that socially popular actions are taken.

Finally it highlights that Freedom of Action is never the same as Freedom from Consequence, Parler deliberately chose to embrace people active in the far-right and deliberately made policies designed to support and encourage hate speech against other groups. By chosing not to have an effective, scalable moderation policy and by not clamping down on known problem speakers in their early days, they sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Paul 87

Have two like this!

The first features a lovely young lady from another country, now English wasn't her first langauge but she usually managed pretty well with most words. One day she takes a call into the support line where there were some S.M.A.R.T. error messages appearing on a client's computer, so she dutifully logs the call and passed it down to the relevant team to handle.

Within minutes the Hardware Manager is on the phone to her and asks her to open the ticket and re-read what she'd put

"Client has a hard d*ck failure" she'd typed in error

As she does so, the Hardware manager quips "well love you'd be better off handling that one than me" (he was a dirty old bastard too!)


The second one is tamer, having to talk a developer out of their chosen abbreviation for Cumulative Totals was well, a rather more lengthy discussion than I'd anticipated. He swore up and down that no one would read it that way and my arguement was that as part of the customer facing team, who had to train the user on the feature there was no way I was reading out Cum budget and Cum totals on an open call!

Eventually they relented!

HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

Paul 87

Well looks like it's time to stop selling HP printers

This will be a huge hassle for businesses and is a stupid idea to boot because it says that HP can't actually manufacture at a sensible price, and thus charge over the odds compared to smaller businesses.

North Korean hackers pwned cryptocurrency sysadmin with GDPR-themed LinkedIn lure, says F-Secure

Paul 87

2020 and people are *still* getting hurt by Word Macro viruses....

Anyone else think that Word should have the feature removed entirely? No need for a doc to be anything other than formatted text

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Paul 87

Spot the Mozilla paid shill! :)