* Posts by Peter2

2480 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Japan makes online insults a crime that can earn a year in jail

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: running around threatening your betters with a sword

Wearing swords in public as a fashion was popular in the 17th century, but shortly after the turn of the 18th century Bath banned people from carrying swords within in the city limits and other fashionable society spots at the time followed suit, so over the course of the 18th century the fashion for wearing a sword died off so 1830 would have been quite long after it was commonplace.

As noted, there was a brief revival in the early 19th century during the Napoleonic wars when the country was threatened with invasion. (1800-1805) The custom was fairly limited, and it didn't even last the length of the Napoleonic wars. It was definitely very dead after it.

Hence if you saw a sword being carried in 1805 at the age of 15, then by 1830 when the met police force was formed for London then you'd have been 35, and 55 by the time you got a police force out in the country.

The average life expectancy in 1800 was ~36, just for general reference.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: running around threatening your betters with a sword

Police? What is this modern concept you refer to? (The first police to exist was 1830 and only covered London. This was also long after wearing swords had fell out of fashion since the Napoleonic wars ended ~1815.)

Prior to that, the upkeep of law and order was the job of a Magistrate, usually a minor member of the local gentry, who would put a town watch in place so he didn't have to personally wander the streets at all hours in search of miscreants, such as for instance people wandering around the streets armed without lawful purpose.

Wandering around armed and making people nervous of you? Look up "footpad". That's how you'd have been seen at the time, and you'd be dealt with as such.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: I approve

It's only just over a couple of hundred years since men in England mostly wore swords around town so they could stick anyone who annoyed them enough.

Wearing swords was fashionable just over 200 years ago to demonstrate how patriotic you were, and suggest just how ready you were to leap into battle with the French who were being stopped from invading at the time only by the Royal Navy blockade of the invasion fleet.

Contrary to popular belief, people did not just get insulted and whip out a sword and go for somebody. That would have been considerably more socially unacceptable 200 years ago than doing so would be today, and would have met with far more of an immediate and adverse response than is readily comprehensible today.

Today in the UK you'd get dozens of police try and arrest you without hurting you. The Police Standards people would worry about having deployed batons or tasers and the courts might give them maybe a year in prison if that.

Then? They'd kill you. The town watch would say "uh, no." and call out the militia, yeomanry or army and you have been hunted down and summarily killed like a dangerous animal at the slightest resistance, and "yeah, we shot him with a few .70 calibre musket balls" would have been perfectly accepted by everybody involved without question. If you surrendered? They'd be a trial, they'd be sentenced to death and hung. Being out at night with a blackened face was punishable by death, let alone running around threatening your betters with a sword.

You'd have ended up buried in an unmarked and unconsecrated grave as a symbol that even the Church and God who would nominally forgive anything wanted nothing to do with you. You'd forfeited the Church's protection both in this world and the next; being left to face God (or the Devil) alone. To people who believed in both, that was rather a big thing. This si why they didn't have much of a problem with mass

If you were challenging somebody to a duel as a result of some form of mortal insult then you also didn't whip out swords and go for it, you appointed a friend to enquire of one of his friends if he wished to make a public apology and withdraw his insulting remarks etc or if it needed to make some form of challenge, with lots of back and forth about discussing the finer points of exactly what form of apology needed to be made.

Long before duelling was eradicated (and duelling was never legally accepted; killing somebody was still murder) the "some form of challenge" had been supplemented with the libel laws we have today, which is why even today admitting that you were wrong and apologising at an early stage makes it effectively impossible to sue you.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: I approve

People on the Internet say things they would never dare saying face-to-face. Maybe that's something for the psychiatrists, I don't know, but it is time to clamp down on that.

Because if they said it face to face then they'd run the list of loosing their teeth, or getting a good slapping, as well as becoming a social pariah.

If they say it online (especially anonymous) then they have total freedom of consequences.

Removing the total freedom of consequences is not a bad thing.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: I approve

Insulting by definition would be deliberately attempting to reduce somebodies sense of self worth.

If your "jokes" can be shown to be amusing to a court then i'm sure that they'd take them in the spirit they were intended. In any case, adding a prison sentence to the list of available punishments doesn't mean that you will end up in prison. In the UK you'd get a fine and community service on the first offense, a fine and a suspended sentence on the second offence and then in prison on the third.

Unless somebody does something like bullying somebody to the point they commit suicide, at which point they'd probably end up in jail on the first offence. But since your just "joking" then there is no chance of this, is there?

And we'd still have freedom of speech. What you wouldn't have is freedom from consequences.

SpaceX reportedly fires staffers behind open letter criticising Elon Musk

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Cult

Never publicly insult a thin skinned boss with a propensity for having temper tantrums?

Threat of cross-border data tariffs looms over WTO

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: "taxing e-commerce the same way that [..] physical goods traded internationally"

Nobody particuarly likes paying taxes, but they do pay for police stopping people digging cables up to sell for scrap, and schools, hospitals etc.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: "taxing e-commerce the same way that [..] physical goods traded internationally"

I suspect that the issue comes down to Microsoft stating that everybody in the world will no longer own licenses, but will pay a monthly rental to Microsoft 365 so the local company South African company that was selling the licenses and paying tax has ceased to exist in favour of paying Microsoft USA sums of money constantly.

Similar with Netflix subscriptions displacing retail CD/DVD sales and presumably countless other examples that have moved to a subscription basis.

I can see why taxing those sort of constant ongoing revenue streams would be attractive and I also can't see a reason why companies shouldn't pay reasonable taxes where the users are based, although I can see that they will scream blue murder about being required to do so.

Intel details advances to make upcoming chips faster, less costly

Peter2 Silver badge

Ok, they aren't comparable metrics.

This is; Intel is incapable of matching the deployment of new processes that TSMC is routinely rolling out.

Even if you buy the "Intel 4" marketing of their 7nm process "Intel 4" is going to be available in sample levels after TSMC's 3nm process is available in volume according to the roadmaps of both. By the time Intel is deploying that in volume, TSMC and their customers like AMD will have already deployed their 3nm enhanced.

TSMC has a good track record of making conservative guesses on their roadmap and delivering early for their customers; Intel has a good track record of over promising and delivering late.

By the time "Intel 3" which is supposed to counter TSMC's 3nm process is available in any quantity then TSMC is going to be rolling out their 2nm process. And Intel 3 is going to be equivalent to TSMC's 3nm; not 3nmE which will have then been in volume production for a year and a half at that point.

According to Intel's roadmap, they aren't going to be deploying anything equivalent to TSMC's processes in the next 5 years.

Peter2 Silver badge

It's worse than that.

https://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/logic/l_3nm

TSMC’s 3nm technology (N3) will be another full node stride from our 5nm technology (N5), and offer the most advanced foundry technology in both PPA and transistor technology when it is introduced. N3 technology will offer up to 70% logic density gain, up to 15% speed improvement at the same power and up to 30% power reduction at the same speed as compared with N5 technology. N3 technology development is on track with good progress. N3 technology will offer complete platform support for both mobile and HPC applications, which is expected to receive multiple customer product tape-outs in 2021. In addition, volume production is targeted in second half of 2022.

So AMD is potentially capable of deploying 3nm chips from second half 2022; ie within the next few months, well before Intel deploys their 7nm process. Personally, i'd hold those back and deploy them in volume the day that Intel produces a comparable product to the existing lineup.

Either Intel gets their processes working, or they are going to be forced to go to TSMC so they are able to compete, which would mean competing on chip design instead of manufacturing process.

That's be disastrous for Intel; they have a terrible track record of managing that since the days when the AM386 chips turned out the same level of performance as the Intel 486.

DARPA wants to refuel drones in flight – wirelessly

Peter2 Silver badge

Those two combine for DARPA's third requirement, that all the bits needed to build its airborne power zapper be at least at a tech readiness level of 6 or higher, meaning the components have been demonstrated successfully in a relevant environment.

Which means that somebody already has the hardware and offered it as a potential solution, but DARPA can't just give that company the contract without doing a public tender?

Whatever you do, don't show initiative if you value your job

Peter2 Silver badge
Meh

Re: "So was James truly the guilty party?"

Most didn't need write access to %program files%.

What they needed was for the user to be given write access to %program files%/ApplicationName/tempfile.tmp or C:/Temp/tempfile.tmp.

And yes, they should have been writing to %temp%, however even today half the people out there write to C:/Windows/Temp rather than just using the %temp% variable.

TSMC and China: Mutually assured destruction now measured in nanometers, not megatons

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: When did Scorched Earth ever work?

Scorched Earth worked very successfully against the French at the Lines of Torres Vedras in 1810, because the French Army of the time didn't bring any food with them, relying on stealing it from the locals.

Spotting the obvious issue with this approach, Wellington built a set of defensive lines that would force the French to lay siege to them and then systematically evacuated everybody (and their food) to behind the lines. This resulted in ~25k French soldiers starving to death, and the 30k starving survivors that staggered back to Spain were finished as an Army, which ultimately let Wellington push them back out of Spain into France.

The Emperor Alexander copied Wellingtons basic strategy on a much larger scale, with the addition of using profusive numbers of Russian cavalry to prevent small detachments from spreading out in combination with major battles. It didn't quite go to plan; the French took Moscow expecting the Russians to surrender, and were a bit surprised when the Russians simply pulled back and waited for them to starve. The French lost about half a millionish men; nobody really knows how many died. (including the French, as their record keeping was on a par with their logistics)

Amusingly, when the British army invaded France the (French) locals hid their food from their own army who would take it without compensation, and then sold it to the British army. See the moral of the story? Relying upon theft can end up going very badly. See Ukraine and Russia's invasion thereof.

Taiwan being ready to blow it's own fabs to bits has a deterrent effect, in that if China's only reason for invading is to invade and steal a small number of high value things, then having a plan for blowing the high value things to bits would remove any benefit to be had from invading, and so might have more of a military benefit to preventing an invasion than the potential number of people that might be killed. (Since the Chinese leaders may do a Putin, and not care about how many bodies the invasion generates if they win)

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: The charger numbers seem a bit low.

There are a handful of sites that are worthwhile in the UK, all of which ended up having baths built on them, such as um, Bath. That site is a world heritiage site, and grade "totally untouchable" listed, as are every single other sensible option in the UK.

Which matters very little, since you might get a few dozen megawatts out of all of them if you were lucky, and we need around a thousand times that.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: In other words...

Unless they're planning on banning the sale of actual petrol and diesel, it seems far more likely to me that this is just going to create massive upward pressure on used ICE vehicles.

Which use the same batteries as used in most IT equipment, which after a thousand full charge/discharge cycles lose the substantial majority of their capacity. And strangely, the price of a second hand battery replacement is £6k - £7.5k on ebay at the moment which would appear to make a second hand EV needing a battery replacement a liability rather than an asset; You can get very nice used cars for ~£2k needing nothing but fuel.

Looking for the prices of EV batteries on eBay is perhaps a bit unscientific, but it's more accurate than any figures that will be provided by the manufacturers, and I have no faith that 20 years down the line the manufacturer will be making and selling the spare parts for their EV's at anything like a sensible price. (if at all)

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: And the UK ?

And during the same time period, we're expecting to decommission gas heating, gas cooking as well as switching to electric vehicles.

It's a good job that none of these things are going to consume any electricity. It's really fortunate, since as we aren't building enough generation capacity to replace the 1970's nuclear & coal plants being decommissioned over the next few years, if we did expect to transfer all of this to the national grid then demand would exceed supply hugely and this would cause prices to spike.

Fortunately, that's not going to happen.

:/

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus

Peter2 Silver badge

The average IQ is about 100; and one half the population is below average intelligence.

Now were they being stupid hanging onto a slow inefficient and deliberately time wasting process, or intelligent because following this procedure kept them busy and employed?

Peter2 Silver badge

Ever found yourself dispensing training when you assumed surely none was needed?

Passing through our office enroute to somewhere else, I noticed a user adding up columns in excel line by line with a calculator and typing the totals at the bottom..

Unable to stand watching this, I educated the user on how =sum worked in Excel, which was met with total amazement and a comment that all he then had to do was add the VAT etc. I promptly did another column with=sum(cell*$vat) calculating the VAT and then another one with the totals, with a grand total at the bottom, and I saved a blank template for him.

Apparently, this was passed around the team and saved a unbelievably absurd number of hours work adding everything up manually, then having it checked by different people and signed off before being passed to the accounts department who then did their own checks because errors were still slipping through.

China 'must seize TSMC' if the US were to impose sanctions

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Smart investment

It's moves beyond "deeply unwise" to outright idiotic. ;)

However, while the service sector gets a lot of PR, people lose sight of the fact that Britain is the 5th largest economy in the world, and the 9th largest manufacturer in the world.

This is mostly because of a strong pound which encourages imports and makes other countries buying our own products (in many cases) uncompetitively expensive.

Peter2 Silver badge

I take it that you've been reading 1421?

You might want to cast your eye over this:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Menzies

Tweaks to IPv4 could free up 'hundreds of millions of addresses'

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Please don't give the US cable companies more ideas.

Have you ever looked at how much it would cost to dig a trench between the exchange and every house and run and terminate fibre to every house?

I have done this properly once, for putting a FTTP line in. The cost was eyewatering and unaffordable even by business standards. Copper cables are here to stay for a very, very long time simply due to the economics unless somebody comes up with a cheap way of installing FTTP.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Party Line

Webservers, offices, houses etc already share IP's.

UK opens up 'high-potential individual route' for tech worker immigration

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: High Tech, High Wage Economy ?

It's hardly surprising. When the education sector became an industry that the end user was paying for it became somewhere between "easier" to "inevitable" that people could and would decato buy better grades, if only because people want to go to the place that stands the best chance of obtaining the best grade at the lowest cost.

I would suggest that the number of talented people out there remains the same despite the shortcomings of the education system; an educated idiot remains an idiot at the end of their education, just with a greater knowledgebase.

Given that the internet has obliterated even the barriers of the printing press (ie; the cost of books containing knowledge) which the Victorians had tried to work around by creating public libraries, a huge number of people now have access to the materials to educate themselves, and some have even used this rather than watching cute kitten videos &c.

Many people have educated themselves in particular subjects, often to a considerably higher standard over the course of decades than universities could possibly aspire to impart in a couple of years, and yet on paper are utterly unqualified.

The crying need of the 21st century is a system to recognise and certify the knowledge of these people, and I hope you'll forgive me if I suggest that arguments about the qualitive output of two year courses from 10th and 11th century universities appears somewhat academic to the majority of us.

Peter2 Silver badge

When it comes to attracting suitable talent to the UK, I see no sense in limiting the candidate pool to a few select universities.

It's not. There's already a points based system in place and it's set up so that anybody with a specific job offer being paid more than the industry average wage will get in, but they had to pay for the visa up front, as well as a "healthcare surcharge" which is obviously there to remove the possibility of freeloading on the NHS.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-know#skilled-workers

Presumably this new avenue eliminates the requirement for the specific job offer, on the not unreasonable expectation that anybody from a handful of top level universities will be paid more than the average industry wage anyway.

I'm not really sure whom (other than major employers) wants the requirement for "must be paid more than the average industry wage" to be deleted more generally, since it would simply enable employers to force our wages down.

Logitech's MX Mechanical keyboard, Master 3S mouse

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: eh?!

This is being typed on one of those ancient IBM Model M's, which is still working perfectly after thirty something years and eight? different computers since the 8086? it came with.

I'm not in the market for a new mechanical keyboard, but I can't help but notice that people in the comments above mention owning more than one above; which presumably is because they either died or were crap enough to warrant replacing with something else.

Would you give up a working model M in those circumstances?

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Corporate user?

Those will probably be the ones supplied with the desktop PC.

IBM ordered to pay $1.6b to BMC

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: IBM vs the world

Well, yes.

Have you ever met a salesdroid who's actually turned around and said "that bit of equipment is perfectly fine and has decades of life in it" instead of trying to flog you a replacement for it?

Salesdroids get paid by commission, not by acting in your best interests.

Zero-day vuln in Microsoft Office: 'Follina' will work even when macros are disabled

Peter2 Silver badge

And so for those of us who actually have to manage sizable desktop estates, eyeing up the options in the admx extensions to extend group policy to cover office, this option stands out:-

https://admx.help/?Category=Office2016&Policy=word16.Office.Microsoft.Policies.Windows::L_WebPages

Would blocking opening HTML in word then defang this attack using existing readily available tools if the attack path is opening an HTML file with malicious code in it?

BOFH: Where do you think you are going with that toner cartridge?

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: HP Laserjet 5

The other thing is that people put high grade network devices capable of monthly usage cycles of 200k sheets in a home office where they print <200 pages per year and then praise the quality and longevity of the old equipment.

Well yes, unsurprisingly it lasts quite well in that environment. ;)

Peter2 Silver badge

I think that somebody figured that they'd barely make the money back on the equipment on the minimum monthly payments, and with it being somewhere inaccessible and unconnected there was no prospect of it being used or any support calls being made leaving them with no prospect but just paying the lease payments, and being left with an old and near worthless MFD at the end of the contract.

Evidentially somebody decided that they could make more by flogging it to somebody (or anybody) else.

Peter2 Silver badge

Faced with this, I not only turned the machines off but put them in a service area on a floor of the building inaccessible to mere mortals who didn't have a key for the extra level in the elevator, courtesy of the landlords sympathetic site sparky.

When an engineer turned up to service them and realised what I was doing they offered to let us finish the contract early with no penalty so they could lumber somebody else with them.

We've never even built datacenters using robots here on Earth

Peter2 Silver badge

CD, DVD and Blu ray only really existed as mainstream technologies because they solved problems acceptably well, and reasonably cheaply and profitably.

When you had a 56k modem for data transfer moving a CD's worth of data would have taken something like 25 hours, and a DVD about 8 days. CD/DVD was also great advance on cassette or VCR in both quality, usability and durability.

Had the internet been running at current speeds in 2000 then the DVD would probably never have been deployed, and probably not developed. A few moments thinking about the issues with putting a DC on the moon suggests that any problems it may solve are likely to be solvable by more replication here on earth at considerably less cost.

Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: some dodgy plotting

If you were honest about it you would acknowledge the majority did not have any issue about so-called loss of sovereignty.

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CSI-Brexit-4-People%E2%80%99s-Stated-Reasons-for-Voting-Leave.pdf

When asked to rank the reasons why their counterparts voted the way they did, Leave voters characterise Remain voters more accurately than Remain voters characterise Leave voters. In particular, Remain voters underestimate the importance that Leave voters attach to the EU having no role in UK law-making.

Bold highlighted for obvious reasons. It seems pertinent, as I think we can safely assume that you were a remain voter. ;)

Beware of echo chambers and confirmation bias. It blinds you to objective reality.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: some dodgy plotting

If we are honest about it, during the referendum the Remain side wanted to gloss over the significant issues that a majority of people had about loss of sovereignty by turning it into an economic argument.

This is because discussing the very serious issues around basic democratic accountability for how we are governed was only ever going to be a vote loser for remain, whereas fear, uncertainty and doubt as to the economy is a more viable political proposition.

But doing this lost. Even the head of the remain campaign quite openly says "it was project fear and it didn't work". Don't you think it's time to change the tune?

How do you perceive that reprising the tactics which lost the referendum is going to help? You'll note that he says that if the referendum was refought today then he thinks Leave would win it again.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If you don't like losing, try changing.

Beijing needs the ability to 'destroy' Starlink, say Chinese researchers

Peter2 Silver badge
Happy

May I congratulate you on your superior debating skills, and commend your point by point rebuttal displaying a high level understanding of the subject?

Or alternately it might just be an "Argumentum ad hominem" from an Anonymous Coward who knows that he's lost the argument. ;)

Peter2 Silver badge

If somebody actually started shooting missiles at satellites by the dozens, wouldn't we get into a Kessler cascade scenario rather quickly?

Yes.

I know that Starlink satellites are supposed to be in a low enough orbit that fragments will just deorbit, but once you start doing this sort of thing on any sort of scale, the sheer amount of fragments is going to be orders of magnitude above what we have now. Even if they eventually burn up, it would be problematic for quite some time. Plus, at least some of those have got to get pushed into higher orbits by the blast...

While most satellites in a low orbit would deorbit in the timeframe of 5-10 years i'd imagine that this is going to depend on the size (and therefore drag) of the bits in question. One imagines that an intact satellite would deorbit faster due to drag than the same satellite reduced to debris. I'd imagine that smaller bits of a debris field even in a low orbit is probably going to have bits floating around in a degrading orbit in 30ish years time.

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Like all totalitarian regemes

Well, it is. (To them!)

Historically it's been possible to get away with lying very easily. Just look at Russia; there is a massive difference in opinions between the younger types who have smartphones (& VPN's to dodge the great firewall of Russia) and the older generations in Russia who get all of their news from broadcast media controlled by the state.

It's getting progressively harder for a small minority to control information going to the majority of the population. Starlink holds the threat of bypassing the great firewall of China and making it completely pointless, which I suspect the CCP would see as something more than a trivial potential threat.

Peter2 Silver badge

This is just patent nonsense. Do you really think this is how military reconnaissance is done? No satellites, no planes, no drones, not even any radios? Just a couple of lads with some binoculars, a pen and paper and hoping you make it back to the lines? Give over.

It's certainly how it was done for the last fifty thousand or so years at both tactical and strategic levels. Whilst today strategically certain people probably do have access to satellite photos, on a tactical level the blokes blowing up the tanks are quite unlikely to have direct access to satellite intel.

With the weight of decent long distance radios for infantry they were originally limited to one radio operator to a moderately large formation, with other people feeding back information to them. This is still the case with the currently fielded Bowman system, troops get a short range (practically line of sight) VHF system with a long range UHF system being held by the command element so it's certainly still the case that somebody radioing information is going to be doing it to the squad, not to HQ and you run the risk of Chinese whispers when relaying which isn't present with a video stream that HQ and intel analysts can watch.

The Ukrainians have been using people streaming with smartphones from cars apparently quite successfully and you can watch the videos floating around, probably because in a total war (which this effectively is from the Ukrainian POV) when you have conscripted 10+ million men then doing this is a militarily effective use of untrained manpower, which when you don't have weapons for, let alone planes, drones or radios.

It's another unexpected use and implication of readily available commercial off the shelf technology. Less useful than drones in many ways, but it turns things upside down in a similar way.

Peter2 Silver badge

I'd fundamentally disagree. Starlink is militarily exceptionally useful on any number of different levels. For instance, there are a number of videos floating around of people driving around in civilian vehicles in Ukraine streaming with a smartphone.

From an intelligence point of view for recon purposes that's huge. Up until now if you were out on recon then you snuck in somewhere, wrote down or memorised important things that you saw (all of which the person had to be trained to do, because the significance of what you see may not be obvious) and then tried to sneak back to your army with the information. By the time it got to the people needing it the information may have been obsolete. If the person gathering the intel got killed before they came back, then no intel makes it back.

Now, the people who need to know can be watching as the information is being gathered. If the person gathering the intel gets killed before they get back then the intel has already made it back, and can be replayed at will. Entire legions of specialist intelligence analysts on the far side of the planet can watch in real time, getting far more from the information than one person could ever conceivably manage.

Now you'd think this could be disrupted by blowing away a cellphone tower. Which sort of works, up until somebody starts running a starlink service from a car lighter socket and connects their phone to it via wifi. And that's just the most basic use going; which is far from the full possibilities which have included fundamentally breaking Russia's attempts to impose information control on the Ukrainian population by bombing their infrastructure and breaking internet connections etc and so denying them access to anything other than Russia's propaganda in Ukraine. Starlink and a generator has been used to to put cell towers back online that have had their power and internet backbone destroyed. Obviously there is a performance penalty to pay there, but a percentage of something is better than 100% of nothing...

The bit about giving a population access to other sources of information in the face of government censorship in particular is probably causing high up people in China to stay awake at night; it potentially renders the Great Firewall of China useless.

Microsoft veteran on how he forged a badge to sneak into a Ballmer presentation

Peter2 Silver badge

Via the ADMX extensions for group policy you can control Adobe products security settings network wide via AD, and you can do the same with Office which lets you disable downloading files via office or disable VB either totally, or just for scripts that you haven't signed.

Peter2 Silver badge

Crypto malware is easy enough to beat. Just accept that allowing any user on any endpoint to run any .exe file is a disaster waiting to happen, and restrict normal end users to running .exe (& .etc) files that are already in %windir%, %programfiles%, or your authorised network locations (preferably that the users can't write to).

Thereafter if the users run cryptolocker etc from an email (and why aren't they removed at the gateway?) then they just get a "sorry Dave, I can't do that" message as it tries to run from %temp%. Prevention is much better and easier than cure.

Also: age and experience tends to beat youthful enthusiasm any day of the week.

Peter2 Silver badge

While i'm not Dave, i'd suggest downloading the Microsoft office group policy extensions. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49030)

The particular option you desire would appear to be this one, but it's more sensible to set via GPO than fiddling with the registry:-

https://admx.help/?Category=Office2007&Policy=office12.Office.Microsoft.Policies.Windows::L_Replacetextasyoutype

Ukraine war a sorting hat for cyber-governance loyalties: Black Hat founder Jeff Moss

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Team Rule Of Law ?

The rule of law guarantees fair process, not continued business as usual for a nutcase wishing to use our own systems to destroy us.

In this case, if there is a sanctions list which explains whom is sanctioned by Her Majesties Government, and why this is the case.

If people on that list are added for a legitimate purpose then sanctioning them is fully compliant with the rule of law.

Open-source leaders' reputations as jerks is undeserved

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Giving nvidia the finger

That might be the case now, but back in the ATI days the problems that ATI had with their drivers were rather well known, and Nvidia probably didn't want to offer their only real competitor a graduate class in how to write better graphics driver code.

I think it's generally agreed that AMD has fixed the substantive majority of those problems now, so there is probably less in the way of reason for Nvidia to keep that code closed source.

Palantir summons specter of nuclear conflict as share price collapses

Peter2 Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: "I'm fairly confident"

Exactly.

My personal feeling is that somewhere upwards of 90% of Russia's nuclear arsenal will not work in some form. That may vary from nothing happening when the button is pressed, to it blowing up in the silo, breaking up enroute, not hitting the target, the warhead not exploding or only getting a primary fission explosion of a few kilotons without the secondary fusion explosion which takes the warhead to hundreds of kilotons or even megatons.

However even if one assumes that 99% of Russia's ~6000 warheads don't work (which would appear to be exceptionally and foolishly optimistic) that still leaves a minimum of ~61 warheads that would go off.

Personally, i'd prefer not to find out.

Shareholders turn the screws on IBM and its gag orders

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Agreed

Well that's easy to solve.

We don't have that issue in the UK. We don't have that issue because while somebody could write a contract with the same clauses, the courts on our side of the pond is under the impression that they decide what contracts mean, and habitually delete any terms in a contract which they feel are illegal.

A contract (which is what an NDA is) attempting to induce somebody to either lie or fail to appear in court in return for a monetary payment would appear to do a quick ABC through several serious criminal offences:-

Attempting to pervert the course of justice

Blackmail

Contempt of Court

Since the only way of getting the money back in such a case would be to take court action, i'd really be interested to see somebody bring a case in the courts in the UK demanding money from somebody because they complied with a court order to attend court and answer questions truthfully.

The lawyer putting that court paper in would have a veritable death wish; Do you have any idea what a really pissed off judge can do?

Off the grid, Day 10: Yandex's only datacenter outside of Russia still running on diesel

Peter2 Silver badge

The reason for the deal's termination was not clear

I take it that you think it's got nothing to do with heavy handed threats from Russia against Finland then?

Arm China CEO refuses to go despite SoftBank taking control

Peter2 Silver badge

So, Softbank bought Arm in 2016 for ~twenty years worth of ARM's yearly revenue and ~64 times their yearly profits, presumably hoping to shove up the licensing fees to make up for this, however when they tried to quadruple the license fees people started looking at switching to other things (eg RISC-V) and Softbank realised that they'd fucked up.

So to improve matters, they sold a majority stake in ARM China to entities controlled by the Chinese Communist Party in 2018.

They are then surprised that the above has rather different objectives to Softbank, and that the China operation is now operating for the benefit of China rather than the ARM board. They then fail to sell ARM to NVIDIA, and are going to sell shares publicly, where they will likely discover a discrepancy between what Softbank wants ARM to be worth vs the actual likely value.

The real tragedy is that these sort of managers are now banned from providing management consulting to Russia so they'll end up advising companies in the UK instead.

John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: DRM and theft prevention

The Exocet didn't really use software to disable; this was in 70's technology used in 82.

The French did however have a team of technicians from the manufacturers in Argentina who did everything they could in terms of maintenance and fettling to ensure that the missiles that the Argentinians acquired would hit; to the extent of helping create a ground launched version when the Argentinians started running out of aircraft and pilots capable of launching the missiles.

BOFH: Something's consuming 40% of UPS capacity – and it's coming from the beancounters' office

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: Designed to fail

Those would have a reasonable excuse for not having a more frequent replacement cycle. If I had commercial units built in then i'd happily maintain those rather than replacing them every 5 years.

With the lower end UPS's most people have though given that the cost of the batteries is 90% of buying an entire new unit you might as well just toss and replace the whole lot.

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